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Tom Watson
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Entries by Tom Watson

Sat Dishes and Revolution: Why Al Jazeera Matters There -- and Here

(5) Comments | Posted February 2, 2011 | 12:45 PM

You won't find it on Time Warner or FIOS or Cablevision, but Al Jazeera's English language television service is laying claim to the viewing loyalty of vast numbers of news-hungry, media-obsessed westerners following the incredible story of courage and revolution in Egypt.


More than any of the social media...

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Oh, Me of Little Faith: Health Care and Progressive Rejuvenation

(1) Comments | Posted March 24, 2010 | 2:50 PM

After witnessing a year of dithering - and watching those brutal months of lethargy leading to the infamous Lost Summer of 2009 - I never thought that President Obama and the Democrats would get revolutionary health care reform done.

And they didn't.

But they did pass sweeping health insurance regulation,...

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The Cartooning of Elizabeth Edwards

(27) Comments | Posted January 12, 2010 | 6:52 PM

For a woman in American politics, there's simply no floor space between harridan and sainthood. There's nowhere to stand, no place to exist, no neutral platform from which to speak. No gray. Bitch or angel, and too few of the latter.

Take...

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Remembering Marcelo Lucero: One Year Later

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2009 | 6:18 PM

A year ago Sunday, a group of teens left Marcelo Lucero bleeding and dying on a street in Patchogue, New York - with a knife wound to the chest. Lucero, 37, was an immigrant from Ecuador whose death has become a national symbol of civil rights and humanity in a...

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Obama and the Peace Prize: Too Much, Too Soon

(135) Comments | Posted October 9, 2009 | 9:10 PM

There is nothing like a preemie Nobel Peace Prize to set the polity ablaze. I'm sure Barack Obama smelled the political smoke when awakened with the news this morning that the Nobel committee had essentially named him "Worldwide Statesman Most Likely to Succeed" - and White House sources tell me...

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Late Rounds on Healthcare: Can Obama Throw a Counter-Punch?

(61) Comments | Posted September 6, 2009 | 2:28 PM

The last time Americans celebrated this long holiday weekend - first convened in 1882 to publicly applaud "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" - Barack Obama was the Democratic nominee and trailing after a long, drifting summer that knocked his impressive, disciplined campaign off...

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The Looming Health Care Wreck: It's the Narrative, Stupid

(113) Comments | Posted August 7, 2009 | 10:02 PM

If there's one thing Democrats should have learned from the contentious and unsuccessful attempt to pass public health care reform in the Clinton Administration, it's this: never lose control of the narrative.

Though much attention is paid to how President Clinton brought his own complex bill to Congress in '93-94...

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The Right Wing's Own 'False Prophet'

(41) Comments | Posted June 9, 2009 | 8:17 PM

Like so many kvelling George Costanzas, frantically waving a bill of sale to a used LeBaron convertible as proof of their brush with fame and an Academy Award, right-wing bloggers are falling over themselves to wrap themselves in the glow of "the great Jon Voight."

Reason: Voight's incrediby irresponsible, un-American, and...

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At Skoll's Annual Oxford Confab, Capitalism In Shift

(2) Comments | Posted April 2, 2009 | 2:24 PM

Even as the system of capitalism that supported the growth of social entrepreneurship in its more enlightened margins changes drastically, 800 delegates from 60-odd countries flocked to the 900-year-old University of Oxford last week for the annual Skoll World Forum - the sixth formal gathering of the leadership of the...

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Clay Shirky is Right: Newspapers' Death is Journalism's Loss

(112) Comments | Posted March 18, 2009 | 9:22 AM

For journalists of a certain vintage, these are the days on the digital horizon that were long-feared and yet somehow unanticipated. The newspaper world is slowly asphyxiating, starved for the oxygen of classified advertising and simultaneously kicked in the chest by a massive recession that is hastening the tombstones in...

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Limbaugh in the Lead: A Gift for Obama

(424) Comments | Posted March 1, 2009 | 3:30 PM

Looking for all the world like the sweating floor manager on the late afternoon shift at Larry Flynt's Hustler Club in an unbuttoned shiny black shirt and undersized sport coat, Rush Limbaugh leaned his meaty hands on the lectern at the CPAC conference and slipped a greasy dollar bill into...

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Will Media Hucksters Wreck A Great American Story? They're Trying...

(13) Comments | Posted January 18, 2009 | 2:29 PM

Last winter, I asked a national political correspondent I know about the media and Barack Obama - was it really as far in the tank for lanky Illinois Senator as it appeared to be? Yeah, he said. And the reason was simple: "Obama is a growth industry."

With margins for media...

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Obama vs. Madoff: Charity, Change and Crisis at the Dawn of a New Era

(1) Comments | Posted January 16, 2009 | 9:10 PM

We do not have an advance copy of President-Elect Barack Obama's inauguration address just at hand, but it's no particular leap of faith to predict that a national call to public service will be issued from the west front of the Capitol on Tuesday afternoon.

Yet that call - a...

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Blago! (The Musical)

(2) Comments | Posted January 10, 2009 | 5:53 PM

With the sensational success of Milk, an Oscar contender if ever one rolled on a projector, we have new project for Mssrs. Penn and Van Sant - another ode to a governmental folk hero in the making. For nothing captures these early Depression Era II days of strange municipal doings...

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Duplicity Grows in Brooklyn: Chuck Schumer's Edifice Complex

(8) Comments | Posted January 7, 2009 | 3:26 PM

For Senator Chuck Schumer, it's apparently better politics -- and karma -- to name the Brooklyn courthouse for a Republican son of Manhattan who died in 1919 than the dominant Brooklyn Democrat who saved New York City during the last fiscal crisis and who was born the same year...and remains...

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Amidst Global Meltdown, 52-Year-Old Baseball Brews a Cup of Winter Warmth

(2) Comments | Posted January 4, 2009 | 10:50 AM

When times were tough and people were tougher, media came in two flavors: black and white, all shadows and light with a clear line between good and evil (or so we thought). In another two weeks, we may all receive a massive inoculation of optimism in full, living color as...

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George Bailey and the Darkness on the Edge of Town

(24) Comments | Posted December 24, 2008 | 11:36 AM

There's a particularly terrifying moment very late in the totemic and chronically misunderstood It's A Wonderful Life when Jimmy Stewart's George Bailey rings the bell of Ma Bailey's boarding house in Pottersville, the alternative upstate New York town riddled by vice because the good eldest Bailey son had never been...

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Clinton for President: One Blogger's Case

(14) Comments | Posted November 5, 2007 | 9:43 AM

A year from today, Americans will go to their local polling places in schools, community halls, and firehouses around the country to choose the 44th President of the United States. As a lifelong Democrat and a committed liberal on social issues - and as a blogger - I believe Senator...

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Facebook Generation: Will Social Networks Change the Nature of Philanthropy?

(1) Comments | Posted June 18, 2007 | 10:28 AM

A few weeks ago, my daughter and I started a bank and now we make loans to businesses all over the world. Now, before you speculate on my family wealth or means -- and my place among the banking titans -- consider that we started this little lending institution of...

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At Milken's Massive House Party, Celebs Focus on Philanthropy

(0) Comments | Posted April 27, 2007 | 12:37 PM

There is some irony in the location for the annual Milken Institute Global Conference, which this week celebrated a decade of meetings. The Beverly Hilton, a plush walled garden on busy Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills, used to be the site of Michael Milken's high-80s meetings of buy-out funds...

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