Books to curl up with in cold weather – pt. 1, fiction

The holiday season signals a time for relaxation, fewer meetings, fewer blogs, and more time for friends, movies and reading. Here are some recent offerings in the latter category. The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell, author of Hamnet,  draws again on her ability to breathe life into an historical figure and lure the reader far …

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Two cheers for democracy!!

Mid-term exuberance may be irrational, but surely we are entitled to enjoy the respite from the deep anxiety and foreboding of the days leading up to the election. The dreaded Red Wave turned into a Pink Dribble, and many of our historically-driven worst fears were not realized. We are still a deeply divided country, and …

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Will Dems pay a price for 2022 messaging muddle?

It was always going to be a tough mid-term election, based on history. Only in 1934 and 2002 did a first-term President’s party not suffer Congressional losses.  In those two cases, the public rallied to an existential crisis, the first domestic and the second, foreign.  In the wake of the January 6, 2021 insurrection, following …

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Time for Oprah to speak out against Oz

Getty Images The critically important Pennsylvania Senate race between Lt. Governor John Fetterman and TV celebrity Mehmet Oz – whom Oprah Winfrey used to call “America’s Doctor – is too close to call.   Winfrey gave Oz his big break. He made scores of appearances on her show, then got a TV gig of his …

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NO on #1 – Great concept, but too flawed

I’ve been struggling with Q. #1, which calls for a new four percent tax on income over a million dollars, to be spent on education and transportation.  Initially it sounded like a terrific idea - providing a substantial dedicated stream of financial support for much-needed education and transportation priorities to supplement annual budgets. Payment for …

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Yes on Q. 4 – preserving driver’s licenses for the undocumented

Several years back, I was driving west on Route 9 in Wellesley. While stopped in the passing lane at a red light, my car was hit from behind. Since the light was still red, I got out to speak to the driver behind to suggest we both pull over to the nearby Mobil station to …

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Books to settle down with in autumn, pt. 2- non-fiction

Factfulness by Hans Rosling was recommended by friends Catherine and Dana at a summertime brunch. They urged the book as an antidote to our discussion about the dystopian world situation. The book reveals itself by its subtitle: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think.  The late …

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Books to settle down with in autumn, pt. 1 – fiction

The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris is an amazing debut novel by a 29-year-old man about racial and social tensions in the deep South in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War.  Harris’ prose is luscious; his characters are often odd, and complex.  His explorations of their loves, animosities, challenges and misadventures are many-layered …

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Ron DeSantis’s Case of Raging Hypocrisy

Ron DeSantis has had quite a summer. Running for re-election in 2022, positioning himself for a 2024 run for President, Florida's Republican governor has been trolling Democrats, whipping up culture wars, cruelly using asylum-seeking Venezuelans as campaign props, and attacking Joe Biden. He contemptuously calls Biden “Brandon” and “the American Nero”  and derides Dr. Fauci …

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Biden’s Covid declaration an unforced error

It felt a little like my gasp when Hillary uttered the term "deplorables" to describe Trump supporters. That meant trouble ahead. Biden's poorly qualified assertion that the pandemic is over may not have been quite that explosive. But it was a thoughtless communications error. Sure, we're not where we were in 2020. Some of us …

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