Archives for Opinion

For men, the future doesn’t look too good

If you’re an American man you’re more likely to be unemployed than your female counterparts. Today more than 4.3 million Americans are considered “long-term unemployed” — out of work for more than 27 weeks. Fifty-six percent of them are men. The Great Recession emasculated generations of men, displacing many of them from the labor force and undermining their financial security. The effects may be felt for decades. But does that mean the end of men and the rise of women, as author Hanna Rosin has suggested? Not quite. Male unemployment hasn’t come at the expense of women’s success; it reflects
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Hillary Clinton: The past or the future?

Want to know the latest meme in U.S. politics? Here it is: Hillary Clinton is a candidate of the past. It’s been spreading through the political press. Now Republicans are beginning to echo it. “Elections are almost always about the future,” says the Washington Post, “and Clinton is, for better and worse, a candidate of the past.” The woman who ran for president most recently, Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), contrasts Clinton with President Barack Obama. Obama, she told Politico, was “new and different,” while Clinton is an old-timer less likely to excite voters. Want to see excitement? Look at the
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A cinematic look into us: A nation riddled with guilt

The Oscars, which will be presented Sunday, do something more than honor the “best” films. They give us a glimpse into ourselves. Our movies, especially those that strike a national nerve, as Oscar nominees often do, are an expression of the nation’s collective consciousness, providing what you might call an annual Oscar State of the Union. They tell us where we stand. And this year’s State of the Union seems consumed with one issue: guilt. When you look at the nine Best Picture nominees, you discover that the majority are not only deeply ambivalent about the United States, but that
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How do we make each voter equal in America?

The venture capitalist Tom Perkins recently suggested that he should have a greater voice than others in selecting our government because he’s rich. “You pay a million dollars in taxes,” he told the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, “you get a million votes. How’s that?” Perkins later insisted that he had intended to be outrageous. As most Americans understand politics, however, he was just stating the obvious. Instead of extra votes on Election Day, we who are wealthy enough to give money to politicians get special access before, and influence after, as candidates pursue the cash that is the life’s
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Yes Virginia, America is shifting to the left

With each new poll, it’s becoming clear that the United States is shifting to the left. A majority of Americans now supports same-sex marriage.  And legalization of marijuana.  And normalization of relations with Cuba. Gallup reports that, in 2013, the percentage of Americans identifying themselves as liberals reached its highest level since 1992. True, it’s only 23 percent. Conservatives, at 38 percent, still outnumber liberals. But the trend has been slowly and steadily upward for liberals since 1996, when it was 16 percent. This shift is due entirely to Democrats becoming more liberal — 29 percent of Democrats in 2000,
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Obama made life worse for America’s middle class

Five years ago Monday, President Barack Obama signed the signature economic proposal of his presidency, saying that the passage of the $787 billion economic stimulus package heralded the “the beginning of the end” of the Great Recession. The president told a Denver audience that he was “keeping the American Dream alive in our time.” But for millions of Americans, he made things worse. It is now clear that bold White House predictions about stimulus jobs “saved and created” were just a prelude to later pledges about keeping your doctors and falling premiums. Equally maddening has been the president’s unwavering belief
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Time to rid the nation of an embarrassment named Cruz?

Maybe it’s time to do something to put the misery called Ted Cruz out of America’s life and memory. Depending on the voters of Texas to step in and do something about the national embarrassment called Cruz is useless.  Texas, after all, is the state that gave cretins like George W. Bush elected office more than once, so expecting anything remotely approaching rationality is a pipe dream when it comes to the Lone Star state. Cruz, sadly, is a blatant example of just how incredibly stupid the tea party can be. To rally behind such a idiot shows how devoid
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In the end, Republicans helped unite Democrats

Back in 1901, Finley Peter Dunne’s character Mr. Dooley said, “The Dimmycratic Party ain’t on speakin’ terms with itsilf.” Is that happening again now? You might think so, given the talk about a populist revolt on the left. But Democrats are in fact remarkably united on most issues. They agree on everything from increasing the minimum wage, to extending unemployment benefits to raising the debt ceiling. Yes, there are divisions emerging over trade and energy. But it’s not anything like the bitter confrontations we used to see among Democrats over civil rights and the Vietnam War. It’s also not anything
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An ugly dispute taints ‘America the Beautiful’

A sadness emerges when one reads the absurd and downright nasty comments aimed at Coca Cola for creating a Super Bowl commercial featuring people singing “America the Beautiful” in different languages. Some rabid right-wing groups urge a boycott of the company for creating the commercial.  Usual conservative blowhards like Rush Limbaugh are weighing in and demanded punishment of Coke. Why?  Are we not a nation founded by immigrants who came to this land to escape persecution in other countries?  Are we not the nation that once welcomed immigrants with open arms? Sadly, some out there want to destroy that America
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Maybe we should run credit checks on candidates for office

As more and more details emerge about the acceptance of gifts, loans and more by former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen during their fours years in Executive Mansion in Richmond, a picture of a chief executive up to his butt in debts and scrambling to pay bills emerges. McDonnell and his wife were living far beyond their means and came to office deep in a financial hole. Maybe what we have learned about the real reasons why the governor and his wife had their hands out for financial assistance from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams shows that
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