More than a few Republican politicians are still entertaining notions that the Affordable Care Act might yet be repealed or otherwise neutered, but companies with lots of skin in the game seem to think otherwise.
If you’re worried about snooping by the National Security Agency, http://www.jacksonnewspapers.com/article/20131216/BLOGS/312169961/-1/blogs01
I don’t know of any doctor who would actually give a patient the advice in the headline above, but it wouldn’t surprise me.
It probably wouldn’t surprise [...]]]>
HERE‘s Tom Keane’s answer to the question in the [...]]]>
On the bright side, clergy are still rated much higher than lobbyists, members of Congress and car dealers.
The story is http://www.jacksonnewspapers.com/article/20131215/BLOGS/312159994/-1/blogs01
File THIS ONE under “Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones….”
On this first anniversary of the tragic massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., there will be plenty of retrospective coverage in the news media. But much [...]]]>
Don’t you hate it when someone you’ve always admired turns out to be a bigot?
The one good thing about Fox News Channel’s obsession with the so-called War on Christmas is that it raises [...]]]>
How did Megyn Kelly (above, left) of Fox News Channel ever get through law school?
On second thought, that’s a dumb question. Brainless lawyers are not really all that rare, are [...]]]>
Christmas has come early this year for a certain breed of conspiracy theorists.
The story is
As we see HERE, the Weeper of the House suddenly is at war with some of the wackier groups on the political right. [...]]]>
Now that I think about it, I can’t recall knowing anyone who was opposed to capital punishment and then changed his or her mind and became a supporter of it. But I’ve known a few folks who switched the other way. [...]]]>
In the world of politics, conventional wisdom is a perishable commodity. What seems inevitable on one day can seem unlikely on the next.
Take, for [...]]]>
THIS probably isn’t going to sit well with certain [...]]]>
On more than a few occasions in recent years, I’ve had cause to pine for the congressional comity of not so long ago.
So, too, has political scientist Norm Ornstein, as we see http://www.jacksonnewspapers.com/article/20131212/BLOGS/312129987/-1/blogs01
Oh, the humanity!
THIS THING is getting pretty ugly (if I might describe it with that [...]]]>
Some of my conservative friends are likely to find THIS a little confusing:
Nearly three months ago, I wrote THIS about [...]]]>
A Facebook friend of mine implied yesterday that our current spell of wintry weather in much of the country stands as proof that mainstream theories regarding global warming are bunk.
Snarky cartoons like the one above bespoke the myriad problems with the rollout of the Medicare prescription drug benefit in 2006, but not many Americans remember the situation.
Nor will most Americans [...]]]>
If you’re one of those who occasionally go slumming in the right-wing blogosphere just for the laughs, you’ll likely see lots of snarky stuff today about President Obama shaking hands with [...]]]>
On several occasions in recent years, I have challenged right-wing readers to give me even one example of government spending that doesn't amount to redistribution of wealth.
The response [...]]]>
A few weeks ago, Robert Schlechter (above), a firefighter in Collinsville, Ill., was arrested on felony charges of setting fire to an occupied house.
For all of his faults, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has a curious knack for making sense every once in a while — sometimes even courageously.
Such is the case with the passing of Nelson [...]]]>
Most folks who weren’t yet adults when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on this date in 1941 have little or no knowledge of the rampant isolationism among the American populace in those days.
Most of these folks are familiar [...]]]>
Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican, suddenly finds himself the target of ire among the loonies who ordinarily comprise his political base.
HERE‘s a handy timeline that should prompt embarrassment and shame in certain American political [...]]]>
The death of Nelson Mandela has touched off an avalanche of media retrospectives on his life and career, including lots of angles with which most non-South Africans have not been familiar. [...]]]>
It was inevitable, I suppose, that some right-wing wacko would find a way of using the death of Nobel laureate Nelson [...]]]>
The story is HERE:
Former South African [...]]]>
A campaign ad for U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, an Arkansas Democrat, seems at first blush to be better-suited for a candidate of the Religious Right.
Blogger Andrew Sullivan has http://www.jacksonnewspapers.com/article/20131205/BLOGS/312059955/-1/blogs01
By now, it should come as no great surprise that American political conservatives are concerned about some of the statements made by Pope Francis since his elevation to the papacy.
The fine folks who labor for Fox News are pretty good at coming up with news scoops — even if they have to manufacture them from sheer nothingness.
