Senate Adopts Food Safety bill

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson In the wake of this year’s spate of food-borne illnesses, the Senate on Tuesday morning passed the most comprehensive food safety bill since the 1930s. S. 510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, grants new regulatory authority to the Food and Drug Administration, charges food producers with responsibility for maintaining safety [...]

Four Lessons from the WikiLeaks Leaks

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Four lessons for government functionaries emerge from the WikiLeaks release of some quarter of a million U.S. State Department dispatches. 1. Unless you are sure of absolute security, don’t say anything in writing that you wouldn’t want to see on Page One of the New York Times. This is straight out [...]

I’m Thankful…

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Back when the major responsibility for Thanksgiving dinners was mine, we had a practice of going around the table and each of us telling one thing we were thankful for. One of the things I like about being an elder is that now I can be a guest at the table [...]

OK, I’ll Show You Mine, Anyway

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson I said if you’d show me your proposed solution to cutting the budget deficit (in the NY Times article “OK, You Fix the Budget“) I’d show you mine.  Well, dear chicken, I guess you didn’t want to take the bait.  But I’m both pleased and surprised at what I came up [...]

Fixing the Federal Budget – UPDATED

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson I’m neither hopeful nor afraid when I think of the federal budget deficit.  I’m just fascinated. Call me weird (you won’t be the first) but I feel like I’m watching an absorbing comedy/drama of historical proportions. For me, it began with the $127 billion budget surplus Bill Clinton left to his [...]

Barack Obama as Charlie Brown

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson One of the recurring themes in “Peanuts,” Charles Schultz’s deliciously amusing cartoon, involved Lucy persuading Charlie Brown over and over again to kick a football she’d hold for him.  The hapless little boy would come at a run, give it his all, and at the last minute Lucy would pull the [...]

What Do You Want the Lame Duck Congress to Do?

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson The Hill, a blog for government junkies like me, lists 372 bills passed by the House that had not yet come to the Senate floor as of August 23, 2010. Now that the final session of the 111th Congress is about to convene, I thought it might be fun to fantasize [...]

From William Rivers Pitt: A Small Fraction of a Man

Posted by Miryam Ehrlich Williamson I can think of no better way to thank William Rivers Pitt for this piece he wrote for Truthout than to post it in its entirety here.  He’s said what many of us have thought, but didn’t have the verbal skill or the courage to say. If you don’t know [...]

Joe Miller’s Chances

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Joe Miller, the TEA Party’s candidate for senator in Alaska, the man who beat the incumbent Lisa Murkowski in the Republican primary, reminds me of Norm Coleman with hanging chads thrown in. Coleman, at least, came close to winning the Minnesota senate race in 2008. When Al Franken won in a [...]

Brown Barn Coats and START

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson I’ve got to hand it to Scott Brown, the new Republican senator from Massachusetts. He and his staff do e-mail well.  I wrote to him about the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) on November 6 and I got a full and forthright reply November 9. It’s not what I wanted [...]