Columns

US can do better than rip-off health care system

News flash: Republican congressional leaders have come up with yet another grand scheme to fix America's health care system. So, look out — because when they say "fix," they mean it in the same sense as your veterinarian uses the word! For the gazillionth time, GOP lawmakers have put a ...

We were blind, sexist idiots then

We were such idiots then. That realization is, if you are a guy, an unavoidable hazard of seeing the new movie, “Battle of the Sexes.” The film, in which Emma Stone and Steve Carell recreate the 1973 tennis faceoff between “women’s libber” Billie Jean King and “male chauvinist ...

Tax reform revives same old debate on government

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s pivot from failed health care repeal to ambitious tax code reform promises to be like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. The long and futile effort to drive a stake into the heart of Obamacare ultimately was a political misreading of the public’s ...

Infamous repeat of Powers That Be

Before I started attending Kent State in the fall of 1975, I was a kid living in small-town Ashtabula, Ohio, on the northern edge of a county by the same name, which had lost 26 servicemen in the Vietnam War. Our state total was 3,094, ranking us fifth in casualties. I don’t remember seeing ...

Math, history useful tools in tax reform debate

In school, I liked math the least and history the most. Both can be useful in the coming debate over President Trump’s proposed tax reforms. The one thing I learned in math class is that if the formula is wrong, the answer will be wrong. In history class I learned we are not the first ...

Is there still a right to be wrong?

The whole idea of a free society is based on a very simple idea that is very hard to live by: People have the right to be wrong. This idea has ancient roots, but it was always and everywhere a minority opinion, unpopular with both the masses and the rulers, until relatively recently. In the ...

Racial sensitivities need soothing, not inflaming

According to an account my son came across a while ago: “Football is one of the most powerful institutions in American society. It is so powerful that it claimed an entire day of the week. It said, ‘This day is ours. We own it.’ Not only did football take a day of the week, but the ...

Rocket Man, Dotard bonkers in Toontown

WASHINGTON — Pity the Pacific, a portion of which faces ultimate destruction should “Rocket Man” follow through on his reported threat to test a hydrogen bomb in the ocean in response to recent anti-North Korea comments from President “Dotard. “ So it goes in Toontown, where two of ...

3 Men Who Saved Baseball From Itself

From Aug. 10, 1994, to April 25, 1995, Major League Baseball went on strike. The 1994 World Series was canceled. Fans, furious at both management and the players, voted with their feet by staying away afterward. Average attendance at games fell by more than a fifth, and — of more urgent ...

Americans Disabled by Government Act

A third threat to free speech at University of California, Berkeley has led to more censorship than political rioters or college administrators. It’s the Americans with Disabilities Act. Berkeley is expensive. Out of state students must pay $60,000 a year. But for five years, Berkeley ...

Health Care for the People, not Corporate Profit

Believe it or not, we can get Congress to enact a new program providing good quality, lower-cost health care for your family and (what the hell, let’s think big here) for every man, woman and (especially) every child in our society. Step one is to eliminate every dime of the ...

One and Only Jackson Bezzant

Dear Jackson Bezzant: Hi, my name is Leonard. I read your dad’s Facebook post about you and wanted to share some thoughts. When I was your age, I was a shy, skinny kid with thick glasses, couldn’t play kickball to save my life, always had my head in a book, lived alone in my own little ...

Melania Trump speaks eloquently against bullying

WASHINGTON—At the United Nations the other day, Melania Trump followed her husband as a speaker, and she had a message that could well have been addressed to him. The topic was the bullying of children, and the child in him needed to hear it. “We must remember that that they are watching ...

All is not forgiven, Sean Spicer

On his first full day as president, Donald Trump showed up at the CIA, described journalists as “among the most dishonest human beings on earth” and accused them of making up stuff about him. He blamed journalists for a perceived rift between him and the intelligence agencies — failing ...

Vietnam War offers lessons for all of us today

“The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one’s country deep enough to call her to a higher plain.” — Sen. George McGovern (D-SD) Filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick have performed a vital public service in making their documentary “The ...

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, ...