The case of super-rich sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is so disturbing, not only because dozens of women say he victimized them as young girls, and not only because he went almost unpunished, but because his wealth appears to have enabled his criminality for years. While the sources of Epstein's enormous fortune remain mysterious and may never be ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- When President Obama conceived of the Affordable Care Act, he did everything he could to bring Republicans to his side. He created a system that was market-friendly and drew on ideas that members of the GOP had endorsed in the past.
His conciliatory efforts bought him nothing except a long delay in getting a bill through the ...Read more
Alexander Acosta, as the U.S. attorney in Miami, was responsible for cutting the deal that allowed notorious sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to get away with a slap on the wrist.
In yet another example of the vital importance of old-fashioned investigative journalism (aka "fake news"), the Miami Herald in February detailed the agreement that ...Read more
Champagne corks were popping in lower Manhattan on Wednesday -- not only for the victorious United States Women's National Soccer Team as they were feted with a ticker tape parade up New York City's "Canyon of Heroes" on Broadway, passing Wall Street, where the S&P 500 stock index crested 3000 for the first time in history. The 23 women of the ...Read more
The Vindy announced its death about a week before Jeffrey Epstein was arrested. Though the timing was only a coincidence, the juxtaposition speaks volumes about the state of American journalism.
Epstein, as you likely know, is the billionaire money manager who was taken into custody Saturday in New Jersey on charges of sex trafficking. This ...Read more
I used to wonder how a society as old, grand and sophisticated as Italy could choose an elderly businessman as flamboyant, scandal-prone and inexperienced in government as Silvio Berlusconi to the position of prime minister. Then the U.S. elected Donald Trump and I found out.
Three years after Trump's election, it should bring more caution than...Read more
The bevy of Democrats running for president seems determined to test my silent vow never to vote Republican, especially for Donald Trump. The truth is that I cannot imagine that happening, but I can imagine entering the voting booth with about a colonoscopy level of enthusiasm. Please, can we get this over with?
At the moment, the party is ...Read more
I keep hearing that the Democratic Party has moved "left" and that some Democratic candidates may be "too far left."
But in this era of unprecedented concentration of wealth and political power at the top, I can't help wondering what it means to be "left."
A half-century ago, when America had a large and growing middle class, those on the "...Read more
I had a pickup truck. Her bloodline is not important, though I will say she was a 2001 and white in color.
Her name was Evangeline. I'm of French descent, and all my vehicles have French female names. Suzanne. Therese. Suzette.
And Evangeline, who last week would no longer start and so was towed away as junk.
These last few years, her air ...Read more
A few words about my sexism.
Nerd that I am, I keep a book diary, i.e., a list of the 40 or 50 books I read and listen to each year. In 2016, while perusing said list, I made a discovery that startled me: there were almost no women on it.
That year, I plowed through 46 books by the likes of Stephen King, Walter Mosley, Bruce Springsteen and ...Read more
What? Mad magazine will disappear from newsstands after August? Well, as Dorothy Parker is said to have said after hearing of President Calvin Coolidge's death, "How can they tell?"
After 67 years of publishing elegantly illustrated goofiness, Mad's "Usual Gang of Idiots" is calling it quits -- although not quite totally.
DC Entertainment, the...Read more
WASHINGTON -- President Trump chose the wrong backdrop for his attempt to make Independence Day all about himself. Standing beneath the majestic statue of Abraham Lincoln, occupying a space where great orators have stood, Trump looked and sounded quite small.
He gave a triumphalist speech, of course. "Our nation is stronger today than it ever ...Read more
NEW YORK -- Today's crisis of conservatism has produced surprisingly few books that try to understand what exactly has happened to the venerable creed. For decades, conservatism was a dominant ideology in the Western world, championed by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Now it has quietly collapsed. Donald Trump's populism has taken over the...Read more
CAPE NEDDICK, Maine -- To suggest on the Fourth of July that we need to consider the downsides of patriotism is to risk a heresy far more troublesome than challenging the merits of baseball, fireworks, hot dogs and beer.
Let's leave baseball unsullied. But we know that fireworks, misused, can be dangerous, and that excess when it comes to hot ...Read more
Vindication is not always a happy feeling, not when the nation is at such grave risk.
In years past, I've often devoted my Fourth of July column to observing that the right has no monopoly on patriotism. The Tories of the Revolutionary era, who demanded loyalty to the British throne, were the right-wing reactionaries of their time, as were ...Read more
I had no intention of telling this story here.
Independence Day is Thursday, and I thought I might talk about the meaning of freedom in the age of Trump. Refugees are imprisoned in squalor on our southern border, the government balking at providing them toothpaste and soap, and I thought I might talk about the diminution of ...Read more
Here we go again. Birtherism is back.
Just as the original birthers rose up in 2008 to raise what turned out to be bogus questions about Barack Obama's birth certificate, new birthers appeared online after presidential candidate Kamala Harris' impressive Democratic debate performance Thursday to question whether she's really black.
Joining ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Never-Trump Republicans and independents may be shocked to hear this, but the Democratic Party is likely to nominate a Democrat for president. That means they're not going to nominate someone who thinks exactly like a Never-Trump Republican.
Break out the smelling salts. I think several refugees from the GOP, pontificating on ...Read more
With the exception of Mary Queen of Scots, probably no woman has risen as high and fallen so far as Linda Fairstein, the one-time sex-crimes prosecutor now accused of railroading the convictions of five teenagers for a rape they did not commit. Fairstein has lost her book contract, her seats on various boards and, it seems fair to say, her good ...Read more
Imagine an opposition political party in a land being taken over by an oligarchy, headed by a would-be tyrant.
The tyrant and the oligarchy behind him have convinced many voters that the reason they feel powerless and economically insecure isn't because the oligarchy has taken most of the economic gains and overwhelmed the government with their...Read more