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home : opinion : editorial February 23, 2020

Democrats' big money pledges are giving way to the reality of the 2020 race
WASHINGTON (AP) — Many Democratic presidential candidates launched their campaigns last year with bold pledges to reject help from super PACs and dark money groups. But as the realities of a tough primary fight sink in, those promises are fading away.
Friday, February 21, 2020


Mike Bloomberg's technocratic threat
If November were to come down to a Trump-Bloomberg race -- despite the former New York City mayor's woeful debating skills -- Americans would get the choice of swapping one president with an a-constitutional view of the office, for another.  
Friday, February 21, 2020

Nevada Nastiness Could Hurt Sanders
Bernie Sanders' clash with the hospitality workers union did not start the history of bad feelings about him in Nevada. That started four years ago. Both involved thuggery wherein nasty Sanders followers harassed other candidates and their backers with misogynist and racist delight.
Thursday, February 20, 2020

A History Belle's Pick of Presidents
So, here we are on Presidents Day in Washington, the city hushed on the holiday. Picture me on the porch looking over my personal A-list.
Thursday, February 20, 2020

Who's complaining about investigations now?
Attorney General William Barr is looking into the murky origins of the politically charged Justice Department investigations that have roiled American public life for the last three years.
Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Before fixing tomorrow, Democrats must fix today
Like all candidates, Democrats focus their campaigns on what they will do if elected. Progressives often accuse Joe Biden in particular of wanting to take America back to the Barack Obama years. And it's true that Biden often portrays his candidacy as a restoration of the era in which he served as Obama's vice president. 
Monday, February 17, 2020

Sanders' attraction and ascent are familiar internationally
The Democratic Party could soon be taken over by a leftist who has never formally been a member.

If it's any consolation to Democrats, it's a version of the same wrenching dislocation that has beset the center-left throughout the Western world.

Monday, February 17, 2020

How to lose 50 states
Easy. Nominate Bernie Sanders. I've been through my share of blowouts. I was a kid when George McGovern won Massachusetts -- and nowhere else. I was in Florida working for Jimmy Carter (on loan from Ted Kennedy's office) when we lost not only the White House but also the Senate majority in Ronald Reagan's first landslide. I was in Minnesota waiting to see if Fritz Mondale would carry any states. Two weeks before the 1988 election we were going to lose, with the help of then-Gov. Jim Hunt from North Carolina, I spread money all over the country for down-ticket races so Michael Dukakis didn't carry down the Democratic Party when he lost 40 states. I was on television looking at the exit polls from Ohio when I realized they were all wrong, and that John Kerry would lose. I canceled my law and politics class in 2016, the day before the election, because I didn't want to lie to my students and tell them that I thought Hillary Clinton was going to win.
Saturday, February 15, 2020

The unstoppable train that is Bernie Sanders
Nearly a half-century ago, a young University of Vermont political scientist was rummaging through the stacks of the Howe Memorial Library when he was accosted by an agitated figure fulminating about millionaires and displaying an unsettling fixation on the Rockefeller family.
Saturday, February 15, 2020

Will we like Mike?
In the seven presidential elections since 1992, the Republican presidential nominee has won the popular vote exactly once. The lone GOP candidate to receive a majority of the national vote was George W. Bush in 2004. Bush's election-day victory over Democrat John Kerry, who had, in most observers' views, "won" the debates between the two, was explained by the respected Democratic pollster Peter Hart: "Voters preferred I Like over IQ."
Saturday, February 15, 2020

Stop apologizing for saving black lives
Idiot conservatives were doing the idiot thing this week, screaming "racism!" in response to an old tape of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg defending stop-and-frisk, one of the policies that drove New York City murder rates down to Mayberry levels. They weren't being ironic.
Friday, February 14, 2020

Will impeachment play in November?
The Democrats who impeached President Trump knew they did not have a prayer of removing him from office. But they also knew impeachment might have another effect -- to weaken the president and reduce his chances of winning reelection in November.
Friday, February 14, 2020

After 2016, the Democratic establishment would have been justified in getting out of the business of presidential politics. 
Thursday, February 13, 2020

