Steve Chapman

Posted February 07, 2016

This year's Republican presidential race has generated an unusual number of unusually bad ideas -- Donald Trump on Muslims, Ted Cruz on carpet bombing, Marco Rubio on male footwear. It has also has produced one of the best: Jeb Bush's 4 percent plan.

Posted February 04, 2016

If you attend a Republican presidential event on the campaign trail, you may come to wonder if you made a wrong turn and ended up in church. If you are not a believer -- an evangelical Christian believer, that is -- you may feel ever so slightly unwelcome.

Posted January 31, 2016

Chicago, never an island of tranquility, has been roiled by a surge in serious violence. Last year, the number of murders rose by nearly 13 percent over 2014, and shootings increased by a similar amount. Figures for January indicate a continuation of that unhealthy trend.

Posted January 28, 2016

If you attend a presidential campaign event, you may come across someone wearing colonial garb or an Uncle Sam costume or body paint. But a Ted Cruz rally in Iowa last weekend featured something possibly unprecedented: guys dressed up as Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Posted January 24, 2016

When it comes to votes, the state of New York is a gold mine. In the 2012 presidential election, more than 11 million New Yorkers were registered.

Posted January 21, 2016

Bernie Sanders is a democratic socialist who thinks the United States needs a "political revolution." His plan to replace our health insurance system with "Medicare for All" is in some ways a dramatic break with the status quo. But it rests on an old and thoroughly conventional formula: Promise voters they will get more and better health care without paying for it.

Posted January 17, 2016

In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama lamented the deep divisions of our time and expressed regret that he hasn't done more to overcome them. His words had a nostalgic air, cloaked in memories of times when Americans were more united and less angry.

Posted January 14, 2016

All across America last weekend, panicked drug users rushed to their dealers to stock up on marijuana, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine for fear of running out. The arrest of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, head of the biggest drug cartel in Mexico, was sure to cause a sudden shortage of illegal substances in this country.

Posted January 10, 2016

In the old Charles Atlas ad, a 97-pound weakling lounging on the beach gets sand kicked in his face by a bully. Humiliated, he tries the Charles Atlas muscle-building program, transforms his physique and puts the bully in his place.

Posted January 07, 2016

Governments often act in response to perceived crises, which is not to say they act in ways that are helpful. The point is to be seen as doing something. The danger of a crisis is that it blinds policymakers to the fact that their remedies can cause more harm than they cure.

Posted January 07, 2016

Governments often act in response to perceived crises, which is not to say they act in ways that are helpful. The point is to be seen as doing something.

Posted January 03, 2016

Progress is often hard to measure, but in the coming year in Chicago, there will be one revealing indicator: how many citizens are being Tased. More, note, is likely to be better.

Posted January 01, 2016

Progress is often hard to measure, but in the coming year in Chicago, there will be one revealing indicator: how many citizens are being Tased. More, note, is likely to be better.

Posted December 27, 2015

It must have been tough for Bill Clinton to come up with a good Christmas present for his wife this year. She didn't have to ask for much from him or Santa, because the political gods have already given her just about all she could want.

Posted December 19, 2015

What if the Los Angeles public schools get another email promising a terrorist attack on Monday?

Posted December 17, 2015

After the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, Americans are simultaneously eager to smash the Islamic State and wary of another major ground war in the Middle East.

Posted December 12, 2015

You have to feel sorry for Ted Cruz. Donald Trump has hogged so much airtime with his cynical demagoguery that the senator from Texas has had a hard time capturing the attention of Republican voters.

Posted December 10, 2015

Fear may be an unpleasant emotion, but lots of people go to considerable time and expense to seek it out. That's why there will always be a market for horror movies and roller coasters.

Posted December 06, 2015

Mass shootings elicit a chorus much like the widespread response to the Islamic State: We must do something, now, and any measure is better than none.

Posted November 26, 2015

It's Thanksgiving weekend, so let me suggest that you do something you may never have done before on this occasion: Give thanks.