Not for the first time, President Trump has perverted the presidential pardon power to benefit undeserving recipients with whom he shares a personal or political affinity. On Tuesday, the White House announced that Trump had commuted the prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, an epically corrupt politician who once appeared on ...Read more
It should not surprise anyone that President Donald Trump would commute former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's prison sentence. Corrupt politicians do favors for other corrupt politicians all the time.
Trump and Blagojevich are kindred spirits. The only difference is that Trump has gotten away with his corruption so far and Blagojevich didn't. ...Read more
Student loan debt has more than doubled over the past decade and now exceeds $1.5 trillion. If there is one bit of good news, it's that new data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that student loan debt has just about stopped growing, likely in part to a tighter labor market. So as long as the labor market continues to stay strong, ...Read more
If the public health consequences in China of the new coronavirus aren't yet entirely clear, its ultimate political consequences are even murkier.
The reason is rooted in the so-called "mandate of heaven," a concept dating back to the Zhou Dynasty 3,000 years ago. This ancient notion holds that mortal efforts of the Chinese people to rule ...Read more
In the context of coronavirus, impeachment, caucuses, primaries and spring training, the bankruptcy of McClatchy, America's second-largest newspaper chain, could not be expected to garner much attention. But such matters are of importance nonetheless.
McClatchy is the publisher of the Miami Herald, the Charlotte Observer, the Kansas City Star ...Read more
"Vegan -- isn't that a white thing?"
For longer than I care to remember, this was a common response from anyone who learned about my vegan lifestyle. When hearing the word "vegan," they probably thought up images of hip, white people eating $10 avocado toast with a side of raw kale rather than me, with my natural locks and melanin existence, ...Read more
These are desperate times for Los Angeles.
Even as the city, county and state have been pouring money into housing and services, the number of people living on the street has gone steadily up. More and more of them are losing their housing -- often for the first time -- because of unaffordable rents and evictions.
But are we ready for ...Read more
In a famous experiment that was launched in an unused lot near his home in Towson in the 1940s, Johns Hopkins behavioral researcher John B. Calhoun discovered that when rodent populations were crowded together, they behaved badly. Given space, they lived harmoniously. Squeeze them into tight spaces and suddenly, there was aggressive behavior, ...Read more
Most of us have probably seen the viral video of the airline passenger repeatedly punching the back of the reclined seat in front of him. Much like the photo of the striped dress from five years ago, which appeared blue and black to some and white and gold to others, the airplane video has divided viewers, and the flying world.
It's easy to ...Read more
All of the Democratic candidates for president are well qualified, and all of them could potentially defeat President Donald Trump, but not one of them has made a genuine effort to unite some core ideas of moderates and conservatives with progressive ideas.
For all of the talk about the centrists vs. the progressives -- Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar...Read more
"In the United States we don't much govern at gunpoint. We require willing and creative cooperation and participation to prosper as a civil society. This happens most easily when people trust the person at the top to do the right thing most of the time and, more important than that, to try to do it all of the time. ... When it is the governor ...Read more
Boy Scouts of America has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to protect the organization and its multibillion-dollar assets from seizure amid hundreds of sexual abuse lawsuits. A once-venerable institution, credited by generations of business and military leaders with grounding them in the fundamentals for success in life, finds itself in the same ...Read more
How can anyone be surprised? America's swampy, self-dealing, scofflaw, narcissist president has commuted the prison sentence of Illinois' swampy, self-dealing, scofflaw, narcissist former governor.
I thought President Donald Trump might wait until after the November election to spring Rod Blagojevich from federal prison, which he did Tuesday, ...Read more
America is a hot mess right now. Rather than feeling humbled as only the third impeached president in U.S. history, President Trump -- with the democracy-dies-in-broad-daylight help of his Roy Cohn-flavored attorney general, William Barr -- has been emboldened to not just flout the established rule of law, and 233 years of constitutional norms, ...Read more
Welcome to the 21st century nuclear arms race. Once again, we're teetering on the brink of nuclear conflict instead of taking critical steps toward de-escalation and disarmament.
If it feels like we're in the middle of a wacky James Bond movie plot, that's not far off. Any progress we were making toward nuclear safety is being rapidly, ...Read more
Yoo hoo! Elizabeth Warren fans! Over here!
Yes, we're still here. Gather round. Scooch on in. We've been shoved into this little corner at the edge of the stage, but we're not leaving yet. The pundits' wind is bitter cold, and history is giving us the wary eye, and our friends are sniffing, "Get over it."
Nevertheless, we persist. So does ...Read more
Law enforcers around the world are celebrating the rapidly expanding potential of facial recognition software to help them catch criminals faster and solve long-dormant cases. Such capabilities in the right hands could reap enormous public safety dividends. But in the wrong hands, an entirely new dimension in crime, extortion and mayhem could ...Read more
If this were a normal presidential election, most Democrats would have decided by now whom they would vote for in the primaries. They simply would have weighed each candidate's message and decided which aligned most closely with their own.
That's how easy the political process is supposed to be. But this is no ordinary election. It never is ...Read more
Do you think it is permissible to yell "fire" in a crowded movie theater in order to create a panic? How about whether it is legal to speak to a crowd and tell them to go out and shoot the first police officer they see, or homeless person or teacher?
If you responded no to those questions, does that make you an opponent of the First Amendment ...Read more
Calm down, Democrats.
There have been exactly two nominating contests for your party's presidential nomination, both in deeply unrepresentative states: Iowa and New Hampshire.
And so far, it appears that Democrats are behaving exactly as everyone thought they would. They are torn between choosing a candidate who wants to turn over tables and ...Read more