Sometimes it feels like democracy is just too dysfunctional.
Voters are disengaged and uninformed. Congress is hyperpartisan — and so self-serving it can't govern effectively.
Between our increasingly politicized courts, our 18th century constitution, our antiquated Electoral College and our modern-day corporate lobbyists and billionaire ...Read more
U.S. presidential elections have always attracted a global audience, and in general, that's been a good thing.
Our quadrennial balloting, despite the obscene spending by campaigns and the often rancorous exchanges between candidates, has served as an example to the world that free and fair elections are possible and that transitions of power ...Read more
How far will the Supreme Court's new conservative supermajority go?
With President-elect Joe Biden's victory and the potential for Democrats to control the Senate, it's the question on the mind of everyone who cares about the court. If the conservative justices lurch the law to the right, calls to retaliate by adding liberal justices will ...Read more
With the Nov. 17 swearing-in of Francisco Sagasti as interim president, Peru has its third head of state in a little more than a week. Sagasti's charge will be to run the country through new presidential elections next April. The Peruvian people can only hope the country's legislators allow him to stay in office that long.
Sagasti's appointment...Read more
"Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a 2018 press conference about Iran's nuclear program. At the time, the head of the Islamic Republic's nuclear weapons program was unknown even to most Iranians. With his assassination outside Tehran on Friday, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has become a household name.
Like many Americans, I didn't fly to a family gathering at Thanksgiving this year – the first time I'd missed it in decades.
That got me thinking about the origins of the holiday — beyond the set piece of Mayflower pilgrims and Indians, and beyond the annual turkey gorge fest and Black Friday sales.
Rereading a little history I learned ...Read more
In Herman Melville's short story "Bartleby, the Scrivener," we meet a mid-level bureaucrat who, for reasons unknown, decides to stop doing his work. "I'd prefer not to" is Bartleby's signature line. He delivers it whenever he's asked to perform a task, jamming the gears of the whole institution.
In Emily Murphy, head of the General Services ...Read more
Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders can be thankful for one surprise holiday gift: a huge windfall of tax dollars.
But this is a one-time present. Sacramento Democrats should resist the temptation to quickly spend the billions on goodies.
Instead, they'd be wise to sock it away in a sort of Christmas fund to be tapped in future years ...Read more
Political circles have been buzzing with speculation about Sen. Dianne Feinstein ever since she announced on Nov. 23 that she won't seek to remain the leading Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.
At the time, she said she wanted to focus more on the "existential threats" of wildfire and drought. But something else apparently influenced her ...Read more
The unsigned opinion by the nation's highest court got it wrong, insisting that restrictions placed on religious gatherings imposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in New York's COVID hot spots must be nullified, for they violate the First Amendment.
The dissent by the Bronx's Sonia Sotomayor got it right. The rules, capping gatherings at 10 people or ...Read more
In three separate announcements in recent weeks, three scientific teams at different pharmaceutical companies have given a weary, frightened world what it needs: a verifiable path to defeat the coronavirus pandemic, end the suffering and start the process of returning life to the normal rhythms of "before."
Imagine again going to work and ...Read more
You wouldn't know it from the lack of headlines, but the U.S. Navy and Missile Defense Agency recently made history with something that should help make all Americans safer.
Specifically, they successfully shot down an intercontinental-range ballistic missile using the Navy's Standard Missile SM-3 Block IIA interceptor launched from a Navy ...Read more
Every election season, pundits and politicians watch with keen focus the people of Middle America to gauge the heart's desire of the Heartland. The influence of flyover America matters for those moments in time.
Then, when the votes are counted and the newly elected leaders are installed, the region seems to be all but forgotten and virtually ...Read more
It started slowly enough — new prohibitions trickling in. First, it was no red meat or your heart would explode. Then no chicken because, they warned, salmonella, E. coli and campylobacter on carcasses can give you the stomach flu. After that, it was no fish — definitely not if you are pregnant — because the iodine, mercury and other heavy...Read more
It's long past time that Wisconsinites demand a recount ... of the money their leaders wasted on the world's most famous economic development boondoggle. Three years ago this month, with presidential politics at the forefront, the state entered into a contract with Hon Hai Precision Industry — better known as Foxconn. For up to $3.6 billion in...Read more
Vaccine or no, testing and tracing COVID-19 infections will be crucial to returning America fully to work and school. It's a key area where the Trump administration has let the country down, and something that President-elect Joe Biden has vowed to fix with a major surge of new testing capacity.
But even many countries that have committed to an...Read more
On Jan. 5 voters in Georgia will vote in two runoff elections for the U.S. Senate. Uppermost in the voters' minds will be how well the two sets of candidates will represent their state's interests in Washington, D.C. But Georgians will also determine whether President-elect Joe Biden, whose victory in the state was certified on Nov. 20, will be ...Read more
Mainstream media outlets are struggling to explain "Latino" political behaviors and voting patterns in the wake of the 2020 election. They are just as shocked today by the results as they were in 2016, and as they have been every four years since at least 1980.
Back then it was the "Hispanic" vote. Now it's the "Latino" vote. Who knows? Maybe ...Read more
Many of America's art institutions are working toward diversity, but how far is too far in pursuit of that ideal?
With mere hours to spare, the Baltimore Museum of Art canceled plans to auction three pieces constituting the core of its contemporary collection, including a silk screen by Andy Warhol, "The Last Supper."
Proceeds from the sale ...Read more
Remember in the spring, the pot-banging? People would come out on their porches in the evening to rally for the health workers — to say, collectively for just a minute or two, that we were thankful for the effort.
That spirit seems years away to Anna Halloran.
"There's a large segment of the population that hates the health department right ...Read more