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Monthly Archives: July 2009

They came, they drank, they disagreed

President Barack Obama's much-ballyhooed "beer summit" came and went at the White House Thursday where the two sides of what has become a bitter racial debate met, talked, drank beer, agreed to disagree and promised to meet and talk again.

Nobody apologized and nobody changed their position. It was, for most practical purposes, a non-event that lasted 40 minutes and probably won't do much to stem the simmering racism that still runs through the fabric of America.

So many conspiracy theories, so few facts

"Hey, we're makin' history here, we're makin' real history here," said a legislator talking about Congress and inadvertently echoing Dustin Hoffman's "I'm walkin' here, I'm walkin' here" line in the movie "Midnight Cowboy.''

Well, uh, sure. We're all making history, most of which, thankfully, will not be recorded or remembered. But maybe the operative word is "real" history.

Why, recently, are so many Americans being taken in by conspiracy theories? Why are so many denying real history?

When wingnuts take center stage

The Framers of the Constitution were relaxed -- many Republicans might say careless -- in laying out the qualifications to hold office in their new government.

Members of the House needed only to be 25 years old, citizens of the United States for seven years and inhabitants of the states that elected them. Requirements for senators were a little tougher -- 30 years old and citizens for nine years.

Will Obama ever escape the conspiracy nuts?

Will Barack Obama ever be free of conspiracy theories? During the presidential campaign, he was bedeviled by false rumors that he was a "secret" Muslim.

Now fringe elements charge that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, and later renounced his U.S. citizenship to become a citizen of Indonesia -- all of which renders his election illegitimate.

To hell with Michael Vick

Some people just cannot wait for dog killer Michael Vick to return to professional football. The only thing this inter-species sadist deserves is universal derision.

Let's re-cap exactly why the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback pleaded guilty to running a dog-fighting ring, earning him 18 months in federal prison and house arrest until July 20.

Let’s pack heat at the U.S. Capitol

It isn't often that those of us struggling to be coherent in our chosen profession praise the work of our competitors, but the other day E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post made a suggestion that deserves passing -- on despite the fact it has little or no chance of ever being carried out.

Obama’s phony transparency

Transparency, said President Barack Obama in a memo not long after he took the oath of office, was going to be a "touchstone" of his administration. His advisors then gathered around, breaking into a paroxysm of giggles interlaced with assurances to each other that dumbbell Americans would actually buy this stuff.

What fun to have power, they laughed. What fun!

‘Hope’ rhetoric no longer sells in Ohio

Hope and jobs are in short supply in Ohio eight months after President Barack Obama won the recession-battered state in the 2008 election with promises of a better future.

"People were looking for a savior to get us out of this mess and that's why they voted for Obama," said Jeff Fravor, 55, a retired train conductor on his way to breakfast on the outskirts of Toledo.

"I've nothing against Obama personally, but he's new to the job and 'hope' won't fix this mess."

Americans sour on Obama’s health plan, policies

President Barack Obama's struggling Presidency took another hit as new polls show more and more Americans now feel his health care reform proposals are "a bad idea" and an increasing number want him to slow down his spending sprees and work instead on reducing the national debt.

Obama's job approval rating continues to slide, down to 53 percent in the latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal Poll and 42 percent of those polled say the President's health care plan is a bad idea -- a change of 10 percentage points in the last 30 days.

Can Obama drink his way out of trouble?

 President Barack Obama hosts a white police officer and an eminent black scholar at the White House on Thursday, hoping in the process to quell a heated national furor over racial profiling.

Obama was to welcome distinguished Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates and police sergeant Jim Crowley for 6 pm (2200 GMT) beers at the White House, hoping to turn the page on a controversy over race that erupted during a July 16 incident at the scholar's home.