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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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Chair of the Federal Labor Relations Authority: Who Is Colleen Duffy Kiko?

In 2002, Kiko became a member of the Employees’ Compensation Appeals Board. In 2005, President George W. Bush appointed her to be FLRA general counsel, where she served until 2008. Her stint as general counsel coincided with a marked decline in employee morale at FLRA, which earned the title of the worst small agency to work for three years in a row. In 2016, she co-founded Future with Hope Women, a group for Catholic women older than forty.   read more

Director of the Office of Legacy Management: Who Is Carmelo Melendez?

Melendez has served as a civilian in the departments of Defense and State in civil engineering and property management roles. In the late 2000s, he worked in the Dept of Energy’s Office of Engineering and Construction Management. He left to become an assistant chief of staff in the Marine Corps Combat Development Command and director of Installations and Environment in the National Capital Region. Melendez was in charge of the facilities at Quantico Marine Base during a period of rapid growth.   read more

U.S. Ambassador to India: Who Is Kenneth Juster?

Juster served as U.S. chair of the U.S.-India High Technology Cooperation Group, and was instrumental in an initiative between the U.S. and India that led to a civil nuclear agreement between the nations. This helped make Juster perhaps more qualified for his post than most non-State Department ambassadorial appointees. He joined Trump's economic team early in the administration but fell out of favor in the spring of 2017 in the internecine battles in the executive branch.   read more

U.S. Ambassador to Germany: Who Is Richard Grenell?

Grenell was named in 2001 to be spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the UN, becoming the longest-serving person at the job. He next joined industry, first as a VP for DaVita Healthcare, then forming his own firm, Capitol Media Partners. In 2012, Grenell served as Mitt Romney’s foreign affairs spokesman, but was chased off the campaign by anti-gay attacks from the right. Since then, he has contributed to Fox News and other conservative outlets, where he often sniped at the Obama administration.   read more

U.S. Ambassador to Timor-Leste: Who Is Kathleen Fitzpatrick?

Fitzpatrick served as political counselor at the embassy in Madrid in 2003 and returned to the U.S. in 2007 as director of the Office of Southern European Affairs. She was named deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor in 2010 and in 2012 became chief of staff in the Office of the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights. In 2014, she was appointed principal deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research.   read more
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