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home : opinion : editorial March 30, 2020

Speak Out

Saturday, March 28, 2020


Jenny for VP
The novel coronavirus has made clear who in this country actually runs things.

It should be, and occasionally is, the president.

But in this instance, President Donald Trump has mostly been a cheerleader, often cheering for the wrong side -- the side that thought the virus was just a hoax, that there's nothing to worry about here, and that it would disappear. But he's not the one issuing the orders. That would be the governors and mayors. It's the governors who are out there fighting to buy masks and ventilators in a free-for-all triggered by the president. It's the governors and mayors telling us what we can and can't do. It's the governors who, struggling to restrain the virus, are directing where and when hospital beds can be built. I see Gov. Gavin Newsom every day. I see Gov. Andrew Cuomo every day. I haven't seen Sen. Kamala Harris since she dropped out. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, not at all. I'm sure they are voting with Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Rainbows Behind the Virus Crisis
Milan is the V-8 engine of Italy's economy. Known as an industrial and financial powerhouse, Milan is also famous for its foul air. Now the city and its region, Lombardy, have become the epicenter of Europe's coronavirus pandemic. To stop the virus' spread, factories, offices, restaurants and bars are closed. People are ordered to stay at home. The traffic is gone.

And the air is much cleaner. Satellites report a dramatic drop in the region's air pollution. Since the lockdown started on March 9, the levels of nitrogen oxide in northern Italy have plunged dramatically. NO2 is a toxic gas that can cause inflammation of the body's air passages. Clean air has been a bright spot in the region's immense suffering.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

The robot rule
What if?

The novel coronavirus' fatality rate is highest in men over 70. All three men left in this presidential race are over 70. I am certainly not the only one who has thought about this.

Friday, March 27, 2020

The cipher as presidential candidate
What William McKinley was to the front-porch campaign, Joe Biden is to the basement campaign.  

Sidelined and confined to his house by the dictates of coronavirus social distancing, the former vice president has been limited to intermittent appearances from a makeshift studio in his basement. They have been awkward and low-energy, but that doesn't really set them apart from most other Joe Biden appearances. 

Friday, March 27, 2020

The togetherness of social distancing
As the coronavirus stops normal life, trapping more Americans in their homes, some have raised the specter of another health threat: loneliness. Before this crisis seized our anxieties, much discussion centered around the dangers of perceived social isolation and feeling cut off from others.
Thursday, March 26, 2020

How do we flatten the curve on panic?
If, as the evidence suggests, the Chinese virus is enormously dangerous to people with certain medical conditions and those over 70 years old, but a much smaller danger to those under 70, then shutting down the entire country indefinitely is probably a bad idea.
Thursday, March 26, 2020

Biden fails to lead on virus fight
Give Joe Biden some credit. On Jan. 27, he published an op-ed in USA Today recognizing that the coronavirus outbreak could become a big problem. But he devoted nearly the entire piece to bashing President Trump -- who was then fighting off impeachment from Biden's old Democratic colleagues on Capitol Hill -- and nearly none of it to explaining what he, Joe Biden, would do to fight the pandemic.
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

This is not sustainable
Countries have experienced economic depressions before, but not usually as a matter of choice.  

The nationwide coronavirus shutdowns over the past two weeks have ground parts of the country to a halt. We have probably never before in our history seen so much economic activity vaporize so quickly -- within days or even hours. The Great Depression and the panics of the 19th century are the only possible analogues. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Tale of two families explains our pulling apart
At a recent dinner party, it was wondered why our society appears to be pulling apart. I observed that sometimes unfortunate consequences flow from otherwise benign changes. I illustrated with a "tale of two families," both known to me in my rural central Illinois setting.
Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Only the 'crooks' can save us now
A specter haunts progressive America -- the possibility that a company might make too much money solving the world's coronavirus problem.
Monday, March 23, 2020

The anger piece
I'm old enough to know that anger is sure to harm only one person: the one who is angry. I know because I've done it. So I have learned as best I can to put my anger in a black box, not in my poor stomach.
Monday, March 23, 2020

History's crises lend us guidance and perspective
It turns out that the Greatest Generation left us the greatest example of how to proceed in the greatest health threat of our time.
Saturday, March 21, 2020

Cheap TVs, damn expensive flu
Here's a thought: While self-quarantining with their families in multimillion-dollar Manhattan co-ops, Wall Street wives ought to have a chat with their Master of the Universe husbands about China, globalism and political correctness. Those are the vectors of their robber-baron wealth.
Thursday, March 19, 2020

HIPAA Wasn't Meant for This
HIPAA was a great law for its time. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protects the privacy of your personal medical records. You don't have to tell anyone about underlying diseases. That's your business, not theirs. For years, it has protected Americans with AIDS and cancer and everything else from discrimination, private or official.
Thursday, March 19, 2020

Caring for the elderly just got more stressful
 We who oversee the care of elderly friends or family know what stress is all about -- in normal times. It's a hard job, physically and mentally. Even for those who can hire others to help out, there remains worry about paying good wages to keep good people, and coordinating doctor visits and prescriptions.
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Trump's coronavirus response isn't the work of a dictator
What happens when the supposed dictator won't dictate? This is the conundrum confronted by the harshest critics of President Donald Trump who have gone from warning he is a budding despot to complaining he hasn't done enough to impose his will during the coronavirus crisis. 
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Alone, together
We used to worry about a country where people were bowling alone. Now we have ample reason to worry about going bowling at all.

