RSS National

June 14, 2017 7:27 PM

Why can’t we get along?

It is so touching to hear denunciations of violence and calls for unity from men who owe their positions of power to gun trafficking, militarism, sabotage of environmental and personal health and religious, racial and national divisiveness. Perhaps now they’ll examine whether there might be room within their broad definition of the Second Amendment for keeping combat-grade weapons away from people who have no beneficial use for them. Perhaps they’ll look first to their own…

Read More

May 30, 2017 9:20 PM

Body Slamming a Reporter

My work as a journalist isn’t always easy, because the job is to ask questions people don’t want to face. Sometimes people you want to talk with avoid you at all costs because of the questions you are likely to ask. Many people I’ve questioned look at me with that expression on their face of rage.  Some appeared to have a thought of rearing back and slugging me.  Fortunately for me, no one ever physically…

Read More

April 28, 2017 2:50 PM

Trump, tax cuts and a jolly old elf

If President Donald Trump’s proposed tax cut package demonstrates anything, it is that our long national fantasy that business people are animated by the same motivations as Santa Claus continues. Trump’s plan at this stage is about as detailed as a stick figure drawing, but it appears that it offers the wealthiest Americans 50 percent of the tax cuts and devotes only about 7 percent of the trims to the middle class – and those…

Read More

April 27, 2017 2:08 PM

Smart money?

You voted for Trump last fall, and this spring undocumented immigrants are rolling sod onto your vast suburban lawn. Did you lose the number for ICE? You donated to Trump, and the insurance business you run will not cover Florida coastal properties because they’re shrinking. Don’t you know it takes nerve to be great? You supported Trump and all things Republican, and your company is going solar despite government obstruction, because coal  makes less financial…

Read More

April 27, 2017 2:07 PM

Trump Tax Ideas – Real Reform?

We finally have an outline of President Trump’s tax proposals, but not the gritty details.  From what we can glean so far, the president wants to lower rates for everyone, including corporation. He wants to enact a big increase in the standard deduction up to $24,000 for married couples, gutting personal deductions other than home mortgage interest and charitable contributions.  Personal tax rates would be reduced to three brackets – 10%, 25% & 35%.  Corporate…

Read More

April 19, 2017 1:41 PM

The “Best People”

A recent article in the New York Times reflected upon Trump’s relationship with Steve Bannon (which appears to be unraveling). The article was one of many focusing on disarray in the White House and tensions between Bannon and the various others who have the President’s ear. But this paragraph caught my eye: In a way, to believe in Mr. Bannon’s genius is to adopt the president’s belief in a sort of vulgar technocracy — the…

Read More

April 14, 2017 3:21 PM

Bye, bye, American guys

Trump voters are dying. Earlier and earlier. A groundbreaking Princeton  University study conducted over the past two years shows a dramatic rise in mortality rates among white American men of middle age, especially those of low education. How dramatic? In 1999, the mortality rate of middle-aged white Americans without a college degree was 30 percent lower than that of all black Americans. Now, it’s 30 percent higher, said researcher Anne Case. The reasons? Principally, drug…

Read More

April 9, 2017 12:49 PM

Kurt Vonnegut and ‘original virtue’

So it goes. April 11 marks the 10th anniversary of Kurt Vonnegut’s death. He and I were friends – actually, “pals” was the term he used – during the last years of his life. Whenever I traveled to New York, generally four or five times a year, we would get together to swap stories and talk about life over Italian food (for lunch) or French cuisine (for dinner) at two of his favorite haunts in…

Read More

March 26, 2017 2:32 PM

Mr. President – Do You Really Think Tax Reform Will Be Easier?

President Trump seems to be saying that the Republican health care idea didn’t work out so well, so let’s do something easier, like tax reform.  Our nation’s chief executive is likely to find an even riskier political mine field taking on taxes. First, let’s clarify that tax cuts and tax reform are two very different things.  Tax cuts can be part of tax reform, but just cutting taxes is not reform. If all Trump wants…

Read More

March 13, 2017 9:42 AM

Our long national Knightmare

Once upon a time, Bob Knight was a hero of mine. When I was in high school in the mid-1970s, my friends and I planned large swathes of our lives around Indiana University basketball. When star Scott May, who apparently dated a girl from our high school for a time, was injured in 1975 and the Hoosiers failed to win the national title, we grieved. The next year, when IU went undefeated and claimed the…

Read More