Jeff Jacoby
Jeff Jacoby
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

Something worse than the IRS awaits greedy televangelists

August 30, 2015  •  The Boston Globe

The fourth circle of Hell, as envisioned by Dante Alighieri in The Divine Comedy, is reserved for the avaricious and the profligate. It is where those whose lust for getting and spending knew no bounds in life are punished in the afterlife by being battered endlessly with heavy weights. Notable among the souls damned for their greed, Dante wrote, "were clergymen and popes and cardinals, within whom avarice works its excess."

What disgusted the great poet in 14th-century Florence – money-grubbing hucksters masquerading as men of God – is just as disgusting in 21st-century America.

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Donald Trump, eminent-domain abuser

August 26, 2015  •  The Boston Globe

SUPPORTERS OF Donald Trump relish the prospect of a president who knows how to "get things done," and won't bore them with details or principles. They like hearing Trump tout the stop-at-nothing aggressiveness of his business dealings, as in this description, in a CNN interview, of how he acquired the Doral golf resort in Miami:

"I didn't sit down and say 'let's do a 14-point plan.' I went in and got it. I took it away from so many people."

Trump boasted of his prowess at a rally in Michigan on Aug. 11. "You have to be able to do certain things" if you want to be successful, he crowed. I "beat the hell out of people.... I know how to get things."

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'Sesame Street' moves to HBO, and everyone wins

August 19, 2015  •  The Boston Globe

Starting this fall, "Sesame Street" will be brought to its millions of viewers by the letters H, B, and O. After 45 years as a jewel in the crown of public broadcasting, the iconic children's television program is moving to the cable network better known for such decidedly adult fare as "Game of Thrones" and "True Detective." The five-year deal, announced last week by Sesame Workshop and HBO, is a good-news story from every angle: good for the show's fans, good for the nonprofit that creates it, and good for anyone who never before noticed that there was always an obvious and reassuring response to the public-television slogan: "If PBS doesn't do it, who will?"

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American politics needs more civility, not less

August 16, 2015  •  The Boston Globe

In Rendezvous with Destiny, his superb chronicle of Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign, Craig Shirley quotes a "remarkably candid" assessment that appeared in The Washington Post eight months before the election. It was written by reporter Lou Cannon, who had covered Reagan's political career from the outset and seen the candidate from every angle, at his best and his worst. Reagan had gotten plenty of disparaging press coverage, Cannon acknowledged — some of it under Cannon's own byline. Yet the California governor had never treated him or any other detractor with hostility or rudeness.

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Jindal puts the emphasis on assimilation

August 12, 2015  •  The Boston Globe

BOBBY JINDAL'S presidential quest may not take him all the way to the White House. But if his time on the campaign trail helps put assimilation back at the heart of the nation's immigration debate, he will have rendered his country a valuable service.

The 44-year-old governor of Louisiana was born and raised in Baton Rouge. His parents had immigrated to the United States from Punjab in northern India, and Jindal's election in 2007 made him the first Indian American chief executive of any state in US history.

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