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Friday, April 28, 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.

o'Reilly

What Bill O’Reilly (And Roger Ailes) Should Have Learned From A Mirror

Bill O’Reilly began to act like an eighth grader prank-dialing the head cheerleader—talking dirty while emitting grunts suggestive of masturbation. In 2004, a Fox News producer named Andrea Mackris, whose “big boobs” he much admired, tape-recorded one of these calls and played it for Fox News lawyers. They gave her a reported $9 million to go away.

April 25, 2017
Fearless Girl statue

Why ‘Fearless Girl’ Works — As A Publicity Stunt

Commissioned as an advertising gimmick by State Street Global Advisors, the Boston-based investment giant, and its New York advertising firm, the “Fearless Girl” statue supposedly symbolizes “girl power.” A plaque at the child’s feet reads: “Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference.”

April 19, 2017
Trump, Conservative, Press

Does Trump Expect To Fool America With A Pro Wrestling Feud?

Staged as the culmination of a widely-hyped “feud” between Trump and World Wrestling Entertainment mogul Vince McMahon, the event featured Trump in a business suit tackling his rival on the ring apron—the referee having been rendered conveniently unconscious.

April 12, 2017
Trump voters

Dumb Bigots Vs. Typical Liberals: The High Cost Of Political Tribalism

Very broadly then, the center appears to be holding. And while I yield to no man in my visceral contempt for Donald J. Trump, I’ll be very surprised if Congress enacts his anti-community budget cuts. Trashing cartoon liberals is one thing; shutting down Meals on Wheels quite another. As for cartoon conservatives, Democrats should keep in mind that bringing back even five percent of Trump voters would constitute a revolution.

April 6, 2017
Trump, Ryan health care

In Health Care Debacle, Trump’s Desperate Quest For Someone To Blame

What the big dope appears incapable of understanding is that for Northeastern Republicans in competitive districts, voting for the Trump/Ryan health care bill would amount to political suicide.

March 29, 2017
Pit bull

The Cult Of The Pitbull

This is only partly a dog column. It’s also about several things that have gone wrong in American political dialogue: dogmatism, disdain for facts, black-and-white thinking, name-calling, and generalized hatred of rival tribes. Also, the bad effects of social media. People just don’t abuse each other in person the way they do on social media. It’s a coward’s idea of tough.

March 16, 2017
Pit bull

Pit Bulls: Man’s Best Friend Or Deadly Weapon?

Just as beagles are obsessed with tracking rabbits, pit bulls are preoccupied with fighting. It’s in their genes. They aren’t so much protective as simply belligerent. Alas, that’s what some people like about them.

March 1, 2017
Flynn

Flynn Drama Has All The Intrigue Of A Russian Spy Thriller

If the late, great Donald Westlake had written spy thrillers instead of crime capers, they’d read a lot like the opening weeks of the Trump administration. Flynn’s not the first, and he’ll surely be far from the last, to learn that Trump’s insistence upon personal loyalty is a one-way street.

February 15, 2017
Kurdish forces prepare assault against ISIS in Mosul

Why ISIS, Al Qaeda, And Iran’s Mullahs All Love Donald Trump

This entire exercise in folly has nothing to do with resisting ISIS, a stateless band of murdering psychopaths that nevertheless poses no existential threat to Americans. Instead, it’s about atavistic fears, racial contempt and misplaced zeal for our preposterous comic-opera president.

February 8, 2017
Trump, Intelligence Briefings

While New York Times Editors Bickered, Trump (And Putin) Got Away

Now that the horses have left the barn, trotted out the front gate, and are galloping headlong down the county road, editors at the New York Times have taken to public bickering about who left the stalls unlatched. Not that it’s doing the rest of us much good.

January 25, 2017
Trump, Kanye

Are Democrats Out Of Touch With The Real America Or Reality TV America?

As for Real America, maybe if I’d ever seen a single episode of “The Apprentice” or “Celebrity Apprentice” I might have seen the preposterous figure of Donald J. Trump coming. But I surely did not. Did you?

January 4, 2017
Trump can be ever so polite to his paragon Putin

That Rude, Crude Trump Is Ever So Polite — To Putin, His Paragon

What exactly do Trump voters think they’re getting out of the Russian connection? Most simply don’t care. They’ve basically chosen party over country. They dislike Americans who vote Democratic far more than Putin, a distant figure. And most are too busy gloating and rationalizing Trump’s boasts to worry about the Kremlin’s arm lock on the White House.

