Category Archives: National Columnist

What happens in Puerto Rico won’t stay there

Immigrant goes to America, Many hellos in America; Nobody knows in America Puerto Rico’s in America! — “West Side Story” Puerto Rico, an awkward legacy of America’s 1898 testosterone spill, the Spanish-American War, is about to teach two things that few Americans know: If conditions get bad enough there, its residents, who are American citizens,… Continue Reading

The musings of Plato, Aristotle and, oh dear, Trump

When it comes to rhetoric, Plato was right and Aristotle — not so much. Distilled, Aristotle thought rhetoric good for democracy, though his definition of “by the people” was closer to our Founding Fathers’ intent of only certain people than to today’s more-the-merrier model. Given this assumption of a narrow, educated, self-governing populace, Aristotle likely… Continue Reading

Trump is no match for this tag team

Don’t call it strategy, call it strategery: Ted Cruz and John Kasich are going to cooperate to deny Donald Trump the Republican nomination. Also, I don’t know, maybe a hurricane will dishevel Trump’s comb-over and reveal his bald pate, causing such mortification that he quits the race. Or maybe there will be an earthquake next… Continue Reading

Disbelief in conservative support for Trump

The sudden appearance of Donald Trump on the political horizon last year may have been surprising, but not nearly as surprising as seeing some conservatives supporting him. Does Trump have conservative principles? Does he have any principles at all, other than promoting Donald Trump? A smorgasbord of political positions — none of them indicating any… Continue Reading

Column: Black votes matter — a lot

A frican-Americans in the South can’t get a break when it comes to voting, as history can’t deny. After all they’ve endured through slavery, Jim Crow and the fight for civil rights, their voices are still treated dismissively by tone-deaf politicians who would ask for their votes. If you’re thinking Bernie Sanders, you’re partly right.… Continue Reading

Column: The ‘settled’ consensus du jour

Authoritarianism, always latent in progressivism, is becoming explicit. Progressivism’s determination to regulate thought by regulating speech is apparent in the campaign by 16 states’ attorneys general and those of the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands, none Republican, to criminalize skepticism about the supposedly “settled” conclusions of climate science. Four core tenets of progressivism… Continue Reading

The gift of Trump’s ramshackle campaign

“One fine day, in a fit of euphoria, after he had picked up the telephone and taken an order for zero-coupon bonds that had brought him a $50,000 commission, just like that, this very phrase had bubbled up into his brain. On Wall Street he and a few others — how many? — three hundred,… Continue Reading

US Supreme Court stuck in neutral

Visiting justices from Canada’s high court sat in on Monday’s immigration arguments before the Supreme Court — and after their 90-minute education in the current state of American jurisprudence, our neighbors to the north would be forgiven if they had fantasies of building a border wall of their own. The Senate’s refusal to confirm a… Continue Reading

Karma tastes rich in new, humane economy

As the human circus of presidential politics has plodded along for what seems a decade now, a revolution has been taking place in the ever-more-dignified animal kingdom. Several victories in just the past few weeks have raised cheers, or their equivalent, in aquariums, barnyards and board rooms across the country as three giants in the… Continue Reading

Histories that shouldn’t be secret

When President Obama departs for Saudi Arabia, an incubator of the 9/11 attacks, he will leave behind a dispute about government secrecy. The suppression of 28 pages, first from a public congressional inquiry and then from the 2004 report by the national 9/11 Commission, has spared the Saudis embarrassment, which would be mild punishment for… Continue Reading

Fashion-backward in North Carolina

It’s been a long while since South Carolina could look down upon its neighbor to the North. Thanks to North Carolina’s anti-LGBT legislation (HB2), also referred to as the “bathroom bill,” the state effectively has begun redefining itself from its long-popular characterization as a “valley of humility between two mountains of conceit” (South Carolina and… Continue Reading

Fortune-cookie platitudes from GOP leader

Reince Priebus, the beleaguered and balding Republican National Committee chairman, was asked a few days ago about his mane. “How much gray hair do you think you’re going to have by December?” CNN’s Jake Tapper inquired. “Gray is fine,” the party boss replied. “I just want to make sure I have hair.” Alternatively, he could… Continue Reading

Column: The ‘Voice of the People’ fallacy

We hear many fallacies in election years. The fallacy that seems to be most popular this year is that, if Donald Trump comes close to getting the 1,237 delegates required to become the Republican nominee, and that nomination goes instead to someone else, then the convention will have ignored “the voice of the people.” Supposedly… Continue Reading

Column: A battle to save a battlefield

One of history’s most important battles happened here on a field you can walk across in less than half the 45 or so minutes the battle lasted. If George Washington’s audacity on Jan. 3, 1777, had not reversed the patriots’ retreat and routed the advancing British, the American Revolution might have been extinguished. Yet such… Continue Reading

Column: 2016: The reckless vs. the responsible

Free trade agreements “have been disastrous” for America, the candidate said, and have sent jobs to Mexico and China. “I will stop it by renegotiating all of the trade agreements that we have.” It sounded like just another threat from Donald Trump to tear up trade deals and make good ones instead. Actually, the candidate… Continue Reading

The coming train wreck

Yes, the big Wisconsin story is Ted Cruz’s crushing 13-point victory. And yes, it greatly improves his chances of denying Donald Trump a first-ballot convention victory, which may turn out to be Trump’s only path to the nomination. Nonetheless, the most stunning result of Wisconsin is the solidity of Trump’s core constituency. Fundamentalist Trumpism remains… Continue Reading

The people’s race

The spectacular strangeness of this presidential election may require a new display in Ripley’s Odditorium of believe-it-or-nots. Among the exhibits, curators might place the History of Conventional Wisdom, wherein the page titled “Populists Never Win in America” has a large, red X drawn through the word “never.” Like all things status quo, this bit of… Continue Reading

Trump learns that thinking is hard

Donald Trump is learning how hard it is to pretend to be something he’s not. Case in point: Since deciding to run for president — and maybe before, but who knows? —Trump has insisted he is pro-life. America learned otherwise with his recent remarks that a woman should be punished were she to have an… Continue Reading

How well do you know your baseball?

Pitcher Jim Bouton said: “Baseball players are smarter than football players. How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many men on the field?” To show how smart you are, identify: (1) The team that won a record 26 consecutive games (but finished fourth). (2) Among those with 3,000 hits, the player… Continue Reading

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