Articles filed under Robinson, Eugene

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  • The money manager Jul 9, 2012 10:26 AM
    Columnist Eugene Robinson: The question isn't whether people can relate to a candidate who has tons of money. It's whether they will connect with a man who didn't make his money the old-fashioned way — by building a better widget — but by sending capital hither and yon via clicks of a computer mouse to take advantage of arcane opportunities most people never even know about.

     
  • Feeling the heat Jul 3, 2012 12:49 PM
    Still don’t believe in climate change? Then you’re either deep in denial or delirious from the heat. As I write this, the nation’s capital and its suburbs are in post-apocalypse mode. About one-fourth of all households have no electricity, the legacy of an unprecedented assault by violent thunderstorms Friday night. Things are improving: At the height of the power outage, nearly half the region was dark. The line of storms, which killed at least 17 people as it raced from the Midwest to the sea, culminated a punishing day when the official temperature here reached 104 degrees, a record for June. Hurricane-force winds of up to 80 miles per hour wreaked havoc with the lush tree canopy that is perhaps Washington’s most glorious amenity. One of my neighbors was lucky when a huge branch, headed for his roof, got snagged by a power line. Another neighbor lost a tree that fell into another tree that smashed an adjacent house, demolishing the second floor. Yes, it’s always hot here in the summer — but not this hot. Yes, we always have thunderstorms — but never like these. The cliché is true: It did sound like a freight train. According to scientists, climate change means not only that we will see higher temperatures but that there will be more extreme weather events like the one we just experienced. Welcome to the rest of our lives. This is the point in the column where I’m obliged to insert the disclaimer that no one event — no heat wave, no hurricane, no outbreak of tornadoes or freakish storms — can be definitively blamed on climate change. Any one data point can be an anomaly; any cluster of data points can be mere noise. The problem for those who dismiss climate change as a figment of scientists’ imagination, or even as a crypto-socialist one-worldish plot to take away our God-given SUVs, is that the data are beginning to add up. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the past winter was the fourth-warmest on record in the United States. To top that, spring — which meteorologists define as the months of March, April and May — was the warmest since record-keeping began in 1895. If you don’t believe me or the scientists, ask a farmer whose planting seasons have gone awry. NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which monitors global surface temperatures, reports that nine of the warmest 10 years on record have occurred since 2000. The warmest year of all was 2010; last year was only the ninth warmest, but global temperatures were still almost a full degree warmer than they were during the middle of the 20th century. Why might this be happening? Well, the level of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is more than 35 percent greater than in 1880, NASA scientists report, with most of the increase coming since 1960. And why might carbon dioxide levels be rising? Because since the Industrial Revolution, humankind has been burning fossil fuels — and spewing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere — at what could turn out to be a catastrophic rate. Scientists’ predictions about how quickly temperatures would rise — and how rapidly assorted phenomena, such as melting polar ice and rising sea levels, would proceed — have turned out, thus far, to be conservative. There comes a point where anomalies can start looking like a trend. What much of the country has seen the past few days is no ordinary heat wave. Temperatures reached 105 in Raleigh, 106 in Atlanta and 108 in Columbia, S.C., and Macon, Ga., 109 in Nashville — all-time highs. Meanwhile, the most destructive wildfires in Colorado history were destroying hundreds of homes — a legacy of drought that left forests as dry as tinder. Changes in rainfall and snowfall patterns in the West cannot, of course, be blamed on climate change with any certainty. But they are consistent with scientists’ predictions. It becomes harder to ignore those predictions when a toppled tree is blocking your driveway and the power is out. One other observation: As repair crews struggle to get the lights back on, it happens to be another sunny day. Critics have blasted the Obama administration’s unfruitful investment in solar energy. But if government-funded research managed to lower the price of solar panels to the point where it became economical to install them on residential roofs, all you global warming skeptics would have air conditioning right now. I’m just sayin’. Eugene Robinson’s email address is eugenerobinson@washpost.com. © 2012, Washington Post Writers Group

     
  • The bigger picture Jun 29, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist Eugene Robinson: When that next big push takes place, it will be with the underlying assumption that health care should be available to all who need it regardless of their ability to pay — that it is not a privilege but a right.

     
  • Fast and Furious — the witch hunt Jun 25, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist Eugene Robinson: As a believer in sunshine and disclosure, I don't much care for questionable claims of executive privilege. But I like the politically motivated sideshow the GOP is staging even less.

