Jeff Jacoby
Jeff Jacoby
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

Obama has shed his vanity. Just ask him

September 27, 2016  •  The Boston Globe

NOTHING OOZES hubris like Barack Obama putting on a humble act.

"There's a point where the vanity burns away and you've had your fill of your name in the papers, or big adoring crowds, or the exercise of power," the president tells historian Doris Kearns Goodwin in an "exit interview" published by Vanity Fair. "And for me that happened fairly quickly." Since he no longer revels in his own grandeur, he explains, he won't fall into the trap of making decisions out of ambition or "thirsty" attachment to the prerogatives of office.

Do tell.

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Boston can learn from Houston's (nonexistent) zoning code

September 21, 2016  •  The Boston Globe

WHEN DEVELOPERS proposed to turn the old commercial property next to our Brookline house into a large condominium development, they came over to show the plans to me and my wife. As the nearest abutters, we would face considerable disruption and discomfort during the year and a half that construction would take. And once the project was finished, we would have lost a good deal of privacy: In place of the red brick wall enclosing our property on two sides, four-story residences would tower over our little backyard.

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A long way from the Chinese Exclusion Act

September 18, 2016  •  The Boston Globe

THE LARGEST mass lynching in the United States took place in Los Angeles on Oct. 24, 1871. It was a ghastly eruption of lethal racism, but the victims — 18 men and boys, dragged from their homes and summarily hanged or shot — weren't black. They were Chinese, and they were murdered by a mob, nearly 500 strong, that included some of the city's leading citizens.

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What if Hillary collapsed after winning the election?

September 13, 2016  •  The Boston Globe

"CONCEALING ONE'S true medical condition from the voting public," the historian Robert Dallek wrote in a 2002 essay, "is a time-honored tradition of the American presidency." During the presidential campaign of 1960, John F. Kennedy went to extreme lengths to hide from voters any hint of his severe medical problems, which ranged from Addison's disease to crippling spinal degeneration. By comparison, Hillary Clinton's recent dissembling over pneumonia and fainting spells is small potatoes.

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On Election Day, it's OK not to vote. Really.

September 10, 2016  •  The Boston Globe

YOU DON'T VOTE? You're not alone. Tens of millions of American adults don't take part in elections, and most of them have perfectly good reasons for abstaining. In 2014, according to the US Census Bureau, 28 percent of nonvoters said they were too busy with other things, and 10 percent were out of town. Another 16 percent weren't interested in the election, and 8 percent didn't vote because they didn't like the candidates or the issues.

For more than 60 percent of nonvoters, in other words, the election wasn't a priority.

And that's fine.

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