Category Archives: National Columnist

Donald Trump’s ‘peak’ might be coming

Frequently predicted but never reached, “peak oil” — maximum possible production — has been postponed yet again, this time because of fracking. “Peak Sanders” was prematurely announced because of persistent underestimations of how underwhelming Hillary Clinton is as a candidate. The Vermont senator’s peak might not arrive soon because his fundraising prowess will allow him… Continue Reading

The Holocaust and the Jewish identity

Bernie Sanders is the most successful Jewish candidate for the presidency ever. It’s a rare sign of the health of our republic that no one seems to much care or even notice. Least of all, Sanders himself. Which prompted Anderson Cooper in a recent Democratic debate to ask Sanders whether he was intentionally keeping his… Continue Reading

Column: Farewell, prince of tides

Soon after “The Prince of Tides” became a blockbuster movie in 1991, People magazine put the film’s leading man, Nick Nolte, on its cover as the “Sexiest Man Alive.” This couldn’t possibly be true, I thought (and wrote) at the time. Nolte, who played protagonist Tom Wingo, was a good-looking actor who did well by… Continue Reading

Column: Desperate tactics

It is desperation time for the Republican party establishment. Its extremely well financed favorite — Jeb Bush — never got anywhere with the voters in the primaries, and has already been forced out of the contest. This should at least cause some second thoughts — or perhaps first thoughts — by people who keep repeating… Continue Reading

Column: Trump’s flirtation with fascism

So it has come to this: The front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, at a campaign rally Saturday in Orlando, leading supporters in what looked very much like a fascist salute. “Can I have a pledge? A swearing?” Trump asked, raising his right hand and directing his followers to do the same. He then led… Continue Reading

Then along came Nancy — remembering a first lady

They were just four words, but they denoted something that led to a wonderful swerve in world history. They were words Ronald Reagan repeatedly used when referring to something that happened long before he spoke his most famous four words: “Tear down this wall”” The other four words described the most important event in his… Continue Reading

Column: The GOP battle for Michigan

It is here in the industrial Midwest, not in the South, where Ted Cruz’s audacious theory of the 2016 race was supposed to be put to one of its most important tests. Michigan’s primary on Tuesday — and especially what happens that day in the Detroit suburbs that in 1980 were ground zero for a… Continue Reading

Donald Trump: Defender of the faith

What happened to the evangelicals? They were supposed to be the bedrock of the Ted Cruz candidacy. Yet on Super Tuesday he lost them to Donald Trump. Cruz still did make a reasonably good showing, winning Alaska, Oklahoma and Texas, the latter by an impressive 17 points. But he didn’t have the great night he… Continue Reading

Column: Last chance for America? Part II

The worst political blunder of all time, according to scientist Freeman Dyson, was the decision of the emperor of China in 1433 to cut off his country from the outside world. In the wake of that decision, China lost its position in the forefront of human achievements and fell behind, over the centuries, to become… Continue Reading

Column: Too satisfied to feel the Bern

Why did Bernie Sanders fail?  Sanders continues his campaign after his Super Tuesday losses, but he has no real chance of wresting the Democratic presidential nomination from Hillary Clinton. The socialist insurgent went further than most thought possible, drawing huge crowds, amassing vast sums and forcing Clinton to adopt more populist positions. But the Sanders challenge… Continue Reading

Inoculated against truth

By now it’s obvious that lecturing Donald Trump supporters about why they shouldn’t vote for him only confirms their convictions. If you’re part of the “establishment,” which approximately means anyone who has served in government or, grab your garlic garland, a member of the media, your opinion matters less than whatever you scraped off your… Continue Reading

Column: Donald Trump’s ‘Captain Underpants’ campaign

Have you completed the third grade? If so, this may be why you are having trouble understanding the appeal of Donald Trump. At Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate, Ben Carson delivered an opening statement about “the abyss of destruction.” An analysis shows he was communicating at the level of a 10th-grader’s comprehension. Marco Rubio, who… Continue Reading

