Posts by: Abe

UA: Take That, John S. Knight

On May 24, 2015 By

OK, class.  Whose dumb idea  was it for the University of Akron, a public enterprise, to withhold information from the media (read: public info)  about  the rebranding studies by four consultants  paid from  an unrestricted   foundation grant bearing the name of the late John S. Knight?

For the enlightenment of the campus newcomers on the block, no one was more  aggressive about press freedom than Knight, but  the $111,000 from the grant did just the opposite.  How ironic.  How dumb. (And we didn’t even mention those four presidents of northern Ohio public universities who strongly criticized  new UA president […]

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In case you’ve been distracted by  less critical matters, I should tell you that the national media are reporting that George Pataki may run for president.

George Pataki?  As Gail Collins scolded her readers in the New York Times, how could you not remember the guy who was New York’s Republican  governor for 12 years, though not the last eight? He says he will announce his plans on May 28.  That would be the day after Rick Santorum, a quadrennial candidate who’s never been governor of New York, reveals what he says will be a “major” announcement.  May we guess?

Still more […]

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Most people, at best, get their news in disjointed fragments that the columnist Walter Lippmann once described as a “pseudo-environment” that betrayed reality.  No one can know the whole story, he argued, because there is too much to know.

He wrote about it in a book titled “Public Opinion” long before  digital excitement began feeding our senses  much faster than most people can rationally absorb issues in their entirety. Nowhere is that more apparent than in politics where enormous amounts of money attempt to lead us to pseudo-evidence with which to sustain a preferred public opinion. (One exception to the political […]

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We should all be grateful to our global correspondent, Sen.Rob Portman, for returning from Israel this week with exclusive unbreaking news. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Portman informed us, is not pleased about a possible Iran nuclear deal.

Oh? Who knew?

The tag-along Republican senator, embellishing his foreign policy experience for his re-election campaign, shared his discovery of Bibi’s dark mood with Fox News, which was breathless to hear about it.

According to the Plain Dealer, Portman described his Israeli host as “worried”, adding: ”He’s concered about what’s happening in the neighborhood. It’s a pretty dangerous and volatile place.”

Praising Israel […]

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Back in the 1920s, the age of dance marathons was consuming every American without bunions.  The winners were chosen on endurance.  But not everybody was impressed by the sweeping  mania.   “Of all the crazy competitions ever invented”, growled the New York World, “the dancing marathon wins by a considerable margin of lunacy.”

Yeah. As a witness to the  flash mob of candidates who hope to be still around for the last dance in November 2016, we can relate. The past few days brought to our attention  several more  “hopefuls”  who officially entered the crowded dance floor, figuring that with the […]

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On no uncertain terms, Gov Kasich says he has no interest of being a vice president. At least that’s what he told Gloria Borger on CNN. It shouldn’t surprise anybody. I’ve never seen him as a guy taking orders from anybody else if you leave God out of the picture.

To confirm his ascendancy, he says he doesn’t even know what vice presidents do. So he’s determined to be an all-or-nothing guy to the White House in the expanding Republican universe of rising and collapsing stars.

And if he must return home unheralded from his intensive itinerary of glad-handing and […]

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The passing of Paul Tipps closes the book on a generation of Ohio Democratic leaders  who unapologetically took their messages to the streets, the board rooms and assembly lines as he managed  a party in nearly  full control of the state’s highest offices. And that included all but one of the Supreme Court justices!

As the Democratic chairman from 1975 to 1983, Tipps wore a teasing smile and pleasant  demeanor  to disguise the gritty  side of surviving the disarray  so common to Democrats who were otherwise alive and well.

The party’s first-team roster included Atty Gen. Billy Joe Brown, who […]

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It happens as seasonally as the falling leaves in autumn: Another presidential campaign – the current one much too early – a targeted single candidate by an aroused right-wing author, and even a temporary station on the New York Times’ Best Sellers list.

It’s traditional, folks, but with no evidence that the invasive literary onslaught ever works. Need some examples?

In 1964, the Birchers and ad hoc fringe historians vengefully went after Lyndon Johnson with J. Evetts Haley’s anti-communist diatribe “Texan looks at Lyndon” – an acidic volume that reportedly sold more copies in Texas than the Bible. Haley was […]

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It seems like just yesterday that two starry-eyed Republican governors, John Kasich and Chris Christie, staged a hug-in on Arizona soil to reaffirm their enduring fraternal and political bonds.

Enthused Kasich to the Columbus Dispatch:

“Christie is going to do great out there. Are you kidding? Christie, he is like a force now. People want to be around him. He came out to Ohio during my last campaign, people just loved him. He said if you don’t elect this guy, I am coming back here New Jersey style. They liked it.”

Enthused Chris Christie: “I love John Kasich….We get along […]

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Did you see that Robert Mercer, the full-pocketed Wall Street hedge fund zillionaire, went out and bought a Republican presidential candidate? Yep, crazy Ted Cruz. Mercer, described in a New York Times report as a hard-right “recluse”, likes Cruz. They are soul mates on stuff like taxes. And Mercer doesn’t mind paying for it.

It’s a perfect match inasmuch as Mercer’s Renaissance hedge fund has been tailed by the IRS with claims that it owes $6 billion in back taxes. Mercer , to the delight of his right-wing crowd, wants to abolish the IRS, a thought neither original with him […]

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It’s so appropriate that in the week that Economist magazine carried a glowing obituary of leading fantasy author Sir Terry Pratchett, one of America’s leading fantasists, Dick Cheney, went on another rant. It may be rude to link fantasies here. Pratchett, after all, wrote books that sold in the millions (in 37 languages), a series featuring oddly named characters and events brought together in his literary conception of Discworld. A man of humor, Pratchett even brushed off talk that he had found God. Unlikely, he said, because he couldn’t even find his keys.

On the other hand, Cheney, a […]

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