A federal judge this week ordered the Trump administration to redo environmental reviews of oil and gas leases on several hundred thousand acres of federal lands in Wyoming that were approved by the Obama administration in 2015-16, agreeing with environmental groups that the Bureau of Land Management failed to properly estimate the leases' ...Read more
A credible case can be made that conservatives face considerable hostility at some universities. The problem may not be nearly as pervasive as some right-wing activists assert, but high-profile incidents in which conservative speakers have been heckled, prevented from speaking or disinvited from previously announced campus appearances have ...Read more
The mass murderer of 51 worshipers in New Zealand mosques last week issued a manifesto in which he asked himself this question: "Were/are you a supporter of Donald Trump?"
His answer: "As a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose? Sure. As a policy maker and leader? Dear god no."
In other words, there was no linear connection ...Read more
I get it, Devin Nunes.
Your feelings are hurt.
You don't like being called names, or being told that you belong in prison.
But when a person has a public profile -- even a teensy one like mine -- attacks will follow. Vilification comes with the territory. (As does praise, but whatever.)
Criticism, even unfair or vile criticism, is a small ...Read more
Eliminating the Electoral College from U.S. presidential elections is understandably a hot topic among Democratic contenders. Their party won the popular vote in 2000 and 2016 but lost the presidency both times. But such a change wouldn't benefit all candidates equally. Because campaigns would no longer be trying to win certain states, but ...Read more
The process of funding the U.S. government begins when the president submits a budget request to Congress in February. Then everything falls apart.
At least, that's the way things have been going, year after year. In a more rational world, Congress would prepare a budget resolution of its own, as the law requires. The details would be worked ...Read more
The February 2019 volume of the Journal of Applied Psychology included a major article titled "Gender and the Evaluation of Humor at Work," which ended with a surprisingly gender-specific caveat.
Under its "Practical Implications and Conclusion" section, the distinguished researchers -- four men and one woman -- warned that, "Even when women ...Read more
New Zealand banned semi-automatic rifles this week, and made the ban effective immediately to prevent "stockpiling of weapons while the legislation is being drafted." The Kiwis are apparently not big on the "hopes and prayers" mantra that the U.S. Congress adopts after each gun massacre.
It's easy to be dispirited by the cravenness of ...Read more
The federal consent decree, which governs Chicago police efforts to reform and improve, contains a chapter titled "Officer Wellness and Support." It's located fairly deep in the document, behind higher-profile policing issues such as "Use of Force," but thank goodness that chapter exists because the department is confronting a quiet crisis of ...Read more
Here we go again.
The Pentagon's inspector general's office said Wednesday that it is opening an investigation into acting defense secretary and former Boeing Company executive, Patrick M. Shanahan, over comments he made that seemed to puff up Boeing at the expense of its rivals in the military-industrial complex.
The investigation stems from ...Read more
Recent scientific projections indicate the opioid overdose crisis will worsen between now and 2025, and dramatically so. According to the mathematical modeling published last month in JAMA Network Open, the annual death toll will exceed 80,000 and could, using the most pessimistic scenario, reach 198,000.
I hope we take action now to defy these...Read more
In the wake of a series of scandals that rocked it to its foundations, the University of Southern California on Wednesday announced the appointment of a new president: Carol L. Folt, the former chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Folt will be the first female president in USC's 139-year history. Before serving six ...Read more
When Gov. Gavin Newsom suspended the death penalty in California last week, he cited an "ineffective, irreversible and immoral" process that, from trial to execution, is tainted by racial discrimination.
African Americans bear the brunt of the bigotry; they're the most overrepresented on death row. In a state that is only 6 percent black, more ...Read more
One of the more striking characteristics of modern American politics is the irresponsible willingness of inattentive voters to be played over and over again by both major political parties.
Very few citizens seem willing these days to take responsibility for their actions or inactions. So, instead of confronting their own ignorance, voters ...Read more
Politics is not a pursuit for the faint of heart or the thin of skin. Yet Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) has evidently been so deeply wounded by the invective directed his way on Twitter, 140 to 280 characters at a time, that he has filed a defamation lawsuit against the company and three of its microblogging auteurs. He is seeking a whopping $250 ...Read more
On any given day while you're trying to do your work -- I'm referring to the activity officially designated as "work" -- there's a good chance you're trying to do something that the world would call "personal."
The so-called personal things require time and effort. Many need to be done during so-called working hours. They may involve pleasure ...Read more
Stories don't usually survive very long in the swift churn of news these days. But the college admissions criminal scandal has legs, probably because it has everything a big story needs: famous people, rich people, the FBI, renowned universities and major-league cheating, including the irresistible detail about Photoshopping kids' heads onto ...Read more
The Pentagon last week released its latest policy memo on transgender military service, an effort to bring President Donald Trump's tweeted ban in line with court rulings that had blocked the administration from implementing it. There are numerous problems with the policy, but one in particular ought to bring the entire edifice tumbling down: It...Read more
TAMPA, Fla. -- Politics are getting pretty weird when The New York Times, the nation's leading champion of liberalism, trashes former Vice President Joe Biden, the only progressive who stands a real chance of routing Donald Trump in a Democratic presidential field chock full of recently anointed celebrity politicians.
Yet that's exactly what ...Read more
On the January day when he sentenced Jason Van Dyke for fatally shooting Laquan McDonald, Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan told trial participants and spectators that 100 percent of them would be unhappy with his ruling. Gaughan was acknowledging that while some Chicagoans wanted the former Chicago police officer put away for life, others ...Read more