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National Columnists

Media saves Joe Biden — just as it saved Barack Obama

Hunter Biden, President-elect Joe Biden’s son, is undergoing a tax investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware concerning Hunter’s lucrative work with Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company on whose board Hunter sat, despite a lack of energy experience and the ability to speak ...

A time to reflect on health, wealth and happiness

It is often said that health is wealth, and at no time in our lives has this proven more true than during the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting political, economic and social upheaval. This has been a year unlike any other. At this point, nearly a year into the pandemic, each of us probably ...

The miracle on 80th Street

I’ve spent the week in New York, and no visit happens without a trip to Zabar’s, a specialty food store on Broadway and 80th Street. A destination for tourists as well as locals, Zabar’s was less frenetic than you’d expect around the holidays, but still, there were people. Anyhow, ...

After Trump, what (and who) for the GOP?

At the 1980 Democratic National Convention in New York, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) delivered a speech following his defeat by Jimmy Carter for the presidential nomination. The speech was boilerplate liberalism. Kennedy criticized Republicans and Ronald Reagan for their ideas, which he said were ...

No 2020 voter fraud — are we sure?

Aan we set aside politics for a minute and discuss the last election? Not about who won the presidency but about the election process itself. It was a convoluted mess. First, let’s not simply swallow the idea that the 2020 election “was the most secure in U.S. history.” That was the ...

President Trump: Promises made, promises kept

Aretrospective on President Donald Trump’s four years in office must be put in perspective of what he himself promised to accomplish when he ran: Make America Great Again. To answer the question requires, of course, defining what makes America great and asking to what extent President Trump ...

The embarrassing Russian disinformation canard

If there's one thing that the Hunter Biden laptop episode has proven, it is that former directors of the Central Intelligence Agency aren't as adept at evaluating evidence as advertised. Five former directors or acting directors of the CIA signed a letter asserting that the laptop, first ...

Eulogy for Dad

In the late 1980s, when telemarketing was at it is peak, a company called our home during dinner. I picked up the phone and handed it to my dad. This is what we heard him say: "I'm not interested." "No. No, thank you." "Well ... I'm not ever going to die." And then he hung up. My mom ...

Hunting for Hunter Biden

It isn't that the alleged exploits, profits and questionable business deals involving Hunter Biden and his father, Joe Biden, were not known for most of this election year. Much of mainstream media either ignored it or put it down as right-wing extremism. Until now. We've recently ...

Bezos and McConnell exemplify COVID-19 capitalism

As a former secretary of labor, I often receive mail from workers with job complaints, who apparently believe I still have some authority. But the email I received a few days ago from a worker at Amazon's Whole Foods delivery warehouse in Brooklyn, New York, was particularly distressing. She ...

The glory of Trump’s judges

One of President Donald Trump’s foremost achievements has been to erect a formidable obstacle to his own post-election legal challenges. The federal judiciary, now seeded throughout with Trump-nominated judges, has given the back of its hand to pro-Trump election litigation, with Trump ...

Techno-fascism strikes again

Whoever controls the information we see or don’t see controls the universe -- and must be reined in without delay. We’re talking about Big Tech’s ever-expanding ability to shape and control public opinion on any topic it desires -- including U.S. elections -- by censoring ...

Trump is still winning on the economy

Some people can’t handle success. The latest jobs report shows that despite the pandemic President Trump’s policies of lower taxes and reducing regulations continue to work. Raising taxes and imposing regulations, as Joe Biden has pledged to do, has historically had the opposite effect, ...

Trumpism is unlikely to be an enduring ideology

In the aftermath of President Trump’s 2016 victory, many of his supporters wanted to construct an ideological worldview that would, they hoped, not only supplant traditional conservatism but redefine American politics. As an intellectual project, it was pretty much a bust. For instance, ...

Costs must be weighed against benefits

One of the first lessons in an economics class is every action has a cost. That is in stark contrast to lessons in the political arena where politicians virtually ignore cost and talk about benefits and free stuff. If we look only at the benefits of an action, policy or program, then we will do ...

What Biden’s first 100 days might look like

The Biden-Harris administration will confront “a pandemic, an economic crisis, calls for racial justice and climate change. The team being assembled will meet these challenges on Day One.” So declares the transition team of Joe Biden, to echo what he’s defined as the lead items on his ...

And so this is Christmas

And so this is Christmas. So sang John Lennon in 1971. The Vietnam War took 2,414 American lives that year, so the song was a prayer of harmony and peace with a scrim of irony. Nor did the irony end there. Lennon was shot to death nine years later, 40 years ago Tuesday. And if the events of ...

Will Democrats ever drop identity politics?

The days right after an election are an ideal time for political parties to work on fixing bad habits. For Democrats, that would mean kicking the increasingly dated custom of declaring race, ethnicity and gender factors in filling leadership positions. Demands on President-elect Joe Biden to ...

A historic presidency

In the first two decades of the century, President-elect Joe Biden’s choice for secretary of state supported U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen. He was an ever-reliable liberal interventionist. This same Antony Blinken could spend the first years of a Biden presidency ...

The dog, the fracture and the ‘palmists’

Whenever president-elect Joe Biden makes a rare public appearance and is out of the immediate control of his team it increases my suspicions that he is not physically, and above all mentally, up to the job he is about to take over. Last week, Biden fractured his foot and now must wear a ...