Politics, Moderate



Alarms Over Cutting Back Government Data

CHICAGO -- What are the nation’s leading economists freaking out about these days?

Not so much plunging into recession (due to a possible trade war) or, alternatively, an overheated economy (due to a possibly ill-timed fiscal stimulus).

Instead, they’re worried that we won’t actually know whether either scenario materializes because some...Read more

Make Obamacare Great Again -- Call it Trumpcare

Believe it or not, Americans like Obamacare. They just don’t know they like Obamacare.

That is, the law known as “Obamacare” and “the Affordable Care Act” is relatively unpopular. But most of the things that this disreputable law does are incredibly popular.

Consider the prohibition on denying insurance coverage due to ...Read more

Will Trump’s White House Have Computers?

Donald Trump likes his technology like he likes his decor: stuck in the ‘80s.

For all the praise he receives for embracing 21st-century social media, the president-elect seems to understand little about modern technology. And he exhibits even less interest in learning about it.

“I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly,��...Read more

How Debbie Reynolds and ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ Have Brightened My Life

You can’t be sad or cynical watching “Singin’ in the Rain.” I dare you to even try.

Those rich Technicolor hues; those dashing jawlines and cherubic smiles; the wry choreography; those soigne dyed-fox gowns and drop-waist, fringed flapper skirts; the goofball slapstick; those infectious show tunes, sung with bouncing trills and bright ...Read more

Trump is Being Handed a Great Economy. What Happens When it Goes South?

Back in October, a Marketplace-Edison Research Poll found that two-thirds of Donald Trump voters didn’t trust government-reported economic data, thanks partly to their candidate’s insistence that the numbers are bogus.

Something tells me this attitude is about to change.

After all, Trump will soon take office with among the most favorable ...Read more

Why the White Working Class Votes Against Itself

Why did all those “Economically Anxious” Trump voters reject policies that would have helped relieve their economic anxiety?

Maybe they believed any Big Government expansions would disproportionately go to the “wrong” kinds of people -- that is, people unlike themselves.

Hillary Clinton’s unexpected loss, particularly in ...Read more

Flirting with Financial Disaster

WASHINGTON -- It’s not the sexiest White House job. But it might soon be among the most dangerous.

Over the weekend, President-elect Donald Trump tapped Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., to be his director of the Office of Management and Budget. This Cabinet-level post is responsible for producing the federal budget, overseeing and evaluating ...Read more

The Right Shuts Down Free Speech, Too

WASHINGTON -- The good news: Both the left and the right have reached consensus that free speech is important.

The bad news: “Free speech” has apparently been redefined to mean “speech with which I agree.”

Over the past few years, there have been many high-profile cases of left-wing college students or their cowed administrators ...Read more

New York Should Seize Trump Tower

NEW YORK -- Froufrou Fifth Avenue resembles a police state. Officers wielding gigantic guns guard Trump Tower, where President-elect Donald Trump conducts all transition business, and soon lots of presidential business, too. Shoppers patronizing the stores, cafes or public gardens inside must endure layers of security screening. Streets and ...Read more

Looney Lefties Should Learn That Depicting Racism Isn't Racist

Add them to the annals of No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: works of art calling attention to racism in America’s past -- and its persistence in America’s present -- targeted by educational censorship campaigns for being too racist.

Four such works were challenged in the past month, in fact.

This fall, Salem State University put out an open ...Read more

The Clock is Ticking on a Global Shift to the Far-Right

Around the world, the populist, ethnonationalist far right is gaining vote share -- in some cases (ahem) even winning elections.

Also around the world, political observers are shocked -- shocked! -- that such anti-democratic impulses are gaining ground. But an important new study from three German economists suggests that these phenomena could ...Read more

Trump Should Keep This Part of Obamacare

The left is in a tizzy about what happens to health-care policy under Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), Donald Trump’s pick for health and human services secretary. Price’s wish list, after all, reads like a liberal nightmare.

He wants to privatize Medicare! Block-grant Medicaid! Loosen the ban on refusing insurance to patients with preexisting ...Read more

In Trump’s Economy, Mammas Should Make Sure Their Babies Grow Up to Be Con Men

College students -- actually their anxious parents, more often -- sometimes write to ask what the jobs of the future will look like. What skills and disciplines should workers-to-be master to succeed in the 21st-century economy?

My answer used to involve programming, data analysis, creativity, empathy. Basically, skills that are ...Read more

The Real Winner of the ‘Hamilton’ Scrap

Who won #Hamiltongate?

Not the cast, who offered a dignified and respectful speech after their performance on Friday.

Not the audience, who that same night booed and jeered fellow attendee Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

And not the show’s far-flung liberal fans, who cheered reports of Pence’s apparent comeuppance and mocked Donald...Read more

Feeling Despondent? One New Citizen Still Sees America as the Land of Hope.\

Much of the political commentary over this past week has been bleak and despairing for the future of our fragile republic. It has assumed the worst about Americans' true character, our dedication to inclusiveness and diversity, and our ability to rein in our ugliest instincts. America has abandoned its values, we pundits fret in unison.

...Read more

A suggestion for Trump: Listen to Ivanka

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump has said he wants to "bind the wounds of division." He will prove that he can be "president for all Americans," not just those who voted for him.

Let's say we take the president-elect at his word, though his decision to make alt-right leader Stephen Bannon a senior strategist does not bode well. If he wants to ...Read more

Americans have voted for Trumpism. Let them have it.

The polls were wrong. The media was wrong. And I was wrong.

American voters -- or at least, half of them -- wanted something different than what many of us expected they'd want. A man with the endorsements of zero national newspapers and zero living presidents, who lost all three debates, and who 61 percent of exit-poll respondents said ...Read more

Goodbye Trump (I Hope)

WASHINGTON -- Farewell, dear Donald Trump. At least, I hope this is farewell.

In his own way, for 17 straight months, Trump has been very generous to journalists. He has bestowed upon us endless fodder for news cycles, quips, thinkpieces, diatribes; in an era when media organizations have struggled to land in the black, he has provided page ...Read more

Fellow Millennials: I Know You're Frustrated. Vote Anyway.

To my fellow millennials:

Yeah, I know, you're scoffing at this salutation. I'm on the older side of our generation, which has been repeatedly redefined downward to represent an ever-younger, increasingly manbunned, microaggressed group of whippersnapchatters. "Millennial" used to refer to a specific cohort born between about 1980 and the mid-'...Read more

What's Wrong With 'More of the Same'?

"Hope and change" are so 2008. Now, if anything, it's just about hope.

Donald Trump and his supporters have been insisting for months that this election is a "change" election. That is, Americans want to throw the bums out -- specifically, the party of the bums occupying the White House -- and usher in a wholly different leadership style that ...Read more

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