Random Observations

nat king cole smoking

Tom Degan: Now I’m going to ask you to name for me one celebrity who has died from too much grass. Go on, I’m waiting…..

Time to Stand With the Prez?

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Tom Degan: As disappointed as I may be with the performance of this president to date, I still thank goodness each and every day that John McCain is not sleeping in the Oval Office at this very moment and that Sarah Palin is not a 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency. Can you even imagine?

Obama Missed Opportunity to Tell It Like It Is

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Robert Reich: The man who electrified the nation with his speech at the Democratic National Convention of 2004 put it to sleep Tuesday night. President Obama’s address to the nation from the Oval Office was, to be frank, vapid. If you watched with the sound off you might have thought he was giving a lecture on the history of the Interstate Highway System.

Economy Recovery Depends Upon Your Vantage Point

Carl Bloice: Like the knee bone and the thigh bone, the foreclosure crisis is closely related to the jobs crisis. Last week the Obama administration cautioned the public not to expect any dramatic improvement in the jobless rate, largely because thousands of formerly “discouraged” jobless workers sense the situation is improving and have started back looking for work. As a result, some economists have suggested, the jobless rate may well go beyond the 9.7 percent where it stands now.

How the War on Drugs Gave Birth to a Permanent American Undercaste

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Michelle Alexander: The uncomfortable truth, however, is that crime rates do not explain the sudden and dramatic mass incarceration of African Americans during the past 30 years. Crime rates have fluctuated over the last few decades — they are currently are at historical lows — but imprisonment rates have consistently soared. Quintupled, in fact. And the vast majority of that increase is due to the War on Drugs.

Perseverance

Corporate vote

Timothy V. Gatto: The pharmaceutical industry and the health insurance companies along with their Congressional minions stopped any real hope of true health reform. The current package is a windfall for health insurers, giving the 50,000,000 new clients who must take health insurance or pay a fine. That doesn’t sound very progressive to me.

Eulogy for the Left

Obama Year One

Timothy V. Gatto: The old maxim that hindsight is 20/20 while foresight is practically blind fits well in this example. Let me illustrate how I believe Obama has manipulated the system to the point where the political Left is for all intents and purposes, a dead political entity. The only thing left at this point is to hold the funeral and send flowers.

The Hollow Politics of Escalation

Afghan-Monopoly

The next days and weeks will bring an avalanche of hype about insisting on measurable progress and shifting burdens onto the Afghan army — while the U.S. military expands the war.

How Tough Is Our President?

President Barack Obama jogs in to speak at a town hall meeting on health care in Belgrade, Mont. Friday, Aug. 14, 2009.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The President’s centeredness, calm, and dignity inspire trust but also suggest a certain lack of combativeness, a reluctance to express indignation, and an unwillingness to identify enemies — resulting in a tendency toward compromise even at the early stages of controversy.

Obama Meets Netanyahu: Time to Tell Israeli the Facts of Life

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For those too young to have been alive at the time or whose memories became fogged with age, in June 1961 – less than six months after being inaugurated – a very young President John F. Kennedy met Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at a summit in Vienna. By the end of the session, the wily […]