Saturday November 22, 2014
February 13th, 2014
The horror sounds so familiar, so trite even, that you scarcely pause to pay attention. A successful man with a secret compulsion. In this case, one of the worst compulsions of all, to download and view child pornography.
Like Watergate before it, Obamacare has become the gift that keeps on giving -- to partisan opponents determined to bring down an American president.
In 1972, the Republican break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex generated a seemingly endless series of stories on wrongdoing by Richard Nixon and his administration, leading to his resignation in disgrace two years later.
One of the best features in President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act is the freedom that it offers workers from "job lock," a job they can't leave for fear of losing their affordable health insurance coverage. Yet Obamacare foes think that's a bad thing.
That's the gist of their reactions to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office's generally rosy projections last Tuesday of how many people will choose to work less because of the effects of the Affordable Care Act.
The largest mental health center in America is a huge compound here in Chicago, with thousands of people suffering from manias, psychoses and other disorders, all surrounded by high fences and barbed wire.
Just one thing: It's a jail. The only way to get treatment is to be arrested.
I often wonder what Paddy would think.
I wish I could have a pastrami on wry with the late writer and satirist at the Carnegie Deli and get an exhilarating blast of truth about "the atomic, subatomic and galactic structure of things today."
What would Paddy Chayefsky make of Kim Kardashian?
What would he think of Diane Sawyer showing cat videos on the ABC evening news?
It was not your usual Holy Land tour, but surely one of the most revealing I've ever had. A team from Friends of the Earth Middle East took me around to see how waste, sewage and untreated water flow, or don't, between Israel and the West Bank. I never realized how political garbage and dirty water could be, or how tracking it could reveal just why making peace here is so urgent.
For such a smart politician, Chris Christie sure can be dumb. How stupid is it to go after an ally who could hurt you by hurting him first and where it hurts most: revisiting his awkward teenage years?
You, the governor of New Jersey, were too cool for school. Your political friend, David Wildstein, whom you appointed to a job at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was not.
The pope, a porn star and a parrot walk into a bar.
Well, almost. Their point of intersection just a week and a half ago was actually St. Peter's Square, and "porn star" stretches things: The performer in question was reportedly a former male stripper who had graduated to racy movies and, this being Italy, was once head of his town council. Sounds like prime minister material to me. A chip off the old Silvio.
The botched rollout of the health care law has called forth some good news: Republicans are so confident they can ride anti-Obamacare sentiment to electoral victory that they're growing ever-more impatient with the tea party's fanaticism. Immigration reform may be the result.
My fellow Americans, the state of the Barack Obama presidency is ... cautious? Defiant? Constrained? Humbled?
How about all of the above?
Compared to last year's State of the Union address, President Obama lowered his expectations this year. I'm sure he was thinking of the meager fruits of last year's address. The Washington Post's fact-checkers awarded him only five "wins" out of 24 proposals they checked.