Other Commentaries

Negotiation as weakness

I am scheduled to be the moderator and speaker at a Trial Lawyers seminar on mediation and arbitration. Lawyers call this “alternative dispute resolution.” It is the new thing! Far fewer cases go to trial than used to be the case, and now private mediation or arbitration has taken the ...

Natural gas can help curb climate change

Clean, local natural gas is the fundamental driver behind reducing greenhouse gas emissions and curbing climate change – a critical fact often missing from the ongoing climate debate. As the nation’s second largest natural gas producer, Pennsylvania is at the forefront of leveraging ...

What’s the point of a carbon tax rebate?

DUBLIN, Ireland — The Irish government is proposing rebates to a carbon tax it recently imposed to households that comply with what it considers “low-carbon lifestyles.” The rebate, according to Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, might be in the form of a check, an increase in welfare ...

Border wall: Monument for the people, not pols

Profligate politicians have never met a multibillion-dollar infrastructure project they didn’t like — except when it comes to President Donald Trump’s border wall. Think about it. Boston’s Big Dig black hole, the nation’s most expensive highway project, burned through $25 ...

New details ruin Khashoggi hero story

The gruesome murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi shredded the idea that Saudi Arabian royalty should be praised for reforming itself. Princes who chop political opponents into little pieces are not nice people. That said, puh-leeze stop it with the adoration of a man who ...

Millennial socialism 101

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s so-called Green New Deal makes the obligatory nod to the original New Deal, but FDR’s handiwork is much too modest an antecedent. The Green New Deal calls for a top-down revolution in the operation of American society so sweeping that it would be disturbing if ...

Decision time on Brexit

LONDON — To Brexit, or not to Brexit, that is the question (apologies to Shakespeare). The answer to whether the UK will pull out of the European Union as a majority of voters favored in a 2016 referendum will be decided this month. Maybe. Prime Minister Theresa May told Parliament that ...

The 10 worst things Trump did in 2018

WASHINGTON — In his second year in office, President Trump did many positive things, and on Monday, I offered my list of the 10 best things Trump did in 2018. But he also did a lot of bad things that ranged from cringeworthy to catastrophic. Here are the 10 worst: 10. His comment about ...

Keeping shutdown in perspective

In official Washington and the nation’s political media world, the partial shutdown of the federal government is a crisis dominating the arrival of a new Congress this week. That perception is certainly understandable when you consider what a company town Washington, D.C., has become. Just ...

Government shutdown: Money, money everywhere, but not a drop for a wall

This is not our first partial government shutdown. Somehow, someway, from 1976 through 2017, the nation has survived 18 shutdowns, the longest lasting 21 days. In this case, President Donald Trump insists that the next budget deal contain $5 billion to construct a wall on part of our ...

The Massachusetts Curse

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts became the first 2020 Democratic White House challenger to announce her “exploratory committee,” a legal device that allows candidates to receive donations and to hire staff in preparation for a full-fledged presidential candidacy. Make no mistake; ...

Think things are bad now? They were lots worse in 1919

The 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the fighting of World War I in Europe came and went with surprisingly little notice Nov. 11. Commemoration was muted for a conflict that took the lives of some 15 to 19 million soldiers and civilians — estimates vary widely — including, in ...

Trump’s top 10 successes of 2018

WASHINGTON — In his second year in office, the list of extraordinary things President Trump has done, for good and ill, continued to grow. Today, I offer my annual list of the 10 best things Trump has done in office. (In my next column, I will give you my list of the 10 worst.) 10. He ...

Be it resolved: To speak English

“Why can’t the English teach their children how to speak?” asked Professor Henry Higgins in the musical “My Fair Lady.” It’s a good question for Americans, especially millennials. On a recent flight two young women sat behind me, chattering away rather loudly. In just one minute I ...

And the bride and the groom shall dance

…And the Bride and the Groom shall dance in the streets of Jerusalem. These words written by the Prophets Ezekiel, Isiah and others have resonated through the millennia for the Jewish people. They represent the hope, dreams and aspirations of what have been called “Judah’s tearful-eyed ...

Skyrocketing drug prices threaten more than health of older adults

Prescription drug prices continue to rise at alarming rates, leaving many older Americans struggling to afford the medications they need. AARP’s most recent Rx Price Watch Report found that the average price of brand-name drugs widely used by older Americans increased at four times the ...

Cultural winners and losers of 2018

It’s a little hard to judge popular culture in the Trump era, wherein content creators are judged solely on political impact — are they offering enough “Resistance”? — instead of the quality of their product. The Democratic gains in the midterms should make the left happy about its ...

Say his name: RIP Cpl. Ronil Singh

In the still of the last night of 2018, the silence of California Dems chilled the air and airwaves. Border wall opponent Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted three times between Christmas and New Year’s Eve bemoaning the plight of illegal immigrants and their children. But not a peep was heard ...

Movie of the year

The filmmaker Peter Jackson deserves more than an Oscar; he deserves a medal. What the director of the “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” movies has done with his World War I documentary, “They Shall Not Grow Old,” is more than restore archival film; he has restored the humanity of ...

Border wall a symbol of our symbolic politics

We closed out 2018 with a partial government shutdown merely adding some extra spice to the monotonous stew of political rage served daily, it’s worth noting that the primary sticking point isn’t an ideological split over border security, nor is it the recalcitrance of the president or the ...