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home : opinion : editorial December 19, 2018

Does Trump care that he's president?
The office of the presidency is known for wearing down the mere mortals who hold it.
Tuesday, December 18, 2018


New Yorkers Yelling at New Yorkers
Respected news sources have described those 16 televised minutes of shouting between Donald Trump and "Chuck and Nancy" as an "altercation" and a "lurid" exchange. To New York ears, it was just a discussion.
Monday, December 17, 2018

Speaking of everything...in Latin
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The state of nature before civilization. The Austro-Hungarian Empire. Financial instability. Politics in Brazil. Refugees from Honduras. The philosophy of the Canadian thinker Charles Taylor. Paul von Hindenburg. The perils of automation. A French railway car. Thomas Hobbes. Swings in the stock market. The genocide of Armenians. The Reichstag fire. How Costco packages the milk it sells at its warehouse stores. The two times his car fish-tailed on the highway.
Saturday, December 15, 2018

Few of us are even remotely prepared for elder care
It often starts off easy. For me it did. An elderly friend needed some help with food shopping and dealing with the cable company. He has no family to speak of, and his close friends have died. Pushing 90, his thinking had obviously slowed, but he could still shave, bathe and dress.
Friday, December 14, 2018

Get-Trump talk shifts from Russia to campaign finance
Prosecutors investigating President Trump made big news recently, but it wasn't about Russia. Rather, in their sentencing recommendation for fixer Michael Cohen, lawyers with the U.S.
Friday, December 14, 2018

Britain's Brexit self-abasement
Shakespeare famously wrote of the "sceptered isle" of Britain acting as a moat "against the envy of less happier lands." 
Thursday, December 13, 2018

Government indicts ham sandwich: Michael Cohen pleads guilty
This week, I will provide readers with a FREE excerpt from "Resistance Is Futile! How the Trump-Hating Left Lost Its Collective Mind" in order to prove that if you'd bought the book two months ago, you'd already understand the rules of the game. Now that Democrats are about to take control of the House, this is the only book you'll need until President Trump is out of office.
Thursday, December 13, 2018

Yes, voter fraud is real
Maybe ballot security isn't such a bad thing after all.
Friday, December 7, 2018

Mourning President Bush
I spent more than a year working to beat him. I thought his campaign manager was about the most unethical person I'd ever met. I knew that the fish rots from the head. I was not a big fan of George H.W. Bush's.
Friday, December 7, 2018

Bush's finest 30 seconds: The Willie Horton ad
The press in America is even worse than we imagine. We sense that they're biased and stunningly incompetent. They are those things, but so much more. Our media's version of the news is mathematically and precisely the opposite of the truth.
Thursday, December 6, 2018

Case against Flynn nears end with no jail recommendation
Michael Flynn has been waiting for more than a year to be sentenced. The retired three-star Army general, who spent 24 days as the Trump White House national security adviser, pleaded guilty on Dec. 1, 2017, to lying to the FBI in the Trump-Russia investigation. He agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller.
Thursday, December 6, 2018

An American life: A life of purpose
So endeth one of the great American lives.
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

You, Too, Redskins
How low can you go?
Monday, December 3, 2018

Why Barbara Bush is so high up in George H.W.'s obituaries
Rarely has a president been identified so closely with his wife. That Barbara Bush never pursued a big-league career made her high profile even more remarkable. Nor did she fashion herself into an icon of elegance and glamour. She rose to prominence for simply being the partner-in-life of George H.W. Bush.
Monday, December 3, 2018

'The front runner' and me
Long ago and far away -- in 1987 and in New Hampshire, to be precise -- a promising candidate for the White House was hounded out of the presidential campaign because he was seen in his townhouse with a 29-year-old woman. It was a political drama then, and it is a film drama now.
Saturday, December 1, 2018

Sorry, you can't protect Mueller
Mitch McConnell just did our constitutional order an enormous favor by burying the so-called Robert Mueller protection bill, hopefully never to rise again.
Friday, November 30, 2018

