Jeff Jacoby
Jeff Jacoby
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

End the Bay State's war on happy hour

July 17, 2024  •  The Boston Globe

WHEN MASSACHUSETTS banned happy hour at bars and restaurants in 1984, it made national news.

"The state's new regulation specifically prohibits offering free drinks, discounted drinks, or special 'jumbo' drinks that cost as much as regular drinks," The New York Times reported. "Unlimited numbers of drinks can no longer be offered for a fixed price, and bars are prohibited from sponsoring such promotions as darts or music contests that award alcoholic drinks as prizes." So stringent were the new restrictions, the Times noted, that even "a pitcher of beer can henceforth be sold only to a party of two or more customers."

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'Getting shot hurts'
Plus: The detail Senator Warren left out

July 16, 2024  •  Arguable

On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan — just two months into his first term — was shot and wounded by John Hinckley Jr. in Washington, D.C. He was the last president or former president to be injured by a would-be assassin until Donald Trump's ear was grazed by a bullet at a Pennsylvania rally Saturday night.

Reagan was leaving the Washington Hilton after a speaking engagement and Hinckley, who would later be found not guilty by reason of insanity, fired six shots at him. The sixth round ricocheted off the side of the presidential limousine and struck Reagan under his left arm, breaking a rib, puncturing a lung, and causing serious internal bleeding.

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Will Trump's near-assassination jolt Americans into cooling their apocalyptic rhetoric?

July 15, 2024  •  The Boston Globe

IT IS only by a miracle that former president Donald Trump is alive today. A shift of a couple millimeters and the assassin's bullet that merely wounded his upper ear could have killed him or left him permanently disabled. Had that happened, the streets of America might already be filling with enraged mobs clamoring for retribution. For months, extremists and agitators at both ends of the nation's political spectrum have been warning of a coming civil war. In its most recent "Homeland Threat Assessment," the Department of Homeland Security predicted that "the 2024 election cycle will be a key event for possible violence." It isn't only Trump who has dodged a potentially deadly fate. It's all of us.

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Suddenly, it's Republicans who stand to gain from expanding the vote

July 14, 2024  •  The Boston Globe

I AM of the view, heretical in some quarters, that no one has a civic duty to vote and high turnout is not a measure of democratic health. The popular belief that everyone should be expected to take part in elections has always struck me as perverse. Many people don't care about politics and policy; they shouldn't be hectored to vote for the sake of voting. I agree with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA superstar turned cultural critic. "Stop encouraging people who don't want to vote to vote," he has written. "When we pressure people to vote, we're diluting the democratic process, by bringing out those who are easily manipulated."

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Readers redesign the Massachusetts flag
I invited you to fix the Commonwealth's banner. Here are seven of your best ideas.

July 12, 2024  •  The Boston Globe

THERE IS a scene in Stan Freberg's classic 1961 comedy album, a spoof on early American history, in which George Washington criticizes Betsy Ross's prototype of a new national flag. ("Are you kidding with these colors? Red, white, and blue?") After griping for a while, Washington agrees to take the flag.

"You want it on a hanger?" Ross asks him.

"No," says General Washington. "I'll just run it up the flagpole, see if anybody salutes."

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