Inequality of effort mars Valentine's Day
My friend in Omaha, Nebraska, assures me that a disturbing phenomenon once focused on the coasts has invaded the heartland. He speaks of young couples where the woman is nicely dressed and her male date or mate is in slob mode. The women are neat and stylish, often wearing some (or a lot of) makeup, but their male partners are in soiled sweatshirts and baggy jeans, hems dragging on the floor.
Thursday, February 13, 2020

Kobe's 'complicated' legacy
Nine days after the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Times -- which treated the crash as if the entire city were on fire, taking down the paywall on digital stories about him in a transparent effort to boost its circulation numbers -- finally got around to acknowledging that Bryant's legacy might be "complicated."
Thursday, February 13, 2020

Take 2: New Hampshire grabs a clumsy handoff from Iowa
So now it is up to New Hampshire.

The Iowa caucuses debacle is in the rearview mirror, the first primary is days away, and still there is no clarity in the struggle for the Democratic presidential nomination. Iowa failed the Democrats, and it failed America.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Fair map won't happen with current makeup of Illinois Supreme Court
Illinois will never have fair maps for its legislative districts under the present Illinois Supreme Court. There is an opportunity in November to change the court, yet I fear the contest will not be engaging, even though it's long past time for a change.
Monday, February 10, 2020

The president is exacting swift punishment against those who crossed him
WASHINGTON (AP) — Exacting swift punishment against those who crossed him, an emboldened President Donald Trump ousted two government officials who had delivered damaging testimony against him during his impeachment hearings. The president took retribution just two days after his acquittal by the Senate.
Saturday, February 8, 2020

Fact check: Democrats skew some health care and Iraq facts in debate
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic presidential contenders stretched beyond the facts on policy and sometimes on their own records Friday in their New Hampshire debate.
Saturday, February 8, 2020

Here Comes Mike
Back in the 1980s, then-Democratic National Committee Chairman Chuck Manatt tried to get rid of Iowa, which is to say, get rid of the special status that allowed it to conduct the first of the nation's caucuses.
Friday, February 7, 2020

Iowa Was Very Good for Bloomberg
The Iowa caucuses have long been nearly useless as a measure of Americans' preferences for the next president. This year it has been more useless than usual.
Friday, February 7, 2020

The offensive Bloomberg campaign
The rich are different from you and me -- they can buy themselves instant presidential campaigns.
Friday, February 7, 2020

Is there a market where I can short liberals?
It's been a great week!
Friday, February 7, 2020

NeverTrump challengers fail first big test
For six months, some of President Trump's most implacable foes have invested great hope in two Republicans -- former Rep. Joe Walsh and former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld -- who are challenging the president for the GOP nomination. Could they do some damage to Trump's re-election prospects?
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The end of 2016
And so 2016 finally draws to a close.  

It's been the longest election year in American history. It ran from Feb. 1, 2016, the date of the Iowa caucuses, to the Senate vote to acquit President Donald Trump in early February 2020. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The Bernie path works only for Bernie
The Democratic race is shaping up as most of the candidates expected at the outset, with the campaign appealing to the most fervent progressive wing of the party showing formidable strength. 
Monday, February 3, 2020

The Johns: Dean and Bolton
For those who don't remember or weren't born, John Dean was the White House lawyer who blew the Watergate hearings wide open, which led directly to the so-called Saturday Night Massacre (Nixon's firing of special counsel Archibald Cox via the No. 3 official at the Justice Department, after the attorney general and his deputy refused to do so), which in turn led to Nixon's resignation.
Saturday, February 1, 2020

Democrats play 3D Chinese checkers in Iowa
Deep in the historical archives of the state that Monday holds the first contest in the 2020 presidential election is the farm diary of Ellen Mowrer Miller, who, more than a century and a half ago, expressed the optimism that a dozen Democratic candidates are struggling to summon right now: "I see all things that is good, holy & lovely."
Friday, January 31, 2020

