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Monday, April 24, 2017
Gene Lyons

Gene Lyons is a political columnist and author. Lyons writes a column for the Arkansas Times that is nationally syndicated by United Media. He was previously a general editor at Newsweek as wells an associate editor at Texas Monthly where he won a National Magazine Award in 1980. He contributes to Salon.com and has written for such magazines as Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Review of Books, Entertainment Weekly, Washington Monthly, The Nation, Esquire, and Slate.

A graduate of Rutgers University with a Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia, Lyons taught at the Universities of Massachusetts, Arkansas and Texas before becoming a full-time writer in 1976. A native of New Jersey, Lyons has lived in Arkansas with his wife Diane since 1972. The Lyons live on a cattle farm near Houston, Ark., with a half-dozen dogs, several cats, three horses, and a growing herd of Fleckvieh Simmental cows.

Lyons has written several books including The Higher Illiteracy (University of Arkansas, 1988), Widow's Web (Simon & Schuster, 1993), Fools for Scandal (Franklin Square, 1996) as well as The Hunting Of The President: The 10 Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton, which he co-authored with National Memo Editor-in-Chief Joe Conason.

Emperor Trump, Conspiracy theorist in chief

Who Will Save Us From The Conspiracy Theorist In Chief?

Barring some unpredictable (if quite likely) disaster, it’s basically up to the Republicans to keep the presidency while saving the nation from Trump. But don’t hold your breath.

March 8, 2017
Trump, Sater, Russia

Follow The Money To Uncover Trump’s Deep Ties To Russia

Consider what one is tempted to call President Trump’s downright “Clintonian” non-denial denial during his recent press conference: “I own nothing in Russia, I have no loans in Russia, I don’t have any deals in Russia.” The president denying this well-documented fact is the rough equivalent of Bill Clinton denying he’d ever met Monica Lewinsky.

February 22, 2017
Cat

All Trumped Out? Let’s Talk About Cats Instead

The whole country is learning how exhausting it can be to live with a seriously mentally ill person. Because crazy people tend to be cunning and tireless, it’s important to take reality breaks. So this is a column about my six year-old orange tabby Albert, the most unusual cat I’ve known

February 1, 2017
Kompromat, Putin, Trump

Putin Defends Trump’s Virtue — And Trump Serves Putin’s Interests

Putin got his big break in politics when, as a young intelligence officer, he affirmed that a murky videotape of a man cavorting with hookers was indeed a foe of Boris Yeltsin’s. Today, sleazy videos of public figures are a regular feature on Russian TV.

January 18, 2017
Trump, J.D. Vance

Self-Pitying Pessimism Is Personally And Politically Crippling

J.D. Vance thinks that hillbilly clannishness and self-pitying pessimism are personally and politically crippling. “We can’t trust the evening news. We can’t trust our politicians. Our universities, the gateway to a better life, are rigged against us. We can’t get jobs. You can’t believe these things and participate meaningfully in society.”

January 11, 2017
Trump, Nuclear Tweets, Russisa

Mutually Assured Destruction: Trump Wishes Us All A Happy Thermonuclear New Year

A new nuclear arms race! Was this what Trump meant by making America great again? A return to those halcyon days of schoolchildren hiding under their desks, building fallout shelters in the yard, stockpiling canned goods and arguing about the ethics of shooting desperate neighbors who’d failed to construct their own hideaways?

December 28, 2016
Trump: The Reality TV President

The Serial Prevarications Of The Reality TV President

Welcome to the reality TV presidency. Nothing president-elect Trump says is to be taken literally, nor evaluated for its truth content.

December 7, 2016
Trump: Reality TV president, Supreme Court

Trump’s ‘Celebrity Candidate 2016’ Will End — Even Without A Concession Speech

So now “Celebrity Candidate 2016” is about to be canceled. What’s more, there’s no audience for repeat broadcasts after everybody knows who won.

October 26, 2016

A No-Trump Column

I’ve long insisted that my plan was to die in a fall from a horse at age 88—suitably remote as to make it a joke. A smug, stupid joke. I’ve also argued—as friends’ broken shoulders and fractured pelvises accumulated—that riding bicycles in traffic is a damn fool thing for mature citizens to do.

