As a parent and a citizen, I'll take a Bill Gates (or Warren Buffett) over Steve Jobs every time. If we must have billionaires, better they should ignore Jobs's example and instead embrace the morality and wisdom of the great industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.
Half the U.S. population owns barely 2 percent of its wealth, putting the United States near Rwanda and Uganda and below such nations as pre-Arab Spring Tunisia and Egypt when measured by degrees of income inequality.
This trend of reporting process over substance is unfortunate, if omnipresent. Even worse is the media's inability - or unwillingness - to fact-check Republicans who are angry about the Democrats trying to debate and vote on Iraq policy.
But particularly when the media profess to strive toward objectivity, gatekeepers play a crucial role in helping people navigate the news to make educated political decisions.
Fox News is nothing if not impressive. No matter how harsh the criticism it endures, the network somehow always manages to prove itself even worse than we had previously imagined.
Local politics, like everything else, are not what they used to be. But the fact is that our political system - like our physical existence - still breaks down along geographical lines.
More and more, Democrats are starting to worry they that they have a more um, colorful version of Jimmy Carter on their hands. Obama acts cool as a proverbial cucumber but that awful '70s show seems frightfully close to a rerun.
If newspapers were a baseball team, they would be the Mets - without the hope for those folks at the very pinnacle of the financial food chain - who average nearly $24 million a year in income - 'next year.'
If bloggers are to improve our public discourse - helping busy and usually uninformed people make sense of the world - it is necessary to use some sort of standard with which to judge their reliability. Perhaps the answer (strictly advisory) is a body of their peers. Perhaps not.
Mistakes, after all, are endemic to foreign and military policy given the unpredictability of events and the difficulty of securing reliable information in a place like Iraq.
Whether people care enough about local news to pay for it is, sadly, an entirely different question than whether our democracy requires a strong watchdog function at the local level to ensure safeguards against abuse, chicanery, and outright dishonesty.
The consequences of President Johnson's campaign of deliberate deception regarding Vietnam could hardly have been more catastrophic for the nation, the military, the president, his party, and the presidency itself.
Few progressives would take issue with the argument that, significant accomplishments notwithstanding, the Obama presidency has been a big disappointment.
Ironically, tendency to ignore inconvenient facts and unwelcome evidence is actually President Reagan's true legacy, as I noted in 'The Nation' back in 2000, before the current right-wing mania for President Reagan gained its full force.
The ability of the 1 percent to buy politicians and regulators is nothing new in American politics - just as inequality has been a permanent part of our economic system. This is true of virtually all political and economic systems.
Philosophers and theologians have argued for centuries over the morality of targeted assassinations - a technique that the Israelis use with some frequency - without ever reaching anything approaching consensus.
Recently released government economic statistics covering 2010, the first year of real recovery from the financial collapse of 2008, found that fully 93 percent of additional income gains coming out of the recession went straight into the wallets and purses of the top 1 percent.
Whether one agrees or disagrees with the tactics of the Occupy Wall Street movement, it's easy to understand the inspiration for its anger as well as its impatience.
Three centuries after the appearance of Franklin's 'Courant', it no longer requires a dystopic imagination to wonder who will have the dubious distinction of publishing America's last genuine newspaper. Few believe that newspapers in their current printed form will survive.
Veteran print editors and reporters at places like the 'Times' and 'The New Yorker' manage to feed and clothe their families without costing their companies a million bucks a month, and they produce a great deal more valuable reporting and analysis than the network news stars do.