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Other Commentaries

Out with the old, in with the new

After Derek Slaughter’s inauguration as Mayor, I wondered how long Bill Nichols would last. Not very long, as it turned out. In with the new and out with the old. I worked with Bill on a few issues over the years, but mainly with respect to City Redevelopment which brought to the City ...

Let’s prioritize state medical assistance for vulnerable seniors

OK, Boomer! This is the latest insult intended to dismiss and devalue the opinions of older adults, including here in Pittsburgh and across Pennsylvania. The words indicate that advice or suggestions from a previous generation are unwanted because their time to be relevant has come and gone. ...

Democracy and tyranny

During President Donald J. Trump’s impeachment trial, we’ll hear a lot of talk about our rules for governing. One frequent claim is that our nation is a democracy. If we’ve become a democracy, it would represent a deep betrayal of our founders, who saw democracy as another form of ...

What it means to #LIVEUNITED

Change doesn’t happen alone. In fact, the African proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child,” is very true when it comes to philanthropy in rural Pennsylvania communities, or for that matter, communities all across the United States. The United Way is a shining example of the power ...

School choice, but what about taxpayer choice?

School choice week was just observed, meaning school choice proponents across the state spent the week filling social and traditional media with their usual talking points. I want the average Pennsylvania taxpayer to think about not just school choice, but “tax choice.” That is, I want ...

First Amendment on Supreme Court docket

Kendra Espinoza, a single mother of two young girls, never dreamed that sending her daughters to a Christian school in Kalispell, Montana, would lead her to the national stage. But her lawsuit, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, recently was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, and its ...

Discrediting Bolton won’t be easy for Team Trump

“I’m with the Bush-Cheney team, and I’m here to stop the count.” Those words were bellowed by John Bolton in a Tallahassee library in December 2000, when he was part of a team of Republican lawyers trying to stop the Florida recount of votes cast in the presidential race between ...

What does it take to remove a president?

I don’t blame President Donald Trump for his angst and bitterness over his impeachment by the House of Representatives. In his mind, he has done “nothing wrong” and not acted outside the constitutional powers vested in him, and so his impeachment should not have come to pass. He believes ...

Let’s make 2020 year of compassion, civility

Last October, something remarkable happened in Pennsylvania that few noticed. Frankly, it was desperately needed in this moment of divisiveness in our politics and country. As state lawmakers were feverishly working to finish the legislative calendar for the year, and Washington was ...

Israel: ‘The Promised Land for Cats’

Somebody once called Israel “The Promised Land for Cats.” Even a short trip to Israel will reveal immediately cities, towns, hamlets and communities full of cats. They are all over the place. You never see mice, rats, moles or squirrels — but cats-a-plenty. Scientists tell us that the ...

McConnell is the master of the Senate

Every hostile nickname that Mitch McConnell gets is further confirmation of his effectiveness. The latest is “Midnight Mitch,” a reaction to his resolution setting out the road map for the Senate impeachment trial. The measure stipulated that House impeachment managers could make their ...

Bill would eliminate choice

Pennsylvania House Bill 1897 has been introduced in Harrisburg. It would force school districts to have a Cyber School Program and for all 14 public cyber charter schools to close. The main points of this legislation are: All Pennsylvania cyber charter schools must cease operations after ...

In defense of Iowa

We have reached that time in every presidential nominating year when distinguished, national opinion leaders beat up on Iowa and that admirable state’s influential role in determining the two major parties’ eventual presidential nominees and, therefore, the next president. It is time ...

The show trial begins

The contrast could not have been starker. One picture showed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi smiling as she signed (with numerous pens) two articles of impeachment against President Trump. She passed out the pens like souvenirs to fellow Democrats. They were embossed in gold with her signature and ...

‘Nations with Allies Thrive’

Retired Marine Corps Gen. Jim Mattis, the former secretary of defense and an exceptionally well-read warrior, has said, “Throughout history, we see nations with allies thrive, and nations without allies wither.” Mattis’ words brought to mind those 13 fateful days in October 1962 when, ...

Term limits would avoid lifetime appointments

The procession has begun. Candidates for state House and Senate seats as well U.S. House are circulating petitions for the right to seek party nominations for election to those offices. In most cases, the elected offices that you will be casting ballots over April 28 are for two-year terms. ...

Fox Island: Right where it should, and shouldn’t, have been

I was just 33 when I met her, turning 50. A 40-year relationship ensued — intimate, though I shared her with so many others. And now we’re parting. It was educational. The 11-bedroom lodge on Great Fox Island, built in 1929 amid protective tidal marshes at the juncture of Tangier and ...

Driven by greed, Major League Baseball wants to kill 42 franchises

Baseball had an exciting year — breakout stars, a major cheating scandal, a seven-game World Series. And now it’s capping off the year with a disastrous idea from the owners. Led by the Houston Astros — the same Astros mired in scandals over cheating and domestic violence — Major ...

Bernie is not normal

The most substantively outrageous presidential campaign in American history has some serious chance of success. Bernie Sanders is leading or near the top of most polls in the first two Democratic nominating states of Iowa and New Hampshire. He could plausibly win both, which would instantly ...

Unappreciated crime costs

Criminal activity imposes huge costs on black residents in low-income neighborhoods of cities such as Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit, St. Louis, Philadelphia and many others. Thousands of black Americans were murdered in 2019. Over 90 percent of the time, the perpetrator was also black. Leftists ...