Wednesday October 01, 2014
Archive - Feb 6, 2014
When Woody Allen received a Golden Globe award for lifetime achievement a few weeks ago, there was a lively debate about whether it was appropriate to honor a man who is an artistic giant but also was accused years ago of child molestation.
It is pretty clear now that Secretary of State John Kerry will either be Israel's diplomatic salvation or the most dangerous diplomatic fanatic that Israel has ever encountered. But there isn't much room anymore for anything in between. This is one of those rare pay-per-view foreign policy moments. Pull up a chair. You don't see this every day.
Let's cut to the chase: If Big Brother wants you, he's got you, telephone metadata notwithstanding. This disconcerting fact of modern life has been true more or less since the invention of the camera, the microphone and the tape recorder.
As New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie plays the victim in the George Washington Bridge scandal, betrayed as he puts it by underlings in his office, much political crepe is being draped around his broad shoulders. But it doesn't necessarily have to be a shroud over his national ambitions.
All of a sudden, early childhood education is really, really popular. Everybody's favorite. If early childhood education were an actor, it would be Tom Hanks or Meryl Streep. If it were a video game, it would be Candy Crush or Angry Birds, minus the spyware.
When it comes to dealing with women -- in particular, when it comes to dealing with issues of women, power and sexuality -- there is a surprising parallel between bumbling Republicans and bumbling media. Republicans have a hard time talking about women and sexuality. The media have difficulty talking about women and power. Both end up in trouble, in part because they are oblivious to the underlying discomfort that contributes to the offensive conduct or remark.
The Republican Party spent much of its winter meeting last week adopting reforms suggested by its 2013 selfie, which was a snapshot of all that is wrong with the party ("scary," "narrow minded," dominated by "stuffy old men," and unlikely to win nationally unless it attracts minorities and women).
Male lawmakers should not even vote on abortion.
That was Alan Simpson's position before the Wyoming Republican retired from the Senate -- and it still is.
Abortion is a "terrible" and "hideous thing," as I recently heard him reiterate in a seminar on the federal budget at Harvard's Shorenstein Center. "But it's a deeply intimate and personal thing. ... Men legislators shouldn't even vote on it."
Will our fossil-fueled economy make humans go the way of the dinosaurs?
There are plenty of reasons to think so. Coal, oil, and gas continue to account for 87 percent of global energy consumption despite scientific consensus that drastic change is essential for avoiding a climate catastrophe.
So, we’d better heed one of Barack Obama’s most memorable declarations in his State of the Union address: