Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers, whose “roots” in Chico and at Cal Berkeley make Northern California a winner in the Super Bowl too.
Here’s my favorite Super Bowl commercial:
So we all watched Bill O’Reilly interview President Obama before the Super Bowl game on Fox.
Obama ate O’Reilly for breakfast. Obama was cool, calm, collected and honest (the White House had changed him, he admitted). He stayed on point, deflecting O’Reilly’s simplistic “socialist” remarks and labeling.
O’Reilly, on the other hand, was boorish, interrupted the answers, asked some loaded questions (“Does it bother you that people hate you?”), acted too self important, and in the end, was a pussycat. “I hope I’m fair,” he said, winding down.
Obama looked every bit the second-term president to me. O’Reilly was lucky to be part of Obama’s conversation with the rest of us. When does Fox’s Super Bowl contract expire?
Americans are celebrating the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan on Sunday. “In 2011, it is virtually impossible for a major Republican politician to succeed without citing Reagan as a role model,” as the Washington Post writes.
Here are five myths about Reagan’s legacy, according to the Post.
1. Reagan was one of our most popular presidents. Reagan’s average approval rating during his eight years in office was “nothing spectacular.”
2. Reagan was a tax cutter. “Ultimately Reagan signed measures that increased federal taxes every year of his two-term presidency.”
3. Reagan was a hawk. “With the exception of the 1986 bombing of Libya, Reagan also disappointed hawkish aides with his unwillingness to retaliate militarily for terrorism in the Middle East.”
4. Reagan shrank the federal government. “Federal spending grew by an average of 2.5 percent a year, adjusted for inflation, while Reagan was president. The national debt exploded, increasing from about $700 billion to nearly $3 trillion.”
5. Reagan was a conservative culture warrior. “In 1981, Reagan unintentionally did more than any other president to prevent the Roe v. Wade abortion ruling from being overturned when he appointed Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Court. O’Connor mostly upheld abortion rights during her 25 years as a justice.”
The rest of the article is here.
“Members of the Muslim Brotherhood joined other opposition groups meeting with Vice President Omar Suleiman on Sunday in what seemed a significant departure in the nation’s uprising and political history,” the New York Times is reporting.
“The Brotherhood is an outlawed Islamist organization often depicted by the authorities as committed to the overthrow of the secular order in the heart of the Middle East. Official attitudes toward it here have swung between outright repression and reluctant tolerance. But it has remained Egypt’s biggest opposition force against the autocratic rule of President Hosni Mubarak.”
“After the meeting had started, The Associated Press said that talks included some of the top issues for the opposition — including freedom of the press and the release of those detained since antigovernment protests started — as well as agreement to begin setting up a structure to study amending the country’s constitution.”
The rest of the article is here.
I came across this You Tube video of a Tom McClintock town hall meeting on health care at the Vets Hall in Grass Valley in 2009. In fact, some of the people shown in the video comment on this blog — Weldon Travis is easy to spot but there are others. I’m struggling to figure out whether this is a constructive discussion on the “pros and cons” of “Obamacare” for a rural foothills’ community or merely a anti-Obama political rally fueled by the local tea party and other “nonpartisans.”
With a young child, we normally watch more children’s movies than adult ones. That’s always OK with me, because life has enough drama. “How to train your dragon” is a recent favorite.
This weekend, however, we revisited the ’70s with “Secretariat” and “Milk.” Around here, I’m often reminded of reliving the ’70s, as I’ve mentioned before.
I’m a big horse racing fan but “Secretariat” — the only horse to win a Triple Crown in decades — was weak. It did bring back memories of the era, including reading a crisp copy of the Denver Post at the breakfast table.
We lived in Denver during the ’70s, and the Post and Rocky Mountain News — a tabloid — were in a newspaper war. Imagine that!
“Milk” chronicles San Francisco in the ’70s, focusing on Harvey Milk and his struggles as America’s first openly gay elected official.
I experienced the era first-hand as a college student at UC Berkeley.
It brought back some troubling memories: John Briggs’ Prop. 6 and Anita Bryant, who sought to unravel gay rights.
Regular readers here know that my bugaboo is extremism: not because I’m dispassionate but because it is counterproductive. The anger on both sides when it came to gay rights in the ’70s was no exception.
In the end, San Francisco Supervisor Milk and Mayor George Moscone were shot by former Supervisor Dan White. Then White later committed suicide after he was released from jail after a minimum sentence.
Come to think of it, the incident and the outcome probably helped shaped my views on extremism.