David Brooks’ Best Column Ever
Jan14

David Brooks’ Best Column Ever

No, that headline is really not in keeping with the humble spirit of the column, but Brooks’ words struck a chord this morning, and I probably overreacted … as I’m sometimes inclined to do. His central concept is a rather simple one: the degree of our civility is directly related to the degree we recognize just how flawed and imperfect we each are. That struck a chord with me because, as I crossed the 40-year-mark...

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Obama’s Three Words … and What Happens Next
Jan13

Obama’s Three Words … and What Happens Next

“It did not.” Ed Morrissey claims those three words in the President’s Tucson speech last night were off script. The President spoke them in the moment; they were not in the pre-released text of the speech. In context … And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let’s remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this...

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Stuff That Irritates Me
Jan06

Stuff That Irritates Me

Yes, it has been awhile since I’ve blogged here. Graduate school has been more of a challenge than I ever imagined. No matter what the amorphous “they” tell you, going back to school after a 22-year absence is not an easy undertaking. Regardless, I survived the first semester and start another Jan. 18. I don’t know how much I’ll be able to contribute to TMV before or after that date, but inspiration...

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Changes
Aug03

Changes

My colleagues have been informed and I’m now compelled to share the following news with the handful of readers who might care. In short, a series of existing and new commitments have prompted me to recognize that there’s a limit to the multitasking I can manage. As a result, I am resigning from my volunteer role as TMV Managing Editor and taking a sabbatical from blogging, of to-be-determined duration. I won’t bore you...

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TPE’s Mark Williams: Still Digging
Jul15

TPE’s Mark Williams: Still Digging

At least one commenter on yesterday’s post mounted a defense (or semi-defense) of a point made by Mark Williams of the Tea Party Express, among others. The defended point was essentially this: It’s wrong for the NAACP to be flinging charges of racism against individuals within the Tea Party when the NAACP is, itself, racist. I’m curious: Do yesterday’s defenders of that point also want to offer a defense of...

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Case Study in How to Dig a Deeper Hole
Jul14

Case Study in How to Dig a Deeper Hole

By now, I’m assuming most of you have probably read, seen, or heard reports that the NAACP “has passed a resolution condemning racism in the Tea Party movement.” On the Tea Party side, the denials and denunciations swiftly followed, including from St. Louis of all places: In response, the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition passed a resolution of its own, calling the NAACP resolution “a gutter tactic of attempting to...

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Just When You Thought the Culture Wars Were Over
Jul14

Just When You Thought the Culture Wars Were Over

Just when you thought the economy and deficits were going to be more prominent in the mid-terms than social and religious issues, you read something like this: … that’s one of the things that’s most destructive about the growth of government is this taking away that freedom, the freedom, the ultimate freedom, to find your salvation, to get your salvation, and to find Christ for me and you, and I think that’s...

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Why I Hate Polls and the Reporting of Polls
Jul13

Why I Hate Polls and the Reporting of Polls

So here’s the crux of the WaPo headline generated by editors looking at the results of a joint poll commissioned by their employer and ABC News: “Confidence in Obama reaches new low.” Contributing writers at Chris Cillizza’s WaPo blog describe it as “an erosion of confidence” in the President. While I’m no Nate Silver, I’m pretty sure these same editors and writers could have studied the...

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When Gloomy Frankness Sparks Hope
Jul12

When Gloomy Frankness Sparks Hope

It’s an odd sentiment — but perhaps one that should be expected in this hand-wringing, teeth-gnashing time. I don’t know that I ever heard a gloomier picture painted that created more hope for me. That was the reaction of Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, after listening to a presentation made by the co-chairs of President Obama’s “debt commission.” (Scroll to the end of the article.) And why was the...

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If You Need a Good Laugh Today
Jul12

If You Need a Good Laugh Today

Maybe I’m twisted, but this post is the funniest damn thing I’ve read in a very long time. [H/t Chris Bodenner @ The Daily...