China's environmental malpractice hurts everyone
A lot of things are going wrong on this planet, and a lot of those problems are made in China. The deadly coronavirus is being linked to "wet markets" that traffic in wildlife. Not only have these markets enabled the virus to pass from animals to humans but they have also contributed to the decimation of the world's wildlife.
Friday, January 31, 2020

Fully automatic media
The tedium of the impeachment trial has at least allowed me to catch up on my reading. Apparently, there was a peaceful gun rights rally in Virginia last week that had the media in a panic.
Thursday, January 30, 2020

Iowa could make Dems' Bernie problem much, much worse
Just days before the 2008 Democratic presidential caucuses in Iowa, Hillary Clinton led Barack Obama by four points in the RealClearPolitics average of polls. Obama took the lead, by a few tenths of one percentage point, literally 24 hours before the caucuses. And then he won by nearly eight points.
Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Bloomberg is showing Democrats a good time
Democrats could use some cheering up now that their conventional politicians are locked in fierce ideological battle. The moderate Democratic majority fears that an aggressive left could saddle them with a zombie candidate sure to lose to President Donald Trump. That person could also cost them control of the House by hurting down-ballot Democrats in hard-won swing districts.
Tuesday, January 28, 2020

There is no Ukraine whodunit
It shouldn't be news that John Bolton can attest to a White House scheme to pressure Ukraine on investigations.
Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Are you watching?
There were two TVs on in the gym. The one in the front -- where all the training goes on -- showed two teams from somewhere else battling for a ball.

The one in the back, with no sound, no captions, was focused on the House impeachment managers.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Anything can happen in Iowa
It's less than 10 days before Iowans, possibly braving bitter cold and blowing snow, head to school libraries, church basements, community centers and veterans' halls to begin the formal process of choosing the Democratic presidential nominee. The outcome is as uncertain as the weather.
Monday, January 27, 2020

Illinois should have a national park; there are many possibilities
There are 61 national parks. California has nine. Illinois has none. In the past couple of years, the Arch in St. Louie and the Dunes in northwestern Indiana have both been designated as national parks. Illinois had better rattle its tin cup out in D.C., as it appears to be "let's get a park" season.
Saturday, January 25, 2020

Removal would be insane
It's easy to forget what the Senate impeachment trial is supposed to be about. 
Friday, January 24, 2020

Democratic attacks on Sanders are long overdue
Bernie Sanders' campaign recently stabbed Elizabeth Warren in the back. She was the Vermont senator's comrade in arms. It also threw a pack of lies at Joe Biden, tarring him as corrupt with zero evidence. As former Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin told Politico, Sanders "will play dirty." The Democrat added, "I'm concerned that we're seeing a replay of the kind of dynamics that didn't allow Hillary to win."
Thursday, January 23, 2020

About Hillary
It won't do.

It is simply not the case that "nobody likes" Sen. Bernie Sanders. It isn't true that he hasn't accomplished anything. He ignited the progressive movement within the Democratic Party, and for 2020, Democrats will need every person who likes him.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Impeachment week: It's ok to be bored; not ok to be white
It's weeks like this that make me wish I had a job and didn't have to stay home watching TV. With the impeachment nonsense dragging into its 56th month, I have some random observations, only a few of which have anything to do with impeachment.
Thursday, January 23, 2020

As trial begins, the White House strikes back
"Trump has no defense at all," Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, an influential figure among impeachment Democrats, tweeted recently.

"The case is uncontested," Democratic House impeachment manager Rep. Hakeem Jeffries said.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Mitch McConnell is the master of the Senate
Every hostile nickname that Mitch McConnell gets is further confirmation of his effectiveness.

The latest is "Midnight Mitch," a reaction to his resolution setting out the road map for the Senate impeachment trial. The measure stipulated that House impeachment managers could make their case over two days of 12-hour sessions, possibly pushing the presentations into the wee hours. Hence, the latest alliterative moniker for McConnell, also known to his enemies as "Moscow Mitch."

