"The next debate is do or die for many Democratic hopefuls."
Andrew Yang "is on fire."
Elizabeth Warren is "surging."
"It's a three-way race."
I'm betting you can think of a long list of other things you've heard on television or read in print to explain what is going on in the presidential race. Many of them will need to be revised ...Read more
Given the partisan polarization over the Supreme Court, it's perhaps not surprising that an article in the New York Times reporting on a previously undisclosed allegation about Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh impelled some Democratic presidential candidates to call for his impeachment. But it's disappointing and perhaps dangerous -- less for ...Read more
Once upon a time in Washington, the Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service was doled out to U.S. Justice Department lawyers and other federal agents who did yeoman's work in putting away some of the baddest guys out there -- from human traffickers in the D.C. metro area to the chief terrorist who attacked the American consulate in ...Read more
There are two kinds of people in this country today: Those who believe that men who are credibly accused of sexually assaulting or harassing women are perfectly appropriate candidates for the U.S. Supreme Court ... and the infuriated rest of us.
How else to explain reaction to a newly surfaced allegation of sexual misconduct against beer-loving...Read more
Politicians have a long history of swearing. Surreptitious recordings of the White House during the Johnson and Nixon administrations in the 1960s and '70s document extensive presidential profanity. Andrew Jackson reportedly swore so much that his pet parrot started imitating him, to the point that it had to be removed from Jackson's funeral. ...Read more
Julian Castro wants you to know that Joe Biden is old. Or at least it seemed that way during last week's Democratic presidential debate, when Castro told Biden six times that Biden couldn't remember what he just said.
"Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?" Castro asked the former vice president. "Are you forgetting already what you...Read more
The climate crisis has moved into everyday life and it can feel overwhelming.
Hurricane Dorian, which left more than 70,000 people homeless, was an instance of this climate breakdown. A hotter ocean means stronger storms, a higher sea means worse flooding, a hotter atmosphere means more rain. Worsening wildfires in California and elsewhere, ...Read more
Note: This is Part 2 of a three-part series on climate change.
Although the richest, most developed countries in the world are overwhelmingly to blame for the catastrophe of global climate change, they are not the ones who will suffer the most from it. Who will? You guessed it: the poorest countries.
The unfairness of that is self-evident, but...Read more
What is the role of chance in human life? If a book tops the bestseller list, if a new product takes over the market, or if people suddenly want to stem immigration, might it all be some kind of accident?
Over a decade ago, a celebrated paper by sociologists Matthew Salganik, Peter Dodds and Duncan Watts tried to answer such questions. They ...Read more
Note: This is Part 1 of a three-part series on climate change.
The world is drifting steadily toward a climate catastrophe. For many of us, that's been clear for a few years or maybe a decade or even a few decades.
But others have known that a reckoning was coming for much longer. A Swedish scientist first calculated in 1896 that adding carbon...Read more
Note: This is Part 3 of a three-part series on climate change.
The evidence, the expert advice, common sense -- they all point to a single unavoidable conclusion: Humankind has dragged its feet for so long on the looming crisis of climate change that it is no longer looming but is upon us, and will be impossible to undo.
It would be foolish, ...Read more
In the early morning hours of Aug. 4, outside a crowded bar in Dayton, Ohio, a gunman fired at least 41 rounds in 32 seconds, striking 26 people. Nine of those victims died in the shooting.
The gunman was able to fire so many rounds so quickly because he used a 100-round magazine. That meant he didn't have to stop firing to reload.
If police ...Read more
Gun violence and mass shootings are the focus of attention in Congress, and rightly so. But the news that suicide rates are continuing to rise in the United States adds to the need for the nation to establish stricter gun safety laws.
Researchers at Ohio State University studied 453,577 U.S. residents aged 25 to 65 who died by suicide from 1999...Read more
Unwilling or unable to displease the NRA by supporting commonsense legislation to combat the frequency and ferocity of mass shootings, President Trump imagines that a mental health-related study might do the trick. This is yet another move to avoid acknowledging the actual problem of too-much easy access to too many military style firearms, ...Read more
As a historian of the Third Reich, I have found the comparisons made with increasing frequency between Trump's America and Nazi Germany deeply disturbing. Even subtracting the Holocaust from the equation, it's obvious that the Nazi dictatorship and American democracy in its Trumpian incarnation are utterly different animals. Congress has not ...Read more
As climate change increasingly becomes a major issue in the Democratic presidential primary, more candidates are releasing detailed plans to deal with the crisis. But so far only two -- Julian Castro and Beto O'Rourke -- have connected the issue to immigration.
Castro's "People and Planet First" plan envisions creating a new refugee category ...Read more
Michelle Bolen's lawyers argue that she lost her teaching job at a Kansas City Catholic school, St. Therese, because she refused to get an abortion.
If the jury decides that's what happened, it will make news the world over.
But it seems a lot more complicated than that, and I would not want to be on that panel.
Bolen's attorneys say this is ...Read more
There were so many weird moments in Thursday night's critical, 10-candidate Democratic presidential debate in Houston that this one largely flew under the radar, even though it was quite revealing. It happened during a back-and-forth between ex-veep Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Sanders drove home one of the main points of his ...Read more
When I took piano lessons many decades ago, I had a teacher whose favorite back to school advice was the well-worn adage, "Practice makes perfect." My mother repeated that same phrase, and each evening after dinner, she would set the kitchen timer to 30 minutes and send me off to practice scales, chords and my recital pieces.
Somewhere along ...Read more
The latest New York Times report detailing allegations that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh exposed himself to women without their consent during drunken Yale dorm parties may have prompted several leading Democratic presidential contenders to call for his impeachment, but it fundamentally doesn't change the story of his disgraceful ...Read more