December 17, 2001
There he goes again (Michael Ramirez's cartoon, Commentary, Dec. 13). The Times' official radical-right cartoonist reasserts his partisanship in the depiction of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) asking someone on the phone to relay his thanks to Bin Laden that he can spend money. The low insult to Daschle and the dishonesty of the characterization of his providing for unemployed workers while ignoring Republican attempts to make mammoth giveaways to multinational corporations is appalling.
October 25, 2012 |
My favorite moment of the 2012 presidential debates came at the beginning of the final confrontation Monday night. The moderator, Bob Schieffer, invited both candidates to "give your thoughts" on the Middle East. Republican nominee Mitt Romney went first and began with a typical stumbling attempt to be charming, almost successful in its very failure: Something about an earlier "humorous event" (it was the annual Al Smith dinner for the archdiocese of New York, at which politicians tell jokes)
October 19, 2012 |
The presidential campaign has focused primarily on the economy and domestic issues, with foreign policy receiving relatively little attention - especially if it doesn't involve the tumultuous Middle East. One foreign policy issue that shouldn't be ignored is arms control. The president in 2013 - whether it's Barack Obama or Mitt Romney - will have an opportunity to use arms control to make the United States and the world safer. With the New START arms deal now in force, the strategic nuclear balance between the U.S. and Russia is stable.
September 25, 2012 |
The Oval Office isn't the place to learn on the job. That was the line from both Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain in 2008. In fairness, that's always the argument the more experienced candidate uses against the less experienced candidate (just ask Mitt Romney). But Barack Obama seemed a special case, easily among the least experienced major party nominees in U.S. history. A Pew poll in August 2008 found that the biggest concern voters had with Obama fell under the category of "personal abilities and experience.
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?
May 23, 2012 |
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are both smart and accomplished individuals. That's why it is so disappointing that neither candidate has taken a truly responsible position when it comes to the nation's fiscal future. That's not to say that both men haven't advanced some good ideas. Romney, for example, is pushing to limit federal spending, and he's showing political backbone in putting Social Security and Medicare reforms on the table. But Romney also signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge to "oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.
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.
May 20, 2012 |
The Supreme Court is about to toss a judicial bomb into the middle of the presidential campaign, and nobody knows what impact it will have. The bomb, of course, is the court's ruling on President Obama's healthcare law, which is expected next month. At first glance, the political implications might look simple. If the court upholds the law, Obama's biggest legislative achievement, the president wins; if the court declares the law unconstitutional, he loses. COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS: Presidential Election 2012 But as with many things in politics, it may not be that simple at all. If the court upholds the law, Obama will hail the decision as proof that he was right all along.
October 16, 2012 |
Apparently, Paul Ryan and Joe Biden are both theocrats willing, nay eager, to use state power to impose their religious views on the rest of us. In last week's vice presidential debate, moderator Martha Raddatz asked the two Roman Catholic politicians "to tell me what role your religion has played in your own personal views on abortion. " "I don't see how a person can separate their public life from their private life or from their faith," confessed Ryan. "Our faith informs us in everything we do. My faith informs me about how to take care of the vulnerable, of how to make sure that people have a chance in life.