Mar. 17, 2017
At least we’ll have guns
Donald Trump’s proposed budget plan for the forthcoming fiscal year will likely see cuts in various areas. One of these areas is the Environmental Protection Agency. Under the new budget plan, $2.6 billion of the EPA’s current $8.2 billion in funding will be cut.
Feb. 24, 2017
When a liar speaks the truth
In writing about Donald Trump in these pages last spring, I pointed out that part of his appeal — and his value — lay in his willingness to drive sacred cows out of the barn. Trump, and no one else, said bluntly that the American working class had been sold out. He, and no one else, said that America was giving Europe, South Korea and Japan a nearly free ride on defense and wondered why. He, and no one else, said that demonizing Russia at the risk of a new Cold War was stupid and dangerous.
May. 6, 2016
The coming realignment of American politics
I’ve been watching American elections—and sparingly participating in them—for a long time. Sparingly participating, because I take my one 300th million share of the popular will in which our sovereignty is supposed to reside seriously, and I regard my vote as something to be earned by persons aspiring to office rather than bestowed on crooks, timeservers, and political prostitutes who provide legal services for the rich. I learned long ago that politicians lie at the feet of a master– Lyndon Baines Johnson, who swore up and down that he’d keep us out of Vietnam. (His opponent, Barry Goldwater, was all too truthful: he promised us a nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union, and, having just survived one courtesy of John F. Kennedy, I was pretty sure he’d deliver.)
May. 6, 2016
Support candidates, not parties
Tensions mount as candidates press their advantage or continue hijacking media space with their antics (Trump) and frontrunners decidedly emerge from the chaotic fields of the primaries and caucuses. Candidates enter into a sort of limbo in which they are both uniquely susceptible to criticism and yet oddly untouchable. Those that realize the futility of their positions in the eye of the public hang their heads in defeat and withdraw, choosing to instead fight another day for another position, or at least give some deference to those deemed more desirable than they. Yet, even as the champions step forward to accept their laurels, both rival camps coalesce into blocks of support for their parties to stand on. To oppose the nominees in any manner is akin to blasphemy for the party leaders and a simple word of defiance could lead to excommunication.
Jan. 29, 2016
The year democracy became a joke
Donald Trump said he could stand on Fifth Avenue and shoot someone, and not lose any votes. I believe it, too.
Mar. 6, 2015
Tea Party suspends Homeland Security admin. funding
Hurray for the Tea Party! The lunatics liberated the asylum, if only for a brief, shining moment. It’s one we should cherish, though, as infinitely precious.
Nov. 14, 2014
Panel talks on Obamacare after Republican take over
A panel of three experts in the healthcare field gathered Nov. 6 in the Thomas R. Kline School of Law to discuss “Obamacare After the Election: Apocalypse or Resurrection” with about 25 students and professors, who were scattered comfortably in the lecture room. Public health-care law played an important role in the midterm Congressional elections, especially, after both the House and the Senate gained a substantial Republican majority.
Apr. 4, 2014
The modern GOP, a party of zombies
They say there’s no room for a third party in American politics. There’s a reason for that: If there’s one thing Democrats and Republicans can both agree on, it’s making ballot access for third parties as difficult as possible. But wait: Isn’t that antidemocratic? Yes, with the small “d.” For Democrats who want their liberal wing to stay marginalized within their party rather than risk the emergence of a genuine alternative to their politics of accommodation, though, that’s just fine. As for Republicans, they did face an insurgency five years ago in the Tea Party. Because modern Republicans move easily, almost instinctively to the right, they were able to fit the Tea Partyers into their caucus, although who swallowed whom may well be debated.
Oct. 4, 2013
Most “libertarians” are confused
Gore Vidal (1925-2012) once remarked that the so-called “libertarians” of the right wing are not libertarian at all but should be called “propertarians.” He had a point. The one freedom that right-libertarians value above all others is the right of property owners to dispose of their property. By contrast, people who were called “libertarians” between the 1850s and 1950s were anarcho-communists who adopted P.J. Proudhon’s view that “property is theft.” What, then, is the relation between property and freedom?
Sep. 27, 2013
Honey, I broke the government
On Sept. 24, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, finished an enormous speech on the Senate floor, weighing in at a whopping 21 hours and 19 minutes. This was one of the longest speeches in Senate history, surpassed only by Strom Thurmond’s 1957 filibuster against the Civil Rights Act, Al D’Amato’s 1986 filibuster against a military bill, and Wayne Morse’s 1953 filibuster against the Tidelands Oil bill. Cruz spoke out mostly against Obamacare.