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home : opinion : editorial January 23, 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Democrats have been running rings around Republicans on impeachment
On the substance, Democrats have won the first two weeks of the impeachment hearings by TKO.  

Not that it's required much exertion. The facts have been in their favor, especially considering the ground that congressional Republicans have tried to defend. 

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Two cheers for John Milton
Just when we need it the most, fresh inspiration about the value and virtue of a free press is here. It's from the year 1644.
Friday, November 22, 2019

We'll tell you who's privileged
While waiting for a car at Union Station last Thursday night, I was treated to a giant TV screen playing Christine Blasey Ford's testimony from last year against then-nominee Brett Kavanaugh -- now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The display had been arranged by feminists to protest the justice's speech to a Federalist Society dinner inside the station.
Thursday, November 21, 2019

Why Democrats don't want the public to know the origins of the Ukraine probe
Why are House Democrats stonewalling questions about the identity of the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower?

Start by taking them at their word. Perhaps they really are concerned about the whistleblower's personal safety. They also know that, beyond a limited prohibition applying only to the inspector general of the intelligence community, no law bars anyone -- in politics, media or anywhere else -- from revealing the whistleblower's identity. So they worry.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Elizabeth Warren's 'Medicare for All' debacle
The clear loser of the Democratic primary is "Medicare for All."
Tuesday, November 19, 2019

America is squandering our grandchildren's future
Many of us sense our great nation  that City upon a Hill  is slipping down the slope, yet we're not sure how to restrain the slide.
Monday, November 18, 2019

Canadian city's 1919 general strike has lessons for today
Why should we care today about a general strike in a faraway city on the remote Canadian plains exactly a century ago? Why should the fact that it lasted six weeks and involved 36,000 strikers -- or even that it produced at least four novels -- interrupt our preoccupations with American travails: a presidential impeachment, a race for the White House or even our absorption in this week's NFL schedule?
Monday, November 18, 2019

This time, it was Saugus
In California, every kid over the age of 3 knows how to duck and cover, and has an earthquake kit in their locker, emergency phone numbers and the like. Pretty terrifying the first time you pack that little kit for school.
Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Russian conspiracy that just won't die
The Mueller report accomplished nothing.  

Whether you thought that the two-year, $32 million investigation was warranted or not, the report promised to establish a factual record that both sides could accept, especially on the explosive charge that Donald Trump had conspired with the Russians to win the American presidency. 

Saturday, November 16, 2019

No, Michael Bloomberg will not save the Democrats
WARNING: Parts of this column may bear strong resemblance to my earlier columns when Michael Bloomberg toyed with running for president, because with Bloomberg, history has a way of repeating itself.
Friday, November 15, 2019

Bloomberg, billionaires and boobery
I'd like to personally bop over the head the next Democrat who says that Michael Bloomberg shouldn't be running for president because he's a billionaire. Let's give thanks that a simple-minded dismissal of rich candidates didn't sink FDR's chances.

Billionaires are not the enemy. If you believe that those raking in astronomical incomes should be paying higher taxes -- and Warren Buffet and I do -- that is a job for our elected representatives who write the tax code.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

How to get into Harvard without good SAT scores
If you're looking for a shortcut to get your kid into a prestigious college, but your little one doesn't have high enough cheekbones to claim to be an Indian, consider the petal-strewn path of the newly elected San Francisco district attorney, Chesa Boudin.

Chesa's sparkling credentials are: He is the son of celebrated cop-killers Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert! That was enough to win him admission to Yale, Oxford and Yale Law School.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Mike Pompeo definitely was not a Marine officer
Susan Estrich is off. The following column is by Mark Shields.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Democrats shouldn't blame Latin
If the impeachment effort isn't taking the nation by storm, the Democrats have an answer -- blame it on Latin.  

The use of a Latin term, quid pro quo, is now thought to be a damper on the impeachment cause because it sounds complex and technical. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Medicare's outpatient 'Part B' premium going up to $144.60
WASHINGTON (AP) — Medicare’s “Part B” premium for outpatient care will rise by nearly 7% to $144.60 a month next year, officials said Friday. They blamed rising spending on medications.
Saturday, November 9, 2019

New York puts Trump in rearview
The (mostly) charming family movie "Mr. Popper's Penguins" is about a divorced father living alone in his posh Manhattan digs. Unexpectedly, he receives two boxes of penguins, and chaos ensues. But the 2011 film has a not-very-subtle subtheme: the prominence of future President Donald Trump as the quintessential rich and heroic New Yorker.
Saturday, November 9, 2019

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg opens the door to a 2020 presidential campaign
WASHINGTON (AP) — Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, is opening the door to a 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, warning that the current field of candidates is ill equipped to defeat President Donald Trump.
Friday, November 8, 2019

AI comes to hockey, but romance remains
MONTREAL -- In a classic start-up setting -- in a former textile plant four miles from where the first hockey match was played a century and a half ago -- a group of high-tech computer engineers are changing Canada's most revered pastime.
Friday, November 8, 2019

Report: Illinois public education improving, but much more work lies ahead
SPRINGFIELD — A group that advocates for public education in Illinois released a report indicating the state has made some progress in improving educational outcomes over the past five years, but it still has a long way to go to achieve the goal of having 60 percent of all adults attaining some kind of college-level degree or certificate by 2025.
Friday, November 8, 2019

California Dems show us the future. Run for you lives
In this column, I will prove that Democrats: 1) Don't care about "Russians," (Ukrainians?) or anyone else interfering with our democracy; and 2) they also don't give a crap about guns.
Thursday, November 7, 2019

