February 18, 2014 |
Of all the time-honored failings for which we criticize sitting presidents - by "we" I mean pundits, academics and other members of the chattering phylum - two charges stand out: imperialism and shrinkage. Usually it's one or the other. When the president is unpopular or when he's lost control of his agenda or when he just seems inadequate to the demands of the job, the headline "The Incredible Shrinking Presidency" proliferates like kudzu. When the Republicans lost control of Congress in 2006, the Economist proclaimed "The Incredible Shrinking Presidency" of George W. Bush on its cover.
February 16, 2014
Re "Obama's undiplomatic picks," Editorial, Feb. 13 It has been a crushing disappointment to this reader, who voted twice for Barack Obama, to follow instance after instance of our president's lack of insight, foresight or hindsight. But it isn't only his poor ambassador picks that trouble me. It started with the outrageous selection of two men - Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers, who were instrumental in bringing about the changes that led to the financial meltdown - to manage our monetary policies.
February 14, 2014 |
The second season of Netflix's political thriller "House of Cards" got released at midnight PST, and while many wasted no time tearing into the twisty Kevin Spacey-Robin Wright series, there's one fan who's going to need a little time to catch up. And God help you if you discuss spoilers. President Barack Obama, who seems to be quite the TV junkie, tweeted a word of warning to his followers on Thursday: "Tomorrow: @HouseOfCards. No spoilers, please. " A previous report revealed that Obama desired to watch DVDs of the upcoming season of "Game of Thrones" and "True Detective" during his weekend trip to California. PHOTOS: Faces to watch 2014 | TV According to the Associated Press, "House of Cards" cast member Kate Mara called the Obama shout-out "one of the coolest things that's happened to me," when told about the tweet at an event for the show on Thursday night.
January 30, 2014 |
First Lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday urged supporters in Los Angeles to donate money to boost Democratic prospects in the 2014 midterm election, saying such efforts were crucial to President Obama's ability to accomplish the goals he laid out in his State of the Union speech the night before. "We need to be engaged right from the beginning, and this is where all of you here tonight come in. This is your part, because there is something all of you can do right now, today, to make a difference….
January 29, 2014 |
In his sixth State of the Union address, President Obama called for a “year of action,” but 2014 is more likely to be a year in which voters ratify gridlock. Listening to Obama's sometimes meandering, sometimes inspiring speech, one thought would not leave my mind: Words are not enough to undo the damage done by six years of ceaseless vitriol and obstruction from the right. When, for instance, he said, “Climate change is a fact,” I had no doubt that a majority of the Republicans in the House chamber were thinking, “Who says?
January 28, 2014 |
As part of the pre-publicity campaign for tonight's State of the Union address, the White House has let it be known President Obama has extracted a pledge from several big corporations not to discriminate against the long-term unemployed. Obama should be careful about this, because the most prominent exponent before him of this sort of jawboning of big business was Herbert Hoover. In his case, the strategy didn't work so well. The advance leak of the unemployment pledge , which supposedly will be announced during tonight's speech, serves several PR purposes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 24, 2014 |
As gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari campaigned around Los Angeles on Friday - three days after formally jumping into the race - he faced some hard questions from fellow Republicans. Speaking at a conservative Lincoln Club luncheon at a verdant golf course in Valencia, Kashkari repeatedly answered challenging, if not hostile, queries about his lack of experience in elective office, his liberal social positions and his 2008 vote for Barack Obama. The former U.S. Treasury official and asset fund manager did not always deliver the answers his questioners wanted, as he repeatedly returned to the themes that are the crux of his campaign - jobs and education - and his belief that his message can transcend partisan politics.
December 22, 2013 |
You may have missed it, given the launch of the Christmas shopping season and all the foofaraw about the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, but earlier this month Barack Obama gave the most important speech of his presidency. The topic was the rising level of economic inequality in America, which Obama identified as " the defining challenge of our time. " Numerous trends have come together over the last few decades, he said, to create "an economy that's become profoundly unequal and families that are more insecure.
December 18, 2013 |
Admittedly, I don't get a lot of my news from Fox News. But when I saw this headline Wednesday, “Non-citizens caught voting in 2012 presidential election in key swing state,” well, let's just say they had me at “non-citizens caught voting.” Like Mitt Romney weeks later, and Karl Rove on election night, Fox has its own way of spinning the 2012 election. But hey, if voter fraud cost Romney Ohio, that's big news - bigger than President Obama being born in Kenya, bigger than Obamacare as the worst government disaster ever, bigger than Benghazi, bigger than Obama's uncle whom he did/didn't know, bigger than, well, you get the Fox(y)
December 4, 2013 |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- An ill-considered tweet and ham-handed bit of Photoshopping illustrate one reason Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell faces the political fight of his life. Last month, the National Republican Senatorial Committee - a campaign arm of the GOP - tweeted a photo superimposing the head of McConnell's Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, atop the body of “Obama Girl,” the curvaceous model who shimmied her affection for then-candidate Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign.