Posts filed under ‘Politics’

Presidential Pyrotechnics

Ways to spend July Fourth: Go to the Esplanade in Boston to watch the Pops concert and subsequent fireworks. Or debate the actions of our presidential candidates, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain. Why not do both? That’s what Bob and Susannah, plus a neutral cat, do on their Independence Day in the latest episode of “Running Gags”!

July 3, 2008 at 8:46 pm 3 comments

Doc Rivers ‘endorses’ Obama

After guiding his team to an NBA championship over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers discussed the victory on WEEI-AM (850). Asked whether his team could repeat, Rivers invoked a motto associated with Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee for president.
Rivers and Obama are two African-American leaders who have enjoyed success this year. The Celtics, during their history, showed progressive thinking on race relations. Thanks to the late team patriarch Red Auerbach, the Celtics became the first in the NBA to draft an African-American player (Chuck Cooper) and hire an African-American coach (Bill Russell). This commitment to equality will prove a more enduring testament to Celtic excellence than Tuesday night’s victory over the Lakers (though it was remarkable to watch the 131-92 romp).

June 18, 2008 at 7:00 pm 2 comments

Grassley, health insurance, and greenbacks

Call this month a split decision for Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa. The Midwesterner struck a blow for transparency when his probe revealed that three Harvard researchers had taken millions of dollars from Big Pharma, raising conflict-of-interest concerns. “Under pressure,” the New York Times wrote, “two of the researchers acknowledged receiving $1.6 million apiece in consulting fees from drug companies between 2000 and 2007 and the third reported earning more than $1 million.” (Merci, Muse, for first mentioning the New York Times editorial that addressed the subject.)

Alas, Grassley has shown he’s not immune to financial shenanigans. The American Spectator has revealed that he’s prone to directing public dollars toward the Hawkeye State through generous earmarks. “Due in large part to Grassley’s spending savvy,” the AmSpec noted, a report from the group Citizens Against Government Waste “put Iowa, 30th in terms of population, 16th in overall earmark spending.” While this may delight Grassley’s constituents, it contributes to imbalance at national spending levels. The senator should heed the wise Latin words Medice, teipsum: Physician, heal thyself!

June 15, 2008 at 7:29 pm Leave a comment

$3.59 a gallon?

Gas prices are going up, folks, and two presidential candidates, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John McCain, have proposed a solution: a gas-tax holiday. But, Susannah wants to know, what about more environmentally-friendly alternatives? Read more — including Bob’s response and an homage to my own greater Boston MBTA — in the latest episode of “Running Gags”!

May 9, 2008 at 8:07 pm 5 comments

Hillary borrowing against time?

Sen. Hillary Clinton is lucky she has over $6 million to lend to her campaign. Clinton seems to think her campaign needs the cash after a double-digit primary loss to her rival, Sen. Barack Obama, in North Carolina on Tuesday and an underwhelming victory over Obama in Indiana the same day. Clinton, the New York Times reports, is fixated on her goal of winning the Democratic presidential nomination.

“[Advisers] to Mrs. Clinton early Wednesday portrayed her as still confident that she can win the nomination through a combination of victories in the handful of remaining primaries and persuading uncommitted superdelegates that she can perform better against Republicans than Mr. Obama,” the Times reported on Wednesday.

There are six primaries left, beginning with West Virginia next Tuesday. Prospects look dim at best and humiliating at worst, but maybe we should have expected that for a politician who’s weathered Whitewater, Monica Lewinsky and impeachment, mounting a struggling political campaign is a cinch.

May 7, 2008 at 3:37 pm 1 comment

Wal-Mart makes Obama ‘Scream’


Sen. Barack Obama, Democratic presidential candidate, has lost the Pennsylvania primary to his rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, after Obama called certain red-state voters “bitter” to a San Francisco audience. What can Obama do to mend relations with this demographic group? As he explains to Susannah, Bob has some ideas — which include visiting a certain blue-state nemesis — in the latest episode of “Running Gags”!

April 25, 2008 at 8:23 pm 5 comments

Hillary borrows from Lenin’s playbook

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is not quitting the presidential election, and has one more primary victory to add to her total: Pennsylvania, which she won on Tuesday.

Once the star of the almost 800 superdelegates, Clinton’s hold over them may be diminishing as she can’t win convincingly enough to erase the lead of her rival, Sen. Barack Obama (Note: She still leads Obama in superdelegates who have declared their support, 259 to 236). But as calls mount for her departure, she doesn’t seem to be listening.

It was once said of Vladimir Lenin that he won debates by refusing to stop speaking until everyone, exhausted, conceded the argument. “Lenin scarcely noticed his defeat,” Robert K. Massie wrote in Nicholas and Alexandra. “A brilliant dialectician, prepared to argue all night, he gained ascendancy over his Bolshevik colleagues by sheer force of intellect and physical stamina.” Will Clinton’s similar steadfastness outlast Obama’s audacity?

April 24, 2008 at 4:00 pm 2 comments

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