Other Commentaries

When will machine-like thinking prompt moral panic?

In Frank Herbert’s “Dune” series (my favorite-science fiction books), he made a bold writerly decision. In a genre famous for robots and computers (particularly in the 1960s), Herbert imagined a futuristic universe with neither. In his telling, some 10,000 years prior to the story of the ...

The Primary season has arrived

After months of speculation and shifting expectations, the midterm elections will start to really take shape in the coming two months. A dozen states are hosting primaries in May and a dozen and a half more in June. In the battle for control of the U.S. Senate, we currently know both ...

A farewell to the WASPs

The memorial service for Barbara Bush recently marked the passing of an era. The outpouring of praise for a woman who was an unselfconscious member of a political elite, an insider and establishmentarian, spoke to a pang of regret over a lost ethos of leadership. George and Barbara Bush ...

‘Crazy Bernie’ is at it again

There he goes again. Despite the lowest unemployment rate in 17 years, including declining rates for minorities, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), affectionately called “crazy Bernie” by some conservative talk show hosts, is again flirting with the idea that the federal government should ...

Biden, Dems don’t leave home without race card

Former Vice President Joe Biden recently told MSNBC’s Rev. Al Sharpton that the GOP wants voter identification laws for one reason. Racist Republicans so despise blacks and are so determined to oppress them, that they seek to prevent all blacks from voting. Biden said: “It’s what ...

Beware networks skipping their own polls

Watch national news outlets choose which opinion poll results they report and which ones they bury. It tells you everything you need to know about their political agenda. On the morning of Sunday, April 15, ABC anchor Paula Faris reported a new ABC News-Washington Post poll that showed ...

Diplomacy can’t sway North Korean regime

Responding to reports that North Korea said it “no longer needs” nuclear tests, Jim Hanson, president of the generally pro-Trump Security Studies Group, credited President Trump. “No one was expecting anything to come of Trump’s fiery rhetoric, except people who understand that ...

HHS committed to stopping opioid abuse, reducing supply, demand

Drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths have been increasing in the United States. In 2016, more than 42,000 people died from an opioid-related overdose —about 116 people each day. It is estimated that more than 2 million Americans will suffer from addiction to prescription or ...

It’s time to modernize voting in state

Imagine depending on a 12-year-old cell phone or a 15-year-old computer for your personal or business needs. No one would fault you for seeking to replace that outdated equipment with newer, technologically superior models. Many counties in the commonwealth own voting systems that old or ...

Following Jesus, or following Trump?

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” (Matthew 6:24) The verse refers to money, but in light of today’s debate about the unaccountable devotion many Christian leaders have for President ...

Alfie and Haleigh and Charlie and Jahi

When British hospital officials tried to pull the plug on 23-month-old toddler Alfie Evans on Monday night in arrogant defiance of his parents’ wishes, many Americans took to Twitter to count their blessings that they live in a country that would not allow such tyranny. “Stories like ...

Impeachment frenzy in fictional TV

The intense fear and loathing that permeates news coverage of President Donald Trump is being multiplied on television dramas. Impeachment scenarios and 25th Amendment removal strategies are rolling around in the brains of scriptwriters. Barbara Hall, the creator of the pro-Hillary ...

The Republican high-water mark

If Republicans aren’t losing their congressional majority this coming fall, they are doing a good job of acting like it. Dozens of Republicans are leaving the House, and last week Paul Ryan said he is resigning as House speaker at the end of this Congress, and will not even run for his ...

Veterans deserve better

WASHINGTON — As senators consider the nomination of the next secretary of veterans affairs, they should first reflect on the story of an Army veteran named Jason White. White served our country in Afghanistan, where he was severely injured by an IED explosion. His spine was crushed, and he ...

America not as intolerant as some think

I don’t normally watch the GLAAD Media Awards. Not that there’s anything wrong with them. GLAAD, by the way, originally stood for “Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation” before the organization declared that GLAAD was its name and not an acronym. But I did see a video of ...

Microtrends, not politics, lead nation

If you want to understand where America is heading, a good place to start is with Mark Penn’s new book, “Microtrends Squared.” Penn came to fame in the 1990s as a pollster in the Clinton White House, later served as chief strategy officer for Microsoft, and is now chairman of the Harris ...

War and the Separation of Powers

A popular way to begin the first day of class in constitutional law in many American law schools is to ask the students what sets the U.S. Constitution apart from all others. Usually, they answer that it’s the clauses that guarantee the freedom of speech, privacy and due process. Yes, ...

Comey’s pocket stuffers in the press

The definition of “news” is very elastic these days. Another word we could use is “publicity.” When former FBI Director James Comey’s publisher, MacMillan, boasts that it will kill enough trees to print 850,000 copies — when a decent fraction of sales is in e-books and audiobooks ...

Law Day in the 21st Century

Nearly 60 years ago, on April 7, 1961, Congress passed a Joint Resolution, requesting that the President of the United States issue a Proclamation each year designating May 1 as Law Day; “ a special day of celebration by the people of the United States … in appreciation of their liberties ...

Paul Ryan is no Margaret Chase Smith

Shortly after Hawaii and Alaska joined the Union and I was still a semi-young wiseguy, smugly sure that a celebrity candidate whose prospective campaign had sparked public interest would become a serious White House challenger, a grizzled political reporter brought me up short with this ...