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Thursday, April 19, 2018
Froma Harrop

Froma Harrop’s nationally syndicated column appears in over 150 newspapers. Media Matters ranks her column 20th nationally in total readership and 14th in large newspaper concentration. Harrop has been a guest on PBS, MSNBC, Fox News and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and is a frequent voice on NPR and talk radio stations in every time zone as well.

A Loeb Award finalist for economic commentary in 2004 and again in 2011, Harrop was also a Scripps Howard Award finalist for commentary in 2010. She has been honored by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the New England Associated Press News Executives Association has given her five awards.

body, woman, Social Media

Social Media Spreads Fake Bodies, As Well As Fake News

Public anger at the ills unleashed by social media currently burns hottest on Facebook — namely, its profiting off political lies posted by masked operatives. Many also blame Facebook for stoking the modern hell of FOMO — fear of missing out. We speak of the feelings of inadequacy fanned by friends’ jolly vacation and party posts, presentations that make many think everyone is having a better time than they are.

April 18, 2018
Fake news inspired gunman to discharge weapon in a crowded D.C. restaurant

Facebook Clearly Won’t Fix Itself

Zuckerberg this week at the Senate hearing on Facebook’s failures regarding privacy, fake news and foreign interference in elections: “It was my mistake, and I’m sorry. I started Facebook. I run it. And I’m responsible for what happens here.” Well, that makes us feel a whole lot better. Zuckerberg wisely dressed up for the grilling but still issued kid-in-a-T-shirt apologies.

April 15, 2018
robin bird

Nature’s Great Bird Migration Under Threat By You-Know-Who

Since Inauguration Day, the Trump administration has engaged in a tireless assault on the nation’s environmental protections. It should thus surprise no one that it is now going after the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Three days before Christmas, it issued a legal opinion that the law doesn’t prohibit the incidental killing of these birds. Penalties for doing so vanished.

April 6, 2018
Laura_Ingraham_by_Gage_Skidmore_(16489846918)

Boycott Ingraham’s Advertisers? What About All Of Fox News?

For Laura Ingraham, the decline came well before the fall. The Parkland teens’ success in pressuring advertisers to flee her Fox News Channel show could cut her career down to tweet size. Ingraham made the mistake of mocking student leader David Hogg’s reaction to being turned down by several colleges. Ingraham is great at dishing invective, less so at taking it.

April 3, 2018
Elizabeth_Holmes_2014_(cropped)

The Fashion Of Silicon Knavery

Holmes amassed several billion selling a modern Silicon Valley fantasy using old-fashioned smoke and mirrors. She built a “narrative” around herself as the mythical tech genius. She wore black turtlenecks like Steve Jobs. She reveled in having dropped out of college like Jobs and Bill Gates. She gave her blood-analyzing device the brainy but simple name of “Edison.”

March 29, 2018

Lesson For Democrats: Why Lamb And Lipinski Won

Consider a recent House primary race in Illinois. If there is any Democrat a liberal might want to see the last of, it’s Chicago-area Rep. Dan Lipinski. Lipinski voted against the Affordable Care Act because of the mandate requiring employers to cover birth control. (Let the record show that he’s since opposed Republican efforts to kill Obamacare.)

March 27, 2018

Hey Kids! Don’t Let The Gun Lobby Wear You Down

The 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado opened a new horrifying chapter in U.S. gun violence. The nation stood transfixed for months. But a subsequent parade of mass shootings has worn down the shock over carnage on school property. The public became so numbed that even the 2012 slaughter of 20 elementary school children in Newtown, Connecticut, failed to produce meaningful response in Washington.

March 26, 2018

Capital Idea: Seize The Oligarchs’ Manhattan Penthouses

Finally, finally, there’s talk of hitting back at Putin where his filthy-rich cronies hurt — their mansions, Bentleys and other baubles of the posh life in Britain. A study released by Deutsche Bank in 2015 says that Russians were a major source of the $129 billion that had made its way into Britain through secret offshore dealings the previous nine years.

March 21, 2018

When Only A Human Will Do

As computers continue to replace cashiers, ticket vendors and bank tellers, consumers increasingly don’t notice or care much whether they are dealing with a human or a machine. The big exception is when they do. Consumers often prefer the convenience of interacting with computers. A checkout employee who doesn’t know the price of Gala apples adds grit to the smooth functioning of an over-scheduled day.

March 11, 2018

Are We Losing Mexico? And Canada?

The United States under President Trump has been retreating from leadership roles in Asia and Europe. Closer to home, his hot rhetoric about trade with Mexico and Canada is propelling our neighbors to start pulling away. Two truths here: One is that the benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement — a three-country deal — have flowed in all directions.

March 1, 2018

Middle America Must Lead On Guns

America desperately needed a new kind of citizen leader to force political change. She found it in the students, parents and teachers scarred by the massacre at a Parkland, Florida, high school. Watch how effective they’ve been at making the case for tighter gun laws. Watch how they’ve alarmed politicians under NRA control.

