Category Archives: National Columnist

Near-sudden silence of August gives you time to think

It is that sane and glorious time when the nation’s capital dispenses its human cargo to places of origin and locations of respite. “I don’t know why everyone leaves,” I remarked to my neighbor. “There’s so much great parking.” (Don’t muddle; it’s a joke.) There is, indeed, great parking, as well as less traffic. With… Continue Reading

Column: The racing form, third edition

Both presidential nomination contests having been scrambled by recent events — the FBI taking control of Hillary Clinton’s private email server and a raucous, roiling GOP debate — the third edition of the Racing Form is herewith rushed into print. Legal disclaimer: This column is for betting purposes only. What follows is analysis — scrubbed,… Continue Reading

Column: Donald Trump is a counterfeit Republican

In every town large enough to have two traffic lights there is a bar at the back of which sits the local Donald Trump, nursing his fifth beer and innumerable delusions. Because the actual Donald Trump is wealthy, he can turn himself into an unprecedentedly and incorrigibly vulgar presidential candidate. It is his right to… Continue Reading

Column: When history books make history

History books can be historic events, making history by ending important arguments. They can make it impossible for any intellectually honest person to assert certain propositions that once enjoyed considerable currency among people purporting to care about evidence. The author of one such book, Robert Conquest, an Englishman who spent many years at Stanford’s Hoover… Continue Reading

Column: Just who is helping Iran’s hard-liners?

The latest Quinnipiac poll shows that the American public rejects the president’s Iran deal by more than 2-to-1. This is astonishing. The public generally gives the president deference on major treaties. Just a few weeks ago, a majority supported the deal. What happened? People learned what’s in it. And don’t be fooled by polls that… Continue Reading

Column: Drug cartels’ ‘vocabulary of mutilation’

Don Winslow, novelist and conscientious objector to America’s longest “war,” was skeptical when he was in Washington on a recent Sunday morning. This was shortly after news broke about the escape, from one of Mexico’s “maximum security” prisons, of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, head of the Sinaloa drug cartel. Guzman reportedly escaped through a five-foot-tall… Continue Reading

Column: GOP candidates’ crazy talk

Was he under the influence of Koch? Or was it evidence of a deeper disorder? Whatever the cause, something made Scott Walker give birther to another round of conspiracy theory over the weekend. The Wisconsin governor and Republican presidential candidate, appearing at a gathering of conservative donors hosted by the billionaire Koch brothers, said he… Continue Reading

Column: Putting a Senate bully in his place

Who’s afraid of big, bad Ted Cruz? Not Lamar Alexander. The Tennessee Republican went on the Senate floor to accuse his fellow Republican of proposing actions that would “render ourselves lawless” and cause “chaos.” Alexander reminded the Texan that the Senate “requires restraint and goodwill.” Not John Cornyn. The senior senator from Texas said that… Continue Reading

Column: With Iran deal, Obama makes bad history

It came two days after the announcement of the nuclear agreement with Iran, yet little mention was made on July 16 of the 70th anniversary of the first nuclear explosion, near Alamogordo, New Mexico. The anniversary underscored that the agreement attempts to thwart proliferation of technology seven decades old. Nuclear-weapons technology has become markedly more… Continue Reading

Column: Obama’s truth out of Africa

It is good to be President Barack Obama these days. In the midst of a visit to Africa, including Kenya, where Republican front-runner Donald Trump has insisted Obama was born, the president seems to have been liberated by events and circumstances to speak his true mind. Events include the Supreme Court’s favorable rulings on the… Continue Reading

Column: Documented irresponsibility dealing with immigration

People who entered the United States illegally may be called “undocumented” in politically correct circles, but what is all too well documented is the utter irresponsibility of both political parties in dealing with immigration issues. Both Democratic and Republican administrations have left the border with Mexico porous for years — porous not just for Mexicans… