A fellow blogger and like-minded political liberal recently bemoaned the current Benghazi, IRS and Associated Press “scandals” engulfing President Obama, writing:
“Suffice it to say that we are witness to a collision behind some slipshod, misguided or errant acts by officials inside the Obama administration and a take-no-prisoners, draw blood first – ask questions second, facts-be-damned modus operandi by a … [keep reading]
Not quite twenty years go, a lawyer named Philip Howard wrote a book called “The Death of Common Sense.” His thesis was that government bureaucracy produces so many laws and attendant regulations so absurd as to stifle innovation and productivity, and by failing even the most cursory application of common sense, is counterproductive in pursuing … [keep reading]
Now that the Newtown tragedy has prodded the president and a mostly reluctant Congress to bring gun control, for at least as long as it titillates the media, to the surface of current priorities, I find myself (oddly for a liberal) in basic agreement with those who argue that more stringent gun controls will do … [keep reading]
America’s foreign policy and defense establishments have long concerned themselves with the threat to our nation and to global stability posed by weapons of mass destruction in the hands of adversaries, enemies, and governments of questionable sanity. But in the wake of the latest national tragedy of people, including primarily children, slaughtered by a manic … [keep reading]
At a time when a political label is often used to libel, I offer the following verse in the spirit and hope that everyone enjoy a Happy Holiday season and the best for the New Year:
For three hundred sixty-four days of the year,
He and his laborers work with good cheer,
So that on one night he … [keep reading]
Note: With the GOP in well-deserved disarray, I temporarily turn my attention to another subject. A Google search came up with nothing related to the painting referenced in the anonymous passage reproduced below. Does this sound to anyone like an artist you could identify, speculatively if not definitively?
Some who doubt my art look at my … [keep reading]
With their second consecutive defeat by Barack Obama, the Republican Party heads for a few rounds of recrimination as they tumble past their “tipping point” toward a free fall into irrelevance.
Some among them already claim their loss resulted from their failure to nominate a “true conservative” (whatever that may be) instead of a previously moderate … [keep reading]
Not that I suppose you have missed my blogs of late, but I admit to being stunned into silence by the outright cynicism of Mitt Romney and the astonishing ineptitude of Barack Obama.
Governor Romney’s campaign began with him re-inventing himself as a redneck, toeing the Tea Party line as what must qualify as the worst … [keep reading]
It doesn’t take too many of my blogs for anyone to realize where I stand in this year’s presidential election. And having spent most of my life in advertising, it is only natural for me to try and create ads for President Obama. So I’ve done that and sent my ideas off to his campaign, … [keep reading]
I recently heard a press reporter tell the following story. I don’t recall her name or the town she was talking about, but I almost cannot believe what she said happened.
She was writing about teens in an affluent suburban community, buying and consuming liquor. At one point in her investigation, she became aware of a … [keep reading]
I’ve been a New York Giants football fan for more years than I care to admit but nothing like my daughter, Lizzy, who is a fan/addict (pronounced fanatic). I was delighted to be able to take her to see the Giants defeat the Patriots four years ago (at considerable risk to my aging body since … [keep reading]
As hopefully welcome relief from my anti-Republican rants, this one is about pro football, more specifically Rex Ryan, coach of the New York Jets.
Last week, Ryan, whose mouth is arguably the biggest thing in the Jets’ locker room, said that his quarterback calling a time-out at one point during the Jets loss to the Patriots … [keep reading]
As tempting as that may sound to the increasing number of Americans living in poverty, if Congress made it a law, it would probably be judged by the current Supreme Court as an unconstitutional attack on those of us who can afford steak.
But now that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the challenges to … [keep reading]
I recently read a comment that “the truth is always complicated.” I couldn’t disagree more. I think the truth is generally clear, concise, and basically simple. It’s the consequences of a usually obvious truth that are often complex, creating confusion and in too many cases, the opportunity for ideologues to pervert the truth, often propagating … [keep reading]
It may have been Jesus who cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” But today it would not be surprising to hear it from Jews in Israel.
This is a country that was once enthusiastically supported by the West, at least grudgingly admired by many others, and which occupied the high ground … [keep reading]
I have now and again cited David Brooks, whom I read in The New York Times and see on PBS news, for sometimes reaching absurd conclusions, such has his apparent approval of Donald Trump as a political gadfly, as well as other occasional rationalizations of pro-Republican idiocy. Actually, I have some sympathy for his analytic … [keep reading]
In the days of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency, we had much discussion about whether America could afford both “guns and butter” which meant our ability to fund a war while providing social services for those in need. Today, with our economy having been plundered by the greed, corruption and incompetence of banks and investment houses, with … [keep reading]
Isn’t it time for the media to stop giving a second’s worth of time or an inch of space to Donald Trump as a candidate for president? Is there no idiocy that our so-called journalists will not pursue for a headline?
