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Republican Health Care Failure and Scottish Soccer

Friday, July 28, 2017 10:49 AM
As the Republican Party failed to pass a health care replacement to Obamacare, I was reminded of an old soccer joke. Keep in mind that since it was enacted in March 2010, Republicans in the House of Representatives have voted more than 60 times to either repeal, water down or otherwise alter the Affordable Care Act. Then, in January 2017, their dream came true. Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. So, here’s the old soccer joke, updated.
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An American in France: Why Did Marine Le Pen’s Trumpian Campaign Lose in a Landslide?

Monday, May 8, 2017 10:41 PM
Marine Le Pen of the National Front party modeled her French presidential campaign after that of Donald Trump, yet she lost by a margin of 66% to 34%, a bigger landslide than in any presidential election in U.S. history, going back to the beginning of popular elections in 1824. So why did what worked for Trump in the United States fail in France?
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Sylvia Wallace: A Woman Ahead of her Time

Saturday, February 18, 2017 4:31 PM
February 18, 2017, is the 100th anniversary of the birthday of Sylvia Wallace, my mother, a woman who was ahead of her time.
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Academy Awards 2017—Foreign Language Films

Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:26 AM
This year, a record 85 countries entered films in the Foreign Language category for the Academy Awards. I saw 82 of these films. 1. Normally, there are few comedies entered in this category, but this year was an exception. I attribute this to Sullivan’s Travels Syndrome, named after the classic 1941 Preston Sturges film. When times are hard and people are struggling to keep their heads above water, a good laugh goes a long way.
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Irving Wallace: 100th Birthday

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 8:55 PM
On March 19, 2016, the popular novelist Irving Wallace—my father—would have turned 100 years old. Instead of honoring my father by presenting a review of his achievements and recalling what a generous, warm-hearted person he was and how much enjoyment he brought to millions of readers around the world, I have decided to look at some of the developments he would have most appreciated if he had lived to be 100, instead of dying at the age of 74.
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Republicans Release Presidential Policy Platform

Monday, August 3, 2015 5:10 PM
In a move that caught the media by surprise, the Republican National Committee (RNC) announced that it had gotten the approval of every one of the 17 leading declared Republican presidential candidates to publish a comprehensive platform for the 2016 elections.
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Academy Awards 2015—Best Foreign Language Film

Thursday, February 19, 2015 8:05 PM
When I tell people that, over a two-month period, I watched films from 83 different countries, the most common reaction is…a blank stare. Most people don’t even ask me what my favorites were. But I have to say that I had a wonderful time. Not only were most of the films at least “good”, but even the bad ones usually provide an insight into what is going on in another part of the world.
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Best Picture Nominees—Selma, American Sniper and the Distortion of History

Thursday, February 12, 2015 1:36 PM
Bradley Cooper, who portrays Kyle (and does a great job, by the way), has said that American Sniper is “not a movie about the Iraq War….It’s not a political movie at all.” I beg to disagree. Any film that does not question the rationale behind the war it portrays by default accepts the correctness of that war.
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My Sister Died of an Overdose of Prescription Painkillers

Sunday, August 10, 2014 2:36 PM
After four years of being President Barack Obama’s “drug czar,” Gil Kerlikowske suddenly discovered the prescription drug death crisis. By this time, prescription drug overdoses had become the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., surpassing gunshot wounds and automobile accidents. “We weren’t paying attention to it,” he told a House of Representatives subcommittee. Tell that to ER workers and law enforcement agents around the country…not to mention Americans who lost loved ones.
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50 Years of Keeping a Daily Diary

Monday, January 6, 2014 11:03 AM
I would not have realized how much we unconsciously edit our memories if I did not have contemporaneous accounts of each day of my life for the last 50 years. Most of these alterations are minor and harmless. But there is one false memory that had a major effect on my life. The incident began on October 16, 1979.
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Inaugural Address 2013: If I were President

