Wolraich: Obama at the Gates of... Gates
Dr. C: In Praise of Writing Binges
Maiello: Gatsby Doesn't Grate
Every ten years the British magazine Sight and Sound polls various cineastes to learn what they consider to be the greatest movie of all time. In 2012, Alfred Hithcock's Vertigo unseated Orson Welles' Citizen Kane which had been selected first in each poll conducted since 1962. Jean Renoir's 1939 classic La Regle du jeu (Rules of the Game) came in fourth. Below, I explain why I believe Renoir's film is demonstrably superior to Vertigo. [Read more]
Last week Michigan's Republican-majority legislature, with no committee meetings, no floor debate, in a rush to get this done before January when their control lessens, voted to add my beautiful state to a growing number of states--23 of them so far--that have been downgraded to what some have been led to believe is an assurance of a "Right-to-Work".
She did not die of cancer or a heart attack or a stroke. She did not have diabetes or any other disease. Some high BP but that is all. And she did not die of natural causes.
NO she died from the most likely cause these days after entering a hospital. She died of a hospital acquired infection.  [Read more]
It was reported yesterday that Senator Begich, (D) Alaska, introduced his bill on Tuesday to build up, not tear down, Social Security!
Begich's office says the bill would extend the solvency of the program for about 75 years, instead of until 2033, which is when reserves now are estimated to be exhausted. [Read more]
I stopped blogging for a while around Thanksgiving, partly because I was driving instead (I managed to log about 2500 highway miles in a week and a half), and partly because I needed to unplug both from national politics and from the unrelenting dailiness of office politics. (I go to more meetings at work than I used to, and answer a lot more e-mails.) The advent of winter holidays has always been a good time for me to step away from the noisy bustle and think more about what is durable. It's stepping out of the car after miles and miles of highway and looking up at the cold clear stars over New Hampshire.
Public conversation in and around Washington D.C. is currently preoccupied with the question of the fiscal cliff. And rightly so, for very big things are at stake. Not least whether or not a political crisis will tip the economy back into recession, and whether an election result that mandated a tax increase on the rich can still be negated by Republican intransigence. Whether the fiscal cliff is a real one or a manufactured one, and if real whether it can be circumvented without lasting damage to vital welfare programs, all that remains momentarily unresolved – and as such, the legitimate subject of a daily deluge of argument. [Read more]
We women have had a rough few decades. The modern woman has to worry about pleasing their man or finding a man. We have to worry about children. We have to worry about our jobs and vaginas. But it didn’t used to always be this way. Since the great feminist uprising came and washed away our self-respect and dignity, we women lived a far simpler existence. We indeed had it all. [Read more]
Something has gone seriously haywire with the Republican Party. Once it was the party of pragmatic Main Street businessmen in steel-rimmed spectacles who decried profligacy and waste, were devoted to their communities and supported the sort of prosperity that raises all ships. They were good-hearted people who vanquished the gnarlier elements of their party, the paranoid Roosevelt-haters, the Earthers and Prohibitionists, the antipapist antiforeigner element. The genial Eisenhower was their man, a genuine American hero of D-Day, who made it OK for reasonable people to vote Republican. He brought the Korean War to a stalemate, produced the Interstate Highway System, declined to rescue the Frenc [Read more]
The way David Gregory framed his "fiscal cliff" question on Meet The Press today is extremely revealing. "What cuts," he asked his Democratic guest (I'm paraphrasing a little), "are Democrats willing to accept that will be truly painful?" The answer, by the way, was "farm subsidies." So, yes, the whole exchange was absurd.
