Politics, Moderate





Trump thinks rising stock prices mean his presidency is awesome. He's wrong.

PHILADELPHIA -- Whenever unflattering news comes out, President Trump resorts to one of two strategies: attack some unrelated culture-wars punching bag (NFL players, the media, "Crooked Hillary") or brag about the stock market. In the past month, he's tweeted about stock prices more than every other day, on average.

According to Trump, the ...Read more

Build the wall (cont'd)

WASHINGTON -- I repeat myself.

For years, I have advocated a wall along our Southern border, which would (I believe) discourage illegal immigration without stopping it altogether. But let's face it: Whatever the virtues or vices of a wall, it has largely become a political symbol. President Trump and Republicans love it; Democrats and ...Read more

Time for the White House to 'Unleash the Genius'

Politics, Moderate / Rex Huppke /

There are two things we know for certain:

1) President Donald Trump is a genius. A stable one, at that.

2) Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is a witch hunt and there was absolutely no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

We know those two ...Read more

Like a child

WASHINGTON -- I'm almost beginning to feel sorry for him.

Donald Trump, that is.

Having previously posited that it's wrong to make fun of the mentally deficient, I'm reluctant to further highlight recent revelations from author Michael Wolff, whose new book, "Fire and Fury," reports on what can only be described as insanity at 1600 ...Read more

The GOP is sabotaging this sacred mandate

WASHINGTON -- The Founding Fathers must be spinning in their graves.

Not because of cavalier threats about nuclear apocalypse and attempted erosion of First Amendment rights (OK, maybe those things, too). Because our federal government is failing to execute one of its most basic constitutional duties: the decennial census.

The decennial census...Read more

Will the economy save Trump?

WASHINGTON -- For President Trump, a lot is riding on the economy in 2018. If it continues to do well, it should bolster his popularity and his claim that he understands it better than his critics. But if it slows or drops into a recession, it would weaken that claim -- perhaps his strongest selling point.

So, what's the economic prognosis?

...Read more

The Iranian people are showing their deep hunger for change

WASHINGTON -- After visiting Tehran in 2013, I wrote that the Iranian capital seemed suspended somewhere between Pyongyang and Los Angeles. We've seen this past week how passionately Iranians want the latter, not the former -- as they denounced their impoverished garrison state and demanded a prosperous, modern future.

Asking whether Iran's ...Read more

The ground is shifting under Obamacare

President Trump has perfected the art of antagonizing his opponents with provocative tweets. He demonstrated this skill recently in declaring that the tax reform act, by repealing the Obamacare mandate, had effectively repealed Obamacare.

This generated a number of stories from left-leaning pundits pointing out that there's a lot more to ...Read more

In search of progress

WASHINGTON -- As we begin a new year, it's worth reflecting on the paradoxical and frustrating nature of progress. Progress is often disappointing, because even when it indisputably occurs (as it often does), it spawns new problems or reveals that old problems were underestimated in their complexity or inertia.

Gains are forgotten and taken for...Read more

Queen Carlson wins again

WASHINGTON -- If karma is a b----, justice is a beauty queen.

After recent revelations that the CEO of the Miss America Organization and its pageant scriptwriter were talking trash about past winners, the board fired them both and installed Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America 1989 and Fox News anchor, as its new chairwoman.

Carlson, you ...Read more

Trump is right to tell Iran that the world is watching

WASHINGTON -- Think of the Iranian uprising as a bottom-up revolt by people who feel they've been ignored by a corrupt elite. The issues and the faces in the street are very different from those of the populist movements that swept America and Europe in 2016, but you sense a resonance: "Make Iran Great Again" and "Iran First."

This revolt ...Read more

America's own Cultural Revolution

WASHINGTON -- Last month in Shanghai, Chinese venture capitalist Eric X. Li made a provocative suggestion.

The United States, he said, was going through its own "Cultural Revolution."

For those unfamiliar, Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) was a traumatic period of political upheaval, ostensibly intended to cleanse the People's ...Read more

Why do so many Republicans hate college?

TEMPE, Ariz. -- More than ever, higher education has become critical to snagging a stable job, moving up the income ladder and succeeding in the global economy.

Yet more than ever, higher education has also become a political football and object of derision.

Here in Arizona, Republican politicians clearly view beating up on colleges as a way ...Read more

Trump's divisiveness puts America at risk

WASHINGTON -- Looking for perspective on this past year and the one ahead, I turned to several of the nation's most experienced former military commanders. One of them put it bluntly: America is so divided politically at home that we are becoming vulnerable to our adversaries abroad.

America, these retired military leaders fear, is so divided ...Read more

A viewer's guide to the midterm elections

Forget the Super Bowl! For millions of Americans, the biggest spectator sport of 2018 will be the midterm elections. The political winds currently favor the Democrats, but it's impossible to know how strong they'll be blowing come November. Five key races can give casual fans a good sense of what to expect.

In the Senate, the races to watch ...Read more

The Top 10 Stats of 2017

WASHINGTON -- Let us now praise Ben Beach, a Washington writer and longtime friend. Like me, Ben is a confirmed statistics buff. Unlike me, he's disciplined. All through the year, he collects interesting stats with the intent of naming the 10 best at year's end. So I happily outsource my last column of 2017 to Ben's list, which is in no ...Read more

Study reveals small but powerful Iran cyber threat

WASHINGTON -- When it comes to cyberweapons, America is an elephant and Iran is a flea. Still, a flea can be a persistent nuisance, especially for the unprotected.

Iran's cyber capability is the focus of a detailed new study called "Iran's Cyber Threat," to be published soon by Collin Anderson and Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for ...Read more

In a time of "fake news," darkness settles when people can no longer tell the difference

WASHINGTON -- As a functional obsessive-compulsive, I'm never happier than at year's end when I get to make lists. Herewith, my picks for the most important stories of 2017:

This year my list is short: "Fake News" -- from which all cursings flow.

Not only has the president's frequent "fake news" defense against any story he dislikes helped ...Read more

School successes prove demography isn't destiny

CHICAGO -- As we prepare to bid farewell to 2017, let's end the year on a few high notes from the world of education.

First up, some stats to celebrate: There was an uptick in diversity in the majority-white ranks of America's teacher corps. This is important because most of the public-school students they teach have been nonwhite since 2014.

...Read more

You own this tax bill, Republicans. Good luck.

WASHINGTON -- If a tax falls in a forest and no one notices, does it make a sound?

That's no idle existential musing. The answer may determine whether President Trump's tax plan ever becomes non-toxic to the Republican Party.

Right now the public hates, hates, hates the tax bill. It's less popular than any major piece of legislation of the ...Read more


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