Alcohol and opioids are different risks
Is alcohol really "the most dangerous drug"? That's what Governing magazine said on a cover, adding, "Cheap, legal and more deadly than opioids."
Friday, November 30, 2018

He who primaries can be primaried
Republicans and Democrats both battle over party doctrine and control. The difference with the Democrats is that their discontents often don't stop fighting after the results are in. They continue the hostilities rather than unite in common cause with fellow Democrats whom they disdainfully call "the establishment."
Thursday, November 29, 2018

Trump's great wall becomes Trump's great stall
For those of us who were ecstatic the night Donald Trump was elected president, who watch election night videos over and over again, it used to be easy to defend him against the charge that he is just a BS-ing con man who would say anything to get elected.
Thursday, November 29, 2018

Why not build a border barrier - It's the law
The news is filled with images of migrants massing at the U.S-Mexico border in California. Why haven't they been able to enter the United States? Because a physical barrier prevents them from doing so.
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The media was wrong about the caravan
It's roughly the three-week anniversary of CNN reporter Jim Acosta repeatedly telling President Donald Trump at a press conference that the migrant caravan is "hundreds and hundreds of miles away" and "not an invasion," and objecting to a campaign ad that showed migrants climbing border walls -- "they're not going to be doing that."
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Let the mating dance begin
FRANCONIA NOTCH, N.H. -- Jeremy Belknap, credited with being the first American historian, said the natural beauty of this state had the ability "to soothe and to enrapture." Timothy Dwight, a Yale president who traveled among the peaks of New Hampshire more than 200 years ago, called the vistas here "sublime." Alden Partridge, sometimes known as the first extreme hiker, said the area "appeared to me so strangely illustrative of the original state of chaos."
Saturday, November 24, 2018

Is the economy headed to crazytown?
The recent election suggested -- and subsequent polls showed -- that a public happy with the economy under Donald Trump is nevertheless very unhappy with the man himself. It took a massive amount of discontent with the president's character and conduct for voters to punish his party at a time of low unemployment, rising wages and quarterly growth exceeding 3 percent.
Saturday, November 24, 2018

Trump should fear Uncle Joe
Joe Biden is a gaffe-prone 75-year-old Washington veteran -- who is exactly what Democrats need.
Friday, November 23, 2018

Jared: The birdbrain of Alcatraz
In the systematic dismantling of common sense in America, Jared Kushner's "sentencing reform" bill is the coup de grace -- a Mack Truck hurtling down the highway about to take out thousands of Americans. The Idiot Army is already in place to fight and win this battle.
Friday, November 23, 2018

Democrats, listen to Bustos and Keep Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi will probably return as speaker of the House and should. A proven master at running the legislature, she's plug-and-play ready and able to steer Democrats through these chaotic times.
Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Midterms a low point for undermining faith in democracy
For more than two years, voters have heard Democrats accuse Republicans of trying to undermine confidence in the American democratic system.
Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Trump's not populist enough
The midterms suggest that President Donald Trump needs to double down on populism, just not the sort that's been his signature to this point.
Monday, November 19, 2018

As Dems weigh impeachment, GOP leaders regret pursuing Clinton
If Democrats are trying to reassure anyone that they won't impeach President Trump, they're aren't doing a very good job of it.
Monday, November 19, 2018

Taylorville church collecting for troops for Christmas
TAYLORVILLE — The Davis Memorial Christian Church in Taylorville has begun collecting items to send abroad to our military troops for Christmas.
Friday, November 16, 2018

America's wealth floods into already wealthy cities
When Amazon chose a Queens neighborhood across from Manhattan for one of its new headquarters, James Corden remarked on "The Late Late Show," "I gotta say, I really think this could be the thing that finally puts New York on the map."
Friday, November 16, 2018

GOP to Dems: Here, take our wallet too!
Election recounts would be more plausible if Democrats occasionally let the Republican win. But they don't. Ballots miraculously discovered days and weeks after the election -- in the back seat of a car, after helpful "corrections" to the ballots by election supervisors, etc. -- invariably result in a surprise win for the Democrat.
Friday, November 16, 2018

