Wolraich: Obama at the Gates of... Gates
Dr. C: In Praise of Writing Binges
Maiello: Gatsby Doesn't Grate
I was baptized Catholic though, at that point in my life, I was too young to have much say in the matter. As I grew older (not much older, it turns out) and more into a wise ass, I found myself in frequent conflict with my catechism teachers over the issues of where babies come from (I did not, in fact, have any real idea though I was pretty sure that Jesus was not magic). [Read more]
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama – in an attempt to ease tensions with Senate Republicans – bought a dozen GOP senators dinner last night, in what all have said was a pleasant evening. The dinner was held at the Jefferson Hotel, with Obama picking up the tab out of his own pocket. [Read more]
Okay, Rand Paul is basically unloved around here.
But I like that he's using the talking filibuster to make his point about Obama's drone policies. That, rather than procedural games, requires some physical, mental and emotional sacrifice. It i in keeping with the spirit of passionate argument and debate, rather than parliamentary trickery.
Also, his demand: that Obama clarify whether or not a weaponized drone can be used against an American and for what purpose, sounds totally reasonable to me. [Read more]
One of the things that's always bothered me about the debt ceiling and about the sequester is that they've been touted as some sophisticated form of "game theory" that can somehow force Congress to make responsible decisions. It's just not so.
Today in Esquire I was given some space on Charles Pierce's blog to make that very point. We'll find out, over the next month or so, just how important the Sequester is, or isn't. I think that it's a sideshow and that the real issue is the debt ceiling, which should be repealed immediately. [Read more]
So I think I told you I’m working on a book. I’ve changed the title again, so now I’m calling it “Living to Tell About It”. (The sub-title may or may not be “How to tell your story when it gets to be That Time,” but don’t hold me to it.) [Read more]
Back during the debates about the Affordable Care Act, I complained quite loudly and often that the legislation did not do enough good for people who already have health insurance, particularly through their employers.
I argued, quite strenuously, my belief that middle class tax payers are getting fleeced on premiums and not getting enough effective medical treatment for what they pay. I don't recall many people around here disputing it, but I do remember Teresa McCarthy's frequent retort which, borrowing from Carly Simon, went something like, "You're so vain, you probably think this legislation's about you." [Read more]
Once there was a young Washington Post reporter named Bob Woodward who became a celebrity almost overnight by joining with another reporter named Carl Bernstein (remember him?) to expose the inner workings of a seemingly minor break-in at the Democratic Headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington. D.C.
Seth MacFarlane hosted a slow-motion catastrophe of an Oscars broadcast Sunday night. His terrible performance immediately sparked two internet conversations: one about what a terrible Oscars host Seth MacFarlane was, and a second about who had, if anyone, been an even more terrible Oscars host. Many people were insulted by MacFarlane's sexist hostility. And I was, too. [Read more]
For Reuters today, I've decided to argue that the whole question about whether or not a bank is solvent, or what it's worth, is something that we'd all be better off without. And, in a world where you can get the daily net asset value of more than $13 trillion in mutual funds and $2 trillion in exchange traded funds, there's really no excuse for not forcing banks to become more radically transparent.
You can read my argument over at Reuters. But if you want to tell me why I'm wrong here, I'm always listening.
When the first televised Academy Awards ceremony took place on March 19, 1953, I, a bedazzled 15-year-old movie fan, sat in front of our black and white TV set, riveted and no doubt pledging to never forget that moment as long as I lived. Since then I have never (and I mean NEVER) missed a telecast. [Read more]
In March, 2012, just six months after their franchise had been bought up by Bread of Life, a company owned by Manna Development, a former McDonald's franchisee, 18 bakers at six Panera Bakery and Cafes along the I-94 corridor in Southwestern Michigan decided to join a union.
