December 10, 2013 |
In a speech last week, President Obama declared that income inequality is the “defining challenge of our time.” Conservatives, however, seem to think talk about the gap between the super rich and everyone else is nothing more than the whining of society's losers. Obama said he would push for an increase in the federal minimum wage. Unfortunately, this will be yet another piece of legislation that has about as much chance getting passed in the Republican-controlled House as a bill to ban country music, gun shows and Sunday schools.
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.
December 3, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - An immigration judge in Boston on Tuesday halted the deportation of President Obama's Kenyan-born uncle and granted him status as a legal permanent resident. Onyango Obama, half brother of the president's late father, came to the United States in 1963 from Kenya on a student visa that expired in 1970. He's been living in the country unlawfully ever since. "He's so happy to stay here because he loves this country," Margaret Wong, Onyango Obama's attorney, said in a telephone interview after the court hearing.
November 25, 2013 |
One of Barack Obama's most heartfelt moments as president and the vitriol of online bigots contributed to director Sheldon Epps' decision to put a new twist on "12 Angry Men" at the Pasadena Playhouse. Using casting as a bullhorn, he's turned the mid-1950s chestnut about tense deliberations in a jury room into a forum on black-white relations. The Obama moment that inspired Epps, the playhouse's longtime artistic director, was the president's speech last July after the acquittal of Trayvon Martin's killer.
November 22, 2013 |
“All analogies limp,” a wise man once said. So it is with the comparison between John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic to be elected president, and Barack Obama, the first black president. In both cases the Democratic nominee overcame historic prejudices with overwhelming support from his own group - Catholics for Kennedy, African Americans for Obama. In both cases members of groups that had endured discrimination were galvanized to vote for “one of us.” So the analogy is valid.
November 21, 2013 |
The 50 th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy also marks 50 years of conspiracy theorists trying to sell an array of alternative explanations for JFK's murder. Over all the long years since Nov. 22, 1963, conspiracy theorists have fingered more than 40 different groups, 80 different assassins and in excess of 200 co-conspirators. Of course, not all of those accusations can be true. In fact, given the abundance of contradictory theories about who did the deed, it is far more reasonable to assume none of them is true than it is to believe one might just be right. A whole lot of people are uncomfortable with simple explanations for big events.
November 15, 2013 |
In the long run, Obamacare is likely to be as popular and permanent as Medicare, but, in the short term, it is turning into the worst political crisis of Barack Obama's presidency. On Thursday, the contrite president announced that Americans whose healthcare insurance policies have been canceled due to requirements of the Affordable Care Act would have another year to keep those policies. This new guarantee is meant to make up for his ill-considered promise that no one would lose their old policies if they wanted to keep what they had. The problem with Obama's new promise, though, is that he cannot force insurers to restore policies they have already terminated.
November 8, 2013 |
President Obama's hollow promise that Americans who liked their own healthcare plans would not have to give them up under Obamacare may prove to be another tempest in a tea party teapot, but it might also balloon into a political gale that blows away the highest hopes for his second term in the White House. Winning reelection to the presidency is often a triumph before a fall. Richard Nixon won a second term in a landslide; two years later, the Watergate scandal forced him to resign.
November 3, 2013 |
No announcement? No problem. Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) has endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton for president whether she's running or not. Clinton, the former secretary of State and a former senator representing New York, is a presumed favorite for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. She sought the nomination in 2008, losing to Barack Obama. That is, she's favored in 2016 if she chooses to run -- which she hasn't as of yet. Nonetheless, Schumer was moving full speed ahead on her behalf Saturday night in front of several hundred Democratic supporters at the Iowa Democratic Party's Jefferson Jackson dinner in Des Moines.
November 3, 2013 |
In case you missed it, here is a brief timeline of race relations regarding “Saturday Night Live” recently: Sept. 27: “SNL” cast member Jay Pharoah tells the Grio website that he thinks the show is “too white.” Oct. 14: Longtime cast member Kenan Thompson tells a TV Guide interviewer that he doesn't want make up the lack of diversity in the cast on “SNL” anymore by playing black female characters....