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Beyond Citizens United
Ten years ago, an earthquake rumbled through this city and then beyond the Capital Beltway, sending shock waves into presidential politics and even into the state legislatures. It changed the way candidates campaigned and almost certainly altered who won those campaigns. It spawned an important debate about the role of money in politics and perhaps an even more significant debate about the nature of free expression in a free society.
Monday, January 20, 2020

Equality deferred
 It was in 1972 that Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment.

The Amendment provides "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."

Monday, January 20, 2020

The botched Democratic case for witnesses
The fate of the republic, we are now supposed to believe, hinges on whether there are witnesses at a Senate impeachment trial.
Saturday, January 18, 2020

Sanders' 'Medicare for All' Is Not Fair to Medicare
It needs pointing out that Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All plan bears little resemblance to Medicare. The Vermont senator undoubtedly exploits the word "Medicare" to obscure the radicalness of his single-payer proposal. Medicare, after all, is very popular.

Those who admire single-payer systems -- which do have their virtues -- should own up to it and not hide their plans under misleading labels. Medicare isn't single-payer.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Impeachment: Do Republicans have more fun?
Impeachments aren't what they used to be. Today, young people are supposed to be excited that the president withheld taxpayer money from Ukraine -- a half-billion-dollar foreign aid package that ticks off most Americans under any circumstances, going to a country notable for not being our country, and for a purpose other than the wall.
Friday, January 17, 2020

The Warren strategy
What a coincidence. With less than three weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses, we suddenly learn about a meeting that took place a year ago, with only two people in the room.
Thursday, January 16, 2020

Democrats Should Put an End to Caucuses
 "It is quite astonishing to see with what deadpan and neutral a tone our press and television report the open corruption -- and the flagrantly anti-democratic character -- of the Iowa caucuses."
Thursday, January 16, 2020

Bernie is not normal
The most substantively outrageous presidential campaign in American history has some serious chance of success.       
Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Do Canadians want to defer to Harry and Meghan?
One thing Canadians tend to be is sensible. And so it is surprising how many would consider making Prince Harry and his wife, the former Meghan Markle, king and queen of Canada. Harry is a beneficiary of the lucky sperm club, and Meghan was TV actress from Los Angeles. Do Canadians really want to defer to these two, even under their current titles, His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex?
Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Microtargeting
When I go on Facebook, I don't see many ads for garden equipment, power tools or even big TVs and sound systems. But comfortable work clothes for a woman of a certain age? Low-heeled pumps with arch support? Expensive skin creams that turn back the clock? How did these companies find me?
Monday, January 13, 2020

Neither neocon nor isolationist
Donald Trump isn't George W. Bush.  

That should be obvious to everyone by now, but his critics and even some of his supporters immediately acted as if it were 2003 on the cusp of the Iraq War when Trump took out Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani. 

Monday, January 13, 2020

We're all lobbyists
Remember as a teen when you devised a strategy to convince your old man to let you have the family car to go on a date Saturday night? You we're lobbying, trying to get what you wanted. We're all lobbyists.
Saturday, January 11, 2020

Energizer Bunny Biden spooks the Left
Throughout this unsettling conflict with Iran, Joe Biden has stood out as a calming Democratic voice, speaking of the stakes and challenges with deep knowledge of foreign policy. Just another reason for activists on the left backing Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren to lose their minds.
Thursday, January 9, 2020

CNN and Fox News report on the rise of Hitler
While listening to news reports of what a monstrous threat Iran is, I've been wracking my brain to think of a single terrorist attack in this country committed by an Iranian. If there is one, now would be a good time to mention it! But I can't find any.
Thursday, January 9, 2020

