April 23, 2014
Re "Money won't buy you votes," Opinion, April 20 Law professor Peter H. Schuck makes the ridiculous suggestion that because the amount of money spent in the 2012 election was considerably less than what Americans spent on cosmetic surgery in 2011, we shouldn't worry about it. Then he notes that campaign spending as a share of the gross domestic product has not risen appreciably for more than a century. Why should campaign spending be related to economic output? Schuck cites a study finding that an extra $175,000 in campaign spending increases a candidate's vote tally by a third of a percentage point.
May 7, 2013 |
When the Supreme Court - in our view wrongly - ruled that corporations had a constitutional right to spend their money to influence elections, it also said that disclosure of such expenditures "permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way. " In that spirit, the Securities and Exchange Commission should heed a petition drive to require publicly traded companies to disclose their political spending to...
September 13, 2012 |
The 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics ended this week with a giant parade through London, where I had fled to recover from back-to-back political conventions in the U.S. There are similarities between these domestic and international spectacles. Truth is, the Olympic Games have never done much for me. In fact, I find them a bit sinister: the strident nationalism; the elevation of victory in a sports competition to the level of something terribly important; the constant insistence that they really are important; the talented young kids who are encouraged to put childhood aside to spend four or 12 or 50 hours a day honing their talents, most of them destined for disappointment; the corporate sponsorship that gets more oppressive every four years; the hectoring theme music, etc. (OK, so I'm a pompous, bloodless, soulless, un-American jerk.
August 17, 2013
Re "Invoking God in America," Opinion, Aug. 14 Joseph Margulies posits that a kind of generic "civil religion" pervades politics. This helps explain why candidates persist in touting their belief in God, blatant pandering that flouts the Constitution's declaration that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification for any office. " Perhaps future candidates will heed this emphatic stricture from a document that, as Margulies puts it, is a "demonstration of God's hand in helping to guide America's destiny.
July 4, 2012
Re "Roberts shows he puts law above politics," June 30 What a sad state of affairs that we praise the chief justice of the Supreme Court because he "puts law ahead of politics. " Have we stooped that low? Of course, the country can be thankful thatJohn G. Roberts Jr.'s constitutional training brought him to his decision. Our country will be better for it. Are we to take from this that the four justices who voted against the Affordable Care Act put their politics before the law?
May 21, 2013 |
It's as predictable as it is disheartening: A red state gets hit hard by a tornado outbreak -- in this case killing at least 24 people, many of them children attending school -- and the first batch of letters from readers (most of them from Southern California) use the tragedy to score political points. Sure, many of the letters express heartfelt condolences, but not without landing some political punches before signing off. It's as if Americans who dwell in disaster-prone areas don't have a right to believe in low taxes and smaller government.
September 26, 2010 |
I don't want to hear one more rude comment about John Boehner's skin. Who cares? I know someone who wears the same self-tanning unguent; who suffers from the same unfortunate conviction that this glow makes him look healthy, rather than uremic or malarial. And in Mr. Boehner's defense, he looks a lot better than a friend I'll call Bill, who on top of the orange additive look also has blotches and scales from sun damage. At least House Minority Leader Boehner knows to exfoliate, and for that I am grateful.
January 19, 2014
Re “The truth about political lies,” Editorial, Jan. 16 Perhaps it's inappropriate to make lying about political figures (and policies) a criminal offense. But it is the major reason for the current political divide. There is no truly objective and widely publicized journalistic “committee” whose sole job is to verify the facts. An “educated citizenry” was suppose to solve this problem, but that hasn't worked. So we must question whether the truth, if it were known, would be chosen over the ideology of choice.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 18, 2013 |
George Skelton can thank Warren Spahn for putting him on the path to writing about politics. More than 50 years ago, the famous baseball pitcher yanked off Skelton's press badge during an All-Star game in San Francisco, proving himself to be a "serial pilferer who thought nothing of bullying sports writers. " Afterward, Skelton asked his bosses at United Press International for a transfer to Sacramento to cover state government, he says in his Thursday column . "I soon learned there are many similarities between politics and sports," Skelton writes.