The bakers take the midnight shift, working raw dough into the artisan breads Panera has grown famous for. Their training is extensive--a seven-week "boot camp" with exams and skill demonstrations, a 90-day assessment period, and sometimes as much as a year's worth of kitchen work before the comfort level reaches "artisan" stage.
The Manhattan Institute is a conservative, somewhat libertarian think tank here in New York, probably best known for pushing the "broken windows policing," that has defined law enforcement in the city since the Giuliani era. They are generally free marketers and pro-law enforcement conservatives. They very often, like the contributors to Reason magazine or CATO classic, come up with some novel ideas and are worth checking in with every now and then, even by lefties. [Read more]
As a citizen of the United States of America and employer of Barack Obama, I must protest that I have not yet once been invited to the White House, not even for a beer in the Rose Garden even though I a) like beer and b) am not allergic to roses.
Clearly, President Obama is afraid that I might ask a tough or unpredictable question or simply level him with some sort of criticism that will leave him wondering, "do I really even want to finish this second term?"
In fact, it seem that I am not the only American with this problem. Oh, sure, the President will stop to make fun of Donald Trump for a second, but he largely hasn't even addressed most of us directly. [Read more]
My brother-in-law Marcelo struggled mightily coming out of the closet. While I and a handful of his closest friends and relatives knew he was Gay, he kept his true self hidden until he was 31. The combination of Brazilian culture and a male-dominated family made coming out seem impossible to Marcelo.
A little more than two years ago, he had enough. With the support of those of us who knew his secret, he came out to everyone. And for a man who had lived in pure terror of his true self being public, the end result was glorious. Marcelo was embraced as the man he is, and congratulated for having the courage to come out.
“It was like a fart in the ocean,” Marcelo said. [Read more]
Brazilian actor/filmmaker Ariel Goldemberg was born with two things – Down Syndrome and a love of cinema. The cinemaphile has finished his first movie, which combines these things – the critically acclaimed “Colega” – and is now after the finishing touch for his movie – to have his hero Sean Penn watch the movie with him. [Read more]
This Valentine's Day blog post is dedicated to ending the abuse of women and girls. You'll need to go to my blog to get the full effect. It's the least I could do:
Did you notice when you got here that my walls are now pink? You should know that normally I'm not a "Pink" person, but in this case I will wallow in pink if it means this message is getting out: Unbelievable numbers of women and girls are being viciously abused minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, and we must be the catalyst that brings these horrors to an end. No one else will do it. It's up to us.
This morning, David Brooks gives us what's been a truism about American life since I was born -- that we are a bunch of selfish short-termers, unwilling to make sacrifices for future generations in the manner of the nobler Americans who came before us. This criticism has been lobbed at every generation since the Baby Boomers came of age.
The evidence is the usual litany -- public company executives and stock investors looking for quarterly rather than long term results; pension funds (private and public) draining resources from future investment; debt driven consumption; a lack of infrastructure spending.
Brooks argues: [Read more]
You have to hand it to those Republican legislators in Michigan, my beautiful, besieged state. I swear, they must stay awake nights trying to think up ways to protect our wicked womanly bodies from the fools who happen to own them. (That would be us, ladies.) In late December, Gov. [Read more]
Premise 1: Killer Knows Best
What makes one gun more lethal than another? Ever since Sandy Hook, the media has bombarded us with gun jargon. We've learned about flash suppressors and high-capacity magazines, threaded barrels and pistol grips. We've heard that these features are bad features, dangerous to children and other living things. The expired federal assault weapons law used to ban any gun with two or more of them. The new New York law bans them all.
But we've also heard that gunmakers find ways to skirt these constraints. For instance, some manufacturers evaded California's quick-reload restriction with a "bullet button" that allows shooters to release a magazine with a bullet tip instead of a fingertip. It's hard for plodding legislatures to keep up with eager manufacturers, who have every incentive to invent the most lethal legal weapon possible.
So if not the legislators, who should determine which guns are too deadly? Who in America most appreciates a gun's killing potential? [Read more]