Archive: December, 2010
I'm not sure where the hell Joe Klein was for the last 12 months, because 2010 actually struck me as a year when a lot happened, both cosmically and personally. America seems poised on the brink between two radically different philosophies -- one a forward-leaning (copyright, 2010, MSNBC) center-left can-do spirit epitomized by health care reform and allowing gays to serve openly in the military, and the other what I'm coming to see as "American fundamentalism," that we are the One exceptional country of the world...ordained by God, no questions asked. I really could see us going down either road. On a personal level, 2010 also teetered -- going literally (no pun intended) in a matter of hours from the thrill of this to the agony of this. Hopefully, the meaning of all that, for me, will be emerging from 2011 leaner and in better shape than ever.
Ditto for America.
Not closing Gitmo -- great DN editorial on this:
Welcome to the sports controversy capital of the universe. Just in the last two days....
-- A national journalist, a.k.a. a national joke, last caught pretending to be Keith Olbermann online because apparently he doesn't have enough real stuff to do, thinks that Michael Vick's penalty for dog-fighting should be the electric chair. Well, that would be American exceptionalism, I guess.
Somewhere in Lancaster County tonight, Steve Van Buren is laughing at us.
Meanwhile, Ed Rendell and I were both on "Daily News Live" on Comcast SportsNet, where the outgoing gov nominated me for a Pulitzer Prize. I hereby nominate Rendell for the Nobel Prize in physics, for proving the theory of media omnipresence.
There is nothing more magical than football in the snow.
If you grew up anywhere in the wintry half of this country, you probably have fond memories of hiking up your snow pants and playing sloshing around with your buddies and your Pete Rozelle-signed football in the backyard drifts-- and the only thing that comes a close second to playing football in the snow is watching a classic NFL matchup in furious downpour of the white stuff.
Santa Claus is coming to town!
That means I'll see you again on Sunday, when visions of Super Bowls dance in our heads.
To paraphrase one of the commenters on this Huffington Post article, we shouldn't get discouraged about American students lagging behind other developed countries because...we're not really that developed of a country:
But a recent email exchange with Dr. David Berliner, a leading education researcher from Arizona State University, has led me to conclude that these doomsayers may actually be more Chicken Little than Paul Revere. The comparisons of American students to an international cohort may not be valid because the differences that exist between the United States and other countries make direct comparison of achievement test results more like apples to oranges. Let's look at why.
Prediction: Our new leader, Jon Stewart, wins the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for his successful work on behalf of 9/11 responders.
I know, I know...just kidding with that headline. As you probably know, those things didn't happen this week. But why wouldn't Philadelphia be in a giddy state of euphoria and self-congratulation? The things that really did happen were pretty incredible -- an electronics manufacturer setting up shop in the American Street corridor and creating 650 good paying manufacturing jobs in that working class neighborhood, a new bio-tech startup near the Penn campus had a hugely successful IPO, and then the biggest surprise of all -- the firing of school superintendent Arlene Ackerman and her replacement with a "dream team" of administrators poised to finally turn the city's schools around and put students first.
Ha! Got you again! None of those things happened, either. What really happened was the addition of one high-paying job -- a baseball pitcher making $20 million a year (hey, think of the city wage taxes, at least for home games), and our football team beat New York's football team in a miraculous comeback. OK, OK, those sports wins did highlight some of the things that were already awesome about Philadelphia. In particular, Cliff Lee (and more importantly Kristin Lee's) decision to come here reminded us of what a great place Philadelphia is to live -- IF YOU HAVE A WELL-PAYING JOB!
Paging Jon Stewart: The White House needs your help.
Robert Gibbs, President Obama’s press secretary, told reporters on Tuesday that he hopes the Comedy Central host can persuade enough Republican senators to vote for a 9/11 health bill so it can head to the president’s desk.
“If there's the ability for that to sort of break through in our political environment, there's a good chance that he can help do that,” Gibbs said in his briefing. “I think he has put the awareness around this legislation. He's put that awareness into what you guys cover each day, and I think that's good. I hope he can convince two Republicans to support taking care of those that took care of so many on that awful day in our history.”