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Middle America

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NEWS
December 31, 1989 | By Edward J. Sozanski, Inquirer Art Critic
The only way to appreciate Thomas Hart Benton's virtues as a painter - and despite a generally negative critical consensus, he did possess some - is to think of him strictly as someone who apotheosized a particular and peculiar period in American life. Benton's art makes sense today only when considered as an element of the American reaction to World War I. That catastrophe, in which the United States played the decisive role, generated an isolationist spirit that lasted until the next world war. While American isolationism was primarily a political attitude, it also was cultural.
NEWS
March 27, 1993 | By ELLEN GOODMAN
I am just off the plane when my welcoming and perhaps warning committee offers me a description of their hometown. "Well, first of all, our town is really conservative. " This one-sentence briefing is given confidentially, F.Y.I. The three greeters are like-minded women who are happy in their place and yet regard themselves as exceptions to its political rule. They agree, in unison, that conservatism is the rule. But by this morning, I have become attuned to such political proclamations.
NEWS
March 26, 1989 | By Andrew Cassel, Inquirer Staff Writer
I was lying near the gazebo on the grass beneath a small sign that said, "Keep Off the Grass. " I didn't care. Let Oskaloosa's finest haul me off to jail. I'd probably sleep pretty well there, and it would take less energy than walking back to the campsite. Brian, my fellow traveler, had gone off to look for Brenda the masseuse, the thought of whose therapeutic fingers had motivated him most of that day. All afternoon he had been rehearsing the speech, in which he promised to quit his job and leave his wife, if she would only knead his calves once more.
NEWS
January 30, 1995
WHITMAN GETS RAVE REVIEWS IN LONDON Golfer, mountain-bike rider, basketball player and, indeed, fox hunter, (New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd) Whitman, a rangy 48-year-old, has emerged as the strong early favorite to run as the Republican candidate for vice president in the 1996 election. . . . Whitman has a patrician manner and was brought up in a 200-year-old mansion. Above all, in the view of a former adviser to Ronald Reagan who now works with Whitman, she has just the right image for Middle America.
NEWS
November 12, 2012 | By Robert W. Patterson
President Obama may have scored a narrow victory Tuesday night, barely winning 50 percent of the popular vote. Yet his squeaker of a triumph not only represents a bigger loss for the Party of Lincoln, but also offers a critically important lesson. Republicans and their standard bearer, Mitt Romney, were confident of consigning Obama to the same ash heap as the failed Jimmy Carter presidency. But Election Day hit them like a ton of bricks. Extending the tragic reversal of their three landslides in the 1980s, the GOP failed for the fifth time in six presidential elections to capture the vote of the people.
NEWS
December 20, 1990 | BY CAL THOMAS
The decision by William Bennett not to accept the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee reinforces the seriousness of the party's dilemma. The GOP is not just a ship without a captain. Nor a ship without a rudder. It is a party without a ship! It has no sense of direction, no destination in mind, and no visible means of getting there anyway. President Bush went to Camp David last weekend with a list of candidates for the party post. It would have been better if he had taken a list of issues and positions the party could use to redefine itself and prove to the voters why Republicans, not Democrats, ought to be elected to office in 1992.
NEWS
April 24, 1989 | BY CAL THOMAS
Perhaps the weakest excuse given by those whose private and professional behavior has raised questions about ethics and integrity is the one now heard increasingly among some politicians, journalists and broadcast executives that the standards are changing, catching many in the backwash of a new wave of Puritanism. Speaker Jim Wright's initial defense against the House Ethics Committee's 69 charges of impropriety was that he did not "knowingly" transgress any "accepted practice" of the House.
NEWS
November 29, 1994 | BY JERRY LASKOWSKI
Watching the bombardment of analysis following the elections, I have come to realize just how out of touch the politicos really are, not to mention the sanctimonious members of the media. Terms such as "anti-incumbent" or "anti-Democratic" have become the politically correct terminology used to explain Middle America's mood. Thanks for letting us know what we said on Election Day. And a special thanks to Arkansas Bill for his ignoble interpretation of the results: that the people really do support his agenda, and the expatriation of the left wing of the House and Senate is somehow an endorsement of his policies.
NEWS
March 23, 2014 | By Jim Rutter, For The Inquirer
I could easily dismiss Laughter on the 23rd Floor as harmless nostalgia. Neil Simon's 1993 play takes place in 1953, when he and "the finest writing staff in the history of TV" produced the weekly sketches for Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows . Simon's semiautobiographical piece, now at Bristol Riverside Theatre, disguises or blends the main players: He renames himself Lucas Brickman (Jason Silverman), Caesar becomes Max Prince (David Edwards), and Mel Brooks turns up as Ira Stone (Ben Lloyd)
NEWS
June 3, 1988 | By BILL KENT, Special to the Daily News
If you think you've heard the last word in male ego, macho bluster and pompous pride, you haven't heard from tough-talking Andrew Dice "The Dice Man" Clay. "It's simple: I'm the best. There has never been anyone like the Dice Man - and there never will. It's almost like I'm Elvis as a stand-up comic, but he's dead and I'm the best. I'm better than Murphy and Pryor, though I give them my respect. "Bill Cosby says he's the best. I say to him, 'Why you gotta talk slow and act old?
