Tuesday September 02, 2014
Archive - Feb 2014
Oh dear. The Republican Party's worst nightmare is coming true. Obamacare is working.
The news that nearly 1.2 million people signed up last month for insurance through the Affordable Care Act exchanges is highly inconvenient for GOP candidates nationwide. It looks as if the party's two-word strategy for the fall election -- bash Obamacare -- will need to be revised.
Her perseverance often awes me. Her arrogance sometimes galls me. And her particular braid of high-mindedness and high-handedness almost always leaves me puzzled and exhausted.
But what I've been feeling for and about Hillary Clinton over the past week is sadness. Does she have even a smidgen of privacy left? Can she utter a syllable or think a thought with any assurance that it won't be exposed, analyzed, ridiculed?
I'd like to tell you a story about a Brazilian musician you've probably never heard of. Her name is Joyce Moreno; she is 66 and has been singing and composing professionally for 47 years, during which time she has made more than 30 recordings. I flipped for her music when I first heard her last spring at Birdland, in Midtown Manhattan, and I've been listening to her, more or less obsessively, ever since.
In an election year, there are always winners and losers. Rarely, however, are there so many victims.
Legislative gridlock, which was already bad enough, has devolved into a cynical, poisoned stasis. With a few obvious votes, Congress could improve the lives of millions of people -- the unemployed, the undocumented, the uninsured. But instead of being helped, those in need are punished for reasons that are nakedly political.
The tide is turning. Yesterday's traitor is today's hero, and the brave journalists who helped Edward Snowden get the word out are at last being honored for their public service. Or so one hopes.
I’ve never been one to dwell on anniversaries. But what the heck.
Last year's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act came in the sesquicentennial year of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Lincoln wanted the latter a year earlier. He made a preliminary declaration in 1862. He said it would take effect officially in 1863 if the Confederate army kept fighting. It kept fighting.
Beating down low-paid workers is not only not nice but also not necessarily good for business. And though some arguments against raising the minimum wage are debatable, others are simply insulting.
The national minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour. Back in 1968, it was $10.77 in today's dollars. So President Obama's proposal to raise the minimum to $10.10 is hardly radical.
The deal, for a company you've probably never heard of, is worth at least $16 billion. To put this number into perspective, the market value of Xerox is less than $13 billion, Sony, just $18 billion.
Back in 1993, a Washington Post reporter asked me which Clinton was smarter, Bill or Hillary. As a magazine journalist long residing in Arkansas, I'd never covered state government and would have described the president and first lady as friendly acquaintances, nothing more.