John L. Micek/Pennsylvania Capital-Star

John L. Micek/Pennsylvania Capital-Star

A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press


The AR-15 is ‘America’s Rifle.’ Ban it.

By: - May 12, 2023

How many dead children does it take to finally move to restrict access to high-powered weapons of war? Lawmakers in Texas provided us with an answer this week, as a bipartisan panel of state lawmakers voted to advance a bill raising the minimum age to purchase assault weapons, the New York Times reported. “It was […]


Why shocking new data shows we can’t stop fighting hate

By: - March 16, 2023

If you ever needed a reminder that we can’t turn a blind eye to hate, then new data from the Anti-Defamation League should more than do the trick. As the Pennsylvania Capital-Star reported Tuesday, white supremacist propaganda hit an all-time high across the country in 2022, even as antisemitic propaganda more than doubled from the year before. The […]


New poll is a roadmap to Republican grievance in 2022

By: - November 7, 2022

A new poll provides an eye-opening glimpse into the values and motivations of the modern Republican Party, and the cultural and political forces that will drive the party faithful to the polls on Nov. 8. The latest American Values poll by the Public Religion Research Institute also zooms in on the views of white evangelical Protestants who backed former President […]

CPR training dummy

Report: Black, Hispanic adults less likely to receive CPR, especially in public

By: - June 3, 2022

New research by the American Heart Association shows that bystander syndrome is taking a deadly toll on Black and Hispanic Americans, who are “substantially less likely” to receive potentially life-saving CPR in a public setting than their white counterparts.

law enforcement outside texas school

A different America demands a different kind of Memorial Day

By: - May 30, 2022

Today is Memorial Day. And as I write this column, the forecast calls for sunny skies and very summery temperatures of 91 degrees. It’s a day perfect for a parade, a barbecue, and gathering with family and friends. But while this holiday Monday might be cause for some of us to celebrate, we should also […]


Our national pathology over guns is no longer insane. It’s inhuman.

By: - May 25, 2022

Want to know what rage feels like? It’s waking on a Wednesday morning on a school day as the cable news talking heads sift through the latest on the shooting at a Texas elementary school that left 21 people dead, most of them children, and looking at your daughter as she gets ready for her […]


What are book bans really about? Fear

By: - April 19, 2022

More years ago than I really care to count, the children’s librarian in my little town in rural northwestern Connecticut, apparently tired of my endlessly renewing the same book over and over again, pressed a copy of “The White Mountains” by John Christopher into my eight-year-old hands. Mrs. Bullock was her name. She was the mother of one of my […]


Republicans are the clowns in the debt ceiling circus. The act isn’t funny.

By: - September 29, 2021

It’s way past political cliché, but that old “Popeye” comic strip where J. Wellington Wimpy promises to pay a short-order cook tomorrow for a hamburger he plans to eat today, is still the best way to describe Republican intransigence this week over a vote to extend the nation’s debt ceiling that’s soared past cartoonish farce. […]

‘A once in a generation investment’: Biden unveils $2T infrastructure package; creating millions of jobs

By: and - April 1, 2021

Biden released broad details of a $2 trillion infrastructure package that would rebuild highways and bridges, along with providing funding programs for housing, broadband and schools and increasing U.S. manufacturing jobs over the next eight years.


Out of ideas, Trump turns to his 2016 playbook – Make America fearful again

By: - August 30, 2020

Four years ago, and on Thursday, Republicans claimed they had a bold, new vision for America. They don’t. They’re members of a party bereft of ideas that can only do one thing: Peddle division and fear.