Cleveland: Keeping Christmas at Home
Ramona: The War on Happy Holidays
"I don't want public attention because I don't want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the US government is doing."
Media References, June 9-30, 2013 [Read more]
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So it turns out that New York University has bought its president a summer home on Fire Island (h/t Tenured Radical). Or rather, a special foundation associated with New York University has loaned the university president, John Sexton, around a million dollars to buy a beach house, and there seems a real possibility that much of that million-dollar mortgage will eventually be forgiven, so that Sexton won't have to pay it back. NYU has also made similar vacation-home loans to other top administrators and VIP faculty, at least some of them on the same forgive-over-time plan. This represents a brave new financial frontier in higher education. No other university buys its executives second houses. This seems like an obvious story of an out-of-control administration. But more importantly, it's the story of a board of trustees failing to do its job. [Read more]
[Read more]Sept. 1, 1948: Actor Robert Mitchum and starlet Lila Leeds were reportedly caught smoking marijuana during a police raid at the actress' Hollywood Hills home. Two others were also arrested.
Mitchum told police that he and another friend were in the neighborhood looking to buy a house when they stopped to visit Leeds and her roommate, dancer Vickie Evans.
I'm delighted about the Supreme Court's decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor. It's a triumph for human dignity, and also a triumph for federalism. The federal government should not be in the business of restricting the rights that individual states extend to citizens. If thirteen states see fit to recognize same-sex marriage, Washington should not interfere.
I admit it, my underdog leanings are with Edward Snowden. I'd like to see him avoid prosecution. Beyond that, I don't think it's necessary or important to prosecute him. Oddly enough, commodities trader and former fugitive villain Marc Rich died today. When I think about the U.S.'s real interest in Snowden, I can't help but thinkof Rich, safely snowed into Zug, Switzerland, making billions of dollars for years, out of reach of Rudy Giuliani, the man who had him indicted him for trading with Iran and for tax evasion. [Read more]
Last February, I wrote what columnists like to call a "think piece" about an alternative approach to gun control (with the implication that most punditry does not involve thinking).
My proposal was to tax gun manufacturers and retailers based on the lethality of their merchandise, as measured by crime statistics. The hope was to incentivize companies to create their own safeguards against misuse, in essence to financially discourage them from making weapons that appeal to criminals and from selling to customers who are likely to use the guns for crime.
Public debates over affirmative action in college admissions, such as all the hubbub about Fisher v. Texas (in which a not-so-qualified white student named Abigail Fisher sued before the Supreme Court to end affirmative action at the University of Texas), usually run into basic confusion about how college admission works in the first place. Opponents of affirmative action often call, loudly, for American colleges to "go back" to an admissions system that has never existed.
For fuck's sake.
The comments on some of these blogs are unbelievable. I'm specifically referring to a news item at TPM announcing that what's-his-face has made the move from China to Russia and will soon be traveling to Cuba with the intention of settling in Venezuela. Hero? America as a fascist dystopia? Obama as the worst dictator in the world?
Newsflash. If Obama is the worst dictator in the world, every single idiot claiming that to be true in yelling, hysterical, incredibly public fashion would not be here tomorrow.  [Read more]
Larry Meyer of Macroeconomic Advisers is a smart guy and, as a former Federal Reserve Governor, is one of the more looked to voices for opinions about Fed policy moves and appointments. He believes that Obama has essentially fired Ben Bernanke and that the president wasn't kind about it.
"This is really remarkable," said Meyer. "I almost fell off my chair when I heard the President's remarks last night. He basically fired Ben Bernanke on the spot, and gave a fairly tepid testimonial afterward." [Read more]
Hassan Rouhani, Iran's newly elected president, will serve for four years. By the end of his term, Iran and the U.S. will either reach an agreement, or they will go to war.
Last March, Obama told an Israeli television station that it would take "over a year or so" for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, the first time an American president stated a timeframe on the record. The dates coincide with a U.S. intelligence estimate during George W. Bush's administration: "sometime during the 2010-2015 time-frame." [Read more]
There is nothing wrong with being young. Nothing wrong with not having a high school diploma. Nothing wrong with being idealistic. Nothing wrong with distrusting the government if something they're doing doesn't strike you right.
