Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Monday, October 24, 2016
gene lyons
trump castro connection

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
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is seen on video monitors as people take photographs during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The So-Called ‘Year Of The Angry Voter’

Supposedly 2016 is the Year of the Angry Voter. To hear the pundits tell it, Americans are just furious. Well, call me smug or out of touch, but I think it’s mainly a fad

August 9, 2016
Republican U.S. Presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign event at Cumberland Valley High School in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania August 1, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Can Donald Even Last These Final Hundred Days?

The question isn’t so much if Donald Trump can win the election as whether or not he’ll still be the GOP candidate come November. Nobody can predict what mad trajectory the Republican nominee’s campaign might take.

August 3, 2016
FBI Director James Comey testifies before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the "Oversight of the State Department" in Washington U.S. July 7, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

They Were Never Close To Indicting Hillary — 20 Years Ago Or Yesterday

Decades ago, one U.S. attorney dismissed another Clinton scandal on its face: “Even media questions about such an investigation,” he wrote, “all too often publicly purport to ‘legitimize what can’t be proven.’” Keep that phrase in mind.

July 13, 2016
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton comments on the just-released Benghazi report as she speaks at Galvanize, a learning community for technology, in Denver

Email Servers Are Just The Latest Manufactured Scandal

Many of those “questions” about Hillary’s dishonesty originated in acts of journalistic malpractice so crude that their authors would have been shamed out of the profession—if the profession had any shame at the Washington pundit level.

July 6, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Greensboro, North Carolina on June 14, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

Will Trump Last The Election?

An ordinary sociopath would have known to pretend shock and sorrow after the terrible mass murders in Orlando. Shielded from ordinary human interaction by his arrogance and wealth, however, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump had no clue how to act.

June 22, 2016
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses the audience at the theater of the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 16, 2016. REUTERS/Alvin Baez

How Sanders Made Clinton’s Win Illegitimate

Instead of complaining about the complexity of election rules, Sanders would have been wiser to ignore Wall Street and billionaires for a few minutes to explain those rules to his supporters.

June 8, 2016
Protesters picket outside the event site before Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump begins a rally with supporters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S. May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Trump’s Cult Of Lies

Trump doesn’t trim or embroider as much as invent huge, thunderous fictions aimed at boosting himself or hurting his enemies—evidence be damned. In Trump World, facts don’t exist. He cannot be shamed.

May 25, 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
Donald Trump (L) gestures as he stands next to his sister Maryanne Trump Barry, during a break in proceedings of the Aberdeenshire Council inquiry into his plans for a golf resort, Aberdeen, northeast Scotland June 10, 2008. REUTERS/David Moir

Will Trump Get Away With It?

For argument’s sake, let’s say you ran into this Trump character in a bar. First off, he’s boasting about how incredibly smart, rich and good looking he is. He’s a big, big winner. He’s even got his own TV show, and you don’t.

May 4, 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
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters on the night of the Michigan, Mississippi and other primaries at his campaign rally in Miami, Florida March 8, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Bernie’s Softball Candidacy

Imagine if Hillary Clinton had flown to the Vatican and stationed herself at Pope Francis’s door for an ambush interview. She’d be caricatured as a power-mad shrew or worse.

April 20, 2016
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (C) greets customers and employees while campaigning for his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, at the NewBo Market in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in this January 7, 2016 file photo. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein/Files

Let’s Look At The Crime Bill

People holding up signs saying “Hillary is a Murderer” aren’t there for dialogue. The charge is so absurd it’s self-refuting.

April 13, 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
U.S. President Barack Obama waves from the door of Air Force One as he ends his visit to Cuba, at Havana's international airport, March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Obama Still Beats Trump And Cruz

Can anybody doubt that Obama would defeat either leading Republican candidate—the Sideshow Barker and the Snake Charmer alike—in a landslide? Doubtless his increased popularity derives partly from the contrast.

March 30, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event at Clinton Middle School in Clinton, Iowa January 30, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Hillary Clinton Gets All Of The Scrutiny Donald Trump Doesn’t

Some days I wonder if I’m qualified to express opinions about American politics anymore. See, I’m not particularly angry, and I also doubt that voters in general are any more worked up than usual. Voter outrage is mainly a media trope. Even at Donald Trump rallies, there’s a whole lot of sheer entertainment and play-acting.

March 23, 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
journalistic fraud TV news

In 2016, Journalistic Fraud Still Looms Large

“This is an edit so egregious, it rivals the worst in dishonest political ads, and surpasses them.”

February 17, 2016
Former U.S. President Clinton addresses a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Nashua

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
Ammon Bundy departs after addressing the media at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns

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