Tag Archives: George W. Bush

This Week in 2012

HOWARD MEGDAL: Herman Cain’s presidential nomination chances aren’t dead yet. I know, I’m as surprised as you are.

But take a closer look at what has ended the other bubbles, and it doesn’t become so strange after all.

CHRIS PUMMER: If the right wing of the Republican party is still casting for an alternative to Mitt Romney — and I’m not so sure it is more than halfheartedly at this point — Rick Perry is still the only real alternative.
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The W. Book Tour

AKIE BERMISS: Its too soon for George W. Bush to be back in the media.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: I should probably not be surprised that George W. Bush has already written a book about his presidency, even though his presidency was by many standards extremely recent. Continue reading

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Jon Stewart and His Critics

JEFF MORROW: The vision of “reasonableness” I saw at the Rally to Restore Sanity wasn’t about chastising liberals and conservatives, or freeing ourselves of ideology. It was about ignoring the conflict-driven sideshows that thwart useful discourse, and it was about regaining perspective. The need to fit it into a left/right box shows how ingrained these habits are. Continue reading

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The Rally to Restore Sanity: Two Live Views

JEREMY FUGLEBERG: It was a fine display of mediocre moderation. Tens of thousands gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to… do what, exactly?

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: There is going to be a lot of negative fallout about the Rally to Restore Sanity from people who didn’t go and didn’t get it, or who did go but didn’t appreciate it. I’m here to tell you, f*ck that. I was there. It was fantastic. Continue reading

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Obama Oval Office Speech Reaction

HOWARD MEGDAL: In a speech with much discussion of the war in Iraq and the economy, it is three paragraphs about Afghanistan that I think provides the real news of the night.

JEREMY FUGLEBERG: A promise kept, Pres. Obama said in his speech to the nation about the Iraq war. Continue reading

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Howard Dean: No Friend to Democrats

HOWARD MEGDAL: I’ve had it with Howard Dean. I’ve had it with the impolitic statements, with the sense of entitlement that seems to come from a single, failed presidential campaign, and I’ve had it with the idea that Dean represents much of anything within the Democratic Party. And his opposition to the Cordoba House is just the final straw.

DAVE TOMAR: Howard Dean was, for a time in 2004, the man of the hour. So many of us gravitated toward Dean for his bold antiwar stance, his no nonsense demeanor and the fact that he seemed less likely to be a re-animated corpse than John Kerry. So what if he seemed to be kind of a dick. Continue reading

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Specter Spectre Retrospective Spectacular

HOWARD MEGDAL: I was surprised that of all the emotions I felt Tuesday night, watching Arlen Specter give his concession speech, sympathy wasn’t one of them. In short, it was just too hard to develop feelings of attachment for Arlen after decades of thinking of him as a man apart from what I wanted to happen in the country. I’m guessing that’s as good a reason as any for his defeat in the Pennsylvania Senate primary.

JESSICA BADER: When the polls began to indicate that Arlen Specter might not be the Democratic nominee for the Senate seat he had held for so long as a Republican, my first concern was for how this might affect the Democratic agenda going forward. No, I’m not talking about the shallow “Obama endorsed Specter and he lost the primary, so this is bad for Obama” pronouncements that were flying around today. Let’s not forget that Specter will still be a Senator for the remainder of the year and that some pretty important matters will be dealt with by the Senate between now and then, including but not limited to a Supreme Court confirmation. What I’m wondering is what kind of votes Specter will cast now that he no longer has a political career to fight for. Continue reading

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Mario Cuomo In Review

HOWARD MEGDAL: The election of Mario Cuomo would have meant nothing less than the intellectual rebuttal from liberalism needed after Ronald Reagan. Instead, when Cuomo failed to make the 1992 presidential run, conservatives had a 40-year reign in the presidential discourse.

AKIE BERMISS: Mario Cuomo became Governor of New York State in 1983. Several months later I was born. And for the first 11 years of my life — Cuomo was mayor. At the age of 12, puberty hit me like a ton of bricks — it was the end of an age of innocence. So I quite naturally associate Mario Cuomo with the warm and wonderful feeling of simplicity that is childhood. That’s not to say I didn’t have my share of complicated woes from ages 1 – 11 (it was the eighties and New York was basically New Jack City), but if there was one consistent goodness it was Cuomo at the helm of the state.

This also means I associate George Pataki with sweaty hair, pimples, and nocturnal emissions. Which is fair, I think.
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President Happy?

AKIE BERMISS: Here’s a question for you: Is the President happy? Is he a happy fellow? Does he smile enough? Is he quick to kid, easy with his laugh, light and bright and delightful? I don’t know, honestly I haven’t thought about it. I mean, he seems like a pretty nice guy. He’s certainly capable to delivering a well-timed comedic barb. Still, its just not the first thing that springs to mind when I think: President Obama.

And according to Fred Hiatt of The Washington Post — it should be.

HOWARD MEGDAL: It is hard to know which part of Fred Hiatt’s analysis is most ridiculous. Is it the “tough political time” when Obama is the most popular officeholder in Washington by far? That he would rather sustain himself with the love of family than the adoration of strangers on the campaign trail or meetings with foreign leaders? Or the fact that Hiatt diagnosed this problem just before President Obama passed Health Care Reform through both houses of Congress- for, let’s not forget, the second time. Continue reading

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90s: The Golden Age of Music?

AKIE BERMISS: I should make it clear from the outset that it is not my position that the 90s was THE golden age of music. Just perhaps one of many golden mini-eras that come and go with the tides. And I should also make it clear that there is very little scientific evidence to back up the arguments I am going to presently make. What follows is, rather, a pseudo-scholarly attempt to draw up a basic outline of musical trends in the last half century or so.

I speak, of course, of music. Of the last great golden age of music: the 90s. But not as an isolated incident, rather, as a the most recent evidence of a decidedly unproven trend of artistic flowering under a Democratic presidency. It seems curious to me that we can so often think of artistic artifacts as being simply art’s domain when, in fact, we all know that outward influences are always at play. That often art is a sign of the times. Or art can act as a cultural and societal artifact as potently as an “artistic” one. Certainly anthropologists look to art in order to gauge the tenor and timbre of a civilization. Why shouldn’t we (albeit on a more micro-level)?

STEPHON JOHNSON: While the 90′s could be considered last real golden age for music, the way music was consumed and experienced back then might cloud our judgement of the decade. Continue reading

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