The phrase "bowling alone" entered the American lexicon 25 years ago after the Harvard political scientist Robert D. Putnam published a landmark essay bearing that title. In that essay, later expanded into an important book, Putnam argued that civic engagement -- membership in religious, veterans', labor, fraternal, voluntary and parent-teacher organizations -- had dramatically dropped and that late-20th-century Americans increasingly were isolated from each other.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Three reasons Joe Biden will never be president
Joe Biden was sworn into the United States Senate on Jan. 3, 1973. He remained in the Senate until Jan. 15, 2009 -- a span of 36 years. If history is any guide, that alone is a disqualifier in Biden's quest for the White House.

What does 36 years in the Senate say about a politician? It says he is a senator -- not a president.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

AOC Must Choose Between the Future and the Political Abyss
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hitched her star to Bernie Sanders -- and vice versa. AOC brought a young, hip Latina vibe to the elderly Sanders' rallies. Photogenic and enjoying a massive social media presence, she joined Bernie in the far left's crusade to take over the Democratic Party.
Saturday, March 14, 2020

How to talk to your children about Elizabeth Warren
Some people see Elizabeth Warren's poor showing on Super Tuesday as just another Democratic hopeful losing her bid.

I see something darker. I see the ugly heart that beats beneath our supposed "democracy." Frankly, I'm afraid.

Friday, March 13, 2020

On coronavirus, the nationalists aren't nationalist enough
A foreign threat, emanating from China and requiring border controls and the exercise of government power to protect Americans, has arrived in the United States.  

Yet President Donald Trump spent the initial weeks minimizing the threat and talking of it magically disappearing, despite being a nationalist who has long emphasized the importance of borders and the danger of China.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Identity politics didn't work for Warren, either
Was being a woman Elizabeth Warren's problem? That's the wrong question. Here's a better question: Was playing the protector of all damsels from that infamous rake, Mike Bloomberg, her problem? It was one of them, for certain.
Thursday, March 12, 2020

Calling the Wuhan virus 'the Wuhan virus' isn't racist
The coronavirus outbreak is the first pandemic of the woke era, and as such it's not surprising that there is a fierce debate over how to refer to it without offending against social justice. 
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Watering plants is actually good for you
I know this is an outlier story. It's about Brooklyn brownstone couples who pay over $2,000 for professionals to choose and care for their houseplants. Houseplant designing is actually a service being offered to the urban and suburban gentry. One such "Plant Doctor & Stylist" charges an hourly rate between $125 and $175. Those are psychotherapy prices.
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

The stark cultural differences inside the Democratic party
Yes, Democrats are divided over Bernie Sanders' revolution versus Joe Biden's restoration of status quo Obama. Yes, they are divided over what that means in terms of policy, like Sanders' Medicare for All versus Biden's tweaked Obamacare.
Monday, March 9, 2020

Why must a woman be perfect?
Elizabeth Warren checked every box. Brilliant. Tough. Prepared. A Harvard Law professor who didn't go to a fancy private law school. Married young, followed her husband, made it to the United States Senate by dint of hard work, determination and courage.
Monday, March 9, 2020

Honey, we blew up the presidency
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The primary in this battleground state that has provided a vital margin in two of the five elections this century is a little more than a week away, and already voters here are confronting a new political reality.
Saturday, March 7, 2020

Clean and coal: Many interests at play in Illinois energy overhaul discussions
SPRINGFIELD — One day after hundreds rallied at the Capitol in support of a sweeping clean energy reform package, a Senate committee heard hours of testimony on the intricacies of the state’s energy landscape Thursday.
Friday, March 6, 2020

Bernie is still Trump's nightmare
The Democrats' sudden discovery of 77-year-old eminence grise Joe Biden has the electric feeling of Republicans settling on George H.W. Bush in 1992. (The Iowa Republican Party actually canceled the caucuses that year so as not to embarrass President Bush.)

It's Democrats convincing themselves in 2004 that John Kerry was the "safe" choice.

Proposed Biden campaign slogan: OK, I Guess He'll Do.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

The candidate of the nonbelievers
Once upon a time, Bernie Sanders would have had another political vulnerability besides his socialism -- namely, his atheism. 
Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The White House shouldn't downplay the coronavirus
The White House has been walking into a coronavirus trap.  

By pooh-poohing worries about the virus and saying everything is under control, it is setting itself up for the charge, if things get even a little bad, that it was self-deluding and overly complacent. It will be accused of making mission-accomplished statements before the mission truly began. 

Monday, March 2, 2020

Playing politics with a pandemic
On Dad's favorite morning show, Junior was asked whether he was "surprised the way they've been handling the coronavirus situation, meaning Democrats."

Put aside all the problems with the question itself -- put aside fair and balanced, much less smart and stupid -- because the answer is so much more.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Real rape
"Did you know him?"

"No."

"Oh, then you were really raped."

Friday, February 28, 2020

Experience Sanders couldn't buy, even with Bloomberg's money
Mike Bloomberg was elected New York mayor two months after the outrage of Sept. 11, 2001. He took over a city reeling with grief and suffering economic losses tied to the terrorist attacks. Rather than lay off public workers who had performed gallantly in the crisis, he raised taxes on the well-to-do.
Thursday, February 27, 2020

Is the intelligence community planning to meddle in the 2020 election?
Recently the intelligence community made clear it will be a player in the 2020 presidential election. No one should be surprised.

On February 13, the House Intelligence Committee held a meeting at which intel officials briefed lawmakers on foreign efforts to influence U.S. elections. By several accounts, the officials told the committee that Russia is working to re-elect President Trump.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Is America ready for President Noam Chomsky?
Bernie Sanders may be on the verge of  gaining an insurmountable lead in the Democratic nomination fight, but he's not letting that get in the way of his socialist principles. 
Tuesday, February 25, 2020

California is a whole different bird
n Iowa, they pause for coffee at the Kum & Go convenience stores in crossroads scattered around the state. In New Hampshire, they engage voters in school gymnasiums and on town street corners. Here, they appear on television.
Monday, February 24, 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










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