March 31, 2014 |
Dear President Obama: Last week, you were super-busy in Europe, warning Vladimir Putin not to invade eastern Ukraine. Meanwhile, Moscow's takeover of Crimea is a done deal, and there's even more worrying stuff going on elsewhere. Your CIA chief, John Brennan, just told a House panel that al-Qaeda central is now using Syrian territory to train Western jihadis to attack Europe and America. In Afghanistan (remember Afghanistan?), Taliban bombers are threatening this week's elections.
January 29, 2014 |
This year's Sundance vision of the world - terrible, lean, bleak, demanding, a whole lot unfair, and maybe a little whimsical - was 30-30. It was a showcase for a generation of filmmakers coming into their 30s in an event that itself turned 30. The 110 films spread over 10 sections seemed to say, "Enough nonsense, here's what's really happening behind the curtain of American life. " So all you strivers out there in a depressed economy, take a look at Whiplash , written and directed by Damien Chazelle and one of the festival's opening set of four films.
November 7, 2013 |
NEW JERSEY'S produced great leaders in the past - that blue-eyed crooner who rose to Chairman of the Board, or the loner on guitar who became The Boss, and that neurotic wiseguy who became leader of the Soprano crime family. But the Garden State hasn't produced a U.S. president in more than 100 years (Grover Cleveland), and out by icy Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire, up in the bleachers at wrestling matches in Davis County, Iowa, and all along the Reedy River in Greenville, S.C., Republicans aren't quite ready to place all their dreams into Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in 2016.
July 27, 2013
By Carter Eskew Republicans are greeting President Obama's summer push on the economy with derision. To House Speaker John Boehner and others, the president seems like an aging rock star whose recycled hits became stale years ago. Yet he still tours, playing to smaller and smaller arenas. While the president is unlikely to be celebrated for his economic record, his presidency marks the end of Republican orthodoxy on economic matters dating to the late 1970s. The Republican frame for 40 years has been that Democrats are the party of tax, spend, and regulation, while Republicans are the party of tax cuts, austerity, and deregulation.
July 22, 2013 |
A national urban policy would not have saved Detroit, but the city's bankruptcy filing Thursday was a vivid reminder of how the problems of America's cities have long ceased to be a focal point of the political debate in presidential campaigns or the policy debate in Washington. The closest the candidates came in 2012 to the specific topic of the cities was the contentious argument between President Obama and Mitt Romney over the federal bailout of the auto industry. Obama pummeled Romney for an article he had written for the New York Times in late 2008 opposing federal intervention.
July 12, 2013 |
* THE NEWSROOM. 10 p.m. Sunday, HBO. AARON SORKIN is not going to blink. And why should he? As "The Newsroom" returns to HBO, "The West Wing" creator's series about cable news is still the show that a year ago I called "both wonderful and terrible" - a quote that inexplicably failed to make it into any ads - and is still entertaining. In a way that only occasionally makes me want to throw things at the screen. Picking up 14 months after the events of the first season finale, Sunday's premiere introduces us to a $1,500-an-hour lawyer played by Marcia Gay Harden.
July 5, 2013 |
A new book is coming out about the 2012 presidential election, and the juiciest tidbit - according to several news agencies that received leaked advance copies of the book - is this: Gov. Christie, the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention, threatened to drop an expletive on national TV if the biographical video that preceded his speech was cut because of time constraints. Christie allegedly asked the director of the convention if he "had ever heard anyone say [expletive]
June 3, 2013 |
"MITT Romney doesn't get it. " That's what Michael Nutter said at last year's Democratic National Convention. The mayor jabbed hard and fast at the Republican contender on the subject of education. Never mind that Philadelphia's schools have been in perpetual crisis for years. And here we are again, $304 million short. His plan? Try to keep the blame on Harrisburg. If they won't raise vice taxes, don't blame Nutter for the fact that our kids' schools, if they are still open, do not have foreign language or music or art or counselors or nurses or lunch-room aides or secretaries or security or disciplinarians or librarians or books or paper.
May 15, 2013 |
When it comes to presidential elections in Pennsylvania, Republicans are like Tantalus, the figure of Greek mythology. The man whose name lives on in the word tantalize was doomed to stand in a pool of water that he could never drink, while grabbing for fruit from a tree he could never reach - for eternity. The Keystone State always looks winnable for Republicans, on paper, but in each of the last six presidential elections, it has slipped away. It's a strategic mirage. In 1988, George H.W. Bush cracked the code, clawing his way to 50 percent of the vote in the Philadelphia media market, home to up to 42 percent of votes cast statewide.
April 9, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The White House on Sunday warned Republicans that a "my way or the highway" approach would spell the GOP's defeat in the budget negotiations and told its Democratic allies that they, too, will have to bend on President Obama's delayed spending plan, set to be released this week. White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said the White House was willing to work with rank-and-file Republicans to come up with an outline that both jump-starts the economy and reduces the nation's red ink. Yet Pfeiffer also told the GOP that stubbornness among their party's leadership would only yield public embarrassment of the sort the GOP faced last year when voters rejected Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's economic proposals and gave Obama a second term.