Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Memo Pad
David Daleiden

For Planned Parenthood, Justice Seldom Gets More Poetic

Yes, lies have always moved faster than truth. But it feels good to see truth pull even every now and then.

January 31, 2016

Anti-Abortion Activists Get Caught In Their Own Sting

Like other so-called stings by ultraconservative “citizen-journalists,” this operation did not depend on fairness, accuracy or transparency. Of course, that didn’t stop conservative politicians from pouncing on the opportunity to show their support.

January 30, 2016

Iowa: Hardly Anybody Votes, But Everybody Worries

TV reporters know that the one question they don’t want to ask a voter in a live interview is: “Did you vote in the last caucus?”

January 27, 2016

Track Palin, Sarah’s Latest Political Opportunity

His mother’s clumsy attempt to shift blame for what he allegedly did speaks volumes about the devolution of conservatism in the last two decades.

January 24, 2016
Sarah Palin and Donald Trump cartoon

This Week In Crazy: A Down And Dirty ‘Squirmish’

Did you know that you can measure your patriotism by the number of times you’ve seen 13 Hours? It’s true. If you haven’t seen 13 Hours yet, it means you hate America. Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the loony, bigoted, and hateful behavior of the increasingly unhinged right wing.

January 22, 2016

Cuban Migrants Get Unfair Advantage Over Other Latinos

The Cold War is over, but it still deeply distorts U.S. immigration policy. Consider the bizarre situation in which Cuban migrants get unfair advantage over other Latinos. That special treatment needs to end.

January 15, 2016

Portrait Of The Actor: Sean Penn’s Scenes In Real Life (Remembered)

Sean Penn sat in front of me in history class, junior year at Santa Monica High School — the school rising on a hill with a quadrangle you see in ‘Rebel Without a Cause.’ He kept turning around to talk, the blue-eyed boy with all the questions. The younger, brown-eyed girl had all the answers — at least in history class. At 16, the existentialist devilish streak was already a mile wide. I got to know him well, coming of age.

January 15, 2016

Rhetoric Seldom Matches Reality Of Motherhood

The heartbreaking truth is that mothers without paid maternity leave try, try, try — too often without help and without hope, too. They are never able to get ahead, and their children start out behind. This, from the country that President Barack Obama declared during Tuesday’s State of the Union address to be “the most powerful nation on earth, period.”

January 14, 2016
Trump border wall

Why The GOP’s Fence Fantasy Is A Farce

A proper wall, we’re told, makes good neighbors. But an 18-foot high, 2,000-mile-long wall goes way beyond proper, and it both antagonizes your neighbor and screams out your own pitiful fear and weakness.

January 13, 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

Fighting Ignorance With A Quiet Call For Peace

As a general rule, I loathe both Holocaust and slavery comparisons. So yes, ordinarily I loathe such comparisons. Yet I’m here to make one. Because, as more than one observer has noted, the parallels between the rise of Adolf Hitler and that of Donald Trump have become too neon to ignore.

January 13, 2016

State Of The Union Vs. State Of The Trump

Barack Obama really does not have it so bad. He gets $400,000 a year in salary, $50,000 in expenses, a fleet of planes, a car and driver, and almost all the golf he can stand. In other words, the president’s life is almost as good as Donald Trump’s. With one major exception: President Obama feels actual remorse. And considerable responsibility. And Trump may never have felt either.

January 13, 2016

Democrats Must Also Address Illegal Immigration

As respectable Republicans panic over Donald Trump’s storm of insults against Hispanics, Democrats may be tempted to sit back and watch the other party estrange millions of potential voters. But they do so at their own peril.

January 12, 2016

Firing Florida Atlantic Professor Long Overdue

Florida Atlantic University finally canned the despicable James F. Tracy. Despite what he might say, his travails have nothing to do with the First Amendment.

January 12, 2016

President Obama’s Tear A Starkly Human Thing

One nation, two realities, one of them populated by the NRA and its GOP henchmen, by extremists who don’t just own guns or like guns, but who sanctify and worship guns and so regard even the most humble effort to check their destructive power as blasphemy against their god.

January 10, 2016

Misguided War On Drugs Has Left Many Victims With Scars

A new frankness and sympathy concerning the physical, emotional and financial costs of drug addiction comes as white middle-class Americans have found their lives upended by the emergence of heroin as the drug of choice for their children and grandchildren.

January 9, 2016

Kid Gloves For Homegrown Extremists Are Part Of A Strategy

If the gun-toting men were black or Muslim, went the typical argument, they would have incurred the full, militarized wrath of law enforcement. So it might appear, but if you think law enforcement agencies are being deferential out of fear, you couldn’t be more wrong.

January 8, 2016

This Week In Crazy: Welcome Back To The Nuthouse

And we’re back. The right wing kicked the year off by freaking out in spectacular fashion to President Obama’s executive actions on gun control, indulging in some pandering to those precious Iowan evangelical ballot punchers, and kicking that dead horse called “traditional marriage” into a pulp. Welcome to “This Week In Crazy.”

January 8, 2016

Obama’s Beautiful Words: Actions Fall Short

The president wept and spoke eloquently on gun violence. This is altogether fitting. Yet his actual actions are not always as sweeping as his beautiful language suggests.

January 8, 2016
A selection of AK and AR rifles are seen for sale at the Pony Express Firearms shop in Parker, Colorado December 7, 2015. Many Americans are stocking up on weapons after the country's worst mass shooting in three years. Gun retailers are reporting surging sales, with customers saying they want to keep handguns and rifles at hand for self-defense in the event of another attack. REUTERS/Rick Wilking - RTX1XMR4

A President Cries, And The NRA Trembles

Republican right-wing propagandist Ted Cruz said: “We don’t beat the bad guys by taking away our guns. We beat the bad guys by using our guns.” If he weren’t serious, he’d be hilarious. It’s so easy to imagine all 5 feet 8 inches of him standing there in the dirt with spurs jingling as his hands hover over the Colts in the gun belt slung around his hip-huggers.

January 7, 2016

What Happens When Private Money Pays For Science?

More and more funding for new research is coming not from government grants, but from private donors who concentrate their investments in a few hand-picked enclaves. And so big private money begets more big private money.

January 7, 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

Bullets, Ballots And Baloney

This is America. You feel blue or you get angry or you get drunk or you take drugs or you get driven by the demons speaking to you from inside your skull, and you grab a gun. When it comes to gun violence, it’s not about the numbers anymore. It is about the numbness.

January 6, 2016

Should Big Corporations Pay The Taxes They Owe?

We’re being told America must let the CEOs “repatriate” their foreign bounty by essentially forgiving the taxes they owe on it. That way, the corporations get to keep the money, and America gets to keep the corporations.

January 6, 2016

High Taxes, Regulations, And A Swell Economy

In the mythology of the right, California must fail. Its high taxes, strict environmental rules, and thick book of regulations are all ingredients in the conservative recipe for economic meltdown. That California is prospering nicely throws a pie in the face of its harshest critics.

January 5, 2016