Maiello: Human Rights and the Stock Market
Doc Cleveland: Fear Itself: Ukraine Edition
And on a Lighter Note, CPAC Starts Today!
After the government shutdown ended last week the title of Steinbeck's novel, "The Winter of our Discontent" kept ringing in my head to such an extent that I drove all the way into Dallas to buy the book at an actual book store which is peculiarly located near that bastion of American History known as the Bush "Library" and its attendant hub of Conservatism, SMU. Because I don't live in NYC, can't drive to Archer City to peruse Larry McMurtry's stash of used books, can't afford to visit Powell's in Portland, I appreciate the biggest little bookstore in Texas, Half Price Books.  [Read more]
When the vote to reopen the government ended in the House of Representatives last night a woman staffer grabbed a microphone and as she was rudely escorted from the hall she imparted to the crowd snippets of her religious beliefs along with epithets against the Freemasons. When the overseers of an institution act like inmates it is not surprising that the inmates become the normal ones.  [Read more]
At the Value Voters Summit today, Mr. Ben Carson curiously juxtaposed the practice of Slavery with "Obamacare", saying: "Obamacare is the worst thing since Slavery". Because Slavery preceded the Emancipation Proclamation (I grant myself license to, as Mr. Carson was wont to do, riff a bit on what can actually be called a thing)---it would mean that Obamacare is worse than the Emancipation Proclamation---perhaps a question for further debate at the Values Summit---and at the same time one could say that Obamacare is worse than Woman's Suffrage, Prohibition, & Roe v. Wade. or any thing that's happened since about the year 1600. [Read more]
The political repercussions of the latest budget and debt hostage-taking exercise by tea Republicans in Congress won't be known for another week or two when we find out whether or not the government has been shut down, if the nation's credit rating has been lowered again, and what concessions Obama has made this time around. And the long term aftermath of this latest tea party act of sabotage is unpredictable. What is knowable is that Ted Cruz has name recognition on a level that rivals anyone in politics or the entertainment industry. [Read more]
Since it was discovered that Barack Obama had "rag-on" tattooed on his back below the neckline, the punditry have been at odds about what the tattoo means, how it got there, whether Presidents should have tattoos, and whether he fumbled the ball by allowing Maureen Dowd to see the tattoo in an exclusive swim-along in the White House gym. I'm going to throw a lifeline to Obama and try to explain the tattoo. The President's style is so lack luster he'll be late in addressing the tattoo so someone should do it for him. [Read more]
Putin's now universally known initiative on chemical weapons control in Syria has, in my opinion, opened the door to essential American character traits which may preordain our getting more involved in Syria's war.
We don't like to be lied to. We particularly don't like to be played for chumps. When we do decide to address a problem, we are impatient. We are capable of revenge, but as one pundit has put it, "...we have the watches, the Middle Easterners have the time." We don't have the patience for cold revenge, we like ours hot. And if Putin is playing us for chumps, he has all but written a scenario for American intervention. [Read more]
I thought Donald Rumsfeld had been dumped from the shelves long ago for there is no bloated stuffed shirt more worthy of being removed from our eyesight and consciousness than Rumsfeld--- architect of our unfortunate military intervention in Iraq.
Rumsfeld blew his lid on Fox two days ago when it was revealed to him that Obama had just said at a press conference that he, Obama, didn't draw the red line---an admittedly poorly orchestrated remark by Obama in explaining the role of the Presidency in relation to a batch of bad product that, taken as a lot, is the Syrian civil war. [Read more]
Two light bulbs lit up this week which key into my current hub of the universe mental state and I am writing them down here because I would be embarrassed to exhibit such conspiratorial tendencies after I get off these pain killers.
The first bulb was the revelation about the Petraeus/Kagan off-balance-sheet war investment committee. The second was the flash fact that Grover Norquist is a board member of the NRA. These two little known situations are part and parcel of what appears to be a fifth estate in our country---a continuing and contiguous network of right wingers operating a non-conforming government.  [Read more]
I have just had knee surgery and the drugs have induced a hub of the universe mental state which last time around produced my piece, "Jamie Dimon as William Holden"---which received my own unanimous favorable ratings.  [Read more]
I am shocked that anyone is shocked that a high ranking military officer engaged in extra marital sex. It's been decades since I had direct involvement on a military base but the story of Petraeus' affair with Paula Broadwell leads me to the conclusion that some things never change. What's news here is that not all the participants were in the direct chain of command. In my experience, military cheaters prefer to stay close at home which reminds me of the rule which was promulgated at a New York club at the time it went co-ed: "Women may be the overnight guests of members provided they are wives of members."  [Read more]