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Messaging as Manslaughter: Massachusetts Modernizes the Salem Witch Trials

Messaging as Manslaughter: Massachusetts Modernizes the Salem Witch Trials

   by Thomas L. Knapp In July of 2014, 18-year-old Conrad Roy killed himself in Fairhaven, Massachusetts by pumping carbon monoxide into the cab of his truck. In a bench trial, a judge convicted Roy’s 17-year-old girlfriend, Michelle Carter, of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced her to 2 1/2 years in prison. In May of 2019, […]

Coming Sooner or Later: Elizabeth Warren’s Mondale Moment

Coming Sooner or Later: Elizabeth Warren’s Mondale Moment

  By Thomas L. Knapp “Let’s tell the truth,” said Walter Mondale as he accepted the Democratic Party’s 1984 presidential nomination. “It must be done, it must be done. Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won’t tell you. I just did.” That comment looms large in popular memory as the cause […]

Excuses, Excuses: Now Hillary Clinton’s Attacking Her Own Party’s Candidates

Excuses, Excuses: Now Hillary Clinton’s Attacking Her Own Party’s Candidates

  By Thomas L. Knapp “I’m not making any predictions, but I think [the Russians] have got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” said Hillary Clinton on her former campaign manager’s podcast.  “They know they can’t win without a third party […]

On Twitter, Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others

On Twitter, Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others

  By Thomas L. Knapp “There continues to be meaningful public conversation about how we think about Tweets from world leaders on our service,” begins a post at the micro-blogging service’s non-micro-blog. In summary, certain Super Very Important Special People (“world leaders”) are exempt from Twitter’s rules, but henceforth Regular Normal Completely Unimportant People (like […]

Instead of Explaining Greta Thunberg, Debate Her Claims

Instead of Explaining Greta Thunberg, Debate Her Claims

  By Thomas L. Knapp What is Greta Thunberg’s superpower? She obviously has one, if not more. Your average sixteen-year-old doesn’t start successful global activist movements,  address UN Climate Action Summits, and have those addresses go viral as death metal videos. Critics slam Thunberg as everything from “mentally ill” (a claim which got one Fox […]

The Down Side of Impeachment

The Down Side of Impeachment

  By Thomas L. Knapp Unless there’s some dramatic change in the political landscape over the next month or so, I believe that the US House of Representatives will impeach President Donald Trump. Unless there’s some dramatic change in the political landscape between now and Trump’s trial in the US Senate, I don’t believe the […]

Want Lower Drug Prices? Make the FDA’s Authority Advisory, Not Regulatory

Want Lower Drug Prices? Make the FDA’s Authority Advisory, Not Regulatory

  By Thomas L. Knapp Americans pay more for our prescription drugs than other people do — half again as much as Canadians or Germans, more than twice as much as Greeks or Italians. In recent years, those costs have become a major issue in the political debate over health care. Proposals to address drug […]

Yep, These People are Stone Cold Crooked

Yep, These People are Stone Cold Crooked

  By Thomas L. Knapp Did vice president Joe Biden threaten to withhold $1 billion in US loan guarantees from the Obama administration if the Ukrainian government failed to remove a prosecutor whose investigation targets included Burisma Holdings, a gas company on whose board Biden’s son, Hunter, sat? Yes. He’s publicly admitted it. Did president […]

“Nuance” in Politics and Public Policy? No Thanks.

“Nuance” in Politics and Public Policy? No Thanks.

  By Thomas L. Knapp In 2004, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry called his ever-shifting position on the war in Iraq “nuanced” as a way of explaining why he was for it before he was against it and why his prescriptions for its future kept changing. “Nuance” pops up frequently in debates on politics and […]

Tweeting Publicly Available Information Isn’t “Shameful and Dangerous”

Tweeting Publicly Available Information Isn’t “Shameful and Dangerous”

  by Thomas L. Knapp On August 5, US Representative Joaquin Castro (D-TX) posted an infographic to Twitter naming and shaming his city’s most generous supporters of President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign: “Sad to see so many San Antonians as 2019 maximum donors to Donald Trump …. Their contributions are fueling a campaign of hate […]

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