Politics, Moderate





Where to look for the wave

It's normal for the party out of power to gain ground in a midterm election. The big question in 2018 is whether the Democrats will gain enough ground to win a majority in the House of Representatives.

While the political winds currently favor the Democrats, 390 of the 435 House races are pretty well locked in for one party or the other. Only ...Read more

We can't let robots steal all our jobs

CHICAGO -- In a world that seems in constant danger of going over the edge, why isn't more effort going into making sure robots don't steal every last job and leave our kids fighting, cage-match style, for whatever's left?

Jobs are a key measure of how well the economy is ticking along, but they have become a partisan battleground.

The elites ...Read more

The expanding millionaire class

WASHINGTON -- Call them the new millionaires. Once upon a time -- certainly within living memory -- becoming a millionaire was a big deal. It was a badge of economic distinction, enjoyed by a tiny elite.

No more.

By 2016, slightly more than 9 million U.S. households had a net worth of $1 million or more, according to new calculations by ...Read more

The Trump-Russia collusion investigation is far from a 'witch hunt'

WASHINGTON -- "Does this concern you at all?" asks a tart email message from a Trump supporter who wonders why the mainstream media doesn't take a closer look at allegations that the Justice Department's investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election has been tainted by bias.

It's a fair question. President Trump has made very serious ...Read more

Can there be a charitable reading of "s---hole"?

CAMDEN, S.C. -- While recently perusing unread books gathering dust on my shelves, one tome caught my eye and, upon being loosed from the grip of neglect, fell open to a random page from which leapt the following sentence: "The ancestors of a critical and growing mass of present-day Americans existed in dung heaps of humanity amidst rotting ...Read more

Trump is hoping you won't notice his backdoor repeal of Obamacare

One of the bigger, and more heartening, surprises of the past year was just how fervently it turned out Americans supported health care for low-income people.

Republican politicians, after all, had been running against Obamacare -- including its Medicaid expansion and income-based subsidies for buying insurance -- from the moment the law passed...Read more

Does the Fed need a new playbook?

WASHINGTON -- The record of economists, including those at the Federal Reserve, over the past half century has been discouraging. The two greatest blunders are well-known: policies that fed double-digit inflation in the 1970s, reaching a peak of 13.5 percent in 1980; and the more recent failure to prevent the 2008-09 financial crisis and Great ...Read more

Census racial data can unite instead of divide

CHICAGO -- According to conservative thinkers Ward Connerly and Mike Gonzalez, the Census Bureau should stop collecting data about race and ethnicity.

Writing in a Washington Post op-ed titled "It's time the Census Bureau stops dividing America," they argue that the classifications are divisive and amount to "arbitrary racial straitjackets."

...Read more

North Korean nuclear crisis will resume after Olympics

WASHINGTON -- Sometimes diplomacy is the art of going in two directions at once, and the Trump administration seems to have chosen that sweet spot of ambiguity, for now, in managing its continuing confrontation with North Korea.

President Trump has paused his "Little Rocket Man" rhetoric and boasts about the size of his own nuclear button. He's...Read more

Election 2018 Scoreboards: Who's Up and Who's Down?

Looking ahead to Election 2018, the numbers are close enough for either party to end up in control of the House, the Senate or both. The final outcome will be determined by a combination of the races in play, the fundamentals in each race, and the strength of the political winds in November.

To track all of this, I've rolled out a new service ...Read more

Curb your digital addiction with these resolutions

CHICAGO -- You know internet addiction is a real thing when you pick up a magazine targeted at young men and you find a "My Digital Detox" confessional.

Writing in Men's Health, author Joel Stein describes addiction to screens so profound that people have neglected showering for weeks or been kicked out of their homes for not doing anything ...Read more

White House pushes to combat covert Chinese influence

WASHINGTON -- A little-noticed passage in the Trump administration's national-security strategy released last month previewed a new push to combat Chinese influence operations that affect American universities, think tanks, movie studios and news organizations.

The investigations by Congress and the FBI into Russian meddling in the 2016 ...Read more

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


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