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Other Commentaries

Final Jeopardy for Democrats?

While watching “Jeopardy” the other night, I had a fantasy. Suppose Alex Trebek had a Final Jeopardy category called “The Ultimate Impeachment Hypocrite”? Here’s how I thought it might go. Trebek: “We go first to Joe, who is in third place, and he wrote, ‘Who is Bill ...

The right to keep and bear arms

In a 2008 case called District of Columbia v. Heller, and again in a 2010 case called McDonald v. City of Chicago, the Supreme Court interpreted the Second Amendment. That amendment was written, the court ruled in both cases, to mandate the obligation of the federal government, as well as ...

Partisanship doesn’t entirely explain impeachment

The new normal is to worry about impeachment becoming the “new normal.” On Wednesday, during the interminable “debate” on articles of impeachment, one Republican House member after another warned, threatened, lamented or just plain promised that the Democrats’ decision to impeach ...

The victim president

President Donald Trump’s impeachment letter to Nancy Pelosi is nothing if not sincere. The missive establishes, if there were any doubt, that Trump hates impeachment with a passion, and he expresses his contempt in his own inimitable voice — scornful, hyperbolic, colloquial, on brand ...

The ultimate in wisdom: Find the good and tilt the ratio in favor of kindness

My fraternity brother at the University of Michigan was dying from diabetes, having already endured a series of minor amputations. But Art loved music and continued composing songs and singing them while playing a banjo. When the popular quartet, the Brothers Four, came to campus for a concert, ...

Grieving at Christmas

“There’s a grief that can’t be spoken. There’s a pain goes on and on. Empty chairs at empty tables Now my friends are dead and gone.” — Marius, from the musical “Les Miserables” “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” Andy Williams reminds us over tinny ...

Shall anyone be above the law?

The rule of law is a cornerstone of American democracy and is integral to the Constitution. It stands for the principles that no person is beneath the laws’ protections. No person is above the laws’ requirements. And the laws apply equally to all people. That is the theory of the rule of ...

The insane effort to make homeless encampments a de facto constitutional right

The Supreme Court just ensured that the nation’s homelessness crisis will continue. The court declined to take up an appeal of a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, covering the western United States, that homeless encampments are a de facto constitutional right. The 9th Circuit ...

We have two moon parties, no sun party

Here’s a theory for why our politics are so confusing these days: Neither party wants to be a majority party. From an ideological perspective, majority parties are, by nature, weird. For instance, the long-dominant FDR coalition included a strange mix of blacks and segregationists, corrupt ...

Impeachment inquiry deserves more than political theatre

“The answer is yes.” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Gordon Sondland swore under oath. Yes, to confirm the existence of an agreement between Trump administration and Ukraine. Yes, to extortion. Yes, to the only way to describe that agreement. And no. This is not debatable. Even ...

The Christmas scrapbook traces life’s arc and what really matters

And so this is Christmas. With about seven decades of these on life’s ledger, there is quite a scrapbook to look at. The first photos are in black and white, long before cellphone cameras and instantly digital images. The pictures are grainy, but the memories are indelible. There was ...

What Senate acquittal will mean

If I have this straight, House Republicans are united in the belief that public integrity is critically important for our nation. Accordingly, Joe Biden deserves to be impeached. During a meeting of the Rules Committee, Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., referencing Biden’s supposed role in pressuring ...

Dems’ plan to drag out impeachment

As the impeachment battle moves to the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is wisely holding the line against Democratic efforts to drag it out. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is demanding that Democrats be able to call new witnesses. He insists an impeachment trial has to “pass the ...

Corrupting our social norms

Here are several questions for biologists and medical professionals: If a person is found to have XY chromosomes (heterogametic sex), does a designation as female on his birth certificate, driver’s license or Social Security card override the chromosomal evidence? Similarly, if a person is ...

The (sometimes) bizarre race for the Democratic nomination

Some recent news stories verge on the bizarre — the House Democrats’ futile fuss over impeachment, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s acceptance of President Donald Trump’s U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade treaty. But they’re not as bizarre, or possibly as consequential, as unanticipated developments ...

Diversity panic

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. An Asian guy, two black guys, three white women (one of whom spent much of her life claiming to be Native American), a Pacific Islander woman, a gay guy, a Hispanic guy, two elderly Caucasian Jews (one a billionaire, the other a socialist), a ...

Is it 1979 again?

“Blowout” was how one UK newspaper described the decisive victory of Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party in last week’s election. How decisive was it? Not only did conservatives win an 80-seat majority in Parliament, a constituency in Blythe Valley in Northeast England elected a ...

It may not build character, but politics can reveal character

First, an anecdote circulating about the most courageously candid staff person in the White House allegedly speaking to President Donald J Trump: “Mr. President, you’re coming across as mean-spirited, abusive and so unlikable that people frankly do not want to work for you. Sir, in all due ...

Morality of free markets

Dr. Richard Ebeling, professor of economics at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, and my longtime friend and colleague, has written an important article, “Business Ethics and Morality of the Marketplace,” appearing in the American Institute for Economic Research. Its ...

‘Say it isn’t so, Rob, say it isn’t so’

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following letter was sent to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and also offered as a column for readers of the Sun-Gazette.) Dear Commissioner Manfred, I don’t expect you to answer this, but I dearly hope you will. I’d love to talk to you about this plan ...