There is something wrong with taking a job so sensitive to national security it requires a solemn oath to keep what you've seen secret, and within three months of your starting date you've already disregarded the oath and have stolen the very secrets you promised to protect. [Read more]
Just some things I don't want to see on any blogs anymore, anywhere. These words and phrases are now banned until further notice on all of the Internet. I will be working with my friends at the NSA to enforce this. By the way, they aren't all that prevalent at Dag. This is just stuff irking me on the rest of the Internet.
We the people...
Duly appointed officials...
Duly elected representatives (or president)...
He (She/They/It) broke his (her/their/its) oath... (I'm so sick of it).
Those who would trade freedom for security... (seriously, stop it. In the history of mankind, this quotation has never convinced anyone of anything and everyone has heard it a zillion times.) [Read more]
Go ahead, collect my phone records, track my websurfing, analyze my email. I don't give a damn.
I do not write this out of any loyalty to Obama or because I worry about the Terrorist Threat. I simply do not care about my data privacy and never have.
Why should I? My buying habits are ordinary, my emails are pedestrian, my phone calls would bore any spy to tears, my political opinions are very public and published under my own name. As long as no one spams me or steals my identity, why should I care what they do with my data? [Read more]
This morning, my favorite columnist in the world, David Brooks, gave his quick take on Edward Snowden, ultimately condemning him for antisocial behavior driven by a hyper-individualistic morality formed out of his refusal to conform to various social norms (he didn't finish high school, or community college, didn't want to be friends with his neighbor, hadn't put a ring on his girlfriend, no organized religion, etc.) [Read more]
In the 4 1/2 years I've been writing this blog I've never felt inclined to bring in a guest poster. Today I do, and I couldn't be happier that Briana Morganroth has agreed to let me reprint the essay she wrote about her thoughts on gun control.
She is the granddaughter of my friend, Ramona Moormann, the publisher of The Marcellus (MI) News (where my own pieces sometimes appear), and I first read this essay in her newspaper a couple of weeks ago.
But here--I'll let Ramona tell you about her granddaughter:  [Read more]
Back in the 2008 primaries (ah, those days that no progressive blogger out for anything other than a fight really misses) I though it was a big deal that Senator Obama didn't support people's right to bring class action civil suits against telephone carriers who broke privacy laws in order to share information with security agencies. [Read more]
Michele Bachmann to leave Washington to spend more time with her "family". Prompts the resurrection of FRIDAY FOLLIES. (What? Every Friday? Uh. . .we'll see how it goes.)
Five weeks after a terrorist attack on Boston, President Obama has declared that the War on Terror, "like all wars, must end." If I had told you a year ago that he would make such a speech a month and a half after a high-profile terrorist attack on a major American city, neither you nor I would have believed me. But the lessons of Boston drive home the wisdom of the President's decision. It showed us that a terrorist attack is meant to be lived through and that Americans are ready to live through one. And it showed us an excellent civilian response to a terrorist attack paired with a decidedly mixed paramilitary response.
I don't think there's much doubt that, in terms of law enforcement we are headed down a path that will lead to the prosecution of a journalist for publishing something classified. My guess is that the first target will not be a strictly mainstream journalist, but I could be wrong about that. It will almost certainly be a target that doesn't have much public sympathy. It's not going to be somebody who has revealed unmitigated wrongdoing. The Attorney General, whoever it is that first goes down this path, will want to contend with at best, a divided public. [Read more]
At last! Republicans have been awaiting this moment for five long years, the day that Obama finally gets his gate. You see, every two-term president has a defining scandal that renders him permanently villainous and/or ridiculous. By hallowed convention, the scandal must end with word "gate."
Nixon started it with the gate to begin all gates, Watergate. Ronald Reagan followed up with Irangate. Bill Clinton enthralled us with Monicagate. George W. Bush gave us Plamegate.
And now Obama has got his own gate...or rather his own gates. Since no single scandal is big enough bring him down, Republicans and pundits are eagerly gathering them up in a big stinking pile of nefariousness: IRSBenghAPgate! [Read more]