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Regarding America’s trend toward social liberalism

  It may surprise you to learn that the steady increase in public approval of certain types of social liberalism in America in recent decades is not entirely a case of old conservatives dying off and being replaced by more progressive-minded young folks. Oh, sure, generation gaps are part of the situation. That’s always been the case.  But it’s not really that simple. I don’t have any recent poll numbers at hand to support my point, but I don’t really need any. When I wrote on this subject some years ago, I used...

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The first time I badly underestimated Donald Trump

  As a celebrated wordsmith renowned for his brilliant insights, it pains me greatly to concede that I’ve been wrong about Donald Trump’s political acumen on several occasions. The first such misjudgment of The Donald on my part, according to my casual research, occurred in January of 2012. It read as follows: Donald Trump, the notorious Birther buffoon and reality TV star, is again desperately trying to attract attention amid all the media buzz over this year’s presidential race. We haven’t heard much from The...

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Will Republicans tell more lies about the debt ceiling?

  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (see illustration) said something the other day about how congressional action on raising the federal government’s debt ceiling won’t likely happen before March of next year. I can hardly wait. I’m eager to see if McConnell and his current crop of Republican lawmakers resort to the kind of demagoguery their brethren of six years employed during a previous political battle over the debt ceiling. Democrat Barack Obama was president back then, and his GOP enemies in Congress were...

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If Roy Moore wins, I’m cool with it

  It isn’t like me to say I’ve been wrong — indeed, it isn’t like me to be wrong in the first place — but I seem to have been rooting of late for Roy Moore’s political career to be ended by the reports that he was forcing himself on teenage girls decades ago when he was in his 30s. These reports have spawned a sensational political scandal that now threatens Moore’s Republican candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat from Alabama previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. I’ve had to...

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Regarding Trump’s pathetic begging for praise

  Poor Donald Trump! The man’s lust for glory is beyond ridiculous. Here’s the latest example: Three basketball players from UCLA were released from custody the other day after serving a short spell in a Chinese jail on charges of shoplifting sunglasses from a department store in Hangzhou. The accused athletes are now back in America — presumably safe and sound and perhaps wiser for the unhappy experience. Trump, who was visiting Asia when the situation arose, seems more than eager to take credit for the happy...

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Weather and climate aren’t the same thing

  It’s been a while, but I heard some guy on the radio argue the other day that the frequency of inaccurate weather forecasts by professional meteorologists is evidence that the claims regarding global warming made by climate scientists are pure nonsense. Wow! I had almost begun to think that theories like that one had long since been filed away with myths about a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It reminds me of something I jotted down from some source or another a few years ago. It read as follows: Scientists can’t...

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Can I be fair to Roy Moore?

  The question in the headline above is one I’ve asked myself on several occasions in recent days in the wake of allegations that Roy Moore, who is now a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, had a sexual dalliance with a 14-year-old girl when he was a 32-year-old criminal prosecutor in Alabama. My answer to that question is affirmative. I don’t like Roy Moore, and I wouldn’t vote for him for any public office. But I don’t know for sure if he ever did what the former 14-year-old girl said he did. Actually, I...

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A few odds and ends

  In no particular order of importance: The recent rash of sex scandals in show business and politics (Harvey Weinstein, Judge Roy Moore, Louis C.K, to cite a few examples) lends itself to widespread misinterpretation, it seems to me. I don’t think these stories are proof that sexual misconduct is a lot more rampant these days. There was plenty of that kind of stuff 50 years ago, when I was in my 20s. But women in those days weren’t as likely to make a fuss about it, especially in cases where the aggressor was a prominent...

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Here’s one reason why TV newscasts are so depressing

  It pains me to admit this, but I’m beginning to sympathize with people who say they don’t watch the news on TV, mainly because it’s too depressing. But it’s the commercials, not the news, that are most disturbing to me. As a senior citizen, I’m more likely than younger people to watch the nightly early-evening newscasts on ABC, CBS or NBC. That’s the way it is in the TV news business. We older folks comprise a pretty big share of the viewing audience for the regularly-scheduled suppertime news shows...

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A good example of widespread cluelessness

  A question: What percentage of the federal government’s budget goes to foreign aid? Thirty percent? Twenty-five percent? Twenty percent? In a poll conducted just a few years ago, respondents, on average, estimated that 26 percent of federal spending is a gift to foreigners. The truth of the matter is that less than 1 percent of the federal budget goes to foreign aid. But that little tidbit seems to have escaped the attention of, among many others, some guy I heard on TV the other day prattling about how the politicians in...

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One sure result of tragedy in Texas church

  It remains to be seen if there will be any significant changes in the laws of Texas or the United States in response to the mass shooting this past Sunday that killed 26 worshippers in a little church in a little town not far from San Antonio. But one result is ultimately predictable: Gun sales will soar. There are no official statistics available yet in the wake of the Texas situation, but it’s a good bet that I’ll be right about this. Mind you,  I’m not saying that we’ll see a big jump in gun sales all across...

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Trump responds to Texas tragedy with double-talk

  Boldly and insensitively, President Trump said today that the shooting spree on Sunday morning that killed at least 26 people at a small-town church in Texas was not “a guns situation.” Rather, it was a “mental health problem,” he said. Trump made the remarks at a news conference in Tokyo, the first major stop on his current tour of Asia. It was all double-talk. The Donald was a gun-control advocate himself until he sought the National Rifle Association’s endorsement in his campaign for president last...

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