     
  • Romney plays his Trump card Jun 1, 2012 1:09 PM
    Donald Trump has said he would be “open” to accepting a Cabinet post if Mitt Romney becomes president. Trump would prefer “a position where I negotiate against some of these countries, because they are really taking our lunch.” So is he on the shortlist, perhaps, for secretary of state? Don’t laugh. OK, go ahead and laugh. Point out that Trump is barely qualified to be secretary of salami. But then ask Romney why he chooses to embrace and encourage a puffed-up buffoon whose antic self-promotion, once mildly amusing, has become rabid and toxic. Ask Romney if giving Trump a platform doesn’t cheapen what should be a serious debate about the future of the country. Ask Romney why he decided to join a huckster’s silly sideshow. In a week when Romney clinched the Republican nomination, his appearance at a Las Vegas fundraiser with Trump — and Trump’s doubled-down insistence that the thoroughly discredited, insane “birther” theories about President Obama have merit — dominated the political news. When pressed by reporters last Monday why he continues to associate with Trump, Romney gave an answer that was unintentionally revealing. “You know, I don’t agree with all the people who support me, and my guess is they don’t all agree with everything I believe in,” he said. “But I need to get 50.1 percent or more, and I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.” This raises two issues, the lesser of which is the suggestion that Romney will accept endorsements and donations from anyone who chooses to give them. One hopes that when he was running Bain Capital, he took his obligation to perform due diligence more seriously. The greater issue is this: Romney thinks Trump actually has the Romney campaign’s best interests in mind? Really? If so, one has to wonder if Romney is too gullible to be president. The idea that Trump cares about anything bigger than Trump is absurd. In his mind, from all evidence, there is nothing bigger than Trump. If he really wanted Romney to win, he wouldn’t have done an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that deserves a prominent place in the annals of lunacy. Trump begins by slamming a taped introduction as “totally inappropriate” and “actually very dishonest” because it focused on the birther nonsense. He goes on to tell Blitzer that Obama “uses reverse psychology” and pretends nonchalance about discussions of his origins when actually “it’s not an issue that he likes talking about.” I should interject that back here on Planet Earth, the Obama campaign did all it could this week to focus attention on Trump and birtherism. The mood of top advisers seemed to approach unrestrained glee. Poor Blitzer notes that Hawaii has formally certified Obama’s birth certificate. Trump contends that “many people” do not believe the document is authentic. “Like who?” Blitzer asks. “There are many people,” says Trump. “Give me a name of somebody,” demands Blitzer. “There are many people,” says Trump. “I don’t give names.” Indeed, Trump refuses to violate the Super-Secret Birther Code of Silence by naming a single person who doubts the facts of Obama’s birth. He does pin himself down, however, when Blitzer asks whether “the conspiracy” is supposed to have begun in 1961, when announcements of Obama’s birth were published in two Honolulu newspapers. “That’s right,” Trump says. “And many people put those announcements in because they wanted to get the benefit of being so-called born in this country. Many people did it. It was something that was done by many people, even if they weren’t born in the country. You know it, and so do I, and so do a lot of your viewers.” This is transparently crazy — and also stupid. It is a baldfaced lie that “many people” -- or any people, far as I can tell — ever published fake birth announcements in hopes of establishing citizenship. Moreover, Obama has to be a U.S. citizen, even if he were born on the moon, because of his mother’s citizenship. Trump needs to hire some writers to come up with better material. As for Romney, he needs to decide whether Trump is the sort of person on whom he wants to rely for support and advice — if he’s one of the “good people” Romney would be proud to have at his side if he becomes president. Oh, sorry. Looks as if that choice has already been made. Eugene Robinson’s email address is eugenerobinson@washpost.com. © 2012, Washington Post Writers Group

     
  • Why Bain questions matter May 27, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist Eugene Robinson: Do you really believe this country wants to elect a Wall Street financier as the president of the United States?

     
  • A whiff of ‘hope and change’ May 21, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist Eugene Robinson: President Obama could have kept silent on gay marriage, and frustrated progressives still would have voted for him. Instead, he spoke out.

     
  • Romney is short on specifics May 16, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist Eugene Robinson: My guess is that Republicans wont want to talk about the past or the future in much detail. Theyd like to keep things blurry,

     
  • Austerity as a bridge to nowhere May 10, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist Eugene Robinson: That loud chorus of Duh! you just heard came from the many leading economists who have been screaming at political leaders for years now that well never cut our way out of this economic slump and instead must grow our way out.

     
  • Afghanistan, for the long haul? May 7, 2012 1:01 PM
    Columnist Eugene Robinson: The United States has agreed to support Afghanistans social and economic development and its security institutions through 2024. Does this sound like nation-building to you?

     
  • What immigration ‘crisis’? May 1, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist Eugene Robinson: Wouldnt this be a perfect time to take a deep breath and start talking about reasonable ways to engineer a more rational immigration policy?

     
  • What Mitt will we get? Apr 18, 2012 11:18 AM
    Columnist Eugene Robinson: Its all over but the shouting, or, in this case, the polite applause: Mitt Romney is going to be the Republican presidential nominee. But which Mitt Romney? Will it be Mitt One or Mitt Two?

     
  • He’ll still be the Mitt we know Apr 5, 2012 2:40 PM
    Columnist Eugene Robinson: [No Paragraph Style]NewsThe problem for Mitt Romney, assuming he eventually wins the GOP nomination, is that a general election campaign isnt really like an Etch a Sketch. Alas, traces from the primaries linger.

     
  • The price if health care is overturned Apr 3, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist Eugene Robinson: If the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare, a single-payer system will go from being politically impossible to being, in the long run, fiscally inevitable.

     
  • Repeal the ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws Mar 29, 2012 5:00 AM
    Columnist Eugene Robinson: Why does Florida, or any other state, need this statute? State laws already allowed the use of deadly force in self-defense.

     
  • To be black in America Mar 25, 2012 5:00 AM
    The issue isnt Zimmermans race or ethnicity; its the hair-trigger assumption he made that black male equals up to no good.

     
  • A reason missing from presidential politics Mar 22, 2012 1:00 AM
    Thus far, the 2012 presidential campaign has been unfocused, dispiriting and largely irrelevant.

     
  • A referendum on war with Iran? Mar 14, 2012 1:00 AM
    Columnist Eugene Richardson: Unless Ron Paul somehow wins the nomination, it looks as if a vote for the Republican presidential candidate this fall will be a vote for war with Iran.

     
  • Failing the test of political courage Mar 8, 2012 1:24 PM
    Columnist Eugene Robinson: Hows this for political cowardice? Right-wing bloviator Rush Limbaugh launches a vile attack against a young woman whose only offense was to speak her mind. Asked to comment, the leading Republican presidential candidates run from the bully and hide.

     
  • The danger of Mitt being Mitt Mar 3, 2012 9:20 PM
    Columnist Eugene Robinson: Not just is he a real conservative but is he even a real person, in the sense of having some idea of how most Americans live.

     
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