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Liberals who want so much to hate Hillary face difficult challenges

  The news media justifiably declared the other day that Hillary Clinton is now the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, thereby triggering a bitter outpouring of bile from Hillary haters on the political left — never mind the political right. This is an interesting phenomenon on several counts. In one sense, it’s predictable that sore-loser supporters of Bernie Sanders will feel a need to vent for at least a while. If history is any guide, however, most of them will come around long before the November...

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Mark Kirk’s dissing of Donald Trump won’t likely help him at the ballot box

  There doesn’t seem to be any self-serving political calculation in U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk’s declaration that he “cannot and will not” support the presidential candidacy of the racist Donald Trump. Kirk, an incumbent Republican, won’t win any favor from Democrats in his race against U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth just because he rejects Trump. More importantly, the gesture is certain to alienate at least part of the GOP base. But then, if Kirk stood by Trump, he would be tainted by association — especially in...

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Rule-or-ruin Berniacs should go away and come back when they grow up

  Polls indicate that most of Bernie Sanders’ disappointed supporters will vote for Hillary Clinton in the November election, especially if her Republican opponent is Donald Trump. But there are some Berniacs, especially among those who are young and have never previously been involved in presidential politics, who vow to oppose Hillary — even at the risk of helping elect The Donald. This kind of bitterness is understandable, but only up to a point. It’s perfectly natural, of course, that the sense of disappointment...

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Muhammad Ali’s greatest legacy was his courage outside the ring

  Predictably enough, I suppose, some pseudo-patriot was quoted the other day to the effect that Muhammad Ali had been an “unpatriotic coward” in refusing to fight for his country in the war in Vietnam. I’ve been surprised, actually, that there hasn’t been more such rhetoric from right-wing quarters in the wake of Ali’s death last week at the age of 74. It must really gall some of those people that there’s been so much praise of the man upon his passing. I also have to admit that I had almost forgotten...

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It’s not likely that you live in a normal American city or town

  In their collective mind’s eye, countless people in this country have an idyllic portrait of the normal American city or town. This portrait sometimes is coupled with an imagined picture of the ordinary American — white, middle-class and cheerfully patriotic. These are cherished images, not unlike something artist Norman Rockwell might have rendered years ago for a cover on the Saturday Evening Post. We think of Bedford Falls in the Jimmy Stewart movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” In her own way, Sarah Palin...

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Dear Speaker Ryan…

  You and I are not personal acquaintances, but we’re neighbors of sorts. Your congressional district is adjacent to mine, and our homes are only 35 miles apart. We’re both Americans of Irish heritage, and we both attended Catholic schools named for St. Mary. You’re a conservative Republican, and I’m a liberal Democrat, but that doesn’t necessarily make us exact opposites. I’d like to think that our love of America is fundamentally equal, though our respective political beliefs differ in many regards....

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Don’t tell me Bernie would do better against Trump than Hillary would

  Die-hard supporters of Bernie Sanders have been making the point lately that polls show their guy doing  better against Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton does. But that’s a grossly misleading interpretation of the polls, and here’s why: The polls show that Hillary’s backers would be more willing than Bernie’s backers to support the Democratic nominee even if it’s not their favorite candidate. Putting it another way, lots of Sanders’ supporters say they will not vote for Hillary in the general...

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Hunch: Trump will quit the race if he thinks he’ll lose by a wide margin

  As I’ve acknowledged on several previous occasions, my predictions over the past year regarding Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy have all been wrong. I said he wouldn’t actually make good on his talk about getting into the race. I said he wouldn’t file the required financial data. I said he wouldn’t have a chance of winning the Republican nomination. I said…well, you get my point. I have been wrong all along. Oh, sure, I still stand by my prediction that The Donald will not win the presidency....

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Let me remind you that illegal immigration is not a crime

  I’ve made this point before, but it seems to have fallen on mostly deaf ears, so I’ll make it again: Illegal immigration is not a crime. In and of itself, illegal immigration is a civil matter, which means it’s ruled by civil law, not criminal law. Immigration cases are heard in front of an administrative law judge, not a criminal judge. Many Americans, perhaps even most, seem not to understand this simple fact. But it’s true. Illegal immigrants are not ipso facto criminals. Some of them perhaps are criminals for...

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No more chants! No more chants!

  As a young political activist back in the 1960s, I did my fair share of marching and protesting for or against one thing or another — civil rights, the war in Vietnam, whatever. In Chicago, Washington, New York and elsewhere, I marched and marched. It was the least I could do in support of the causes I favored. Generally, there were only two things that ever soured the experience for me. One was violence, of course, which only rarely occurred in the marches I attended.  And the other was stupid chanting with which I didn’t...

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Basically, global warming and climate change are cause and effect

  Only in a world where millions of people don’t believe the scientific fact of biological evolution would I feel a need to explain the following situation: The myopia and conspiratorialism  of global-warming deniers are such that we shouldn’t be surprised when those folks say there’s something fishy about scientists seeming to have substituted the term “climate change” for “global warming.” I’ve even read cockamamie arguments that the so-called substitution was prompted by the realization...

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Early advice on how to deal with Black Friday shopping problem

  Ever the forward-looking blogger, I’m here to remind you that the day after Thanksgiving — Black Friday, as it’s known — will arrive six months from today. It’s never too early to plot our strategies for dealing with that most fateful day on our shopping calendar. Accordingly,  I’m going to pass along an idea that’s far better than any advice you might receive regarding so-called door-buster sales or any of the other gimmicks America’s merchants might employ at the outset of the...

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