Monday September 22, 2014
March 5th, 2014
Some readers collectively hissed after I wrote a week ago about the need for early-childhood interventions to broaden opportunity in America. I focused on a 3-year-old boy in West Virginia named Johnny Weethee whose hearing impairment had gone undetected, leading him to suffer speech and development problems that may dog him for the rest of his life.
If Arizona legislators were being perfectly candid, they would have labeled their so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act precisely what it was, the Right to Use Religion as an Excuse to Discriminate Against Gay Men and Lesbians Act.
Supporters insist it was not an anti-gay bill. But what else do you call a bill that uses religion to "protect" the right of businesses to discriminate against gay consumers?
While other Republicans zero in on November's midterm congressional elections in the hope of derailing the Obama presidency, the GOP National Committee is busy making plans for its 2016 national convention. Seven cities are finalists to host it, including three in Ohio -- Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus. The others are Denver, Dallas, Kansas City and Las Vegas.
To understand the country's frustration with politics, we shouldn't focus primarily on "gridlock" and "polarization." The larger problem is a disconnect between what the nation's capital is talking about and what most citizens are worried about.
Oh dear. The Republican Party's worst nightmare is coming true. Obamacare is working.
The news that nearly 1.2 million people signed up last month for insurance through the Affordable Care Act exchanges is highly inconvenient for GOP candidates nationwide. It looks as if the party's two-word strategy for the fall election -- bash Obamacare -- will need to be revised.
Her perseverance often awes me. Her arrogance sometimes galls me. And her particular braid of high-mindedness and high-handedness almost always leaves me puzzled and exhausted.
But what I've been feeling for and about Hillary Clinton over the past week is sadness. Does she have even a smidgen of privacy left? Can she utter a syllable or think a thought with any assurance that it won't be exposed, analyzed, ridiculed?
I'd like to tell you a story about a Brazilian musician you've probably never heard of. Her name is Joyce Moreno; she is 66 and has been singing and composing professionally for 47 years, during which time she has made more than 30 recordings. I flipped for her music when I first heard her last spring at Birdland, in Midtown Manhattan, and I've been listening to her, more or less obsessively, ever since.
In an election year, there are always winners and losers. Rarely, however, are there so many victims.
Legislative gridlock, which was already bad enough, has devolved into a cynical, poisoned stasis. With a few obvious votes, Congress could improve the lives of millions of people -- the unemployed, the undocumented, the uninsured. But instead of being helped, those in need are punished for reasons that are nakedly political.