Commentary & Opinion

Blair Horner: Ethics Reform Redux

Feb 9, 2015

In the old “Peanuts” cartoon, Lucy holds the football for Charlie Brown and assures him that this time she really means it, she will hold the football and not pull it away.  So he should charge and kick the football.  And every year – despite having previously seen her pull the ball away at the last minute – Charlie believes her.

Today I want to talk about some of the tax changes proposed in the 2016 budget just submitted by President Obama.   It would be a great public service if we could get the predicted presidential candidates to respond to some of the specific elements of his proposals.   I wish that those interested in running for the Democratic nomination would be forced to explain which of these proposals she or he supports and which he or she doesn’t support and – most importantly – why?    The Republicans probably have it easier because they can just complain about how many billions (or trillions) of dollars of tax increases are in that proposal and leave it at that.  In fact that is just what they did when the budget was first released.  However, but even given the Republican mantra against any tax increases, it would be great to force them to get more specific about their objections.

Rogovoy Report for February 6, 2015

Feb 6, 2015

This weekend our region features choral legends from South Africa; the man largely credited with launching the alt-country movement; coffee inspired artworks; funk, blues, and bluegrass; small works of art and big works of classical music performed a major orchestra.

Rob Edelman: American Sniper

Feb 5, 2015

So much has been written and said about Clint Eastwood’s AMERICAN SNIPER, which came to theaters at the tail-end of last year. AMERICAN SNIPER, of course, is the story of Chris Kyle, who is played by Bradley Cooper. Kyle, a Navy SEAL, has been celebrated as the most lethal sharpshooter in U.S. military history.

Keith Strudler: Look, I Picked A Hat

Feb 4, 2015

Today is the biggest day of the year in college football. That may seem odd, since the national championship game was nearly a month ago, and we haven’t even approached spring practice, much less the regular season.

 The pundits have spoken. Most believe that the State of The Union Address is a combination of self-congratulation over what was done in the last year and a laundry list of what should be done in the year ahead. In reality it represents fanfare without substance; there is scarcely a difference between George W. Bush and Barack Obama in these annual speeches.

President Barack Obama delivered his two thousand/fifteen – State Of The Union – Address to a Joint Session of Congress, in which victorious mid-term Republicans were determined to make even his concession of this reality a moment of impotence, best kept to him-self.  His refusal to accept this belittling has set all else that follows in a somber sense of gridlock.  Seemingly impelled by this impetus, House Speaker Boener unceremoniously announced that he had invoked a ‘Joint Session’ of Congress, which he’d invited Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to address.  This apparent insult on Speaker Boener’s part may also be more seriously seen as an effort to force the President into an embarrassingly impossible position, between two devilishly difficult political choices.  Favoring liberal-Jewish-American Democrats over strongly-pro-Netanyahu conservatives (or vice-versa), is surely bound to provoke the ire of those with seemingly less clout.

Rabbi Dan Ornstein: The Art Of Two Grandmas

Jan 29, 2015

At 78 years old, Grandma Moses became an accomplished primitivist folk painter.  From that advanced age until her death at 101, she famously chronicled the American rural experience with an unparalleled eye for color and simplicity, derived from her memories of her life as a farmer, wife and mother.  She was neither a trained artist nor a scholar of art, but that did not impede her from sharing her extraordinary talent with the world.

It Is Always You

Jan 29, 2015

I recently met someone who told me that she knew I am not really as nervous as I say I am about the upcoming February 2nd fund drive. I’ll let you in on a secret. I’ve done about a hundred fund drives and I worry before each and every one of them. I lose sleep; I break out into inexplicable sweats; I have nightmares. It is always up to my Roselle to remind me how people love the station, how much they depend on it and how they would never let it fail. You know that nightmare we have about the exam in the college class we never even knew we were registered for? This one is that we have a fund drive and the phones don’t ring and the on-line pledges don’t come in. Roselle always puts her hand on my neck and assures me that everything is going to be fine. And, of course, she has always been right.

Sean Philpott-Jones: V-Ticket To Ride

Jan 29, 2015

I haven't been to Disneyland since my senior year in high school, and I've actually never visited one of the Disney World resorts. Frankly, I never really cared for the noise, the crowds and the artificiality of the Disney parks. The fact that one of these amusement parks is now the center of an infectious disease outbreak makes my aversion even more intense.