Columnists

Democrats better off playing by the rules

When you lose a game, particularly a game you had good reason to expect you’d win, do you try to figure out how to play better? Or is your first reaction to demand changes in the rules? In the case of the Democratic Party, it’s the latter. Perhaps that comes naturally to a party that ...

On the Eve of the Fall campaign season

While political activists have been caught up in the 2018 midterm elections for most of the past two years, most Americans haven’t been paying attention. That will begin to change after Labor Day as people who don’t obsess about politics begin to consider the choices before them. Because ...

Collapse of the career politicians

The prevailing consensus among political analysts in the United States about Donald Trump’s victory in 2016 centers on the idea that career politicians in America have, over time, become divorced from the realities of day to day existence in America. Washington politicians seem less able to ...

Immigrants and disease

The Immigration and Nationality Act mandates that all immigrants and refugees undergo a medical screening examination to determine whether they have an inadmissible health condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has technical instructions for medical examination of prospective ...

Toady’s Revenge

Hell hath no fury like a toady scorned. Michael Cohen, to all appearances, seems a hapless sort — a lawyer with no clients, a millionaire whose wealth from New York taxi medallions faced diminishing in the Uber age, a Donald Trump loyalist who received no appointment to a government job, a ...

Do Democrats want an impeachment fight?

“If anyone is looking for a good lawyer,” said President Donald Trump ruefully. “I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen.” Michael Cohen is no Roy Cohn. Tuesday, Trump’s ex-lawyer, staring at five years in prison, pled guilty to a campaign ...

A church lacking sympathy

I can testify from a lifetime of personal experience that practice does not really make perfect. Since the presidency of Harry Truman, during which I had the honor of being the youngest altar boy in St. Francis Xavier Parish to serve the standing-room-only midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, I have ...

Democrats supporting criminals

Democratic lawmakers don’t have your back — unless you’re a criminal undocumented immigrant. Then liberal lawmakers from coast to coast, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, will deploy every available resource to protect you and your family. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? One ...

A time to mourn

Ecclesiastes tells us that there’s a time to mourn and a time to dance, but lately I can hardly find time to mourn — and I’m dancing as fast as I can. These thoughts came tumbling down after the heart-wrenching news that Aretha Franklin had died. I spent the day re-listening to all my ...

Today’s recipes feature garden produce

Zucchini Cookies 1/4 c. butter, softened 1/2 c. sugar 1 tsp. vanilla 2 eggs 1-1/2 c. flour 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder 1/2 c. shredded carrots 1-1/2 c. shredded zucchini 1 c. walnuts Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two cookie sheets. Beat together ...

Time for another reformation

Few words can describe the horror that comes from reading a Pennsylvania grand jury report on sexual abuse by Catholic priests in state dioceses over a 70-year period. At least 300 priests used their roles within the church to prey on the innocent. They groomed their victims with special ...

The center of American politics does not hold

If there’s a single idea that has defined the politics of the last 70 years it is the notion of “the center.” What constituted the center of American politics has always been up for debate. Did the center mean mushy moderation? Was it the “reasonable” midpoint between the right and ...

The power of will

My "Will" is like a less interesting Mary Poppins. The wind blows her in when I need her, but not when it would just be kinda cool to have her around. I know she'd never miss a visitation when a mysterious illness requires an exhaustive research initiative or when there is a problem in my kid's ...

Ryons’ cat burial

Dr. Joel Ryon was headed for Mt. Pleasant’s swimming pool for a workout. He is a triathlete having competed in Ironman triathlons and also the Boston Marathon. It was his day off from his busy hospital schedule and he was looking forward to a little water therapy and a good mile-long swim. ...

Hogs get butchered

After a brief rally, hog prices ended on the chopping block again, falling to a 20-month low near 50 cents per pound. Prices are tumbling as U.S. trade delegations have failed to make headway with China and Mexico, the two largest buyers of U.S. pork. Earlier this year, both nations imposed ...

The Catholic Church needs a #MeToo moment

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis’s letter to the Catholic faithful this week was remarkable in that the Holy Father apologized not only for the sexual abuses carried out by Roman Catholic priests but also for the coverup of that abuse carried out by Roman Catholic bishops. “The heart-wrenching ...

The reality of young people sentenced to life without parole

Last week, I wrote about the plight of Pamela Smart, who, in 1991, at the age of 22, was found guilty of conspiracy to murder her husband. Gregg Smart was shot dead by his wife’s 16-year-old lover and another teenager. Pamela was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. To ...

When the president’s behavior Is reprehensible

The news about the president is shocking. Behavior that would get most people fired has taken place, and something must be done. Are we, as a nation, not up in arms when a president: —Is repeatedly and humiliatingly unfaithful to his wife? —Engages in sexually exploitative conduct with ...

The thrill of a grill

Summer is a time for fireworks, swimming and lighting things on fire. The safest way to do this is with a grill and not, say, a flamethrower (though the flamethrower would be considerably more fun, quicker and less stressful way to barbeque). My grilling journey got off to a rough start. ...

Do politics matter?

This week, I bought my wife a present for her birthday: a glass-blowing class. The teacher was, predictably, an eclectically artistic type in Los Angeles, and a down-the-line liberal. As with most conversations these days, the talk turned to President Trump. She quickly let me know her opinion ...