Watchdog Blog

Archive for the 'Congress' Category

Gilbert Cranberg: May 24th for an Obamacare Ruling?

May 24 will mark the 75th anniversary of Helvering, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, et al, vs. Davis, the landmark Supreme Court decision upholding Social Security. It would be fitting, if the high court rules in favor of the Affordable Care Act, that it announce the decision on the date Social Security was affirmed. The health [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: A Way to Curb Gun Massacres

Another day, another mass killing, this time in Oakland, CA. The gunman took seven lives in the rampage. He wounded at least three others. My local paper described the killings on Page 3 in a 25-inch story. The Times ran its similar length story on Page 10 plus a generous photo. Not exactly massive coverage. [...]

Myra MacPherson: Feminist Social Media Clout — Billie Jean King Weighs in

Those of us who lived in the dark ages of the 1960’s and 1970’s sexual revolution remember Grand Slammer Billie Jean King’s 1973 famous whipping of men’s tennis champ Bobby Riggs as an athletic moment of joy. The year before, in June of 1972, Title 9–a landmark civil rights law barring gender discrimination of education [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Hugs, Kisses for Gifford? That’s Not Enough.

There were hugs, kisses and praise galore for Representative Gabrielle Giffords as she left Congress. The only thing missing from the sendoff was any recognition that Congress owed it to her to act at least to prohibit the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines that enabled her attacker to spew bullets right and left in the [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Why So Slow in Reporting on Gingrich?

What took so long? Why, many months into the presidential campaign, with Newt Gingrich at or near the top in the preference polls, did the press not raise questions sooner about his character flaws and money-grubbing ways? Connie Bruck and the New Yorker waved warning flags about Gingrich many years ago, on Oct. 9, 1996, [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Boehner: Oh, What a Smart Dealer Am I

The prize for impolitic remark of the year goes to House Speaker John Boehner, who told a television interviewer Aug. 1 that, in the negotiations to raise the debt ceiling, “When you look at this final agreement that we came to with the White House, I got 98 per cent of what I wanted. I’m [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Somebody Tell Boehner What ‘Rebuttal’ Means

Notice how House Speaker John Boehner turned a deaf ear to the president in his so-called rebuttal to Obama’s July 25 address on the debt ceiling? If you hadn’t noticed, you have plenty of company. The press evidently wasn’t paying attention either. In his talk, Obama took a hard crack at the GOP for not [...]

Barry Sussman: Am I the Only One Who Heard Obama Say He’d Go It Alone?

Somebody’s missing something in the grueling debt-limit debate; maybe it’s me. On the other hand, maybe it’s not. I heard and saw President Obama say on July 22nd that he would go it alone to raise the debt ceiling if need be – and in my view that should have put an end to concern [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Anarchists (GOP) in Our Midst, and the Press’s Role

At the height of the recent budget impasse, Republican cries of “Shut it down! Shut it down!” filled the air. Call them the voices of the anarchist wing of the GOP. Anarchism: the doctrine urging the abolition of government. If that sounds extreme, it is, but none other than than the patron saint of the [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Medicare, Ryan’s Gift to Democrats

Paul Ryan, the GOP budget guru, argues tirelessly that Medicare costs are unsustainable and must be reined in. Not all of his objections to Medicare are fiscal. A piece Ryan wrote last year for the New York Times shows a deep dislike for government-run health care in general and for Medicare in particular. To Ryan, [...]