Politix Update: Does The New York Times Have It In For Hillary Clinton?
Jul31

Politix Update: Does The New York Times Have It In For Hillary Clinton?

When the New York Times commissioned a cover for the January 24, 2014 issue of its Sunday Magazine, the result was an eye popping departure from the norm. Readers accustomed to covers of political powerhouses like those of Barack Obama looking presidential, a thoughtful Newt Gingrich with his chin resting on intertwined fingers or Sarah Palin flashing her toothy smile, were assaulted with an unflattering rendering of the head of a...

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Politix Update: The Republican War On Women Grinds On and On.  Why?
Jul29

Politix Update: The Republican War On Women Grinds On and On. Why?

Like the White Queen in her youth, the contemporary Republican politician must be capable of believing as many as six impossible things before breakfast. ~ JACOB WEISBERG The news is going from bad to worse for Republicans when it comes to working women. You know, the people who give birth to and raise children, take them to daycare and later soccer practice and piano lessons and care for elderly parents while juggling their careers,...

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Politix Update: The Republican Party’s Next Headache Is A Guy Who Wears A Funny Hat
Jul27

Politix Update: The Republican Party’s Next Headache Is A Guy Who Wears A Funny Hat

As if the Republican Party didn’t have enough negative publicity-grabbing problems with a man who is not serious about wanting to be president leading an overcrowded field of people who really want to be president and a president who is doing a pretty good job of being president, now comes (well, pretty soon, anyway) the Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the...

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Politix Update: The Republicans Flail While Trump Sails & Jeb! Gets Caught Out
Jul22

Politix Update: The Republicans Flail While Trump Sails & Jeb! Gets Caught Out

DONALD TRUMP IS THE PERFECT REPUBLICAN. NO WONDER HE EMBARRASSES THEM. ~ Jim Wright We won’t know until early next week whether Donald Trump’s slander of John McCain will slow if not derail his seemingly improbable rise to the top of the Republican presidential polls, but early indications are that the bloviating gadzillionaire’s criticism of the war hero for having the temerity to get shot down over North Vietnam...

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Politix Update: What Happens When You Use Bigotry & Hate As Weapons
Jul20

Politix Update: What Happens When You Use Bigotry & Hate As Weapons

IF YOU PLANT ICE YOU’RE GONNA HARVEST WIND ~ Robert Hunter It is disingenuous to blame Republicans for the xenophobic and racist white male as a force in American presidential politics. Democrats also must share the blame, and a societal malaise larger than politics is the cauldron for this toxic brew. But the Republican Party alone is responsible for calculatedly harnessing bigotry and hate as political weapons, and...

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Politix Update: The Bernie Sanders Effect & Return Of Opus The Penguin
Jul16

Politix Update: The Bernie Sanders Effect & Return Of Opus The Penguin

Is little old Bernie Sanders the best thing to happen to Hillary Clinton and the worst thing to happen to the overcrowded Republican presidential field? At this point in the long and winding road to the big dance, the answer is an emphatic yes because economic issues such as wage stagnation, job growth and workplace gender imparity are grabbing an outsized — and deserving — amount of attention. Sanders, despite the...

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Politix Update: Please Don’t Throw Us In The Briar Patch, Mister Trump!
Jul14

Politix Update: Please Don’t Throw Us In The Briar Patch, Mister Trump!

Every political news story has a narrative arc: Initial reports followed by subsequent reports followed by what-it-all-means analyses followed, sooner or later, by diminished interest and then inevitable flame out, often only a few days after the story broke. That was the likely course following Donald Trump’s announcement on June 16 that he was running for president. Sniggering, bad hair jokes and practiced yawns. But nearly a...

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The Other Shoe Drops In CIA-Psychological Association Torture Conspiracy
Jul13

The Other Shoe Drops In CIA-Psychological Association Torture Conspiracy

That sound you hear — or in all likelihood didn’t hear at all — is the other shoe dropping in the scandal involving the secret collaboration between the American Psychological Association and the Bush administration to justify the CIA’s use of Nazi-like torture techniques. The first shoe dropped in April when a group of dissident health-care professionals and human rights activists released a scathing report...

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Politix Update: Why Bernie Sanders, Like Eugene McCarthy, Will Fail
Jul10

Politix Update: Why Bernie Sanders, Like Eugene McCarthy, Will Fail

Nor law, nor duty bade me fight / Nor public men, nor cheering crowds / A lonely impulse of delight / Drove to this tumult in the clouds. ~ W.B. YEATS If you weren’t coming home in a pine box or wheelchair from Vietnam, the year 1968 was tremendously exciting, and among the waves of change roiling American society none was quite as dramatic as Eugene McCarthy’s campaign to wrest the heart and soul of the Democratic Party...

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Politix Update: Why Republican Primary Clown Car Isn’t At All Funny
Jul08

Politix Update: Why Republican Primary Clown Car Isn’t At All Funny

I’d really like to see a competitive presidential election next year in which the Republican nominee gave Hillary Clinton a run for her money. After all, the sooner the GOP shakes off its self-inflicted torpor and becomes competitive again at the national level the better it will be for all of us, not to mention that creaky old contraption known as democracy. But with a record 17 candidates scrambling to get into the Republican...

