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Democrats should prefer Trump over Cruz as the Republican nominee

As things stand now, it seems likely that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic standard-bearer against Republican nominee Donald Trump in the November general election — and that’s the best possible scenario progressives can hope for. Trump would be better than Ted Cruz for Democratic prospects in several respects. He’s more widely hated than Cruz among Republicans, especially the establishment types. And he’d be a greater drag on the whole GOP ticket. In more than a few locales, down-ticket Republican candidates are...

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A history lesson for some headstrong supporters of Bernie Sanders

  Let me stipulate at the outset here that my purpose in this post is not to favor Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. Yes, Hillary is my choice for the Democratic presidential nomination, but I think either she or Bernie would be vastly preferable to the likes of Republican front-runners Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. My point here is that some of Sanders’ fans seem to be naively ignorant of a certain unfortunate chapter in American political history. They say they won’t support the Democratic ticket in November if Bernie...

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The myth of three co-equal branches of government arises again

  During a panel discussion I saw on one of cable news networks the other day, somebody mentioned that “the Constitution calls for three co-equal branches” in the federal government. Nobody else on the panel corrected the guy, but I responded to such nonsense with a familiar barnyard epithet. I’ve addressed this matter on several previous occasions, and now I feel a need to do so again. Granted, the notion that Constitution created three co-equal branches of government is an article of faith among most Americans.  It’s...

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Republican disdain for science is hurting America

  In the eight-plus years I’ve been writing this blog, it’s been fun to occasionally aim jibes at the Republican Party for what seems to be its antipathy toward matters of science. I’ve jibed the GOP from time to time for its global-warming denialism, its rejection of theories of biological evolution and various other examples of the party’s stubborn refusal to accept the overwhelming consensus among academics on certain subjects. There’s great satisfaction, I’ll admit, in portraying one’s...

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Coincidence? Far-right tilt of Republican Party began when I reached voting age

  As I look back on the seven-plus decades of my life, it occurs to me that it’s all unfolded in almost perfect sync with certain cultural and political milestones of the American experience. The earliest memories of my toddler years coincide with the end of World War II and its immediate aftermath. The television age arrived when I was about eight years old, spelling the end of my budding familiarity with old radio and its memorable collection of sitcoms, dramas and variety shows. My political awakening, embryonic as it was, began...

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Would you accept money to permanently forfeit your right to vote?

    It’s illegal, I’m sure, to pay people not to vote. But the subject raises a few interesting questions: If  it wasn’t against the law, what would be your price to forfeit for life your right to vote? Would you do it for thousands of dollars? How about a million dollars? Would you do it for just one election, if the price was right? Of course, millions of Americans forfeit their right to vote for free. These are the apathetic folks who have never even bothered to register to vote. They’re perfectly happy to...

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Here’s why no Republican will ever be my commander-in-chief

  The headline above is intentionally misleading — just to catch your attention. In truth, neither will any Democrat ever be my commander-in-chief. My point is that the term “commander-in-chief” technically is not always a synonym for “president.” The president is the commander-in-chief of the U.S. military, not the civilian populace. I’m not a member of the military and never have been. And at age 73, I’m not likely to ever be a member of the military. So I figure I’ll never have to answer...

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Corporate America has become a great champion of gay rights

  You may have noticed — or perhaps not — that almost every time a state government anywhere in America entertains the notion of adopting laws that might infringe upon the rights of gay people,  the political backlash these days comes in part from big businesses. Last year, for example, the business community raised a great fuss about a so-called religious liberty bill in Indiana, prompting the state to weaken the measure somewhat. But the controversy still is said to have cost Indiana about $60 million in revenues. In...

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Trump and Cruz make Obama look like an honoree on Mount Rushmore

  At this writing, the Gallup Daily Tracking Poll shows President Obama’s approval rating 10 percentage points to the good side (53 percent to 43 percent). It’s been that way through much of the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, despite — or perhaps because of — all the insults hurled Obama’s way by the GOP candidates. We have several interesting factors at play in all of this: For starters, Obama has been a pretty good president by any objective standards. No, he isn’t ranked among...

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It’s disorienting to see the Cubs favored to win it all this year

  Sixty-four years ago, when I was nine years of age, I became a fan of the Chicago Cubs. Why the Cubs and not the White Sox? I guess it was a matter of familiarity. I was of the age when many, if not most, boys began to take an interest in college and professional sports. And in my hometown of Freeport, Ill., most baseball fans rooted for the Cubs. Another factor for me was that the radio announcer for the Cubs, Bert Wilson, was far more exciting than the boring Bob Elson, who did the play-by-play for White Sox games. There was no...

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Why aren’t GOP bigwigs fighting for open-carry rights at their convention?

  What a bunch of weenies! Republican Party leaders apparently are sometimes just wimps when it comes to defending what they universally claim are sacred Second Amendment rights. Tens of thousands of people have signed petitions in favor of allowing guns to be carried openly at the GOP convention in Cleveland in July. Party leaders have said nothing about the matter, but the Secret Service has announced that only duly authorized officers will be allowed to bring firearms to the conclave. You would think that the poohbahs who run the...

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It seems unlikely that Hillary will be indicted in email probe

  To hear wingnuts tell it, Hillary Clinton personally and purposely supervised the murder of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. That’s utter nonsense, of course, as the facts of the matter should make clear to anyone who’s not a complete wacko. Clinton’s email problem, however, is another issue altogether. Her critics in this controversy include more than a few people who don’t depend exclusively on the right-wing noise machine for the facts they’re weighing. Indeed, even some of Hillary’s fans worry...

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