September 13, 2000 |
Baseball continues to decline in popularity. What is the problem and how can it be fixed? The problem is: Baseball is boring. I offer a permanent solution: When the bases are empty, give the batter the option of running to first or third base. A run would then consist of a full trip around the bases - either clockwise or counterclockwise. If a batter reaches base safely, those who follow him would be committed to running in the same direction. This would add more action. The batter could choose his direction, according to where the ball is hit. For example, on a ground ball to first or second base, he'd want to break for third.
July 30, 1999 |
For the second time in a month, the state Department of Public Welfare has quietly revised tough regulations that forced thousands of poor Pennsylvanians to pay more for child care and medical assistance. Yesterday, the department adjusted four-month-old rules that had spiked fees for 32,000 low-income parents in the state's subsidized child-care program. Under the new rules, 20,000 of those families will see those co-payments reduced, and 4,000 children who were going to lose the subsidy will keep it. Earlier this month, DPW agreed to reinstate health insurance to 32,000 Pennsylvanians who were inadvertently cut off from medical assistance in the move from welfare to work.
September 9, 1998 |
As the Monica Lewinsky scandal unfolds, many conservatives are crowing that it demonstrates the moral emptiness of the Clinton administration. What it really reveals, however, is the moral emptiness of today's conservatives. Why have Republicans, in searching for a means of attacking this administration, chosen to focus almost exclusively on Clinton's sexual transgressions? Why are they ignoring his substantive political activities, which certainly warrant far greater condemnation?
May 9, 1998 |
Americans have a long-standing love affair with things Italian. When it comes to matters of style and taste, to things aesthetic and sensual, Italy is our old dashing friend. But Italy has only rarely been taken seriously where politics and government are concerned. This forward-looking country has regularly seen its politicians cast as warring princes with gifts only for palace intrigue. Italian politics are baroque no more. That was the implicit message carried to these shores this week by the country's prime minister, Romano Prodi.
April 25, 1997 |
As the British Labor Party enters the 1997 parliamentary election campaign, its leader, Tony Blair, is deliberately following the model set by Bill Clinton. Clinton won two elections by rejecting the liberal policies associated with his party in favor of New Democratic centrist ones. Even before Clinton, Blair proclaimed: "The era of big government is over. " He promises to "govern from the center. " Under Blair's leadership, the Labor Party has given up its historic objective of nationalization of the major sectors of the economy, and it supports the free market.
March 14, 1997 |
The first group of welfare recipients to face tough new work requirements won't be single mothers, but married men who live with their families. States could lose federal welfare money this year if three-fourths of all heads of households in two-parent families are not working at least 35 hours a week. By contrast, most single parents do not have to start working for two years. How states handle this group of 300,000 families lays the foundation for the bigger challenge of pushing millions of single parents into the workforce.
February 13, 1997 |
Strolling down Friedrichstrasse, just a few blocks east of what had been the Wall, you would imagine that an economic miracle is happening all over again in Germany. Arising from the drabness that was the hallmark of the old Stalinist regime is a consumer utopia. For block after block, every designer label you've ever heard of competes for the brightest and most stylish storefront. Money is pouring in here from private developers and from the federal government, which is preparing to move the capital from Bonn to Berlin.
November 29, 1996 |
Western Europe is facing difficult times. Mainstream parties are following policies that promote monetary stability without ameliorating high unemployment. These policies have been pursued not only in the name of fiscal responsibility but also to guarantee inclusion in the European Monetary Union (EMU). The result is that increasing numbers of people blame their own governments and the European Union for high unemployment. Only extremist parties of the right claim to champion the forgotten man. Today's situation bears some frightening resemblance to the 1930s.
August 15, 1996 |
With Jack Kemp's appearance on the Republican ticket, an old dream of mine has come true. The trouble is, I've changed my mind. Back in 1988, I wrote a long memo to my fellow editors at National Review, urging, imploring, begging them to endorse Jack in the Republican primaries. The alternatives were George Bush and Bob Dole, both of whom I thought would be misfortunes. Kemp, on the other hand, had been a good soldier in a dozen conservative causes, and at times he was willing to take the lead.
January 3, 1996 |
Behind the windows of a storefront operation in the Gay Street Shopping Plaza, people's lives are undergoing remarkable transformations. By learning basic computer and office skills, single parents on welfare are finding jobs, and building self-esteem in the process. It's all happening at the Adult Learning Center, a not-for-profit corporation that in its first year exceeded state and national averages for General Equivalency Diploma completion and for job placement through such programs, among other measures.