Tag Archives: Politics

A lesson from the master

What I’ve learned from twenty-nine years of reading Henry James is the cultivation of a private life, an interiority deepened by contact with our fellow men. The process is circular: the private life helps us understand friends and strangers. “I … Continue reading

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On the NFL

It’s not as if I need fresh reasons to loathe professional sports. To claim that there are politics-free spaces is to tacitly admit that you’re a privileged guy. If I kiss a boyfriend in a Starbucks, I worry about an … Continue reading

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Best anti-war songs

“My idea has always been that if we could bring the mothers of the various nations together, then there would be no more war.” — Howards End Mrs. Wilcox was correct, only substitute “awesome bangers” instead of “mothers.” Also, Mrs. … Continue reading

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Taking the Electoral College to school

My man James Madison explained in 1787 why we’ve got an Electoral College: The right of suffrage was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the … Continue reading

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Hillary Clinton will court the GOP at her peril

Last week I wondered whether Donald Trump represents a Unique Threat or a Culmination. I tend to think both, an answer that isn’t a contradiction. But the short term goals of expanding Hillary Clinton’s electoral chances will come at the … Continue reading

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The Williard Hotel standard of journalism

While he waited for his generals in chief to get off their blue asses and chase the Confederate armies, Abraham Lincoln had his own battles. Too much of his time as presidency was taken by federal office seekers. For hours … Continue reading

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Nada mas: the story of Cubans and the GOP

My grandmother retired twenty-five years ago from an American career in Health and Human Services. Recruited to work for the Cuban Refugee Program on emigrating to Miami in 1961, she parlayed her administrative skills into the food stamps program. For … Continue reading

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Reading roundup

Paul Mariani — The Whole Harmonium: The Life of Wallace Stevens To pass from Hart Crane to this vice president of Hartford Accident and Indemnity is like going from a brothel to a storage closet. Paul Mariani, Crane’s biographer, surely … Continue reading

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‘Weiner’ offers nothing new about disgraced congressman

As the representative for the Ninth Congressional District, Anthony Weiner was the quintessential new century Democrat. An advocate for expanding Medicare and a protector of abortion rights, Weiner also voted for the Iraq war resolution and to bar the Palestinian … Continue reading

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The LGBTQ-liberal dilemma

I suppose it’s dandy that corporate interests and LGBTQ rights align in 2016, for which I’m grateful, but what it portends for the future of the future of grass roots activism is hard to say. Certainly the number of corporations … Continue reading

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‘Naïve cynicism remains obdurate in the face of varied events’

You’ll search my published writing in vain for “cynical” and its noun form. I dislike them. The rare times I’ve used them I’m afraid I’ll get misinterpreted. A cynic is often confused for a realist. Cynics often confuse themselves with … Continue reading

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Dennis Hastert’s ‘inability to abide by the law’

Well into 1998, Newton Leroy Gingrich expected Americans to ratify his vision of himself as the United States’ prime minister, the head of an opposition government ready to clear the legislature of the Roundheads who accepted William Jefferson Clinton’s legitimacy … Continue reading

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