Nine months into her job as California attorney general, Kamala Harris found herself across the table from lawyers for five of the nation’s biggest lenders, trying to hammer out a deal to help mortgage holders weather the foreclosure crisis.
The Internal Revenue Service’s actions are a political Rorschach test, with Republicans seeing an effort to intimidate their allies and Democrats citing a mismanaged agency’s interpretation of flawed laws.
The patchwork quilt of U.S. state laws on same-sex marriage, which Washington is now poised to legalize, leaves gay and lesbian Americans with different rights depending on geography. To opponents, that’s just the way things work in a union of self-governing states.
Scott Noggle had just finished posing for photographs on the second floor of Robert and Margo Alexander’s home in East Hampton, with a view of the Napeague Bay. Now the scientist was poolside, describing his research in Manhattan and turning down offers of crab cakes, shrimp, and roast beef on toast.
Newt Gingrich never saw it ending this way. The former House speaker, who has long thought of himself as a historic figure, envisioned he would be the candidate of innovative “big ideas” and the agenda-setter for the 2012 U.S. election.
As I struggled to navigate a roundabout at London’s Heathrow Airport recently, I wondered why the Brits don’t switch to driving on the right side of the road. The main obstacle, of course, is the difficulty of ensuring that all vehicles make the change at the same time. Just a few holdouts, particularly trucks, could cause major problems.