When will we learn that “media” is not a singular word?

  In this morning’s edition of the Boston Herald, the following headline appears: “Adriana Cohen: The media has lost its marbles.” Nothing remarkable about that, right? A conservative newspaper is complaining about the mainstream media. So what else is new? But there’s a problem with the headline. It uses the word “media” as a singular. When I studied Latin in a Catholic school some 60 years ago, “media” was said to be the plural of “medium.” But things have changed over the...

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Barack Obama was the smartest president of my lifetime

  The declaration in the headline above is intended mainly to start an argument. After all, the term “smart,” like the term “effective,” can have different meanings in a political context, and we can disagree about such matters. Pundit David Corn put it this way a few years ago: Whenever I ponder the relationship between political success and smarts, I recall an interview I conducted with a particular George W. Bush supporter at a Wisconsin campaign rally shortly before the 2000 election. At that event, Bush had...

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Is the Trump presidency a warning from God?

  Over the years, right-wing televangelists have been quick to tell us that certain big disasters in America are warnings from God that our libertine ways have gone too far. For example, Pat Robertson and  Jerry Falwell (who has since deceased)  appeared jointly on television just two days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and declared that these events were signs of God’s disapproval of abortion, homosexuality and other increasingly popular evils. But a question has occurred to me of late: Why have preachers of this...

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Trump has strange theories about physical exercise

  Donald Trump may have glaring shortcomings as chief executive of the federal government, but what about his claim to expertise regarding matters of human biology? The Washington Post reported Sunday that Trump doesn’t  go much for physical exercise “because he believes it drains the body’s ‘finite’ energy resources.” As one who’s four years older than Trump and similarly overweight, partly because I don’t exercise as much as I should, I’m almost tempted to cite the president as an...

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Some Republicans are embarrassed by their party’s anti-science bent

If you’re surprised by the headline above, your collection of Republicans friends is too narrow. There are, in fact, members of the GOP who don’t share the antipathy toward science that is so common among their party-mates. I’m personally acquainted with a few of them. The big problem seems to be that Republican politicians who know better usually are afraid to openly challenge the anti-science attitudes embraced by the dimwits who hold sway in the GOP. The situation reminds me of an intelligent comment I saw a few years ago...

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My prediction of Trump’s fall is looking pretty good

  Three months ago this coming Sunday, I wrote here that Donald Trump’s “unsavory connections” to Russian boss Vladimir Putin’s regime eventually will lead to Trump’s impeachment or resignation as president of the United States. That hasn’t happened yet, but the odds against it are falling amid the fuss over Trump’s clumsy dismissal of James Comey as director of the FBI. On Feb. 14, I wrote that  Trump’s “gentle release of national security adviser Michael  Flynn from his team is just...

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