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Jay Bookman

Jay Bookman 

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To get this weekend off to a rollicking start....

You like your music raw, rough and unrefined? You want to hear not just the blues, but the whiskey and the smoke and the bone-deep passion behind the blues? Oh, OK. We can do that for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVQXabI5sow That's Ms. Sarah McCoy,  hailing from New Orleans of course, who describes ...

Time to toss dirt on hopes of GOP's modernization

Rand Paul, the allegedly "nontraditional Republican," has now joined other leaders of his party in demanding an end to federal policies that allow so-called "dreamers" -- immigrants brought here as children by their parents, but who have grown up seeing themselves as American -- to remain here legally while the ...

Ralph Hudgens: ObamaCare obstructionist? Moi?

Many of you may remember this moment from Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, in which he became a national emblem of GOP resistance to ObamaCare: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fm-2J4F4v4 That was a year ago. At the time, Hudgens was proudly proclaiming his intention to "do anything in our power to be an obstructionist" ...

Relax. The country is NOT going to hell on you

At a time when it might seem that everything is going to hell, it's important to take note that it simply isn't true. To the contrary, some very important, even fundamental, things are getting a whole lot better. Violence, for example, seems to surround us. You see it on the ...

A brutally candid assessment of our options against ISIS?

I haven't watched the video of the execution of photojournalist James Foley at the hands of ISIS fanatics. Nor do I feel any need to do so. I know -- we all know -- what it portrays. As I recently remarked to a friend, I also don't think it takes ...

McConnell still Capt. Ahab; Obama still Moby Dick

If you're among the tens of Americans who approve of the work done by the 113th Congress, then I suspect you'll be downright delirious with joy about the 114th Congress to be seated in January, particularly if the Republicans gain control of the Senate. In a new Politico interview, Senate ...

Workers of the world ... take vacation!!

The shifting balance of power between workers and employers since the mid-1970s takes many obvious forms. On one end, you've got indicators such as the decline in union membership and the long-term drop in household income; on the other, you've got record-high corporate profits, record-high worker productivity and annual double-digit ...

In Ferguson, fires of truth vs. fires of destruction

At some point in a growing firestorm, the particular spark that ignited it tends to become less and less important, and the fire itself becomes the story. That may be what's happening in Ferguson, Missouri. The fatal confrontation between Officer Darren Wilson and 18-year-old Michael Brown occurred Aug. 9, and ...

Georgia jobless rate jumps yet again

According to fresh data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Georgia's unemployment rate jumped by 0.4 percentage points in July and now is the second highest unemployment rate of any state in the country at 7.8 percent, trailing only Mississippi at 8 percent. The national unemployment rate is 6.2 ...

Perry scandal a case that voters, not jurors, should decide

The political comeback of Texas Gov. Rick Perry took a major detour Friday with announcement that he had been indicted by an Austin grand jury for "abuse of official capacity" and "coercion of a public official," felony charges that if proved in court could put him in prison for years. ...

The only talking heads I really ever liked

One of my Top Five bands -- although if forced to put it on paper, I probably have 10 or 15 bands in that Top Five list -- would be Talking Heads. They didn't sound or look like anybody else. They experimented freely. In a lot of their songs, the ...

Why the Pentagon backs Common Core

Growing up in a military family, we moved a lot. And by “a lot,” I mean attending 12 different schools in 10 different districts from kindergarten through high school. We went through childhood knowing that any evening, Dad could walk in the front door to announce that he had just ...

Events in Ferguson may have taken quick turn

I can't find a usable photograph yet, so this description from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch describing ongoing events in protest-torn Ferguson, Missouri will have to do: "As many as 300 marchers are making their way along West Florissant Avenue in what is so far the most peaceful demonstration since the ...

In (temporary) praise of Rand Paul and Ted Cruz

This isn't going to happen often, but when it does, it's worth saying: Rand Paul is right. Ted Cruz is right. In fact, in recent days they're been right twice. In Case #1, both Cruz and Paul have argued that if President Obama finds it necessary to intervene militarily in ...

On Mike Brown, dead in St. Louis

Mike Brown, an 18-year-old black man from the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, just a few days from starting technical school, was walking down the street with a friend on Saturday afternoon. A few minutes later, Brown lay dead, killed by multiple gunshots fired by a police officer. Brown was ...

Apres November, le deluge?

According to Gallup, job approval ratings for Congress remain near all-time lows. At 13 percent, it's the lowest ever measured by Gallup in a mid-term election year. An astounding 83 percent of Americans say they disapprove of how Congress has performed its job, while 55 percent say they disapprove strongly. ...

Shock! ObamaCare won't end world in 2015 either!

One by one, they fall. One by one, predictions of the disaster that would be wreaked by ObamaCare have been tested against reality; one by one they have failed to materialize. But rather than be embarrassed, opponents have used every failed prediction as a chance to double-down and predict that ...

For Robin Williams, celebrity, depression a tough combo

-- from "Mork Meets Robin Williams," which aired February 19, 1981.

Palin on devils, fast food, purgatory ...

Six years ago this month, John McCain introduced the American people to the person whom he hoped would become the next vice president of the United States, one heartbeat from the presidency itself. It did not go well. In fact, the scale of the disaster that ensued was topped only ...

Obama plays weak hand in Iraq

Maybe, just maybe, the dread of an ISIS invasion will be able to accomplish what "the surge" could not, which is to unite Iraq. It's about the best chance we've got, which isn't saying a lot. These days, the military surge that President Bush launched in 2007 under the leadership ...

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