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Politics

Democrats should put an end to caucuses

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

"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."

I quote the late Christopher Hitchens because I couldn't put it better.

In a primary, eligible voters can show up anytime while polls are open, cast ...Read more

Do Canadians want to defer to Harry and Meghan?

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

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 ...Read more

Energizer Bunny Biden spooks the left

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

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.

The news for them hasn't been great of late. Biden is now...Read more

Do Americans even want time off?

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

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?

Europeans, in stark contrast, relish their free time. Workers in Denmark actually went on a general strike because they were entitled to only ...Read more

The phantom momentum of Bernie Sanders...

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

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 ...Read more

Vegetarianism is a resolution you can skip

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

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.

The push to adopt a strictly vegan diet for the month of January speaks volumes about English-speaking peoples' rocky ...Read more

The great deal-maker says Canada should deal on our drug prices

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

Heavens, no. We don't want the U.S. government to negotiate drug prices for Americans. That would be socialism, conservatives keep saying. So let's have the Canadian government do it for us.

President Donald Trump's latest plan for reducing the outrageous prices Americans pay for their prescriptions is to let states import cheaper drugs from ...Read more

Feeding innovation better than barring fossil fuels

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

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.

Natural gas emits half as much of the planet-warming gas ...Read more

Was Boris Johnson's win bad for Democrats? Not quite

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

Right-leaning opinions have declared British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's trouncing of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a favorable portent for President Donald J. Trump in 2020. Not so fast. Other readings of the British election results see the very opposite.

For starters, Corbyn was a despised figure including within his own party. Trump is, ...Read more

Raise revenues, but hold the drama

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

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.

The other approach is to simply increase ...Read more

Paul Volcker vas a great man

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

Paul Volcker administered the tough medicine when the American economy badly needed it. It was 1980, and the inflation rate had passed 14 percent. OPEC, a cartel of foreign oil producers, had launched an oil embargo against the United States a few years before, causing prices to soar. Older Americans remember long lines of cars snaking to gas ...Read more

Not much romance in Santa's toy warehouse

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

A fixture of family Christmas movies is worldly-wise children recovering some of their innocence. "Miracle on 34th Street" (1947) provides an early example.

The new animated film "Klaus" (on Netflix) does not stray from this theme. Children living on an icy island seek a workaround to their toyless Christmas, the work of mean, greedy adults. ...Read more

Warren's problems go beyond health care

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

Elizabeth Warren had great momentum for a while. Then her poll numbers leveled and fell. The standard explanation is that the Democrat's "Medicare for All" plan comes across as too radical -- both the price and the part that would force over 150 million Americans off their employers' private coverage.

But other negatives subtract from Warren's ...Read more

Astoundingly, the Republican attack machine targets the military

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

The focus here isn't President Donald Trump. He is a creature unto himself. Rather, this is about his spineless political party, which stands mute, or even supportive, as he breaks U.S. military discipline, morale and leadership.

The GOP used to be the party of superpatriots, always saluting our men and women in uniform. It still playacts. Some...Read more

The Zen of Thanksgiving

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

Editor's Note: The following is a revised version of a column first published in November 2002.

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 ...Read more

Do US carmakers want us to like them?

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

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.

The issue at hand is President Donald Trump's pointless crusade to...Read more

Partisan lines fade with the right candidates

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

I think Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards meant it when he partly credited his reelection to LSU's and the Saints' winning season. That would be the football teams -- Louisiana State University and the New Orleans Saints.

"People are just in a better mood," the Democrat said. And he did have LSU coach Ed Orgeron vouching for him.

Edwards pulled ...Read more

Bloomberg, billionaires and boobery

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

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 ...Read more

New York puts Trump in rearview

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

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.

...Read more

Moderation and good manners actually win elections

From the Left / Froma Harrop /

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.

Beshear's margin was slim, it is true, but Kentucky is a state that backed Donald Trump in 2016 by 30 points. The president was so alarmed at ...Read more

 

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