Why Black People Aren’t as Quick as White Liberals to Blame Racism for Everything

In “Democrats’ Left Turn is Not an Illusion” [NYT 10/18], Thomas B. Edsall notes that white liberals are more likely than African Americans to blame racism for the difficulties that the latter face. What is striking about the Pew Survey question and contrasting responses which Edsall cites is that those polled were offered a choice between just two explanations for the persistent wealth and income gap – racism or a lack of initiative. Nevertheless, four times as many blacks responded that the causes might include both, neither, or other factors. Continue reading

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Why We Need Progressive Populism

In (I’m guessing) an over one-thousand word article, NYT wrings its hands over the possibility that Europe is reverting into the perpetually at-war continent it nearly always was. Yet the predominant explanation hazarded for this onrushing tragedy is that barely a handful of people alive today experienced the Great War and even WWII and the Holocaust are only a distant memory for a rapidly dwindling minority. Continue reading

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Why did the Washington Post publish “Why can’t we hate men?”

Four men control the Washington Post. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns the newspaper. Frederick J. Ryan, Jr., is the Publisher and CEO. Martin Baron, hero of the movie Spotlight is Executive Editor. Fred Hiatt is Editorial Page Editor. Despite all that testosterone at the top and presumably with either pre or post-hoc approval from Bezos and Ryan, Hiatt green-lighted publication Sunday of Suzanna Danuta Walters brief op-ed “Why can’t we hate men?Continue reading

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“The Fairest Way to Pay Restaurant Workers”

I didn’t write the caption but I approve.

Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal deserves credit for conducting consciousness-raising sessions on race with new employees [“You’re hired. Let’s talk about race.,” Business, May 20]. But a question struck me when reading how Mr. Shallal challenges his incipient staff members’ conceptions about tipping practices . . . [Read the rest of my letter in the Washington Post here.]

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In Our Power

I’ve been enjoying three days at the beautiful Hotel Shattuck Plaza, est. 1908, in downtown Berkeley where I arrived Friday night. Still on east coast time, I took a very early Saturday morning walk and enjoyed the cool lifting fog over the coastal range. What a glorious change from the broiling east coast. Continue reading

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It’s partisanship, not ideology, that we must avoid

Caitlin Johnstone writes provocative columns that usually contain as much truth as anybody else’s and more than most. Her latest at Medium opens laudably by issuing a call to arms to the myriad victims of the “nationless plutocratic power structure,” i.e., virtually everybody. Johnstone urges us to unite against the “sociopathic class of elites who use propaganda to manipulate the way we think and keep us divided against each other.” So far so good, Johnstone is on rock-solid ground. Continue reading

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Lessons of Lamb

Democrat Conor Lamb appears to have prevailed in a gerrymandered Pennsylvania Congressional district that Donald Trump won by over 20 points less than two years ago. Hard on the heels of several other surprising victories by red state Democrats, Lamb’s strong showing Tuesday furnishes additional evidence that the Democratic Party’s road to relevance was paved by Bernie Sanders in 2016. Continue reading

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Dianne Feinstein is vulnerable

The California Democratic Party (CDP) declined to endorse anybody in this year’s U.S. Senate race. Since the two most popular candidates are Democrats – one of whom will almost certainly win in November – some may see nothing more than a decision not to upset an apple cart that’s rolling downhill. Continue reading

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How Democrats Win!

Recent polls showing that Trump’s approval ratings bottomed out several months ago coupled with a reduced Democratic advantage on the generic Congressional ballot have dampened Democrats’ hopes for a landslide in the mid-terms. Continued job growth, slowly rising wages, and possibly the passage of the Republican tax bill in December have apparently redounded to the GOP ‘s benefit. Continue reading

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Oprah for President?

After delivering a powerful speech at the Golden Globes, Oprah Winfrey is being touted as a potential Democratic Presidential candidate. In response, at least one liberal website – DailyKos – posted an article bashing her for allegedly supporting America’s destruction of Iraq beginning March 2003. It is true that she aired a program in October 2002 that was light on facts and heavy on pro-war propaganda. Continue reading

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Raskin/Pelosi Town Hall in Opposition to Republican Tax Plan

A raucous standing room only crowd greeted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Jamie Raskin at the Luxmanor Elementary School cafeteria early Saturday morning. The Democratic representatives along with several Montgomery County residents came to discuss the dangers to Maryland and the nation that they see in the Republican House tax bill. Continue reading

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Reforming Weinstein’s Hollywood

Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein is a serial sexual harasser, exercises zero anger management, and abuses nearly everybody with whom he has contact. He is one among a number of powerful, or once powerful, Hollywood men who share some or all of these behaviors and characteristics. Trying to avoid the rapists, gropers, and grinders is, therefore, a very serious dilemma for women in the entertainment industry. Sadly, it’s not the only one.