Behind Bolton's decision
Former national security adviser John Bolton shook up the Trump impeachment standoff recently with his announcement that, if subpoenaed, he is "prepared to testify" before a Senate trial. It's still not clear, of course, when or even if a trial might occur, since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is withholding the articles of impeachment. But if there is a trial, and if the Senate subpoenas Bolton, he won't fight it.
Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Anxiety grips America
George W. Bush and Barack Obama both had Gen. Qassem Soleimani in their gunsights. Neither ordered the trigger pulled because of the enormous risks involved in killing one of Iran's top leaders. In listing the possible responses to recent Iranian provocations, U.S. military commanders told President Donald Trump that doing this would be the most dangerous.
Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Colin Kaepernick's stupid lie about America
In the torrent of idiotic commentary unleashed by the killing of Qassem Soleimani, Colin Kaepernick's deserves a place of honor. 
Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Being average is no longer good enough for Illinois, U.S. schools
In a recent column, I noted that most, not all, downstate school districts perform below statewide averages on 11th-grade English and math tests. I didn't blame anyone, instead noting that performance is directly correlated to the household incomes within each district; the lower the average incomes, the lower the test scores. Thus it has been since I began looking at these kinds of data decades ago. As downstate school districts tend to be lower in overall household income than their suburban counterparts, scores also tend to be lower.
Monday, January 6, 2020

Historians roast the 1619 Project
The reviews of the 1619 Project are in.

It is "a very unbalanced, one-sided account." It is "wrong in so many ways." It is "not only ahistorical," but "actually anti-historical." It is "a tendentious and partial reading of American history."

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Do Americans Even Want Time off?
A new Gallup survey finds that about half of Americans who hold second jobs say they don't do it out of financial necessity. Why, then, do they put in the extra hours? Do they just like working?
Saturday, January 4, 2020

New Year's Eve
I'm late with my column. I forgot it was New Year's Eve.

For most of my life, I couldn't have imagined such a thing.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

The phantom momentum of Bernie Sanders
A late-December flurry of articles on a revival of Bernie Sanders' prospects points to a cardinal rule of political journalism: The story must change. Whether the story has actually changed matters not.

Thus, we had a headline in The New York Times reading, "Why Bernie Sanders Is Tough to Beat," and one in Politico that said, "Democratic Insiders: Bernie Could Win the Nomination." The polls, however, have barely budged. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Change is coming to steadfast New Hampshire
Some 47 of the last 56 governors of this state have been Republicans. For six decades, every major-party nominee for statewide office has pledged not to support a sales or income tax. For 340 years, New Hampshire has delegated major powers -- pardons, contracts, nominations -- to a body called the Executive Council that has few analogues in the other 49 states. This is the only state that has never numbered highway exits by miles.

The more things change elsewhere, the more they remain the same here.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Most downstate schools below average, and it's not because of spending
ILLINOIS — Different from Lake Wobegon, where all the youngsters are above average, most downstate Illinois schools perform below the statewide averages on achievement tests. I write not to criticize, but to evaluate, and to explore what might be done to boost achievement.
Saturday, December 28, 2019

Dearly Beloved
"The Dearly Beloved" by Cara Hall was my favorite book of 2019.
Friday, December 27, 2019

Veganuary: A resolution you can skip
I never got the point of a vegan diet. I dislike its cultish mindset. And I regard New Year's resolutions as prelude to failure. That gives Veganuary three strikes and an out as an obsession to commandeer my January.
Friday, December 27, 2019

Happy Kwanzaa! The holiday brought to you by the FBI
Kwanzaa, celebrated exclusively by white liberals, is a fake holiday invented in 1966 by black radical/FBI stooge Ron Karenga -- aka Dr. Maulana Karenga, founder of United Slaves, the violent nationalist rival to the Black Panthers. Liberals have become so mesmerized by multicultural gibberish that they have forgotten the real history of Kwanzaa and Karenga's United Slaves.
Thursday, December 26, 2019

As Pelosi plays games with impeachment, what next for GOP?
The House of Representatives impeached President Bill Clinton on Dec. 19, 1998. It was a Saturday. The votes, in which two articles of impeachment passed, were held around mid-day. By 3 p.m., the House had named its impeachment managers and physically delivered the articles to the Senate for trial.
Thursday, December 26, 2019

