#95 The New Bi-partisanship Continues and Two Corrections

On December 15, 2014

The Senate Vote
As everyone knows by now, in yet another show of bi-partisanship, the Senate passed the spending bill on Saturday. It was truly a compromise (we haven’t heard that word much in the last few years): the 56 votes for passage were split 31 Democratic, 24 Republican, 1 Independent. So the majority needed substantial participation by the minority. That’s a good thing, even though no one was entirely satisfied. I think that is what compromise (that once dirty word) produces. Interestingly, the cloture vote was 77 to 19.

#94 Thank You, Speaker Boehner

On December 12, 2014

For the first time in a very long time (I haven’t yet researched how long), Speaker Boehner ignored the so-called “Hastert Rule” (which requires laws be passed with a Republican-only majority), and allowed the majority of the entire House to actually rule.

#93 Immigration, the Tyranny of the Minority, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964

On November 23, 2014

It won’t come as a surprise: I am glad that President Obama has acted, at least temporarily, to address a portion of our troubled immigration system. Likewise, I am not surprised that the Republicans have strenuously objected.

#92 Moving From Don’t to Do?

On November 12, 2014

Despite what some of you may think, I am not despondent. In fact, I have always thought that it is healthy for our democracy for the pendulum to swing, as long as the arc is not too wide.

#91 Doing Something About Ebola

On November 5, 2014

In my last commentary, I urged all of us to heed President Kennedy’s challenge: “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”

#90 Ebola and JFK

On October 17, 2014

…I can’t sleep because of a disturbing set of interchanges I had at the bar last night. Predictably, but belatedly, the conversation turned to Ebola. Equally predictably, it quickly turned into a blame game, first targeting the CDC, but eventually turning to the President, then to me for daring to support him.

#89 The Improving Economy

On October 9, 2014

I attended President Obama’s speech on the economy last week at Northwestern…He reminded us of how strongly the economy has recovered since he took office in 2008 amid the financial crisis.

#88 Professionalizing Teaching — An Economic Good

On October 3, 2014

Just ten days before, Penny and I had returned from a trip to Finland. We went with fifteen University of Chicago students and the leader of a new program there which is helping to address our country’s dire need to professionalize teaching. We went to learn more about how Finland has attained world prominence for the performance of it schools.

#87 Intellect, Temperament and Worldview

On September 12, 2014

It has been many moons since I have written one of these. I, like many of you, tire of the incessant negativity directed at our President.

#86 Spending Down Approval Ratings

On April 3, 2014

A few hours after sending yesterday’s Obamagram on presidential approval ratings, I had the privilege of participating in a 22-person hour-long roundtable discussion with President Obama. Valerie Jarrett, Rahm Emanuel, and David Axelrod were also there.