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Articles written by Bob Franken

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The Low Barr

President Donald Trump is right that he does “have, as president, the legal right” to meddle in Department of Justice decisions. However, when he makes public comments, or when it can be shown that he has privately discussed any federal criminal...

 

Breaking News

I've ranted about the expression "Breaking News!" before. But like any issue I confront, it only gets worse. So it is with this one. Nowadays, all the networks, without exception, open each and every newscast with that worn-out expression. Obviously,...

 

Trumpster Gangsters

It's not just that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo chewed out NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly after she dared to ask him questions he didn't like. Nor is it so objectionable that his tirade was saturated with F-bombs. And it certainly is not because...

 

Schiff for President?

Let's discuss the fantasy that so many desperate Democrats are having. In their minds, they're asking, "Is it too late for Adam Schiff to run for president?" Actually, since his dynamite performance as lead House of Representatives counsel advocating...

 

Dallas, The Palace and other Malice

For the kiddies, it'll be necessary to start this rant by explaining that there was an immensely popular TV show called "Dallas" that ran from 1978 through 1991. It traced the escapades of a grossly dysfunctional Texas family dynasty. Now we have...

 

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...

 
 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....

 

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