Trump has no intention of actually running for president and is simply using the media … [keep reading]
I expect it from men, but few things look and sound more ugly than a loud-mouthed woman wearing a baseball cap, bellowing with raucous laughter in a sports bar.
Most members of Congress seem so dumb because they are.
The current state of American democracy makes the best case for other forms of government.
Do the people running … [keep reading]
Many people on the political left are frustrated, including me. We are frustrated with hearing liberal arguments and points of view with which we agree, only to realize that their proponents have no practical ideas and/or no will to enable action to promote their beliefs. Tom Friedman and President Obama are unfortunately good examples.
Friedman generally … [keep reading]
The notion of “exceptionalism” in the United States has come to mean that we are a nation of such far-above-the-norm excellence socially, politically and economically compared with the other countries of the world, that “our way” deserves their admiration of, if not their allegiance to, our policies and pronouncements. And those in America who might … [keep reading]
Having spent four days in Cairo during the mass protests that have led to the ousting of Hosni Mubarak, I would like to offer some observations regarding how, as a tourist — particularly a Jew with an American passport — one should behave during a Muslim revolution against a corrupt and repressive government. I do … [keep reading]
This famous lyric from the Simon and Garfunkel song Mrs. Robinson, laments the loss of the relative innocence and simplicity of days gone by, for which ironically the Yankee Clipper threatened to sue, not understanding that he was being held up as an icon of virtue, not as he apparently thought, being lampooned. His name … [keep reading]
“Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson. He might just as well have been talking about John Mara, co-owner of the New York Giants football team, who is preparing a new contract for Tom Coughlin, their head coach, because, said Mara, the Giants believe in consistency.
What consistency is he talking … [keep reading]
In most of the blogs I have written, it is probably an understatement that I show considerable, and admittedly often intemperate, disgust with Republicans. But in re-reading my political tirades, I see little to nothing of the content that I would take back, although I might amend the aggressive tone now and then. But there … [keep reading]
The die is cast. And the Republicans have made it clear that they are ready to leave America for dead.
Senator Mitch McConnell has announced that the primary objective of the Republican Party is the defeat of President Obama in 2012. What they have already clearly shown is that they will use their new majority in … [keep reading]
Now that the Republicans control the House of Representatives and have enough votes in the Senate to block any legislation they oppose, President Obama and his advisors are scrambling to find some position consistent with their presidential campaign pledge to raise taxes on those individuals earning $200,000 per year (or couples earning $250,000) to the … [keep reading]
As an anti-drug slogan, “just say no” was pretty lame in that it totally ignored the difficult psychology of why people, especially teenagers, do drugs and what it takes to counteract those influences. But as an explanation of why President Obama and the Democratic Party seem poised to suffer a loss of their majority in … [keep reading]
Congress recently passed a bill that includes the establishment of a Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, designed to prevent the kinds of consumer debt so many consumers took on during the recent housing bubble, with mortgages they had no hope of paying for without continuously increasing borrowing, ostensibly made possible by the theoretically ever-increasing value … [keep reading]
Two issues involving the Muslim religion — the so-called “ground zero mosque” and the Koran burning in Florida — have recently dominated the news and have been linked by commentators and politicians as though they are issues in common. In fact, both do revolve around Muslims and both share the protection of our Constitution (despite … [keep reading]
Every so often, I come across an article that echoes things I have been writing about and does so with less angst and a nicer, more reasonable tone. So I pass this one along, by Timothy Egan in The New York Times, in the hope that his kinder, gentler argument will add to mine.
Building a … [keep reading]
It is clear that a ridiculous number of Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim, not a Christian. But when you break down the numbers, an interesting pattern emerges.
