I Have to Agree With Reagan; Government Can Be the Problem

I don’t often agree with Ronald Reagan. I think he has been wrongly canonized by Americans who misread history. He just happened to be in charge when the Soviet Union imploded under its own economic folly, and that lucky accident glorified his legacy. But two news stories this morning make me think he might be […]
Continue reading…

 

Obama Displays His Charm But Republicans Aren’t Buying It

President Obama was at his charming best yesterday as he faced hostile Republican House members, and if American voters are still in the mood for charm, his approval rating should be soaring today. But the historic meeting won’t achieve much else. Don’t expect a new mood of bipartisanship in Washington. The Republican politicians gave no […]
Continue reading…

 

Reading the Internet, It’s a Good Idea to “Consider the Source”

One of the first things I learned as a cub reporter was to “consider the source.” Searching the highways and byways for something to fill the newspaper, I would occasionally come across a  startling “story” that might or might not be true. And my editor used to tell me, “When in doubt, leave it out.” […]
Continue reading…

 

Obama’s State of the Union Speech Reflects a Sobering Truth

I never thought I would live to hear a Democratic President extol the virtues of offshore oil drilling, nuclear power plants and “clean coal.” And that was just the beginning. Before President Obama’s State of the Union speech was over last night, he had bragged about ramping up the Afghan war, promised a freeze on […]
Continue reading…

 

A Bumbling Misstep in America’s Unacknowledged Race War?

I’m sure you know by now that there’s an unacknowledged race war raging in America. In the vanguard are Rupert Murdoch’s pernicious Fox News and a plague of right-wing web sites, many funded by malignant multimillionaires. A blatant example is the relentless persecution of a group called ACORN. A pair of young spies (photo below) […]
Continue reading…

 

Is Pandering to the Tea Baggers the Best Obama Can Do?

I have tried to be optimistic about Barack Obama. I so much wanted America’s first black President to be a roaring success, to go down in history as a transformational force for his country and the world. But it will be hard for me to keep the faith if what I’m hearing is true. According […]
Continue reading…

 

The Other USA: Shockingly Primitive and Unaware

You will hear that America is the world’s greatest democracy, that Americans enjoy an advanced culture, that they are generous and evolved – rightful leaders of the free world. And it’s all arguably true. But the vexing paradox is that America is also home to some spiritually ugly people. I am not talking about the […]
Continue reading…

 

Don’t Just Get Rid of Bernanke; Get Rid of the Fed

America’s Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, is in danger of being fired. Two Democratic senators have joined the Republican opposition to his nomination for a second term, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is scrambling to muster the necessary votes to block a filibuster that would send Bernanke packing. And that would be fine with […]
Continue reading…

 

A Phone Call That Had Me Worried. Why Am I So Dumb?

When the phone rang I was fiddling with a painting that was giving me fits. I used to be able to paint landscapes – watercolor landscapes – but I have never taken a class in figure drawing or portraits – or in using oils. Yet, here I was, trying to copy a snapshot of Sandra […]
Continue reading…

 

The End of American Democracy – as Some Pundits See it

The U.S. Supreme Court shocked media pundits this week when a majority of the justices decided it is unconstitutional to limit the amount of money corporations can spend to get politicians elected. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, for example, sees the decision as the beginning of the end for democracy in America. Olbermann has lots of company […]
Continue reading…