Speaking Truth to Problems

March 19th, 2010

I have two new heroes this week: Diane Ravitch and Dennis Kucinich don?t have a whole lot in common, but both of them exhibited the rare ability to hang onto their principles and change their minds at the same time. We could use more leaders like them.

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Before We Forget

March 8th, 2010

During the run-up to the 2002 Congressional election, I was traveling in South Georgia. One ad, run repeatedly, caught my attention, because it featured candid shots of New York Congressman Charles Rangel whose wavy silver locks brushed the collar of his custom shirt in a style that was more New Orleans than Savannah.

Although race was never mentioned, the voiceover proclaimed that if Democrats won control of the House of Representatives, voters could look forward to the ascension of this obviously dark-skinned man to the Ways and Means Committee chair.

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Corporate Supreme

January 23rd, 2010

Years ago, when I was in a quandary about the direction of my career, I got some sound advice: Never fall in love with a corporation, because it?s constitutionally unable to reciprocate.

This week, the Supreme Court created a limited redress to that issue in Citizens United v the Federal Elections Commission, giving corporations unfettered permission to spend their general funds on the campaigns of politicians they favor, and turning them into ?a real live boy? as Slate put it. Who says money can?t buy you love? If the Rehnquist court handed Republicans the presidency in 2000, it?s hard to believe the Roberts court hasn?t handed them the Congress in 2010.

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The Limits of Narrative

December 3rd, 2009

Even before President Obama spoke Tuesday night, the news had leaked that he had authorized 30,000 new troops for Afghanistan.

I didn?t think his speech would reassure me, but it did. A little. What a pleasure it is to hear a president with a sophisticated mind, an ordered thought process and the vocabulary to match them! For people like me, it?s the ultimate seduction.

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Family Matters

November 12th, 2009

Democrat Representative Bart Stupak?s end run around the leadership during the House vote on health care reform stunned me, but it shouldn?t have.

All week long I?d been getting emails from Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) that access to abortion was threatened, but Speaker Nancy Pelosi was and is a supporter of reproductive freedom, and it never occurred to me that she?d have to choose between passing health care reform and compromising women?s right to decide what to about unplanned pregnancy.

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