Why are Democrats fronting the Platinum crowd?
It's against the law to discriminate in employment. As an old lawyer, I firmly subscribe to the canon of young doctors and old lawyers.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

No, Trump is not diminished
Midterm losses typically humble a sitting president of the United States, but Donald Trump is beyond humbling.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Iowans rebel
All day long they poured into the split-level house on Galway Circle, taking the stairs to the basement, receiving their get-out-the-vote packets, pausing to get their final instructions. These were the foot soldiers of the Democratic insurgency, and they were fired with purpose, urgency -- and piles of egg-salad sandwiches.
Monday, November 12, 2018

As the world moves on, the Brett Kavanaugh fight continues
Justice Brett Kavanaugh is on the Supreme Court, but the fight over his nomination goes on.
Saturday, November 10, 2018

Democrats need an immigration policy fast
In recent months, the political leadership of two neighboring countries with large immigration programs issued very different messages. They would be the United States and Canada.
Friday, November 9, 2018

That's all you got?
Two years of non-stop campaigning, denouncing and doxing -- and all the Resistance has to show for it is a House majority smaller than the one Republicans currently have and a net loss of three Senate seats? (Thank you, Justice Brett Kavanaugh!)
Thursday, November 8, 2018

Urban America's vagrancy outrage
It's appropriate that the U.N. special rapporteur devoted to adequate housing has visited encampments in Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Mumbai -- and San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley.
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Trump should put away his pen and phone
All of a sudden, we’re all originalists and believers in the sagacity and inviolate handiwork of long-ago white males.
Monday, November 5, 2018

Twin pillars of a free society
PITTSBURGH -- We occupy the same amendment.
Saturday, November 3, 2018

Finally, a day of reckoning for Michael Avenatti?
Saturday, November 3, 2018

Gun seller gets 37-month term in top cop's death
CHICAGO (AP) — A Wisconsin man who illegally sold the handgun used to kill a Chicago police commander this year has been sentenced to 37 months in federal prison.
Friday, November 2, 2018

Midterm myths
This may not be the election we think it is.
Friday, November 2, 2018

Finally, a day of reckoning for Michael Avenatti?
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for porn star Stormy Daniels and a 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful, jumped into the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation battle on the afternoon of Sept. 23. On that day, The New Yorker had published the allegations of a woman named Deborah Ramirez, who claimed that a drunken Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a party at Yale sometime in 1983 or 1984. Almost immediately, Avenatti took to Twitter with an allegation of his own.
Friday, November 2, 2018

The true history of millstone babies
Having mastered fake news, now the media are trying out a little fake history.
Thursday, November 1, 2018

America has a loser problem
It's not any less awful for being so familiar. 
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Sick conspiracies of the fringe right
What Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, former Attorney General Eric Holder, CNN and George Soros have in common is that each looms large in the right wing's pantheon of liberal demons. And each has been sent a pipe bomb.
Saturday, October 27, 2018

Crazed zealot Jeff Sessions attempts to enforce the law!
The New York Times recently published a snippy attack on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, portraying him as a single-minded zealot pursuing crackpot ideas that were putting the Trump administration "on track to lose in court and prompting high-level departures."
Friday, October 26, 2018

Sick conspiracies of the fringe right
What Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, former Attorney General Eric Holder, CNN and George Soros have in common is that each looms large in the right wing's pantheon of liberal demons. And each has been sent a pipe bomb.
Friday, October 26, 2018

Will you stop obsessing over Trump insults?
It's getting harder by the day to tune in to MSNBC. My chief complaint isn't the leftish slant. It's the news channel's obsession with the latest idiocy to emerge from the Trumpian yap. Anyone who wants to express dismay that Trump called a woman "Horseface" is certainly entitled to, but not on my time's dime.
Thursday, October 25, 2018

