Columns

Dogs’ love of man isn’t just con job

One of my favorite kinds of news stories is the report of a new scientific study that verifies the obvious. You’ve seen them. New research finds that heterosexual men are attracted to very attractive women. Evidence collected by wildlife researchers has confirmed that bears really do use the ...

Appreciating John McCain

For many years, conservatives were ideological zealots. Like Spanish inquisitors, they were on guard for the slightest indications of heresy. Talk radio gurus in particular were punctilious keepers of the flame. If a Republican figure was thought to be “squishy” on any matter — guns, ...

Danger of dynastic wealth

National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, former president of Goldman Sachs, said recently that “only morons pay the estate tax.” I’m reminded of Donald Trump’s comment that he didn’t pay federal income taxes because he was “smart.” And billionaire Leona Helmsley’s comment ...

Tension between president, Congress is politics as usual

For the first time in nearly 20 years, the president seems out of alignment, on policy and political goals, with his party in Congress. This strikes many as an anomalous, even alarming, situation. But if you look back at history, it’s more like the norm — even if Donald Trump isn’t. The ...

New Center seeking volunteers

NEW YORK — This city’s annual gridlock festival, otherwise known as the United Nations General Assembly, is a proper metaphor for America’s current state of affairs. While Manhattan’s already snarled streets filled beyond capacity with limos toting dignitaries, a quieter, ...

Warriors stand tall in Burns’ Vietnam War project

Three aging U.S. veterans of the war in Vietnam, each of whom still bears the scars of battle, took their seats on the stage of Washington’s Kennedy Center on a cool September evening. They were there to discuss Ken Burns’ historic 18-hour PBS project, ‘’The Vietnam War,’’ which ...

Detoured by Government

Michelle Freenor’s business almost failed before it began. That would have been a loss, since her Savannah, Georgia, walking tour gets only good reviews from customers. “Top notch tour guide giving us a lot of history of Savannah’s Historic District,” said one five-star Yelp review. ...

Populist Victories in Conservative Colorado Town

What's been happening politically and culturally this year in Colorado's second largest city is inspiring. Progressive/populist organizing to build grassroots movements to counter plutocratic rule and govern in the people's interest now have a model of success in one of the least likely ...

Nickel prophets are dime a dozen

“Be still and know that I am God.” — Psalms 46:10 It’s an admonition some of us struggle to obey. Indeed, some of God’s self-appointed spokespersons seem to find it especially difficult. Thus, before the first raindrop fell, the first palm tree bowed, or the first transformer ...

Trump becomes key issue for both parties

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s two latest forays into legislative bipartisanship — parleying with Democrats on raising the federal debt limit and on relief for undocumented immigrants who came to this country as children — display his penchant for talking out of both sides of his ...

All rise (or not) for United States of football

Once again, we’ve got a lot going on in my hometown of Cleveland that’s attracting national attention. Even as I write on this Wednesday afternoon, the background noise of my television is making me dare to believe that our baseball team is about to make American League history by winning ...

Americans remain ignorant of nation’s principles

At a National Archives ceremony last Friday in Washington, D.C., 30 immigrants became naturalized U.S. citizens. In a video, President Trump encouraged them to embrace the “full rights, and the sacred duties, that come with American citizenship.” It was a noble sentiment that once ...

Deal does about-face on immigration

“At this point, who DOESN’T want Trump impeached?” — Ann Coulter tweet, 7:05 a.m., Sept. 14, 2017 “If reports true 100%. I blame R’s. They caused this. They wanted him to fail and now pushed him into arms of political suicide — IF TRUE.” — Sean Hannity tweet, 12:11 a.m., ...

Do conservatives take rape seriously?

Have conservatives forsaken rape victims? That's one of the more challenging questions posed following the furor over Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' announcement that her department will revise the Obama-era guidance on how sexual assault allegations are to be handled by universities. Because ...

Focus on non-problems worsens real ones

It’s easy to get caught up in the deeply flawed character of Donald Trump. We also need to recognize the policy catastrophe of his presidency. Compare the trumped-up problems he’s been focusing on with the real problems facing this country. Last week, for example, Trump ordered an end to ...

House Republicans’ Frustrations May Doom Their Majority

The Founding Fathers didn't expect that serving in Congress would be a lifetime career. And for a century, it mostly wasn't. The first election in which more than half the incumbent members of the House of Representatives were re-elected was in 1898. Since then, the majority of House members ...

Trump: Wins count, not ideology

I used to worry that Donald Trump was Lonesome Rhodes in a better suit. I’m starting to wonder if he’s Chance the Gardener in a worse one. Just in case you don’t get the references, Rhodes was the lead character, played by Andy Griffith, in Elia Kazan’s 1957 film “A Face in the ...

Celebrating the New Year With Predictions and Resolutions

Labor Day has already come and gon, and summer is all but over. Autumn — with shorter days, cooler nights and a new school year — is upon us. Now — in beautiful September and not in the dead of winter, overshadowed by Christmas — ought logically to be New Year’s Day, which means ...

Blame for Disaster

"How many once-in-a-lifetime storms will it take," demands "The Daily Show" comic Trevor Noah, "until everyone admits man-made climate change is real?!" His audience roars its approval. When Hurricane Irma hit, so-called friends admonished me, "Look what your fossil fuels have done! Will ...

Gaping Hole in Donald Trump’s Border Wall

How much of our money does Donald Trump want to pour into his xenophobic fantasy of erecting an impenetrable wall on our Mexican border? The big-businessman-turned-president insists that costs be damned — just build it! That seems to be a very un-businesslike approach — but then, it's not ...