May 18, 2016
Supporters of U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump protest outside a campaign event for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Williamson, West Virginia, United States, May 2, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young

What Has Happened To Our Election?

People are going about their normal daily activities with seeming equanimity — although there’s been a marked increase in convenience store parking space shootings, actually. Maybe an armed society’s not such a polite society after all. How surprising would it be to see gunfire erupt at a presidential campaign event? But I digress, and ominously.

May 11, 2016
Neal Gabler

Neal Gabler And How Not To Make It

To somebody like me whose professional career roughly parallels Gabler’s, the man’s personal choices are mind-boggling. As he correctly points out, “writer…is a financially perilous profession.” To keep your head above water, it’s important to keep your wits about you.

April 27, 2016
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks with Los Angles mayor Eric Garcetti at her side (L) during a community forum on counter terrorism and homeland security in Los Angeles, California March 24, 2016. REUTERS/David McNew

Only The Ballot Box Can Beat Clinton, Not Bogus ‘Scandals’

When the corrections and retractions reach critical mass and the “investigative” articles start to read like Henry James novels — i.e. diffuse and impenetrable — the end of a given “scandal” episode is near.

April 6, 2016
A lovable cat

A Cat’s Defense Against Neuroeconomics

“Canines were proven to love us Homo sapiens five times more than their feline counterparts.”

March 9, 2016
Ammon and Ryan Bundy are seen in police jail booking photos released by the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office

The Bundys Are Bumbling Villains In This Western

Looks like that epic cowboy movie Cliven Bundy and his boys dreamed of playing starring roles in will never get made.

February 24, 2016
Megyn Kelly

Donald Trump And His Subversive Sense Of Humor

“Hey, you’re only young once, but you can be immature forever.”

February 3, 2016
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders

A Democrat That Can Win Is What We Need

Which Democrat is best-positioned to consolidate the Obama legacy and move it forward?

January 27, 2016
Bernie Sanders painting

In That Old Volkswagen Bus With Bernie, Rolling Toward 1972

Let the GOP attack machine get to work on Sanders and I’m guessing we’d soon learn that there’s no great yearning among the electorate for socialism—democratic or not.

January 20, 2016

Don’t Try To Breathe Life Into A Dead Scandal

This just in: Nothing boosts circulation or enhances ratings like a sex scandal. The more prominent the actors and the more prurient the allegations, the better. How else to explain the ugly resurgence of talking about the Clintons’ bedroom dramas?

January 13, 2016

No, There Isn’t A Racial Double Standard At Work In Oregon

It’s tempting, but specious, to draw comparisons between the publicity-seeking antics in Oregon and senseless tragedies involving law enforcement. That hasn’t stopped ideologues on the left from being as vocal in their enthusiasm for a shootout as anti-government militia types.

January 6, 2016

When Democracy Becomes Must See TV

Is it even possible for a democratic country to govern itself when news becomes “infotainment,” and infotainment news?

December 16, 2015

Why Are Hard Truths So Hard For Conservatives?

Conservatives are emotionally committed to binary thinking — good vs. evil, white vs. black, Christian vs. Islamic — and so Obama’s resistance to melodrama and appreciation for complexity reads to them as weakness. In embracing a laughably simplistic worldview, Republican blowhards risk throwing away America’s moral authority.

December 9, 2015

Why The Conversation About Race Can’t Be The Only Conversation

From sea to shining sea, college students seem determined to make us argue about race, pondering the exact color of their navels and compiling lists of fruitless demands, to the exclusion of all else.

December 2, 2015

An Apocalyptic Death Cult Has Its Limits

It almost goes without saying that you can’t make treaties with such people. They can only be defeated. The question is how? And at what cost?

November 18, 2015

The Republican Reality Show Rat Race

The current Republican presidential race is less a political contest than a reality TV series: a stage-managed melodrama with a cast of characters selected to titillate and provoke.

November 4, 2015
joe biden speaking

No, Journalists Don’t Have Dramatic License

Anonymous sources are tricky enough, but journalists simply have no business contriving dramatized scenes with dialogue and characters — describing their innermost thoughts and feelings with no attribution whatsoever. To do so is inherently deceptive.

October 28, 2015