December 21, 2016
Alex Jones instigates mass psychotic episodes like Comet Ping Pong conspiracy for profit

Comet Conspiracy: Mass Delusion Is Nothing New (But Still Lucrative)

Just last summer, Alex Jones provoked a panic in rural Texas with fevered allegations that the real purpose of U.S. Army maneuvers there was to install secret armies of ISIS fighters in underground tunnels. He’s also persuaded thousands that the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in Connecticut was a “false flag” hoax aimed at confiscating their guns. Anybody believing that shouldn’t be allowed to walk off-leash in a city park, much less to buy an AR-15.

December 13, 2016
End of identity politics

The End Of ‘Identity Liberalism’? It Can’t Happen Too Soon

Identity politics rooted in race, gender and cultural identity invariably leads to tribalism—the great enemy of democracy. As Mark Lilla wrote, “the first identity movement in American politics was the Ku Klux Klan.”

November 30, 2016
Republican U.S. presidential candidate Trump delivers economic policy speech in Monessen, Pennsylvania

Reality TV Emperor Or President Of A Constitutional Democracy?

Alas, Trump seems to confuse the presidency with being the emcee on a “reality TV” program. Or with being Emperor of Lilliput.

November 22, 2016
Hillary Clinton

Hillary Should Be President, But They Would Rather Watch Trump On TV

Hillary Clinton would be a fine president if she could be appointed. She’s a tough cookie with a brilliant mind and spine of steel. Nobody better in a tight spot.

November 16, 2016
America should have seen Trump coming

Anger, Bullying, Conspiracies — And Big Cable Network Profits

As the national political melodrama drew near its end, a sometime email correspondent in Texas worried about my safety.

November 9, 2016
President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton

Legitimize What Can’t Be Proven: Comey’s ‘October Surprise’

Comey the ‘terrific lawyer’ and ‘standup guy’ no longer exists. What we have instead is a spineless partisan who planted an IED in the middle of the 2016 presidential election—apparently because he feared criticism from GOP congressmen who drink from “Presidential Bitch” coffee mugs.

November 2, 2016
Media normalizing Trump

When Trump Throws Post-Election Dung, How Will His Fans Respond?

Among the great apes, it’s common for a humiliated combatant to defecate in his hand and fling it at his rival. The big question is how Trump’s impassioned supporters will respond to his dung throwing.

October 19, 2016

Uh Oh! A Clinton Book That Ignores The ‘Clinton Rules’

Did globe-trotting with Mick Jagger, Bono and Nelson Mandela make Bill Clinton feel like the King of the World? No doubt. But impoverished, HIV-afflicted children all over the world are alive because of that need.

October 12, 2016
Trump tweets, Twitter

Not Moving To Ireland — Because America Will Be Just Fine

Donald Trump is the world’s oldest middle school punk, incapable of governing his own big mouth, much less the world’s indispensable democracy.

October 4, 2016
Trump tweets, Twitter

Presidential Election Coverage In A Nutshell

Here’s your presidential election coverage in a nutshell. Last week Donald Trump delivered his big immigration speech in Phoenix, uttering this inflammatory claim: “Hillary Clinton has pledged amnesty in her first 100 days, and her plan will provide Obamacare, Social Security and Medicare for illegal immigrants, breaking the federal budget.”

September 6, 2016
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a round table with the Republican Leadership Initiative at Trump Tower in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., August 25, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

From Russia With Love: Trump Stooges ‘Boris And Natasha’

Look, it’s all about the horse race and the ratings. But things are getting ridiculous. Trump’s right: he could say he’d been an All-Star third baseman for the Yankees or shoot somebody dead on national TV, and the next item on the evening news would involve Hillary Clinton’s damn emails. Has the press ever given such scrutiny to any other politician’s communications?

August 31, 2016
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens to Vice-President Joe Biden speak as they campaign together during an event in Scranton, Pennsylvania, August 15, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller

How Hillary Clinton Became A Hated Yankees Fan

The fun began in 1999, when the then-First Lady was contemplating running for the U.S. Senate from New York. She made the mistake of going on the “Today Show” and telling Katie Couric she’d always been a Yankees fan. The host objected.

August 24, 2016
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio August 15, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Is Comrade Trump Playing Us For Fools?

On a daily basis, the Trump campaign invites sheer disbelief. Recently, Ivanka Trump, the statuesque daughter her father talks about dating, posted an Instagram photo of herself sightseeing in scenic Croatia with Wendi Deng Murdoch — who has been “romantically to Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.”

August 17, 2016