Democrats acting like Republicans. Republicans acting like Democrats. The 2016 presidential contest is shaping up to be the political equivalent of gender-bending.
Democrats seem poised to choose their next presidential nominee the way Republicans often choose theirs: according to the principle of "next in line."
The Supreme Court will hear arguments this week in two same-sex marriage cases. Whatever the justices do, the outcome seems foreordained. When 80% of Americans under 30 agree about something, that something will happen -- it's only a matter of time.
To be a politician today is to live in some ways like a citizen of North Korea. A politician must assume that he or she is under 24-hour audio-visual surveillance. Any objectionable remark, any untoward joke, any awkward facial expression may be recorded and broadcast. Professional and personal ruin can strike at any moment.
"When Dr. Johnson defined patriotism as the last refuge of a scoundrel, he was unconscious of the then undeveloped capabilities of the word 'reform.'"
Remember "peak oil"?
Republicans face two decisions about the nomination of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense: how to vote and whether to filibuster.
On guns, President Obama needs a "Plan B."
Incomes? Home prices? New car sales? Americans exactingly measure everything that pertains to their material well-being. But when it comes time to assess the things that matter most -- human well-being and happiness -- there we find ourselves baffled.
The long debate on same-sex marriage is coming to an end. A plurality of Americans now support same-sex marriage; the figure is 63% among voters under 30. The rest is just a matter of time.
The world of punditry is divided into two groups: those who attend the World Economic Forum at Davos and those who mock the World Economic Forum at Davos. (There's a subgroup that both attends and mocks, but it's tiny.)
Massacres such as Newtown are horrifying and heart-rending. They are also nothing like the typical American gun murder.
Last week, I joined the board of a new organization to oppose marijuana legalization: Smart Approaches to Marijuana. The group is headed by former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy and includes Kevin Sabet, a veteran of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President Obama.
George H.W. Bush marked his 80th and 85th birthdays with parachute jumps. He said after the second jump: "Just because you're an old guy, you don't have to sit around drooling in the corner. Get out and do something. Get out and enjoy life."
The National Rifle Association's Friday press event has received almost uniformly negative reviews. Yet the speech by NRA chief Wayne LaPierre had this merit: It pulled into daylight for all to see the foundational assumption of modern American gun culture.
Monday will be a day of mourning for the slain schoolchildren of Newtown, Connecticut. Then what? Some are urging President Barack Obama to lead a national campaign for tighter control of firearms.
Red wine in moderation has been shown to reduce the risks of heart disease. Enjoy a glass with dinner tonight.
Global emissions of carbon dioxide hit a record high in 2011, scientists from the Global Carbon Project reported last week.
Here's the next thing the Republican party needs to rethink. What does it say if and when the United States returns to prosperity?
Iran's oil output has tumbled to the lowest level in 23 years, the International Energy Agency reported Friday.??This is the work of the tightening sanctions around Iran. The effects upon the Iranian economy have been dramatic.?
Venezuela's authoritarian president Hugo Chavez is a villain out of a Batman movie: buffoonish and sinister in equal measure.
Prediction: 2013 will be a year of serious global crisis. That crisis is predictable, and in fact has already begun. It will inescapably confront the next president of the United States. Yet this emerging crisis got not a mention at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. We'll see if the Democrats do better.
Like many people in the media and political world, I first heard from Twitter the news that Mitt Romney had chosen Paul Ryan as his running mate. The information appeared between 11 p.m. and midnight on a Friday night. The alert was quickly confirmed by multiple news sources on my Twitter feed: TV networks, newspapers, wire services. Like many journalists, I stayed up late that night to write about the decision, filing copy over the next three hours. I was so weary the next morning that I very nearly slept through the broadcast of the actual announcement event in Norfolk, Virginia.
A shrewd Wall Street friend once advised me: "There's all the difference in the world between a great business and a great investment."
Do guns make us safer?
There will be no new gun laws after the Aurora shooting for the basic reason that the American people do not want them.
The taxi rocked to the pounding sounds of French rap music.
Congratulations: If you're reading this, you have electricity. Unfortunately, more than 3 million Americans this weekend couldn't join you. The sweltering heat wave that roasted the eastern United States was accompanied by terrible storms that have knocked out power lines up and down the seaboard.
Crisis begets innovation.
Nobody seems to have a positive word for Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to ban oversized servings of sugary drinks in New York's food-service establishments.
That was an interesting week!
The European financial crisis is poorly understood in the United States.
Last month, two political scientists published one of those rare op-eds that gets the political community talking.
There is something tragic in the unfolding of Mitt Romney's campaign for president.
Blogger Kathleen Geier observes:
The French will vote next week to elect a new president.
Friday's weak jobs report is more than a disappointing blip.
Suppose the Supreme Court does rule that the health care mandate is unconstitutional? What happens then?
For the record, I'm not a leading fan of the economist Jeffrey Sachs.
As Iran rushes ahead with its nuclear program, some foreign policy thinkers urge Israel to accept that it must live with "incomplete" security.
"It's not fair!"
Compare and contrast the economic plan Mitt Romney released in September with the speech he delivered Friday in Detroit.
As John Avlon has recently calculated, there is a real possibility that the Republican primary process could fail to yield a majority winner.
Mitt Romney ended a very bad week with a pretty good weekend.
Newt Gingrich has absorbed a fair degree of ridicule for his campaign proposal to build an American colony on the moon. Before focusing the laughter solely on Gingrich, however, let's recall that it is the declared policy of the U.S. government to return a human being to the moon by 2020, in preparation for sending a human astronaut to Mars. If Gingrich is wrong (and he is), he's not wrong alone.
Watch the Republican primaries, and you can feel: the American political system is working. The GOP is discarding the unqualified and irresponsible candidates and rapidly converging on the person in the race who could actually do the job of president.
Monday is the second day of the year, which means millions of Americans have started new diets. They resolved to lose weight, get in shape, and they are starting strong.