A survey by the Pew Research Center has just shown that in a variety of demographic, political and religious groups, only among Republicans do more people … [keep reading]
Regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, from the Tea Party’s abhorrence of government in general to the Eastern liberal establishment’s belief in government as the best option in socioeconomic management, surely there are two mandates which we can agree belong to, and require the active involvement of our government. First is a … [keep reading]
The following is not my usual social, political or economic rant but rather a few hopefully less sarcastic and more mild mannered observations about nothing momentous, and where my need to opine reasserts itself, resulting in nothing more intense than a nod of agreement or shake of the head in dissent (or wonderment as to … [keep reading]
Many of my friends and acquaintances, knowing my unabashed antipathy for the Republican Party and my gleeful celebration of Barack Obama’s victory in the last presidential election, now ask me what kind of job I think the president is doing. Given the realities of his time in office, the question is posed with at least … [keep reading]
Last week, a local Connecticut newspaper reported that in a referendum, the voters of the town of Guilford defeated a proposal to spend $400,000 for the development of plans to build a new high school. The proposal was not to actually authorize construction of a new school but rather to create a design of a … [keep reading]
There were surely any number of rationales by which President Obama could have retained General McChrystal as head of our forces in Afghanistan even in the face of the general’s and his staff’s contemptuously disrespectful and clearly insubordinate public remarks about the president and top administration officials regarding the conduct of the war. I believe … [keep reading]
I’ve been thinking about the devastating failures of American administrations, corporations, and other institutions in recent years, looking for any pattern or trends that might explain them. I refer most recently, for example, to the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico; the meltdown of capitalism that has produced the current global economic disaster, and … [keep reading]
There was a time when Walter Cronkite’s demeanor, attitude, and style helped make whatever he’d broadcast to America both important and believable. But his confidence-inspiring personality and gravitas would be no match for today’s almost messianic trust in the Internet — the belief that by virtue of its wonders of technological advancement, it adds credibility … [keep reading]
It has become almost a cliché for the folks (including me) on Main Street, Wall Street and just about every street in America to rail against Congress and the Washington establishment as the culprits responsible for the many ills our country has suffered in recent years. It is really not debatable that Congress has deteriorated … [keep reading]
As it turns out, Warren Buffett is not wielding the knife against Lloyd Blankfein, one of the self-styled Caesars of Wall Street. Apparently, Mr. Buffett thinks Goldman Sachs did nothing wrong by in effect encouraging clients to buy securities essentially packaged by one of their hedge fund clients with the intent that the investments fail, … [keep reading]
Much has already been written and said about the latest assault on the Constitution from a new law passed in Arizona requiring police to check the immigration status of anyone they have stopped for any legal infraction whom they have “reasonable cause” to believe may be an illegal alien. (“Well, Judge, he sure looked like … [keep reading]
As you will no doubt have noticed, my posts tend toward less-than-uplifting, not-very-warm-and-fuzzy, rarely-smile-producing content. So, as a reward for putting up with my sarcasm, negativism, and usual pessimism, I am reproducing for your amusement, a witty, wonderful, and often hysterically funny event produced annually by The Washington Post. Enjoy.
The Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational once … [keep reading]
We’ve often heard the expression “no one is above the law” which usually means that even those in the most powerful positions in society must be held accountable if they act illegally. Actually, I think everyone should be above the law, by which I mean that we should conduct ourselves according to a higher standard … [keep reading]
We need to redefine the meaning of “CEO” in America – it ought to stand for “chief ethics officer”. Given the sorry moral state of many companies and most of Wall Street, and the damage that the greed of its financial manipulators have done to our economy, now more than ever we must be led … [keep reading]
I just read about a little boy in Indiana who found $1,400 in cash apparently belonging to a company whose name was with the money. After it was returned, the boy said he would have liked to keep the money but he “wanted to do the right thing.” The company’s CEO said, “The … [keep reading]
During the more than forty years that I spent in advertising, I have on many occasions found myself having to defend it from popular culture’s depiction of the integrity and socio-economic benefits of advertising as somewhat below that of used-car and insurance salesmen. The recent television show, “Mad Men” has only further lowered this opinion.
“Advertising … [keep reading]
We’ve called him a “maestro” and an “oracle” and a “guru”. The media adored him, the U.S. Congress genuflected before him, and the world of finance — Wall Street, the investment and commercial bankers, the funders and advisors of mergers and acquisitions, the hedge fund managers, and the boardrooms of America — revered him as … [keep reading]
It is difficult to look at America today and not react with great cynicism.
A Congress of clowns paralyzes our country. Our political parties have splintered into groups characterized at one end of the spectrum by ignorant fanatics who can’t understand that without government, there is only chaos and no country, and at the other end, … [keep reading]
February 22, 2010 marked the fourth consecutive year since U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas asked any questions of any lawyer arguing either side of any issue during oral presentations of cases to the court.
Some observers think Justice Thomas’ silence offers relief from the often self-serving, time-wasting questions put by … [keep reading]