Sunday September 14, 2014
May 22nd, 2014
Fifteen years ago, I’d boxed myself into a job and lifestyle that didn’t suit me. Lindy Hop legend Frankie Manning led me to dance my way to a better place.
I was covering global crises as a financial reporter. Writing snappy articles about soulless International Monetary Fund reports was tapping me out.
Big money is destined to remain part of American politics, absent a legislative revolution or constitutional amendment. But there is a crucial difference between big money and secret money.
Two differences, actually.
In New Hampshire, the "pledge" used to be a promise not to raise taxes if you were elected president, the "read my lips" formula that helped get George H.W. Bush elected (and perhaps defeated). In Westwood, the "pledge" these days is the promise not to go to Israel on a trip sponsored by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Anti-Defamation League or Hasbara Fellowships.
President Obama can do himself a big political favor this month by saying simply this: "I will not privatize the VA hospitals."
That's the bottom line for the current right-wing crusade mixing patriotic posturing with loathing of government in general and Obama specifically. We speak of allegations that a Phoenix hospital (and perhaps others) run by the Department of Veterans Affairs hid deadly delays for treatment by using secret waiting lists.
In 2011, a malnourished 14-year-old Vietnamese village girl named Phung arose in the wee hours each morning in a herculean struggle to get an education. After I wrote about her, readers responded with a torrent of $750,000 in donations to Room to Read, the aid organization helping her.
So I decided to drop in and see what had become of this inspiring girl.
In terms of public interest in elections, the voting for members of Congress in off-years, when no presidential candidates are on the ballot, is historically low. The stakes generally seem not very great, and familiarity breeds success for incumbents, who are re-elected at a rate of about 90 percent.
Part 1: Lackawanna College, a two-year college in Scranton, Pa., accepted a $2.5 million endowment from Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. to strengthen that college’s programs and ties to the oil and gas industry. Part 2: Problems with academic integrity in other Pennsylvania colleges.
It’s always odd to see how some whose allegiance to Christ is most explicit seem allergic to much of what Christ said. About materialism. About militarism. About inclusiveness. About forgiveness.
Then there’s Christ’s comment about public piety – about those who “pray that they be seen by men.”
He called them hypocrites.
When I was growing up in the South we had lots of colloquialisms, one being "cutting the fool" to explain inexplicable behavior. I know of no more appropriate term to describe today's Republican actions. Their abhorrence of anything connected to President Obama and the Democratic Party goes far beyond any normal politics of the out of power party.