|

Why are the most religious states in the South?

  The last time I checked the statistics from the Gallup poll regarding religious fervor, which was a few years ago,  America’s so-called Bible Belt was living up to that nickname. Eight of the 10 most religious states were in the South, while nine of the 10 least religious states were in the Northeast or Northwest. Midwestern states were about average in religiousness. Mississippi was the single most religious state, and Vermont was the single least religious state. Gallup began compiling these statistics on religion in 2008,...

read more

Does the gender of your children influence your politics?

  The question posed in the headline above actually is a challenge to you, the reader. I have no definitive answer that applies to most people, and my own experience might well have only limited value as social research. About nine or ten years ago, I came across an article suggesting that parents of daughters tend to be more politically liberal than people whose children are sons. I don’t remember what it said about families in which there are both daughters and sons. In any event, I’ve lost track of the article at issue and...

read more

Will Trump be America’s first permanently unpopular president?

  History suggests that Donald Trump eventually will rise above 50 percent in the polls, but it hasn’t happened in the first five weeks of his presidency, and it isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. It’s possible, if unlikely, that it may never happen. In this sense, The Donald has a chance, albeit slim, of rewriting American political history as the most consistently disfavored among our 45 chief executives. Yes, more than a few of our past presidents have suffered through spells of bad poll numbers. Some have seen...

read more

Is Trump aware that so many people question his mental health?

  A prominent political website reported today that White House staffers are required to go to great lengths to feed reports to President Trump  that flatter his intellect — lest he acts cranky and says or does something especially stupid. The story says that “Trump’s own staff knows full well he’s an unstable narcissist who’s likely to go off on dangerous tangents at any given time unless he’s fed a constant diet of praise and shielded from criticism—and leaving him alone for even the span of a few...

read more

Donald Trump needs a lesson on the talents of Philip Freneau

  President Trump’s incessant whining about the sins of the news media is fraught with naivete, especially when he invokes the words of Thomas Jefferson on his side of the argument. Yes, Jefferson was a bitter critic of newspapers in his time, but he was hypocritical about it. He didn’t like it when a paper that supported his political foes picked on him, so he helped establish a rival paper, the Gazette of the United States, to fight back. Jefferson was secretary of state at the time, and he hired a hatchetman named Philip...

read more

A month later, Trump is still unpopular

    Donald Trump became president of the United States one month ago today, and his approval rating at this late date is weaker than that of any previous chief executive in the history of political polling. Trump’s numbers have been in negative territory for several months, since well before he took office. Oh sure, he can say that he’s doing comparatively well in the Rasmussen poll at a 55 percent approval rating, but the more reputable polls from Gallup and Pew have him at 40 and 38 percent, respectively. Rasmussen is...

read more

Canadian paper posts long list of Trump’s falsehoods

  Donald John Trump took the oath of office as president of the United States four weeks ago today, ever  since which he’s continued his campaign-trail practice of peddling lies and distortions. The Star.com, an online adjunct of the  Toronto Star, has compiled a list of 80 examples. Here they are, in reverse chronological order: 80. Feb. 16, 2017 — White House press conference The claim: “I guess it was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan.” In fact: George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama all earned...

read more

Trump can’t face certain indisputable facts

  To me, the most fascinating aspect of President Trump’s news conference today was his pathological denial that the margin of his victory in the November election was relatively slim. Trump has stubbornly pretended over the past three months that his win over Hillary Clinton was nothing less than a solid thumping. But, of course, it wasn’t. His first reaction to news that Clinton received 2.8 million more popular votes than he did was to claim that the numbers were skewed by widespread fraud. Of course, there isn’t a...

read more

The word “media” should be plural, not singular

  For the umpteenth time in his short political career, Donald Trump directed sharp criticisms today at the dreaded media, which brought to mind a pet peeve I’ve vented here on several occasions over the years: To wit,  I don’t like it when the word “media” is used as a singular. It’s a Latin word, and originally it was strictly a plural. It should still be a plural, but misuse of it as a singular has become so widespread that it’s now considered grammatically acceptable. And yet, even journalists whom...

read more

Trump’s ties to Putin will be his undoing

  Donald Trump’s gentle release of national security adviser Michael  Flynn from his team is just a charade intended to forestall a serious investigation into his administration’s unsavory connections to Russian boss Vladimir Putin’s murderous regime. In the long run, the effort is doomed to failure. Not that it matters much to Putin. What does he have to lose? Is America going to nuke his country?  Don’t count on it. My evidence on all of this is circumstantial, perhaps even superficial in some respects —...

read more

Phony Lincoln quotations will always be with us

  All through my career as a published opinionist, I’ve felt the occasional  need to debunk quotations falsely attributed to one or another of our Founding Fathers or, as is more commonly the case, to Abraham Lincoln. Hardly a day goes by that some political ideologue — usually a conservative — doesn’t try to reinforce an argument, either by spoken or written word, with a reference to some bogus Lincoln quotation. Some of these are just passing fashions that suddenly gain widespread currency and then quickly fade...

read more

Environmentalism is too widely misunderstood

  In another 10 weeks, our 47th annual observance of Earth Day will take place, prompting lots of us to vow to redouble our efforts to promote environmentalism and combat global warming. That’s fine, but I take objection to the popular slogan that our goal is to “save the Earth.”  That’s not our goal. Rather, our goal is to keep this planet hospitable to us humans and to other plant and animal life. Earth doesn’t need saving. We do. There’s a passage in Michael Crichton’s novel “Jurassic...

read more
Share: