The right to counsel in criminal cases is fundamental. Even schoolchildren can recite the famous warning: You have a right to be represented by counsel, and if you can't afford a lawyer, one will be appointed to represent you.
But having a lawyer is not simply a formality, although sometimes -- with overburdened public defenders who meet ...Read more
Shh. It's bad enough that the economy is going to hell. Don't tell anyone, but COVID is coming back.
I've been spending too much time in doctors' offices, where they still wear masks, doing deferred maintenance, as it were. And everywhere I go -- from one -ologist to the next -- the message is the same.
Have you gotten your boosters? Plural,...Read more
The horrifying weekend of gun violence has moved hate and crime, separately and together, to the top of the political agenda. More people died in automobile accidents this weekend, but the impact of the shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Laguna Woods, California, cast a bigger pall on our national spirit.
Hate. For Blacks in Buffalo. For ...Read more
The House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol announced on Thursday that it has taken the unprecedented move of issuing subpoenas to five House members who have refused to speak voluntarily to their colleagues on the committee. The five distinguished gentlemen, as House members call each other, are led by Republican ...Read more
The right-wing takeover of the Republican Party, symbolized by the end of Roe v. Wade, offers the Democrats the rare opportunity so artfully exploited by President Emmanuel Macron in France: that is, the chance to occupy the middle of the political spectrum.
Ideologues may wring their hands, but the general rule in American politics is that ...Read more
Beware what you wish for, my Republican friends. After decades of campaigning against Roe, you are, finally, about to see what it means to be on the wrong side of abortion politics.
In the wake of Roe, most Democratic politicians were terrified of abortion voters because most of them -- especially the single-issue voters -- were anti-choice. ...Read more
I remember the world before Roe. I was young, but old enough. I saw girls "get in trouble," meaning they got pregnant and had to drop out of high school and give up their dreams. They were sent away, somewhere, and we never saw them again. That was the world without Roe.
In college, it was a little better. Abortion was legal in New York, as ...Read more
The photos coming out of Ukraine, coupled with eyewitness accounts, leave no room for doubt. Terrible things are being done. The bodies are not just those of soldiers. Civilian casualties are skyrocketing. This is not inevitable. This is murder.
Who is giving the orders?
Of course Russian President Vladimir Putin and his generals are ...Read more
In announcing the deal to buy Twitter, Elon Musk said in a statement: "Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated."
Which makes him -- subject, of course, to government oversight -- the king of the town square.
And it raises two ...Read more
The only former president of the United States to ever make a living teaching constitutional law came to Stanford University last Thursday to propose greater regulation of speech both by the government and by private companies.
"So much of the conversation around disinformation is focused on what people post. The bigger issue is what content ...Read more
If you're reading this on an airplane, or even in an Uber, you may or may not be wearing a mask. That's because a single federal judge sitting in Florida has declared invalid the national mask mandate applicable to all instruments of transportation as well as transportation hubs. We're talking planes, trains, automobiles (for hire), airports, ...Read more
The first time around, I thanked God, my daughter and Twitter for managing to snag me one of the first appointments for a COVID-19 vaccine. It was February of last year, and I felt like I'd won the lottery. I drove for an hour to East LA, stood in line for an hour with my son (there to drive me home in case I had a bad reaction) and thanked ...Read more
The shots were fired 3,000 miles away, but they were heard across the nation.
In a flash, the sense of personal insecurity that has come to invade urban America of late had a name and a face and a nightmare to associate with it.
In Los Angeles, Metro announced that they would be adding more police presence to the cars that have increasingly ...Read more
How could this be? Under our noses, social media and all, we now have photographs of a genocide. Are those mass graves full of innocent civilians, people whose only crime was that they were in the way of a madman and his army?
What do you call that, if not a crime?
Of course he should be put on trial for war crimes, even if that trial takes ...Read more
The announcements by Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney that they would join fellow Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine in supporting Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's nomination to the Supreme Court gives a small margin of bipartisan support to a highly qualified nominee.
Make no mistake: There is no reason to oppose this woman on the ...Read more
The United States added 431,000 new jobs last month, a sign, we are told, of how healthy the economy is.
You could have fooled me.
I'm not a numbers cruncher. I'm talking about how the economy feels, which translates pretty directly into how voters vote.
And it doesn't feel healthy, not at all.
A big part of the reason is inflation, of ...Read more
When I first met Madeleine Albright in the early 1980s, she was still making dinner for the boys. The boys being the members of what we used to call the "priesthood": the out-of-power Democratic national security team, which, with the exception of Madeleine, looked very much like the priesthood, then and now.
The priesthood used to gather ...Read more
President Joe Biden's nominee for the United States Supreme Court came under fire from Republicans at her confirmation hearings for, of all things, the curriculum of a private school in Washington. It had nothing to do with her qualifications for the Supreme Court. It had nothing to do with the Supreme Court at all. It was all about politics, ...Read more
Five mayoral candidates were on the "bimah" at a synagogue in the San Fernando Valley last week to discuss the issue of homelessness. Rep. Karen Bass, a progressive who is leading the pack in the polls, was speaking when the activists shouted her down, calling her a liar. Kevin de Leon got shouted down in Spanish. The rabbi tried and failed. ...Read more
One year ago, a woman you'd never heard of takes to Twitter for the first and only time to tell her three followers that her former lover is a sexual predator. She takes to Twitter because the mainstream media -- The New York Times and The New Yorker, The Miami Herald and the networks -- won't write her story, even though the man is rich. The ...Read more