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Enough already with the foolish push for term limits

  This Independence Day weekend is as good a time as any to make my fundamental case against the mistaken notion that term limits would help cure some of the nation’s political problems. Term limits are a terrible idea, as I’ve argued on countless occasions. And on most of those occasions, I’ve invoked the words of Ronald Reagan, the patron saint of modern Republican conservatism (at least he was before the GOP went completely bonkers in recent years). In his presidential farewell address in 1989, Reagan rightly pointed out that...

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“Born in the USA” is NOT a patriotic song

  It’s a pretty safe bet that Bruce Springsteen’s familiar anthem “Born in the USA” will blare from loud speakers at more than a few Independence Day celebrations on this holiday weekend, as it has for more than 30 years. Similarly, lots of radio stations will include it on their playlists in a spirit of patriotism. I feel the need, however, as I have in various forums over the years, to counter the notion that this Springsteen piece is in any way patriotic.  It’s not. Rather, it’s the sarcastic lament of an embittered Vietnam vet...

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Random stuff guaranteed to pique your interest

  Here’s a collection of observations, questions, curious facts, random musings and other such stuff that I’ve mentioned in my blog over the years. Some of them are updated to fit the passage time: –The oldest teens at the dawn of the rock ‘n’ roll era are now turning 80 years of age. –The youngest voters when Ronald Reagan was first elected president will turn 54 this year. –My paternal grandfather, my dad’s dad, was born during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. –Does anyone who...

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Notice to warming deniers: Weather and climate are different things

  Global-warming skeptics love to make the argument that the changeability of weather forecasts in the short term disproves claims by climate scientists that potential disaster lies just a few decades away as the planet heats up. The fundamental problem with such skepticism is that weather and climate are not the same thing. TV meteorologists are not climatologists. Sometimes it’s more difficult to predict whether Sunday’s ballgame will be rained out than whether melting glaciers will cause sea levels to rise by the time your toddler is...

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Obama’s poll numbers have never been as low as any of the last five GOP presidents

With about seven months remaining in his presidency, Barack Obama’s job-approval rating is not exactly great, but neither is it too shabby. The latest edition of Gallup’s three-day tracking poll shows that 50.9 percent of Americans approve of the job Obama is doing, while 45.2 disapprove. That’s a far cry from his highest rating — 69 percent — which came during the early months of his presidency. But it’s a lot better than his all-time low of 38-percent approval registered about five years ago. Perhaps the most interesting aspect...

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Trump’s appeal to false nostalgia is why older folks tend to like him

  Nostalgia has its charms, to be sure, but it’s dangerous when it shapes our political attitudes. Consider the fact that Donald Trump, whose campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again,”  is more popular among geezers than among young folks. People who think that the America of  yore was mostly a better place than it is now have short or highly selective memories. Yes, I’m an oldster myself — my 74th birthday will come this fall — but I don’t want to return to the America of my youth. I...

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