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

DeSantis’ compassionless conservatism underscores urgency of real immigration reform

By: - September 23, 2022

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to airlift 48 migrants from San Antonio, Texas to the island resort of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. last week was depthless in its cruelty and cynicism, evoking the worst of America’s nativist and segregationist history. But if there was one benefit to this singular act of exploitation for shameless political gain, […]

COMMENTARY

Biden’s Philly speech was a challenge to all of us. We have to step up

By: - September 9, 2022

Returning to the state where he launched his candidacy — and the one that handed him the White House in 2020 — President Joe Biden last Thursday called on Americans to join him in a fight to preserve democracy and to beat back the forces of extremism. The 30-minute address was equal parts tribute to […]

COMMENTARY

With Roe headed to the states, every vote this fall matters

By: - July 1, 2022

Ever since she was old enough for me to tell her anything, I’ve been telling my daughter that she could grow up to be whatever she wants to be, that no obstacle, big or small, would ever stand in her way. I’ve told her that she’ll set her own destiny — that she’ll write the […]

What the Founders meant by ‘virtue,’ and how it could save our politics now

By: - May 5, 2022

Writing in his diary in the spring of 1759, John Adams mused aloud on the images that were likely to run through his head as he found himself lapsing into a thoughtful mood. “In such silent scenes, as riding or walking thro the Woods or sitting alone in my Chamber, or lying awake in my Bed, my Thoughts […]

COMMENTARY

About the GOP’s historical amnesia on voting rights

By: - January 14, 2022

If you get into an argument with a Republican about the GOP’s lamentable support for voting rights and its fractured relationship with Black Americans, it won’t be long before your rhetorical sparring partner bellows “Robert Byrd” at you and declares the argument over. The logic here, if it even can be called that, is that […]

COMMENTARY

Biden’s agenda: Dems need to decide if they want to win a battle, or lose the war

By: - November 1, 2021

(*This column was updated at 8:11 a.m. on Saturday, 10/30/21 to correctly reflect the priorities of the Progressive Caucus) Democrats on Capitol Hill may not be directly taking their cues from the legendary Carthaginian military leader Hannibal, but as moderates and progressives fell on each other this week over President Joe Biden’s watered-down domestic spending […]

Report sheds new light on Pa. lawmaker’s role in Trump’s election pressure on Justice Dept.

By: - October 12, 2021

A newly released congressional report on efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to pressure the U.S. Dept. of Justice and overturn the 2020 election prominently highlights a Pennsylvania lawmaker who is a close Trump ally, and who was in the vanguard of lawmakers who objected to certifying President Joe Biden’s victory last November. The […]

COMMENTARY

Everything we know about work is wrong. The pandemic proved it

By: - August 31, 2021

So what can the plight of a little cafe tell you about the state of the American economy and the changing face of work? A lot, as it turns out. The other week, the bistro where my family and I have been grabbing brunch every Sunday since the start of the pandemic announced that it […]

COMMENTARY

In our mad, polarized, COVID surge summer, the only way out is through

By: - August 16, 2021

It all kind of piled up: COVID hospitalizations and deaths are up. We’re still trying to convince the unvaccinated to get vaccinated, even as intensive care units fill beyond capacity. As the Delta variant of the implacable virus attacks our children. Florida’s governor threatens the withhold the wages of educators who want to protect the lives of young people in their charge. People […]

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 […]