Politics, Moderate





Trump's tendency to double down on bad ideas doesn't bode well for the economy

WASHINGTON -- There are lots of reasons to worry about how President Trump would handle a recession, should we tip into one. There's his incompetent economic team. Or the limited fiscal policy tools at his disposal, given that Republicans already spent nearly $2 trillion on tax cuts. Or his efforts to discredit the Federal Reserve just when we'...Read more

An obvious proviso for re-admitting Russia to the G-7

WASHINGTON -- As the G-7 gathers this weekend in Biarritz, President Trump has expressed hope for the return of Russia, the missing guest at the table. But any consideration of this issue requires dealing with Trump's least favorite subject -- Russian cybermeddling in U.S. elections.

The stark reality is that the United States is now fighting a...Read more

Economic reality matters more than spin

Just over a week ago, market signals and several analysts suggested that the odds were increasing for a recession in 2020.

Given that 73% of voters consider the economy a very important voting issue, it's no surprise that the new economic assessment quickly generated an intense political debate. President Donald Trump and chief economic adviser...Read more

America's racial injustice didn't start with Trump

CHICAGO -- There's a lot of fear in the Latino community right now of being targeted by someone with a grudge against immigrants.

But attributing the unease to the recent shootings in El Paso, which specifically targeted Mexicans, overlooks the relentless struggle of being nonwhite in America. And the tension ratcheted up after Donald Trump ...Read more

To heck with profits!

WASHINGTON -- We've been here before: one of those portentous moments when corporate America promises to be more socially "responsible." These episodes are, it seems, a permanent feature of modern capitalism.

Just this week, the Business Roundtable, a group representing the leaders of major corporations, issued a "statement on the purpose of a ...Read more

The unlikely crusade to save capitalism from itself

WASHINGTON -- "Evolve or die," wrote hedge-fund billionaire Ray Dalio in a manifesto published in April titled "Why and How Capitalism Needs to be Reformed." With each passing month, more business executives have been joining this unlikely crusade to save capitalism from itself.

The loudest reform call yet from inside the system came this week ...Read more

Move over, Illuminati. The conspiracy against Trump's economy is massive.

When Barack Obama was president and the economic statistics were good, then-candidate Donald Trump said they were fake. When Trump became president and inherited the exact same stats, they suddenly became real.

Now that they're turning south, they're apparently fake once more.

Trump, aided by his economic brain trust of cranks and sycophants, ...Read more

Greenland: Not Another Trump 'folly'

Politics, Moderate / Bob Franken /

President Donald Trump has broached the idea of purchasing the massive and largely frozen island of Greenland from Denmark. Cue the laughter. My Montreal-raised wife tells me that in the nearly uninhabitable frozen tundra country of her youth, she and her Canadian friends grew up exclaiming, "It's as cold as Greenland!" But POTUS, evidently, was...Read more

Learning from the great depression

WASHINGTON -- What is striking about the latest bouts of financial turmoil -- the recent wild swings in global stock and bond markets -- is that they provide a sobering reminder of the potential hazards of economic instability. There are parallels between the present tumultuous situation and past episodes of economic disruption, including the ...Read more

Immigrants don't need a handout -- but they do need a welcoming hand

CHICAGO -- The last time I saw Sil Ganzó, she was beaming as she gave a tour of her after-school care facility for newly arrived immigrant and refugee children.

Based on her enthusiasm, you'd have thought the tiny, two-room storefront for the elementary-school students had the grandeur of Google's headquarters. But, as I recall, it had few ...Read more

In this specious species shame has become extinct

Politics, Moderate / Bob Franken /

For all their bluster and destructiveness, it turns out that the Trumpsters are really just frightened little politicians. They wait until the media herd is focused on overcovering everything Jeffrey Epstein to quietly announce that they are making another move on their continuous rape of the Earth.

It was only in May that a major report from a...Read more

Beware 'moral hazard' in Hong Kong

WASHINGTON -- Watching videos of Chinese protestors singing the U.S. national anthem in the streets of Hong Kong, or hearing the tear-jerking chorus of "Les Miserables" during a sit-in at the Hong Kong airport, only someone with a heart of stone wouldn't want to assist these brave people who are fighting for their freedom.

But beware. The ...Read more

Epstein and the reality of 21st-century politics

The death of Jeffrey Epstein highlights an important reality underlying 21st-century American politics.

Just 36% of American adults believe the official story that Epstein committed suicide. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that 30% think he was murdered, while 34% are not sure. As if that skepticism isn't enough, 9% think it's very ...Read more

Trump administration's hatred toward Hispanics just makes us stronger

CHICAGO -- The massive immigration-reform marches of 2006 started as a response to, among many other things, pending legislation that would have made unlawfully present immigrants into felons.

The marches helped squash the legislation, which was known as the Border Protection, Anti-terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005. But the...Read more

Here's why we may be underspending on defense

WASHINGTON -- I've written several columns this year on military spending, contending -- against conventional wisdom -- that we don't spend more than the next eight countries combined, including China and Russia. That startling claim is often made, and if it's untrue, we've been deluding ourselves for years.

Rather than overspending on defense,...Read more

The China challenge is America's new Sputnik moment

LA JOLLA, Calif. -- One of the weirdest aspects of this year's Democratic presidential campaign is that foreign policy, potentially one of President Trump's most vulnerable issues, has been nearly absent from the debate.

Trump is steering the country into a foolish trade war with China that has spooked the stock market, frightened farmers and ...Read more

Biden's biggest problem are his age-old gaffes

Politics, Moderate / Bob Franken /

When Joe Biden says he's running for president, he means it literally. He likes to be seen jogging around at his various campaign events.

Obviously, that's his way of showing that at 76, he's not too old for the grueling physical and mental challenges of being POTUS. But it does raise a few questions: Does he stretch before he breaks into a ...Read more

The Scaramucci story ends like all the others: With a Trump tweetstorm

On Friday evening, during our joint appearance on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said that he stood by President Trump despite his flaws -- because Scaramucci loves his country. He also warned Democrats that his bosom buddy could win reelection in a 40-state landslide.

By Sunday ...Read more

Is the economy turning against Trump?

WASHINGTON -- To have a recession or not -- that is the question.

It also encompassed last week's most important political news, notwithstanding all the public attention understandably focused on the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. There is growing evidence of a possible recession. If one materializes, President Trump could lose his most ...Read more

The shaming of America

WASHINGTON -- One of the everlasting social forces in directing human behavior -- shame -- has become part of the 2020 presidential race.

And one of the most shameful things in these times is to be thought or labeled a racist. As it should be, if true.

Thus, some Democrats and others hoping to defeat President Trump have begun a campaign of ...Read more


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