Archive - 2014

November 6th

Personality Politics And The Decline Of Political Journalism

    Upon first venturing to write about politics 20 years ago, I held naive views about political journalism. Specifically, I imagined that factual accuracy mattered as much as it did in the kinds of books and magazine pieces I'd written on nonpolitical topics: opinionated, yes, but grounded in careful reporting.

    Otherwise, why bother?

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Jump in, Jeb

    Run, Jeb, run.

    I mean it, despite two powerful arguments against a presidential run by Jeb Bush -- one specific to the former Florida governor, one more generic.

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Driving Government Out of Business

    Republican operative Grover Norquist used to quip about shrinking government to the point where it would get small enough to drown in the bathtub. You probably thought he was kidding.

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Denton Tells Big Oil to Frack Off

    The University of North Texas, best known for its top-notch jazz program and sometimes for its “Mean Green” football team, might soon become known as Frack U.

    UNT (where I went to college back in the Paleocene Epoch) and the good people of the surrounding city of Denton are at the center of an epochal fight between Big Oil and common sense.

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Debunking Christie's Minimum Wage Mythology

    If there is any upside to the constant blabber from a politician such as Chris Christie, it is that he blurts out what others like him would never say in public -- for instance, his recent remarks at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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A Political Crystal Ball

    By now, I'm sure you're asking yourself: If the Republicans take control of the Senate in next week's elections, what would it mean to me?

    Excellent question!

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A Difficult Season

    My brother would have turned 29 the other day. Thus begins the season of difficult anniversaries.

    Six years ago, my baby bro turned 23. It was 2008, a week before Barack Obama’s first presidential election. Hope and change were in the air. I had a new job and a new car, and life was good.

    Then, just a few weeks later, all the hope died. But boy, did I get some change.

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Toward Better Teachers

    More than halfway through Joel Klein's forthcoming book on his time as the chancellor of New York City's public schools, he zeros in on what he calls "the biggest factor in the education equation."

    It's not classroom size, school choice or the Common Core.

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There's no meat for voters in Iowa Senate race

    With a now-famous ad in which she boasted of her prowess as a hog castrator, Iowa State Sen. Joni Ernst rode to victory in the Republican primary for the seat of Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat who is retiring at the end of the year.

    Ernst promised that if she makes it to Washington, those animal husbandry skills will be put to the service of her constituents and the nation.

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One Sacrifice More for Ebola Medics

    No, it was not OK that Dr. Craig Spencer ran around New York City upon his return from treating Ebola patients in Guinea. Among other activities, he took the subways, went bowling in Brooklyn, strolled the crowded High Line park and patronized a meatball joint in Greenwich Village.

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