Politics, Moderate



Biden Embraces a New Strategy to Curb Overdose Deaths

A deadly plague continues to rage across America, and neither vaccines nor face masks nor herd immunity can stop it. The epidemic of drug overdose deaths has taken more lives than COVID-19 and is more intractable. But the Biden administration is showing a welcome openness to a new strategy.

That approach is known broadly as "harm reduction." ...Read more

When They Line Up for Stadium Deals, Cities Get Sacked

Like many sports franchises whose owners want to augment their already immense riches, the Chicago Bears are pondering a relocation. After a full century of playing in the city, the Monsters of the Midway could move to suburban Arlington Heights -- unless, of course, Chicago wants to make it worth their while to stay.

Season ticket holder Lori ...Read more

Once Again, Redistricting Promises to Throttle Democracy

It's a redistricting year in the blue state of Illinois, which means that Republicans are getting less consideration than a missionary on the Las Vegas Strip. Democrats have been winning in the Land of Lincoln for a long while, controlling the state House for all but two of the past 38 years. But they see no harm in running up the score.

...Read more

Newsom Won the Recall Vote, but California's Problems Remain

Having won a smashing victory in his recall battle, California Gov. Gavin Newsom can bask in his rout of the Republicans who dreamed of unseating him. But he may also remember W.C. Fields' joke about a contest whose first prize was a week in Philadelphia. Second prize? Two weeks.

Newsom raised some $83 million for this referendum -- taking ...Read more

From 9/11 Unity to Pandemic Division

The 21st century in America has so far been bracketed by two terrible mass-casualty events. The first was the 9/11 attacks, 20 years ago this week. The second is the COVID-19 pandemic. The radically different public response to these episodes reveals a lot about us, and much of it is not flattering.

The airline hijackings were the worst ...Read more

Compulsory Childbearing Comes to Texas

For nearly half a century, Americans have lived in a country in which safe, legal abortions were generally accessible to those needing them. The constitutional protection established in the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision was firm and secure. That fact, paradoxically, worked to the political advantage of activists who reject abortion ...Read more

In Afghanistan, Biden Did the Right Thing, Not the Easy One

If Joe Biden were a typical politician, his choice on Afghanistan would have been easy. Political wisdom says you should never accept consequences today that you can postpone until after the next election, if not longer. Deceptive gimmicks and clever evasions are always preferable to painful solutions that pay off only in the long run.

Biden ...Read more

Leaving Afghanistan Shows Wisdom, Not Weakness

The suicide bombing that killed 13 U.S. service members and at least 169 Afghans was an atrocity that evoked horror in Americans of every political persuasion. But among those who want to continue the war, the loss was taken as proof that the U.S. should have persisted in a mission that had previously claimed the lives of more than 2,400 ...Read more

Forgotten Lessons Led to Tragedy in Afghanistan

The spectacle of Americans and their local allies rushing desperately to evacuate from Kabul brought to mind similar scenes from Saigon in 1975. The repetition suggested that Americans and their leaders didn't learn from the earlier experience. In fact, we did learn. But then we forgot.

Maybe the surprise is not that we had to rediscover the ...Read more

Beer Without the Buzz Is Starting To Make Noise

A couple of years ago, as my 20-something daughter was heading out to run some errands, I asked her to stop at the liquor store to get a six-pack of nonalcoholic beer. Chatting with the clerk, she mentioned that it was for her dad. "How long has he been sober?" he asked. "Um, he's not," she replied.

She was right, in the sense that he meant. I'...Read more

The Dangerous Rejection of School Mask Mandates

Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, whom you love -- Isaac -- and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain that I will show you."

-- Genesis 22:1-2

Abraham, according to the Bible, was willing to do as God ...Read more

Cuomo's Resignation and the Limits of Party Loyalty

It's tempting to invoke Shakespeare in contemplating the surprising decision of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign. "Nothing in his life became him like the leaving of it," says one character in "Macbeth" about a traitor who repented before being executed. Cuomo admitted that he "truly offended" 11 women, apologized to his victims and ...Read more

Do Disney Princesses Damage our Daughters?

Americans made their break with kings, queens and other artifacts of royalty 246 years ago. The people of Britain still support their monarchy, but I suspect most of them, contemplating the fate of Princess Diana and Meghan Markle, would rather swim the English Channel than see their daughters marry a prince.

But Disney movies? From them, you ...Read more

Politicians Are Waffling on Vaccine Mandates. So Businesses Are Leading

Public health is normally the responsibility of government officials and agencies. But the rampaging delta variant of COVID-19 has shown public institutions to be inadequate to the task. So it may be up to the private sector to do the heavy lifting.

Early in the pandemic, the urgent danger forced governors and mayors to take drastic actions ...Read more

The Capitol Riot Aftermath Bodes Ill for Democracy

Someday, the past year or so may be remembered as a bout of temporary insanity among a large share of the American people. This group refused to take basic precautions against a devastating pandemic, swallowed the lies of a president who had lost an election, and excused a violent mob that attacked the Capitol to prevent Congress from doing its ...Read more

Hypocrisy on Housing Is a Bipartisan Scourge

Right now, selling a home is akin to selling beer on a troopship: Buyers are so eager they'll pay almost any amount. The median home sales price in the United States was nearly 23% higher in June than a year earlier.

Surging demand is the immediate cause of the increase, and it will abate before long. But underlying it is a more durable factor:...Read more

Political Dysfunction Keeps the 'Dreamers' in Purgatory

Someday, many years from now, historians will use the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program as a case study in the monumental dysfunction of American democracy in the early 21st century. But there is no guarantee that the issue will be consigned to the history books by then. Many of the "dreamers" could pass on to the next world before ...Read more

A New Civilian Climate Corps Would Take Us Down the Wrong Trail

Nostalgia is an essential ingredient in class reunions, wedding anniversaries and Baseball Hall of Fame inductions. But it's a poor source of guidance for public policy. Often, rose-colored memories serve to obscure dangers and cloud judgment.

In January, President Joe Biden issued an executive order directing Cabinet officers to create a ...Read more

Send US Troops to Haiti? A Bad Idea Gets No Takers

When the president of Haiti was gunned down last week by a team of mercenaries, the country fell into even more turmoil than before, which is saying a lot. The assassination prompted the interim prime minister to ask the United States to send military forces. But here's the surprise: No one is jumping to accept the invitation.

Haiti is not far ...Read more

Mike Pompeo's Cynical Lies

One of the many aggravating ills of the era of Donald Trump is having our intelligence constantly insulted. It is one thing to have spirited debate on divisive issues. It's another to have transparently fraudulent claims thrust upon us by people who are smarter than they pretend to be.

One of these is former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who ...Read more



John Branch Jeff Koterba Bob Englehart John Cole Lee Judge Lisa Benson