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A summary of Trump’s almost countless lies

  There’s some validity to the widespread notion that most, if not all, politicians regularly peddle dishonest rhetoric.  But one of the 14 U.S. presidents we’ve had in my lifetime has distinguished himself as perhaps the most dishonest occupant of the office we’ve ever had. I refer, of course, to our current chief executive, Donald J. Trump, who’s been on the job for little more than five months.  Mind you, I’m not talking about differences of opinion on matters of governance. I’m not addressing the...

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America’s suburbs ain’t what they used to be

  If you’re a Republican who thinks of the nation’s suburbs as an impenetrable stronghold of GOP political sentiment, think again. Donald Trump only narrowly carried the suburban vote in last year’s election, and the political future in these areas surrounding our big cities looks increasingly  daunting for Republicans. For one thing, the suburbs aren’t as demographically monolithic as they were a few decades ago. The number of racially-diverse suburbs has increased by more than a third just in this young century....

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Supreme Court correctly defends hateful speech

  As regular readers of this blog probably suspect, I’m no fan of the current lineup on the U.S. Supreme Court, at least not on the whole. It’s too conservative, to put it flatly. Still, the court has not necessarily changed that much with the recent seating of Neil Gorsuch, to replace Antonin Scalia, who died early last year. Is Gorsuch significantly more conservative than Scalia was? Probably not. I’ve had concerns that Gorsuch might part with Scalia’s stalwart defense of First Amendment rights of Free Speech....

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I don’t think President Trump will ever be impeached

    The way I figure it, odds are against  the impeachment of President Donald Trump. But I still think he’ll be gone before the term to which he was elected lapses. He’s more likely to resign than endure the disapproval of a legislative body controlled by his own party. I won’t itemize here the many good reasons why Trump should be ousted. Suffice it to say that the list is growing — and it will become unbearable if solid evidence arises showing that Trump colluded with the Russians in messing with last...

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The real Ronald Reagan has all but faded away

  Regular, longtime readers of this blog may have noticed my affection for Ronald Reagan. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m a lifelong liberal Democrat, and I never voted for Reagan. But frequently over much of the past three decades, I’ve felt the need to defend the legacy of our 40th president against the right-wing myths that have distorted it. Sure, Reagan was a conservative, but he wasn’t exactly the cartoonish wingnut portrayed by latter-day loonies in their mischacterizations of the man. I’ve devoted...

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Trump is good for Obama’s legacy

  In his  first five months in the White House, the only notable history achieved by Donald Trump is that he’s an uncommonly unpopular president at this early point in his tenure. His approval rating has been underwater since before he took the oath of office. And there are no indications that it will move into positive territory anytime soon. Meanwhile, Trump’s immediate predecessor, Barack Obama,  “has been whisked to a very good table at the club of former presidents,” as Time magazine put it late last year. A...

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Post-shooting nicey-nice won’t last long

  In the immediate wake of yesterday’s shooting spree in suburban Washington, I declared here and on Facebook that I was temporarily not in the mood to engage in my usual political snarkiness. Well, the feeling has passed. Yes, I still disdain violent political rhetoric. Always have and always will. But I’m reminded of something the late Paddy Bauler, a legendary Chicago alderman and saloonkeeper, once said: “Politics ain’t beanbag.” No, it ain’t. President Trump appeared briefly on television...

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My message on Facebook this morning

  I don’t know about you, but the tragic events this morning in suburban Washington have silenced my snarky impulses today. There were various nasty things I was going to say about certain politicians, but I can’t bring myself to use the words — at least for the time being. I’m preoccupied with the thought that political violence is a terrible...

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The trick, I’ve concluded, is to not take Trump seriously

  Like countless other Americans, I’ve suffered through nearly five months of Donald Trump’s presidency with a deep sense of dismay at the disgrace this unqualified man has visited upon the highest  political office in our land. But I’ve lately decided that the pain is much more bearable if we think of our nation’s current chief executive as a joke of sorts that will greatly amuse us after he’s gone. I’m not a religious person, but I’d like to believe the old quotation of uncertain authorship...

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Did Trump tape his talks with Comey? No way!

  Anyone who actually believes Donald Trump’s silly hints that he may have recorded his White House conversations with then-FBI Director James Comey is as stupid as the biggest sucker ever encountered by a carnival con-man. Journalists who treat this nonsense with even an ounce of seriousness should be ashamed of themselves. If Trump had any recorded evidence disputing Comey’s claim that the president asked him to back off from an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, he would have produced it weeks...

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The fear of primary challenges is ruining American politics

    The rarest commodity in American politics these days is courage, especially among incumbents. Many, if not most, officeholders are reluctant to speak their minds on certain issues for fear that the next primary election will bring a challenge from some candidate loaded with money from special interests. In a sense, this is the way party discipline is supposed to work. If a Republican, for example, dares express an opinion that varies from prevailing party orthodoxy, he or she runs the risk of getting “primaried.” Oh...

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McCain embarrassed himself at Comey hearing

  The last lawmaker to pose questions to former FBI Director James Comey at this morning’s meeting of the Senate Intelligence Committee was John McCain, the Arizona Republican. His performance was pathetic, to put it kindly. The 80-year-old McCain at times made no sense at all. He repeatedly conflated the continuing investigation of Russian meddling in the American presidential campaign with the now-closed probe of Hillary Clinton’s private email server. He asked Comey why the Clinton investigation was concluded while the...

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