Politics, Moderate





The three amigas

WASHINGTON -- By the Republican response to the three most-famous Democratic freshmen in Congress -- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (or AOC) of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan -- you'd think these women were Shakespeare's Three Witches rather than the three amigas seen chumming and laughing in countless photographs.

...Read more

Study shows that daydreaming in kindergarten can cost you

CHICAGO -- We all knew a few spacey kids in kindergarten who just couldn't get their acts together. Their desks were a mess, they never knew what they were supposed to be doing, and they'd lose their heads if they weren't attached.

You won't be shocked to learn that they probably grew up to make less money than the class overachievers.

But ...Read more

Paid family leave isn't just a women's issue. It's an economic one.

To borrow a famous construct from the then-first lady: Women's issues are economic issues, and economic issues are women's issues.

That's how we should be thinking about many of the "softer" policy areas that will be debated in the 2020 election -- and that have already found their way into legislative proposals, including the paid family leave...Read more

Trump's red line is turning blue

WASHINGTON -- President Trump has been insisting for so long that any investigation of his personal finances would cross a "red line" that people may have overlooked the outrageousness of his claim. But this self-declared immunity is about to change.

We're entering a new phase of the Trump-Russia investigation, where the president's efforts to ...Read more

The Green New Deal is make-believe

WASHINGTON -- The "Green New Deal" is upon us, and the question is what to make of it. The Democratic proposal mandates that, within a decade, virtually all fossil fuels -- which represent about four-fifths of the nation's energy supply -- shall be replaced with clean fuels that don't worsen global warming. Just how is this task to be ...Read more

Trump can't win in 2020, but Democrats could lose

If the 2020 election were simply a question of whether voters want President Donald Trump to serve another term, he would lose. His job approval ratings have consistently been in the low- to mid-40s nationwide, and it's no better in potential battleground states. ScottRasmussen.com polling shows the president getting positive reviews from just ...Read more

Latino travelers report feeling discriminated against by border agents

CHICAGO -- In a perfect world, we would have the utmost confidence that every one of the 60,000-plus employees of U.S. Customs and Border Protection arise each morning with the intention of performing his or her job in a manner that brings honor to the agency.

But many who have re-entered the United States lately have likely experienced CBP ...Read more

Trump's summit with Kim could open pathway to safer world

WASHINGTON -- The showy first summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last June was draped in flags and bunting, but the decoration covered what turned out to be a mostly empty box that lacked a shared agreement on denuclearization.

Given this disappointing record, what's realistically possible when the two leaders ...Read more

America, the kidnapper: 'Likely thousands' of children still separated

Politics, Moderate / Rex Huppke /

America is a kidnapper.

It became one in late 2017 and early 2018, when the government began quietly separating families -- asylum seekers and migrants who entered the country illegally -- at our southern border, a test run for a soon-to-be-open policy of taking children from their parents.

Our country became a kidnapper in plain sight last ...Read more

Democrats in 2020 are at risk of turning into Republicans in 2016

Democrats in 2020 are at risk of turning into Republicans in 2016, minus the racism.

By which I mean: emphasizing empty slogans instead of evidence-based policy, rejecting experts in favor of cranks, handwaving away questions about implementation and promising that an expensive policy will magically "pay for itself" through economic growth.

It...Read more

The Social Security fantasy

WASHINGTON -- One of the great challenges of our time is to prevent Social Security and other programs for the elderly from taking over the national government. It may already be too late. Recently, the Congressional Budget Office reported that federal spending on the 65-plus population now amounts to 40 percent of non-interest outlays, up from ...Read more

Trump doesn't deserve praise for appalling employment gaps

CHICAGO -- It is said that the best lies have a grain of truth in them. That's the ideal way to characterize President Trump's assertion in the State of the Union address that "African-American, Hispanic-American and Asian-American unemployment have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded."

Ummm, sure.

But only if you don't count the ...Read more

Bezos v. Pecker: A complexifying situation

WASHINGTON -- As stories go, the face-off between Jeff Bezos and David Pecker (paging Charles Dickens) has all the elements of a 21st-century battle royale between good and evil, represented by the richest man in the world, who happens to own The Washington Post, and the pied piper of sleaze, respectively.

Thank you, God.

Such is the stuff of ...Read more

Americans have healthier hearts. We have a healthier budget, too.

Thanks to preventive medicine, older Americans have healthier hearts. Which also means, incidentally, that federal budgets are healthier, too.

At the turn of the millennium, health-spending growth was spiraling out of control. Economists projected that the already ginormous health care sector would soon gobble up monster portions of the federal...Read more

U.S. strikes back at Russia in cyberspace warfare

WASHINGTON -- With little public fanfare, U.S. Cyber Command, the military's new center for combating electronic attacks against the United States, has launched operations to deter and disrupt Russians who have been meddling with the U.S. political system.

Like other U.S. cyberwar activities, this effort against Russia is cloaked in secrecy. ...Read more

Politics has failed, but America will not

Four hundred years ago this summer, colonial America's first representative assembly was convened in Jamestown, Virginia. The event launched a noble tradition that grew to become America's founding ideals of freedom, equality and self-governance.

However, that noble beginning was challenged right from the start. Just a few weeks after the ...Read more

The labor of illegal immigrants is the motor of America

CHICAGO -- In my mind, the defining moment of Donald Trump's presidency happened well before he clinched the White House.

It was in January 2016. He showed his true colors when he said, "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn't lose any voters, OK? It's, like, incredible."

Those of us who took him seriously <...Read more

Trump is stumbling his way to a vainglorious Middle East retreat

WASHINGTON -- Iraqi President Barham Salih measured his words in a telephone interview from Baghdad Monday. He didn't want to worsen a quarrel with President Trump over U.S. access to an air base in western Iraq. But Iraqi politics is fragile, and ill-considered statements by American presidents can have big consequences.

"I appreciate what the...Read more

Yearbook politics of the once young and foolish

WASHINGTON -- In 1983, just before winning a third term as Louisiana's governor, Edwin Edwards famously said the only way he could lose the race was "if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy."

Presumably, no one checked his yearbook.

Given today's mounting pressure on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to resign due to a photo in ...Read more

Alfred E. Neuman's law of deficits: Let someone else worry about the future

WASHINGTON -- Let's coin a new law of politics. Call it Neuman's Law after Alfred E. Neuman of Mad magazine fame, whose philosophy is, "What, me worry?" Neuman's Law postulates that there is never a good time to raise taxes or cut federal spending. This explains why, since 1961, the annual federal budget has been in deficit 52 times and in ...Read more


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