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home : opinion : editorial March 23, 2017

A 140-character flaw
The Trump administration is in the throes of one of the greatest self-inflicted distractions of the modern presidency. 
Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Anderson Jewelers

Yelling racist in a crowded nation

"Culture and demographics are our destiny." Stop.

But Iowa Rep. Steve King didn't stop there. He continued to feed his foot deep into his gullet: "We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies."


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

How the GOP crackup happens
Less than two weeks after the unveiling of the GOP Obamacare replacement, the party is already staring into the abyss.
Friday, March 17, 2017

Congress' grizzly betrayal
In its zeal to repeal, the U.S. House of Representatives recently voted to overturn a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule forbidding the baiting, trapping and "denning" of bears and wolves in Alaska's national wildlife refuges.  
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The worst argument for Trumpcare
Of all the arguments to make for repealing and replacing Obamacare, the very worst is that people don't need health insurance. 
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The transferable skill of military service
SALEM, Mass. -- When Johnny comes marching home again, he sometimes runs for Congress. Jeannie, too.
Monday, March 13, 2017

Not your daddy's Marines
WASHINGTON -- An old Marine told me that Marines guard Marines from the other side. And when one of their brothers is being threatened, the Devil Dogs (aka Marines) will "go wild on them" for eternity.
Saturday, March 11, 2017

The perils of Jacksonian governance
Upon taking office, President Donald Trump dusted off a portrait of Andrew Jackson and hung it above his desk in the Oval Office. He chose better than he knew. 
Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Battle of Middlebury
At Middlebury College last week, Charles Murray needed a safe space -- literally. 
Friday, March 10, 2017

Bill passed to curb abuses in class-action suits that result in lawyer paydays
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has approved a bill that would make it harder for individuals or groups to bring legal claims against companies in consumer disputes, employment discrimination cases and other areas.
Friday, March 10, 2017

Turning the 123-page GOP health care proposal from legislation into law
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans’ long-awaited plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has cleared a couple hurdles in the House. The GOP still must navigate a complicated path to turn its 123-page proposal from legislation to law.
Friday, March 10, 2017

R.I.P., DNC?
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. -- If the Democratic Party is ailing after losing the presidency to Donald Trump, state parties are on life support. 
Thursday, March 9, 2017

The information vacuum inside the Trump Russia controversy
Put aside, for a moment, the raging controversies over this or that aspect of Donald Trump, the Russians, and the election. And then ask: What do we know about the allegation at the heart of the matter: Did Trump, his campaign aides, or his associates collude with Russians to influence the 2016 campaign?
Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Russian revolution, still turning
It was a land of peasants, and yet it was industrializing with astonishing speed. It was ruled by an ancient, autocratic royal family, and yet there were remarkable stirrings of demands for democracy.
Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Hail to The New York Times
On the verge of irrelevancy in an age where people are used to getting their news for free, The New York Times, pay wall and all, is on a roll.
Monday, March 6, 2017

Adjectively speaking
White House press secretary Sean Spicer might owe Melissa McCarthy a thank-you note.
Saturday, March 4, 2017

The end of Reaganism
In the course of a few days, President Donald Trump showed how thoroughly he has conquered conservative activists and the Republican Party.
Friday, March 3, 2017

What has Trump done for the American people?
The punditry remains obsessed over Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and their alleged boss, Donald Trump. Who's controlling whom? And the world's still fascinated by Trump's appalling and entertaining antics -- as confusion runs riot in the executive branch.
Thursday, March 2, 2017

Yes, deconstruct the administrative state
Steve Bannon blew a dog whistle for constitutional conservatives when he spoke of "deconstructing the administrative state" at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Optimism in Trump's America
President Trump's job approval rating, 44 percent with a 48 percent disapproval rating in a new Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll, makes him "the first president of the post-World War II era with a net negative approval rating in his first gauge of public opinion," according to the Journal.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017

If the early controversies of the Reagan administration are any indication
By David Shribman

