Other Commentaries

Presidential trivia for election day

With the presidential derby of 2016 heating up, many a conversation will deal with our quadrennial phenomenon. Here are some facts and figures which might hold one in good stead in electoral discussions: —   Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest president at 42, but John F. Kennedy, at ...

Trump’s accusers minus facts

The roll out of women accusers against Donald Trump continues. On Oct. 20, accuser No. 10, Karena Virginia, charged that Trump took hold of her right arm in a crowd after the 1998 U.S. Open. When he did, his hand also made contact with the side of her breast. Attorney Gloria Allred, a ...

Which way does Nobel wind blow?

The world got a bit of a surprise when headlines popped, many with implicit question marks, that Bob Dylan — he who needs virtually no introduction — won the Nobel Prize in Literature. The first American to win the prize since Toni Morrison in 1993, he is also the only American to win the ...

Some dirty tricks: Then and now

Students of the Watergate era (or those old enough to have lived through it) will recall the “dirty tricks” played by Richard Nixon’s henchmen, most notably Donald Segretti. Segretti, who was hired by Nixon’s deputy assistant, Dwight Chapin, was tasked with smearing Democrats, including ...

Coal refuse recovery works

When government messes up, it’s usually big news. On the flip side, government initiatives that work well are often overlooked and don’t get the attention they deserve. An example is the decision Pennsylvania made decades ago to encourage private enterprise to undertake the cleanup of ...

Enjoying freedom to work

If a person wants to go into business as a taxicab owner, what requirements should be imposed to protect the public? The prospective taxicab owner should show that he is honest and can operate a vehicle safely. His vehicle should pass a safety inspection, and he should have a liability ...

America better than latest debate

Whatever else it may have been, Sunday's debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump wasn't very presidential.Taunts of how she should be in jail and he's unqualified may thrill the partisan bases, but they do nothing to help the nation move forward.The mutual disgust and enmity was so ...

Smell of victory, and defeat, in air

It is all but impossible for you or for me to understand, let alone appreciate, how painfully public and publicly painful it must be for a losing major-party presidential nominee to bear the agony of losing the November general election.The first line of your obituary has now been written.Your ...

Inform us of ‘government goodies’

We all like something for nothing.Politicians take advantage of that fact by taxing businesses and spending the money on goodies for us.The goodies look free to us as we don't pay for them directly. Unfortunately, we do pay for them indirectly and there are other negative consequences for us as ...

Is Putin bringing back ’30s?

WASHINGTON - Vladimir Putin's serial humiliations of America's bewildered secretary of state regarding Syria indicate Putin's determination to destabilize the world.Here is an even more ominous indication of events moving his way: On just one day last week, Italian ships plucked 6,055 migrants ...

Surprise: Election goes below belt

No one expected the "October Surprise" of the 2016 campaign to be a video with a member of the Bush family recorded on his way to a cameo in a soap opera.Nor did anyone expect the second presidential debate to take on the air of pro wrestling.But Donald Trump's decade-old lewd remarks, and his ...

Reforming pension for Halloween

HARRISBURG - With Halloween in a few weeks, not long after the General Assembly ostensibly wraps up its legislative session, we could be soon witnessing the birth of a pension monster-of-sorts.Call it Franken-reform.A potential effort to throw together several retirement plan options from which ...

First Ladies were not enablers

Having lost badly to Hillary Clinton in their first debate, Donald Trump turned to a subject on which he can claim expertise: screwing around.Not his own, in this case, but Bill Clinton's sexual indiscretions, which he is attempting to hang around Hillary's neck. The logistical challenge is ...

Gov. Wolf getting a significant dose of political humility

Gov. Tom Wolf got a rude reminder recently that he is not Barack Obama; just because something flies in Washington, there's no guarantee it will get off the ground in Harrisburg.The bucket of cold water was tossed by Commonwealth Court.It soaked Wolf's attempt to govern by executive ...

Admiring foreign leaders?

Asked on a TV show to name a foreign leader he admires, Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gov. Gary Johnson choked. He couldn't produce a name. He said he had "a brain freeze."The media pounced."Unable to name a foreign leader," sneered NPR. "Cannot name one," echoed USA Today.But that's ...

Death penalty should be banned

Most of the civilized world has come to regard killing someone held in captivity as barbaric.The death penalty has been abolished in the European Union and 19 U.S. states. Governors in four states that do permit capital punishment - Colorado, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington - have imposed a ...

Islamic State terrorists need harsh treatment

Islamic State terrorists have been guilty of atrocities truly worthy of the history books.They need not be detailed here, other than to note their viciousness has been broad as well as deep.IS torturers and murderers often focus on certain groups, however. Christians are among them. So are ...

Excuses for losing don’t cut it

When Mitt Romney lost in 2012, there was very little discussion of blame.Everyone assumed that Romney simply lost because he didn't do a good enough job of convincing voters to punch the ballot for him.He didn't debate Barack Obama properly; he didn't stand up to Candy Crowley; he backed off of ...

Addiction must be treated as disease

Opioid addiction and the recent epidemic spikes have received unprecedented media attention.The images in the media rightfully suggest that communities are heavily decimated by episodic incidents of opioid overdoses.And, unfortunately, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ...

Some advice for second debate

Donald Trump scored a gentleman's "C'' in his first debate with Hillary Clinton.She was programmed, like one of those androids from the film "Westworld," spewing out well-rehearsed sound bites, smiling (sometimes condescendingly), and even tossing in a few wiggles.It was all designed to make ...