This week on The Big Three we tackle North Korea's nuclear threats, North Carolina's push for an official state religion and a new poll that shows conspiracy theories proliferate along partisan lines across the USA.
Forget Punxsutawney Phil's predictions. The words "Play ball!" are the most dependable sign that spring has arrived in America. Finally, baseball season is here.
Some days start out historic. The gay civil rights movement has reached the Supreme Court -- a milestone by any measure. We won't know what the justices will decide until June, but it is not too early to reflect on how we got here.
Welcome to The Big Three -- a CNN Radio podcast on the big three stories of the week, featuring three contributors who write for CNN Opinion -- myself, my bride, Margaret Hoover, and political comedian Dean Obeidallah, who is of no relation (as far as we know).
"You guys are crack addicts."
Never fear. While North Korea is a closed communist state, a rogue nuclear power that regularly threatens war and starves its own people in prison camps, Dennis Rodman has just returned from some one-on-one diplomacy with its "dear leader" Kim Jong Un and has good news to report: "I love him. The guy is awesome. He was so honest."
With a crop of political movies in the Oscar running, this weekend Hollywood is looking more like Poliwood. Best Picture contenders such as "Argo," "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Lincoln" have managed to pay off at the box office even as they brought politics and history to the big screen -- proof that we'll take smart over stupid as long as we're entertained while educated.
You would click on the link, and there you'd find the Tea Party Patriots' mailer, calling for liberty and asking for money, decrying "big-government Republicans" and "leftist Obama Democrats" alike.
"What we have done is kicked this can down the road. We are now at the end of the road and are not in a position to kick it any further. ... We have to signal seriousness in this by making sure some of the hard decisions are made under my watch, not someone else's."
Question: What do George Clooney, Chaka Khan, the American Medical Association, Bon Jovi and C. Everett Koop have in common?
At Thursday's Capitol Hill confirmation hearing, Chuck Hagel will finally get to answer his critics.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal rode into the Republican National Committee retreat in Charlotte, North Carolina, ready to offer a dose of tough medicine for the Republican Party, which he now says "must stop being the stupid party."
If you don't get the job done at work, you won't get paid.
Everybody knows the Republican Party is basically an all-white bastion, right? After all, even Colin Powell condemned the "dark vein of intolerance" that has flowed through his party since the post-civil rights era political realignment.
Joe Biden doesn't much like the NRA -- and the feeling is mutual.
"It's why the American people hate Congress. Unlike the people in Congress, we have actual responsibilities."
Jack Alvo drives the streets of the New York City six days a week -- the 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift. He never imagined he'd be a cabdriver at his age.
Sometimes it takes a tragedy to make us confront reality.
Washington is playing chicken with the fiscal cliff -- the combination of automatic tax hikes and deep spending cuts in 2013 that could plummet our recovering economy back into recession. Brinksmanship is back while the clock ticks.
Marvin Miller died Tuesday at the age of 95. And here's why you should know his name: Miller transformed the game of baseball even though he never put on a uniform.
Who's afraid of Grover Norquist?
In the horse race coverage of political campaigns, we sometimes forget that elections are just exciting preambles to the main event -- governing.
Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock believes that rapes resulting in pregnancy are "something that God intends to happen."
This election is about the economy -- not social issues or other distractions.
"Partisanship ought to end at the water's edge" is a longstanding adage of American politics.
One of the mysteries of this administration is that President Obama is a great orator, but not always a great communicator, and we saw that dichotomy in effect again last night in Charlotte.
Clint Eastwood's rambling speech to an empty chair in Tampa, Florida, was more than just awkward performance art on a political stage.
Is that the best he can do?
"If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
One hundred years ago Monday, Theodore Roosevelt launched the most successful third party presidential bid in American history, declaring, "We stand at Armageddon, and we battle for the Lord!"
The bodies of the victims are being buried. The court case will continue, without cameras. The horror in Aurora has faded from the front page in favor of Olympic coverage.
Welcome back to work, Congress. Hope you enjoyed your fourth full week off this year. Now find a way to work together to help get America back to work.
This is what happens when politics starts looking like a cult: Jeb Bush gets attacked for being a traitor to the conservative cause.
It's not your imagination: Our politics are more polarized than at any point in recent history.
The World Trade Center is again the tallest building in New York one year after the killing of Osama bin Laden and more than 10 years after the attacks that brought them down.
It turns out that Richard Nixon was a hippie.
"I have here in my hand a list of 205 communists ..."
It's tough to get quality people to run for political office these days. There's the cult-like polarization, the vicious mudslinging, and the cost to families and finances.
The slaughter of civilians in Sudan goes on with too little attention.
It's not your imagination: Our dysfunctional divided Congress is the least productive and least popular in recent history.
The message of Super Tuesday was clear: Mitt Romney still cannot seal the deal with the conservative base, despite winning six states and outspending his rivals 4-to-1. And while Romney is far ahead of his rivals with 404 delegates collected to date, he needs 740 more to clinch, a process that could take at least until May and possibly go all the way to the convention.
The Vital Center is under siege on Capital Hill. "Congress is now more polarized than at any time since the late 19th century," attests the data-driven blog Vote View.
Mitt Romney is learning that there are costs to an ugly, extended primary fight marked by a rush to the far right. Independent voters get alienated by the extremism.
Beneath Rick Santorum's stunning three-state sweep on Tuesday stands another stubborn sign of dissatisfaction with the status quo: Republican turnout is down.
All presidential primaries matter, but some matter more than most.
We're in the thick of the South Carolina Republican Primary, and all the ugly old stereotypes are being deployed as shorthand for one very beautiful state.
In the run-up to the New Hampshire primary, I wrote a column on the five things to look at while the votes came in. Now we've got the results, and here's how it played out: