1 2 3 99

Can US consumers thrive if corporations don’t?

U.S. workers and consumers (who are for the most part the same people) seem to be doing pretty well at the moment. Businesses, not so much. As Bloomberg recently reported: “Consumer spending grew last year by the most since 2005, in spite of a slight slackening in the fourth quarter. Nonresidential business investment, meanwhile, rose […]

Good reasons for Clinton not to release her speeches

You knew that after her “I will look into it” answer in the Democratic debate Thursday night concerning release of her paid speeches, Hillary Clinton was going to take fire from conservative and mainstream media alike. The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler writes, “Clinton has certainly been looking into it a long time. The Washington Post has […]

Thoughts on the election, Supreme Court, welfare

Will this November’s presidential election come down to a choice between a felon and a pied piper? People who call Barack Obama a lame duck president seem not to have noticed that he is exercising more power than ever, and has turned the Republican Congress into a lame duck branch of government. The best New […]

The nonsense surrounding ‘establishment’ moniker

The reigning idiocy of the current political season is the incessant tossing around of “establishment,” an epithet now descending into meaninglessness. Its most recent abuse is by Donald Trump supporters rationalizing his Iowa defeat with the following consolation: If you tally up Trump and Ted Cruz (and throw in Ben Carson), a whopping 60 percent […]

Cruz’s Iowa win also exposes 2 weak spots

Journalists have an unfortunate tendency, when it comes to big political stories, to prove their savvy by going counterintuitive. A lot of them are saying that the “real winner” of the Iowa caucuses is Sen. Marco Rubio, even though he came in third. And Rubio did have a good night. But it’s worth dwelling on […]

Europe’s new ‘privacy shield’ looks leaky

The European Union and the United States reached a new deal Tuesday on privacy protections for Europeans’ data that gets sent to U.S. servers. The agreement, to be called Privacy Shield, replaces an agreement repudiated by the European Court of Justice in October. That’s good news for major corporations like Facebook and Google that want continued […]

Perils of political hindsight in Iowa

On to New Hampshire. But first, before it fades, here’s what’s in the rear-view mirror in Iowa. 1. For the Democrats, there are two ways of interpreting what was basically a tie. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won on spin because the “Sanders surges, Clinton in trouble” story is irresistible for the media. But former Secretary […]

February 04, 2016 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged , | 4 Replies

A German lesson for Clinton’s email scandal

The more threatening Hillary Clinton’s alleged mishandling of classified information becomes to her chances at the presidency the more I think the story has a relevant precedent. In 1974, 12 days after it was revealed that his personal assistant had been an East German spy, Willy Brandt, the chancellor of West Germany, announced his resignation. […]

Japan resorts to interest rates of less than zero

By now, financial markets have absorbed the news that the Bank of Japan has decided to implement negative interest rates. In doing so, the Bank of Japan follows Europe, which sent rates slightly below zero in 2014. Presumably, the new target of minus 0.1 percent will be achieved through more purchases of assets such as exchange traded […]

Boosters get to settle a player’s rape case

Florida State University has agreed to pay $950,000 to settle a federal Title IX lawsuit brought by a former student who accused quarterback Jameis Winston of sexually assaulting her in 2012. The school is on the hook for around another $1.7 million in legal fees. According to the Tampa Bay Times’s Matt Baker, the state […]

February 03, 2016 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Don’t rule out Iowa caucuses surprise

J. Ann Selzer, who has conducted polling on the Iowa caucuses since 1988, says the contests almost always yield surprises. With each election, it increasingly becomes more difficult to reliably predict the outcome, and this year is the toughest yet. Pollster.com lists 20 Iowa Republican caucus polls for January alone. Nate Silver’s blog, FiveThirtyEight, bases […]

Economics might be wrong about growth

Has the world entered a period in which economies simply won’t grow at the rate they once did? Radical as the thought may seem, it might not be radical enough. A few years ago, the economist Larry Summers stirred much debate when he suggested that the anemic growth of recent years might not be just […]

January 31, 2016 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged , | 4 Replies

Kasich has good reason to root for Clinton

Hillary Clinton has an unlikely supporter rooting for her to win Iowa: Republican presidential candidate John Kasich. OK, before dismissing this incongruity as irrelevant inside baseball, hear the political logic. Kasich, the mainstream Republican, and Bernie Sanders, the socialist Democrat, are in a quiet but intense struggle to win over New Hampshire independents, who can […]

World needs modern system to screen travelers

Ever since I was a kid, people have been talking about how the world is getting smaller and more interconnected. Not so long ago, traveling to see world-famous sights and experience different cultures was an opportunity reserved largely for the elite. Today, middle-class families around the world journey to places their ancestors could only have […]

Oscars controversy shows demand for villains

The latest tempest in a teapot controversy is over a lack of black nominees for this year’s Academy Awards in Hollywood. The assumption seems to be that different groups would be proportionally represented if somebody were not doing somebody else wrong. That assumption carries great weight in far more important things than Academy Awards and […]

