Read my latest post on Wiki-Leaks from The Rumpus
We have mistaken a temper tantrum for democracy. In these midterm elections, the rant of mad men passes for political discourse. The person who shouts the loudest on television or says the most inane things is considered a “spokesperson,” and the media thinks that balanced reporting requires that voices of moderation and reason are paired against people who think the President is not an American or a Christian.
In the eighteenth century people understood the distinction between civil marriage as a legally enforceable economic contract and holy matrimony, which was more or less forever. Nowadays, most people only discover the first principle when they forget the second. Modern brides and grooms are too busy planning their wedding to pay attention to the fine print in their marriage licenses until divorce. That’s when it hits them that when you say, “I do,” you are consenting to an enforceable contract with real financial burdens.
We learn very young that Benjamin Franklin with charm and cunning forged the Franco-American alliance that won our Independence.
That’s what we were taught, anyway. But it’s not true.
Is California Greece with better wine? California and Greece both have massive public debts, shrinking economies, and declining bond ratings that have made it difficult for them to continue to borrow.
Since the publication of UNLIKELY ALLIES, many readers have encouraged me to write a screenplay about how a merchant, a playwright and a spy saved the American Revolution. So last week I found myself in Napa at the Northern California Screenwriters Expo pitching UNLIKELY ALLIES to Hollywood producers.
President Obama has proposed a $266 billion jobs bill that contains tax credits for small businesses that hire more workers, an increase in the federal highway fund to patch our crumbling infrastructure, and a short-term extension on the federal unemployment benefits. It’s a boost to the economy, but it’s not nearly enough to put 15 million Americans back to work.
The election of the forty-first Republican and the first nudie model to the U.S. Senate has the pundits chattering. Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts senate race is being read as a dark omen of what the Democrats will face in the mid-term election. Does Scott Brown’s election really signal the emergence of the Tea Party as a powerful new reactionary force on the American political scene? Does his election foretell the end of the Democratic majority? Is it a turning point in American politics?
This week the Obama Administration, after a year of perseverating, finally came forward with a modest proposal to tax big financial institutions, and Republican leaders reacted as if the President were proposing to nationalize the banks.
At long last the Zeroes are over. The Lost Decade that began with a stolen election and a mass murder and ended with a ruinous series of economic scandals, financial crises, and political debacles has left us less secure and less wealthy, but perhaps wiser.