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Commentary by Michael Barone

Most Recent Releases

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July 23, 2021

Speech Suppression is Habit-Forming by Michael Barone

Speech suppression is a habit that the Biden administration and its liberal supporters can't seem to break. Many staffers may have picked up the habit in their student years: Colleges and universities have been routinely censoring "politically incorrect" speech for the last 30 years. As Thomas Sowell noted, "There are no institutions in America where free speech is more severely restricted than in our politically correct colleges and universities, dominated by liberals."

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July 16, 2021

Joe Biden's Big Lie by Michael Barone

Did you know that Black people are not going to be allowed to vote in America anymore? At least in states controlled by Republicans. Sounds a bit unlikely, but that's a conclusion you might have come to if you took seriously what President Joe Biden said in Philadelphia Tuesday.

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July 9, 2021

Both Parties Fail to Respond to Signals in the Political Marketplace by Michael Barone

I like to apply free market analysis to American politics. Within established laws, politicians compete for votes and are rewarded for maximizing voters' preferences. As in economics, there are sometimes market failures, but mostly the system seems to be self-regulating.

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July 2, 2021

New York Mayoral Primary Shows Split Between Democratic Constituencies by Michael Barone

New York City's notoriously incompetent election officials have not finished tabulating the votes in the June 22 Democratic primary, with its novel ranked choice voting system. But the first choices of voters -- minus some 124,000 absentees -- nevertheless reveal some important things about the differences between different segments of the Democratic coalition in America's largest city.

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June 25, 2021

Charles Murray's Two Uncomfortable Truths and His Not Bad Advice by Michael Barone

Give Charles Murray, longtime scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, credit for courage. Again and again, despite outrageously unfair attacks, he has returned to the public arena and persisted in telling unwelcome truths. In his meticulous prose, with charts and tables so elegant as to betray an aesthetic bent, he makes his points with precision and clarity.

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June 18, 2021

This Juneteenth, Remember Americans Who Put Slavery on the Path to Extinction By Michael Barone

This week, the Senate unanimously passed a bill declaring Juneteenth a national holiday, commemorating June 19, 1865, when a Union general informed the last enslaved people in Texas that, thanks to the 13th Amendment, they were free. This was the denouement of a long process, begun more than four score years before and cruelly delayed for many decades.

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June 14, 2021

Adolescents Need Constraints, Not Indulgence by Michael Barone

Letting adolescents have their way." That's one way to describe two public policies, advocated vociferously by woke liberals, opposed surely by most. One primarily affects young men, the other primarily young women.

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June 4, 2021

Facebook's Speech Suppression Argues for Repeal of Section 230 and a Facebook Stock Price of Zero by Michael Barone

"A lot of people have egg on their face" for dismissing the COVID-19 lab leak theory, tweeted ABC News ' Jonathan Karl this week. "Some things may be true even if Donald Trump said them."

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May 21, 2021

Reform Prosecutors May Hang on, but National Democrats May Not by Michael Barone

This week's Democratic primary election for Philadelphia district attorney could presage outcomes in the 2022 and 2024 elections, but not in the way the winner would like.

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May 14, 2021

British Labour's Problems Could Hurt Democrats, Too by Michael Barone

Five years ago next month, British voters, in the largest turnout ever, voted to leave the European Union by a 52% to 48% margin. It was an unexpected result, and a harbinger of Donald Trump's even more unexpected election as president five months later.

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May 7, 2021

Some Rotten Underpinnings of Biden's Positive Rating By Michael Barone

On the surface, Joe Biden seems to be doing pretty well. But underneath, there are signs of problems, areas where partisan overstretch threatens the underpinnings of what some are hailing as the new order of things.

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April 30, 2021

The 2020 Census: Small Republican Gains in a Nation Hunkered Down by Michael Barone

   The COVID-delayed results of the 2020 census are finally in, with totals for the 50 states and the District of Columbia at nearly one-third of a billion -- 331,449,281 -- and with surprises having to do with the short run and what French historians call the "longue duree."

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April 23, 2021

The Ebbing of 'the Misperception That Bigotry Is Everywhere' by Michael Barone

How will future historians explain this? From 2001 to 2014, majorities of Americans, including supermajorities of blacks and non-Hispanic whites, told Gallup pollsters that "race relations" were either very or somewhat good.

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April 16, 2021

Workers Don't Share Democrats' Nostalgia for Unions By Michael Barone

It wasn't even close. The final count was 1,798 against and 738 for, 71% to 29%.

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April 9, 2021

Will Joe Biden's Jim Crow Big Lie Boomerang? by Michael Barone

The big lie works -- until it doesn't.

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April 2, 2021

Too Much Risk Aversion Is Too Risky by Michael Barone

"This is not politics," President Joe Biden said last week. "Reinstate the mandate if you let it down." Give him credit for consistency: When Gov. Greg Abbott ended Texas' mask mandate last month, Biden called it "Neanderthal thinking."

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March 26, 2021

Can the Biden Administration Stop China? by Michael Barone

The acrid atmosphere last week at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska, with its vivid murals of the 18th-century British seafarer James Cook's discoveries throughout the Pacific, sounds very much like the acrid atmosphere almost exactly 60 years ago in the Beaux-Arts American and Soviet embassies in Vienna: grim, at least for the United States.

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March 19, 2021

What Explains Biden's Chameleonlike Transformation? by Michael Barone

How to explain Joe Biden's ideological transformation over the years? Perhaps it's the same as the explanation of why the chameleon's complexion changes when he moves from desert to forest: adaptation to local terrain.

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March 12, 2021

Biden Moves Forward With Open-Doors Immigration Policy. Why? by Michael Barone

"BIDEN," say the young demonstrators' T-shirts, imitating his campaign logo, "PLEASE LET US IN!" The picture ran in The New York Times, but one wonders whether whoever paid for the tees got his money's worth, for President Joe Biden's administration seems determined to let in as many immigrants as want to come.

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March 5, 2021

Is There Any Reason to Think This Time Will Be Different? by Michael Barone

When public policies have produced disastrous results, and when alternative policies have resulted in immediate, seemingly miraculous improvement, why would anyone want to go back to the earlier policies? Is there any reason to suppose that this time will be different?