Sunday, January 27, 2013 2:11 PM
Every time a President of the United States takes the oath of office and gives an Inaugural Address, it is a time for reflection about what our nation stands for. I believe it would help if more Americans considered what they would say in such circumstances. If I were elected President of the United States, this is the speech I would give at my inauguration.
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11 Secret Documents Americans Deserve to See

Thursday, December 13, 2012 12:55 PM
Many documents produced by the U.S. government are confidential and not released to the public for legitimate reasons of national security. Others, however, are kept secret for more questionable reasons. The fact that presidents and other government officials have the power to deem materials classified provides them with an opportunity to use national security as an excuse to suppress documents and reports that would reveal embarrassing or illegal activities.
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AllGov France Launched

Monday, May 21, 2012 1:35 PM
It is with great pleasure that we announce the launch of AllGov France, the first expansion of AllGov outside the United States. Like allgov.com, allgov.fr is built on a foundation of hundreds of trustworthy, well-researched articles about a wide ...
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Last Message from Ecotopian Ernest Callenbach

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 7:21 PM
During my first semester as an undergraduate at San Francisco State College (now San Francisco State University) in 1967 I signed up for a class in Film Theory taught by Ernest Callenbach. For the first few weeks I didn’t find the class as inter...
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Academy Awards 2012—Foreign Language Films

Sunday, February 26, 2012 6:04 AM
I saw 50 of the 63 films entered in the Best Foreign Language Film category and I am happy to report that this was an exceptionally good year. If there was no single masterpiece that stood out, there were a couple dozen good films that I would ...
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Academy Awards 2012—Documentary Shorts

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 5:06 AM
Academy Awards 2012—Documentary Shorts   With this year’s nominees clocking in at an average of 34 minutes, the Academy might want to rename this category Documentary Mediums rather than Documentary Shorts. Perhaps because of their length, they ...
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Director of the Indian Health Service: Who Is Robert Weaver?

President Trump has nominated an insurance broker to lead the Indian Health Service, an agency usually overseen by medical professionals because it is a provider of health services. The nominee, Robert Weaver, published a 2017 paper that criticized the Affordable Care Act, while lauding its benefits for Native Americans that he urged be kept. He said that "health insurance will improve for Americans in general under the replacement plan.” Of course, no such plan had been published at that time.   read more

U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg: Who Is Randy Evans?

A generous donor to the GOP, Evans became a senior advisor to Newt Gingrich’s unsuccessful 2012 presidential campaign. Evans used his relationship with Gingrich as a launch pad for both his political and legal career. Gingrich hired Evans as his outside counsel to represent him in several ethics investigations, which culminated in the House formally reprimanding Gingrich and ordering him to pay a $300,000 penalty, which lead to his resignation as Speaker of the House..   read more

Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy: Who Was Tom Marino?

Marino withdrew as nominee for "drug czar" right after a news report detailed his efforts to pass a 2016 law, at the behest of pharmaceutical interests, that made it harder to stop sales of addictive drugs by manufacturers and pharmacies. The report also disclosed his efforts to silence one of the law's critics. AlterNet's Philip Smith wrote: “Marino will be the sort of drug czar who is tough on Colombian peasant farmers, but not so tough on major U.S. pharmaceutical opioid manufacturers.”   read more

Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology: Who Is Walter Copan?

Copan is a leading expert in the commercialization of technology who says his top priority is to implement the Cybersecurity Framework, an effort led by NIST to improve network security across federal agencies as well as industry. He will have to defend NIST’s budget ($962 million for FY2017), which Trump has proposed to cut by 24%, including a 13% cut to its seven research labs and an 86% cut to its industrial technology services program.   read more

Director of the Office of Public and Indian Housing: Who Is Hunter Kurtz?

In 2006, Kurtz took his first job related to housing, serving as special assistant to Assistant HUD Secretary for Community Planning and Development Pamela Patenaude. He then served as special assistant to the deputy chief of staff at HUD and as policy advisor in HUD’s Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations. Kurtz later left federal service to work for the City of Detroit, which had been taken over by state government due to the city’s financial problems.   read more
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