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While watching the documentary Don’t Look Back about Bob Dylan’s 1965 tour of England, I was struck, as so many others have been, by the dichotomy between Dylan the young man and Dylan the artist. As a man, he comes across as immature, petulant, and sometimes downright nasty. As an artist, his musical genius shines through every guitar strum, harmonica chord, and whiny nasally sung note. In one uncomfortable hotel room scene, Dylan wields his multifarious talents – he’s a master songwriter, lyricist, guitar player, and troubador – as weapons against the outclassed Donovan. But Dylan also evinces humanity, humility, and empathy in his public performances. Continue reading

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Democratic Opportunity

The Democrats have a great chance to win back many of the working class Midwesterners who were pivotal in last year’s election even if some Trump voters are deplorable racists who cannot be reached through rational argument. A study by professors from the University of Minnesota and Boston University concludes that Hillary Clinton’s narrow loss may be attributed to her relative hawkishness. For example, Trump came out in opposition to the Iraq War far earlier than Clinton grudgingly admitted it was a mistake. Likewise, analyses from such disparate and credible sources as Scientific American, CNN, and Fortune Magazine see Trump’s opposition to free trade as an important factor in his victory. Continue reading

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Maryland has a lot to lose if Obamacare is repealed

Maryland, particularly Montgomery County, has become a bright spot in the national health-care picture. From 2012 to 2015, subsidies to health insurance purchasers and the expansion of Maryland’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act caused the percentage of uninsured Marylanders to fall from 10.1 percent to 6.7 percent. The national average is 9.4 percent. . .

Read the rest of my Washington Post op-ed here.

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Responding to Racism

Two nooses in the District of Columbia and one in suburban Maryland have been found over the past three weeks. Thursday, a noose was found hanging from a tree in an integrated Montgomery Village, MD, neighborhood. On May 31, one was left in the Segregation Gallery at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.  Less than a week earlier, a noose had been discovered on the grounds of the Hirshhorn Museum. Continue reading

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Winter of Progressive Discontent

Democrats should be disappointed by Republican Greg Gianforte’s win over Rob Quist in the recently-concluded Montana special election. The concept of moral victories in winner-take-all political races is unpersuasive and particularly so in this case. Yes, Quist got a much higher percentage of the vote than Hillary Clinton did in November. But part of that improvement likely came courtesy of Gianforte’s assault on a reporter on the eve of the election. Simply put, one cannot discern a Democratic wave on the horizon in the wake of an over 6 point loss to a ruffian in a state with a Democratic governor and senator. Continue reading

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Bill Maher’s much worse than Kathy Griffin

White Bill Maher used the n-word on a live HBO Show Friday night in what smacks of a ugly effort to bond with Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska. Because Maher’s proffered apology came after a day of dithering, it reeks of insincerity. At this point, I’m vacillating between calling for his head for expressing an overtly racist sentiment in the worst possible way and thinking a long suspension might be sufficient. Continue reading

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Why Bernie Matters

Opponents of Bernie Sanders have been having a field day. Over the past couple of weeks, the Vermont Senator has taken a number of shots. A writer at Slate rather absurdly knocks him for 1) hosting a popular podcast allegedly characterized by shoddy production values and softball questions. More seriously, he has been criticized both for 2) failing to endorse, at least initially, Democratic Congressional candidate Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s sixth district, and 3) endorsing Omaha mayoral candidate Heath Mello notwithstanding Mello’s votes to restrict abortion rights in the Nebraska legislature. Sanders also continues to hear from carpers who resent his decision 4) to re-become an independent after registering as a Democrat before his Presidential run. Continue reading

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A Path to the Governor’s Mansion for Ben Jealous

Former NAACP President Ben Jealous has indicated that he will compete for Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial nomination and the right to square off against Larry Hogan in next year’s general election. Mr. Jealous faces a daunting task. In order to take on the “deeply popular” Republican, he’ll have to beat a slate of other Democrats while likely facing staunch opposition from Maryland’s Democratic Party.

Read the rest of my Baltimore Sun op-ed here.

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