Author

John L. Micek

John L. Micek

John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. He's been covering Pennsylvania politics for more than 20 years and most recently served as Opinion Editor at PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. Micek's commentary is syndicated to more than 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. And he's a regular contributor to a host of broadcast outlets in Pennsylvania and abroad.

COMMENTARY

Billionaires slipped the surly bonds of Earth, but couldn’t escape its problems

By: - July 26, 2021

Billionaire space cowboys Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson have rightfully been taking some flack for sub-orbital jaunts earlier this month that garnered plenty of headlines but little in the way of actual scientific advancement, apart from trying to normalize the idea of routine spaceflight for other, exceptionally rich people. With all the power of the rockets that propelled them […]

COMMENTARY

Voting against medals for cops, 21 Republicans hit a new low in insurrection denial

By: - June 21, 2021

So just how desperate are some Republicans to deny the reality of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol? Desperate enough that 21 of them voted against a slam-dunk of a bill earlier this week awarding one of the country’s highest civilian honors, the Congressional Gold Medal, to the law enforcement officers who defended […]

COMMENTARY

The return of work requirements: The GOP gets its Herbert Hoover on

By: - May 14, 2021

Having tired of the culture wars, state and national Republicans have returned to the familiar and comforting battlefield of the class wars, using last week’s disappointing jobs numbers as an excuse to call for the end of extended unemployment benefits, based on the slender and debunked premise that it has discouraged people from seeking work. Neil Bradley, the […]

COMMENTARY

In speech to Congress, Biden bet on democracy. It’s up to America to prove him right

By: - April 30, 2021

During his anything-but-typical address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, President Joe Biden used the word “democracy,” over and over again. Some were run-of-the-mill evocations, as was the case when he spoke of “revitalizing” our democracy — a promise made by more than one more president, and a bromide meant to soothe […]

COMMENTARY

While the GOP carps about Biden’s infrastructure plan, voters already are saying ‘Yes, please’

By: - April 9, 2021

Here’s a quiz for the Republican politicians among you, check as many as apply. Do you support: Repairing and rebuilding America’s deteriorating network of roads and bridges, including the interstate highway system brought to life by GOP President Dwight D. Eisenhower? Ensuring that every American public student isn’t drinking water out of lead pipes and […]

COMMENTARY

Transitional? Biden is on his way to being the most transformational president in decades

By: - April 2, 2021

What caretaker presidency? If you thought that President Joe Biden was going to be content whiling away his four years at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, serving, as he once described himself, as a “transition[al]” candidate and president, then the last few weeks should put that misconception to rest. Even if he stopped at the $1.9 trillion American […]

COMMENTARY

Congressional Dems bent the universe toward justice last week. We need to keep pushing

By: - March 2, 2021

Hopes of getting an increase to the piteously low federal minimum wage tucked into the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill were dealt a serious blow last week when the U.S. Senate’s Parliamentarian ruled that it couldn’t be included in the massive legislative package now moving through Congress. The announcement that came Thursday night was widely […]

COMMENTARY

‘Is this America?’ A Black Capitol police officer’s question is what the Trump trial is all about

By: - February 12, 2021

Earlier this week, in an emotional moment among emotional moments, lead U.S. House Impeachment Manager, U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., shared the story of a Black Capitol police officer and the racist abuse he endured when a mob with murder on its mind sacked the seat of government last month. “I sat down with one […]

COMMENTARY

Biden’s executive orders aren’t the problem. A broken Congress is.

By: - February 1, 2021

It was tough not to chuckle at a New York Times editorial this week chastising President Joe Biden for the barrage of executive orders that have gone flying out of the Oval Office during his first week behind the Resolute Desk, as if he were the first president ever to do so. “This is no way to make law. A […]

COMMENTARY

A return to decency with Biden’s win? Not yet. But we’re on the way

By: - November 9, 2020

HARRISBURG, PA — I was walking along the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg on the Saturday afternoon that we, and the world, learned that Joe Biden had bested Donald Trump to become the president-elect of the United States. The November sun was unseasonably warm on my face, and a cool breeze blew in from the west. […]

COMMENTARY

Tom Nichols would like the soul of the GOP back, please

By: - October 30, 2020

Tom Nichols is on a tear. QAnon conspiracy theorists are “narcissists.” Aging Republican GenXers have been “huffing too much conservative press,” with Trumpism as the ultimate midlife crisis. And COVID-19 deniers “would rather be dead than wrong.” Nichols, an author, magazine commentator, television pundit, and professor at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I., […]

COMMENTARY

Micek: Trump is ancient history. Kamala Harris is America as it is now.

By: - August 18, 2020

If there is a more authentically American story than the one of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, you’d have to make it up. On Tuesday, the California Democrat, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, became the first Black woman in American history to be named to a presidential ticket. And across the United States on […]