Saturday December 07, 2013
Archive - Aug 2013
We all know how democracy is supposed to work. Politicians are supposed to campaign on the issues, and an informed public is supposed to cast its votes based on those issues, with some allowance for the politicians' perceived character and competence.
August. A dead shark was found on a New York City subway. Meanwhile, at the Iowa State Fair, vegan activists broke into a refrigerated case in the Dairy Building and threw red paint on the butter cow. In San Diego, the mayor claimed the city should pay the costs of defending him in a sexual harassment lawsuit because he had never been given sensitivity training.
In thinking about inequality, we tend to focus on practical remedies such as raising minimum wages or supplementing the incomes of the working poor. We have far more trouble affecting that ineffable thing we call luck.
You do not get to choose your parents or where you are born, and no government program can guarantee that you'll benefit from acts of kindness and generosity that you do nothing to earn.
There may be little the United States can do to end the savage bloodletting in Egypt, but at least our nation can be loyal to its ideals by bearing witness and telling the truth. In this, President Obama has failed.
It was on a hot August day in 1920 that Harry Burn, a young legislator cast the deciding vote in the Tennessee Legislature that secured the vote for the women of this nation. A week later the Secretary of State certified that the simple words, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." as the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
There are a million things that make Jack Germond, the legendary reporter and columnist who died this week after decades of covering presidential politics, different from most of the current crop of talking heads.
OK, he was not blown dry. He was the "Fat Man in a Middle Seat," the title of one of his books.
While many of his fellow Republicans continue seeking the holy grail of defunding Obamacare and another possible government shutdown over it, New Jersey's brash Gov. Chris Christie has made them an offer they would be wise not to refuse.
Hey, wait a minute. Wasn't airline deregulation supposed to bring lower prices and increased competition?
There was hope a few months ago that mounting chaos in the Middle East, and a revamping of President Barack Obama's national security team, would prompt the president to snap out of what looked like a deepening torpor in foreign policy.
Clinton nostalgia is being replaced by Clinton neuralgia.
Why is it that America's roil family always seems better in abstract than in concrete? The closer it gets to running the world once more, the more you are reminded of all the things that bugged you the last time around.
The Clintons' neediness, their sense of what they are owed in material terms for their public service, their assumption that they're entitled to everyone's money.