Thursday, July 10, 2014

Fwd: JULY 9, 2014


     It's been kind of  a quiet, lazy summer so far, which if fine with this quiet, lazy reporter.  


   My childhood baseball team--grownups aren't allowed to support them, they're too awful--are in last place in their division by, I think, nineteen games.  Only recently they had closed to within ten, but they've gone back to work.  Need to ask which team?

    And it has nothing to do with work, but strawberries are coming back!  Formerly wonderful, they changed to beautiful but tasteless.  In recent years they've

started tasting like the real thing again. 

     So life goes on and getting old is sometimes even kind of fun.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Fwd: JULY 3, 2014

      I saw a political column about Hillary Clinton's unofficial presidential campaign.  One struck me as about right.  Many more and we'd all be saying, "Why is she running so hard?"  The job she seeks, after all--president, we assume--isn't available to the voters until the year after next.

      In the meantime she wants, I assume, to look like the right woman for the job. She would be the first woman president, of course.  Barack Obama was the first black eight years ago.  If he could break one barrier, you can presuably break the other.

     Avoid overconfidence is my advice.  Remember that the Democrats had a sure frontrunner once before, Edmund Muskie.  He disappeared and never saw the White House.  Neither did the man who beat him, George McGovern.

     Buy hey, go for it.  It's a fun ride mostly.  Ask your husband.  And if you win, Lord knows what lies ahead.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fwd: JUNE 25, 2014

     We had elections Tuesday, primary elections, so you learned which Republican Republicans liked, which Democrat Democrats, but not which candidate would win a real election.  Still, there were hints.

     An incumbent Republican senator beat off a Tea Party challenger in Mississippi;  good news for GOP incumbents elsewhere?  A Democratic Lt. Gov. won his party's gubernatorial nomination in Maryland but must face a GOP cabinet member in the fall.

     Democrat Charlie Rangel of New York, who's been in Congress about since they invented it--no, only forty years or so--is expected to win another term.

Straws in the wind.  Easy to catch.  Hard to read.  November will tell all.  Well, mostly all.

Fwd: JUNE 26, 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fwd: JUNE 14, 2014

    There's something unsettling in the air when the world's two strongest countries threaten each other with war, especially when they have enough nuclear weapons, as the U.S. and Russia do, to destroy the planet.  We got through several of those;  if you're old enough, you remember Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev telling American president John Kennedy, "We will bury you."

      Nobody buried anybody but the talk was certainly warlike.  This time it seems a little more civilized.  Maybe we're just lucky.  I hope I'm right.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

JUNE 11, 2014

     Republican Congressman Eric Cantor of Virginia, the Majority Leader in the Republican-controlled House, has lost a primary in Virginia and therefore lost his seat in Congress when the new one meets next year.  People are talking.

     Traditional, moderate Republicans always travel these days looking behind them to see if ultraconservatives are after them.  With Cantor, they were.  The Washington Post reports he lost to "an obscure professor with tea party backing."

     The ultra-right poses several questions for the rest of the party.  Can they beat you, as they did Cantor?  Can they force you to join the Democrats to survive?  Are they the GOP's wave of the future, and so on?

     Party activists on both sides will try to answer these and other questions this election year, which will make it more interesting than it would otherwise have been.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Fwd: june 6, 2014

      People are being very picky about this prisoner swap--what was it, five of theirs for one of ours?  Unfair, the critics say, dangerous, racist even.

     Well, maybe, but wars, cold or hot or whatever this one is supposed to be, are not widely seen as a fair fight among equals.  We are good, of course;  they are evil-minded thugs.  And why not return some bad guys?  We save all sorts of things like patrol guard time, food and soap.

     And we knew we'd treat their guys fairly;  what did we know about how they'd treat ours?

    C'mon...we got one of our own back alive and well.  Let's cheer some, huh?

Friday, May 30, 2014

MAY 30, 2014

      I think moderation is probably the wisest principle on which to run a democracy like ours.  I think President Obama knows this, which is why he's a pretty good president.      


    There are times when moderation won't work, of course.  When Lincoln said, "This country cannot exist half slave and half free," he may have known he was invoking our bloodiest war.

     The trajectory of putting a man on the moon or all men into the voting booth would have been different with out the extraordinary measures of Kennedy and Johnson. 


     When Franklin Roosevelt promised to heal "a third of a nation, ill-clad, ill-housed, ill-fed," he knew moderation wouldn't do it.


      But mostly it will.  We have problems with gun violence because have so much of it.  Fewer with knife or hammer assaults.  Moderate laws work there.

    So I think we can look on Obama as a moderate, successful president with one of our two wars over;  the other, ending; and the economy recovering – moderately. 


     I have no idea who our next president will be.  But I think our national fondness for moderation is one reason the Tea Party won't score big gains this fall.