February 28, 2018
Putin, Trump, Russian Disinformation

Kremlin Appeasement: Why Is Trump So Deathly Afraid Of Putin?

There’s no mention of Donald Trump, obviously, but it’s hard to see the movie without feeling some heartbreak for an America now enduring a dark hour — that is, Russia’s ravaging of our democratic core. Our political culture is under threat, but we have no Churchill to fight back.

February 22, 2018

Trump Turns Farmers Into A Sacrifice

President Trump’s budget blueprint would only make things worse for U.S. agriculture. Trump’s hostility to trade deals has already inflicted damage on an economic sector highly dependent on exports. And that’s on top of his deficit-exploding tax bill and cranked-up federal spending, sure to make borrowing still more expensive.

February 15, 2018
cookie crumble

The Tax Cuts Are Truly A Crummy Deal For Most Of Us

Would someone kindly replace Nancy Pelosi as a spokesperson for Democrats? The House minority leader’s riff on the tax bill as “crumbs” for average Americans bombed on two fronts. One was her snide and preachy tone. The other was linking “crumbs” to $1,000-or-better bonuses that a few companies said they will distribute out of their tax savings.

February 8, 2018
Climate Change

Clean Energy And Dollars Are Both Green

Some of the nation’s fiercest winds tear across the 100-odd miles separating Casper and Rawlins, making Wyoming a potential colossus of wind power. So why is Wyoming the only state to tax wind power? Ask the politicians representing America’s biggest producer of coal. Or simpler, check their donor list.

February 6, 2018

Can These Corporate Titans Reform Health Care — And Tame Big Pharma?

President Trump offered few words about health care in his State of the Union address. He did mention drug prices, though. “One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs,” he said. “In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States. … That […]

January 31, 2018
stock market

Stock Market Up: What Americans Sacrificed for Modest Economic Gain

“America is roaring back,” Donald Trump pitched to the global elite gathered in Davos, Switzerland. Those back home should be asking two questions: How loud, really, is that roar? (The economy’s, not Trump’s.) And what price are Americans paying for his approach to growth? The Davos billionaires are not unimpressed by the opportunities offered by […]

January 29, 2018
shutdown

Who Blinked In The Shutdown Game? It Doesn’t Matter

By Groundhog Day, the government shutdown will have been largely forgotten. That’s a guarantee. As memory of that long weekend fades, the matter of whether Democrats won, lost or tied in the deal to reopen the federal government will be of little consequence — at least to those of us who have lives. But the […]

January 25, 2018
Aziz Ansari

That Bad Date With Aziz Ansari Wasn’t Really A Date

Nothing TV star Aziz Ansari did during that now-infamous one-night stand constituted sexual assault. It wasn’t even a proper one-night stand. Ansari and the young woman never engaged in carnal intercourse. But the woman accused Ansari of being a sexist brute nonetheless. Herein lies a cautionary tale for all. Given the fictional name of “Grace,” […]

January 24, 2018
immigration

Why The Republicans Refuse To Fix Immigration

President Trump and the Republican leadership have made clear that they have no intention of repairing our chaotic immigration system. Why not? Because illegal immigration is a problem that bothers most Americans. Fix it and all these politicians have are tax cuts for the rich, environmental degradation, soaring deficits and the loss of health care. […]

January 21, 2018
Allies

Democrats Need To Stop Ingesting The Right’s Propaganda

Clinton left office with a higher approval rating than did Reagan. Yet the Democrat running to replace him, Vice President Al Gore, kept a distance between himself and Clinton during the campaign. Despite all the evidence that Clinton remained quite popular, Gore’s campaign chose to ingest the right’s propaganda that most Americans disliked him.

January 16, 2018

For At Least One News Cycle, Trump Talks Sense On Immigration

Notably, he used the word “comprehensive” in talking about reform, a poisonous term for many opposed to legalizing the presence of millions here without papers. Proposed comprehensive reforms would also strengthen enforcement of immigration laws to curb future flows of undocumented workers.

January 12, 2018
dancing monkeys

Trump’s Dancing Monkeys Break Bipartisan Hearts

Sen. Lindsey Graham’s reputation as an honorable conservative lies like a ripped-up banana peel at the bottom of the baboon cage. What happened? What turned the principled voice from South Carolina, respected by Republicans and Democrats alike, into one of Donald Trump’s dancing monkeys?

January 9, 2018

Celebrate Freedom, Not Pot

Make no mistake. She fully supports the legalization of pot, as well as the decriminalization of hard drugs. The war on drugs has been a costly failure, and the right to smoke, ingest or bathe in pot is a fine thing to celebrate. But that should turn pot into just another legal substance to be regulated, taxed and, importantly, used with care. It’s not the new Roman god.

January 4, 2018

Seven Habits Of Highly Effective Resisters

Cleaning up the cultural and civic debris left by Donald Trump and his right-wing helpers will require concerted effort. The “resistance” is determined to do that, but to succeed, its members must develop some effective strategies and drop counterproductive ones. Here are seven suggestions:

January 2, 2018