Is bipartisanship only a nostalgic memory?
Snowe is the first woman to be elected to both houses of her state legislature and both houses of the U.S. Congress. For four decades, she was a sentinel of good sense in American politics and a member of a vanishing breed in our civic life: a moderate who earned her notoriety not by yelling, but by whispering.
Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Chant or rant? Surviving the most wonderful time of the year can be a bit tricky
(AP) — If the holidays leave you more stressed than centered, some experts say daily meditation sessions can help. The only question: Who has time to meditate when it takes 20 minutes just to find parking at the mall?
Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The victim president
President Donald Trump's impeachment letter to Nancy Pelosi is nothing if not sincere. 
Monday, December 23, 2019

Feeding innovation better than barring fossil fuels
The two most left-leaning presidential candidates, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, seem to think that a ban on fracking would help solve the climate crisis. Hydraulic fracturing is a process that has enabled a revolution in the U.S. production of oil and especially natural gas.
Friday, December 20, 2019

Article 1: Remove this beast from my sight!
In the history of politics, there is no precedent for the media's entire focus to be on undoing the last presidential election.

True, the left has wanted to impeach every Republican president, but at least they used to wait a decent interval between the inauguration and concocting some preposterous "impeachable offense."

Thursday, December 19, 2019

As impeachment moves to Senate, get ready for surprises
With a House impeachment vote a foregone conclusion, the battle to remove President Trump from office has moved to the Senate. Minority Leader Charles Schumer grabbed control of the debate Monday with demands for what he called "fairness" in the president's trial.
Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Politics matter again. Is that a good thing?
Say this if nothing else for President Donald J. Trump: He has made Americans care about politics again.

Gone are the days when politics was a specialist's game, when eyes rolled and conversation stopped when a president's name was mentioned at dinner, when only insiders and lobbyists -- "cowardly lawyers and wretched babblers," in Napoleon Bonaparte's phrase from 1797 -- cared about what committees of the House of Representatives were up to.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The insane effort to make homeless encampments a de facto constitutional right
The Supreme Court just ensured that the nation's homelessness crisis will continue.  

The court declined to take up an appeal of a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, covering the western United States, that homeless encampments are a de facto constitutional right. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The Illinois Tax Man cometh; how should we greet him?
A number of readers (actually two) have requested a column about Gov. J.B. Pritzker's tax initiatives. I have rattled on about this in the past, yet the topic is important to the future of Illinois, so here goes again, at least for the benefit of the two readers with interest.
Monday, December 16, 2019

Raise revenues, but hold the drama
Democratic candidates offer two basic approaches to raising revenues for public programs. One is grand opera -- accusing the wealthy of greed (Bernie Sanders) and malice, that is, "leaving everyone else behind" (Elizabeth Warren). For this bad behavior, there must be punishment in the form of taxation.
Saturday, December 14, 2019

Who's doing the raping? Don't ask 'Law & Order: SVU'
With the impeachment nonsense making TV news unwatchable, I've been catching up on "Law & Order: SVU" recently.
Friday, December 13, 2019

The unhistoric impeachment
Never has history felt less consequential. 
Friday, December 13, 2019

Sinclair Broadcast Group says its dumping Boris Epshteyn's commentaries
NEW YORK (AP) — The Sinclair group of local television stations said Wednesday it is dropping its commentary segments featuring Boris Epshteyn, former aide to President Donald Trump.
Thursday, December 12, 2019

It's official - the dossier was malarkey
The new report from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is an absolutely damning indictment of the Steele dossier.
Thursday, December 12, 2019

Warren's problems go beyond health care
Monday, December 9, 2019

Lock Him Up
His staff used to brag that he was Donald Trump before there was Donald Trump. That was before he pled guilty but after he took to blaming his wife for the misuse of official campaign funds that allegedly financed his extramarital affairs.
Saturday, December 7, 2019

Not Much Romance in Santa's Toy Warehouse
A fixture of family Christmas movies is worldly-wise children recovering some of their innocence. "Miracle on 34th Street" (1947) provides an early example.
Saturday, December 7, 2019

The disgraceful campaign against the Salvation Army
Damaging photos of Pete Buttigieg have surfaced -- ringing a bell for the Salvation Army.  

The images of the South Bend mayor and Democratic presidential candidate participating in the Red Kettle Ring Off, a friendly competition between officials from South Bend and nearby Mishawaka over who can raise more for the Salvation Army during a day of bell-ringing, date from 2017. 

