In late 2011, John Oliver and his "Daily Show" cameraman made a trek to my office, then in Providence, Rhode Island, to take me to task. I had recently referred to the Tea Partiers who had pushed America to the brink of a disastrous default as "economic terrorists."
Oliver had apparently swallowed whole a series of barbs directed my way by a ...Read more
There are moderates in the suburbs -- Democrats, Republicans and Independents -- who want Washington spending kept in check. They tend to be liberal on social issues but pained over the extremes of the woke. They have respect for various sexual identities but little interest in learning new pronouns. And they overwhelmingly want some access to ...Read more
China's shrinking population, we are told, poses an economic threat to that country, as well as an economic drag for us.
Here are the numbers: Deaths exceeded births in 2022 by 850,000. That leaves over 1.4 billion Chinese. That's over four times the U.S. population occupying about the same land mass. More than 1 billion people would be a lot ...Read more
When I worked on Reuters' business desk, we weren't allowed to parrot press releases reporting that earnings soared 100% from the year before. Why? Because here's the reality behind some such claims: Acme Pebble's income last year may have grown from a miserable $100 to only $200. That's a 100% gain but hardly a reason to party.
And so it is ...Read more
Sam Bankman-Fried perfected the poses, uniform and attitude of the bro, the boy-man who gets away with it. He sucked billions into his FTX cryptocurrency platform by convincing the public that he was touched with supersized genius at making fortunes. His claim to want the money for higher things than simply amassing luxury only burnished the ...Read more
Joe Biden has done so many things well -- saving Ukraine, confronting China, signing a bipartisan gun control bill. And in a week of right-wing crazytown, he stood out as a comforting keeper of stability,
But there's one thing he hasn't gotten right: curbing the chaos at the border. The problem isn't just the policies themselves, which are a ...Read more
President Joe Biden "shut down American energy," Rep. Steve Scalise hollered with great confidence. The Louisiana Republican was nominating Kevin McCarthy for House speaker when he appended some commentary unburdened by facts.
Scalise painted a sad, sad picture of American families "who can't even afford to put gas in their tanks." They can't "...Read more
In the movie classic, "All About Eve," George Sanders as the snob theater critic rakes scheming young actress Anne Baxter over the lies she told about her hard-knocks background.
The one where she claims being at a Shubert Theater in San Francisco was a lie too far. That theater never existed, Sanders roars: "That was a stupid lie. Easy to ...Read more
There are media heavies we saw written about, talked about, day after tedious day, month after tiresome month. May the obsession over them fade in 2023.
(SET BOLD)Mehmet Oz.(END BOLD) Donald Trump's hand-picked TV doctor lost his quest to win an open Senate seat in Pennsylvania, but his ads live on. One showed him cruising a supermarket for ...Read more
I've wiled away the half-hours on TikTok, time I'll never get back. I won't say there haven't been moments. I've seen some super breakdancing, useful cleaning tricks and a cat working a door knocker. But the scrolling short videos do turn tedious after a short while. At least for me.
Not for others, obviously. TikTok has 100 million users in ...Read more
Ron DeSantis has earned some recent notoriety for casting doubt on the COVID-19 vaccines and attacking the experts who happen to know about them.
"It seems like our medical establishment never wanted to be honest with people about the potential drawbacks," the Florida governor said in his nasal whine. "So why can't our medical establishment ...Read more
A lot of smart voices seem afraid to say outright that homeless mentally ill people should be taken off the streets, forcibly if necessary. They may easily agree that the sad humans sleeping on grates and under bridges would benefit from coming indoors for medical care and other social services. But they can't concede that the public's right to ...Read more
Almost nobody likes Kyrsten Sinema. Some 57% of Arizona Democrats hold an unfavorable view of their U.S. senator, who just declared herself an Independent. Republicans dislike her almost as much, according to the AARP poll. Independents are more mixed but give her a minus-10 approval rating.
It's not Sinema's political independence, which is ...Read more
Cryptocurrencies were born out of the libertarian dream of a financial system free from government regulation. Bitcoin's promoters peddle its ability to let us make transactions without dealing with regulated banks, which, they say, we are not supposed to trust.
What crypto players since stripped of their "investments" saw were some operators ...Read more
By removing the Iowa caucuses as the first stop in picking a presidential candidate, would Democrats be giving up on Iowa? Not at all. The opposite could happen.
It's true that the Iowa caucuses crowned Democrats Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, two times each, and the state followed in the general elections. But Iowa went for Republican Donald ...Read more
Good-bye, Dr. Fauci. You did your job while under attack from the worst sort of people.
You devoted more than 50 years to public health. As director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, you led us through HIV/AIDS, Ebola, COVID, respiratory syncytial virus and, every year, seasonal flu.
You say your "proudest moment" ...Read more
Hakeem Jeffries seems poised to replace Nancy Pelosi as leader of the House Democrats. A Black political moderate, the Brooklyn congressman is often likened to Barack Obama. Even-tempered, he is known to "play" with most of the children in Washington. And at 52, he represents generational change from the 82-year-old Pelosi.
Who among Democrats ...Read more
Is it really news that Karen Bass will become the first female mayor of Los Angeles? In an era where women have already run Chicago, Phoenix, Fort Worth, Charlotte, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Boston, the gender of the new Los Angeles mayor should not have dominated the headlines, as it did in numerous media.
This obsession ...Read more
A year ago, he was still a dreaded presence, a destroyer of American institutions forcing chaos on a frightened nation. After the public voted to remove him from the White House, he maintained relevance by controlling a violent mob stupid and criminal enough to trash the Capitol, threaten to hang the vice president and kill police officers.
Why did Democrats beat expectations that they'd get swamped on Election Day? Was it Republican attacks on abortion rights? Was it a misreading of how much the public blamed Democrats for inflation? And what about the role played by fear of crime and the perceived chaos at the border?
It could have been any or all of those things, but only ...Read more