Category Archives: National Columnist

Column: The ‘affordable housing’ fraud in California

Nowhere has there been so much hand-wringing over a lack of “affordable housing,” as among politicians and others in coastal California. And nobody has done more to make housing unaffordable than those same politicians and their supporters. A recent survey showed that the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco was just… Continue Reading

Column: Yogi Berra, an American story

The 18-year-old U.S. Navy enlistee, thinking it sounded less boring than the dull training he was doing in 1944, volunteered for service on what he thought an officer had called “rocket ships.” Actually, they were small, slow, vulnerable boats used as launching pads for rockets to give close-in support for troops assaulting beaches. The service… Continue Reading

Fiorina is CNN-created flavor of the week

Sorry, Carly. You’re peaking too early. Just ask President Herman Cain. This week’s CNN poll shows Carly Fiorina, the former business executive, rocketing to the top tier of the Republican presidential race. She has 15 percent support, up from just 3 percent weeks earlier. Meantime, the previously unassailable front-runner, Donald Trump, is suddenly hemorrhaging support,… Continue Reading

With charity toward some

In the spirit of charity prompted by Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S., let’s not call them bigots. Let’s just call them the clueless, the incurious, the moronic, the dull. In short, ignoramuses. I refer to those Republican wits who unconscionably demonize a swath of Americans based on their religious views. Haven’t we gone through… Continue Reading

The Left has its pope in Francis

Pope Francis has created political controversy, both inside and outside the Catholic Church, by blaming capitalism for many of the problems of the poor. We can no doubt expect more of the same during his visit to the United States. Pope Francis is part of a larger trend of the rise of the political left… Continue Reading

Column: Putin’s gambit, Obama’s puzzlement

Once again, President Obama and his foreign policy team are stumped. Why is Vladimir Putin pouring troops and weaponry into Syria? After all, as Secretary of State John Kerry has thrice told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, it is only making things worse. But worse for whom? For the additional thousands of civilians who will… Continue Reading

Column: Francis’ fact-free flamboyance

Pope Francis embodies sanctity but comes trailing clouds of sanctimony. With a convert’s indiscriminate zeal, he embraces ideas impeccably fashionable, demonstrably false and deeply reactionary. They would devastate the poor on whose behalf he purports to speak — if his policy prescriptions were not as implausible as his social diagnoses are shrill. Supporters of Francis… Continue Reading

Column: Jim Gilmore — the candidate left in the cold

Sixteen candidates remain in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Fifteen of them were invited to Wednesday night’s debates. And then there was Jim Gilmore. “I’m very disappointed,” the former Virginia governor told me when I reached him on Wednesday. He paused, as if reflecting on his word choice. “Uh, actually, I’m angry,” he… Continue Reading

Column: A mission to reform lives behind bars

About a mile from where the Cleveland Indians test their fans’ patience, there is a facility that expresses Ohio’s attempt to temper justice with patience. The facility resembles a school, except for the razor wire. This prison contains 619 women, one of whom, Jessica Torok, mother of three sons — in the third year of… Continue Reading

Column: Cretins and squirrel heads

Some in the media were quick to dismiss Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s speech attacking Donald Trump as the opportunistic rant of a 1 percenter. That is, as a presidential candidate whose poll rating hovers around 1 percent. The consensus was that Jindal was trying to hook his wagon to Trump’s jet by calling him out,… Continue Reading

Column: Redeeming the remainder of a life

The man at the front of the room in the prison here is talking about the institution’s culinary and hospitality training that will help some of his fellow inmates “give back to the community.” He will never get back to any community; he is serving a “double life” sentence. But because he is not going… Continue Reading

Column: Dick Cheney tries to fool the public again

Early signs indicate Dick Cheney is leaning against the Iran nuclear deal. “It is madness,” the former vice president announced Tuesday. “The results may be catastrophic,” he inveighed. “This deal gives Tehran the means to launch a nuclear attack on the U.S. homeland.” The deal “strengthens our adversaries, threatens our allies and puts our own… Continue Reading

Column: Why Clinton remains, yes, inevitable

Unless she’s indicted, Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination. That kind of sentence is rarely written about a major presidential candidate. But I don’t see a realistic third alternative (except for one long-shot, below). Clinton is now hostage to the various investigations — the FBI, Congress, the courts — of her emails. The issue… Continue Reading

The blood-stained Indian Child Welfare Act

“It is a sordid business, this divvying us up by race.” — Chief Justice John Roberts Sordid, always. And sometimes lethal, as some Native American children could attest, were they not, like Declan Stewart and Laurynn Whiteshield, dead. They were victims of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), which as construed and applied demonstrates how… Continue Reading

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