'No offence but that of negritude'

NOTE: I would like to apologize for the use of some archaic language and painfully explicit descriptions in what follows. Difficult as it is to read, I believe it helps highlight true horrors in our past that Americans must confront. Even before the first protesters demanding justice for all took to the streets of cities…

Trump joins past U.S. presidents who 'like the numbers being where they are'

President Trump ignited a firestorm of criticism following his comments Friday at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). After Trump explained, “I’d rather have the people stay” on the 3,500 person cruise ship anchored near San Francisco with 21 coronavirus cases “because I like the numbers being where they are,” Philip Bump of the Washington…

Two cheers for Mitt Romney’s Lincolnesque moment

One day after he cast his historic vote to remove President Donald Trump office, Utah Senator and former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has continued to receive accolades for his principled and lonely stand. But Romney didn’t merely buck his Party of Lincoln in becoming the first Senator to ever vote to convict an impeached president…

Robert Jeffress is Donald Trump’s minister of hate

By now, Americans have grown accustomed to incendiary rhetoric from the raging right. Nevertheless, the past week witnessed some truly explosive eruptions from some of the leading lights of the conservative movement. Last Sunday, Donald Trump warned that his impeachment and removal from office could trigger a second civil war. Three days later, frequent Fox News…

A comparison from history, just because

Candidate A served 8 years in his state legislature Candidate B served 6 years on his city council. Candidate A  served one term in the US House of Representatives, choosing not to run again. Candidate B served three terms in the US House of Representatives, then ran directly for higher office. Candidate A ran for…

The comical myth of Abraham Lincoln Trump

If nothing else, Donald Trump is a one-of-a-kind occupant of the Oval Office. His jaw-dropping corruption, staggering incompetence, mind-numbing policy ignorance, puerile penchant for payback, and unprecedented deceit put the Trump presidency in a class by itself. Nevertheless, Trump’s courtiers, sycophants, and water-carriers have tried to elevate his leadership to a place among the greatest…

A higher patriotism

Just in time for the Fourth of July, Gallup released the results of its latest survey of patriotism. Its primary finding? For the first time in Gallup's 18-year history asking U.S. adults how proud they are to be Americans, fewer than a majority say they are “extremely proud.” Currently, 47% describe themselves this way, down…

America in black and white in Alabama

In an age of “both sides do it” and “teach the debate,” some issues are simply black and white. So it was this week in Alabama, where truth and myth, hate and hagiography collided in two stories of the ongoing legacy of the Civil War and white supremacy. On Monday, the “Heart of Dixie” celebrated…

The president’s address to the nation on Russian cyber aggression

As prepared for delivery by the president (provided the president is not named Donald Trump), February 12, 2018. My fellow Americans, I have requested this time tonight to speak to you regarding a matter of the greatest national urgency. As your commander in chief, I have no greater responsibility and no more solemn obligation than the…

Vergangenheitsbewältigung in America

This year represents the 25th anniversary of one of the great enduring memes of modern American culture and politics. In his thundering speech at the 1992 Republican National Convention, former Nixon hatchet man and Adolf Hitler admirer-turned GOP presidential candidate Pat Buchanan darkly warned of a “cultural war” already underway, one he deemed a “struggle…

For the Party of Lincoln, everything is 'worse than Dred Scott'

On Dec. 12, Alabamans will go to the polls in a special election to determine the replacement for Sen. Jeff Sessions, who is now Donald Trump’s hatchet man at the Justice Department. Despite Republican control of every statewide office, there is a remote chance the “Heart of Dixie” may send a Democrat to the Senate for the…

Trump's willing supremacists

In the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, this week, Republicans were shocked—SHOCKED—to find that President Trump was providing air cover for neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Declaring “there can be no moral ambiguity,” House Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted, “White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for.” Mitt Romney, the GOP’s…

'Freedmen,' an alternative to HBO’s alternative history, 'Confederate'

What if the South had won the Civil War? Hardly a new question, and it’s doubtless one of the most common counterfactual thought exercises in American history. It’s also already been recently asked—though not answered seriously—in the 2004 mockumentary, CSA: The Confederate States of America. Nevertheless, HBO is turning to some of the folks who brought…

Clean Energy Election Victory for Illinois' Largest Public Utility

Illinois' largest public utility will now be overseen by a mayor who pledged to keep renewable energy as part of its energy mix. Springfield's Democratic Mayor-elect Jim Langfelder deserves credit for talking about clean energy. Some candidates avoided the topic because it's controversial after a wind power contract became more costly than expected. With most…

Happy Birthday Abraham Lincoln: Enemy of the 1%

Happy birthday Abraham Lincoln! When Lincoln anniversaries come around I sometimes enjoy comparing the views of the first Republican president to the Republican party of today. Tax policies offer a stark contrast. Lincoln supported progressive income tax structures that asked the rich to pay their fair share. As a member of the Illinois state legislature,…