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Judiciary hearing most useful for the history it illuminated
The irony the Democratic impeachers are courting in the latest phase of their drive to remove Donald Trump from the White House is that their efforts may have the effect of helping him win a second term in the White House.
Friday, December 6, 2019

Are facts white nationalist?
I gather it would be proof positive of "white nationalism" to point out that the only group discriminated against in college admissions is white people.
Thursday, December 5, 2019

Our faltering social vitality
The economy is in robust good health, but our social fabric isn't.

By two basic measures of social vitality, births and deaths, American society is faltering. Both the fertility rate and life expectancy are declining, in a sign that people feel less secure and, in some cases, have no hope at all.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The bad-faith impeachment
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Democrats are trying to remove President Trump from office "prayerfully," "sadly" and "with a heavy heart." In fact, as anyone who has been watching knows, many Democrats have been itching to impeach Trump since the day he took office.
Wednesday, December 4, 2019

For Ne Hampshire voters, Iowa's outcome dosen't mean much
Al Foley, who taught history in these parts for decades and still is remembered in song and lore, was one of the great up-country raconteurs of his time. He died in 1978, but I met him once and, like so many others marinated in the folklore of this rugged state, I knew by heart many of his Yankee tales, including this one with special merit as the New Hampshire primary draws near:

Tourist from out of state to the farmer by the road: Does it matter which road I take to Manchester?

Monday, December 2, 2019

Party like a spy: Spookstock is intel world's hush-hush bash
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sometime earlier this year, one of the most elite social events in Washington took place, but without any fanfare or news coverage.
Saturday, November 30, 2019

Filling the buses
In 1976, the one-term Georgia governor who used to surprise locals in Iowa by introducing himself and telling people he was running for president finished first in Iowa (actually, he finished behind uncommitted, but that counted as first) and went on to win the Democratic nomination.
Saturday, November 30, 2019

Why the rush toward impeachment?
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, leader of the Democratic effort to impeach President Trump, told colleagues recently that impeachment is "an urgent matter that cannot wait."
Saturday, November 30, 2019

For New Hampshire voters, Iowa's outcome doesn't mean much
HANOVER, N.H. -- Al Foley, who taught history in these parts for decades and still is remembered in song and lore, was one of the great up-country raconteurs of his time. He died in 1978, but I met him once and, like so many others marinated in the folklore of this rugged state, I knew by heart many of his Yankee tales, including this one with special merit as the New Hampshire primary draws near:
Friday, November 29, 2019

The Bad Prince No one forced him to go.
The photo and video make clear that there was no one holding a gun to his head, no one forcing him to be there.
Friday, November 29, 2019

The Zen of Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is the most American of holidays. But there is something almost un-American about it. It is a day opposed to striving, to getting more. We stop adding up the numbers on the scorecard of life. We freeze in place and give thanks for whatever is there.
Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The check-the-box impeachment
Nancy Pelosi said she undertook impeachment "prayerfully," and apparently what she was praying was that she could get it over with as soon as possible.  

The House is preparing to send a flagrantly incomplete factual record to the Senate as the basis of an effort to remove a sitting president for the first time in our history. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Ideas for curbing corruption in Illinois, over time; or, how to become Iowans
As readers might surmise from reading the news about Illinois, our state is arguably embedded in a political culture (patterns of behavior) of corruption (unearned personal gain at public expense). This doesn't mean that everyone in the Prairie State is corrupt, but that there is a learned disposition among too many of us that if we have a chance to take advantage of government, we might as well do so, as everyone else would do so in the same situation.

I have some ideas that could transform our disposition, but as with any cultural change, it will take time. After all, ingrained habits are hard to break.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Do US carmakers want us to like them?
Ask not why the Trump administration must dismantle America's environmental laws with such gusto. By now, that's a given. Instead, let's ask why some automakers, businesses that must plan years in advance, are siding with a president intent on sowing chaos in their own industry.
Monday, November 25, 2019










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