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...

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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...

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Was I born a liberal?

  A friend asked me recently if I’ve always been a political liberal, a question to which I didn’t have a quick answer. Let’s mull the matter here, shall we? I don’t recall ever being anything but a liberal in my 74 years. To one extent of another, all four of my siblings also are liberals, as was my mother and probably my father as well. I say probably, because my dad died 65 years ago, before we had much opportunity to discuss politics with him. But he was a union member and a fan of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry...

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Even the worst U.S. presidents are supported by millions of people

  When Richard Nixon resigned the presidency in August of 1974 amid the Watergate scandal, his approval rating in the Gallup poll stood at 24 percent. Tens of millions of American adults thought he was doing a good job,  no matter what everyone else was saying. Is that stupid or what? Well, it all depends. This highest of American political offices is of such majesty that there are always folks who revere whomever holds it, no matter that person’s misconduct — and especially if that person is of the same party as the people...

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There are not three co-equal branches of government

  During a panel discussion I saw on one of cable news networks the other day concerning President Trump’s controversial travel ban, one of the participants mentioned that “the Constitution calls for three co-equal branches” in the federal government. Nobody else on the panel corrected the guy, but the reference was false. I’ve addressed this matter on several previous occasions, and now I must do so again. Granted, the notion that Constitution created three co-equal branches of government is an article of faith...

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For Donald Trump: My favorite Frederick Douglass story

  President Trump marked the start of Black History Month one morning last week by hosting a small White House gathering of his African-American friends, where he made perfunctory mention of a legendary personage with whom he apparently has no familiarity whatever. Said Trump: “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice.” What? How vacuous can one get? It’s as if the president thinks Douglass is still living. David A. Graham of The...

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