Politics

Media Bashathon

March 25, 2009

I usually wield no club in the intensifying mainstream media bashathon. But Todd Gitlin, whose journalism bona fides make his views worth a read, rightly hammers Big-Time Reporters’ coverage of President Obama’s press conference last night. Petulance born of arrogance is especially repugnant when it leads to stories focusing on style at the expense of […]

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Commode Commentary

March 6, 2009

The bathroom at Mississippi Studios in Portland is the home of succinct political commentary that summarizes the sentiments of many people these days. A message typed on a sheet of paper taped to the wall above the toilet advises patrons to flush twice. Below the message someone has scrawled an addendum: It’s a long way […]

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Shining Light on Truth

February 24, 2009

Rarely do I find commentary as incisive and articulate as that of Scott Horton. His “No Comment” blog for Harper’s Magazine illuminates current affairs not with polemics but cohesive facts and analysis. Reading his work I see the fog of he-said-she-said media coverage lift to reveal what looks like truth.

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Grading Presidential Language

February 10, 2009

This is akin to shooting fish in a barrel, I suppose. But if you treasure words and how they’re put together, you’ll enjoy Mark Nickolas’ simple but clever idea: use Microsoft Word’s readability tool to compare the language Barack Obama used Monday answering questions at his first presidential press conference versus that of George W. […]

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Making Things Right

February 8, 2009

A story of redemption and grace starts my morning: 48 years after beating a prominent member of the Civil Rights Movement, a former Ku Klux Klan member apologizes in person with a handshake and hug. “I tried to block it out of my mind. It kept coming back,” says Elwin Wilson, who attacked John Lewis, […]

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Past Bailout Monuments

February 6, 2009

“Socialism is apparently what is created when a president you do not like spends money on things of which you do not approve,” writes Mark Schone of Salon. He zings the Rush Limbaugh crowd of Stimulus Bill opponents by pointing to the infrastructure projects the federal government financed during the Great Depression. But as he […]

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Trust in Obama

February 5, 2009

How many people are paying attention to President Obama now that the hoopla over his election and inauguration has died down? Not enough. Listen to this video clip (requires a scroll down) of what he said today about our stricken economy. Better yet, read the transcript of his speech after the clip. He understands what […]

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GOP Busted

January 29, 2009

This homemade Obama sign in a yard not far from my house seems more appropriate now than during the campaign. Without the new president’s leadership, the economy would indeed end up busted. Like anyone, I don’t like the prospect of Himalaya-like deficits. But nearly every economist whom I’ve seen quoted says the only way to […]

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Sam Adams and Blood of Jesus

January 25, 2009

I’ve come around to the view that Portland Mayor Sam Adams should not resign for lying about his relationship with another gay man. I say man because that’s how Beau Breedlove describes himself at age seventeen, though both say the sexual side of their brief relationship began when Breedlove turned eighteen. As awful as Adam’s […]

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Inauguration Day

January 20, 2009

My day began with champagne and two friends, Benjamin Alexander Clarke and Kelley Burke, at an elbow-to-elbow cafe, Krakow Koffeehouse, where we watched President Obama sworn in. It ended with a neighborhood potluck dinner and never-to-forget, flag-waving march with 40 other people through the streets of Portland.

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Perfect Prelude

January 19, 2009

An email promoted tonight’s showing of vintage film footage from the civil rights movement. The location: a pizza place on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Northeast Portland. It seemed a fitting way to spend the evening with wife and little boy. So we sat with about fifty people we didn’t know — white, black, […]

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Finally, a Leader

January 17, 2009

My intense bias aside, it’s hard to imagine John McCain providing the depth and quality of leadership that our soon-to-be new president has demonstrated. Clearly Barack Obama’s first priority is leadership, not ideology. That means elevating pragmatism over politics and candidly communicating often with the American people:

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Taking Back the USA

January 4, 2009

On yet another snowy Portland night come this news in a flier left on our front porch: neighbors up the street are holding an Inauguration Night Party and Parade. Besides dinner, patriotic songs, and apple pie for dessert, we’re invited to carry President Obama signs and American flags, and bang on pots and pans in […]

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