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Historians rank Obama our 12th best president

  A C-SPAN survey of 91 presidential historians ranks Barack Obama as the 12th best U.S. president in the nation’s history. Abraham Lincoln was ranked at the top of the list, followed in order by George Washington and the two Roosevelts, Franklin and Theodore. The worst were James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson, the presidents who served just before and just after Lincoln. Some presidents rise or fall in these periodic surveys of historians. Ulysses Grant, for example, has moved from the bottom quarter of the pack to the middle in the...

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What happened to Trump’s claim of massive voter fraud?

Donald Trump’s peculiar penchant for making outrageous claims — consider, for example, the ludicrous arguments he made during his birtherism phase of five years ago, or his recent complaint that Barack Obama waged a campaign of eavesdropping last year at Trump Tower — has become a part of his personality. We expect it of him, especially when he portrays himself as the victim. Remember his explanation of why he apparently lost to Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes in the tally of popular votes in last year’s...

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MSNBC is conducting useless polls

  MSNBC, supposedly the most liberal of the three major news outlets on cable TV, is exploiting the ignorance of some of its viewers with a weekly Sunday afternoon program that purports to measure public opinion on political matters. All it really measures is the gullibility of its audience. The network calls this foolish exercise “Pulse of America.” It poses questions to viewers and invites them to respond by logging onto a network website and answering yes or no. Respondents also indicate whether they are Democrats,...

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Refuting a bit of Trump’s stirring oration

  Donald Trump’s address to Congress earlier this week has been hailed by the booboisie as perhaps the finest presidential speech since Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. But, of course, it was nothing of the sort. Sure, some of Trump’s pseudo-eloquent sermon exceeded the meager expectations. But, on the whole, the effort was vastly overrated. From my perspective, the low point came precisely where the president seemed to think he was saying something that would live forever in the annals of American political...

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What motivates climate-change deniers?

  March is here, and only a few weeks remain before the official arrival of spring, a change that prompts thoughts of  atmospheric matters in my mind. One such thought is a question I’ve been asking myself for years now, a question that all sentient people should ask themselves: What motivates climate-change deniers? After all, the deniers don’t have solid evidence on their side. The overwhelming majority of climatologists subscribe to mainstream scientific theories regarding global warming. They may quibble among one another...

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Trump waxes touchy-feely, nicey-nice

  All you need to know about last night’s speech by Donald Trump is that much of the liberal media loved it. They highly approved of the changes in tone they discerned in the president’s remarks. Yecch! Those of us who signed-on to The Donald’s campaign from the get-go were deeply disappointed. We’re ready for battle, not for talk. If we wanted our president to shower us with wimpy rhetoric, we would have voted for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. We voted for Trump because we’re angry. We hate...

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Regarding Trump’s penchant for repeating himself

  As I write these words, six hours or so remain before Donald Trump delivers his big ballyhooed speech before both houses of Congress — but I’m not going to venture a prediction on what he might say. I’m more interested in how he’ll say it. My sense of anticipation is centered almost solely on how the president might be effected by his use of a teleprompter for his address. Trump’s political oratory over the past 20 months or so has been mostly unscripted — or only loosely scripted. Only rarely has he...

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Why are the most religious states in the South?

  The last time I checked the statistics from the Gallup poll regarding religious fervor, which was a few years ago,  America’s so-called Bible Belt was living up to that nickname. Eight of the 10 most religious states were in the South, while nine of the 10 least religious states were in the Northeast or Northwest. Midwestern states were about average in religiousness. Mississippi was the single most religious state, and Vermont was the single least religious state. Gallup began compiling these statistics on religion in 2008,...

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Does the gender of your children influence your politics?

  The question posed in the headline above actually is a challenge to you, the reader. I have no definitive answer that applies to most people, and my own experience might well have only limited value as social research. About nine or ten years ago, I came across an article suggesting that parents of daughters tend to be more politically liberal than people whose children are sons. I don’t remember what it said about families in which there are both daughters and sons. In any event, I’ve lost track of the article at issue and...

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Will Trump be America’s first permanently unpopular president?

  History suggests that Donald Trump eventually will rise above 50 percent in the polls, but it hasn’t happened in the first five weeks of his presidency, and it isn’t likely to happen anytime soon. It’s possible, if unlikely, that it may never happen. In this sense, The Donald has a chance, albeit slim, of rewriting American political history as the most consistently disfavored among our 45 chief executives. Yes, more than a few of our past presidents have suffered through spells of bad poll numbers. Some have seen...

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Is Trump aware that so many people question his mental health?

  A prominent political website reported today that White House staffers are required to go to great lengths to feed reports to President Trump  that flatter his intellect — lest he acts cranky and says or does something especially stupid. The story says that “Trump’s own staff knows full well he’s an unstable narcissist who’s likely to go off on dangerous tangents at any given time unless he’s fed a constant diet of praise and shielded from criticism—and leaving him alone for even the span of a few...

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Donald Trump needs a lesson on the talents of Philip Freneau

  President Trump’s incessant whining about the sins of the news media is fraught with naivete, especially when he invokes the words of Thomas Jefferson on his side of the argument. Yes, Jefferson was a bitter critic of newspapers in his time, but he was hypocritical about it. He didn’t like it when a paper that supported his political foes picked on him, so he helped establish a rival paper, the Gazette of the United States, to fight back. Jefferson was secretary of state at the time, and he hired a hatchetman named Philip...

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