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Dr. Carson, I Presume?

November 11, 2015 - 7:00am
In the annals of presidential politics, it's hard to recall anyone who has tried so hard to be so ordinary.

The fascinating story of Dr. Ben Carson's attempts to ungild his lily by telling awful stories about himself -- he tried to stab a classmate, later identified as a "close relative," and hit his mother with a hammer? -- will be its own chapter someday, if not in a collection of strange campaigns then perhaps in a catalog of psychological classifications.

Masochistic/Narcissistic Conflation Syndrome? (I made that up.)

Clash of the Floridians

November 2, 2015 - 7:00am

Soon after Wednesday night's Republican debate, the phone rang: "Did the fat lady sing?" asked the voice on the other end.  

"Probably," I said.

Meaning, it is probably over for Jeb Bush.

The erstwhile front-runner had performed weakly, which was compounded by his recent promise to shed his Mr. Nice Guy persona. Instead, he seemed awkward and flimsy as he lashed out at his former protege Marco Rubio for having missed dozens of Senate votes in his pursuit of the presidency.

Don't Do It, Paul Ryan

October 12, 2015 - 7:00am

WASHINGTON -- The worst job in the world, it turns out, isn't the U.S. presidency but speaker of the House of Representatives.

"It's where you go to die," as one veteran Hill watcher put it to me.

Volunteers?

In the wake of majority leader Kevin McCarthy's sudden withdrawal from his once-certain ascent to the speakership, several others are considering running for the job.

A Rose for Racial Reconciliation

October 7, 2015 - 7:00am

Long before there was a "Black Lives Matter" movement, there was Ruth Starr Rose -- an activist artist whose paintings nearly a century ago captured the dignity and spirit of America's black families at a time when stereotype and caricature prevailed.

The GOP Brat Pack

September 30, 2015 - 7:00am

The Republican Party's "Freedom Caucus," which has several less-charitable nicknames on Capitol Hill, is the dog that caught the car.

Now what?

Having (sort of) unseated Speaker John Boehner, these 37 or so uber-conservative House members are now scrambling for "a real leader."

With Charity Toward Some

September 22, 2015 - 6:00pm

WASHINGTON -- In the spirit of charity prompted by Pope Francis' visit to the U.S., let's not call them bigots.

Let's just call them the clueless, the incurious, the moronic, the dull. In short, ignoramuses.

I refer to those Republican wits who unconscionably demonize a swath of Americans based on their religious views. Haven't we gone through this sort of thing before? It was all rather bloody, as history recalls.

Money Quotes from GOP Contenders

September 21, 2015 - 7:00am

Sometimes what seems the least consequential detail tells the most about a person's character -- or at least his or her intentions.

Such was the case at the end of Wednesday's debate, the second for the GOP field of presidential candidates, with the "light" and irrelevant question of which woman's face they'd like to see on the $10 bill.

Fairy Tales in Paradise

September 16, 2015 - 7:00am

Once upon a time in a twinkling city on a hill, little boys and girls were taught that anyone could grow up to become president.

Cretins and Squirrel Heads

September 14, 2015 - 7:00am

Some in the media were quick to dismiss Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's speech attacking Donald Trump as the opportunistic rant of a 1 percenter.

That is, as a presidential candidate whose poll rating hovers around 1 percent. The consensus was that Jindal was trying to hook his wagon to Trump's jet by calling him out, not to mention calling him a narcissistic, know-nothing, shallow, egomaniacal carnival act.

Whew. My memory's not so good these days, but did I write that speech?

Don-Don and the Trumpettes

September 2, 2015 - 7:00am

WASHINGTON -- The Trump riddle continues to compel: How has he managed to successfully execute such a mass deception?

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