Take, for example, http://www.jacksonnewspapers.com/article/20131205/BLOGS/312059957/-1/blogs01
Award-winning Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker (above), who describes herself politically as “mostly right of center,” http://www.jacksonnewspapers.com/article/20131205/BLOGS/312059992/-1/blogs01
Having fared rather poorly among female voters in recent elections, a certain political party is now taking steps aimed at guarding against the unseating of its incumbents by [...]]]>
The progressive blogger who calls himself BooMan has got a good one HERE:
Fox News is [...]]]>
(NOTE: This post is an adaption of several from years past.)
With Thanksgiving almost a week behind us, Christmas season is now in full flower.
It’s my favorite time of [...]]]>
You may [...]]]>
The Tea Party movement’s surge of influence in the Republican Party in recent years has given rise to all sorts of anti-science rhetoric among GOPers in the form of creationism, global-warming denialism and other nonsense.
One hundred years ago this past May 31, a 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was officially adopted, changing the method by which U.S. senators are elected.
Prior to 1913, senators were elected not [...]]]>
If I were asked to lump the majority of cases pending before the U.S. Court [...]]]>
As I noted HERE the other day, right-wing radio blabber Rush Limbaugh has taken issue [...]]]>
Ordinarily, I’m a stickler for reliable methodology in social research, but I’ll make an exception in this case.
I’m simply not going to dispute any study suggesting that we Illinoisans are [...]]]>
Eight months ago, I told you http://www.jacksonnewspapers.com/article/20131202/BLOGS/312029951/-1/blogs01
HERE‘s my vote for Grinch of the Year:
The War on [...]]]>
If American business is as innovative and adaptable as Republican politicians say it is, why do we hear so many complaints that business can’t efficiently deal with most regulations?
That question is going to be [...]]]>
Remember the government shutdown in October?
We all know what a political disaster that was, right?
Still, there’s something about the aftermath of the shutdown you may not [...]]]>
Last week, I told you HERE about the [...]]]>
The Republican Party has been losing ground among women voters for years now, and the situation might get worse if the Supreme Court decides next year that the contraception coverage [...]]]>
Master satirist Andy Borowitz http://www.jacksonnewspapers.com/article/20131202/BLOGS/312029991/-1/blogs01
It probably would surprise you to learn that health-care costs in this country may finally be coming under control.
The truth is that from 2007 to 2010, per-capita health-care [...]]]>
The first thing you need to know about Cliff Kincaid (above) of Accuracy in Media is that he has accused Fox News of having unsavory ties with Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Is that wacky or what? [...]]]>
It was early in Barack Obama’s presidency that I was first struck by the amazing depth of right-wing hatred for the man.
The occasion was the announcement that Chicago had lost its bid to host the [...]]]>
Of all the gibberish ever uttered by Sarah Palin, the former half-term governor of Alaska, nothing is more nonsensical than her response of a few weeks ago to a question of what her alternative to Obamacare [...]]]>
Why am I not surprised that Rush Limbaugh is taken aback by some of the things Pope Francis has been saying lately?
Here’s an excerpt from Limbaugh’s radio show of a few days ago:
Don’t let the pleasant mug shot (above) fool you.
This woman is not a happy camper, as we see http://www.jacksonnewspapers.com/article/20131129/BLOGS/311299995/-1/blogs01
With Thanksgiving behind us, America’s self-appointed guardians of Yuletide orthodoxy — Sarah Palin and Fox News Channel, among others — are now ready to raise the volume in their annual campaign of complaints against [...]]]>
Five years ago this week, popular historian Kenneth C. Davis (author of the book shown above) wrote an INTERESTING PIECE for The [...]]]>
The similarities — physical and ideological — between Sen. Ted Cruz and the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy are nothing new to regular readers of this blog (see http://www.jacksonnewspapers.com/article/20131127/BLOGS/311279970/-1/blogs01
The gullibility of America’s wingnuts is being tested yet again — this time by a false report that the Obama administration is planning to close the U.S. embassy to the Holy See.
But, of course, the people who want to [...]]]>
Sometime next spring, the U.S. Supreme Court likely will hand down a ruling or two on legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act on religious grounds.
At issue is the [...]]]>
I’ve always figured that right-wing radio blabber Rush Limbaugh isn’t nearly as stupid as he pretends to be. He strikes me as a poseur who plays his vast listening audience of mostly angry old white men [...]]]>
Once again, Pope Francis is making headlines with statements that aren’t likely to endear him to right-wing Catholics.
Nor are these latest pronouncements from the pontiff mere [...]]]>
The U.S.-Iran nuclear deal has critics in both of America’s major political parties — but there’s a difference:
The dismay expressed by Republican right-wingers is so childish and predictable.
Steve M. at No [...]]]>
When I first heard the news the other night that the United States and Iran had reached a tentative agreement on nuclear matters, I didn’t need to know any of the [...]]]>
Last week’s reform of U.S. Senate rules regarding filibusters has been frowned upon by certain critics who seem to have been unduly influenced by a certain Hollywood movie.
