Headlines to look for in 2020

2020 vision gives us clarity to see the world around us. 2020 hindsight is a way of understanding where we got it wrong in the past.  Today, my New Year's gift to you is a list of headlines I hope to see in 2020. Some are the triumph of hope over experience. Some are aspirational …

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Getting beyond the wall

It's motif  #1, the President bragging about having the biggest, being the smartest, (“I alone can fix it,”), master negotiator and  uber deal maker.  We can dispute his hyperbolic claims, but we all can agree that under his leadership Americans now  have the longest-lasting (partial) government shutdown in our  nation's history.  800,000 government workers and …

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Return to checks and balances brings hope

I have to post quickly before events reactivate the despair and cynicism of the last two years.  I felt a smile emerge when watching the swearing-in of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Imagine the pleasure of hearing about Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution, establishing the Congress as a coequal branch …

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Will the Senate nuke itself?

Once upon a time, when students learned civics  in high school, we were taught that one of the  inspired decisions of  our Founding Fathers was the creation of a bicameral Congress with different yet complementary roles.   The House was closer to the people, its members serving two-year terms. It was the "cup," containing the passions and …

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Election 2014 – is consensus as remote as ever?

Tip O'Neill famously said all politics is local.  Yesterday, Republicans won big by turning that adage on its head. They nationalized state races and turned President Obama's unpopularity and his administration's failures into anvils around the necks of Democratic candidates.  Even states that Obama carried turned against him. A happy exception to that trend was …

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Washington artful dodgers postpone responsibility

Don’t believe the hype: Ted Cruz and Tea Partiers weren’t big losers. Most other people were. The recent partial shut-down and near default of the US government led by rogue  deficit hawks cost American taxpayers at least $24 billion (according to Standard & Poor's), paid furloughed workers not to work,  cut economic growth and, as …

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Final Debate – six days left to election

Last night's Senate debate between Democrat Ed Markey and Republican Gabriel Gomez was a schoolyard scramble to see who could make the "old and stale" label stick. Gomez says it's Markey who's old and stale because he's been in Congress for 37 years.  Markey says it's Gomez, because he's touting old and stale Republican ideas, like opposition to assault …

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Kerry’s the man, at least for State

I don't doubt it. Senator John Kerry could be a close to perfect  Secretary of State.  All aspects of his life have prepared him for the job, save for running a large bureaucracy.  UN Ambassador Susan Rice has been touted as the President's first choice.  They have been close allies since she started advising him on foreign policy …

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Election outcome clearcut; the future, not so much

Last night's outcome was clearcut and gratifying, but the future is as complicated as ever. President Obama performed beyond many expectations in the electoral votes, garnering nearly 100 more than Romney before final numbers are in from Florida.  Obama carried all the swing states but North Carolina. He won among women, minorities and young people - everyone but whites, …

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Loosen up, Lizzie

When Elizabeth Warren walked out on the convention stage last night, smiling and waving, ebullient, she seemed to radiate personality and warmth.  That sparkle dissipated when she got into her stump speech, slightly expanded for the occasion.  Except for some references to small business owners in Malden, Franklin and Worcester, it was nevertheless a perfect …

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