He is the first president in two decades to refuse to meet the Tibetan leader-in-exile. He has met countless other leaders of countries whose human rights violations are legendary (how about China for starters?). There’s enough unpleasant news out there to go around—from Afghanistan to Myanmar, from Iran to North Korea. And here was a chance to acknowledge a man who stands for non-violence, peace, and reconciliation in the world. How wrongheaded and sad it is that he has been denied meeting with our president for fear of antagonizing China. What happened to all the campaign rhetoric about human freedom? Who’s running the show? Political expediency? Money? So much for values.

I just saw Michael Moore’s latest film, Capitalism: A Love Story. What a blast! No matter where you stand in the economic spectrum, you’ll find some compelling stories along with humor and wit that will make you think. Don’t miss it. One of my favorite scenes is Michael talking to a Wall Street banker, who is explaining derivatives. Watch his face. It’s the face of most Americans as they try to understand what happened to our economy and work their way through the labyrinth of complicated financial-speak that brought this country to its knees.