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
March 23, 2014 | By Jim Rutter, For The Inquirer
I could easily dismiss Laughter on the 23rd Floor as harmless nostalgia. Neil Simon's 1993 play takes place in 1953, when he and "the finest writing staff in the history of TV" produced the weekly sketches for Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows . Simon's semiautobiographical piece, now at Bristol Riverside Theatre, disguises or blends the main players: He renames himself Lucas Brickman (Jason Silverman), Caesar becomes Max Prince (David Edwards), and Mel Brooks turns up as Ira Stone (Ben Lloyd)
NEWS
March 24, 2013
Taking up Church's chalk Like art critic Edward Sozanski, I, too, am mourning the loss of long-time Barnes Foundation instructor Barton Church ("Sic Transit Gloria Merion," March 17). I knew Church because of my Barnes studies: first in Violette de Mazia's class, then in Angelo Pinto's, and finally many years later in his own class, "Traditions. " By that point, I was teaching for the Violette de Mazia Foundation and serving as its education director. Church encouraged me in class and on Sundays, when we were at the foundation preparing for our next class.
NEWS
March 19, 2013 | By Robert W. Patterson
When the Philadelphia Electric Co. hired my father as an engineer in 1946, little did the freshly minted graduate of Tufts University and the Navy V-12 program realize that he had hit the jackpot. For the next 41 years, he and his wife would prosper from a rarity today: remarkable job stability, regular salary increases, and gold-standard benefits that enabled them - on a single "family wage" - to raise five children and send them to college. Moreover, his coveted compensation package was graced with a defined-benefit pension and health-care coverage at retirement for him and my mom, including survivor's benefits after he passed away.
NEWS
November 12, 2012 | By Robert W. Patterson
President Obama may have scored a narrow victory Tuesday night, barely winning 50 percent of the popular vote. Yet his squeaker of a triumph not only represents a bigger loss for the Party of Lincoln, but also offers a critically important lesson. Republicans and their standard bearer, Mitt Romney, were confident of consigning Obama to the same ash heap as the failed Jimmy Carter presidency. But Election Day hit them like a ton of bricks. Extending the tragic reversal of their three landslides in the 1980s, the GOP failed for the fifth time in six presidential elections to capture the vote of the people.
NEWS
July 21, 2009 | By Tom Brokaw
Walter Cronkite was born in Missouri and educated in Texas, and he grew up to become the most trusted man in America by a vote of his countrymen. He was a man with many sides: sailor, race-car driver, bon vivant, and, most of all, journalist and role model to so many of us who shared his profession. For more than half a century, Cronkite was in the middle of the biggest stories of his time. He covered World War II on bombing runs out of England and on the ground at the Battle of the Bulge for United Press, the clickety-clack, news-bulletin wire service that formed his journalistic sensibilities for the rest of his career.
NEWS
October 19, 2004 | By Dean P. Johnson
Please allow me to introduce myself: I am the middle. My annual income places me in the middle of the middle class. I am married and have four children - two school-aged, two gaining fast. I recently turned 40 and am now considered middle-aged, though I hope to stick around a bit longer. Though I do not live in Middle America, I do live in New Jersey, which is a Middle Atlantic state. I work 45 hours or so a week and enjoy my job most of the time. I am happy to have my health almost as much as I am happy to have my health benefits.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 2002 | By Jonathan Storm INQUIRER TELEVISION CRITIC
What makes the American woman tick? American men don't know what makes any woman tick. The American culture can never figure out who its favorite daughter - homemaker, CEO, sex bomb, scientist - is supposed to be. The American woman herself, all 140 million examples of her, seems to have a different idea of her identity about every 10 minutes. So here you have this pageant, with pages of rules that specifically categorize the qualities it seeks in a woman. And the woman it chooses every year is flamboyantly and repeatedly declared, in one of the most annoyingly memorable songs of all time, to be "our ideal.
NEWS
September 14, 2000 | By Linda Chavez
A friend's e-mail got me thinking. "I guess Gore's vision is that now that his boss 'ended welfare as we know it' for the underclass, he will institute welfare as we have never known it for the rest of us," he writes. Of course, this is exactly what Al Gore is trying to do. Gore's economic proposals - everything from prescription drug benefits for the elderly to new programs to train women for high-tech jobs - are nothing more than a new welfare state for the middle class. And, apparently, a lot of Americans, especially women, like the idea, if recent polls are any indicator.
NEWS
December 15, 1997 | By R.A. Zaldivar, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
Betting that a strong economy will continue to pump up government revenues and quickly eliminate federal budget deficits, Republicans in Congress are laying the groundwork for election-year tax cuts in 1998. The possibilities include more breaks for married couples and investors, tax-sheltered education accounts that would help parents send children to private schools, and a new idea: middle-class income tax reduction. "I am committed to a strong effort for another tax-reduction bill next year," House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Archer (R., Texas)
ENTERTAINMENT
April 27, 1997 | By Kathy Boccella, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
At 9 o'clock Wednesday night, Marie Summers and her friends will gather around a television in her Old City apartment to watch a show whose lead character is very much like them - single, female and gay. "When I was growing up in South Philly, the people on TV didn't look like anybody I knew," said the 46-year-old printer. "I didn't know any men who went to work in a suit like on Father Knows Best and Donna Reed. When All in the Family came on, I understood that. They were more like the people I knew than anything I had seen up until then.
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