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Congressional Views on Congressional Discord
Jul09

Congressional Views on Congressional Discord

It’s one of the enduring questions: Can the major political parties in Congress still work together? Last month, I invited six Members of Congress, via their press offices, to comment. Because I was asking for their input in the context of my role as a guest commentator for St. Louis Public Radio, I focused on Members who have constituents in the greater St. Louis area and (per the station’s news director) sought perspectives from an...

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Brooks: Exercise Humility on Economic Measures
Jul06

Brooks: Exercise Humility on Economic Measures

David Brooks chimes in on the tug-of-war between proponents of additional economic stimuli and those who advocate deficit reduction. Given my post on this subject last week, and the ensuing back-and-forth with readers, I found these lines from Mr. Brooks particularly compelling, clarifying … and chastening. So you have your doubts, but you are practical. You want to do something. Too much debt could lead to national catastrophe....

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Good for Senator McCaskill
Jul01

Good for Senator McCaskill

I missed this news item from yesterday: The Democratic senator from Missouri takes an unequivocal stand, defending the free-speech rights of those who disagree with her. For some, her decision on how to handle this matter probably won’t be good enough, but I think it speaks volumes. Kudos, Senator. Well...

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Breaking with the President
Jul01

Breaking with the President

As regular readers know, I’m among the President’s most consistent supporters. Granted, I blinked on his early handling of the Gulf oil spill. But ultimately, I decided he was probably doing the best he could, given the circumstances and the clear limitations on what any one person, even the chief executive of the United States, can accomplish in these situations. All that being said, I’m struggling now as I listen...

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Journalists: Neither Friend nor Enemy
Jun22

Journalists: Neither Friend nor Enemy

Joe has already commented on this developing story. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, was ordered back to Washington on Tuesday after a magazine article portrayed him and his staff as openly contemptuous of some senior members of the Obama administration, the United States ambassador to Afghanistan and senior European officials. I’m now waiting for the backlash against the journalist, Michael Hastings...

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Giving Rupert His Due
Jun15

Giving Rupert His Due

Per a report in today’s NYT … The News Corporation took several significant steps on Monday toward preparing to charge readers for access to its content online. The company said that it had acquired an electronic reading platform called Skiff and had made an investment in a company that was developing pay models for newspapers and magazines. In other words: It’s the beginning of the end of online news as we’ve...

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Over-Reaction of the Week
Jun14

Over-Reaction of the Week

And it’s only Monday. The distinction this week goes to Jim Hoft, who considers it an insidious act to encourage students to aspire to a better life — to encourage them to become scholars like the President of their country is a scholar. We assume Mr. Hoft and like-minded critics don’t have a problem with encouraging students to become Rhodes Scholars because — you know — Cecil Rhodes led such an...

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Back to That Apollo 13 Analogy
Jun11

Back to That Apollo 13 Analogy

I first raised the analogy a week ago. Then again earlier this week. Then I suggested the concept might be more appropriately described, per Donny Deutsch, as a “Sputnik moment.” Last night, Timothy Egan returned to Apollo 13 to again consider the underlying question: When, where, why, and how did we lose the ability to inspire, organize, and unleash the unflappable power of American ingenuity?...

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Apollo 13 Approach ‘Sputnik Moment’
Jun07

Apollo 13 Approach ‘Sputnik Moment’

Forget my Apollo 13 analogy. Donny Deutsch’s use of the phrase, “Sputnik moment,” better conveys what I’ve been trying to express in my prior posts on this topic: The need for transcendental leadership from the White House, for the President to rally the nation with a bold plan for engaging our best and brightest, focusing their energies (and ours) on a common cause. Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world...

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Apollo 13 Approach, Ctd.
Jun07

Apollo 13 Approach, Ctd.

Following up on my post from last week — wherein I suggested we needed a more systematic, comprehensive approach to involving more brains in the search for solutions to the Gulf oil spill disaster — I’d like to first offer an apology. I pointed to this article and suggested that more than the following was needed … The Unified Command overseeing the Deepwater Horizon disaster features a “suggestions” button on...

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