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Articles written by Bob Franken

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 By Bob Franken    Opinion    February 14, 2019 

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...

 

Winning at Gutterball

It's Major League Baseball playoff season, as well as the run-up to the elections. Oh, the games people play. Way back when, in the early 20th century, New York Giants manager John "Mugsy" McGraw was the first to utter an important life lesson for...

 

The Nation's Road Ruts

"Country roads, take me home, To the place I belong, West Virginia, mountain mama, Take me home, country roads." If John Denver were to write that song these days, its lyrics might become "Trump country roads." After all, Donald Trump won West...

 

The Last Laugh

So now we know what Donald Trump will do for a living when he leaves office, whenever that is. He will be busy: In addition to continuing his television career by doing commercials for products that you can get by calling a 1-800 number, he'll also...

 
 By Bob Franken    Opinion    October 4, 2018

The Ballot Ballgame

It happens several times a game: I'll announce to the world, "The entire season rests on this pitch (shot/play/whatever)." My friends long ago learned simply to ignore my sarcasm, which makes it difficult when I'm being serious. Such as when I...

 

Stinky Cheese

The human tragedy and cataclysmic damage of devastating storms like Florence, Harvey and Maria are natural disasters that mercifully divert the news emphasis, just for a while, from the unnatural disaster that is the American political system. I don'...

 

American Slapstick

This is one of those "good news, bad news" situations. First, the good news: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has communicated his continuing trust in President Donald Trump to make good on their deal, whatever it is. POTUS reciprocated by going to...

 

Good Grief, Bad Grief

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Arguably these are even worse times than the mid-19th century, when Charles Dickens wrote his "Tale of Two Cities." In the 21st century, we have effectively divided into two countries, separated...

 

John McCain, One More Time

Others who were fortunate enough to experience John McCain, as I was, have offered their tributes to him, many more eloquently than I ever could. Still, I feel honor bound to try, because, throughout his life, McCain was all about honor. He was not...

 
 By Bob Franken    Opinion    August 30, 2018

Raining on Trump's Parade

President Donald Trump was bitterly disappointed that he was forced to cancel his ego trip down Washington, D.C., streets. The parade of U.S. military units was to be his biggest display yet of people marching in lockstep, bigger even than any...

 

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