Column: How to cool down Donald Trump

“Hell,” said Alabama’s Democratic Gov. George Wallace before roiling the 1968 presidential race, “we got too much dignity in government now, what we need is some meanness.” Twelve elections later, Wallace’s wish is approaching fulfillment as Republicans contemplate nominating someone who would run to Hillary Clinton’s left. Donald Trump, unencumbered by any ballast of convictions,… Continue Reading

State of the world while Obama fiddles …

State of the world, Year Eight of Barack Obama: (1) In the South China Sea, on a speck of land of disputed sovereignty far from its borders, China has just installed anti-aircraft batteries and stationed fighter jets. This after China landed planes on an artificial island it created on another disputed island chain (the Spratlys,… Continue Reading

The global allure of Palmetto politics

Americans aren’t the only people who are fascinated by South Carolina politics and the presidential primary process. During the past several days, including Saturday’s Republican primary and Tuesday night’s Democratic town hall, a variety of foreign dignitaries have visited the state to catch the spectacle. Ahem, I mean to observe the political process. On Saturday,… Continue Reading

Trump may win GOP nomination, without a majority of voters

On Thursday, Donald Trump called Pope Francis a “pawn” of the Mexican government and accused the leader of the world’s Catholics of “disgraceful” rhetoric. On Friday, he approvingly retold an apocryphal story about a U.S. general ordering Muslims shot with bullets dipped in pig’s blood. On Saturday morning, he wondered on Twitter whether President Obama… Continue Reading

A year’s worth of survival meals for $300?

Last week, I shared some thoughts on using couponing strategies for “prepping” – storing food, water and supplies to prepare for an unexpected emergency. One of my readers sent an interesting follow-up question: “Dear Jill, Have you seen the recipe for a survival soup for preparing for disasters? I’ve seen this recipe online on quite… Continue Reading

Column: Trump relishes wrecking Republicans

Lyndon Johnson simply was exasperated. Barack Obama’s mischief was methodical. Four days before the 1966 congressional elections, Johnson, asked about criticism from Richard Nixon, testily responded: “I do not want to get into a debate … with a chronic campaigner like Mr. Nixon.” Johnson’s disparagement endeared Nixon to Republican voters, thereby propelling him toward the… Continue Reading

Column: Clash of titans: Pope vs. Trump

sThe popular wisdom that opposites attract is true in both romance and politics. But rarely do adages prove so profoundly — and absurdly — true as during the recent, media-created dialogue between Pope Francis and Donald Trump. Set aside for a moment that this mini-uproar, spawned by a reporter’s question and poached by scandalmongers, has… Continue Reading

Why the Democratic establishment fears Bernie Sanders

Why does the Democratic establishment so dislike Bernie Sanders? Consider this statistic: Hillary Clinton has raised more than $26 million for the Democratic National Committee and state Democratic parties so far this campaign. And Sanders? $1,000. That’s no typo. Clinton is doing more to boost the party’s 2016 prospects than Sanders by a proportion of… Continue Reading

It’s up to us to win one for Nino in November

Let’s understand something about the fight to fill the Supreme Court seat of Antonin (“Nino”) Scalia. This is about nothing but raw power. Any appeal you hear to high principle is phony — brazenly, embarrassingly so. In Year Seven of the George W. Bush administration, Sen. Chuck Schumer publicly opposed filling any Supreme Court vacancy… Continue Reading

Donald Trump makes me miss George W. Bush

I had a twinge of nostalgia watching George W. Bush campaign for his little brother in South Carolina Monday night. He was earthy. He recalled a previous visit to a South Carolina breakfast spot, where an animal-rights demonstrator dressed as a pig interrupted Bush’s meal by dumping a “steaming pile of manure” in the parking… Continue Reading

High court vacancy — What would Scalia do?

As Republican presidential candidates invoke Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s legacy, all insisting that his suddenly vacant seat shouldn’t be filled until a new president is in place, it is helpful to ask: What would Scalia do? First, Scalia  would read the law and, without much chin-stroking, recommend the obvious intent of Article II, Section… Continue Reading

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