On June 8th, a motley coalition of conservative senators and activists huddled in the Cannon Office Building to discuss strategy around Cut, Cap, and Balance, the radical budget proposal to cap federal spending at 18 percent of GDP that they hoped to push through Congress in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. After an impassioned prayer for the nation’s future from Senator Jim DeMint, staunch libertarians like Chris Chocola of Club for Growth rubbed elbows with evangelicals like Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America and Tom McClusky of the Family Research Council.
On Friday the women of Saudi Arabia staged a protest against the nation’s unwritten but often brutally enforced rule that only men may drive. The protest was called for by activist Manal al-Sharif, a 32-year-old Internet consultant for the state-run oil company Aramco. Al-Sharif had been arrested on May 21 after posting this video of herself driving on YouTube. In late May Al-Sharif had also posted messages on Twitter and Facebook calling for a nationwide protest on June 17.
Richmond, Virginia, may be the heart of the old confederacy. But it’s also the place where the federal government eventually indicted Jefferson Davis for treason. A plaque commemorating that event sits outside the entrance to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals—an omen for what transpired inside the courthouse on Tuesday, where three judges considered a pair of lawsuits from Virginians challenging an abuse of federal authority. The alleged abuse in this case is the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The other, more significant omen was the selection of the judges.
It's the first Earth Day since the BP oil spill. People the world over are still angry, Gulf Coast fishing has not quite recovered, and yet BP might actually have banner profits this year. Of course, as any Earth Day activist would tell you, the Gulf Coast will be coping with the BP oil spill for many Earth Days to come. But how long will those effects last? The closest precedent is the Exxon Valdez spill off the coast of Alaska in 1989.
The 2011 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival starts today in Indio, California. Over 75,000 tragically hip festival goers have arrived at the Date Capital of the World for what has become, just over a decade since its first installment, one of the most popular music festivals in the country.
Another week, another American Idol ratings victory. The smash-hit televised singing competition continues to steamroll the prime-time competition in its twelfth season. In its first season without acerbic, charismatic host and record executive Simon Cowell, the show now features a panel of “experts”—including musicians like Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler—judging amateur musicians for the chance to win a record deal. After the initial few rounds, though, viewers, not the expert judges, pick who advances, voting via text message, telephone and the Internet.
[This is a guest post by Ezra Deutsch-Feldman and Michael Fitzgerald] Last week, Dick Morris wrote a column for The Hill which was almost willfully illogical and wrong, even by the usual Dick Morris standards of lies and attacks. Luckily, he made a bold and falsifiable prediction—that Obama will not win a second term—so that if he turns out to be wrong, perhaps we can all look forward to seeing him sheepishly own up to his mistakes and pledge to be more careful.