If you’ve been around long enough, stayed moderately active and somewhat lucky, you will have run into an assortment of interesting people who have left lasting impressions. So this is a collection of memories covering political (and other) types that have settled in my head and now find their way on paper.
Having spent 40 years in a corporation, mostly in middle management, I see the culture issue from a different viewpoint—on the receiving end of top management decisions. From that vantage point, our new president may be overly optimistic.
Shocked! Shocked! Shocked! House Republicans, whose most recent president politicized many of the Federal government's major agencies, have written a letter to President Obama accusing him of politicizing an important project in 2010—namely, next year's national Census.
The Republicans recently discovered a new left-wing plot. C-Span asked more than 60 American historians to rate our presidents, repeating a poll that was held in 2000. Their results placed Bush II at number 36, behind Herbert Hoover and only slightly above Warren Harding—who spent a good deal of time playing poker—and William Henry Harrison, who died one month into his presidency.
She has become the darling of the "Hate Party of America," a blonde dragon lady who sells venom at lucrative prices then slouches towards the nearest bank, laughing all the way.
Ann Coulter, a take-no-prisoners author of the far right, has converted her vitriol into huge capital gains by churning out best-selling (if often hysterical) books, writing mean-spirited columns, and making outrageous speeches before hate crowds that adore her.
Immediately after Obama's Inaugural Address most political commentators here said they were disappointed: no memorable, ringing phrases to remember, they claimed. But in our shrunken world in which the communications revolution brought Obama into millions of homes on every continent, the speech by our first black president—best-selling author, superior orator, part rock star, part teacher, part preacher—was heard around the world like no other Inaugural Address before it.
Once in a while—but not too often—grassroots activists, government agencies and elected officials join together to support the public interest, and wind up with a happy result.
That has been the 30-year history of the Archives building adventure, which culminated recently in protecting eight community non-profit organizations from a rent increase that would have been the death knell for most of them.
More city Democrats will be seeking the unglamorous positions of Comptroller and Public Advocate than Mayor this year. The reason is fairly obvious. Democrats will fill the two non-mayoral offices. But standing in front of City Hall this fall will be Daddy Warbucks and his $60 million bankroll, his candidacy due to the dispensation granted him by the City Council.
The prospect of the first black president to take the oath of office on Lincoln’s bible brought to mind a broad range of memories in our long struggle for civil rights: examples of outright bigotry, of courageous actions, of stereotypes, zealotry, redemption and exhilaration.
What follows is a collection of incidents in this unfinished struggle to “overcome” and fulfill King’s dream for America.