But, let's focus on the question. Why the word "pain?" I guess one interpretation, unlikely, is that Gregory believes that the government is extremely well-managed so that any significant cuts to existing programs are going to hurt people in a real and tangible way. [Read more]
So, the Governor of Florida set up a Task Force on higher education, and they decided that humanities majors should pay more than science majors for a college education. The thinking is that Florida wants more technology grads, and fewer humanities grads, and can get them by making humanities degrees more expensive so that students opt for science, math, and technology instead. They call this approach "market based," but its ignorance of basic economic realities is startling. [Read more]
Ever since Rick Snyder soft-talked his way into the governorship in Michigan, throwing the doors wide open for his biggest donors, the Mackinac Center, ALEC and the Koch Brothers (All for One and One for All against the Rest of Us), I've grown used to reading the craziest stuff imaginable about my beautiful state.
I mean, it's been special.
Unconventional ideas need champions and they have to start somewhere. Today, Thomas Friedman pushes Arne Duncan, current Secretary of Education as the next Secretary of State. It's a quirky idea, but interesting.
First, though, Friedman has to deal with the very obvious problem of why he'd prefer such a contrarian pick over the front runner, current Ambassador to the United Nations and longtime Obama confidante, Susan Rice.
"I don’t know Rice at all, so I have no opinion on her fitness for the job, but I think the contrived flap over her Libya comments certainly shouldn’t disqualify her." [Read more]
My friends, America was born some 450 years ago in 1776 and has the documentation to prove it. Now, America has an expiration date – Dec. 31, 2012.
Yes, Christopher Columbus’ great experiment in democracy is set to sail over a cliff – a “Fiscal” cliff, as it were. According to economics experts such as David Gregory, the fiscal cliff is a combination of tax hikes and budget cuts that will paralyze the economy and bring about such calamities as a return of smallpox, forced incest and insects of above average size, according to economic expert such as Jake Tapper. [Read more]
Decided to torture myself with Meet The Press this morning. Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina was a guest. She admitted that taxes would have to rise on millionaires and billionaires. Then she made the familiar argument that families of four who live in high cost areas don't feel like millionaires when they make a quarter million dollars a year. Nobody challenged her on that. But, they never do. I'm used to it. And I'll bet you that Carly has probably had hard working executive assistants who she's paid in excess of $200k a year. It's not uncommon in big public companies and they're often worth every penny. [Read more]
After watching the Food Channel all last week (my porn site is out of commission once again! Some streaming problem.), I have come up with the perfect feast for our national feast day: [Read more]
"We must be vigilant," proclaimed Xi Jinping, China's new paramount leader. In his inaugural speech to the 25-person Politburo, he warned that rampant graft and corruption would "doom the party and the state" if it continued unchecked.
He has a point. From petty graft in far-flung villages to the regime-shaking Bo Xilai scandal, rampant corruption has fueled the social unrest that the long-toothed oligarchs fear so much. Payoffs have bumped China's vaunted high-speed trains off their shoddy tracks. Graft has nibbled away the roots of its famously fertile economy. [Read more]
I have been attempting to educate myself on the basics of some of the issues involved in the ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations. Since We, The People, are being asked by President Obama to be involved and send in what we do and do not support, I decided it would be prudent to do some research; review historical and present data to consider in making my decisions.
One of the most cohesive listing of basic data on this topic is compliments of AARP. Did you know………………….. [Read more]
Today my favorite Op-Ed writer of them all, Thomas Friedman, tackles the skills of America's workers. Based on the testimony of Traci Tapani, who inherited a small sheet metal company in Wyoming, Friedman has concluded that America's workers don't have the skills for what modern work requires. [Read more]
There's been a lot of post-election hand-wringing about how the Republicans can "reach out" to minority voters. If they can't win just by energizing their shrinking base of white people, what's next? Immigration reform? Marco Rubio? What's it going to take?
At the same time, you have former vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan blaming the Romney loss on voters from "urban areas." Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
It is lobbying week in Washington DC. Tuesday was labor’s day at the White House. Wednesday it was the turn of the business community. Friday it will be the usual politicians – Boehner, Cantor, McConnell, Pelosi, Reid – in other words, the usual political gridlock masquerading as democracy in action. Compromises packaged as grand bargains, plus the usual brinkmanship on federal spending and the debt ceiling. It will be as though the election had never happened. [Read more]