Category Archives: Commentary

Hidden in plain sight: The “unimpeachable” offenses

If what's impeachable is only what members of Congress say it is, constituents should insist that egregiously narrow definitions must no longer prevail.

Impeachment dramas on Capitol Hill have routinely skipped over a question that we should be willing to ask even if Congress won’t: “What about a president’s unimpeachable offenses?” Continue reading

Cancel perks for the worst US president in history

How should the nation respond to an ex-president who has incited an insurrection, brought our democracy to the brink of destruction, and left so much pain and suffering in his wake? Continue reading

Democrats disarm themselves before Trump’s Senate impeachment trial

If the Democrats do not go full throttle in this trial—this last clear chance to exercise the Constitution against Tyrant Trump—they will be remembered as profiles of infamy.

Donald Trump has, with luck, eluded the consequences of being a failed gambling czar with no respect for the law. But his luck has reached a new level with Congressional Democrats refraining from holding him accountable for breaking the law and violating the Constitution as regularly as the rising and setting of the sun for four years. (See: December 18, 2019, Congressional Record, H-12197). Continue reading

We need more partisanship, not less

Democrats shouldn’t compromise their solutions to pander to a GOP that is part of the problem.

Unity and bipartisanship sound wonderful. But can anyone explain how “building bridges” to today’s GOP will get anything done? Continue reading

The unintentional honesty of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos

His farewell as CEO recognizes the reality his enormous personal wealth so contemptuously mocks.

Jeff Bezos is stepping down as CEO of Amazon. He’ll stay on as the executive chairman of Amazon’s board, but he’ll no longer be managing the company on a daily basis. Editors and pundits worldwide are treating this news as an epochal event. The supreme giant of the Internet economy, goes the refrain, is moving on. Continue reading

Republicans don’t know much about history, but that won’t stop them

Years ago, when I was back in Washington for a couple of years, writing a series for public television, I lived for a while on Capitol Hill, a couple of blocks behind the Supreme Court. In the morning when I went to work, I would walk to a nearby Metro subway station, look at the Capitol dome and sometimes stare across the Potomac to Virginia. Continue reading

Our mutual fight: The case against Pakistani normalization with Israel

The Pakistani government should never, under any circumstances and no matter the pressure, normalize with Israel. Doing so is not only dangerous—as it will embolden an already vile, racist, violent apartheid Israel—but it would also be considered a betrayal of a historic legacy of mutual solidarity, collective affinity and brotherhood that have bonded Palestinians and Pakistanis for many generations. Continue reading

Brave new world wide web revisited

February 8 marks the silver anniversary of an iconic early manifesto defending the Internet as a space where personal liberties and social cooperation might flourish free of political control … just in time. John Perry Barlow emailed “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” from the World Economic Forum the day Bill Clinton signed into law restraints on free expression via the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Continue reading

Biden, listen to the outsiders

The new president is a lifetime insider, but his legacy now depends on working with those the status quo has failed.

The Democratic Party establishment is now issuing a go-slow warning to the new president they backed. Continue reading

The struggle inside Senator Mitch McConnell’s brain

Allowing the Trumpian half of his brain to overpower his judgment and vote to acquit Dangerous Donald would spell disaster for the Republican Party (assuming the Democratic Party doesn’t go to sleep as it did after Obama’s win in 2008).

Since 2015, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has ruled the Senate with an iron hand, describing himself as “the Guardian of Gridlock.” He was Senator “NO,” except for confirming over 200 mostly corporatist federal judges. Continue reading

Will a Hitlerian impeachment performance ignite Trump’s paramilitary death squads?

Lawyers galore have fled the prospect of representing Donald Trump at his upcoming impeachment trial (the sequel). Continue reading

Biden’s Iran dilemma: Serve Obama’s third term or Trump’s second?

Even before winning the 2020 presidential election, Joe Biden began hedging his bets on US policy toward Iran. While correctly blaming Donald Trump for violating the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, aka the Iran nuclear deal, he tried to fob responsibility for restoring that deal off on the Iranians rather than accepting the job himself. Continue reading

Judging Biden by low standards set by Trump would be an unforgivable catastrophe

We don't have any room to grade this administration on a curve. Progressives must push with everything they've got.

Unless consciously resisted, one of Donald Trump’s lasting triumphs will be the establishment of such a low bar that mediocre standards will prevail for his successor. Of course, providing a clear contrast to the atrocious Trump presidency is irrefutably necessary—but it’s hardly sufficient. Continue reading

Big Tech’s playing Monopoly. It’s going to lose

Over the years, I’ve written many columns concerning the war on Internet freedom. My usual targets are the politicians and government agencies who serve as shock troops for the Dark Side across fronts ranging from encryption to sex worker advertisements to darknet marketplaces. Continue reading

Biden must not surrender

Ten Senate Republican have proposed a COVID relief bill of about $600 billion. That’s less than a third of Biden’s plan. They promise “bipartisan support” if he agrees. Continue reading

Even Trump’s impeachment lawyers are not defending his attempted coup

WASHINGTON—Sunday Donald Trump hired two new lawyers to be his impeachment defense team after he got rid of his prior group of legal defenders. Continue reading

Robinhood: Stealing from the poor to give to the rich

In late January, a band of merry men (and women) organized via Reddit and other Internet forums to stick it to The Man. They began buying shares of failing retail chain GameStop to drive its stock price up. Continue reading

Some corporate-suite context for the fun and games at GameStop

Amid a rising billionaire tide, could a blip help change our national economic conversation?