If the early controversies of the Reagan administration are any indication -- the contretemps over whether the Agriculture Department should count ketchup as a vegetable in school lunches and whether Interior Secretary James Watt's view that Americans should "occupy the land until Jesus returns" was national policy -- the current furors swirling around the Trump administration are mere distractions.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Enough About the Shoes
That the two most prominent women in the Trump administration should be caught up in a controversy about shoes tells you (if not our new leader) how far we have to go.
Monday, February 27, 2017

The myth of the passive president
President Donald Trump gives the impression of having done everything in his first month in the White House -- except think about Congress.
Monday, February 27, 2017

The LA movie that should have won best picture
My candidate lost, and yes, I still can't get over it. I speak of the 1997 movie "L.A. Confidential." A riff on the creepy film-noir movies of the 1950s, its dark brilliance lay clouded in the bloated shadow of "Titanic."
Saturday, February 25, 2017

In their own words: End of transgender bathroom rule gets praise, criticism
WASHINGTON (AP) — Conservatives are praising the Trump administration’s rollback of public school bathroom requirements for transgender students, saying the move corrects a legal overreach by the Obama administration that is best left for states to decide.
Thursday, February 23, 2017

What's happening in Sweden
As if on cue, riots broke out in a heavily immigrant suburb of Stockholm as soon as the media mocked President Donald Trump for a vague warning about immigration-related problems in Sweden. 
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

NATO to US: Yes, sir, Mr. Trump
Candidate Donald Trump set off a furious controversy when he said NATO countries should pay their "fair share" of mutual defense costs and, later, that the treaty organization was "obsolete" because not enough of its efforts were directed against radical Islamic terrorism.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A failure to communicate
To sum up President Trump's first month in office, he has exceeded everyone's expectations.
Monday, February 20, 2017

Metaphors gone wild!
Saturday, February 18, 2017

Heed the protests
It's beginning to look a lot like August 2009 in reverse.
Friday, February 17, 2017

Advice and consent - or combat?
Without issuing an opinion -- no ruling on school desegregation, no decision on abortion rights -- the Supreme Court is at the center of perhaps its gravest constitutional crisis in eight decades. The stakes could not be higher, the implications could not be greater, the consequences could not be more far-reaching.
Monday, February 13, 2017

Fourth Muslim group rejects federal grant aimed at fighting violent extremism
WASHINGTON (AP) — A California Islamic school wanted to keep an open mind before Donald Trump took office. But less than a month into Trump’s presidency, the school rejected $800,000 in federal funds aimed at combatting violent extremism.
Saturday, February 11, 2017

Our overly sanctified judiciary

As you might have heard, Donald Trump tweeted at a judge. 

 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Trump after ruling: See you in court, the security of our nation is at stake
WASHINGTON (AP) — A threat President Donald Trump likely used in his decades as a businessman — “See you in court” — is now being aimed at the winning side of a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision against reinstating his refugee and immigration order.
Friday, February 10, 2017

Governing in fraught times
"We must, I now think, prepare ourselves to accept the inevitable. I do it with composure and cheerfulness. To me the result is no personal calamity." -- Entry in the personal diary of Rutherford B. Hayes, Nov. 12, 1876
Thursday, February 9, 2017

Judge Robart's national security expertise
Judge James Robart, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington State, believes there is no basis for President Trump's executive order temporarily suspending non-American entry from seven terrorism-plagued countries.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The right way to oppose the Muslim ban
Donald Trump says his ban on people entering the country from seven predominantly Muslim countries wasn't a Muslim ban. But it (SET ITAL) was (END ITAL) a Muslim ban, according to Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Gorsuch is the anti-Trump
If President Donald Trump is a budding authoritarian, as his critics allege, one of the safeguards is Judge Neil Gorsuch. 
Monday, February 6, 2017

Emergency Preparedness for Local Communities
I am beginning a new informative series discussing all things emergency preparedness. My hope is the reader will retain some of this information and apply it when a disaster does occur. Given our history, geographic location, vulnerabilities to severe weather, hazardous materials and power outages, our only expectation should be to expect future disasters.
Saturday, February 4, 2017

