You reduce illegal immigration by making it harder to get jobs here, or easier to get jobs south of the border. This idea that we can't pass an immigration law until we hit some imaginary security target is just a way to derail reform.
Certainly Nancy Reagan had an extraordinary effect on her husband. I'm truly not sure that, say, Laura Bush had that much effect on the Bush administration. She certainly, you know, seems to be a nice person who I think the public likes. But I can't really put my finger on any huge impact she's had.
There are competing studies on how much crime drops or doesn't drop when there are strict rules on gun possession and sale. I don't think there's any question that New York City's very tough laws have reduced violence.
Women in America will have to find an answer for the pressures of work and family, but if you really care about women's issues you have to think about women in the world, especially Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
I grew up in one of the most socially conservative neighborhoods in Ohio, and my parents were traditional Catholics. But in her old age, my mother got her home health care from a guy who was gay, who was wonderful to her. Before she died, she rode a float in the Cincinnati Gay Pride Parade.
Personally, I'd be really glad to have a national conversation about whether to outlaw most forms of birth control. For once, the kids and their grandparents would find themselves on the same side.
My own dream is that we discover that the NSA has been secretly keeping files on members of the National Rifle Association.
Until Eleanor Roosevelt, there was only one or two First Ladies in all of American history who made an impact, who people could even have recognized or identified. And it's really only been since Jackie Kennedy that there's been this idea that the family life of the president is such a central thing.
You can hit as many revolutions as you want, but women are always going to wear uncomfortable shoes that look good.
Hillary Clinton almost got to be president. The reasons why she didn't become president had to do with bad judgments about how to handle the early caucus states, which is not a gender-specific trait.
You know what Americans are really sensitive to? Issues of fairness. I think this is a modern phenomenon, born of the civil rights movement. Once you convince Americans that something is basically unfair, you've got a winning cause.
Despite my excellent mood, I don't have any sympathy for Romney. If he'd been a good candidate he wouldn't have had a different campaign for every month on the calendar.
Texas is a great place to be rich and a terrible place to be poor. It's got the highest percentage of people without health insurance in the country. If you get injured on the job, good luck getting workers' comp. And God help you if you're poor and mentally ill.
I kind of think that if you show conspiracy theorists a photo of the dead Bin Laden they will come up with an explanation for why it's really a Photoshopped picture of Bin Laden asleep. Or his dead cousin Fred. Donald Trump apparently believes that Bin Laden is dead, so that ought to be enough for the Middle East.
Non-crazy gun advocates - the ones who aren't stockpiling in preparation for a zombie invasion - don't like the idea of expanding background checks because they think it'll be a lot more paperwork. And it probably would make it more difficult to sell guns at, say, a flea market.
For the undocumented immigrants, the big priority is just to get out from the shadows, be able to get a driver's license, buy an airplane ticket and stop worrying about sudden deportation. But for the country as a whole, it's crucial that everybody have a citizen's stake in the nation's welfare.
The history of American women is all about leaving home - crossing oceans and continents, or getting jobs and living on their own.
I admired the way McCain worked on campaign finance reform. I admired the way Nancy Pelosi stiffened the Democrats' spine during the health care debate. I admire the way Barack Obama has raised a dog in the White House without ever putting it on the roof of the car for a vacation drive.
I don't think the folks in the low-tax states really want to go into a fairness discussion. Residents of Connecticut and New York would love to remind them how much they pay in federal taxes to support programs for Mississippi and South Dakota.
Now my poor hometown is being castigated as the center of an IRS scandal. Humble workers at the Cincinnati office targeted Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations for special scrutiny when those groups applied for tax-exempt status. There's no conceivable excuse for that. It was deeply, deeply wrong.
Back in the '70s when my friends in California were at Berkeley, in-state tuition was around $700 a year.
The work-family divide is the biggest issue for American women. But in some ways it's amazing how adjusted society has become to it. In the 1970s, as women began to take more jobs, society was reeling.
The fantasy I've always had is that somehow I could move back in time. I would like to be there when Susan B. Anthony was dying, or someone like that. I would say to her, 'You won't believe what's going to happen.' And then I would tell her.
There are a lot of people in Congress who would never have made a great career or fortune in any other profession. But after they spend a while hanging out with the rich guys, they begin to feel they've been undervalued, and that an eventual seven-figure income as a lobbyist isn't just an opportunity, it's their due.
There's always been that theory that if a candidate can't run a decent campaign, he probably can't run a decent presidency. That might be true, although sadly I must admit that running a brilliant campaign does not translate into running a brilliant White House.
