Intransigence – the Auto-immune Disease of Democracy

July 9, 2013

Obviously I’ve been following the news from Egypt like everyone else. You don’t need commentators to tell you that ousting a democratically elected government is undemocratic and unacceptable. But I want to talk about Morsi’s mistakes because they illustrate a major misunderstanding of democracy.  Read the rest of this entry »


Saving Federal Dollars

January 15, 2013

Some congressmen believe the government should not spend any money, shouldn’t borrow, shouldn’t raise the debt ceiling, and shouldn’t raise taxes. They are from “red” states or districts. And they don’t want to vote for hurricane relief for the northeastern states.

Others believe government should do what is necessary for the welfare of the people. When people are in trouble, good people help. They are from “blue” states or districts. And they voted for hurricane relief for the South and Midwest.

It’s not just Tea Party ideology. Whose ox is gored matters to them. If the hurricane hits my district, well, they’re good people, so we gotta help. But if it’s somebody else’s district, especially a “blue” district, we certainly do not want to help “those” people. So we have a combination of politics and ideology.

OK then, here’s a proposal. Read the rest of this entry »


Obama’s Choices Among Boehner’s Disasters

July 26, 2011

I’m going to be away for a few weeks and it looks like all heck will be breaking loose in Washington while I’m away. Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to figure out President Obama’s options. Read the rest of this entry »


The underlying assumptions of this commentary

May 24, 2011

No one should make the mistake that many conservatives do of claiming that liberals have no morals, and no moral backbone. We have a different system of morals than those conservatives, but it is a very principled set of morals and we’re just as passionate about them. The battle for the soul of America is very much a moral battle. Read the rest of this entry »


Vote

November 2, 2010

I’ve been thinking about my retirement account. From the time George Bush entered the White my account has been flat – even though my employer and I add to it every pay period. Read the rest of this entry »


Deer in the headlights

October 12, 2010

For most of the past two years, we have had a President who has been trying to make changes and an opposition party that has been blocking everything, leveraging 40 votes with arcane senate rules to block the majority in both houses of Congress. Read the rest of this entry »


The Rewards of Obstruction

September 13, 2010

Yesterday Obama announced a new jobs and infrastructure proposal. The Republicans have already said no. Read the rest of this entry »


Overkill

August 3, 2010

More than two centuries ago, Jeremy Bentham explained the virtues of moderation. If you cut off people’s heads for the most minor infraction, you encourage the petty thief to kill. Read the rest of this entry »


Qualifications for Judicial Nominees

June 1, 2010

We have discussed on several occasions nominations of Supreme Court justices. Chief Justice Roberts famously compared the job of a justice to the job of an umpire calling balls and strikes. You stand behind the plate and if the ball travels inside that territory called the strike zone, it’s a strike; if not, it’s a ball. The strike zone is real and measurable, although baseball has chosen not to use high tech equipment to second guess the umps. Read the rest of this entry »


Republican Word Doctors

May 4, 2010

Years ago we stopped in at a place that wanted to sell us a piece of land. The person we were talking to asked what we would enjoy and then asked us to imagine it was all there. We had to imagine it because he wanted to sell us our own dreams. Nothing he asked us to imagine was actually there or in the contract he wanted us to sign. Our children were young then and urged us to do it daddy and mommy.

I had the same sense of people trying to sell us our own dreams as I read The Word Doctors “Language of Financial Reform” prepared by Dr. Frank Luntz for Republicans. Read the rest of this entry »


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