WASHINGTON -- As he promised it would be, Barack Obama's presidency has been transformative, but not as he intended. Whether it lasts two or six more years, it is an exhausted volcano because its biggest consequence may already have happened: It has resuscitated the right, making 2010 conservatism's best year in 30 years -- since the election of Ronald Reagan.
WASHINGTON -- When Alexander Pope was on his deathbed, his doctor assured him that his breathing, pulse and other vital signs were improving. "Here I am," Pope said to a friend, "dying of a hundred good symptoms."
GREENWICH, Conn. -- It has been said that American politics and professional wrestling share a paucity of honest emotions. But Linda McMahon, who as CEO built World Wrestling Entertainment into a billion-dollar company, might think comparing wrestling to politics insults wrestling. As she seeks the Senate seat being vacated by Chris Dodd, she says the honesty deficit concerns not emotions but facts.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Northern Iowans are Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings fans. This fact could be portentous 16 months from now when the Iowa caucuses occur and Minnesota's two-term governor, Tim Pawlenty, probably will be seeking the Republican presidential nomination.
WASHINGTON -- Voters seem to think Congress is like a weedy lot -- that anything done to it will improve it -- so they seem poised to produce something not seen since 1981-82. Then, for the first time since 1952, a majority of senators were in their first terms. This was the result of three consecutive churning elections -- 1976, 1978 and 1980.
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the four-term Texas Republican, hopes it is true that, as has been said, Americans invariably do the right thing -- after exhausting all the alternatives. Regarding the fiscal imbalance that is driving the national debt toward 90 percent of GDP, Americans are running out of alternatives.
WASHINGTON -- On Jan. 9, 1969, Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote a memo to President-elect Richard Nixon, on whose White House staff Moynihan was to serve. Moynihan wondered whether the disintegration of "private sub-systems of authority" presaged "the ultimate, destructive working out of the telos of liberal thought," in which case "we are moving from Locke to Hobbes." Imagine, if you can, Nixon's furrowed brow.
WASHINGTON -- Although a Niagara of vitriol is drenching politics, the two parties are acting sensibly and in tandem about something once considered a matter of constitutional significance -- the process by which presidential nominations are won.
JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- The crime scene at 138 Griffith St. has changed in 76 years. Today it is a barber shop. In 1934, it was a tailoring and cleaning establishment owned and run by Jacob Maged, 49.
WASHINGTON -- Fidel Castro, 84, may have failing eyesight but he has noticed something: "The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore." So, the secret is out. And there is no joy among the alumni, if any still live, of the golden days of Les Deux Magots.