Thursday September 18, 2014
February 6th, 2014
“It’s been a bit cold here,” my dad told me on a recent phone call. He lives in Chicago; I’m in San Diego. The next time I turned on the news, I saw headlines screaming “Polar Vortex!” with sub-zero temperatures across the Midwest.
So the economy, it turns out, is better than it's been since Barack Obama took office. We are better off today than we were five years ago.
Oh, I guess we knew that the housing market is recovering and unemployment is down, and some baby boomers are actually beginning to retire. But it hardly feels like morning in America.
The political profile of economic inequality in America has certainly been growing. So has the political confusion over what overcoming inequality will take. Unfortunately, President Barack Obama’s latest State of the Union address may only add to that confusion.
Obama could — and should — have declared a clear and compelling agenda for combating the concentration of income and wealth that has left America so staggeringly unequal.
Against all odds, prekindergarten is gaining ground.
President Barack Obama called again in his State of the Union address for Congress to support high-quality preschool for all, noting that 30 states are already moving ahead on this front (including New York).
Will our fossil-fueled economy make humans go the way of the dinosaurs?
There are plenty of reasons to think so. Coal, oil, and gas continue to account for 87 percent of global energy consumption despite scientific consensus that drastic change is essential for avoiding a climate catastrophe.
So, we’d better heed one of Barack Obama’s most memorable declarations in his State of the Union address:
Male lawmakers should not even vote on abortion.
That was Alan Simpson's position before the Wyoming Republican retired from the Senate -- and it still is.
Abortion is a "terrible" and "hideous thing," as I recently heard him reiterate in a seminar on the federal budget at Harvard's Shorenstein Center. "But it's a deeply intimate and personal thing. ... Men legislators shouldn't even vote on it."
The Republican Party spent much of its winter meeting last week adopting reforms suggested by its 2013 selfie, which was a snapshot of all that is wrong with the party ("scary," "narrow minded," dominated by "stuffy old men," and unlikely to win nationally unless it attracts minorities and women).
When it comes to dealing with women -- in particular, when it comes to dealing with issues of women, power and sexuality -- there is a surprising parallel between bumbling Republicans and bumbling media. Republicans have a hard time talking about women and sexuality. The media have difficulty talking about women and power. Both end up in trouble, in part because they are oblivious to the underlying discomfort that contributes to the offensive conduct or remark.
All of a sudden, early childhood education is really, really popular. Everybody's favorite. If early childhood education were an actor, it would be Tom Hanks or Meryl Streep. If it were a video game, it would be Candy Crush or Angry Birds, minus the spyware.