Archive

Date

January 22nd, 2014

Anticipating tough midterm elections, Obama mounts bully pulpit

    Nine months before the midterm congressional elections that could make or break the final push for President Obama's legacy, he is revving up a broader outreach effort in the hope of reviving the support and spirit that brought him two terms in the Oval Office.

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Coburn leaves a lonely place lonelier

    You knew what might be coming when Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma announced in November that he had a recurrence of cancer. He managed for a long time with a triple threat - colon and prostate cancer and a benign brain tumor. He announced Thursday that he will leave at the end of this congressional session to spend the time he has left with his three children and seven grandchildren. It may be one of the only times when a politician says he wants to spend more time with his family and we know it is utterly the truth.

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E-cigarette users need love, too

    As a recovering nicotine addict, the rising tide of local bans against puffing in public on electronic cigarettes makes me wonder what the lawmakers have been smoking.

    By an overwhelming 45-4, Chicago's City Council has voted to follow New York, Los Angeles and other cities that have passed or are considering limits on e-cigarettes that banish their use in restaurants, bars and most other indoor public places.

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Fear and Freedom

    The day after 9/11, I called one of my friends and said we should write a "quickie" book on civil liberties in times of terror. We both knew what was about to happen; any half-serious student of constitutional law could figure it out. We, as a nation, were about to crack down.

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Lessons of Benghazi

    The bipartisan report on Benghazi released Wednesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee should finally convince conspiracy theorists of the obvious: There is no there there.

    Administration officials did not orchestrate any kind of attempt, politically motivated or otherwise, to deceive the American people. In their public statements, including the infamous talking points, they relied on what intelligence analysts told them.

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The Boozy, but not Newsy, Mass Media

    The Big Story this past week was the Golden Globes awards.

    The Golden Globes, sponsored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and broadcast by NBC, drew 21 million viewers for the three-hour ceremony, preceded by a one-hour Red Carpet gush-fest hosted by “Today” show personalities. There wasn’t one TV or film personality the hosts didn’t fawn over.

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The $1 Trillion Question

    I think you should develop a position on the Omnibus Spending Bill.

    That's the appropriations thing Congress just passed. You missed it, right? You were focused on the football playoffs or the Oscar nominations. Speaking of the Oscars, did you notice that this year there were people debating whether anybody got stiffed in the Best Song category? Really, if we can know about Best Song, we can have an opinion about the appropriations bill.

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Unto The Breach

    On Wednesday, a letter landed in my email inbox from Gregg Steinhafel, the chief executive of Target. He wanted me to know that there was a decent likelihood that some of my personal information had been stolen by criminals who had "forced their way into our systems," as Steinhafel put it, and pulled off one of the biggest data breaches in history.

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'Neglected Topic' Winner: Climate Change

    Here's a scary fact about America: We're much more likely to believe that there are signs that aliens have visited Earth (77 percent) than that humans are causing climate change (44 percent).

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Obama's Homework Assignment

    President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union address Jan. 28, but, for my money, his secretary of education, Arne Duncan, already gave it. Just not enough people heard it.

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