Freedom Writing

AUGUST 23, 2009 2:12PM

Democrats in Denial

Ian Swanson and Mike Soraghan write in The Hill, in what seem to be astonished tones, that the 2010 midterm elections are looking like a "more difficult political environment for Democrats."

I've been saying this for months — I'm not sure when I first wrote about it in this blog, but I… Read full post »

AUGUST 22, 2009 9:33PM

I Never Thought Of That

If I have a "guilty pleasure," I guess it would be those real–life forensics investigation shows on TV.

I'm like most amateur sleuths, I guess. I like to think I'm pretty good, although I'm probably not as good as I think I am.

But I really have to give credit to the inve…

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AUGUST 22, 2009 11:26AM

Shock and Awe in Obama's America

I have mentioned before how much I admire Nobel Prize–winning economist Paul Krugman. He is intelligent and he provides great insight in his columns for the New York Times.

Today's column is a good example. Here is how it begins:

"According to news reports, the Obama administration — whicRead full post »
AUGUST 21, 2009 6:51PM

Bernanke's Optimistic Appraisal

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said today that the world economy is starting to emerge from the recession.

I'll take his word for it. I studied economics in college — Arts and Sciences required students to pass two semesters of principles of economics, which I did. But that was not m…

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AUGUST 20, 2009 1:01PM

The Quality of Mercy

"The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes."

William Shakespeare

I find it interesting that 57–year–old Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al–Megrahi — aka the Loc…

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AUGUST 19, 2009 8:08PM

Jobs Stimulus? Hello? McFly?

Kevin O'Leary suggests, in TIME, that America should "resurrect something like the Works Progress Administration" — the Depression–era program that "put millions of unemployed Americans to work building schools, roads, parks, libraries and other needed infrastructure p… Read full post »
AUGUST 18, 2009 10:36AM

What a Long, Strange Trip It Is

When I was studying journalism in college, one thing my professors constantly told us was that it was essential for journalists to be unbiased, to maintain their balance when writing about the news.

There is a place for opinion, they told us. That is the editorial page.

Maybe they taught me that lesson…

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AUGUST 17, 2009 4:52PM

The Health Care Debate

There is a lot of rhetoric these days — from both sides — in the health care reform debate.

For my own reasons, I have been a supporter of health care reform in the past. I supported it when Bill Clinton was president. It was, perhaps, the main reason I supported John… Read full post »

AUGUST 16, 2009 3:49PM

Wishful Thinking?

As I was driving home from church today, I saw some signs in storefront windows that I haven't seen in awhile.

They said "Now Hiring" or "Help Wanted."

Honest. That is what they said.

Now, I would like to believe that is an indication that things are starting to turn around. But…

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AUGUST 15, 2009 12:39AM

You Know Things Are Getting Bad ...

... when retailers expect slower sales during the back–to–school shopping season — and, as a consequence, another dismal holiday shopping season.

But that is what Stephanie Rosenbloom is reporting in the New York Times. Rosenbloom says stock analysts expect same–store sales to…

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AUGUST 14, 2009 4:24PM

The Flip Side

In recent years, Democrats have gained an understanding of what Tom Petty was talking about when he wrote "It's Good to be King."

After winning control of Congress in 2006 and following up by winning the White House and expanding congressional majorities in 2008, I think many Democrats have assumed an… Read full post »

AUGUST 12, 2009 3:06PM

Palin's Plummeting Poll Numbers

Whatever one thought of Sarah Palin's prospects as a presidential candidate before she announced her intention to resign as governor of Alaska — and then followed through with her plan a couple of weeks later — you had to admire her ability to draw a crowd whenever she spoke.

There haven't… Read full post »

AUGUST 11, 2009 10:31AM

A Life Well Lived

The Kennedy family hasn't been unanimously admired — in this country or elsewhere — over the years.

But today, there is no reason for anyone, regardless of political leanings, not to feel sympathetic to the Kennedys for the loss of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the 88–year–/…

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AUGUST 10, 2009 9:40AM

In Praise of Big Government

I am an admirer of economist Paul Krugman.

Not only is he a Nobel Prize winner, but he is also a good writer capable of making complex theories comprehensible for ordinary folks. His latest column for the New York Times is a good example.

His premise in the column is that/…

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AUGUST 9, 2009 8:50PM

Piling On Palin

I thought that through–the–looking–glass government might go away when George W. Bush left the White House.

But I am learning that it never goes away. What changes is that a different group gets to play the game.

And the rules — such as they are — get more outrageous each…

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AUGUST 9, 2009 8:55AM

Let the Sun Shine In

If you aren't old enough to remember Aug. 9, 1974, it's kind of hard to explain the mood the day that Gerald Ford took the oath and became the first man to serve as both vice president and president without ever being elected to either office.

But it always seemed/…

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AUGUST 8, 2009 10:03AM

The End of the Nightmare

The "long, national nightmare" of Watergate, to which Gerald Ford referred in his first speech as president, ended with Richard Nixon's official resignation on Friday, Aug. 9, 1974.

But the nightmare really came to an end for Nixon on Thursday, Aug. 8, 1974, when he spoke to the nation and/…

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AUGUST 7, 2009 3:13PM

Twisting Slowly in the Wind

Among other things, Watergate had a profound influence on American vocabulary.

A good example was John Ehrlichman's suggestion to allow acting FBI director L. Patrick Gray to "twist slowly, slowly in the wind."

It was one of those phrases that seemed appropriate for many people on many occasi/…

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Look, I'm glad the unemployment rate dropped in July. But let's keep things in perspective, shall we?

As Chris Isidore of observes, economists expected more than 300,000 jobs to be lost in July. Actual job losses were a shade under 250,000 — "the fewest job losses sin… Read full post »
AUGUST 5, 2009 3:43PM

Being Things and Doing Things

Nearly a century ago, Booth Tarkington wrote a series of novels known as the "Growth" trilogy.

It followed a fictional prominent family, the Ambersons, and its prestige and influence in a fictional Midwestern city from the end of the Civil War to the early years of the 20th century — during whic… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 4, 2009 9:15PM

The Legend of Lizzie Borden

"Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done she gave her father forty–one."

If you're over 25, you surely remember the O.J. Simpson murder trial.

But you would have to be over…

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AUGUST 3, 2009 4:35PM

The 'Birther' Battle


Of all the non–issues I have seen that distract attention away from the real issues that need to be discussed, this so–called "birther" matter takes the cake.

As I see it, here is what you need to know. Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, nearly two years after it became a…

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With health care reform the hot topic of discussion these days — that is, when the president isn't sitting down for a beer and a "teachable moment" on race relations — it's a good idea to revisit something that has caused a great deal of preventable suffering and death in America… Read full post »

AUGUST 2, 2009 4:31PM

Nixon's Crime

On Friday, Aug. 2, 1974, the noose really began to tighten around Richard Nixon's neck.

That was the day Nixon surrendered tapes of 13 conversations, among them the damning June 23, 1972, conversation with H.R. Haldeman that came to be known as the "smoking gun." Before he did so, chief of staff… Read full post »

AUGUST 2, 2009 7:33AM

The Ugly Truth

The recession is over — that's the good news, according to Newsweek.

At least, that is what the main headline on Newsweek's article says. But the ugly truth is to be found in the subhead: "Now what we need is a new kind of recovery."

"The Great Recession ... is most likel… Read full post »