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Articles written by Bob Franken

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 By Bob Franken    Opinion    January 23, 2020 

Newsbiz and Showbiz

Pardon my sharing a personal preference, but I don't give a rat's patootie about the opinions of some showbiz notables because, notwithstanding their star power, they usually don't really know what they're talking about. Once, I was covering a politi...

 

Different Presidents, Same Distractions

The president is smack-dab in the middle of impeachment politics. Suddenly, he orders a bold but perilous military action. His defenders vehemently argue that petty politics is getting in the way of his exercising his hugely important duties as comma...

 
 By Bob Franken    Opinion    January 9, 2020

OK, Zoomers

OK, zoomers: Here is your trigger warning. What was the name of Roy Rogers' horse? The answer is Trigger. You were warned. For those who are wondering who in tarnation is Roy Rogers, he called himself the "King of the Cowboys" and was one of the big... Full story

 
 By Bob Franken    Opinion    January 2, 2020

The Role Call The

I don't know if they take attendance in schools anymore. Maybe surveillance cameras, facial recognition and all the other high-tech intrusions make it unnecessary, but back in the day, the teacher would always start out with the roll call. You were...

 

Boris and Donald The

How fitting it was that on Friday the 13th, Boris Johnson trundled over to Buckingham Palace and received permission from the queen to form his government. Fitting because it was bad luck for those who had fading hopes of somehow stopping Brexit...

 

Democrats Are Own Worst Enemy

For a town where friendship is really a matter of expedience, where Best Friends Forever, or "BFF" in kiddie talk, has become "BFT," Best Friends Temporarily, we sure have conjured up many sound bites about friendship. "You want a friend in...

 

Bloomberg: The Power and Pitfalls of Money

This will be sacrilege to "Never Trumpers," but Michael Bloomberg and Donald Trump share some similarities. It is true that Bloomberg's charitable foundation actually does good work, while Donald Trump had to pay a $2 million fine for basically...

 

Charm Offensive vs. Just Offensive

Which of these campaign posters would be better: "Fiona Hill for President" or simply "Fiona!"? Whichever, the Russian foreign affairs specialist has demonstrated that she has what it takes to unite our own badly divided country with her powerful...

 

Hillary Playing Nixon

Let's return to yesteryear. Richard Nixon, coming off an already bitterly controversial career and countless tangles with the media, had just been beaten in the 1962 campaign to become California governor. He was severely resentful, and snarled at...

 

Another Bloomberg Dalliance

It's not fair to call Michael Bloomberg just a superrich dilettante. He is, after all, a former mayor of New York City, so he does have some experience as a political officeholder. It is fair to describe Bloomberg as a superrich guy who obviously...

 

Beto's Evaporation

Here's the thing about those bright, shiny human objects that are so irresistible to those of us in media: The truth is that, like so much bling, they are merely fool's gold, soon tarnished by reality. The overexposure reveals that there's little...

 

A Deadly Game

Let's give credit where it's due: As commander in chief, President Donald Trump can claim success for the military operation that took out Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the long-elusive founder of ISIS, who, according to the White House and military...

 

Finger-Pointing Everywhere

It's really difficult to tell because his hands are so small, but it looks for all the world that President Donald Trump has an extended middle finger raised at, well, all the world. Who knew that he could speak in sign language? Or at least that he...

 

Happy Birthday, Vlad

Vladimir Putin is not a Facebook friend of mine -- that I know of, anyway. He could be, perhaps registered under an alias put out by the Moscow Troll Department, but to my knowledge, I didn't send a "Happy birthday to Vlad" greeting to mark the...

 

Not Ready for Democracy

In his "Gettysburg Address," Abraham Lincoln described a "government of the people, by the people, for the people." The problem for any democracy is that those people can make a mistake -- a dangerous mistake -- by electing someone who's severely...

 

Pig Latin

Latin is supposedly a "dead language", meaning no one speaks it as their native tongue. Except attorneys, of course, who use it to make law indecipherable so that they can charge exorbitant billable hours to untangle the messes they create. English,...

 
 By Bob Franken    Opinion    October 3, 2019

The Shining Example of Cokie Roberts

Let's take a break from our society's normal crudefest for a brief moment to honor civility. Cokie Roberts epitomized civility. She was no pushover -- far from it. When it was required, she was as hard as nails. In today's nasty society, she...

 

The Complete Story

I always worry when people on one side of an issue praise a story I've done. Ideally, at least in the twisted mind of a journalist, all the parties should be upset. We should be viewed as equal-opportunity jerks. But if one side was filled with...

 

Trump and WWE

It's a good thing that President Donald Trump has spent time with WrestleMania. He obviously used that experience to finally muscle his way into the main event, when he had been body-slammed aside by the real reality of the devastation from Hurricane...

 

Androids Rule

I have gotten to the point that every time my cellphone blasts its generic ringtone, I assume it's a robocall. My algorithm favorites are the recorded voices that start out saying, "Can you hear me?" and then pause a few seconds before continuing....

 

The Bigotry of the Pious

For a man who doesn’t read a lot, President Donald Trump sure has been influenced by history. What’s amazing about the days of yesteryear is not just that we keep repeating their errors, but that these mistakes move so seamlessly through time, th...

 
 By Bob Franken    Opinion    August 29, 2019

Greenland Isn't a Trump Folly

President Donald Trump has broached the idea of purchasing the massive and largely frozen island of Greenland from Denmark. Cue the laughter. My Montreal-raised wife tells me that in the nearly uninhabitable frozen tundra country of her youth, she...

 
 By Bob Franken    Opinion    August 22, 2019

Age-Old Gaffes

When Joe Biden says he's running for president, he means it literally. He likes to be seen jogging around at his various campaign events. Obviously, that's his way of showing that at 76, he's not too old for the grueling physical and mental challenge...

 
 By Bob Franken    Opinion    August 15, 2019

Statesmanship, not Hatesmanship

It has become routine: President Donald Trump spends a golfing break at one of his properties. Tragically, horrific gun massacres also have become part of the routine, two of them just the other weekend, one of them clearly the consequence of a...

 
 By Bob Franken    Opinion    August 8, 2019

Pelosi and Mueller's Mush

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is playing a sophisticated game. Since her Democrats took the House, she's the one who has steadfastly fought off a hasty plunge into the impeachment of President Donald Trump. In the process, she has appeared to resist...

 

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