Politics, Moderate





White-Knuckled Fear of Sugar isn’t the Sweetest Solution to Our Overconsumption

CHICAGO -- The buzz about activist journalist Gary Taubes’ new book “The Case Against Sugar” is that it’s both a muckraking expose detailing how the processed food industry has hushed research about sugar’s threat to our health and a call to arms against the nutrient that Taube considers a “toxic substance.”

This is accurate. But ...Read more

To Protect Our Democracy, We Need to Root Out the Truth on Russia

WASHINGTON -- “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” mutters Marcellus as ghosts and mad spirits haunt Elsinore Castle in the first act of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”

After this past week of salacious leaks about foreign espionage plots and indignant denials, people must be wondering if something is rotten in the state of our ...Read more

No Wonder There Are So Few Minority Journalists

CHICAGO -- Shaun King, a civil rights activist and senior justice writer for the New York Daily News, had to preface his response to the recent hate crime committed against a disabled Chicago-area man with four full paragraphs of disavowal before making this point:

“I see thousands of white folk online asking me why I’m not speaking out ...Read more

What’s Up with Macy’s and Sears?

WASHINGTON -- We are in the throes of another round of what the economist Joseph Schumpeter memorably called “creative destruction.” Two icons of American business -- Macy’s and Sears -- are struggling. Macy’s plans to close 100 stores to improve profitability, and Sears has sold its Craftsman tools line for roughly $900 million to raise...Read more

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

The Country Needs to Know the Extent of Russian Meddling

WASHINGTON -- The intelligence community’s allegation that Russia intervened covertly in the 2016 election describes a significant assault on our democracy. The country needs to know more: The charge needs to be followed up with an independent investigation that continues after Donald Trump becomes president on Jan. 20.

Congress should commit...Read more

Donald Trump's Tiny America

Politics, Moderate / Rex Huppke /

At the moment, President-elect Donald Trump's America is tiny.

It doesn't have to be, but he's making it so by pretending social media allows him to speak directly to the American people.

Trump treats Twitter like a megaphone, when it's little more than a tin can tied to strings that reach cans held up to only a small fraction of the ...Read more

President-Elect Trumpschenko

WASHINGTON -- First, a history refresher: For the past nine years, a smattering of Americans, most recently led by our now president-elect, have insisted that Barack Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya.

For years, Donald Trump was unrelenting in his insistence that Obama prove beyond existing proof that he was born in Hawaii and not in the African ...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

Trump’s Showdown with the Intelligence Community

WASHINGTON -- Watching Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, a gruff, 50-year veteran of the spy world, answer congressional questions Thursday, you couldn’t help wondering if perhaps this time Donald Trump has met his match.

To recall a quip made years ago by a prominent Washington lawyer, Clapper is not a “potted plant.” He ...Read more

The Road to Achieving Your Goals is Paved with Persistence

CHICAGO -- Last year I learned that hard work, and not innate talent for a skill, is the key to mastering a difficult task.

In their book, “Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise,” authors Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool (best known for quantifying the “10,000 hours” estimate for attaining mastery in a field) say that ...Read more

Trump’s Great Guessing Game

WASHINGTON -- We’re all playing a guessing game. During the campaign, Donald Trump made many promises. But whether friend or foe, we don’t know what he will actually do. The result is a deluge of predictions from politicians, pundits, think tanks, lobbyists, economists and others. Here, for example, is the outlook of economists at Nomura ...Read more

Trump's Transition from Rhetoric to Policy

Eight years ago, as Barack Obama prepared to move into the White House, he continued to offer the rhetoric of hope and change. Though many Republicans mocked it, that message was exactly what the American people were looking to hear.

Candidate Obama promised to change the way Washington worked and talked of bi-partisan cooperation. But, ...Read more

Loner-Loser Syndrome

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- As convicted murderer Dylann Roof prepares to defend himself in the sentencing phase of his trial, a clearer understanding of his motives in gunning down nine African-Americans during Bible study prayer has begun to emerge.

In a word, he’s a loser -- as random and ordinary as the proverbial tree falling in a forest bereft ...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

Let Me Be Trump's Message Courier

Politics, Moderate / Rex Huppke /

I'm going to start 2017 off with something unexpected: I agree with President-elect Donald Trump.

Over the weekend, when asked about U.S. intelligence agency reports of Russian hacking during the election, Trump said "no computer is safe."

He's absolutely right. I've been carrying a computer around in my hand for years and almost all the ...Read more

The New World Order, 2017

WASHINGTON -- One insistent question that will shape 2017 is whether we’re witnessing the gradual decay of the post-World War II international order, dominated by the economic and military power of the United States.

After the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, it became fashionable to talk of the United States as the only true superpower. ...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

America is At Its Greatest When It’s Inclusive of All Its Citizens

WASHINGTON -- For America, 2016 was a dark year. The country was still at war. Our election was a brutal grudge match that left us more polarized than ever. Our closest allies were rocked by terrorism and turmoil. Adversaries toyed with our politics. Even the basic facts about life and science seemed to be in dispute.

However you voted, this ...Read more

Thomas Sowell, Righteous Hero for the American Right

Thomas Sowell's weekly opinion column has consistently been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise depressing political dialogue. He has just retired and his voice will be missed.

A black man born in the segregated South during the Depression, Sowell's hard work, discipline and intelligence led him to tremendous success. He graduated from ...Read more

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