The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is the major achievement of President Obama's first term.
To a generation beaten down by skyrocketing unemployment, plunging retirement savings, and mounting home foreclosures, 'Mad Men' offers the schadenfreude-filled message that their predecessors were equally unhappy - and that the bleakness meter in American life has always been set on high.
The civil rights and antiwar movements taught Americans to question authority.
In the James Cameron blockbuster 'Avatar,' 3-D cinematography is the real star. The bugs and crawling creatures seem to slither into the theater seats. The floating mountains of the planet Pandora hover gloriously overhead. And the Na'Vi, Pandora's 10-foot-tall, blue-skinned natives, come convincingly to life.
The remarkable thing about 'Avatar' is the degree to which the technology is integral to the story. It is important to show Pandora and its Na'Vi natives in 3-D because 'Avatar' is fundamentally about the moral necessity of seeing other beings fully.
Civil lawsuits do two important things: they compensate people who are injured by the bad acts of others, and they penalize people and companies for bad behavior.
Serving up ads based on behavioral targeting can itself be an invasion of privacy, especially when the information used is personal.
A federal Voters' Bill of Rights could press the states to put non-partisan managers in charge of elections.
When tulip mania dies down, all that remains are pretty flowers. When bubbles burst, nothing is left but soapy residue. But the Internet revolution, for all its speculative excesses, really is changing the world.
Mississippi's loose campaign finance laws allow lawyers and companies to contribute heavily to the judges they appear before. That is terrible for justice, since the courts are teeming with perfectly legal conflicts of interest.
Republicans and blacks had an unlikely alliance around 'max black' after the 1990 census. By concentrating black voters in some districts, the strategy elected a record number of black congressmen in 1992. But the remaining 'bleached' districts were more likely to elect white Republicans.
State assaults on the separation of church and state are nothing new.
The United States may be a religious nation. But it is also a nation with a strong commitment to separation of church and state.
Our movements reveal a great deal about who we are. A record of our locations over time can reveal whether we go to tent revivals or radical political meetings, abortion clinics or AIDS doctors.
With increased awareness should come greater caution about how confessions are used at trial - and a greater willingness to overturn convictions when it becomes clear that a confession was untrue.
It is one thing to say that there is a constitutional right to keep a gun at home for protection. It is quite another to say there is a constitutional right to bring a hidden gun into a daycare center.
It is not hard to see why the FBI wants wiretapping backdoors. It would certainly make its job easier. But rejiggering the Internet so government can conveniently monitor everything we say and do online is too high a price to pay for making law enforcement more efficient.
There is a lot of talk in conservative circles about judicial modesty and deferring to the political branches. That view of judging often overlooks the important role that courts have in protecting people's rights. But if there was ever a time to defer, it is when Congress is protecting voting rights in the exact way the Constitution directs it to.
Voter ID laws have a disproportionate impact on groups that lean democratic - including blacks, hispanics and students.
The worst excesses of the dot-com era are gone.