As if having his music reduced to ringtones wasn't insult enough, the great Ludwig van Beethoven himself has now become a political football in the cancel culture debates.
Global scrutiny on the composer has heightened in this, the 250th anniversary of his birth, and increasing wokeness in academia and arts institutions everywhere has promoted ...Read more
Floridians should never forget this.
Late Friday afternoon, just in time for happy hour, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis put his finger to the political winds - and ordered bars, restaurants and nightclubs to open at full capacity.
His decision had the predictable outcome of packing crowds indoors and out, and if you watched video footage or drove ...Read more
On a recent afternoon, I was reading about the Bobcat fire ravaging the San Gabriel Mountains when a text landed on my phone: A new fire was burning somewhere in Topanga, where I live.
Immediately I checked the website of a local volunteer organization, the Topanga Coalition for Emergency Preparedness. The group, known as TCEP (pronounced TEE-...Read more
The New York Times doesn't play dirty because that's beneath its status as one of the world's best newspapers, and so I will merely say that a recent story on President Donald Trump's taxes walked through a mud puddle. Just days before a debate with Joe Biden, we learned that Trump had paid very little and sometimes nothing in taxes, hardly ...Read more
Donald Trump is a security risk to this nation.
His massive personal debts, as revealed by the stunning New York Times expose of his long-hidden tax records, make him vulnerable to manipulation by foreign governments or shysters. According to the Times, "he appears to be responsible for loans totaling $421 million, most of which is coming due ...Read more
Back in the 1980s, during a holiday get-together, one of the family elders, who was known for sweeping declarations, made a sweeping declaration:
"You can't be a Republican," she said, "and be a good Catholic."
From couch to couch, we looked at each other and smiled gently. This woman in her 70s was upset with the efforts of GOP politicians at...Read more
Police burst into Breonna Taylor's home in the middle of the night and killed her, though she had done nothing wrong.
Lots of people are emotional about that. They have a right to be.
Nearly everyone agrees that her death was tragic. However, some don't understand that it was also criminal. The officers responsible should have been indicted.
In our March primary endorsement of Joe Biden, we cited his moderation as a value Americans could embrace. In a field of diverse, left-leaning candidates promising free public college, student loan forgiveness, "Medicare for All," universal child care, free rural broadband access - at times the Democratic primary resembled an Oprah Winfrey show ...Read more
As President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell move to confirm Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court, progressive Democrats are increasingly talking about packing the Supreme Court in retaliation - increasing the size of the court and adding new, liberal justices to the bench. At a minimum, the idea rests on the heroic ...Read more
A Central California water board is poised to do something rare in American agriculture: It is trying to establish enforcement mechanisms - not just toothless regulations - to limit the use of farm fertilizers that contribute to dangerous levels of groundwater pollution. If the effort is successful, within a few decades it will have reversed or ...Read more
The ornate East Room of the White House was bathed in TV klieg lights and all three of the nation's TV networks were beaming the president's prime-time news conference live, coast to coast.
As I rose from my front row seat, as Newsday's young Washington bureau chief, I realized I was about to confront the president with a stunning discovery I ...Read more
Managing Florida's state university system is a herculean task in the best of times.
Managing in the midst of the coronavirus crisis might be an impossible task, even for three wise men and 50 Nobel laureates.
Still, the State University System's Board of Governors is obliged to give it the old college try.
Instead, the folks responsible for ...Read more
I sat in the same room with Clarence Thomas once, me, a bunch of photographers taking pictures and senators asking questions, and I remember having the same anxiety then, as I am having now, about defeat and inevitability.
And as we await what is being billed as a Senate battle royale over the latest Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, I ...Read more
As part of his reelection campaign, Donald Trump would have us believe that he's jumped aboard the criminal justice reform bandwagon. He spent $5 million on a Super Bowl ad showing his signing of the First Step Act, which forced the resentencing of thousands of drug and nonviolent federal prisoners across the country.
That law - which President...Read more
The Supreme Court nomination is in. The drama now moves to the Senate, where members like Marco Rubio can abide by the principles they once preached.
Florida's senior senator could stand up in the Senate chamber and proclaim, "I said in 2016 that we should not consider a nomination made in the last year of a president's term. Therefore, I will ...Read more
The odes and elegies to Ruth Bader Ginsburg have proceeded apace, seemingly endless and inexhaustible and essentially banal.
We do this with heroic Americans. We repeat all the cliched talking points and tropes until we have memorized them. And then we repeat them back to each other, perhaps on a yearly basis.
Then we place the great man or ...Read more
Part of a life well-lived, I've come to realize, is hanging on to an old quote from a mentor or family member that over time has taken on much deeper meaning than when it was uttered to you as a clueless 16-year-old. For me, it's the oxymoron that my high school football coach, Rob Pickert, used to teach how a defensive end must rush a ...Read more
We've entered a new season. It's not just the season of autumn, it's election season, five weeks that stretch before us like an eternity and a nanosecond, weeks that risk being a nonstop brawl. As the countdown proceeds, the noise will get louder and uglier, meaning we, the people, will get louder and uglier. And more anxious.
So today, we turn...Read more
There are hair scandals, and then there are HAIR SCANDALS.
I would know. I weathered my own, and lived to tell.
Let's look at a few of the highlights. (Which work best, I have found, when subtle lowlights are woven in at the roots.)
John Edwards' $400 haircut (which was leaked to the media by the Obama campaign) was the beginning of the ...Read more
You can't flick matches onto a California hillside in August and expect nothing to burn. But it seems that the U.S. military thinks it can continue its use of live animals during the Cobra Gold multinational military exercise and not expect to contribute to the potential spread of the next pandemic.
Speaking as Air Force and Marine Corps ...Read more