Move to the right

May 13, 2010 President Barack Obama has chosen Elena Kagan to fill the vacancy left by Justice John Paul Stevens’ retirement. Sadly, Kagan cannot fill Justice Stevens’ mighty shoes. Obama took the cautious route in nominating Kagan, who, like Harriet Miers, has no record of judicial opinions and no formidable legal writings. Since Kagan was handily confirmed as solicitor general, Obama probably thinks her confirmation will go smoothly. After the health care debacle, however, he should know that the right-wingers will not be appeased by this milk toast appointment, but will oppose whomever he nominates.

Hey big spenders

May 12, 2010 I don’t know who they are, but I’ve got to hand it to them. I’m too cynical to do what they do. I speak of the Americans who, every year, donate money to pay down America’s national debt. The Bureau of the Public Debt — part of the Treasury Department — began allowing such donations in 1961. According to Title 31, Chapter 31 of the U.S. Code, any citizen is free to give a “gift” to Treasury, under the condition that the money will be used only to pay down the debt. Last year, the government received $3 million in such gifts. Who are the gift-givers? Nobody knows for certain.

Inspiring others leaves legacy

May 12, 2010 I’ve never met her, which is, maybe, a little sad since my mother credits her for saving her life. Not having met her, however, does not mean I do not know her as mom has spent the last few years talking about her and the last few months talking about her aggressive illness. She has not shared her struggle publicly and very few people know the details of her health situation, so excuse me for being vague with the details, but they are not mine to share.

Brainless Pinheads

May 11, 2010 They’ve tried fire and robots and domes and booms and drones and boxes and rosary beads and even pantyhose stuffed with human hair, but so far nothing has slowed the Deepwater Horizon oil spill from creeping towards our Southern Coast like a drunken lobbyist staggering towards a free seafood buffet. And almost as ugly. This maritime miasma promises to be the most monumental attack of sludge to hit American shores since Ann Coulter’s most recent book.

Pooling together a battle plan

May 11, 2010 It wasn’t exactly the Clash of the Titans, but it was still a battle. This weekend we crossed proverbial swords with a large inanimate monster: the pool tarp. My dad had an in-ground pool installed nearly 20 years ago, the year I graduated high school in fact, and every year he has tried to find the perfect tarp for his imperfectly shaped pool. It’s not that the pool’s shape (an L) is imperfect, it’s more like he can’t find the right cover for it.

Getting off the couch first step to exercise

May 10, 2010 Growing up I guess I was fortunate that I could eat anything I wanted without worrying about gaining weight. That “good fortune, if it can be called that, however, has made me one very lazy adult now that I’m finding it harder to be so free willing with food. Gone are the days of sitting down and eating a package of Oreos without abandon.

Primaries to determine fall message

May 10, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Are Arkansans going to see Lt. Gov. Bill Halter’s coach a few more times this fall, or watch Gilbert Baker carry around a blue plastic tarp? How many times are we going to hear Sen. Blanche Lincoln described as “one tough lady,” or see Congressman John Boozman helping people try on eyeglasses? And will Jim Holt’s ambulance keep rolling around the state, with or without its flashing lights?

Martha’s big adventure

May 7, 2010 I started out in life being unable to state what I wanted and then head straight for it. Instead, I’d try someone else’s suggestions or demands first and hope for the best. Maybe they knew better. As a result, there’s really been very little of my life that happened in an orderly fashion.

Weirded out by the ‘L word’

May 7, 2010 People are weird about love. Everybody wants to be loved, but nobody wants to talk about it. We’ll tell a stranger how much we love our iPod. Yet we find it difficult to look into the eyes of our parent, spouse or child and proclaim the same thing. One place we’re really weird about love is at work. We want our customers to love our products, we want our employees to love their jobs, and we want the market to love our stock. But bring up the “L word” in a management meeting, and people will start to get uncomfortable. I used to be weird about love.