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Bill's Column Archive

Damon’s film ‘Promised Land’ overlooks fracking’s boon to U.S.

There are “a lot of scare tactics in play here,” Steve Butler, protagonist of the new anti-hydraulic-fracturing film “Promised Land,” warns a local politician skeptical of the benefits of hydraulic fracturing. Played by Matt Damon, Butler is an earnest salesman for the energy giant Global Crosspower Solutions, bent on convincing a rural town in Pennsylvania that hydraulic fracturing will save its outdated agrarian economy... Continue Reading »

GOP must avoid the fiscal cliff

After much introspection, the GOP faces its first true post-election test: the so-called fiscal cliff. Will House Republicans hold out against President Barack Obama’s tax hike demands, or will they be willing to make a deal? Plunging off the fiscal cliff should be the GOP’s last possible resort, even if that means making a “grand bargain” first. If Republicans are seen (or portrayed in the media) as purposely trying to... Continue Reading »

Republicans lost the culture war

President Obama won the 2012 presidential election by accumulating some of the most one-sided electoral constituencies in modern political history. Looking at a breakdown of the 2012 election exit polling, Obama won the 18- to 29-year-old vote 60% to 37%, in spite of the fact that half of all recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. He won women by 11 points and unmarried women by an incredible 36 points. The marriage gap was... Continue Reading »

Obama needed decisive win, didn’t get it

If the first presidential debate in Denver was a game changer,Tuesday night’s was not. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a spirited, heavyweight bout with several consequential moments. President Obama entered the second presidential debate needing to make up serious ground after his first debate performance. He turned around the narrative from the first debate — that he was listless and lethargic and on the defensive... Continue Reading »

Romney is not a liar

In Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” two swindlers promise an emperor new, beautiful clothes that are invisible to anyone who is unfit for their position, unjust or stupid. The clothes don’t actually exist, but the emperor pretends to see them anyway so it is not thought that he is stupid or unfit to be emperor. His followers and ministers do the same. It takes an innocent... Continue Reading »

Why you should vote for Mitt Romney

In my previous CNN opinion piece, I explained to readers my reasons why President Obama should not be re-elected. Many keen readers responded: If those are the reasons to vote against Obama, then what are the reasons to vote for Mitt Romney? This is an entirely fair question; Romney’s obligation is to make the case to the American people why he should be president. Here, then, are my reasons to vote for Romney. Business and management... Continue Reading »

Why you shouldn’t vote for Obama

It has been said that a democratic republic such as ours is a do-it-yourself enterprise. People change the course of this country through conversation, debate and, eventually, consensus. As the 2012 elections near, these debates, particularly the upcoming presidential and vice presidential debates, take center stage. In light of what has been a long and tumultuous political season, here are my strongest arguments for Mitt Romney, Rep. Paul Ryan,... Continue Reading »

Chicago teachers’ strike is a test for Democrats

Before this week, the last time the Chicago Teachers Union went on strike was September 8, 1987. It lasted until October 3, during which officials, teachers and parents clashed in the city’s longest teachers strike ever. After it ended, I called the Chicago school system the worst in the country. “I’m not sure there’s a system as bad as the Chicago system” were my exact words as U.S. secretary of education. The... Continue Reading »

Clock ticking to disastrous defense cuts

Without action from Washington, on January 2, 2013, the U.S. defense budget will undergo the most dramatic and dangerous cuts in its history. Because of the failure of the supercommittee to agree on a deficit reduction plan, the 2011 Budget Control Act automatically cuts about $500 billion from the defense budget. These cuts fall on top of the already agreed-upon $487 billion in reductions. All told, the cuts would amount to about $1 trillion... Continue Reading »

Aurora heroes: Three who gave their lives

Great evil often brings out the best in good men, men like Todd Beamer on Flight 93, Medal of Honor recipient Michael Murphy in Afghanistan and now the Aurora three — the three young men, each in different parts of theater nine, who gave their lives to protect their girlfriends. Twenty-five-year-old Jon Blunk was sitting next to his girlfriend, Jansen Young, at the midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” when the gunman... Continue Reading »

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