Did I Say “James Cameron”? I Meant “Clive Cussler.”

On Tuesday the Environmental Protection Agency issued a nationwide call for experts in a wide variety of fields to put their heads together and help solve the ongoing crisis in the Gulf of Mexico: More than 20 scientists, engineers and technical experts attended the meeting, which also included representatives of the Energy Department, Coast Guard […]

Father Knows Best: When You’re Losing the Audience, Unleash the Kids and Pups

Even though the BP oil spill has cast a dark cloud of terrible catastrophe over the Gulf of Mexico, it’s not without its silver lining. I’ve taken enormous delight giggling as I read the faux critiques of President Obama’s insipid reaction to the spill. Dana Millbank, Maureen Dowd, Thomas Friedman, David Broder are all on […]

How to Rig a Disaster

President Obama’s oily response to the disaster taking place off the coast of Louisiana perfectly illustrates just how at sea our president is. Nearly two weeks into the aftermath of the BP platform explosion, President Obama traveled to the beleaguered southern state to point the finger of blame, up close and personal, to the on-scene […]

Profiles in Racism: How Comments in The New York Times Reveal Their Writers’ Ugly Thoughts

Way back in the 1980’s I held a tea party. I broke out the Limoges, I tracked down watercress—no easy trick in 1985—for fancy sandwiches, and I spent hours baking the requisite tiny pastries. As it happens, the guest list was all female, friends and colleagues. The centerpiece of the menu was a lethal brew […]

What Bugs You? Obama, Pelosi, and Tribe. And the New York Times.

If you lived in Boston or thereabouts in the last half of the 20th Century, chances are you or someone you knew listened to Jess Cain on morning drive-time radio. His show was the usual mix of the occasional pop tune, news, traffic reports, and ads. But what made the Jess Cain show so special, […]

Fuzzy Math: What President Obama Could Learn From Community College Students

On Tuesday, March 30, President Obama made remarks at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, on the occasion of the president’s signing the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. It was a feel-good moment for those of us who have taught in community colleges, have relatives and friends who attended them, or have ourselves benefited […]

The President and the Professors

Less lugubriousness wouldn’t necessarily buy him a health-care bill. But in the long run, Americans might find it easier to root for or with Obama if he’d show us, despite everything, that he’s happy we hired him. Above is the concluding paragraph of a fascinating essay, “Obama’s Happiness Deficit,” in Monday’s on-line Washington Post. Its […]

Constance McMillen and Barack Obama: Spiritual Prom Dates

You may have read or heard a story about Mississippi high school senior Constance McMillen, who teamed up with the ACLU to exercise her inalienable right to don a tuxedo and take her sophomore girlfriend to the senior prom. Miss McMillen and her lawyers were nonplussed when the school board responded to their suit with […]

The President and the Professor, Part Two

So “Obamism” feels at worst like a hodgepodge, at best like a to-do list — one that got way too dominated by health care instead of innovation and jobs — and not the least like a big, aspirational project that can bring out America’s still vast potential for greatness. Thomas Friedman, NYT, February 21, 2010. […]

The Professor and the President, Part One

Sarah Palin is in hot water again, for a remark she made about President Obama’s years as a lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. She’s taken a lot of heat for her remark, and the academics who read Inside Higher Education as religiously as I do have their panties in a twist over her comment.