During the Obama years, the Republicans have done an unprecedented amount of stonewalling on cabinet-and-below appointees. I would also argue that their war on judicial nominees has been way beyond what went before. Really, if the president nominated God to serve on the D.C. Court of Appeals, Mitch McConnell would threaten a filibuster.
The middle of 'America's Women' is about the Civil War, and how women, black and white, confronted slavery and abolition. As in every other period of crisis, the rules of sexual decorum were suspended due to emergency.
Can I say that I think it should be against the law for one state to use taxpayer money to try to bribe businesses in another state to move? Which then causes the target state to use taxpayer dollars to try to bribe the businesses to stay.
Conservatives were sure that if you eliminated welfare for single moms, it would eliminate - or at lease greatly reduce - single motherhood. So in 1996 we had welfare reform. Did not change the trend in the least. Soon half of all babies will be born out of wedlock.
There have been tons of politicians who were slow to accept equal rights when it meant changes in the established social order. Many eventually came around, admitted they were wrong, and were forgiven. But the ones who actively choose hate-mongering don't ever get a pass.
When the women's movement started in the 1960s, there was a vision of a future where women didn't wear makeup or worry about how their hair looked, and everybody wore sensible, comfortable clothes. It ran into an absolute brick wall.
Sarah Palin is treated like a bimbo sometimes, but she has never given the public the respect they deserve. She acts silly and doesn't know stuff. She didn't even finish her term.
It's possible that you have been told a time or 10 that you don't appreciate how tough your elders had it. It's true that, if you had been coming of age back in, say, 1960, you would probably be feeling more restricted, if only because you were doomed to spend your days in a skirt, nylon stockings and girdle.
I just really like Houston despite its craziness. There is a sense of energy and a kind of excitement, 'We're going places and God knows what'll happen next.' It's very interesting. It's very exciting.
I'm sort of suspicious of most economic development projects, but the ones that encourage taxpayer-funded relocation bidding wars should be declared unconstitutional.
Some of our national heroines were defined by the fact that they never nested - they were peripatetic crusaders like Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Sojourner Truth, Dorothy Dix.
There are lots of reasons for that gap between men's and women's wages but to me, the big one is the work-family issue. Trying to juggle children and a job is tough under any circumstances, but especially if you're shooting for the kind of career that involves long hours at work and being on call 24-7.
Any time you write history, you insert your opinion. You pick and choose what you are going to write about. I feel really happy not inserting myself. I spend too much of my life inserting myself. It's just great to let other people carry the narrative.
In college, the guys aren't worrying about whether they'll be able to pursue their career dreams and still have kids.
I think voters want somebody who understands their problems. You're right that they don't expect the president to fix everything. When he's wrestling with Congress and Wall Street and the rest of the world, they hope he'll be looking at things from their vantage point.
I picked up my college copy of 'The Great Gatsby' in an attempt to recover from the movie and was interested to find out what I'd underlined. The answer was basically: everything.
In the 1960s, you had this booming economy, and you didn't really have enough men around to fill all the jobs. So there was this sudden demand that women come back and perform a lot of the white-collar and pink-collar roles that men had done before or that hadn't existed before.
Elections have to have at least a little meaning. Obama ran on income tax hikes for the wealthy. People knew they were voting for that. They 'want' that. And it's good policy.
The Tea Party people say they're angry about socialism, but maybe they're really angry about capitalism. If there's a sense of being looked down upon, it's that sense of failure that's built into a system that assures everyone they can make it to the top, but then reserves the top for only a tiny fraction of the strivers.
I used to like John McCain, too, but I must admit that was because he was bucking his party to do things I agreed with. I would not have had that reaction if, say, Bernie Sanders decided to rebel out of principle and support privatizing Social Security.
When I started giving talks about women's history, one of the things that bothered me was the tendency to say, 'Well, everybody was totally oppressed and suddenly in 1964 we rose up, got our freedom, and here we are.' It dismisses the women who fought for rights for several hundred years of our history up to that point.
The key to success for any woman who wants to have a really serious career and a family is to marry a guy who is going to take at least half the responsibility for the house and kids - and sometimes more than half.
One line I'd draw would be on raising the eligibility age for Social Security and Medicare. It sounds fair, since people are living longer. But it isn't. Lower income workers are the ones who find it hardest to keep working after 65. And they'll get penalized with lower benefits.
My all-time favorite program in my entire life was 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer.'