×

Other Commentaries

Governing by ultimatum

WASHINGTON — In a week that felt like a month, Americans got a clear view of Donald Trump’s governing style and also of his fabled dealmaking approach. Or rather, I should say, Trump got a good sense of what governing is like — hard, hard, hard. And it’s bound to get more ...

What we Americans need is to know each other better

Let’s admit it:America has become a land of strangers. Even before headphones, PCs and smartphones — all of which were heralded as breakthroughs in human communication but have turned out to be instruments of further isolation — we had begun disconnecting from each other. More and more, ...

The health care albatross

Republicans should get used to it. Their agony on health care is just beginning. For the past seven years, the party benefited from its powerlessness, which usefully maximized its ability to criticize Obamacare and minimized its responsibility to do anything about it. Now, with ...

206 pivot counties voted twice for Obama then switched to Trump

There are 3,088 counties in America and only 206 of them voted for the winner in each of the last three presidential elections. In other words, these Pivot Counties voted twice for President Obama before switching sides to vote for President Trump in 2016. The Pivot Counties had an ...

‘Saturday Night Live’ supports 9/11 killers

In the stunned aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, America healed in part by tuning in to “Saturday Night Live,” just a few miles from the wreckage of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. We all felt like New Yorkers and Pentagon employees after radical Islamic terrorists killed more ...

An oasis of liberty in the Arizona sun

PHOENIX — As a boy, Barry Goldwater Jr., son of the former senator and 1964 Republican presidential nominee, would step out of his father’s house and shoot at tin cans 50 yards away. Now 78, he says he could fire in any direction and not endanger “anything but a cactus.” His father, ...

Oh, Maryland

A rough translation of Maryland’s state motto is “Strong Deeds, Gentle Words.” In the case of a 14-year-old girl who was recently raped and sodomized in a restroom at Rockville High School by two males students, both immigrants, one facing a deportation hearing, that motto in practice has ...

American democracy: Not decadent after all

WASHINGTON — Under the dark gray cloud, amid the general gloom, allow me to offer a ray of sunshine. The last two months have brought a pleasant surprise: Turns out the much feared, much predicted withering of our democratic institutions has been grossly exaggerated. The system lives. Let ...

Preserving funding for legal aid services is critical

A new report that draws attention to the problems poor people face in finding civil legal aid in Pennsylvania takes me back to the early days of my legal career when I was a founding member of Neighborhood Legal Services Association (NLSA) in Pittsburgh. That experience was a personal ...

Obamacare, the uninsurable and charity

When it comes to repealing and replacing Obamacare, defenders of President Barack Obama’s signature domestic law constantly ask, “What about those with pre-existing illnesses?” After all, the most popular feature of Obamacare is that it prohibits insurance companies from denying ...

We’re against emotionalism – unless we’re not

Conservatives have rightly taken pride in Neil Gorsuch’s calm and cerebral performance at his Senate confirmation hearings. Many commentators, along with Republican senators, have mocked Democrats for presuming to evaluate Gorsuch based on the outcomes of his cases. Did he “side with the ...

Bring Assata back ASAP

If FBI agents have time to track down Tom Brady’s stolen Super Bowl jerseys, why can’t they bring back AWOL convicted cop-killer Assata Shakur? It is time for one of the agency’s most wanted women in the world to pay her dues. And President Trump is just the man to force this militant ...

Neil Gorsuch steals the week

WASHINGTON — Watching the Senate confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, one might easily find oneself wishing he were president of the United States. Alas, he’s not. But Gorsuch’s selection to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia is the sanest act committed by a ...

To see future of auto industry, look away from Washington

One fact consistently forgotten by political activists is that politicians don’t lead the nation, they lag behind. The culture and technology lead us forward. A great example is the automobile industry. While regulations have a big impact in the short term, reality is ultimately driven ...

The serious matter of political humor

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the only American elected president four times, had an often overlooked strength that both sustained him under the torrent of abuse he endured and served to thwart his dyspeptic political opponents: FDR could laugh at the jeers directed at him. He framed and showed ...

Time to stop taxpayer-funded propaganda

The defunding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is long past overdue. No president, including Ronald Reagan, has seriously pushed an immediate winding down of this corrupt and outdated waste of taxpayer funds. Who would have ever imagined that Donald Trump would be the first to ...

It still will look a lot like Obamacare

WASHINGTON — “Mend it, don’t end it” was Bill Clinton’s rhetorical straddle regarding affirmative action. Republican efforts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) look increasingly like “mend it, don’t end it.” The problem is not that, as is ...

Regional approach to job creation best

All across Pennsylvania, businesses, nonprofits and governments are taking a regional approach to job creation and economic development. In doing so, they can use their collective influence and strengths to build stronger communities. And it's working. We see tremendous progress being ...

The real world of Obamacare repeal

WASHINGTON — The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, but for governments it’s not that easy. Once something is given — say, health insurance coverage to 20 million Americans — you take it away at your peril. This is true for any government benefit, but especially for health ...