Irreconcilable Similarities

By 5.6.14

News of the impending divorce of retired Episcopal Church Bishop Gene Robinson from Husband Mark Andrew swept into the papers this past weekend. In what was no doubt a pre-planned rollout, a statement was released to Robinson’s former diocese on a Saturday, followed by a guest column in the Daily Beast in which Robinson opined about the concluding relationship, which only became a legally recognized marriage in 2011.

“The details of our situation will remain appropriately private,” Robinson wrote in what is surely wishful thinking — apparently believing that his announcement justifies a column in a major online daily, but that it will go no further. Robinson is a public figure, his same-sex marriage a central part of his public ministry (and his book released last year). Episcopalians as a bunch love to talk, and all will eventually be made known.


Last of the Mohicans, First of the Cantabrigians

By 4.18.14

Turning the tables remains the first refuge of liars called on their mendacity.

“I was hurt,” Elizabeth Warren relays in her new autobiography, “and I was angry.” The second-year senator speaks of her 2012 political opponent using her claims of Native American ancestry against her during the campaign. Elizabeth Warren could pass for Bull Connor’s sister. She couldn’t pass for Sitting Bull’s second cousin five times removed.

So when the 2012 debate descended into genealogists arguing over whether Warren’s great-great-great grandmother was or wasn’t partly Cherokee, the law-professor-turned-candidate winning the question meant that she had already lost it. How would American Indian blood running through such a distant forebear justify her touting herself as Harvard Law’s first tenured female minority?


Deport Bieber

By 3.20.14

As mid-year elections approach, it’s unlikely that Congress will undertake any major effort to change the status quo as it pertains to immigration. The mere suggestion of a change to policy in the areas of border security, interdiction and enforcement, guest worker programs, visa requirements, deportation, and approval sends scads of well-meaning older adults to their phones and fax machines, intent on papering their legislative offices with as much outrage as they can muster between rounds of Wheel of Fortune.

But perhaps there’s a leap forward in immigration policy we can all support, left and right, young and old, those concerned with the future of rock and roll and those still concerned that Elvis once appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show with his hips in full swing. There’s a solution that could save our children, save our country, save our ear drums, and save our municipal law enforcement from drunken Ferrari drag racing for months.

America, it’s high time we deport Justin Bieber.


Blaming Putin on Conservatives

By 3.11.14

The lackluster response of the Obama administration to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put liberals in desperation mode. Unable to defend their actions or lack thereof, liberals are now doing what they do best — blaming conservatives.

In this instance, liberals are claiming that conservatives are in love with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Within days, Isaac Chotiner of the New Republic, David Horsey of the Los Angeles Times,and “comedian” Jon Stewart were all claiming that Cupid had shot an arrow through the hearts of conservatives who are overwhelmed with a passion for Putin.


Maria Cantwell Should Change Her Name

By 2.15.14

LYNDEN, Washington — In the last fortnight, Washingtonians have been basking in the effervescent glow of the Seahawks’ Super Bowl rout and showing the rest of the country that those World Trade Organization riots were an outside job.

On the night of the victory, Seattle partied just hard enough. Revelers and cops behaved themselves. These were mobs that waited for traffic lights. The city’s latte-sipping finest moved crowds along only when they got too out of hand.

Cops isolated too-wasted troublemakers and shoved them into taxis. There was little vandalism. Only a handful of arrests were made. Turnout for the Hawks’ homecoming parade shattered all expectations, in part because most principals let their kids out of school that day.

And how did Washington state’s junior senator decide to celebrate this historic victory? Through a spectacular display of bullying and poor sportsmanship.

“Sen. Maria Cantwell criticizes Redskins team name,” was the Seattle Times’s boringly misleading headline.


Has Michael Ignatieff Learned from Failure?

By 2.4.14

I knew Michael Ignatieff was committing political suicide when I read he was planning to bring down Canada’s Conservative government in a vote of non-confidence and force an election. Ignatieff’s Liberals were behind Stephen Harper’s Tories by double digits in the polls and a majority of Canadians did not want another election. Here is some of what I wrote on the morning of March 25, 2011 only hours before Ignatieff forced Canada’s fourth election since 2004:

Now I could understand Ignatieff doing this if the Liberals were up in the polls by double digits and if he was the most popular leader in the country. But it seems to me that if half of all Canadians don't want an election a lot of them aren't going to vote Liberal. Now I realize that a week in politics is a lifetime. Harper could make a mistake and Ignatieff could capitalize. But unless Ignatieff becomes Prime Minister in the next 60 days or so then his political career is done.


And the Award Goes to… Sleep

By 1.22.14

It appears that Oscar season is once again upon us. Actually, Oscar season was upon us months ago when newspapers began printing their annual dope sheets on who would win best actor, costume, short subject, yadda-yadda. Oscar season is forever upon us.

Half the year now seems taken up with Oscars and Golden Globes and Directors and Screenwriters Guild awards of one kind and another. Scarcely a week goes by that does not include an awards ceremony of some sort — Country Music, People’s Choice, Critics’ Choice, Grammies, Emmys, Tonys, Blobbys, whatever. It would be hard to find anyone in Hollywood who hasn’t won some major award. You get one just for attending. It’s become a kids’ birthday party for grownups.

The Hollywood awards ceremonies long ago faded to black, for me anyway, and surveys show that fewer people watch them anymore. They’ve outlived their own hype. The only folks who still seem to care much are the gaga media, which spends vast amounts of ink, newsprint, and airtime to document the Best Everything.


Auld Acquaintances to Be Forgot

By 1.2.14

1. Alec Baldwin: He’s in a movie a week, every third commercial, and once a month hosts Saturday Night Live. If that’s not exposure enough, he regularly goes viral on YouTube blowing his stack. You need a long vacation next year, Alec — as we do from you. Why not give a few of your brothers a break — and us too.

2. & 3. Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell: The Senate’s two major sourpusses need to give serious thought to retiring for a year. At least get some pep pills, guys, a face lift, something. Your disappearances in 2014 are sure to give Congress — or at least the voters — a double lease on life.

4. Tom Brokaw: I thought he’d retired five years ago, but he keeps popping up at the drop of a hat to weigh in on the Greatest Generation, which he seems to have given birth to single-handedly. It was a darn fine generation, Tom, but it’s time to take a final bow.