Politics, Moderate



If riots aren't the answer, what is?

It is impossible to justify the violence, looting, arson and vandalism that took place in Minneapolis and other cities after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. Smashing windows, torching buildings and plundering stores do nothing to improve police behavior or help the African American community. They amount to useless destruction....Read more

Trump wants Twitter to spread lies, not truth

For years, Twitter has been Donald Trump's big cargo hauler for getting his message to his followers. It lets him bypass the news media to communicate directly, as often as he wants, in whatever terms he chooses. Trump without Twitter would be Florida without the ocean.

For everyone else, his use of the social media platform has also served a ...Read more

A restaurant rebound is not on the table

When the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the governor's stay-at-home order, several bars and restaurants immediately reopened, and customers came. At some, patrons thronged in, shunning masks and social distancing. On the following Saturday, the resort town of Lake Geneva attracted a horde of tourists eager to eat, drink and mingle with ...Read more

In this crisis, states should get a lot of federal money

The economic collapse precipitated by the coronavirus pandemic has been a disaster for a multitude of individuals and companies, and the federal government has wisely showered them with money to offset their losses. But the downturn has also been a disaster for states, which don't get the same love in Washington.

When the House passed a $3 ...Read more

The illusory xhoice between health and prosperity

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Americans find themselves on the horns of a dilemma. Should we give the highest priority to fighting the disease to save as many lives as possible? Or should we ease government restrictions in order to save the economy from a prolonged recession or even depression?

But the dilemma is an illusion. The stay-...Read more

The Coronavirus protesters have false notions of freedom

The people who have rallied in Chicago and elsewhere to protest stay-at-home orders and business shutdowns are big proponents of freedom. They claim their right to assemble has been violated, along with their right to earn a living and enjoy their normal lives.

One sign at the May 1 protest said, "Give me liberty or give me COVID-19." Another ...Read more

How to get back to normal? Mass coronavirus testing

The defining characteristic of the current national mood is profound uncertainty. We don't how widespread the new coronavirus is. We don't know who may have it. The lack of information is a huge obstacle to resuming normal life.

Donald Trump has reservations about the expansion of testing for the disease because it raises the quantity of known ...Read more

Voting by mail protects democracy and public health

If I were a fan of the coronavirus, here's what I'd like to see this fall: crowds of Americans standing in line for minutes or hours in venues where they can easily infect each other. By then, the contagion may be receding thanks to measures to combat it, or it may be going strong. Either way, Election Day could be a great boon to the disease, ...Read more

Optimists vs. pessimists on the coronavirus

Ted Williams was one of the greatest hitters baseball has ever seen, and his theories of how to succeed at the plate are still influential. He was the last major leaguer to bat .400 over a season and retired in 1960 ranking third all-time in career home runs.

Sportswriter Ira Berkow once asked him the source of his prowess. Was it his ...Read more

A confession, by Donald Trump

It isn't easy being Donald Trump, and I can say that with confidence -- because I'm Donald Trump. And no, I'm not being sarcastic about how hard it is. But here's the problem: When I am being sarcastic, nobody can tell.

Stephen Colbert got rich and famous pretending to be a right-wing blowhard with an idiotic opinion on every topic. Comedy ...Read more

Guns, abortion and COVID-19 opportunism

Two issues have long been the center of America's culture wars: guns and abortion, with red states and blue states generally pursuing starkly divergent policies on each. It's not surprising to find that some politicians have used the coronavirus crisis to advance policies they couldn't achieve before. But in this, Illinois is a notable exception...Read more

Trump's ban on immigration is harmful

Over the past three years, I have spent a lot of time in hospitals supporting close relatives with serious medical conditions. I've been there many mornings, afternoons and evenings, interacting with doctors, nurses and other personnel. And I often wonder: Where would hospital patients be without immigrants?

Many of the people on the front ...Read more

This moment won't last forever and neither should our fiscal incontinence

The coronavirus pandemic has been a massively disruptive event, and one of the things it has upended is federal budget policy. Never has there been such a broad and fervent belief that, in this crisis, Washington should be spraying cash out of a fire hose. Right now, fiscal austerity is in quarantine.

Last month, a Republican president who once...Read more

Trump's oil deal is bad for Americans

For decades, American presidents and American consumers have complained when oil prices rose and rejoiced when oil prices fell. But this week, Donald Trump helped forge an agreement with Russia, Saudi Arabia and other oil production nations to raise prices by slashing production. Then he bragged about it.

"The big Oil Deal with OPEC Plus is ...Read more

The economy is not going to reopen with a bang

From the first moment Donald Trump recognized the serious nature of the new coronavirus pandemic, his impatience has been palpable. Over and over, he stressed how quickly we would get past it. And even after extending the guidelines that restrict activity until the end of April, he continues to predict that life will soon be back to normal.

"It...Read more

The navy secretary's subservience couldn't save him

The trick to surviving in Donald Trump's administration is being a shameless toady, willing at any moment to lavish praise on the president. But acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly found that staying on Trump's good side can be impossibly tricky. He resigned Tuesday in the apparent realization that his strenuous self-abasement was not enough to ...Read more

Barring church services is not religious persecution

With most Americans staying home as much as possible and avoiding other people like, well, the plague, it's surprising to learn that some churches are holding Sunday services to bring parishioners together to worship. Even more surprising, some states are letting them.

On Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who had refused to close the state'...Read more

An unnecessary coronavirus victim: The right to travel

For Chicagoans who need to go to Texas, there is bad news. You can do it, but anyone flying from Chicago to the Lone Star State will feel extremely unwelcome. Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered a 14-day self-quarantine for such travelers.

The mandate also applies to those arriving by air from California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Atlanta, ...Read more

Right now, fiscal restraint would be folly

Fiscal discipline was once a durable American practice. But in the 1940s, it went out the window. The federal government embarked on a sudden, unprecedented binge of borrowing that put the nation in hock up to its ears.

From 1940 to 1945, federal spending rose tenfold. The national debt increased sixfold. The public would have to shoulder the ...Read more

Why Trump can't restart the economy

The federal government's effort to combat the new coronavirus carries an economic price that is getting higher every day -- too high, it appears, for President Donald Trump and some of his advisers. They fear a sharp, brutal downturn that could boost unemployment into double-digits, litter the landscape with bankruptcies and doom his reelection ...Read more


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