Archives for Opinion

Sarah Palin: A female Bill Clinton when it comes to sex?

Interesting that one of the most vocal and often-quoted supporters of controversial “Duck Dynasty” reality show star Phil Robertson is another figment of celebrity-fantasy — failed Alaska governor Sarah Palin, the one-time sex symbol of the rabid right. In politics, where hypocrisy abounds, Palin is a standout when it comes to being everything she rants and raves against.  The self-styled defender of family values is a female Bill Clinton:  Someone who sleeps around. While dating future husband Todd Palin, the then-Sarah Heath, a sports reporter for an Alaska TV station, reportedly shacked up for a night in a dorm room
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Phil Robertson: A homophobe, bigot and sexual predator

Sadly, the New Year begins with revelations of even more rantings from the questionable star of a reality TV show who is praised by supporters as a “man of God,” but revealed in life to be a homophobe, bigot and threat to underage women. A video on YouTube shows Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson, in 2009, urging adult men to marry 15 and 16 year old girls who will “pick their ducks” and not their pockets. Robertson has a history of messing around with underage girls.  At age 20, he was having sex with a 14-year-old girl who got pregnant
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A valuable lesson on the price of secrecy

The ease with which the United States government creates new state secrets masks the ultimate cost of the secret’s production. Once minted, a secret must be guarded lest a spy sneak in and pluck it from the bunch — or a Chelsea Manning, an Edward Snowden, or a lesser leaker with a security clearance release it into the wild. Vaults must be built, moats dug, and guards hired, trained, and paid. Add to that the cost of routine audits, to make sure nobody has picked the locks, and the expense of the annual security clearances for the spooks, bureaucrats, and
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Punitive, Puritan politics

‘Tis the season of giving, charity and good will — unless you happen to be a Republican, and then ‘tis the season of pusillanimity, churlishness and bad will. Congressional Republicans seem hell-bent on denying the most disadvantaged among us healthcare, unemployment benefits and, perhaps worst of all, food stamps, from which the House of Representatives slashed $40 billion last month. Elizabeth Drew, writing in Rolling Stone, calls it “The Republicans’ War on the Poor.” You can attribute these benefit cuts to plain meanness with a dose of political calculation thrown in, as Drew does. But there may be another explanation
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Phil Robertson: A scripted phony or a real Christian?

Instead of focusing on the true meaning of Christmas, the public in this final week before the holiday appears focused on the rantings and ravings of Phil Robertson, the “patriarch” of the family portrayed on the highly-scripted  “Duck Dynasty” “reality” show on Arts and Entertainment Network. Robertson, in a magazine interview, equated homosexuality with bestiality, misquoted the Bible and claimed African-Americans were “happy” during the days of segregation of racial discrimination. A&E exercising its right as an employer, suspended Robertson from the “reality” show and a firestorm of protest erupted from those who share his beliefs.  They say Robertson is
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Fallout from NSA debacle can serve the nation

The fallout from the Edward Snowden revelations continues to snowball. With each disclosure, allies, businesses and influential authors call for reform. There is ever growing pressure on the Obama administration to respond and quell these concerns before permanent damage is done. As the crisis grows, many in Congress and the executive branch now focus on explaining why these programs are critical to countering terrorist threats and securing the country. President Barack Obama’s meeting with technology leaders Tuesday marks an early signal of willingness to engage in open dialogue. But until Washington fully addresses the concerns of these various groups through
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Washington’s growing irrelevance is good

After three years of sclerosis, Congress is poised to at last pass an actual budget. We’ve been so consumed with the dysfunction of the parties on Capitol Hill that this feat appears significant. In fact, it should be routine. Yet in the context of the past few years, it is anything but. The budget that passed the House still must wend through the Senate, and it is not exactly a study in legislative daring. It is, however, an actual budget, passed with substantial support from both parties by a vote of 332 to 94 and negotiated by two leaders, one
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So, where’s political accountability for pension disasters?

Five years after the financial crisis, there’s still a hue and cry about sending people to jail. After all, financiers were, at best, self-servingly optimistic about the future. At worst, they said things that weren’t true, and made promises they couldn’t keep. Investigations are still ongoing, and although it’s doubtful, maybe some big guys will go to jail. But there’s another group of people who have injured, and are continuing to injure, millions of Americans with purposefully blind optimism and false promises. Those are politicians in every city and state that is facing a pension shortfall. You can’t read the
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The new politics of budget compromise in Washington

The muted market reaction to this week’s budget deal in Washington may initially seem like a disappointment. After all, uncertainty over government spending, debt and taxes has consistently emerged in business sentiment surveys as the biggest single factor holding back corporate investment and damaging financial confidence. Why then did Wall Street celebrate this breakthrough with its biggest daily fall in two months? The standard explanation is that the budget deal will accelerate the tapering of monetary policy by the Federal Reserve Board, and that is probably a valid expectation. The main reason for the seemingly perverse response, however, is simply
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The private shame, public blame of HealthCare.gov

The glitches that have dogged the government’s universal healthcare site have cast a dark shadow over the presidency and over the Democratic Party as they enter an election year when they could easily lose the Senate. The failure of anyone within the Obama administration to notice in the three long years of preparation that something was seriously amiss is an abject failure of management that has led to a self-inflicted political catastrophe. The inept rollout has allowed the president’s enemies to claim that that is what comes of allowing the government to interfere in the healthcare market. Obamacare’s troubled birth
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