Politics, Moderate





Don't avert your eyes from what's happening at our border

CHICAGO -- The beauty of being human is that you can hold two seemingly opposite positions in your heart at the same time.

Our fragmented, partisan society -- in the era of cable news and social media -- isn't good at portraying this reality, especially when it comes to religious or political issues.

But people who pursue a spiritual practice ...Read more

Trump's defenders deny reality

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

During Monday's impeachment hearing, Republican lawyer Stephen Castor denied that Donald Trump had asked his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading contender to oppose Trump in next year's election. "I don't think the record supports that," Castor said.

That jaw-dropping moment starkly illustrated the ...Read more

Democrats are their own worst enemies and Trump's best friends

Politics, Moderate / Bob Franken /

For a town where friendship is really a matter of expedience, where Best Friends Forever, or "BFF" in kiddie talk, has become "BFT," Best Friends Temporarily, we sure have conjured up many sound bites about friendship. "You want a friend in Washington?" said Harry Truman, "Get a dog." Unless, of course, Fido can get tastier kibbles elsewhere.

...Read more

Americans turn away from the death penalty, and Democrats are with them


Kamala Harris has always opposed capital punishment. As district attorney of San Francisco, she refused to seek the death penalty for an accused cop-killer, infuriating the police union and putting her at odds with California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. In her 2010 race for attorney general, Harris barely beat a Republican foe ...Read more

Ivory tower needs to make a true commitment to diversity hiring

CHICAGO -- In May 2018, 26 female professors signed an open letter to the media asking that coverage of a celebrated Latino author's #MeToo scandal be treated with restraint and fairness. They did so not because they doubted the veracity of the allegations, but because his characterization as a sexual predator would add to the degrading and ...Read more

We must move to find the innocent people in prison

Politics, Moderate / Diane Dimond /

Among the most powerful people in the justice system are prosecutors and the judges to whom they present their cases. The way our system is set up, judges must rely on whatever facts a prosecutor puts forth inside their courtroom.

It is the prosecutor who weighs the evidence police have gathered and then decides who is charged with a crime. ...Read more

Trump spends all of his time dividing the nation, with Putin's help

Politics, Moderate / Bob Franken /

They're called "lower thirds" or "chyrons." Whichever term you use, they're the television news version of bumper stickers, the sometimes-accurate reduction of stories to little word spurts.

By comparison, tweets are weighty stuff. But hey, I'm a TV twinkie, meaning an airhead, and my chyron, in this case, would be "Vlad Must Be Glad." "Vlad" ...Read more

Imagine how much better the world would be if we cared for our neighbor as Jesus taught

"We could all use a little kindness."

This quote is placed at the top of the movie poster for "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," and it truly embodies the persona of Fred Rogers as I remember him. Growing up in the '70s and '80s, "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" was a staple of my television viewing along with "Sesame Street" and "The...Read more

At the NATO summit, Trump indulges his weird obsessions

Donald Trump is a volatile personality with a penchant for creating chaos and uncertainty. His impulsive, irascible nature often makes it appear that the only logic to his presidency is whatever event or TV clip happens to grab his attention.

But it would be a mistake to regard his presidency as a disorganized mess. It's an organized mess that ...Read more

First-generation college students face steeper climb to graduation

CHICAGO -- There are a few key milestones in the first semester of a college freshman's life: the first few days away, especially if they're on a far-off campus; the first big paper to write; the first big exam. Teary calls home or anguished texts may come in the night, along with family and friends' reassurances that all will be well.

Then ...Read more

Can senseless gun regulations be constitutional?

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

New York's uniquely onerous restrictions on transporting guns were so hard to justify that the city stopped trying. Instead, it rewrote the rules after the Supreme Court agreed to consider a constitutional challenge to them, and now it argues that the case is moot.

Despite the obvious vulnerability of New York's regulations, the city ...Read more

Bloomberg: The power and pitfalls of money

Politics, Moderate / Bob Franken /

This will be sacrilege to "Never Trumpers," but Michael Bloomberg and Donald Trump share some similarities. It is true that Bloomberg's charitable foundation actually does good work, while Donald Trump had to pay a $2 million fine for basically using his for self-promotion. And it is true that Bloomberg has financed gun control efforts, while ...Read more

Christmas is almost here. You're not panicking enough

Politics, Moderate / Rex Huppke /

Look at the date. It's already the first week of December.

Thanksgiving ended approximately yesterday, and Christmas will be here in 12 seconds.

How did this happen? I don't know, but it likely has something to do with the Thanksgiving Industrial Complex paying off calendar manufacturers to push Thanksgiving as ...Read more

Trump administration showed cruel carelessness toward migrants

CHICAGO -- Words alone can't convey the disgust and outrage I feel over the Trump administration's cruel and careless treatment of migrants and refugees at the border.

In the spring of 2018, President Trump asked his top immigration and homeland security officials to end the so-called "catch and release" practice. He did this even though the ...Read more

Crime-fighting developments to be thankful for

Politics, Moderate / Diane Dimond /

There are some citizens who, in this season of Thanksgiving, believe America is going to hell in a handbasket. I am not one of them.

From my perch in the world of crime and justice, I find more than 686,000 reasons to be thankful. That's the number of full-time law enforcement officers in the United States: 686,665 sworn officers, to quote the ...Read more

The social media are also antisocial media

Politics, Moderate / Bob Franken /

For those who are wondering who in tarnation is Roy Rogers, he called himself the "King of the Cowboys" and was one of the big stars of Western shoot-'em-up movies. Those films really contributed to the cultural mindset that has made us such a gun-totin' country today, which results in one automatic weapon massacre after another. The idea that ...Read more

Feast on God's word during Thanksgiving

As I celebrate Thanksgiving this year, like many of you, I am taking special time to show God my gratefulness for His provision, both spiritually and naturally. I remember Thanksgivings from my childhood when I did not fully understand the concept of provision and having all of my physical needs met. I really wasn't cognizant of how blessed my ...Read more

Rewarding bad behavior is a recipe for worse

Professional football involves systematic violence. On every play, men do things that would get them arrested in other contexts. What makes it a game -- rather than a brawl, a riot or deadly combat -- is that the violence is controlled.

There's a penalty for "unnecessary roughness" because roughness must be kept within certain limits. Some ...Read more

How to bring more meaning to giving thanks

CHICAGO -- We are surrounded by grief, fear and strife, yet for about a week or so each year, we're scolded for not being thankful enough. Sadly, gratitude has become yet another corporatized platitude designed to tug the heartstrings and open the wallet.

The command to show appreciation can be purchased on pillows, mugs, mouse pads and candle ...Read more

A bogus tip, a deadly raid, and a fraudulent search warrant highlights loose police practices in Houston

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

Are you confident that police will not break down your door tonight? If so, it's probably because you assume the warrant required for such an armed invasion of your home has to be based on reliable evidence of criminal activity.

But that is not true in Houston, as a federal indictment unsealed last week shows. According to the indictment, a ...Read more