Category Archives: National Columnist

Trump’s big economic speech only hurt him

Donald Trump’s speech at the Detroit Economic Club, if anything, only hurt him at a time he’s plunging in the polls. Here are seven reasons: 1. To put it bluntly, wonkish and intellectually honest Republicans of the type who would pay attention to an economic speech long ago figured out Trump is a fraud. They… Continue Reading

Sweet, savory salmon on the grill

Sweet, savory salmon on the grill

HONEY-GINGER SALMON Servings: makes 4 servings Preparation time: 5 minutes; refrigeration time: 30 minutes Cooking time: less than 15 minutes INGREDIENTS 1/4 cup orange juice 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce 2 tablespoons honey 1 tablespoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 green onion, chopped 1 pound salmon fillets Mix orange juice, soy sauce, honey,… Continue Reading

Why a Trump loss in November could still be destructive

All Americans should be alarmed by Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone’s suggestion that Trump claim Hillary Clinton is trying to steal the election. Asserting that there is already “widespread voter fraud,” Stone said Trump should say that “if there’s voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate — we will have a constitutional crisis, widespread civil… Continue Reading

Paging Dr. Rove — Trump’s puzzling head case

Two years ago, Karl Rove caused a stir when he planted a seed that Hillary Clinton might have suffered brain damage from a fall. My, how things have changed. Today, Clinton’s brain seems to be working just fine, though it’s less than clear that Donald Trump’s is. Much has been written about Trump’s narcissism, by… Continue Reading

The sinking fantasy that Trump would defend the Constitution

Like shipwrecked mariners clinging to a floating mast, many Republicans rationalize supporting Donald Trump because of “the court.” This two-word incantation means: Because we care so much for the Constitution, it is supremely important to entrust to Trump the making of Supreme Court nominations. Well. In a Republican candidates debate, Trump complained that Ted Cruz… Continue Reading

Donald Trump and the fitness threshold

Donald Trump, the man who defied every political rule and prevailed to win his party’s nomination, last week took on perhaps the most sacred political rule of all: Never attack a Gold Star family. Not just because it alienates a vital constituency but because it reveals a shocking absence of elementary decency and of natural… Continue Reading

Trump’s shallowness runs deep

In the 1870s, when Boss Tweed’s Tammany Hall controlled New York City, and in the 1950s and 1960s, when Chicago’s Democratic machine was especially rampant, there was a phenomenon that can be called immunity through profusion: Fresh scandals arrived with metronomic regularity, so there was no time to concentrate on any of them. The public,… Continue Reading

The facts behind Donald Trump’s many falsehoods

Donald Trump’s long-tortured relationship with the truth is nearing a point of total estrangement. The Republican presidential nominee tweeted over the weekend that rival Hillary Clinton and her fellow Democrats “are trying to rig the debates” by scheduling them during NFL games. (In fact, the bipartisan debate commission, independent of parties and candidates, announced the… Continue Reading

Light, fresh, full of flavor

Light, fresh, full of flavor

CAPRESE CHICKEN  Servings: makes 4 servings Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: less than 15 minutes INGREDIENTS 4 (6-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar 2 large plum tomatoes, cut into 8 slices 1/2 cup shredded part-skim… Continue Reading

Trump’s supreme lack of presidential fitness

During the primary season, as Donald Trump’s bizarre outbursts helped him crush the competition, I thought he was being crazy like a fox. Now I am increasingly convinced that he’s just plain crazy. I’m serious about that. Leave aside for the moment Trump’s policies, which in my opinion range from the unconstitutional to the un-American… Continue Reading

We’re all Democrats now — no apologies necessary

A longtime Republican friend texted just as the Democratic National Convention was burying itself in balloons: “I’m sorry,” she said, “I’m a Democrat.” Another Republican friend called after President Obama spoke Wednesday night: “I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m a Democrat.” No apologies necessary. But thanks surely go to Donald Trump and his spineless Republican enablers. The… Continue Reading

How entangled with Russia is Trump?

