Saturday December 07, 2013
Archive - 2013
Luis Ubinas knows what poverty is all about. Today he's president of the Ford Foundation. But he grew up in the 1960s and '70s in New York City's fire- and demolition-ravaged South Bronx, in the midst of some of the most dangerous streets in America. He was raised by a mother who made $50 a week.
President Obama wisely avoided the phrase "mission accomplished" in his major speech last week about the "war on terror," but columnists aren't obliged to be so circumspect: It is time to declare victory and get on with our lives.
What does it take to make a Wall Street banker squirm with shame? Not content with having swindled tens of millions of Americans out of their homes and life savings, the very bankers who caused the biggest economic catastrophe since the Great Depression are now subverting government regulations designed to prevent comparable disasters in the future.
Guy writes a film script full of four-letter words. But when the actors repeat them, he gets all huffy about the dirty language. An absurd reaction, wouldn't you say? But it's not so different from the scene in which our lawmakers scold corporate chieftains for exploiting tax loopholes their legislatures helped create.
Judging by the caterwauling of many in the national media, you'd think Orwell's Big Brother had taken over the White House. The Justice Department's issuance of subpoenas to press organizations to find out who in the government had leaked classified information to the Associated Press and to Fox News reporter James Rosen has First Amendment purists in an uproar.
You wonder if President Obama sometimes finds himself singing a variant on Kermit the Frog's anthem about the burdens of being green: It's not easy being Barack Obama.
Rep. Michele Bachmann got it backwards in her surprising retirement announcement. Many of her "mainstream liberal media" critics will miss her, especially the fact-checkers.
"I fully anticipate," the Minnesota Republican declared in an eight-minute, 40-second, video, "the mainstream liberal media to put a detrimental spin on my decision."
Viewers of the television political talk shows may have noticed a phenomenon in the afterbirth of the last presidential election. High-powered consultants from both campaigns have invaded the studios as panelists, chewing over the political events of the day beside career reporters and analysts who had recently been covering them.
For her big announcement last week, Michele Bachmann neither convened a news conference nor waited for some other moment when she was in public, reporters and television cameras nearby. She didn't even pick a favorably inclined journalist for the kind of one-on-one interview in which politicians have often parceled out their revelations and answered a few tame questions.