Debate puts Cruz on spot, Rubio on the hunt

If Thursday night’s Republican debate had any effect, it will have been on Ted Cruz, who has been fading a bit in Iowa polling. He still sits within striking range of Donald Trump, but also may have lost some ground to Marco Rubio. The three most memorable moments of the Fox News forum were all […]

January 30, 2016 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged , | 5 Replies

Trump, Sanders and the future of parties

Many scholars, myself included, have long argued that political parties control presidential nominations. The rise of insurgent candidacies in the 2016 race, however, has led some to conclude that this time is different, that the theory is wrong or that it may be days away from being proved wrong. Given the vigorous debate, let’s go […]

It’s a 3-cornered fight for GOP’s soul

It’s hard to believe that the United States, having resisted the siren song of socialism during its entire 20th-century heyday (the only major democracy to do so), should suddenly succumb to its charms a generation after its intellectual demise. Indeed, the prospect of socialist Bernie Sanders, whatever his current momentum, winning the Democratic nomination remains […]

How the case against Planned Parenthood backfired

The indictment of anti-abortion activist David Daleiden is a stark reminder that criminal law is a dangerous animal: Once it’s set free, there’s no telling who will be its target. Yet Daleiden is extremely unlikely to receive anything but symbolic jail time if convicted of the charge of making and using a false California driver’s […]

January 28, 2016 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged , | 5 Replies

GOP sees gain in anti-immigration stance

Three years ago, high-level Republicans declared that after losing the popular vote in five of the past six elections, the party needed to appeal more to Hispanics to win the presidency. Immigration was a threshold issue. Hispanics are the fastest-growing slice of the electorate. The 2012 Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, took an anti-immigration stance and […]

Clinton’s email excuses fall apart

Hillary Clinton went into damage-control mode when news broke that the inspector general of the intelligence agencies had identified additional classified emails on her private server, including ones containing intelligence on covert “Special Access Programs.” Her campaign even accused the inspector general – an Obama appointee confirmed by a Democratic-controlled Senate – of engaging in […]

Slower growth imposes heavy cost on Americans

Is slow economic growth here to stay? Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Ben Leubsdorf reports that this may be the case: “Most Federal Reserve policymakers and private forecasters are . . . predicting little change in 2016 and beyond: an economy growing a little faster than 2 percent . . . . Gross domestic product has […]

GOP candidates: Is that your final answer?

Unless there is significant shift in polling, the same seven candidates who faced off last time, in the Charleston, South Carolina, debate, will meet Thursday in Iowa, just three days before the first votes are cast in the caucuses. Plenty has happened since the last debate. We offer suggestions for the Fox News moderators: For […]

Do emotions trump facts on Trump?

Those of us who like to believe that human beings are rational can sometimes have a hard time trying to explain what is going on in politics. It is still a puzzle to me how millions of patriotic Americans could have voted in 2008 for a man who for 20 years – 20 years – […]

What are elections for?

After months of watching all sorts of political polls, we are finally just a few weeks away from actually beginning to see some voting in primary elections. Polls let people vent their emotions. But elections are held to actually accomplish something. The big question is whether the voters themselves will see elections as very different […]

Sanders would be center-right in Europe

One of the more important arguments between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton during Sunday’s Democratic debate occurred over whether to push for “Medicare for all,” as Sanders insisted, or to build more slowly on the limited success of President Barack Obama’s health care law. Clinton said: “I do not to want see the Republicans repeal […]

GOP gets Iran prisoner swap wrong

WASHINGTON — Give President Barack Obama credit. His Iran nuclear deal may be disastrous but the packaging was brilliant. The near-simultaneous prisoner exchange was meant to distract from last Saturday’s official implementation of the sanctions-lifting deal. And it did. The Republicans concentrated almost all their fire on the swap sideshow. And in denouncing the swap, they […]

2 critical weeks may determine GOP nominee

After the recent GOP presidential debate, the campaigns are trying to make the most of their gains and minimize their problems coming out of feisty face-offs with their rivals. Donald Trump is continuing to bash Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, over his “New York values” slur; Cruz responded with a snarky dig at liberal politicians, which was nonresponsive […]

Report illustrates our frightened, fragmented world

There’s plenty to be anxious about in the world at the moment, from terrorism to the ever-present threat of a pandemic. What’s disturbing, though, is how splintered the world’s worries are on a regional basis, according to the 11th edition of the annual Global Risks report produced by the World Economic Forum. And the threat […]

A politician who ‘hears’ us? It’s just hype

Many political candidates, if we’re to believe what they say about themselves, spend most of their time traveling around listening to people. “I’ve traveled all around the country, Anderson,” former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley told CNN’s Anderson Cooper at one of last year’s Democratic presidential debates, “and there’s two phrases I keep hearing again and […]

1 2 3 99