When Franklin Roosevelt tried to "pack" the Supreme Court in 1937, that is, expand its membership so he could bend its membership toward the New Deal and its majority ideology toward the Democratic Party, he was shut down.
The plan was to add a new justice each time a justice reached 70 and failed to retire. It would have meant six new justices...Read more
For the first time in six decades, no Castro will hold an official position of power in Cuba's government — at least that's what the Cuban government wants us to believe.
On Friday, Raúl Castro, the late Fidel's younger brother, stepped down as head of Cuba's Communist Party, the moral center of the regime that reshaped Cuba — and Miami.
Finally after more than a year of remote learning and countless stall tactics from the teachers union, Chicago Public Schools high school students headed back to classrooms on Monday. They won’t be in school full time — the district and the union only settled on two days a week — but it’s better than the full-time remote learning that ...Read more
As bizarre as it may seem, last year's presidential election provided us with a bona fide highlight.
No doubt, many Americans would be happy to never hear the phrase "2020 election" ever again. But despite all the chaos and cacophony, that campaign featured an important positive development for the health of our democracy.
While big money has ...Read more
Our pandemic-stricken society cheered the brave first responders and medical crews who confronted COVID-19 risks every day, thanked grocery workers and tipped delivery people extra (you did, didn't you?). But one group of essential workers went almost unnoticed: The child care providers who made it possible for those essential workers to keep ...Read more
The little helicopter weighs only 4 pounds, and its first flight lasted a mere 30 seconds and reached an altitude of only 10 feet. But it did so on Mars. Stop and wonder about that for a moment. For the first time, humankind has achieved powered flight on another planet. A feat that would be nothing for a 10-year-old child to accomplish with a ...Read more
After a veteran officer — also head of their police union — shot and killed a 20-year-old unarmed Black motorist named Daunte Wright during a traffic stop over expired tags and a dangling air freshener, you might think cops in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, would have at least a brief moment of reflection, even contrition.
A frustrating reality about climate change is that a once-seemingly distant horizon keeps moving up on us. First, we were given dire projections about what could happen by the end of the 21st century if we didn't act. Then the projections advanced to 2050. More recently, the warnings have sounded about the need for effective and significant ...Read more
Sitting far away in the White House, President Joe Biden recently cheered for a union to be formed at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama. By a two-to-one vote, workers said no thanks, that they weren’t all that upset by this whiz of a company and would rather work out any differences without another organization in their face. As quoted by The New...Read more
Many of us will be spending Earth Day at home again this year, but we can still help combat climate change — and prevent future pandemics — just by eating vegan foods. That might not seem as exciting as attending a concert or a rally, but it’s effective and perhaps even more important. Some experts, including medical historian Dr. David ...Read more
The most remarkable aspect of the gun control package President Joe Biden has unveiled is that it includes the first major federal regulation of gun violence in over 25 years. And this during a period in which the United States has generally topped the list for gun deaths among developed countries. According to the researchers at the University ...Read more
Across five Western states — under farmland, windblown fields of grazing cattle and Great Plains plateaus — 400 aging nuclear-armed ballistic missiles stand at the ready. From a distance, the isolated, fenced-off areas look like they might be for wells pumping water or fiber optic cable repeaters. What is underground, however, is neither ...Read more
The 11-year-old returned to the classroom last Thursday.
The actual, physical IRL classroom on the second floor of her Venice elementary school. Inside, she and eight other fifth graders sat at well-spaced desks, many looking as if they'd died and gone to heaven.
Or perhaps I was projecting.
Surely, this was one of the strangest and most ...Read more
Has a new Cold War, this one pitting the United States against the People’s Republic of China, commenced? Rhetoric coming out of Washington, amplified by hawkish media commentary, appears to take a Second Cold War as a given, something perhaps even to be welcomed.
If Cold War II looms, how will it compare with its predecessor? Does the term �...Read more
To judge by the headlines, you’d think the most critical immunization issue facing the world is the safety and hesitancy concerns over the AstraZeneca Plc and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
That debate is genuinely important. Still, it shouldn’t distract from the biggest challenge the world will face over the coming months: the grossly unequal...Read more
There is little in public affairs as entertaining as a politician who has set himself free.
It usually happens after a political career is over, or at least winding down.
It helps if he or she has a sense of humor.
Harry Truman only became the unvarnished Harry Truman after he beat Tom Dewey. He was even more outspoken after he left office ...Read more
We thought we had fallen out of our beds and hit our heads, because we woke up in a parallel universe in which the party of free markets, that saw nothing wrong with corporate influence in U.S. politics through unlimited cash flowing into elections now is rallying against — of all things — corporate meddling in politics?
You might remember ...Read more
What if I said only deserving individuals — meaning people who meet some government standard of personal responsibility — could get a COVID-19 vaccine? Ridiculous, of course. Everyone is vulnerable to the coronavirus and equally worthy of protection.
But I see disturbing parallels in the child protection system. Too often that system ...Read more
As the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd went to the jury Monday, a parallel case of sorts was resubmitted to an American public that already has been in contentious deliberations over the 30 years since Los Angeles police officers brutally beat Rodney King.
The question in Chauvin’s ...Read more
Why did we go to war in Afghanistan 20 years ago?
Because of Sept. 11, 2001.
The United States was attacked on its own soil — by four al-Qaida piloted planes crashing into the Twin Towers in New York City, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pa., diverted from its target of the U.S. Capitol — for the first time since Pearl Harbor.