A coalition of the principled center will fight Trumpism
Here's a little story from the bad old days of the New York subway: On seeing a well-dressed man drop a wrapper on a subway platform, a well-dressed woman urged him to pick it up.
Friday, February 3, 2017

The un-American canard
The surefire way to bring the word "un-American" into vogue is to propose a restriction on immigration, no matter how minor.
Thursday, February 2, 2017

Gorsuch schooled in the ways of Washington when his mom led the EPA
WASHINGTON (AP) — The education of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch in the ways of Washington began long ago.
Thursday, February 2, 2017

Trump's radical approach to immigration: Enforce the law
There's one fundamental difference between the new White House and the old when it comes to immigration: Barack Obama ordered his administration not to enforce a number of immigration laws. Donald Trump has ordered his administration to enforce them.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Revenge of the nation-state
The first week of the Trump administration has been a vindication of the American nation-state.
Monday, January 30, 2017

A look at Trump's top contenders to replace Scalia on the Supreme Court
(AP) — A look at Neil Gorsuch, Thomas Hardiman and William Pryor, the federal appeals court judges who are seen as the leading candidates to be President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court.
Saturday, January 28, 2017

Questions surround Trump's plans for tax to pay for Mexican border wall
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is promising Mexico will pay for his massive border wall. On Thursday, his administration suggested how: a 20 percent tax on products imported from south of the border.
Friday, January 27, 2017

The next JFK
The work of unraveling President Barack Obama's legacy is underway, but even if the Trump administration and a Republican Congress reverse every last law and regulation, they won't be able to touch the core of it.
Thursday, January 26, 2017

3 Comforting Thoughts About Trump
It's still hard wrapping my brain around the words "President Donald Trump" -- but there are strategies for moving in that direction. Indeed, I've come up with three comforting thoughts about the next how-many years.
Thursday, January 26, 2017

Border Patrol chief out just a day after Trump issues border wall decree
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Border Patrol chief is leaving the agency on the heels of President Donald Trump’s announcement of an ambitious plan to build a massive wall at the Mexican border and hire 5,000 Border Patrol agents.
Thursday, January 26, 2017

Donald Trump's new culture war
The nation's foremost culture warrior is President Donald J. Trump.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Spicer lightens up a bit in closely-watched, substantive press briefing Monday
NEW YORK (AP) — White House press secretary Sean Spicer told a roomful of reporters that “our intention is never to lie to you,” although sometimes the Trump administration may “disagree with the facts.”
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The great national continuity: Change
For nearly two and a half centuries this continent has been buffeted by the breezes, and sometimes battered by the fierce atmospheric currents, of change. This weekend the winds veered in gusts, and the country reeled with change.
Monday, January 23, 2017

The next JFK
The work of unraveling President Barack Obama's legacy is underway, but even if the Trump administration and a Republican Congress reverse every last law and regulation, they won't be able to touch the core of it.
Friday, January 20, 2017

Keep hope alive
"I could lose my health insurance," a friend whispered to me recently. He is a freelancer with a pre-existing condition. In the old days, no one would take him; freelancing was not even an option. "These days, finding staff jobs with benefits is the trick once again," I murmured back.
Friday, January 20, 2017

Boycotts are a form of speech
Liberals have organized a campaign to boycott Simon & Schuster over its planned publication of a book by alt-right bad boy Milo Yiannopoulos. Is this boycott a form of censorship?
Thursday, January 19, 2017

GOP selects Ronna Romney McDaniel to lead party operation
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican National Committee on Thursday unanimously elected Ronna Romney McDaniel to serve as its chairman, tapping a woman to lead the national GOP.
Thursday, January 19, 2017

Trump asks some 50 senior Obama appointees to stay on
WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump has asked roughly 50 senior Obama administration appointees to remain in their posts after his inauguration to ensure continuity in government, his incoming White House press secretary said Thursday.
Thursday, January 19, 2017

