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O.J.’s parole vindicates the system

  It’s my guess that many Americans are not in agreement with the decision by a parole board in Nevada to let O.J. Simpson out of prison after serving nine years for an armed robbery in Las Vegas. The case involved a hassle over possession of sports souvenirs and memorabilia that Simpson said belonged to him. It’s also my guess that details of the Vegas robbery don’t really matter to most  folks, whether they’ll admit or not. What gets them is that O.J. beat the rap in the murder of his wife Nicole and her friend...

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Who are the best and worst presidents in your lifetime?

  Since I’m probably older than most of my readers, I have more U.S. presidents from which to choose in answering the question in  the headline above. I have another advantage in this regard: The first of the 15 presidents in my lifetime, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was the best. And the latest of those chief executives, Donald Trump, is the worst — after only six months on the job. All the others have been comparatively mediocre in retrospect — which is to say that FDR was very good, and The Donald is very bad. Of course,...

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Donald Trump is not my commander in chief

  A friend of mine and I were arguing the other day about the political  skills — or lack of them — of the current occupant of the White House when my opponent said something that probably makes perfect sense to far too many Americans. “Donald Trump is our commander in chief,” he declared, “and we owe him respect.” I responded that Trump is not my  commander in chief and is not the commander in chief of most Americans. The guy acted as if I had just spit on the flag. “Barack Obama was not my...

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Trump’s first six months as president have been a disaster

  On Thursday of this week, Donald Trump will reach the half-year point of his presidency — and his record thus far has been nothing to brag about. The Donald’s standing in the polls tell the story: No previous president has had lower approval numbers at this juncture. One hardly knows where to begin itemizing Trump’s failures and missteps. The available choices are numerous. But I would start with his peculiar love affair with Russia and Vladimir Putin. Indeed, the Russian thing still has the potential to undo the...

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Does your support for an idea fade if the wrong person backs it?

  If Donald Trump ever comes up with a really good idea, I’m going to go out of my way to support it. I don’t want to be accused of suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. Allow me to explain: Four  years ago, a Washington Post/ABC poll conducted before President Obama unveiled a gun-control agenda showed Republicans overwhelmingly supporting — or no worse than evenly divided — on four central Obama proposals. But when a subsequent WaPo/ABC poll asked for reaction to Obama’s proposals — without specifying the...

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Which president was more apologetic about America?

  Some right-winger whose name I didn’t catch was on television the other night holding forth on the durable Republican theory that Barack Obama spent much of his tenure as president “apologizing for America.” He said Ronald Reagan would never had done such a thing. The guy was wrong, of course, on both counts. The false characterization of Obama always apologizing for America was popularized by Mitt Romney when he ran for president in 2012, but it didn’t do him much good. And the suggestion that Reagan was such...

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Who is the most stupid member of Congress?

  Of course, the answer to the question in the headline above does not come easily. There are lots of dimwits in Congress, and there always has been. It’s hard to say which of them has been the dumbest. But I became convinced years ago that Sen. James Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican and perhaps the leading global-warming skeptic in all of Washington, ranks among the most thick-headed lawmakers we’ve ever had.. Do you remember the so-called Climategate scandal of 2009? Most people have long since forgotten it, but it was a big...

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What will global-warming deniers say about this?

One of the advantages of believing in the scientific consensus regarding global warming and climate change is that you’re easily and often amused by the silly arguments advanced by folks who say the consensus is wrong. Take, for example, the big news reported just hours ago in The New York Times: A chunk of floating ice that weighs more than a trillion metric tons broke away from the Antarctic Peninsula, producing one of the largest icebergs ever recorded and providing a glimpse of how the Antarctic ice sheet might ultimately start to...

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Term limits are an undemocratic (small “d”) idea

Ordinarily, we hear a lot of buzz about term limits mainly in election years. But I’ve noticed that the idea is gaining considerable circulation these days, though the next time we vote is not until next year. Whatever. I can argue against this nonsense on any day of any year. Term limits are a terrible idea. Even Ronald Reagan, the patron saint of modern Republican conservatism, said so. In his presidential farewell address in 1989, Reagan rightly argued that term limits are “a preemption… of the people’s right to vote for...

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How long will Trump’s presidency last?

  Thursday of next week will be the six-month mark of Donald Trump’s tenure as president. I’m tempted to joke that I’m surprised he has lasted this long. But seriously, folks, The Donald’s first half-year in the White House has been an unprecedented failure. No previous president has suffered such poor approval ratings in these early months. The only good news for Trump has been a fairly healthy economy, but the momentum for that began in Barack Obama’s presidency. Otherwise, he hasn’t accomplished...

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I warned you years ago that Republicans were lying about Obamacare

    It’s more than a little amusing to watch the current Congress, where both houses are under Republican control, having such a hard time trying to repeal Obamacare. The problem for the GOP is that the falsehoods the party has been peddling about Obamacare for years now finally are coming home to roost. We’ve reached the point where most Americans now prefer the Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as Obamacare) to the cockamamie substitutes proposed by Republicans. Four years ago this summer, I posted on this blog...

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Regarding polls on climate issues

  More than a few of America’s most notable political pundits seemed to have failed to notice the full importance of a certain sequence of events: When President Trump returned from his trip abroad a few weeks ago, he pointedly bragged that he has withdrawn American support for the Paris Accords regarding climate change. But if he expected applause for this gesture from the nation’s populace, he was wrong. The fact is that most Americans disagree with the president on climate issues. But there’s a slipperiness, it seems...

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