Election could end House investigation of Trump investigators
Republicans on Capitol Hill have added enormously to the public's understanding of what happened in the Trump-Russia investigation. They're still doing it. But it will come to a screeching halt if the GOP loses control of the House in next month's midterm elections.
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Trump blows the whistle on Russian cheating
Is the INF Treaty so important that the Russians should be allowed to cheat on it without consequence?
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The poisonous allure of right-wing violence
Gavin McInnes is selling a marketable product.
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Blue-State Republicans Turn to Democrats
You'd think that with stocks still up for the year and the new tax law smiling on big earners, the financial community would be gung-ho for Donald Trump and congressional Republicans. But it's not. For the first time in a good while, Wall Street is giving more in direct donations to Democrats than Republicans.
Monday, October 22, 2018

'Bring us together' slogan resounds again
This is a column about a 13-year-old girl, a placard she picked up from the ground, a presidential campaign, a poignant American speech and a message for the ages. It occurred at a town planted at a railroad crossroads in Ohio with a population under 2,000 in a time long ago and yet very much like our own. It is 50 years old this week and as fresh as the ads in the Sunday newspaper.
Saturday, October 20, 2018

On Wall Street, Us R Toys
As America emerged from World War II, the public generally agreed that the ordinary people who had endured the sacrifice should share in the good times ahead. A golden age for the American worker commenced as business, labor and government stood together on the stage.
Friday, October 19, 2018

Fake news autopsy
Whenever Donald Trump talks about fake news, there are howls of indignation from the establishment media. We're told that the very mention of "fake news" is a direct attack on our democracy, that the alternative is "darkness," that it led to the dismemberment and murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and that, yes, every once in a while there might be a typo, but if you mean the media intentionally report false information, that is dangerous demagoguery.
Thursday, October 18, 2018

No one's perfect
As someone who has been trying to get a woman on the ticket since 1984, I'm glad that the Democratic Party has so many women stars, starting with Hillary Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. But in watching them both in action last week, I was pretty terrified, not for myself but for the Democratic Party.
Thursday, October 18, 2018

Hillary's #MeToo nightmare
Hillary Clinton won the political battle over Bill Clinton's sexual misadventures in the 1990s, at the cost of having to litigate them forevermore.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The peculiar politics of Maine
Could towns like this, a tiny crossroads of fewer than 1,300 households -- now draped in brilliant autumn foliage colors, by Election Day perhaps resting quietly under a gentle dusting of snow -- decide whether Democrats or Republicans rule the House? Or whether subpoena-assisted investigations are mounted against President Donald J. Trump and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh?
Saturday, October 13, 2018

Civility is for suckers
It's doubtful that a former American presidential candidate has ever formally endorsed incivility before, but Hillary Clinton is ever full of surprises.
Friday, October 12, 2018

GOP needs update to Dems' UFC cage match rules
It's time to update the GOP's Marquess of Queensbury Rules.
Thursday, October 11, 2018

What should happen to deputy AG who discussed bugging Trump?
Not long after a 2017 meeting in which Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reportedly discussed wearing a wire to secretly record conversations with President Trump, two top officials in the meeting, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and bureau lawyer Lisa Page, went to the office of a third FBI official, general counsel James Baker.
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The left's foolhardy attack on the Senate
Democrats suffered a stinging loss in the fight over Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation, and have concluded that the constitutional system is to blame.
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

'Jeopardy' answer: Nebraska
OMAHA, Neb. --- I'll take the #bluewave for $300.
Saturday, October 6, 2018

It is in our interest to save other species
The dusky gopher frog is a tiny thing. Once thriving in the longleaf pine forests of the South, only about 250 remain in the wild, in Mississippi. The endangered frog could soon disappear forever if the U.S. Supreme Court rules against a plan to preserve breeding ponds in Louisiana.
Saturday, October 6, 2018

Don't blame Dianne Feinstein
Friday, October 5, 2018

Whatever it takes
The Democrats' current position on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh is: We cannot have someone addicted to beer on our highest court! What if a foreign power were to ply him with this nectar in a can? Talk about taking control of our government! Suppose they throw in a case of Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier?
Thursday, October 4, 2018