Could the Trump haters quiet down?
I disagree with almost everything President Donald Trump has done. I cringe at the disrespect he has shown to his own office. He has degraded the presidency, driven us apart, lied enough to make anything Joe Biden has ever said trivial by comparison, cozied up to Russian President Vladimir Putin and contradicted his own intelligence services, even as he was attacking NATO. Oh, yes, and the Ukraine thing.
Thursday, November 7, 2019

Moderation and good manners actually win elections
Moderation along with good manners delivered impressive victories to Democrats this week. Case in point was Andy Beshear's win over Republican incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin in the Kentucky governor's race.
Thursday, November 7, 2019

Trump, the phone call and consciousness of guilt
The July 25 call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Vlodomyr Zelensky is the central piece of evidence in the Democratic drive to remove the president from office. "That call was a smoking gun," Speaker Nancy Pelosi said after House Democrats voted to formalize their impeachment inquiry.
Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Democrats preside over stronger economies
Are you worried that the economy grew by only 1.9% in the recent quarter? That's a pretty weak performance. But it would seem downright dismal if you believed Donald Trump's assertion during the 2016 campaign that 1.9% growth during one of Barack Obama's quarters signaled an economy "in deep trouble."
Tuesday, November 5, 2019

'Nationalism' shouldn't be a dirty word
If there's one thing that elite opinion tends to agree about on the left and the right, it's that nationalism is a very bad thing. If anything, this view has become even more entrenched as nationalism has demonstrated its potency in recent years, from the election of Donald Trump to Britain's vote to leave the European Union.
Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Betting billions on bizarre entrepreneurs
What can you say about "sophisticated" investors who would pile billions into a startup whose 40-year-old founder walks the streets of Manhattan barefooted and says his company's mission is to "elevate the world's consciousness"? Did I mention that his enterprise has yet to turn a penny of profit?
Monday, November 4, 2019

Winning isn't the whole game in politics
Current "must win at all costs" campaigning  where big money and trashing one's opponent in a close race seem de rigueur  may be at the heart of what ails American politics. There are other reasons, and good ones, to run, even if the candidate doesn't expect to win.

Of course, candidates want to win, and believe they should. Indeed, once in a race, even a long-shot bid, candidates almost necessarily develop a mindset that they can and will win. It's part of our DNA.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Facebook's folly
Mark Zuckerberg is certainly a genius, but not when it comes to understanding the First Amendment, much less the politics of a city like Washington, D.C.
Saturday, November 2, 2019

The best Trump defense
Republicans have had trouble mounting an effective defense on Ukraine because they haven't put down their stakes on the most defensible ground.
Saturday, November 2, 2019

Nixon's 'Silent Majority' is Trump's 'Forgotten men and Women'
President Franklin Roosevelt spoke repeatedly, just after Pearl Harbor and later during World War II, of a dangerous minority opposed to the conflict. Sen. Paul Douglas of Illinois spoke in 1967 of a "silent center." In the spring of 1969, the prominent campaign chronicler Theodore H. White spoke of America's "mute masses," saying that the challenge for President Richard M. Nixon was to "interpret what the silent think, and govern the country against the grain of what its more important thinkers think."
Friday, November 1, 2019

New poll poses serious questions about Dem impeachment drive
There's no doubt Democrats in Washington are hell-bent on impeaching President Trump over the Ukraine matter. But after weeks of polling, it is still unclear precisely what Americans outside the Beltway think.
Friday, November 1, 2019

He's a one-man Ukrainian lobby!
I have a confession. I behaved badly recently, and I'm just going to admit it.

As a guest at a dinner party in Georgetown, I stormed in and started bossing everyone around. First, I demanded that the foyer be painted a different color and wainscoting be added to the dining room. Then I had my hosts assemble their children so I could give them all different names. Before making my exit, I grabbed two legs of turkey off the entree platter and stuffed them in my purse.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

California can't keep the lights on
California is staying true to its reputation as the land of innovation -- it is making blackouts, heretofore the signature of impoverished and war-torn lands, a routine feature of 21st-century American life.
Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The problem with President Pence
Republican senators will soon be receiving an invitation to tear apart the GOP ahead of the 2020 elections, and they are going to decline to accept it.
Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Is Klobuchar the Heartland moderate Democrats need?
Beats me why heartland Democrats running for president haven't gained more traction. Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan just left the race despite his success in part of the industrial Midwest that delivered the presidency to Donald Trump. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock continues to just hang on, arguing that he's the only Democrat who won statewide office in a very red state.
Tuesday, October 29, 2019

A new black market is set to burn Illinois taxpayers
The black market - the underground, unregulated and untaxed, and extremely dangerous threat to Illinoisans and its small businesses  -took a deserved hit in the spring legislative session with the legalization of adult use of marijuana. Lawmakers understand that it is smart policy to properly regulate and tax the industry, and bring it out of the shadows.

Yet, the black market stands to rebound in the fall veto session that starts next week. Lawmakers are considering a ban on all flavored tobacco and vaping products in Illinois  playing a game of regulatory whack-a-mole that never ends well.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

ComEd gets tangled up in Illinois politics
Political corruption in Illinois is back in the news. (When did it leave?) A reader writes: Why so much corruption, and so little in neighboring states?

I respond that we have in Illinois a culture (pattern of behavior and values) of corruption (unearned personal gain at public expense). Over our state's history, a sense has developed among too many of us that if we have an opportunity to take advantage of government we might as well do so, as that's what anyone else would do  fix a traffic ticket, get out of a DUI, find an inside track to a profitable government contract, and more.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Trump should want a rapid impeachment
The Ukraine story hasn't been good for President Donald Trump, and there's only one way out -- to get impeached, and the sooner, the better. 
Friday, October 25, 2019

Trinity Dodge Fixed
Dr Paul The Dentist
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