Sunday, December 19, 2010

Beware the Deregulators

Alabama Rep. Spencer Bachus, a darling of free market conservatives and the incoming chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was honest enough last week to summarize the fundamental contrast between the outgoing and incoming Congressional philosophies when it comes to federal oversight of the financial services industry: "In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Lonely Pragmatists

In a graphic illustration of how the ideologues on the Right and the Left have seized the political discourse, two of the smartest people in the nation's capital -- a Republican and a Democrat -- received giant sucker punches from their own political parties last week for having the audacity to embrace policies that were reasonable bipartisan compromises designed to move the country forward.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The NCAA Credibility Problem

Last night's USC-UCLA football game, the annual cross-town rivalry game here in Los Angeles, was the final game of the year for both schools. For UCLA, it was because the defeat by the vastly superior institution once again (no author bias involved) concluded a 4-8 season, which is not good enough for a bowl game. But for USC, it was because the school is serving the first of a two-year ban on bowl game appearances imposed by the NCAA as punishment for violation of various rules back in 2004 and 2005.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Growing Thanksgiving Gap

This weekend, millions of Americans gathered with friends and family to celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday, an annual moment to stop and take note of all for which we have reason to be grateful. It's a favorite American tradition and is often accompanied with feasts that commemorate the abundance we have enjoyed in this wonderful country since the arrival of our European descendants four centuries ago.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bush's TARP Legacy

As pretty much everyone has learned by now, Former President George W. Bush has a new book out -- Decision Points -- and a highly choreographed publicity blitz to coincide with its launch. The book is drawing a wide range of reviews, as should be expected, but I've been particularly interested in the content of several of his interviews that aired over the past week.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

One Idea for the New Congress

Last week's mid-term elections, which were a landslide for Republicans nationwide, have essentially turned the domestic political landscape upside down.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Another Election, Another Hurricane

With just two days remaining until the 2010 mid-term elections, all signs point to a conservative landslide in the House, Senate and state legislative races.  This might not come as a huge surprise to students of American political history, who are trained to expect major gains by the "out of power" political party in a mid-term election, but the pre-election polling data suggests we are on the verge of something bigger than the predictable tropical storm . . . this one is shaping up to look more like a hurricane.