Wednesday, December 1, 2010


"Unfinished Business" - "One major priority" (in the waning weeks of the current administration) is to "complete a task nobly begun" reaching "an agreement on deeper cuts in Russia and US nuclear arms"... "Washington can afford to be accommodating if it can verify the changes Moscow is proposing."... The President can "leave no finer legacy than to complete the task he has begun - diminishing the nuclear danger."

"For America's Health" - The President "promised to deliver worthy health care reform legislation to the Democratic Congress in his first hundred days. Victory assured... During the campaign the idea was stretched almost beyond recognition." Congress and the public will have to understand first, how (the plan) is supposed to work. That's the subject of this editorial. An editorial tomorrow will discuss what legislation is needed to make it happen."

"The Military Can Successfully Integrate Gays"- "The Armed Forces can adjust to openly gay and lesbian personnel." versus "Soldiers won't fight as effectively for leaders they can't respect and most soldiers will not respect a homosexual".

"Sexual Politics, The Real Thing" - "Two Sundays ago, I stumbled to the door to retrieve my Washington Post, and like most Washingtonians, scanned the headlines to see what was happening- a local euphemism meaning "What politician has been caught doing something outrageous or disgraceful?"

"We Are Not Amused" - "It is just foolish to speak plainly on a cellular phone because everyone knows technogeeks listen in".

"Buy Up the Guns" - "The Administration should explore whether we might be able to buy peace and humanitarian relief"- "If that doesn't work, then send troops".

If you think the above is a preview of tomorrow's headlines in the NY Times, you are mistaken. 18 years ago today, December 2, 1992 the above words appeared on the editorial and op-ed pages of the Times. As the first President Bush was being escorted out of office, and the young William Jefferson Clinton and his bride Hillary were ascending, the country wrestled with how to reach agreement on matters like nuclear arms control, health care reform, gays in the military, outrageous politicians, unauthorized access to private communications, and foreign involvement of our troops.

I stumbled upon these parallels by unwrapping a dish that these pages had protected through the Clinton administration, W's misadventures and the first 2 years of a mountain of troubles for Obama. While the print had yellowed and the words had begun to fade, time had barely diminished the relevance of the content.

While we anguish over the choices we make today, and those who make decisions for us, is the lesson learned that good or bad, wrong or right, we are destined, or doomed, to recycle our problems?

I intend to save tomorrow's paper and open it up again on December 2, 2028. Hopefully, it won't still seem like everything old is news again.

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