Columns

Did I or Didn’t I Have COVID-19? Blundering through Unknowable Truths

            Few things are more terrifying than the unknown, as we are discovering as we struggle to navigate, avoid and (if we fail) survive a mysterious new virus. That goes double when reliable information is hard to come by; it is unquantifiably worse without credible leadership.             “Who ya gonna believe,” Chico Marx asked, “me […]

What Happens Next in Afghanistan? The Neo-Taliban

            I shouted the text of my latest story on the invasion from a Palm Pilot into a balky Iridium satellite phone. It was at least my third attempt and the battery was dying. A Village Voice employee assigned to take dictation on the other side of the world interrupted me. “I don’t understand,” she […]

If Trump Wins, Don’t Blame Progressives. This Is on You, Centrists.

            The corporate conservatives who control the Democratic Party are suffering from cheaters’ remorse. The DNC and their media allies (NPR, CNN, MSNBC, New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, Vox, etc.) subverted the will of primary voters, undermining initial frontrunner Bernie Sanders in order to install the worst candidate of the 20 centrists in the campaign. […]

We Need a Centralized Medical System Too

The coronavirus pandemic has laid bare two fundamental flaws in the American healthcare system. Number one: There’s a reason that other rich countries treat healthcare as a taxpayer-financed social program. Employer-based health insurance was stupid pre-COVID-19 because our economy was already steadily transitioning from traditional full-time W-2 jobs to self-employment, freelance and gig work. The […]

So Far, There Is No Reason Not to Believe Tara Reade

            Did Joe Biden finger-rape Tara Reade in the Capitol in 1993? No one knows but the two of them. (Given the former vice president’s obviously fragile mental state, he might not remember.)             Pending the miraculous discovery of ancient surveillance footage, we may never know the truth about this alleged sexual assault. Still, the […]

Save America, Throw the Landlords Under the Bus

            We can save the economy. We have to throw the landlords under the bus to do it.             At this writing, 26.5 million Americans have lost their jobs to the national lockdown necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Added to those who were unemployed before the coronavirus crisis, we will soon face jobless numbers equivalent […]

Don’t Worry, Everything Will Get Back to “Normal”

           When will things get back to normal? Everyone is asking.             The economic lockdown prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a mass unemployment shock, forced countless businesses into bankruptcy and is driving many Americans crazy. But this shall pass.             The good old days will be back. The coronavirus worried city officials. Tens […]

5 Things the Government Must Do Now to Avoid Collapse and/or Revolution

          The COVID-19 medical and economic crisis remains mostly unaddressed by both the Republican and Democratic parties. They have only passed one piece of legislation that significantly helps workers: supplementing existing state unemployment benefits by $600 per week. Those additional payments expire in four months. Until then many people who are out of work will […]

Neither Elizabeth Warren Nor Other Congressmen Have a Plan for the COVID-19 Depression

At least 16 million Americans have lost their jobs to the shutdown ordered to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. That staggering number does not include those who were unable to file due to crashing state websites overwhelmed by new claims, or by freelancers whom the government doesn’t count as unemployed when they lose […]

Progressives Decide: Dignity and Freedom, or Voting for Biden

            Bernie Sanders is out of the race and with him goes the last chance for progressivism to take over the Democratic Party for a generation.             Now his supporters will decide what to do. Intransigent #BernieOrBusters will cast about for a third-party vote, write-in Bernie or sit out the election in November. Other left-leaning […]