Archive for December, 2010

The Old Equalizers

Posted on December 31, 2010 by

The wealth, income and wage gap in America will continue to widen under President Obama. In 2008, union activists were fantasizing about an Obama administration committed to a remix of the American economy and a shift in power to the working class.  We weren’t thinking about socialism – god forbid! – just some good old-fashioned collective [...]

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Obama Rising?

Posted on December 28, 2010 by

Barack Obama’s end-of-the-year legislative rally may have rescued his presidency. The tax deal with republicans was stirring talk of mutiny among his base. But the repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell triggered a restoration of confidence in our man and – at the very least – cooled us down for the holidays. There’s plenty of [...]

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Supreme Bios and Future Judges

Posted on December 25, 2010 by

Recent biographies of two of the most important supreme court justices of the 20th century – Louis Brandeis and Earl Warren – underscore the current critical battle over President Obama’s judicial nominees. First to the books: Melvin Urofsky’s 2009 Louis D. Brandeis – A Life details the extraordinary talents and achievements of one of America’s great [...]

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Obama and 9/11/11

Posted on December 22, 2010 by

Barack Obama’s standing as commander-in-chief got a big lift with the repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell and the ratification of the “new start” treaty. In addition to the unexpected foreign policy crises presidents always face, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are Mr. Obama’s big military challenges in 2011.  But there’s another national security [...]

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Sister States

Posted on December 15, 2010 by

About once a week I take a walk in the Santa Monica Mountains on a ridge or interior trail in Tomescal, Santa Ynez, Topanga or another nearby canyon where chaparral-covered slopes shut off all clues to city-life below and then open up to beautiful peaks with aerial views of the Los Angeles basin from the [...]

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“Stockholm Syndrome” at the White House?

Posted on December 10, 2010 by

President Obama’s outburst last week against “sanctimonious” liberals who oppose his tax cut deal was both encouraging and troubling. Though it was good to see him so animated and focused, his vehemence in defending himself suggests that he may recognize this tendency to fold too soon.  So the criticism hits home. On top of that, [...]

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Is the President a Political Amateur?

Posted on December 5, 2010 by

Will President Obama cave again? That’s what everyone wants to know. Is this guy capable of adjusting his political style to the realities of governing or are we seeing a leader who is simply unprepared for the job? This goes beyond the Bush tax cuts, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the federal pay freeze.  And [...]

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C-Span’s “History College”

Posted on December 1, 2010 by

Now that the Obama-era transformation fantasy is obsolete, how do we keep busy? We can talk about the federal pay freeze, the Russian nuclear treaty, the deficit commission, those Bush tax cuts, the Korean crisis, wikileaks and don’t ask, don’t tell? But does anybody really want to hear another depressed democrat complaining about the president? [...]

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