Politics, Moderate





A feast for regulatory parasites

The GOP tax plan's top beneficiaries aren't actually rich people, or even corporations, though both groups will indeed benefit mightily. The biggest winners are the nation's tax planners, thanks to the tax-sheltering bonanza this bill is about to unleash.

As my own CPA father likes to say: Congress has once again taken pity upon the nation's ...Read more

Trump may decry the Russia investigation, but the trail of evidence is long

WASHINGTON -- President Trump's recent denunciations of the Russia investigation recall the famous legal advice: "If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell."

Trump shouted out his defense earlier this month: "What has been...Read more

Republican civil war could hand Senate to Democrats

With Doug Jones' victory in Alabama, Democrats now have at least a plausible path to winning control of the U.S. Senate in the 2018 elections. It's a difficult path to be sure, but it could happen.

The first step will be for Democrats to successfully defend all of their Senate incumbents next November. That's not going to be easy because the ...Read more

Using The Force to spread the love of ballet

CHICAGO -- On Friday, I will be subjected to several hours of inscrutable "pew-pew"-ing when I flock, reluctantly, with my husband, my son and a substantial portion of America to the new "Star Wars" movie, "The Last Jedi."

Enduring another installment of a movie franchise that seems to have no end in sight (especially now that it has mastered ...Read more

The true tax gap: How about $12 trillion!

WASHINGTON -- When historians examine President Trump's tax program, they will surely be struck by a large and momentous contradiction. Although the nation faces endless budget deficits -- and although the president purports to speak about the future -- his tax program does little or nothing to curb long-term deficits and, arguably, might make ...Read more

The GOP's mad dash to pass a tax bill proves that haste makes waste

WASHINGTON -- Of all the follies of 2017, the most tawdry may be the GOP's headlong rush to pass a tax bill that even its proponents don't understand. What's especially sad is that otherwise sensible Republicans seem to be capitulating to the tax-cut frenzy.

Political desperation is the mother of this legislation. Despite Republican control of ...Read more

Women's rage unleashed

WASHINGTON -- That special place in hell everyone keeps talking about is getting mighty crowded.

The ball got rolling in 2016 when former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright quipped that there was a "special place in hell for women who don't help each other." At the time, she was introducing Hillary Clinton at a New Hampshire campaign event. ...Read more

The Trump administration's tax 'report' reads like fan fiction

WASHINGTON -- Unable to produce an actual analysis of its tax plan, the Trump administration has resorted to cooking the books.


White House officials and Republican lawmakers have repeatedly claimed that their tax plan will unleash such tremendous growth that the bill will pay for itself.

Of course, no one remotely credible backs this ...Read more

Trump calls media 'stain on America,' but he keeps lying

Politics, Moderate / Rex Huppke /

The president of the United States is a liar.

That is, to any person with even the loosest grip on reality, a fact.

So it is with staggering hypocrisy that President Donald Trump tweeted his most recent media critique Sunday: "Very little discussion of all the purposely false and defamatory stories put out this week by the Fake News Media. ...Read more

Why we must raise defense spending

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon and the welfare state have been locked in brutal combat for decades, and the Pentagon has gotten clobbered. Protecting the country was once the first obligation of government. No more. Welfare programs -- Social Security, Medicare, food stamps and other benefits -- dwarf defense spending. As a result, we have become ...Read more

The martyrdom of Al Franken

WASHINGTON -- With quavering voice and a tinge of stubborn denial, Sen. Al Franken announced that he would resign from office.

The Minnesota Democrat's remarks on Thursday marked the culmination of exactly three weeks during which eight women -- half of them anonymous -- alleged sexual misconduct by the former "Saturday Night Live" star. By the...Read more

Why teacher preparation programs are crucial for our children

CHICAGO -- One of the most important yet frequently overlooked and misunderstood components of public school education is the system of teacher-preparation programs.

The national network of higher-education institutions that select, train and oversee the mentorship of the country's new teachers holds in its hands the immense power to shape ...Read more

China isn't America's rival -- pinkie swear

BEIJING -- The Chinese government would like Americans to know that China has no ambitions to replace the United States as the world's biggest superpower.

Really! They pinkie-swear!

Sure, maybe the United States has turned its back on globalization. Maybe the U.S. government has said it will withdraw from a 195-country pact on climate change. ...Read more

Despite Trump's rancor for the global system, the world economy is surging

WASHINGTON -- A year ago, with the election of a U.S. president who had fulminated against the international trade and financial systems, some analysts worried that the engine of global prosperity might soon be sputtering. But that's not what happened.

The global economy has surged forward this year, significantly outperforming expectations. As...Read more

It Was A Woman Who First Addressed the Nation About Pearl Harbor

There are events in history that no one alive will ever forget. But time moves on and those who will never forget eventually leave this earth. The rest of us know it only from the history books.

One of those events was the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Only a handful of Americans alive today actually remember the day President Franklin ...Read more

Remember: Racism cuts both ways

CHICAGO -- A few recent headlines could be filed under the category "Racism Is Bad and Wrong."

First up, a controversy in which an African-American nurse working at the Indiana University Health system posted this screed on Twitter: "Every white woman raises a detriment to society when they raise a son. Someone with the HIGHEST propensity to ...Read more

The aging monster

WASHINGTON -- No one can say we weren't warned. For years, scholars of all shapes and sizes -- demographers, economists, political scientists -- have cautioned that the populations of most advanced countries are gradually getting older, with dramatic consequences for economics and politics. But we haven't taken heed by preparing for an ...Read more

Can the U.S. stop North Korea from becoming a nuclear power?

WASHINGTON -- The U.S.-North Korea confrontation is nearing another tense inflection point, with North Korea signaling that it could be ready for negotiations with Washington soon, even as it moves toward becoming a full nuclear-weapons power.

When such diplomatic standoffs get resolved, it's often by allowing each country to claim it's ...Read more

Today in gross America: Gropey prez endorses pervy judge in Alabama Senate race

Politics, Moderate / Rex Huppke /

The latest development in Gross America can be summed up in a rather simple headline: "President Trump offers direct endorsement of Senate candidate Roy Moore."

That's plenty, I suppose, because in Gross America we only read the headlines. No need for additional information. In fact, if you've read this far into the column I'll assume you're ...Read more

Populism died on Saturday

Populism, RIP.

It croaked on a birthday of sorts. This month marks 10 years since the Great Recession -- and thereby the social movement it unleashed -- was born.

This obituary begins in December 2007, when the spark of the financial crisis grew into a fire. The conflagration would go on to blaze through more than 8 million jobs, trillions of ...Read more

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