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Peter Birkenhead
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Blog Entries by Peter Birkenhead

Gimme That Old Time Nostalgia: Memories of Remembering

Posted August 9, 2011 | 13:36:06 (EST)

I miss nostalgia. The old kind, anyway: mostly private, typically accidental, not always rosy. But nostalgia ain't what is used to be. Nowadays we wear it on our heritage running shoes in re-imagined convertibles to re-released, re-mixed re-boots of classic comic book movies. We schedule nostalgia, rehearse it and collect...

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Still Crazy After All These Years: The Reagan Legacy and the Debt Ceiling "Crisis"

Posted July 25, 2011 | 11:22:46 (EST)

Ronald Reagan was anointed The Great Communicator on August 2nd, 1981. This was a surprise for a lot of people who had been watching the president's performance on the news every night, but not a complete shock. It was yet another moment of cultural whiplash in a year chock-full of...

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Meet the Old Boss: Springsteen Revisits Darkness

Posted October 6, 2010 | 17:45:35 (EST)

On May 26th, 1978, Resorts International opened the first legal casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Bruce Springsteen's Darkness on the Edge of Town was released one week later.

No, Bruce and the E Street Band hadn't planned to punctuate the dawning of a new era with their record. They...

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I'll Quit Whining When You Start Fighting

Posted September 29, 2010 | 16:15:09 (EST)

When Joe Lieberman threatened to scuttle health care reform, I wonder if President Obama accused him of "not being serious in the first place." I wonder if Joe Biden ever told Chuck Grassley to "quit whining," or if Robert Gibbs advised Mitch McConnel to get "drug tested."

Actually, I don't....

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Why Memoir?

Posted March 3, 2010 | 11:00:01 (EST)

In the two years since I began writing my memoir, Gonville, about growing up with an emotionally abusive father, the question I've been asked most often is "Why?" It's sometimes followed by a veiled complaint about the proliferation of memoirs by "anyone and everyone," and their supposed self-involved, self-pitying nature....

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Crazy Pragmatism

Posted July 31, 2009 | 14:02:32 (EST)

In 2003, Barack Obama told attendees at an AFL-CIO conference, "I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer, universal health care system." Yet in his weekly You Tube address on July 19, now-President Obama said, "I don't believe that government can or should run health care." And then, at...

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Climbing Out of the Rabbit Hole

Posted May 13, 2008 | 21:49:08 (EST)

American politics isn't an arena where people ask things, it's a place where people know things. It is a culture fueled by the fear of embarrassment, populated by people who have professionalized a vocation, who look down their noses at passion and sneer at the capacity to be surprised. Our...

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Barack Obama: The Audacity Of Being Human

Posted May 2, 2008 | 15:05:02 (EST)

Hillary Clinton and John McCain should be careful what they ask for from the Rev. Wright controversy. Surrogates for their campaigns are still, even after Barack Obama's clear denunciation of Rev. Wright on Tuesday, accusing him of bad judgment for not doing it sooner, and, implicitly, of doing it out...

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