You won’t like Trumponomics 2.0

Whoever wins November’s election, inflation will present them with an immediate challenge. More than two years after the Federal Reserve started raising interest rates to alleviate a pandemic-era price spike, the so-called core consumer price index remains well above the central bank’s target. It’s a bit puzzling, then, that former President Donald Trump’s economic agenda seems to be dedicated to raising prices.

Irwin: The day I smile the most every year

Nature cooperated with UH Hilo on Saturday, May 11. Torrential rain and flooding the day before and more rain after, but during the commencement ceremony, the sun was bright. The sun paled in comparison, however, to the many smiling faces in the crowd as ‘ohana and friends assembled to cheer on their graduates!

The rematch is set: Biden vs. Trump debates have the right balance

The last time the Democrats and the Republicans held a White House rematch with the same two contenders was 1956, when Ike beat Adlai Stevenson for the second straight time. Earlier, there were redos with William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan (McKinley won both in 1896 and 1900) and Grover Cleveland vs. Benjamin Harrison (in 1888, Harrison defeated the incumbent Cleveland, who then staged a comeback victory in 1892).

The authoritarians have the momentum

The central struggle in the world right now is between liberalism and authoritarianism. It’s between those of us who believe in democratic values and those who don’t — whether they are pseudo-authoritarian populists like Donald Trump, Viktor Orban, Narendra Modi or Recep Tayyip Erdogan or straight-up dictators like Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping or theocratic fascists like the men who run Iran and Hamas.

Congress gives up on immigration

Last week, the White House unveiled new rules to more quickly reach asylum denials for people considered national security and public safety threats, something of a prelude for more expansive expected restrictions.

Is disinflation back on track?

The latest news on inflation has been pretty good. It has also been extremely weird. And that weirdness is, in a way, the message.

How to fix America’s cruel and unusual tax code

It probably escaped your attention, but the Internal Revenue Service recently piloted a program to help Americans cope with their notoriously complex tax system. Direct File was meant to help taxpayers in 12 states prepare and submit their returns electronically. Some 19 million people were eligible to use it. Thanks partly to a rollout late in the tax-preparation season, fewer than 1% of them actually did.

America wasn’t made for walking, and it’s killing us

About a year and a half ago, I became one of Those People who track how many steps they walk each day. I know there’s nothing magical about the daily 10,000-step target, but it’s a fun little pastime, made more fun by the fact that I surpass 10,000 most days without really trying.

Biden’s green investments aren’t just benefiting cities

When you think of the Biden administration’s climate investments, you may imagine subsidies for Tesla drivers in affluent coastal cities. But those investments are helping Americans at all income levels, in both small towns and urban areas. One example: The Biden administration is bringing clean, resilient solar power to federally funded health centers across the nation.

Why do people choose to self-immolate?

Ten years before I was born, at 4:40 on the morning of Nov. 10, 1971, my mother and another woman sat “yogi-style” on the floor of an Ann Arbor, Michigan, kitchen and lit themselves on fire. They were just blocks from the University of Michigan campus, where my mother had been a student. She had just turned 20. Police tracked the smell of burning hair to find the women sitting on the floor, facing each other, screaming.

Judge should jail Trump for any new gag order violations in hush money trial

For his 10th violation of Acting Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan’s gag order — this time for complaining about the supposed political affiliation of the jury — Donald Trump must pay another $1,000 fine. Yet in his order, Merchan put Trump “on notice that if appropriate and warranted, violations of [the court’s] lawful orders will be punishable by incarceration.”

Healing the American soul

In 2020, Joe Biden ran on the theme of saving the soul of America. Once he was president, he used the power of his office to help direct hundreds of billions of dollars through the infrastructure law and the CHIPS Act to the people and places that had been left behind. At the time, I hoped that these programs would not only create jobs and give people a sense of financial security but also be seen as a sign of respect, a sign to the unseen and the alienated that America had their back.