Jeff Jacoby
Jeff Jacoby
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

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The Jewish state's newest hero wasn't Jewish

November 23, 2014  •  The Boston Globe

BY THE THOUSANDS they streamed to Yanuh-Jat, Israelis of every description making their way on Wednesday to the remote northern Galilee district, where a fallen hero was to be buried with full honors. Israel's president, Reuven Rivlin, was there to pay his respects; so were the minister of internal security and the nation's top police commissioner. From around the country, hundreds of black-hatted haredi ("ultra-Orthodox") Jews came on chartered buses, disembarking to join throngs of Arabic-speaking Druze in traditional white turbans, police officers in dress blues, and so many other mourners that even the roofs of nearby homes were crowded with onlookers.

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Buy your health insurance out of state

November 19, 2014  •  The Boston Globe

THE SECOND open enrollment period for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is underway, and the law is more unpopular than ever. According to Gallup, a record-high 56 percent of Americans now disapprove of the 2010 law.

Reasons to dislike Obamacare have abounded from the outset, and on Friday the administration unveiled a new one: In large swaths of the country, the price of insurance sold on the federal health exchange is going up. That will force many of those who bought coverage last year to scramble to find a new policy or fork over as much as 20 percent in higher premiums. How's that "affordable" health care working out for you?

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Gas is cheaper. Where are the grandstanding politicians?

November 12, 2014  •  The Boston Globe

OIL PRICES are plunging. Gasoline is now cheaper than milk. Why doesn't Washington do something already?

Since peaking in June, the price of oil has tumbled by 25 percent. Texas light sweet crude futures have fallen to around $77.40 a barrel, a three-year low, while Brent oil, the global benchmark, sank on Monday to its lowest price in four years.

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We worship our politicians — and we despise them

November 5, 2014  •  The Boston Globe

OF COURSE it was only by happenstance that former Mayor Thomas Menino died just days before the 2014 election, and that his funeral at Most Precious Blood Parish in Hyde Park coincided with the closing hours of all the campaigns whose outcomes would be decided on Tuesday. But that unplanned juxtaposition couldn't have illustrated more vividly the emotional extremes we resort to when it comes to political figures.

A newcomer watching the local TV news broadcasts in Boston early Monday morning might reasonably have concluded that the former mayor had been a hero of mythic proportions, a saint and a superstar whose goodness was unbounded and whose shortcomings were nonexistent.

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No wonder voters like a candidate who knows how to castrate hogs

November 2, 2014  •  The Boston Globe

ONE OF the year's most effective campaign ads was first aired last March by Iowa Republican Joni Ernst, then a relatively unknown candidate for the US Senate.

"I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm," says Ernst in the spot, which opens with her standing amid the stalls of a pig shed. "So when I get to Washington, I'll know how to cut pork."

That got attention. The ad went viral on YouTube. Talk shows and cable news found it irresistible. Satirists like Stephen Colbert had a field day. (Colbert said he was pulling for Ernst "whole hog, or whatever's left of the hog when she's done.")

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