Should we get rid of daylight-saving time?

We’re all going to turn our clocks back this coming Sunday, which brings to mind the joke about having to bother getting up at 2 a.m. to make the change as mandated by law and custom. But seriously, folks, daylight-saving time is a wonderful institution, if only because it’s always been a subject of controversy — and I like controversies. On the other hand, if you divide the human race into day people and night people, I guess I’m one of the latter, which suggests that I should oppose DST. Maybe I’m actually of...

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Republican opposition to government spending has spawned a decline in public infrastructure

Nobel economist Paul Krugman NAILS IT: America used to be a country that built for the future. Sometimes the government built directly: Public projects, from the Erie Canal to the Interstate Highway System, provided the backbone for economic growth. Sometimes it provided incentives to the private sector, like land grants to spur railroad construction. Either way, there was broad support for spending that would make us richer. But nowadays we simply won’t invest, even when the need is obvious and the timing couldn’t be better. And don’t tell...

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It’s naive to say that American politics weren’t as nasty in the good old days

Most eligible voters won’t bother to vote in next week’s midterm elections, and probably less than 6 in 10 will participate in the presidential election two years hence. Of course, such apathy is a national disgrace and is unparalleled among the world’s largest industrial democracies. Countless Americans have died to secure their countrymen’s right to vote, but millions of potential beneficiaries of such sacrifices seem not to care very much. For sheer ignorance, my favorite excuse for such apathy is the oft-heard...

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Republicans never deliver on their promises to impeach Obama or sue him or whatever

I have to admit, I’m afraid, that Republican politicians have been pretty good at placating the angry hordes of Obama-haters with solemn promises that they’re going to sue the guy for something or other or might even impeach him one of these days. All of this rhetoric has given rise to persistent confidence on the part of the more naive wingnuts that Obama’s presidency will never last through two terms. I’ve received countless comments on my blog to the effect that America surely will rise up and send this unpatriotic...

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The NFL is a socialistic enterprise, and the Packers are the league’s most socialistic team

I’ve always wondered how politically conservative fans of the National Football League reconcile their advocacy of unbridled free enterprise with their enthusiastic support  of a blatantly socialistic enterprise. This hypocrisy is especially conspicuous among fans of the Green Bay Packers, the most socialistic of all NFL teams. As we ponder this situation, let’s stipulate at the outset that socialism is more of an economic arrangement than a political one. Let’s acknowledge that all governments, even conservative ones, are at...

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Have we lost our democracy in America?

Timothy Egan ventures an answer to the question above: How did we lose our democracy? Slowly at first, and then all at once. This fall, voters are more disgusted, more bored and more cynical about the midterm elections than at any time in at least two decades… You can trace the Great Breach to Justice [Anthony] Kennedy’s words in the 2010 Citizens United case, which gave wealthy, secret donors unlimited power to manipulate American elections. The decision legalized large-scale bribery — O.K., influence buying — and ensured that we would...

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