More than two years after COVID-19 sent the country into a shutdown, life is looking close to the old normal. The job market is hot, restaurants have rebounded, sports and concert venues are packed and travel is up. But mass transit? It's still running slow, with no speedup in sight.
The pandemic ravaged urban transportation systems in two ...Read more
Vladimir Putin has had to embark on the five stages of grief about his invasion of Ukraine, and he may yet arrive at the final one: acceptance. On Monday, "Victory Day," Russians commemorated the triumph over Nazi Germany in World War II. But the president didn't pretend he could celebrate what has happened in Ukraine.
He even gave signs of ...Read more
Now may be a good time to max out your investments in airlines, car rental agencies and intercity bus companies. Travel has picked up as the pandemic has ebbed, but the Supreme Court could give it an extra boost by revoking the constitutional right to abortion.
If that happens, a lot of American women are going to find that "shop local" is a ...Read more
Roe v. Wade may not be dead, but it appears to be terminally ill, with a life expectancy of less than two months. So supporters of abortion rights, including me, are confronted with the grim prospect of returning to the bad old days when abortion was illegal in most of America and many women were forced to travel out of state to end their ...Read more
The pandemic has hung like a storm cloud over America for more than two years, but for some people, it has had a silver lining, or maybe gold. Since March 2020, the federal government has excused student loan recipients from both payments and accrual of interest -- saving them, and costing the federal government, $200 billion so far.
Joe Biden ...Read more
When Elon Musk bought Twitter, conservatives were ready to hold a ticker-tape parade. "Free speech is making a comeback," proclaimed Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. Fox News host Tucker Carlson exulted in this victory over liberals who are "trying to control what we say and think." Gloated Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, "The Left is terrified of free speech."...Read more
Donald Trump was a fierce critic of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal negotiated under Barack Obama. Because of it, he said in 2018, "In just a short period of time, the world's leading state sponsor of terror will be on the cusp of acquiring the world's most dangerous weapons."
He pulled the plug, and what a difference it made. On Thursday, a group ...Read more
When I head out of my driveway, I sometimes worry about one thing or another: Did I bring my shopping list? Do I know how to get where I'm going? Did I forget to close the garage door? What I don't worry about is getting pulled over for a broken taillight, having my car searched and getting shot by a cop.
One reason for my customary nonchalance...Read more
On Dec. 20, 2020, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was still refusing to come to grips with Joe Biden's election victory. "Several members of Congress just finished a meeting in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump, preparing to fight back against mounting evidence of voter fraud," he announced on Twitter. "Stay tuned."
That ...Read more
Inflation was in witness protection for many years, but it has finally come out of hiding, accompanied by a brass band. Prices have risen by 8.5% in the past 12 months, the biggest jump since 1981. The price increases that many (including me) thought would be a passing headache show no sign of abating.
Two people have gotten the bulk of the ...Read more
Americans who were around during the Vietnam War can remember one key rationale for our involvement. The "domino theory" held that if we failed to stop the communists in Vietnam, they would proceed to take over one country after another, like one falling domino knocking over a long row.
Few theories have ever been so thunderously refuted. After...Read more
Ever since Russian tanks and troops poured into Ukraine, there has been a clamor for the Biden administration to do more on the military front -- establish a no-fly zone, provide fighter jets to Ukraine and even prepare to send U.S. troops into battle. The reports of Russian atrocities will increase the pressure for stronger action. But the case...Read more
Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine has thrown world energy markets into turmoil. Prices are high; Europe is still dependent on natural gas from Russia; and Joe Biden is urging other countries to boost petroleum output. For his efforts, the president is under attack from both Republicans and Democrats, who are each erring in their own peculiar ...Read more
When Joe Biden ended his speech in Warsaw, Poland, with an unscripted declaration that Vladimir Putin "cannot remain in power," he sparked a lively controversy. Some observers think that regime change in Moscow would be a great thing and that Biden was right to say so. Others think that regime change in Moscow would be a great thing but that ...Read more
Of all the weapons and tactics available in geopolitical conflicts, my favorite is taking in refugees. It spills no blood, wrecks no cities, causes no misery and invites no escalation. It exacts a toll on the enemy while making us better off. It allows no doubt as to who are the good guys and who are the bad.
Joe Biden had the foresight and ...Read more
When the confirmation hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson began, Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee wasted no time getting to the heart of their case. The Supreme Court nominee is "soft on crime," in the words of John Barrasso, R-Wyo. It's a familiar allegation that politicians have used for decades, and here's the beauty of it: There...Read more
By invading Ukraine, Vladimir Putin has united the world against him, torched his economy, exposed the incompetence of his military and jeopardized his hold on power. He's also done serious harm to his faithful friend, Donald Trump.
Of course Trump has contributed to this damage, as he often does. After the invasion began, he praised Putin's ...Read more
Optimists, confronting adversity, are fond of saying that every problem is an opportunity. Pessimists, however, know that every such opportunity is a chance to make the problem worse. In our current panic over inflation, the pessimists may take some satisfaction in being proven right.
The signs come in two sectors: energy and housing. With oil ...Read more
The International Skating Union has announced that it won't let Russian athletes compete in this month's world championships, and you may think this is a fitting punishment for the sordid doping scandal involving 15-year-old Kamila Valieva at the Beijing Winter Games. But you would be wrong.
The Russians are not being barred for that ...Read more
Vladimir Putin had a problem with Ukraine. It was gradually moving into the Western orbit -- expanding trade, building democratic institutions and aspiring to join the European Union and NATO. He saw this course as detrimental to Russian interests and Russian security, and he wasn't wrong.
But one of the pitfalls of leadership is trying to ...Read more