You’ve probably seen by now some of those new—and jaw-dropping—stats on billionaire wealth. Analysts at Inequality.org started the statistical ball rolling this past fall with riveting research on how much the fortunes of America’s super rich have climbed since Covid began crushing the U.S. economy. This week those same researchers have come back with an alarming update. Continue reading

Corporate media bash teachers’ unions for resisting school reopenings amid rising death toll

Rather than attack the government for its poor handling of the COVID crisis, corporate media have opted for a return to a favorite pastime of theirs: union bashing.

The seven-day average COVID death toll hit an all-time high last Wednesday, with over 3,400 Americans expected to die on any given day. Educator cases are on the rise. Studies have shown that children are as likely to contract and pass the coronavirus on as adults, making schools potential super spreading hotspots. As a result, European nations like the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Austria, Denmark, and the Netherlands are shuttering schools, despite, in many cases, having lower infection rates than the U.S. Continue reading

The sedition that nobody’s talking about

The sudden lurch from Trump to Biden is generating vertigo all over Washington, including the so-called fourth branch of government—CEOs and their army of lobbyists. Continue reading

B’Tselem’s historic declaration: Israel’s open war on its own civil society

“A Regime of Jewish Supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is Apartheid,” was the title of a January 12 report by the Israeli rights group B’Tselem. No matter how one is to interpret B’Tselem’s findings, the report is earth-shattering. The official Israeli response merely confirmed what B’Tselem has stated in no uncertain terms. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: Pro-Biden propaganda

The Democratic Party and its corporate media have already whitewashed Biden, and nothing will be demanded of him except that he not be Trump. Continue reading

The GOP’s resentment theater

When President Biden condemned violent white supremacy, leading Republicans complained. Why?

President Biden recently became the first president to condemn white supremacy by name in an inaugural address. Then some Republicans got mad because, they say, it’s an attack on them. Continue reading

Workers need paid sick leave ASAP

Congress let mandatory paid leave end on Dec. 31. Lawmakers—and employers—need to restore them immediately.

Late last year, Congress allowed federal mandatory emergency paid leave benefits to expire. That left millions of American workers more vulnerable to catching—and spreading—COVID-19. Continue reading

CEOs’ newfound concern for democracy is bunk

The sudden lurch from Trump to Biden is generating vertigo all over Washington, including the so-called fourth branch of government—CEOs and their army of lobbyists. Continue reading

Walter Bernstein survived the Hollywood blacklist—and lived to be 101

The screenwriter was my friend and my hero, a brave opponent of right-wing repression during a dark period of our history.

When the brilliant songwriter George Gershwin passed away, the writer John O’Hara famously declared that Gershwin had died on July 11, 1937, “but I don’t have to believe it if I don’t want to.” Continue reading

New auto safety report demands Biden strengthen federal programs now

It is time for the Biden people to end the soporific record of their predecessors, including that of those from the Obama/Biden administration

Sunday the New York Times rediscovered its previous auto safety news beat that blossomed in the 1960s after my book, Unsafe at Any Speed (1965) caused an uproar in Detroit. Reporter Christopher Jensen told New York Times readers about a new report by a coalition of six automotive safety groups demanding that the new Biden administration recharge the moribund, industry-dominated National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with strong leadership, adequate budget, and long-overdue, proven vehicle safety standards. Continue reading

Keep swinging for justice and freedom: The legacy of Hammerin’ Hank Aaron

My father, a rabid St. Louis Cardinals fan, listened to virtually all their ball games on the radio from our home in Peoria, Illinois. Occasionally, we would drive the three hours to St. Louis to see the Cardinals play in person. Continue reading

The time I got coffee with Hollywood Satanists

They were a lot nicer than QAnon conspiracy theorists seem to believe.

In the interest of stemming the QAnon conspiracy theories about Satanist pedophile rings in Hollywood, I’d like to share my experience with actual Satanists in Hollywood. The truth is so much more boring than the (completely false) conspiracy theories. Continue reading

The other Capitol mob

Much to the embarrassment of major corporations, their political donations were traced to the mayhem of January 6. Continue reading

Fearing the Palestinian narrative: Why Israel banned ‘Jenin Jenin’

On January 11, the Israeli Lod District Court ruled against a Palestinian film-maker, Mahmoud Bakri, ordering him to pay hefty compensation to an Israeli soldier who was accused, along with the Israeli military, of carrying out war crimes in April 2002, in the Palestinian Jenin refugee camp located in the northern occupied West Bank. Continue reading

The Deep State’s stealthy, subversive, silent coup to ensure nothing changes

No doubt about it: the coup d’état was successful. Continue reading