To gauge the opportunism and hypocrisy that define Donald Trump’s Republican Party, consider this: Imagine the scalding rhetoric that would have boiled from the likes of Newt Gingrich, that Metternich of many green rooms, if Hillary Clinton had offhandedly undermined the collective security architecture of U.S. foreign policy since NATO was created in 1949. Vladimir… Continue Reading

What’s the case for Hillary?

“The best darn change-maker I ever met in my entire life.” So said Bill Clinton in making the case for his wife at the Democratic National Convention. Considering that Bernie Sanders ran as the author of a political revolution and Donald Trump as the man who would “kick over the table” (to quote Newt Gingrich)… Continue Reading

Trump’s news conference: more outrages and lies

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump — I can’t believe I wrote those words — gave a news conference Wednesday. Shall we first count the outrages or the lies? I think we need to start at the top of the outrage column. Asked about the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails, which many experts believe was… Continue Reading

Political conventions like night and day

If political conventions tell us anything beyond the predictable, the one held last week in Cleveland and the other going on this week in Philadelphia pose contrasts so stark that one wonders if the two groups hail from the same country. Hint: One of them didn’t present a diverse cross-section of America. Whereas Cleveland’s arena… Continue Reading

The path ahead for Clinton with dissatisfied voters

En route to fight one of his many duels, French politician Georges Clemenceau bought a one-way train ticket. Was he pessimistic? “Not at all. I always use my opponent’s return ticket for the trip back.” Some Hillary Clinton advisers, although not that serene, think her victory is probable and can be assured. Her challenge is… Continue Reading

Herr Trumpf inspiring horrifying behavior

Donald Trump was a man in full Thursday night as he accepted the Republican nomination: Full-throated, full of fury and full of himself: “I am your voice”; “I alone can fix it [the system]”; “I am the law and order candidate.” And the teeming throng of red-, white- and blue-bedecked patriots loved all 75 minutes… Continue Reading

The carnival in Cleveland

The Republican National Convention wasn’t a complete disaster, but only because Mike Pence showed signs of being a more able running mate than many thought. Other than that? Hot mess, dumpster fire, train wreck — pick your overused metaphor. It was huge, but not in a good way. Political conventions are supposed to stoke and… Continue Reading

Trump: Self-worship over sound judgment

The Trump campaign has lately alternated between disaster and farce: the awkward rollout of Mike Pence, the botched logo, two parliamentary disputes on the convention floor, a muddled message, a plagiarized speech by the would-be first lady. But in one respect, the Republican National Convention of 2016 has been a yuge success. It is the… Continue Reading

Going backpacking? Tips to choose the right pack

Going backpacking? Tips to choose the right pack

Upon hearing the word “backpack,” people naturally think of back-to-school season, when throngs of children board buses and head to classrooms across the country. However, the backpack need not be pigeonholed into such a narrow stereotype; there are many different uses for backpacks. Outdoor enthusiasts, particularly hikers and day-trippers, rely extensively on backpacks. Backpacks facilitate… Continue Reading

Trump campaign leaves Melania out to dry

Imitation may be the highest form of flattery, but plagiarism, not so much. This is especially so if you’re Melania Trump on opening night at the Republican National Convention. Or, is it? By the reaction, both within and without the campaign, you’d have thought the woman had lifted Lady Macbeth’s “Out, damned spot,” or, say,… Continue Reading

Bright, fresh flavors for hot summer nights

Bright, fresh flavors for hot summer nights

TRADITIONAL ISRAELI SALAD  Servings: makes 6 servings Preparation time: 15 minutes INGREDIENTS 3 cups chopped tomatoes 3 cups seeded chopped cucumbers 1/4 cup chopped parsley 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon coarse salt In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, oil, juice and salt. Toss well to combine,… Continue Reading

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