Recent Commentaries

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Everybody Does It
A recent conversation about the bonuses paid to some employees at AIG like Jack DeSantis, led to this question:  ‘Don’t you believe in honoring contracts?” In fact, I do believe in honoring commitments and obligations.  However, when a multi-billion dollar company like AIG runs into multi-billion dollar debt, asks for and then receives $182.5 billion in financial support from the federal...
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May 29, 2009
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Decanting the Truth
In a press interview regarding the Iraq war, Vice-President Dick Cheney was once asked “Over 70 percent of Americans disagree with this war, what is your response?” “So.” It was a chilling moment of arrogance not easily forgotten by most Americans.  It was the same when events were disclosed surrounding the “legal” wrangling that took place at the Justice Department...
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May 26, 2009
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What Would Will Do?
According to today’s Wall Street Journal, in 2008, “Shellee Hale of Bellevue, Wash., posted in several online forums about a hacker attack on a company that makes software used to track sales for adult-entertainment Web sites. She claimed that personal information of the sites’ customers was compromised. “About three months later,” the Journal wrote, “the software company — which contends that no consumer...
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May 21, 2009
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Nancy is the precocious and wily young lady who is constantly in the state of a daydream or confused plot. “I am saying that the C.I.A. was misleading the Congress and at the same time the administration was misleading the Congress on weapons of mass destruction.” Sluggo Panetta is Nancy’s best friend, although sometimes seems at odds with some of her decisions....
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May 20, 2009
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Fair-Minded Words
I’m including the entire text of President Obama’s speech from his Sunday (May 17) commencement address at the University of Notre Dame because I think it speaks volumes about his character. An acknowledged Christian, Mr. Obama supports both pro-choice and embryonic stem cell research.  He has also come out in opposition to gay marriage.  All three are among the most...
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May 18, 2009
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‘First 100 Days’: A Closer Look, Part II
Last week I shared the results of a new poll that Capps Center Director Wade Clark Roof and I commissioned Zogby International:  “Integrity, Leadership, Trust.”  We asked more than 3,300 Americans to grade both President Obama and Congress based on the qualities and issues they considered most important on November 5-6, 2008. Last week’s commentary revealed the “quality” grades:  Mr. Obama scored 58% positive...
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May 15, 2009
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My Problem with Dick Cheney
I am deeply disappointed in former Vice President Dick Cheney. During his tenure as vice president, Mr. Cheney would rarely sit for interviews to discuss the Bush administration’s policy choices during his eight years in office.  Lately, the reticent Mr. Cheney has taken to sitting down with anyone and everyone in an effort to get “the other side of the...
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May 12, 2009
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Class Act
Dominic DiMaggio, an all-star center-fielder for the Boston Red Sox during the Ted Williams era, died last Friday at his home in Massachusetts. Working on my book, What Do You Stand For? I had a chance to talk with Dominic on three occasions.  Although his response did not make it in the final version of the book, I’m including it here because...
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May 11, 2009
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Who’s Laughing, Now?
In May 2000, I wrote an Op-Ed for the New York Times (Excuses are not Ethics) about basketball coach Bobby Knight’s infamous throat-grabbing of one of his own Indiana players. After the incident, University President Myles Brand said, “I had never seen him before contrite and apologetic… I think the ethical approach is to give him one last chance.” That “last chance” lasted...
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May 8, 2009
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A Closer Look at Obama’s ‘First 100 Days’
Digging deeper into the results of the Walter H. Capps Center’s “First 100 Days” poll some interesting figures stand out. As I mentioned in Monday’s post, our poll is different from other “100 Days” surveys in that the majority of the questions were based on those qualities and issues Americans told us were most important to them last November:  honesty,...
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May 6, 2009