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Richard H. Smith

Entries by Richard H. Smith

Too Decent to Win -- In Memory of George McGovern

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2012 | 2:40 PM

In these final weeks of what seems the most interminable presidential campaign in memory, I think back 40 years to another political contest, when I was a 25 year-old advance man for Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern, who passed away this weekend.

Out of the year I spent in what...

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A National Right-Wing Attack on California

(344) Comments | Posted December 27, 2010 | 12:51 PM

In the late 1970s, while Ronald Reagan was governor of California, Curt Gentry, best-known for his book on the Manson cult murders, wrote a tongue-in-cheek fantasy novel, The Last Days of the Late, Great State of California. It was a pseudo-documentary, tragicomic account of the lives of a variety of...

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Why Does Google News Ignore The Huffington Post?

(9) Comments | Posted December 6, 2010 | 4:47 PM

The other day, I wrote a blog column for Huffington. I later posted the same column to two other web-sites. Then I noticed a strange thing. The header for my column on the other, smaller sites was immediately indexed by the Google robot and appeared, in minutes, on Google News....

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The Top Vote-Getter in America? Lockyer of California

(0) Comments | Posted December 2, 2010 | 12:27 PM

On election night last month, a small crowd of political enthusiasts gathered at a golf clubhouse in Hayward, California to cheer their winning candidate, Nadia Davis Lockyer, newly-elected to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. A strikingly attractive Latina, Ms. Lockyer is an accomplished public service attorney as well as...

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Could a California Budget Fix Threaten National Security?

(8) Comments | Posted November 20, 2010 | 5:05 PM

"Hey, wait a minute", you say. "Is this a put on? What does the latest patchwork California budget, slapped together a hundred days late, have to do with national security?"

Rising seventeen floors above the heart of downtown Sacramento is the building that houses the California Department of Justice. If...

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CIA Director Panetta Declares War

(0) Comments | Posted November 9, 2010 | 8:54 AM

War? What war?

Last week, I was a guest at a dinner sponsored by the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, based at California State University in Monterey. The nonpartisan west coast echo of the Kennedy School at Harvard is directed by Mrs. Sylvia Panetta, who co-founded the Institute with her...

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The Last Hurrah of Jerry Brown

(1) Comments | Posted November 2, 2010 | 2:57 PM

Some forty years ago, the late Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., my friend and mentor, asked me what I thought of Jerry Brown, who had just burst upon the national political scene with his first election as Governor of California at age 36.

I was a bit miffed, I said, that Brown...

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Google News and the Arrogance of Cyber-Power

(6) Comments | Posted July 2, 2010 | 10:39 AM

Every morning, for years, my first Internet destination after booting up has been Google News.

Not because it has up-to-the-minute breaking stories, a la CNN. Rather, I've chosen to read Google News with my AM coffee because I've been able to customize the page exactly as I want it...

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Ex-Governor Whitman of the Great State of Ebayfornia

(3) Comments | Posted May 30, 2010 | 9:50 AM

In her high-priced bid to become Governor of California, Meg Whitman has staked much on the claim that her experience in the private sector, as CEO of the Ebay internet auction corporation, qualifies her to solve all the manifest problems of state Government.

Whitman supporter Condoleeza Rice, diplomatic mastermind of...

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One "Spy Czar" Too Many?

(1) Comments | Posted May 28, 2010 | 1:16 AM

Nearly as inevitable as Death and Taxes is the perpetuation of a Government mistake - especially when that mistake is an ill-conceived bureaucracy connected by an umbilical cord to a presidential appointment of exalted title.

History has been forgotten. The bright idea of appointing an Intelligence "czar" who would...

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Tesla - Toyota - Nummi : The Electric Car Reborn?

(2) Comments | Posted May 25, 2010 | 4:18 PM

When the history of a 21st Century "Green Revolution" is written, last week's Toyota-Tesla headlines and, behind the lines, the concern of a veteran California politician for a few thousand unemployed auto workers, may be the preface to how the electric car eventually penetrated the consciousness of America.

Two years...

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Breaking News (From 1948): Banking Mogul Ousts Fed Chairman

(13) Comments | Posted January 28, 2010 | 12:21 PM

Wall Street has made clear over the last week that it wants Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to stay in his position. The White House and Treasury Department are supporting Bernanke against the opposition of some rank-and-file lawmakers, and he is likely to emerge victorious.

It was much easier to...

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