Fred Kaplan of the Council on Foreign Relations http://www.jacksonnewspapers.com/article/20131124/BLOGS/311249977/-1/blogs01
This past week’s 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy included more than a few retrospectives on conspiracy theories that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone in killing our 35th president.
As a cold weekend draws near here in the American heartland, it’s as good a time as any to ponder a new development in the word of climate change.
Barack Obama is the 13th American president of my lifetime, but his tenure in the White House is unlike the others in one important respect:
No other president has faced such knee-jerk opposition from lawmakers [...]]]>
Eugene Robinson NAILS [...]]]>
The rules change approved today in the U.S. Senate, which limits filibusters, is bound to trigger all sorts of wacky rhetoric from the political right.
It’s only fitting, I suppose, that one of the [...]]]>
They call it the “nuclear option,” and it’s detonation is long overdue.
Long-time readers of this blog may recall the frequent comments submitted in the early years by Mike Carroll, who died of cancer the other day at the age of 64 (see http://www.jacksonnewspapers.com/article/20131121/BLOGS/311219992/-1/blogs01
For reasons I probably will never understand, wretched sinner that I am, there are a few chosen people among us who have a gift for discerning divine messages in catastrophes.
Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, [...]]]>
You’re probably aware by now that Liz Cheney (above, right), the daughter of a Republican politician and one in her own right, has angered her lesbian sister Mary by coming out against gay marriage.
This family [...]]]>
I’m a life-long resident of Illinois, but I’ve never been carried away with pride for my native state. I figure that all that state-pride stuff is mainly for Texans. [...]]]>
One full year after his election to a second term as president, Barack Obama’s standing in the polls is at its lowest level yet.
Obama’s job-approval rating still hasn’t sunk to the [...]]]>
The U.S. Constitution gives the president authority to appoint federal court judges, and history shows that Senate confirmation of such presidential appointments has been pretty much automatic.
But the current batch of [...]]]>
As far as I know, Garry Wills is the only author to win a Pulitzer Prize for writing about the Gettysburg Adddress.
It’s fitting, then, that we invoke an http://www.jacksonnewspapers.com/article/20131119/BLOGS/311199961/-1/blogs01
To hear some people tell it, the problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act portend the ultimate failure of the program itself and probably the Obama presidency as a whole.
Well, piffle. To paraphrase Mark Twain, [...]]]>
As I’ve often said (though not originally, of course), when it comes to politics, demography is [...]]]>
In the 50 years since the assassination of John F. Kennedy, many of us have played the “what-if” game.
What if Lee Harvey Oswald’s shots had missed? Or what if Oswald had never been born? [...]]]>
The following is an excerpt from the book “Rockford — Big Town/Little City”:
It was lunch hour in Rockford on a warm, rainy Friday in November.
Marjorie Owens was watching “As the World [...]]]>
I hate to admit it, but not every talking head at Fox News Channel is a right-wing nitwit.
Frankly, I’m not very familiar with the political records of Govs. Jay Inslee of Washington, Steve Beshear of Kentucky and Daniel P. Malloy of Connecticut — but in one sense at least, I consider them three wise men. [...]]]>
Whenever anything has gone wrong for Barack Obama over the past five years, somebody has suggested that the matter amounts to a political problem as bad as George W. Bush experienced with Hurricane Katrina.
Steve M. at [...]]]>
According to the rules of the Catholic Church, an exorcism is a ritual aimed at getting rid of Satan in a given situation.
The church teaches that a person or group experiencing demonic possession can be rescued through the Rite of Exorcism. [...]]]>
Biographies of Stephen Breyer usually refer to Judaism as his religion, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s [...]]]>
Not many Americans still living can recall the launch of the Social Security System back in the 1930s, and fewer still have even read about the problems that arose on that occasion.
For starters, most of us are not in the middle of the spectrum on each and every political issue.
There’s a lot more on this matter http://www.jacksonnewspapers.com/article/20131114/BLOGS/311149952/-1/blogs01
Even if you didn’t see it when it aired, you’re probably aware by now that a so-called investigative report by the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” on the Benghazi controversy has [...]]]>
Despite the sudden rash of nervousness among Democratic lawmakers over the problems plaguing the rollout of Obamacare, the death of the Affordable Care Act is not on the horizon.
Alexander Burns and Katie Glueck assess the [...]]]>
Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican, wants you to know that he’s a true, blue American, no matter that he was born in Canada.
What’s more, he wants you to know that he’s a special kind of [...]]]>