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Articles written by Bob Franken

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 By Bob Franken    Opinion    April 18, 2019 

The Trump Whack-a-Mole

President Donald Trump obviously loves playing whack-a-mole. You know, like the amusement-park game where once a thingy is knocked back into a hole, another one pops up somewhere nearby. Trump is a political whack-a-mole wizard. Just as his carnival...

 
 By Bob Franken    Opinion    April 11, 2019

Offense to Defense

Donald Trump's enemies are in agony after Bob Mueller's probe did not uncover sufficient evidence that candidate Trump and his people had colluded with the Russians. Meanwhile, he and his supporters are in a vengeful bliss. But not so fast: There is...

 
 By Bob Franken    Opinion    April 4, 2019

Another Weekend Busted

One lesson the Washington reporter learns very quickly is that he or she should never EVER have unbreakable plans for the weekend. It's a major strain on the relationships that newspersons have with significant others who can accept only so many...

 
 By Bob Franken    Opinion    March 28, 2019

The Final Four

The Democrats could use some sex education. Right now, their candidates are multiplying like crazy, all clamoring for that top berth on the party's presidential ticket. They're clearly in need of some berth control. Absent any family planning, howeve...

 
 By Bob Franken    Opinion    March 21, 2019

The Political Kennel

Donald Trump definitely is not introspective. If he thought about it, he'd probably decide that such self-reflection is navel-gazing and a total waste of time. But, of course, since he's not introspective, he's never thought about it. Whatever...

 
 By Bob Franken    Opinion    March 14, 2019

Reform School

Reform is inevitably a difficult process, and not just for the reformees. It's particularly painful for the reformers, no matter how meritorious their cause. Who would admit opposing fundamental changes to a health care system in this country that is...

 
 By Bob Franken    Opinion    March 7, 2019

Equal-Opportunity Skepticism

Let's be fair to Donald Trump. No, seriously. That's not a joke. When it comes time to judge the presidential candidates, we should remember what they say about geese and ganders, and apply the same standards to all members of this growing gaggle....

 

BS Words

It's already begun. With the first serious discussion of "Medicare-for-all," meaning government-financed health care, and with the introduction of the so-called Green New Deal, those on the right, and even those who get away with describing...

 

Smarmy vs. Smart

When it comes to stories, most of us prefer tacky over technical. Tacky trumps substance. Or these days, attack-y Trump deflects substance. That certainly could explain the decidedly non-substantive high interest in Jeff Bezos, one of President Tweet...

 

I Am Not Running for President

I know that the suspense has been unbearable, but I'm finally ready to make my announcement: I am not running for president. I realize that by doing so, I have aligned myself with 328,113,170 or so other Americans who also have decided not to run...

 

Collateral Damage

There's an expression we hear or see all too frequently, one that is particularly odious: "collateral damage." Some military types, or civilian leaders who are pursuing their own ambitions, use that phrase to sterilize the death and maiming of...

 

A Different Brexit

Maybe British Prime Minister Theresa May needs to change her country's Brexit focus. Instead of severing ties with the European Union, maybe she should address the relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States, and disunite them. It w...

 

'Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime?'

In 1932, as the Great Depression took hold and once-proud Americans were reduced to begging, Bing Crosby recorded a song called "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" It became a hit, even though Republicans tried to force radio stations not to play it...

 

Truce With No Truth

Wouldn't it be astounding if we read the morning news one day and the headline was "Everything President Trump Said Yesterday Was Entirely True"? Put that one in the "not likely" category. Donald Trump has made lying an art form (a crude art form,...

 

Trump Between Iraq and a Hard Place

Let's hand it to President Donald Trump. There he was, the commander in chief, closing out the old year by bravely showing up in a war zone in spite of the bone spurs in his feet. Yes, the haters are dubious about those spurs, but whether real or...

 
 By Bob Franken    Opinion    January 3, 2019

The Exchange Rate

The holiday week leading up to New Year's has special meaning. The day after holy Christmas, we celebrated the wholly mercenary observance of Exchange Day. It's not an official holiday in the United States, but it should be, like Boxing Day is in Bri...

 

Lame-Duck Mucking

OK, I get it. After an election, when the incumbent is about to be transformed into the former, we need a transition period. All in all, it's a good idea. It allows for a smooth changeover. Yada, yada, yada. But like all bright ideas, this one is...

 

Law of the Swamp

What's interesting about Washington is how the first rule for its leaders has always been to make sure they don't have to follow many rules. Members of Congress have their "speech or debate" clause of the Constitution, meaning that no matter how...

 

The Fake Potpourri

The word "potpourri" has a few definitions, but for a columnist it means writing about a bunch of unrelated stuff because he's too lazy to come up with an overarching theme. Instead, he'll take a superficial look at several developments. I have long...

 

Discrimination for the Ages

Forgive my self-indulgence, but at the very start I need to point out that while I may not be young, I am immature. The immature part is familiar to anyone who knows me. But what's important here is that I'm old. So I freely admit that what I'm writi...

 

The Dog-Eat-Dog World

I'm always amazed that the Washington types I consider to be such jerks are completely different when I run into them at a dog park. They're actually pleasant to be around. Our canine kids certainly are a good influence. I find it interesting that...

 

Ditch the 'Hard Passes'

I've said this before, but my colleagues in media have either disagreed or simply ignored me. After Jim Acosta's confrontation with the president at a White House press conference and the subsequent retaliation, it's time for me to renew my call for...

 

Move Backward, Fall Flat

Mornings are somewhat brighter, but it's still a day of mourning. The switch from daylight saving to standard time is an admission that we can't escape the predictable gloom of winter, with its icy weather. It might become less predictable once...

 

The Violent Presidency

Republicans have always justified their preferential treatment of the super-wealthy by trotting out the bogus "trickle-down theory." They argue that as the rich get richer, they will spend more on jobs, etc., and the financial benefits will "trickle...

 

The Saudi D.C. Swamp

Imagine that: It's getting so it's difficult to get away with being slime in the Washington "swamp" these days -- or at the very least, much tougher to paper it over by placing a fake-believe veneer of money from the most noxious sources. For...

 

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