From The Sheriff's Desk: VOLUME 7, NUMBER 1
TAYLORVILLE — The Big Game is just around the corner – one of America’s biggest and most entertaining sporting events. Regardless of who’s playing or if you’re just watching for the commercials or puppies, many people use the Big Game as a reason to get together for food, drinks and fun.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Dem dilimma: Stand with Lewis?
Once Donald Trump responded to John Lewis's "illegitimate president" attack, the question wasn't whether Trump's pushback would cause a Twitter furor. It would. The question was how many Democrats, beyond those who occupy the left-most wing of the House Democratic caucus with Lewis, would go along with the Trump-is-not-legitimate charge.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

When Trump goes low, media can go away
Dog trainers have long advised owners against reacting to their pets' attention-seeking antics -- the barking, jumping and pushiness.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Women's March on Washington expedted to draw more than 200,000
WASHINGTON (AP) — Call them rebels with a cause. Or two. Or three. Or 10.
Saturday, January 14, 2017

Hosea, can you see?
Republicans can argue until their last breath that Trump objectors are sore losers, but isn't more at stake than "mere politics?" This phrase has been rendered quaint by such serious issues as: Russian hackers apparently trying to tilt the election toward Donald Trump; the FBI's possibly politically motivated practices; Trump's initial resistance to the conclusions of the U.S. intelligence community; Trump's refusal to release tax records, which might mollify concerns about his relationship with Russia. 
Saturday, January 14, 2017

Why the media lose to Trump
The best thing that happened to Donald Trump all week is that BuzzFeed published the raw Russia dossier about him.
Friday, January 13, 2017

Presidential images, a work in progress
In the days leading to his inauguration, Donald Trump almost certainly has not paused to consider the presidency of James K. Polk, who occupied the White House from 1845 to 1849. But there is an element of the 11th president in the 45th president, especially in the Tennessean's remark that "I intend to be myself president of the U.S."
Friday, January 13, 2017

Is 'Stranger Rape' More Troubling than 'Date Rape'?
A New York City police captain said he regards "true stranger rapes" as "more troubling" than rapes in which the victims knew their attacker. Outrage ensued. He quickly apologized, writing on Twitter, "My comments were not meant to minimize the seriousness of sexual assault."
Thursday, January 12, 2017

The reset failure
President Barack Obama has finally had it with Russia. It only took eight years of cold reality -- topped off by the Russian interference in the November election -- to make the outgoing president almost cleareyed about the Kremlin.
Thursday, January 12, 2017

Trump calls for Americans to buy L.L. Bean goods as others call for boycott
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump is urging people to buy L.L. Bean as the company faces calls for a boycott because of a family member’s donations to his candidacy.
Thursday, January 12, 2017

Dylann Roof's last act
If Death lingers in courtroom corridors awaiting sentences, this historic city's federal courthouse was surely a top destination. On Tuesday, the Reaper's patience was rewarded with the jury's return of the death penalty for Dylann Roof.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Six questions about the Russia hacking report
Julia Ioffe, a writer for The Atlantic who watches Russia carefully, tweeted this about the intelligence community's unclassified report on Russian hacking released Friday: "It's hard to tell if the thinness of the #hacking report is because the proof is classified, or because the proof doesn't exist."
Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Obamacare repeal game is a disgrace
The Republican majority in Congress has voted to kill the Affordable Care Act dozens of times. It's done this knowing that President Obama would veto the bill, thus sparing members from the consequences.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The man without a mandate
It's hard to patch together a mandate out of an election that most pollsters believe could have been won, maybe even easily, by another Democrat -- Joe Biden, say, or Barack Obama or Bill Clinton. What is his real mandate? Not to elect brainiac women to the White House?
Saturday, January 7, 2017

The people saved the ethics office, not the tweet
That went over well.
Friday, January 6, 2017

The nation's abattoir
 The city of Chicago is conducting a long, bloody experiment in what happens to a gang-ridden municipality in the absence of effective policing.
Friday, January 6, 2017

Loner-loser syndrome
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- As convicted murderer Dylann Roof prepares to defend himself in the sentencing phase of his trial, a clearer understanding of his motives in gunning down nine African-Americans during Bible study prayer has begun to emerge. 
Thursday, January 5, 2017

Long-term mortgage rates fall, breaking 9-week rise
WASHINGTON (AP) — After nine straight weeks of increases, long-term US mortgage rates fell this week.
Thursday, January 5, 2017