In Kavanaugh fight, Democrats move goal posts far, far away
Ask any casual observer what the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation fight is about, and the answer will be the allegation that at a high school party 36 years ago, when Kavanaugh was 17, he drunkenly forced then-15-year-old Christine Ford onto a bed, tried to undress her and, when she tried to scream, covered her mouth with his hand.
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Atticus Finch was on the wrong side
It's time for "To Kill a Mockingbird" to give up its treasured place in American culture.
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Little lies mean a lot
Brett Kavanaugh's fraught relationship with the truth took another hit Sunday, when a classmate from Yale called the Supreme Court nominee's claim of being a moderate drinker in college a "blatant mischaracterization." Under oath, Kavanaugh said that he was too busy being angelic -- studying and playing sports -- to get stumbling drunk.
Monday, October 1, 2018

Mini Me Goes on the Attack or Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire ... or a Question of Character
President Trump was proud of his nominee, understandably so. His opening statement, reminiscent of Clarence Thomas' claim that his confirmation hearing was "a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks," could have been written or delivered by the president. But Justice Thomas was confirmed 27 years ago, when we survivors were still trying to convince people that no meant no. And this time, there is no racial issue to make an all-white Senate uncomfortable. Judge Kavanaugh was reduced to the usual Trumpian name-calling, attacking rather than explaining, turning himself into the innocent victim of a vast left-wing conspiracy.
Saturday, September 29, 2018

The Caleb Cushing candidate
Brett Kavanaugh, meet Caleb Cushing.
Friday, September 28, 2018

Brett Kavanaugh should be angry
Brett Kavanaugh may have saved his Supreme Court confirmation with one of the most memorable statements in modern congressional history. 
Friday, September 28, 2018

Are low prices always a good thing?
If you like exploring the great outdoors, as I do, you probably enjoy shopping (or at least looking) in those high-end stores serving campers, hikers and the like. There, the wilderness fantasy rides high: Neat displays of specialized tents, headlamps and fleece jackets. Often a stone-and-wood decor smelling of cedar. And salespeople who know all about trail shoes.
Thursday, September 27, 2018

No more Mr. White Guy
"They know the optics of 11 white men questioning Dr. Ford ... will be so harmful and so damaging to the GOP." -- Areva Martin, CNN legal analyst
Thursday, September 27, 2018

For Democrats in Ford-Kavanaugh fight, believing is enough
What is perhaps most extraordinary about the all-out war over the Brett Kavanaugh nomination is how little the public knows about the accusations of Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who claims that at a high-school party in 1982, when she was 15, a drunken 17-year-old Kavanaugh forced her onto a bed, tried to undress her, and, when she tried to scream, covered her mouth with his hand.
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The assault on Kavanaugh validates Trump
The attempted political assassination of Brett Kavanaugh is bad for the country, but good for a Trumpian attitude toward American politics.
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Can we have a sensible immigration policy?
What would a sensible immigration policy look like? It would have three goals: be humane, enforce the laws and meet America's need for labor. This can happen only if our political fringes get out of the way.
Monday, September 24, 2018

What to look for as the midterms near
Six weeks out, and this year's vital midterm congressional elections finally are coming into focus.
Saturday, September 22, 2018

Harrop Column
In our highly polarized era, we too often judge election results from the confines of partisan politics. That's not nearly as useful on the state and local levels, where elected officials have roads to fix, kids to educate and budgets to balance. Voters want people who can do the job. Ideology can wait.
Saturday, September 22, 2018

President Trump drops his civil tone and slams Kavanaugh accuser's credibility
WASHINGTON (AP) — Abandoning his previous restraint, President Donald Trump challenged by name the woman accusing his Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault on Friday, declaring that if the alleged attack was so terrible she would have reported it to law enforcement.
Friday, September 21, 2018

As midterms loom, GOP hopes political storm dissipates
Republicans know what the midterm election polls say. They hear the talk about a blue wave. They're aware of historical party-in-power midterm losses in the House. But they still see something else, seven weeks out from Election Day.
Friday, September 21, 2018

Haven Monahan to testify in Kavanaugh hearings
If this is what the left pulls against a sweet nerd like Brett Kavanaugh, I can't wait for the hearings to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg!
Thursday, September 20, 2018













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