Don’t expect much of a backlash against Obama’s Cuba initiative

The announcement today that the Obama administration is moving to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba has triggered some squawking among right-wingers and U.S. lawmakers of Cuban descent. All in all, however, it seems unlikely that the complaints will swell to a big uproar. Antipathy toward Cuba among Americans has faded significantly in recent decades, as we see HERE: Nearly 15 years ago, President Bill Clinton authorized federal agents to return Elian Gonzalez, who had been rescued at sea and sent to live with relatives...

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With just two weeks left, it’s a cinch that 2014 will end up the hottest year on record

What we have here is bad news on two counts — or, putting it another way, it’s bad news and worse news. It’s bad news for the climate-change deniers who remain convinced that all this talk of global warming is just a bunch of pseudo-scientific hooey. It’s worse news for the people around the world who will have to deal with the consequences of an increasingly warm planet. John Abraham has more on the matter HERE: [A]ccording to those who deny the basic physics and our understanding of climate change, this year wasn’t...

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People I’ve heard of who died this year

The only names on this list are those that ring a bell with me. Thousands of people who were notable in their fields of endeavor, but unknown to me, have been excluded. I’ve also excluded personal acquaintances of mine and local luminaries so as to avoid the embarrassment of missing a few. In roughly chronological order of their passing, these are the people I at least vaguely remember from the world at large: Juanita Moore, actress. Phil Everly, singer. Saul Zaentz, film producer. Jerry Coleman, baseball player and broadcaster. Larry...

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Cheney’s claim that the U.S. didn’t prosecute Japanese for waterboarding is false

Dick Cheney, a torture enthusiast if there ever was one, told Chuck Todd of  “Meet The Press” the other day that the United States did not prosecute Japanese soldiers for waterboarding American prisoners of war. But, of course, in this matter as in so many others, Cheney is flat-out wrong. As we see HERE, the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, , which lasted from April 29, 1946 to Nov. 12, 1948, classified waterboarding as torture — and the United States actively prosecuted Japanese soldiers who resorted to...

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Can Elizabeth Warren win the Democratic presidential nomination?

The buzz in Democratic circles these days is that the coronation of Hillary Clinton as the party’s presidential nominee in 2016 might not be a foregone conclusion after all. No, a formal challenge to Hillary has not yet emerged. But there’s a movement afoot to persuade Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts populist, to enter the race, and it’s gaining momentum by the day. Warren’s growing fame is largely based on her criticism of the Obama administration’s tendency to play patty-cake with the Wall Streeters who...

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Seventy-five years ago today, Hollywood released a racist masterpiece

Over the years, I’ve learned that there are as many ways of interpreting the movie “Gone With The Wind” as there have been occasions on which I’ve seen it — which is to say many, many ways. Jimmy Carter, a native of the state in which the movie is set, once said the release of “Gone With The Wind” on this date in 1939 was “the biggest event to happen in the South in my lifetime.” One could argue with Carter on that point — the Supreme Court’s school-desegration ruling of 1954, among other...

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