Is the political map, so familiar that even non-pundits offhandedly refer to red, blue and purple states, changing before our eyes? Yes, at least to a limited extent -- and it's probably about time.
The political map has been pretty static for almost two decades, the longest since the 1880s. In the last four presidential elections 40 states and...Read more
Victims aren't always virtuous. That's a sad lesson that people learn from life. Human beings have a benign instinct to help those who are hurt through no cause of their own. But those they help don't always turn out to be very grateful.
And sometimes it's hard to be sure just who the victim is. The most heavily publicized and violence-...Read more
Donald Trump has just made changes, again, in his campaign's top leadership, shoving aside the seasoned Paul Manafort and installing Breitbart News Chairman Steve Bannon and veteran pollster Kellyanne Conway. He's obviously acting in response to his falling poll numbers nationally, in target states and even in some states that have been safely ...Read more
On Friday, Republican National Committee and Trump campaign staffers held what one described as an "emergency meeting" at the Ritz Carlton in Orlando. The obvious subject: what to do about Donald Trump's flagging campaign and how Republican down-ballot candidates can avoid the possible (likely?) downdraft.
Current polling shows Trump losing to ...Read more
Google "Donald Trump" and "nationalism" and you'll get 1,090,000 results, the large percentage of which are, to judge from the top hits, negative. "Nationalism" is deemed to be bad stuff, maybe even akin to Nazism.
But is nationalism always so bad? Not, it seems, for the millions of people around the world watching the Rio Olympics. They watch ...Read more
The scholar Francis Fukuyama has been widely ridiculed for the title of his 1992 book, "The End of History." Critics point out that we've had -- suffered -- a lot of history since then: the 9/11 attacks, prolonged wars in the Middle East, a worldwide financial crisis and deep recession.
But Fukuyama's point wasn't that all conflict would cease....Read more
Opportunity cost. That's an economist's term for what you lose out on when you divert your investments and attention to something less profitable. It's also a good term for the losses Donald Trump has incurred in the last six days -- more than 6 percent of the 94 days between the close of the Democratic National Convention and the election in ...Read more
What is the campaign strategy for the two political parties? Clues can be had from the responses to a question I asked about a dozen dignitaries of each party at their conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia. What's your best guess, I asked, emphasizing guess, of your nominee's percentage of the popular vote in November 2016?
I understood the...Read more
Flaherty's CrossingKaylin McFarren
Successful yet emotionally stifled artist Kate Flaherty stands at the deathbed of her estranged father, conflicted by his morphine-induced confession exposing his part in her mother's death. While racing home, Kate's car mishap leads her to a soul-searching discussion ...
It was a variant on a traditional convention for a party seeking a third straight term in the White House, attempting to overcome an apparent post-convention bounce for the opposition's candidate: shades of 1988 or 2000 or 2008. Usually it starts with a valedictory speech by the incumbent president, followed by celebration of the new nominee and...Read more
"Make America One Again." That was the stated theme of the last night of the Republican National Convention. In the welter of analysis of Donald Trump's acceptance speech, few have commented on it, but it's worth taking it seriously.
Liberal commentators have dwelled repeatedly on Trump's "dark" and "dystopian" view of America. Apparently, you'...Read more
Disruptive. That's a good word to describe Donald Trump's presidential candidacy, and to describe the sometimes-ramshackle Republican National Convention his campaign more or less superintended in Cleveland this past week.
Apple disrupted the music industry; Uber disrupted the taxi cartels; Amazon disrupted the mega-bookstores. Global ...Read more
Donald Trump postponed the announcement of his vice presidential candidate, Mike Pence, because of the terrorist attack in Nice, which was in line with the modus operandi of his campaign. He didn't want to preempt news media coverage of another radical Islamist terrorist attack.
Disarray and disorder work against the party in power, especially ...Read more
"Events, dear boy, events," the late British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan supposedly replied when asked what he most feared. And events can certainly make a difference, as was apparent this week: Prime Minister David Cameron moved out of No. 10 Downing Street and Theresa May moved in. This came after British voters, against Cameron's advice ...Read more
When the Republican and Democratic national conventions gather in successive weeks in Cleveland and Philadelphia, respectively, one item on their plates will be reconsideration of their parties' nominating rules. Just about everyone agrees that they are unsatisfactory in some way or another, and many itch to do something about it.
But what? ...Read more
Unindicted co-conspirator: Technically, the term, made familiar in the Watergate scandals, does not apply to Hillary Clinton, since no one has been or apparently will be indicted in the emails case.
But if you read the bulk of FBI Director James Comey's statement, it's plain that Hillary Clinton and her top aides conspired to do things that ...Read more
"Affirmative action" will continue to be the routine course of business of college and university admissions for the foreseeable future. That's the bottom line from the Supreme Court's June decision in Fisher v. University of Texas.
By a 4-3 vote, the Court essentially approved the University of Texas' "holistic" admissions as not violating the...Read more
Bigotry! Nativism! Racism! That's what elites in Britain, Europe and here have been howling, explanations for why 52 percent of a higher-than-general-election turnout of British voters voted for their nation to leave the European Union.
But there is plenty of bigotry, condescension and snobbery in the accusations and the people making them. And...Read more
Earthquakes seldom hit the British Isles. But one did late Thursday night and early Friday morning, as the constituency returns started pouring in on the referendum to decide whether the United Kingdom would remain in or leave the European Union.
Most polls had shown a small margin for remain, and betting markets made it an odds-on favorite. ...Read more
Donald Trump is the latest proof that the campaign always reflects the candidate and that the candidate is a product of his experience over the years. So, as Trump, after clinching the Republican nomination, reshuffles and rejiggers a campaign that has fallen behind Hillary Clinton, it's instructive to look at his political ground zero.
That ...Read more
Why has the American economy had such sluggish job creation and economic growth? That's a pretty fundamental question, and one for which most conventional economists have had unsatisfying answers.
Clues can be found, I think, in the new book by the unconventional economist and blogger Arnold Kling. "Specialization and Trade: A Re-Introduction ...Read more