Dems want probe of Trump Cabinet pick over stock sales
WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Senate Democrats said Thursday that the House ethics office should investigate whether stock sales by a congressman who is now one of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks broke any laws.
Thursday, January 5, 2017

Out With the Old
The holidays are never easy for anyone except the Hallmark family, but this year seemed especially disquieting: Donald Trump acts like he's still playing bully in some schoolyard somewhere; fingers of blame point in all directions in both parties; and it's a dangerous world that is impossible to ignore.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017

US factory activity expands, hits 2016 high in December
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing activity expanded for the fourth straight month in December, as new orders and production jumped in a positive sign for economic growth.
Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Republicans primed for push to dismantle Obama's policies
WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of the 115th Congress will be sworn in at noon Tuesday, setting off an aggressive campaign by Republicans who control the House and Senate to dismantle eight years of President Barack Obama’s Democratic policies.
Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Bear Envy: Why can't we hibernate, too?
It's "lights out" for bears in North America. They're fat. They're happy. Wake them when the weather gets better.
Tuesday, January 3, 2017

President-elect wants more info on Russia
WASHINGTON (AP) — Incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer is defending cryptic comments by President-elect Donald Trump that he knows “things that other people don’t know” when it comes to allegations of Russian hacking.
Monday, January 2, 2017

Obama boosted White House technology; Trump sees risks
WASHINGTON (AP) — As Barack Obama began preparing to leave office, the first smartphone-toting U.S. president ordered his team to upgrade the White House’s aging technology for his successor. New computers were purchased and faster internet was installed.
Monday, January 2, 2017

Under 3 weeks left: Obama in closing stretch of presidency
HONOLULU (AP) — His last presidential vacation behind him, Barack Obama is entering the closing stretch of his presidency, an eleventh-hour push to tie up loose ends and put finishing touches on his legacy before handing the reins to President-elect Donald Trump.
Monday, January 2, 2017

Out of power, state Dems frustrated with national committee
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Democrats around the country are demanding change from a national committee they say has focused too heavily on the White House at the expense of governorships, legislatures and state party operations.
Monday, January 2, 2017

US gives detailed look at Russia's alleged election hacking
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. has released its most detailed report yet on accusations that Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential election by hacking American political sites and email accounts.
Friday, December 30, 2016

Long-term US mortgage rates rise,staying near 2014 highs
WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term US mortgage rates ticked up again this week, staying at their highest levels since early 2014.
Friday, December 30, 2016

A lawmaker's solution for marriage debate: Remove the state
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Republican Missouri lawmaker says he has a solution to end tense debates over same-sex marriage.
Friday, December 30, 2016

What it means if Trump names China a currency manipulator
WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to name China a currency manipulator on his first day in the White House.
Thursday, December 29, 2016

Trump inaugural to include prayers from prosperity preachers
Two preachers who teach that God will make the faithful rich are among the religious leaders chosen to offer prayers at President-elect Donald Trump’s swearing-in, the inaugural committee said Wednesday.
Thursday, December 29, 2016

US to announce response to Russia's election hacking
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials are expected to announce an imminent response, including sanctions, today for Russia’s interference in the U.S. presidential election by hacking American political sites and email accounts — an effort that ensures action before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.
Thursday, December 29, 2016

Fear thee well to 2016
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- As usual, the year's end brings reflections and ruminations on what was and what is to be. This time around, however, it feels as though an era is coming to an end. 
Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The conventional threat to Trump
Donald Trump was supposed to take over the Republican Party, but the question going forward will be whether the Republican Party takes over him.
Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The conventional threat to Trump The conventional threat to Trump
Donald Trump was supposed to take over the Republican Party, but the question going forward will be whether the Republican Party takes over him.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Intel report won't end Russia hacking fight
President Obama has ordered the Intelligence Community to finish a review of allegations of Russian election hacking by the time Obama leaves office on Jan. 20.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A revealing election
In the last month it became clear that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won more popular votes than did Donald J. Trump.
Monday, December 26, 2016









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