March 2, 2014 |
BEIJING - The headline news on state-run Chinese Channel 13 was juicy: A mining tycoon and 35 others had been charged with running a mafia-style enterprise in Sichuan province, gunning down enemies in the street, bribing people and operating an illegal casino. But viewers didn't have to just listen to police or prosecutors describe the evidence against the three dozen suspects: CCTV aired extensive clips of many of them, dressed in blue jailhouse jackets, admitting their misdeeds.
December 13, 2013 |
It's been a rough few weeks for public employee unions. First, a federal judge in the Detroit bankruptcy case ruled the city's public employee pensions could be cut just like any other debt, challenging the belief that the retirement benefits were untouchable. Now, a new Field Poll finds Californians are souring on labor unions. The state has traditionally been fairly pro-organized labor, but there's been a marked decline in public opinion over the last two years, according to the independent survey of 1,000 voters.
October 2, 2013 |
Good news, President Obama: Americans support the Affordable Care Act, as Jimmy Kimmel showed Tuesday night. The bad news: They hate Obamacare. Of course, we all know that "Obamacare" is the pejorative shorthand for the Affordable Care Act, Obama's 2010 healthcare reform law being held ransom by House Republicans who cite the American people's dislike of the legislation as their reason for bringing much of the federal government to a halt. Correction: As Kimmel showed , some of us know.
September 24, 2013 |
We are in the midst of the first serious reexamination of government spying since the 1970s. President Obama has asked a special review panel for initial recommendations by November. The normally secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, also known as the FISA court, has broken new ground by publishing a full-dress opinion upholding the collection of massive amounts of data on domestic telephone conversations. With James R. Clapper, director of national intelligence, all but conceding that there was a "good side" to Edward Snowden's leaks, we can expect significant actions by the courts and the executive.
September 21, 2013
Re "'This is the line in the sand,' House Republicans say," Sept. 19 Paraphrasing Mark Twain, there are lies, damned lies and statistics. The Republicans are distorting the facts on public support for Obamacare. The September Pew Research poll shows that 53% disapprove of Obamacare, while 42% approve. What Republicans are not saying is that, according to a May CNN poll, more than a quarter of those disapproving are opposed because the law does not go far enough. The Pew poll also reports that about half of the 53% who disapprove of the law (27% overall)
September 9, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - With support for the war in Vietnam sagging and mass protests erupting around the nation, President Nixon invited cameras into the Oval Office in November 1969 and spoke directly to Americans. Seated behind a desk, reading from a prepared text, Nixon explained why an immediate withdrawal would be a blow to freedom and democracy, outlined a plan "to end the war in a way that we could win the peace" and promised to turn over much of the fighting to Vietnamese troops. Playing to mainstream America's patriotism and its skepticism of the counterculture, he concluded, "And so tonight - to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans - I ask for your support.