The Daniel Fast: It's a Diet After All

An interesting analysis of one of Evangelical Christianity's more popular trends: Motivated by both faith and fitness, today many protestant Christians around the country are, like Daniel, occasionally limiting themselves to fruits and vegetables for 21-day increments. Several such believers told The Atlantic that while their intention for the initial fast was simply to enter …

When Bad and Really Bad Cut a Deal

A few months ago, when the Iranians elected themselves a new president, I asked an Iranian friend what he thought of the election.  His response was simple: the Iranian people had a choice between bad and really bad in the election and chose only bad. Now that the U.S. and others have chosen to cut …

The World Is Not As Flat as They Thought

Would-be White House photographers learn this the hard way: The nation’s largest news organizations lodged a complaint Thursday against the White House for imposing unprecedented limitations on photojournalists covering President Barack Obama, which they say have harmed the public’s ability to monitor its own government. The organizations accuse the White House of banning photojournalists from …

Should Have Nationalised Medicaid to Start With

Barack Obama would do well to take a hint from the "Duck Dynasty" candidate's victory: Medicaid expansion is popular, even if Obamacare isn't. Riser was a Jindal acolyte in the state legislature who saw first-hand the governor's approval rating dip as he opposed the expansion of Medicaid. That's the dilemma Republicans face: As unpopular as …

It's Crunch Time in Chattanooga for Same Sex Benefits

I guess it was inevitable sooner or later, but now we're here: last Tuesday, Chattanooga's City Council approved an ordinance to extend employment benefits for the city to domestic partners and not just those joined by civil marriage.  As is the case with many unicameral legislatures, it takes two readings to make this official, and …

Camelot Not Quite: My Reflections on JFK, Fifty Years After

This piece is, in some sense, obligatory.  Just about everyone alive and out of the crib then remembers where he or she was when they learned that Jack Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas on 22 November 1963.  Although there have been recent potshots at the Boomers’ obsession with the subject, it’s not a bad …

From Hard Currency to No Currency

What a difference two decades makes: Predicting the imminent collapse of the U.S. dollar, a Russian lawmaker submitted a bill to his country’s parliament Wednesday that would ban the use or possession of the American currency. Mikhail Degtyarev, the lawmaker who proposed the bill, compared the dollar to a Ponzi scheme. He warned that the …

If They'd Known He Was a Republican, They Wouldn't Have Honoured Him

Abraham Lincoln, that is: A public university in President Abraham Lincoln’s home state of Illinois is adorned with a plaque that states Lincoln – arguably the most famous and influential president in American history – was a Democrat. Lincoln was a Republican. History is such a stinker sometimes...

Thinking and Living Bureaucratically in America

National Journal's Ron Fournier is sorry: I'm sorry you campaigned for reelection on the famous false promise: "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan. Period." I'm sorry your aides debated whether to tell the full truth (that people could keep their insurance only if it hadn't …

My Perspective on Driven Pile Drivability Studies

Recently I had a round of correspondence with a county official in Washington state re pile drivability studies and their place in the contract process.  (If you're looking for some explanation of this, you can find it here).  His question was as follows: During the bidding process, is the contractor's sole basis for anticipating the …

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