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As Politics Get Shaken Up, a Peace Coalition Emerges

As Politics Get Shaken Up, a Peace Coalition EmergesAfter the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 turned into a mess that led to an immense loss of life and years of violent havoc in the Middle East, the war’s backers flippantly declared that “everyone” agreed on the war. The invasion’s evolving justifications—Saddam’s supposed amassing of “weapons of mass destruction” to his alleged ties to Al-Qaeda—were overblown, but if everyone was in agreement then who could possibly second-guess the military effort? At the Editorial Board of the Orange County Register, we produced one piece after another questioning the war. We even got in a spat with one Fox News personality, who took umbrage at criticism of the war while the fighting was going on. That was somehow unpatriotic. But the United States has been involved in endless conflicts. If Americans held their tongues while bombs are dropping, then when could they ever feel free to air…

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Miami Meltdown

Miami MeltdownBiden was dazed, Bernie was irrelevant, and the other eight Democrats on stage in Miami’s sweltering presidential debate declared illegal immigrants eligible for free health care while promising to take 180 million taxpaying Americans off their own health care plans. Democrats need to follow the example of Nancy Pelosi and keep their heads about them. Presidential campaigns are not exercises in wokeness; they are about winning votes. Next year’s battle for the White House will be about far more: whether the majority of Americans still value checks and balances against the powerful, still support democratic alliances against foreign enemies, and still believe that in the American Experiment’s third century, no man still is above the law. In an act of overstatement that comes routinely for me around six each morning, I declared the first Democratic debate to be a disaster. It was not. Iowa is still seven months away. But…

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The World Is Getting a Pickup Truck Emoji

The World Is Getting a Pickup Truck EmojiIt’s a solid, sturdy looking thing. Painted a handsome navy blue, your truck has just enough rear space to haul something rugged and earthy-smelling—like a Christmas tree or a nice pile of mulch—and a front cab just big enough for you and your golden retriever. You sit there and drive, and Ezekiel hangs his head out the window (Ezekiel is your dog), and the mulch steams in the golden-hour light, and you drive somewhere pretty, like Acadia National Park or the Louvre. Then you get out and look around and sniff deeply of your mulch.Normally, an experience like that might cost you tens of thousands of dollars. But soon it will be free, provided you are content to drive the information superhighway. Next year, at long last, the most popular type of vehicle in the United States will come to smartphones everywhere.The world…

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The Meme Debates

The Meme Debates“We’re not gonna hold back in making sure the candidates stick to time,” the Today Show host Savannah Guthrie threatened at the start of last night’s Democratic debate, the second in as many days. The 60-second constraint the network imposed on the 10 candidates meant that responses would have to be formed from pre-planned atoms of ideas, cleverly fused into stable molecules of coherent political appeal.That’s nothing new when it comes to television news, a medium long known, and criticized, for distilling discourse into sound bites. But in previous eras of newscasting, those nibbles were extracted from longer streams of conversation. One-liners meant to glorify or shame would get extracted later from morning-show interviews or campaign-trail speeches. They didn’t just come into the world naked and alone.But with enough Democratic candidates gunning for the White House to form two football squads, a minimum polling or fundraising qualification was…

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This Feds Are Finally Getting Involved in the Fight Over Right To Repair

This Feds Are Finally Getting Involved in the Fight Over Right To RepairWith 20 states considering Right to Repair bills this legislative cycle, the fight over who can fix the stuff consumers buy and own has become a national policy debate, bringing together an eclectic mix of advocates from across the tech, medical, and farming industries. Even presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) has addressed the issue, indicating that she would support a national right-to-repair law that applies to farm equipment.  On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held a workshop, “Nixing the Fix: A Workshop on Repair Restrictions,” which focused on testimony from experts on how manufacturers limit repairs by consumers and independent repair shops. The event highlighted the growing momentum—and potential for more federal involvement—behind the issue.   “The Nixing the Fix workshop was a big day for Right to Repair,” says Nathan Proctor, the director of the Right to Repair Campaign for…

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Why Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth Tax Won’t Work

Why Elizabeth Warren’s Wealth Tax Won’t WorkPresidential candidate Elizabeth Warren wants the federal government to provide free health care for every American, child care for every parent, college for every student who wants it, and housing for low-income families. And she wants to pay for it all with a new tax on the richest of the rich. She calls it the “ultra-millionaire tax.” Skimming a bit more off the top of the bank accounts of the ultra-wealthy might sound like a good deal for working- and middle-class Americans. But the reality is that wealth taxes have been tried before, and they haven’t worked the way Warren promises.  Warren wants to levy a 2 percent annual wealth tax on all households with a net worth of over $50 million and a 3 percent annual tax on those households with a net worth of more than $1 billion. Unlike an income tax or a sales…

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