March 25, 2014 |
Simon Schama, the British historian and television personality and name-in-the-title host of "Simon Schama's History of Britain," "Simon Schama's Power of Art," "Simon Schama's Shakespeare" and "Simon Schama's Obama's America," is back with "Simon Schama's The Story of the Jews. " Premiering Tuesday on PBS, it attempts to distill 3,000 years of Jewish history into five hours of TV and does a fine, if necessarily incomplete, job of it. Like many British documentaries - the series originally aired in September on the BBC - "The Story of the Jews" comes with a personal touch.
October 23, 2012 |
I'm writing this before Monday night's presidential debate, on the assumption that neither candidate changed the dynamic of the race too dramatically. But what if one did? What if Barack Obama announced in a fit of pique that "America doesn't deserve a president as awesome as me. " Or what if Mitt Romney pulled open a panel in his chest revealing that he is, in fact, an android? And he was made in China! Or the game-changer could be something more plausible. The point is, what if something was said or done that caused large numbers of voters to change their minds?
April 10, 2012 |
In his Wisconsin victory speech last Tuesday, Mitt Romney said, "Washington has to become an ally of business, not the opposition of business. " This to me is a more worrisome statement than his communications advisor's gaffe about Etch-A-Sketches or Romney's shout-out to NASCAR team owners. Over the last few years, the country has been subjected to a tutorial about the role of government. Thanks to the efforts of the tea parties and, of course, the teaching by example of the Obama administration, a lot more Americans understand the problems with corporatism, crony capitalism and industrial policy.
November 13, 2012 |
The conservative Gotterdammerung is finally here. "Like dazed survivors in a ravaged city, America's conservatives are wailing and beating their collective breasts," opines the Economist's "Lexington" columnist. "A leading conservative thinker," asked by the Economist to "list today's conservative ideas, laughs bitterly and replies, 'Are there any?'" Former Reaganite Rep. Vin Weber (R-Minn.) laments in the conservative journal Policy Review, "I have never been so concerned about the future of conservative ideas.
January 3, 2010
Not everything's changed in the decade since chads got hung up, the Y2K bug was exterminated and the dot-com bubble burst. Americans were plainly upset at flight delays, even before shoeless shakedowns and 3-oz. liquid limits. Mobile phones and automobiles were a distractive destructive mix, evn b4 txtng. And we killed plenty of time navigating the insurance racket, even before "death panels." Speaking of death panels, it was a tough 10 years for editorial cartoonists. Dozens of newspapers killed the position, including all three credited above.
January 17, 2010
Prospective cartoonists take note: It's all about perspective. Tom Toles' wisecracking biblical reference may not leave you in stitches, but it's provocative. Dana Summers puts a humanitarian disaster of biblical proportions into sober, humbling context. And Pat Bagley carries on about coach-class warfare. Remember the Good Book quote: "It's easier for a camel on the no-fly list to get a hypodermic needle through a TSA checkpoint than for a Goldman Sachs exec to enter the kingdom of heaven."