Thursday November 20, 2014
Archive - 2014
It was the fall of 1979. The Washington Post, which I considered the greatest newspaper in the world, was considering me for a job covering the District of Columbia's new mayor, an interesting character named Marion Barry. I knew that a couple of Post editors were going to take me to lunch. What I didn't know was that the great Ben Bradlee was coming along.
It's the strangest out-of-body experience I ever had. About 10 years ago, while browsing in a San Francisco bookstore, I picked up a book of quotations. Routinely turning to the index, I was startled to find a quote -- from me! "Things aren't as bad as they seem," I had supposedly said at one time, "they're worse."
The several dozen citizens gathered at a street corner just off the main square of this southeastern Kansas town of 5,600 were polite and friendly in the Midwestern way. They did not look in the least like a band of counterrevolutionaries intent on reversing the direction of the government in Topeka.
Say we didn't hear that. Say we didn't hear that rules for mortgages guaranteed by the taxpayers are going lax once again.
Oh, but we did. For starters, the push is on to lower the minimum down payment required for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages to only 3 percent.
It must be contagious because in a recent column on gaffes I made my own gaffe of sorts. I blamed Utah for producing Joni Ernst. Alas, it is Iowa that is responsible - not that either state should be proud to claim her! We can only hope that Iowa does not inflict her on the rest of us by sending her to the Senate.
It's a warm late-October evening at a strip mall in this Denver suburb, and Sen. Mark Udall has his sleeves rolled up as he exhorts a roomful of Democratic volunteers.
"Are you ready to do democracy?" he cries. "Are you ready to get the vote out?"
In the closest thing in the nation's capital to royalty, the mighty of the news capital of the world gathered at the Washington National Cathedral Wednesday in a regal farewell to their departed sovereign, editor Ben Bradlee.
For almost two decades, Japan has been held up as a cautionary tale, an object lesson on how not to run an advanced economy. After all, the island nation is the rising superpower that stumbled. One day, it seemed, it was on the road to high-tech domination of the world economy; the next it was suffering from seemingly endless stagnation and deflation. And Western economists were scathing in their criticisms of Japanese policy.
Do you remember when Mitt Romney’s IRA made headlines during his failed 2012 presidential campaign?
That outsized retirement stash estimated at between $20 and $102 million probably led President Barack Obama to propose limiting the buildup of IRA values. It turns out that Romney’s gigantic IRA was no fluke.
In the hard-boiled if fading world of print journalism, it's often said that the only way to look at a politician is down. And the worst crime of all is to work both sides of the street, doubling as a reporter while working for a pol, or vice versa.