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Politix Update: Why Hillary Clinton’s State Department Emails Are Much Ado About Little
Jul06

Politix Update: Why Hillary Clinton’s State Department Emails Are Much Ado About Little

It is said that the cover-up is always worse than the crime, but in the case of Hillary Clinton’s State Department emails, what is the crime? And beyond the partisan ankle biting, is the cover-up — such as it is — over something any different than what other government bigs, not the least of whom were Bush administration officials, have done? Perhaps I’m like the last guy in the room to get the joke, but I...

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Politix Update: The Republican Party’s Very Bad Case Of Future Shock
Jul01

Politix Update: The Republican Party’s Very Bad Case Of Future Shock

How can Republicans avoid losing the popular vote in 2016 for the sixth time in seven elections when the party is not only increasingly out of step with public opinion but seems determined to look back and not forward? Polls show widespread support for increasing the minimum wage. The Republican Party is opposed. For a more inclusive immigration policy. Ditto. For access to health care. Ditto. For addressing climate change. Ditto....

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Politix Update: Fuggedabout The Here And Now, It’s All About The Legacy, Dude
Jun29

Politix Update: Fuggedabout The Here And Now, It’s All About The Legacy, Dude

The lineage of the term Obamacare pretty much tells you all you need to know about how history will view President Barack Obama. That is to say, what his legacy will be. In a (relatively) short five years, Obamacare has morphed from having a Republican-driven derogatory connotation to being an appropriate honorific for the man who against formidable odds has finally brought meaningful reform to a vastly dysfunctional sector of the...

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(UPDATED) Supreme Court Concurs With The Obvious: Same-Sex Marriage Is Indeed Constitutional
Jun26

(UPDATED) Supreme Court Concurs With The Obvious: Same-Sex Marriage Is Indeed Constitutional

Another day, another U.S. Supreme Court decision that should remind us things that once made America a great country like tolerance and helping the downtrodden are not entirely extinct. A mere 24 hours after the high court dealt a major blow to conservatives in ruling 6-3 that a key provision of the Affordable Care Act passed muster, it ruled 5-4 that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage, providing gays a...

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Historic Obamacare Ruling: Reason Wins Out Over Mean-Spirited Political Gamesmanship
Jun25

Historic Obamacare Ruling: Reason Wins Out Over Mean-Spirited Political Gamesmanship

The U.S. Supreme Court today dealt a major blow to conservatives who have used everything from bare-knuckle politics to legislative sleight-of hand to frivolous litigation in a years-long effort to destroy the Affordable Care Act, a flawed but ultimately workable effort to bring affordable health care to all Americans as well as President Obama’s signature achievement. In a momentous 6-3 ruling, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr....

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Politix Update: They’re Making News Without Even (Officially) Running
Jun25

Politix Update: They’re Making News Without Even (Officially) Running

IS KASICH ON THE WAY UP AND BUSH ON THE WAY DOWN? Call him the Panic Candidate. Even though Ohio Governor John Kasich has not formally announced that he’s joining the already crowded Republican presidential field, he seems to be everywhere except back home these days. That is everywhere there might be potential donors who believe this swing state governor may just be the guy to rally what’s left of the GOP’s moderate...

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Is This The Year The Old South Will Finally Fall Again? Let Us Hope So.
Jun24

Is This The Year The Old South Will Finally Fall Again? Let Us Hope So.

Somebody needs to say a good word for slavery. Where in the world are the Negroes better off today than in America? ~ JACK KERSHAW, League of the South board member I wrote at the beginning of 2011 — the 150th anniversary of the onset of the American Civil War — that it would be the year the South would rise again. Given the rapid-fire developments in the week since the racism-fueled massacre of nine black people in a...

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Reflections On Fifty Years Of The Grateful Dead: “Once In A While You Can Get Shown The Light In The Strangest Of Places If You Look At It Right’
Jun23

Reflections On Fifty Years Of The Grateful Dead: “Once In A While You Can Get Shown The Light In The Strangest Of Places If You Look At It Right’

Asked to name my all-time favorite Grateful Dead show, I typically respond, “Which year?” “No, which show?” “Okay, how about May 8, 1977 in Hamilton, New York?” “Howcum?” “Because it was just about perfect. The Dead had just finished recording the seminal Terrapin Station album and were unbelievably loose. They had been on a roll all spring with nary a bad note or an off-key lyric...

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Politix Update: All Bow Down To The Republican Doctrine Of Perpetual War.  Yes, You.
Jun22

Politix Update: All Bow Down To The Republican Doctrine Of Perpetual War. Yes, You.

I picked the morning paper off the floor / It was full of other people’s little wars / Wouldn’t they like their peace / Don’t we get bored / And we call for the three great stimulants / Of the exhausted ones /Artifice brutality and innocence ~ JONI MITCHELL “The Three Great Stimulants” While no one would accuse presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton of having the wings of a dove,...

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(UPDATED) This Time It’s Charleston: The Deep Sickness In American Society
Jun18

(UPDATED) This Time It’s Charleston: The Deep Sickness In American Society

1963 BIRMINGAM CHURCH BOMBING VICTIM Words to not begin to describe the horror of the continuing assault on our black brothers and sisters, but as inadequate as my own words may be, I offer a few anyway. The murder of of a pastor and eight congregants, six of them men and three women, in a mass shooting at an historically black Charleston, South Carolina church by a white gunman is, for openers, symptomatic of three deep sicknesses...

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