|

Big numbers are misleading

  Over the course of my life — 74-plus years — big numbers have become increasingly common in our daily discourse. A million dollars, for example, ain’t what it used to be. The average annual compensation for professional athletes is well into the millions. Even marginal players are paid seven-figure salaries. Meanwhile, our politicians at the state and federal level regularly speak of billions. To them, a million dollars is mere chump change. And our national debt has soared into the trillions. As these words —...

read more

Newt Gingrich is the most enigmatic politician of our time

  When the political annals of these times are written, the name of Newt Gingrich will be filed under such words as “puzzling,” “bewildering,” “confounding” and “inexplicable.” Gingrich has more gray matter between his ears than most of his political contemporaries. He’s authored more books than the typical Republican has even read. But for all his brilliance, he’s been his own worst enemy and has allowed himself to emulate his party’s cheapest right-wing tricks. Worse...

read more

There’s one subject on which I tend to go along with the crowd

    Of all the great controversies of the day, there is one in particular about which the wisdom I often tout is almost entirely  second-hand. Little or none of it arises from my own intellectual research.  I don’t really understand the fine points about this subject, but I have great respect for the crowd of  credentialed experts on the matter. I refer, of course, to global warming and climate change. The consensus on this stuff among climate scientists is so overwhelming that I am intellectually unable to disagree....

read more

The suddenly hawkish Trump is a hypocrite

  Even if there’s justification for President Trump’s missile attack in Syria — and I’m not saying there’s not — the gesture reeks of hypocrisy. No less than 18 times in recent years, Trump said the United States should stay the hell out of Syria. Indeed, he’s cautioned against any kind of American military action almost anywhere in the Middle East. In October of 2012, Trump tweeted the following message: “Now that Obama’s poll numbers are in tailspin — watch for him to launch a...

read more

Why are so many evangelicals deniers of climate change?

    The question in the headline above is especially difficult for a non-religious person like me, but it’s worth tackling by all of us, no matter our religious beliefs or lack of them. Religion and science are a tricky mix in any circumstance. When you add politics to the equation…well, lots of luck. Lauren Markoe, a reporter for Religion News Service, recently wrote that 81 percent of evangelical Christian voters in America cast their ballots last fall for Donald Trump, a climate change skeptic. And there are studies...

read more

Here’s one of the dumbest things Trump has ever said

  Let me stipulate at the outset here that I don’t know if there’s any validity to the allegations of sexual harassment made by certain women against Fox News Channel superstar Bill O’Reilly. President Trump doesn’t know either, but that hasn’t deterred him from shooting his mouth off about the matter. You may have heard that more than a dozen major advertisers have dropped their sponsorship of O’Reilly’s nightly blabfest on Fox, which is the most popular night-time news show on cable TV. These...

read more

A Cubs dynasty? Bite your tongue!

  The Chicago Cubs lost their season-opener in St. Louis the other night, but that’s all right. More than a few baseball people still expect them to repeat as National League champions — perhaps even world champions. I even heard some so-called expert opine that the Cubs actually are building a dynasty that will prevail for years to come. Omigod! Let’s hope not! Perennial winners in sports eventually become boring. Their rabid fans become insufferable. I’m reminded of the New York Yankees of the 1950s, when I was...

read more

Senate Dems badly mishandle Gorsuch nomination

  Recently, I wrote here that Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court, should refuse to fill what is basically a stolen seat on the high court. That suggestion was preposterous, of course, given the reality of the situation. What we have here, in the final analysis, is a failure on the part of Senate Democrats to frame the issue properly and cast their Republican counterparts as the cheaters they are. Let’s review the situation: When Scalia died suddenly early last year,...

read more

Is the end drawing near for Trump?

  A few days ago, I was thinking of writing something here about whether Donald Trump will survive the four-year term as president to which he was elected this past November. A better question, I think now, is whether he will survive even his first year in office. Not only does The Donald increasingly find himself in deep-doo with regard to Russian meddling in the recent election, but his performance of his presidential duties is less than exemplary, to put it mildly. Take health-care, for example. One of the cornerstones of...

read more

Random stuff

  In no particular order of importance: The dumbest sight in sports is hockey referees standing idly by while two players fight. That doesn’t happen in other major team sports. The single best situation comedy in television history is the animated “American Dad.” Why don’t Republican politicians admit that crime rates in America were higher when Ronald Reagan was president than they are now?  The answer is simple: One must never speak ill of the Gipper. It turned out that protesters against the Vietnam War were...

read more

Has Sean Spicer unwittingly revealed Donald Trump’s fear of the Russia scandal?

  At his daily briefing Tuesday afternoon, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer seems to have conveyed more information than he intended. Spicer got into an awkward dust-up with veteran reporter April Ryan when she asked a question concerning investigations of the possible ties between Donald Trump’s election campaign and the Russian government. He implied that the matter is a baseless obsession among the biased media and said there’s really nothing to it. Reports of this exchange have focused mainly on Spicer’s...

read more

Five years ago, I first scoffed at the thought of Trump becoming president

  On Jan. 31, 2012, months before Mitt Romney nailed down the Republican nomination as his party’s choice to challenge Barack Obama’s bid for a second term in the White House, I wrote this: Donald Trump, the notorious Birther buffoon and reality TV star, is again desperately trying to attract attention amid all the media buzz over this year’s presidential race. We haven’t heard much from The Donald in a political context since his offer to host a Republican presidential debate last month was humiliatingly declined...

read more
Share: