America's capacity for optimism and hope has been boundless through much of our short history. The tangible returns of hard work, the ordered liberty sustained through community consent and opportunity honed over time to apply equally to all men and women -- these were the currency of what we called the American Dream.
Could an aging population be good for economic growth? I mean, isn't it an accepted fact that our economy will suffer as more Americans pass age 65 and start sitting around all day, soaking up government benefits?
Proposals to raise Social Security benefits are a refreshing antidote to portrayals of the program as a mere drain on the Treasury. Details of some such plans are troubling -- for reasons I'll go into -- but the change in tone is most welcome.
The disastrous rollout of Obamacare, worse than anyone anticipated or warned, could have doomed the president's second term. It would require something very big to take your eyes off of that disaster. What an idea. Shut down the government.
The honchos at A&E, professing shock that an old Southern redneck from their reality TV hit "Duck Dynasty" made the sort of homophobic remarks one would expect from an old Southern redneck, yanked Phil Robertson off the show. A culture war skirmish ensued.
I've heard a lot of goofy arguments against raising the federal minimum wage. The silliest goes like this: "You want to raise the minimum wage to $15? Why not $50? Why not $100?"
The week after Thanksgiving Perry Griggs, The Dispatch's pressroom supervisor, asked me if I knew somewhere he could go to shoot mistletoe. Say that again?
When niece Chelsey was little, I lavished her with Christmas gifts too numerous and fanciful to remember. There were faux-fur coats with Dalmatian spots, diminutive dolls bundled as quintuplets, plastic horses that cost more than the real thing.
Pope Francis is displaying an extraordinary style and passion that demands our attention. He addresses the needs of the poor, embraces outcasts, and loves those on the margins of society. In this recent "apostolic exhortation," The Joy of the Gospel, the pope raises a moral challenge to both his church and the world.
"Don't be deceived," Duck Commander and A&E reality television star Phil Robertson insisted, when asked to define what he considered to be sinful behavior. "Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers -- they won't inherit the kingdom of God. Don't deceive yourself. It's not right."
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer. And a penguin?
I suspect the NSA may have thought they got lucky when one of the first post-Edward Snowden cases to challenge their phone metadata collection was assigned to Judge Richard Leon on the federal district court in Washington, D.C. After all, Leon was appointed by President George W. Bush after a long career, much of it spent working for Republicans in Washington.
As Christmas approaches, the shopping mall can become a shopping maul. One of the ways of buying gifts for family and friends, without becoming part of a mob scene in the stores, is to shop on the Internet. However, for many kinds of gifts, you want to be able to see it directly, and perhaps handle it, before you part with your hard-earned cash for it.
'Tis the season, and Nancy Pelosi has given the hands-down best gift to the American people -- her phrase "Embrace the suck." Miraculous.
In explaining the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, President Obama told Chris Matthews he had discovered that "we have these big agencies, some of which are outdated, some of which are not designed properly."
Americans don't care much about rising economic inequality, recent surveys suggest. But that's not quite right. The public may know that the top 10 percent pulled in about half of pretax income in 2012 -- and that income inequality is the widest it's been since right before the Great Depression. Its brain understands that these trends are not good for the society.
Make a woman laugh, Marilyn Monroe supposedly said, and you can make her do anything.
Mainstream Republicans are doing backflips over Chris Christie's frolic to re-election as governor of New Jersey. Here is a Republican who took on public employee unions, spoke out against abortion and gay marriage, and still scored a landslide win in a blue state. And he won Latinos' and women's votes, too.
Wow, this T-shirt costs only $8. Great color. Problem is, your finger could punch a hole through it. In most Americans' shopping experience, colors change and styles come and go, but there's one constant: low quality and a sweatshop-country label.
We have reached a new level of political absurdity when the right is mad at the pope and the left wants to anoint his head with oil. Everyone seems to have his own special version of Pope Francis. Liberals have declared him a crusader for social justice, especially regarding his comments about global inequality. Conservatives fear he just might be a commie.
1. Ask Rufus: Stand Fast Mississippians LOCAL COLUMNS
2. Kathleen Parker: The new SAT don't care 'bout no fancy words NATIONAL COLUMNS
3. Birney Imes: On the road with Louie and Sprocket LOCAL COLUMNS
4. Roses and thorns: 3/9/14 ROSES & THORNS
5. Charles Krauthammer: The wages of weakness NATIONAL COLUMNS