To jump off from Tim's post, it's worth pointing out just how underpaid federal workers are compared to their private-sector counterparts, especially after President Obama's decision to adopt and reinforce the conservative idea that government workers are way overpaid.
At the risk of getting too bleak today, here's a story that was tucked away on the "Nation" page of The Washington Post's website:
A 20-year-old Pennsylvania college student who vanished last week while on Thanksgiving break in her hometown in suburban Syracuse, N.Y., was killed by her on-again, off-again boyfriend, a prosecutor said Saturday.
Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said 21-year-old Steven Pieper of Liverpool, N.Y., was arrested on a charge of murder in the death of Jenni-Lyn Watson, a junior dance major at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa. [...]
You should read the whole thing, of course, but here is one of the more noteworthy portions from Justice John Paul Stevens' essay on the death penalty in the current issue of TheNew York Review of Books:
Apparently, you're not a "real" conservative unless you want to amend the Constitution in order to settle scores with your political enemies:
Michael Stokes Paulsen, a professor at the University of St. Thomas Law School in Minnesota, said he was there to deliver bad news. "Washington, D.C., remains in substantial part enemy-occupied territory for those who favor any serious meaningful, permanent reforms that would effectively limit national government," he said.
He thinks the federal government has so stretched its constitutional limits that the only way to snap it back into shape is with a constitutional convention called by the states.
According to Politico's Jonathan Martin, the Democratic South finally died with this month's midterm elections:
For Democrats in the South, the most ominous part of a disastrous year may not be what happened on Election Day but what has happened in the weeks since.
After suffering a historic rout — in which nearly every white Deep South Democrat in the U.S. House was defeated and Republicans took over or gained seats in legislatures across the region — the party’s ranks in Dixie have thinned even further.