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home : opinion : editorial November 20, 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

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

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

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

Brett Kavanaugh's Kafkaesque nightmare
 If Franz Kafka had written about confirmation hearings, he couldn't have come up with a better scenario than the one now unfolding in the U.S. Senate. 
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

How about Medicare Advantage for all?
A resurfaced Barack Obama has uttered those three little words: "Medicare for all."
Monday, September 17, 2018

An economic boom is a terrible thing to waste
President Donald Trump is showing that it's possible to preside over a period of peace and prosperity and still be notably unpopular.
Monday, September 17, 2018

Everyone's urinating on the dossier now
I was minding my own business reading about Bob Woodward, the GREATEST INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER IN THE HISTORY OF OUR REPUBLIC (as he will be the first to tell you), and came across this bit of genius from his book. According to The New York Times, Woodward is flabbergasted that former FBI Director James Comey released the Russian dossier, when he had the "airtight" report of 17 INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES.
Saturday, September 15, 2018

The lost art of dating
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- Meet the dating czar.
Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Chicago Bears NFL franchise began in Decatur
A.E. “Gene” Staley’s successful corn manufacturing company in Decatur was already producing starch, glucose, sugar and syrup in 1919 when it added professional football to the assembly line.
Saturday, September 15, 2018

Federal court rules against education secretary in for-profit colleges fraud case
WASHINGTON (AP) — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ move to delay Obama-era protections for students defrauded by for-profit colleges was dealt a setback when a federal judge found her actions to be “arbitrary and capricious.”
Friday, September 14, 2018

When a foreign adversary meddled in a presidential election
In the 1990s, a hostile foreign power meddled in our presidential election. There were serious questions about whether one party's candidate -- the beneficiary -- was complicit in the meddling, or at least looked the other way while it was going on. The candidate fiercely resisted the appointment of a special prosecutor, then known as an independent counsel, to investigate. Finally, amid only moderate media interest and public concern, it all faded away.
Friday, September 14, 2018

On climate threat, states refuse to surrender
As large parts of America burn or drown under weird weather conditions made more extreme by global warming, California and other states are doggedly pursuing solutions. What do you say to those who deny climate change is happening -- or who dismiss the scientific consensus that humankind is making the problem worse? You say nothing and move forward.
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The blue-collar recovery
The economic recovery is really beginning to reach into Trump country. 
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Broken Windows
In 1982, James Q. Wilson and his Harvard colleague George Kelling offered a simple idea that had a profound effect on policing: "If a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken." And that is not simply a blight for the neighbors but a clear message that the neighborhood is dangerous, which in turn makes it more dangerous.
Monday, September 10, 2018

US lacks leverage as assault on Syrian enclave looms
WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite dire U.S. warnings and fears of a humanitarian disaster, the Trump administration has little leverage to stop Russia, Iran and Syria pressing ahead with a massive military assault against Syria’s northwest Idlib province.
Saturday, September 8, 2018

Justice Kavanaugh
He will be confirmed, barring some totally unexpected development. He has been vetted by the investigators. He has been vetted by the media. The Republicans have the votes.
Saturday, September 8, 2018

Libersals never sleep (and neither does Jeff Sessions)
The left is very close to having a governing majority due entirely to immigration. Despite the promise of the Trump campaign, there isn't much standing in their way. Now, they're just running out the clock. Soon, we will have admitted so many immigrants that it will be too late to do anything.
Friday, September 7, 2018

The Silly Debate About Socialism
What's with all this socialism business? A handful of lefty candidates are calling themselves socialists without a single radical socialistic item on their promise lists. They seem to have little idea of what socialism is. And most of the conservatives talking back to them don't seem to know, either.
Thursday, September 6, 2018

On Trump-Russia, too much secrecy keeps public in dark
National leaders of all stripes have complained for decades that Washington keeps too many secrets. Too much of the government's information is classified, the argument goes, making it nearly impossible for Americans to know what their leaders are doing.
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Identity politics are a double-edged sword
The recent primaries, particularly on the Democratic side, have unleashed a pack of first-ism cliches. If elected in November, Andrew Gillum would become "Florida's first black governor" (CNN). Stacey Abrams in Georgia could be "America's first black female governor" (Time).
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

John McCain's final challange
From the Vietnam combat of the Lyndon B. Johnson years to the political wars of the Donald J. Trump era, John S. McCain III -- grandson, son and father of naval officers, Hanoi prisoner of war, lion of Capitol Hill, presidential nominee, keeper of the American flame and defender of the American faith -- was at the center of the nation's life.
Monday, September 3, 2018

Contrary to media coverage, most Americans aren't that into politics
For many obsessed with politics, the upcoming midterm elections are perceived as a fight between good and evil that will determine the fate of the nation. In the narrative framed by true believers and much media coverage, it's a fight between those who are convinced that President Donald Trump can make America great and those who dream of a socialist future.
Friday, August 31, 2018

The not-so-super delegates
I was a junior "rules junkie," as we called ourselves, when I coined the term "superdelegates" in 1982. Then-Sen. Ted Kennedy was running against Walter Mondale then. Not then, of course, but in the Hunt Commission, or the Rules Commission, the lines were clearly drawn. The Mondale people were pushing to make party leaders and elected officials automatic, uncommitted delegates for the next convention. They called them "PLEOs." I called them "superdelegates" in the Washington Post and "white boys" in the single hotel room that fit all the feminists.
Thursday, August 30, 2018

Hall monitor nation
Apart from building the wall, President Trump's most important act as president so far was his attack on internet censorship this week.
Thursday, August 30, 2018

Here's to people who work with their hands
After leaving high school, my father worked in factories and drove trucks. College was never in the cards for him. Though a good thinker -- the Navy put him in a program dominated by college grads -- he never excelled academically. And in any case, he had parents and young brothers to support.
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Battle of Michigan Avenue is finally over, and it was won by the protesters.
The lopsided fight between anti-war demonstrators and the brutish police force of Chicago's Democratic mayor Richard Daley the night of Aug. 28, 1968, in the midst of the Democratic convention, was a debacle for the left.
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Death of a Hero
The president's former campaign chairman stands convicted of eight felony counts.

The president's formal personal lawyer is pleading guilty and cooperating.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

'Colleges Defend Free Speech' Should Not Be a Headline
As the academic year starts, we can expect to hear new tales of censorship at colleges and persecution of faculty who go astray from prescribed views. Much of the storytelling will take place on Fox News Channel and in other conservative outlets selling the notion that colleges have become islands of intolerance run by liberal thought police.
Monday, August 27, 2018

The pantsuit that cried wolf
Friday, August 24, 2018

Mothers Who Do Too Much
Here's a true story about a fine woman with an advanced degree whom I will not name for obvious reasons:
Thursday, August 23, 2018













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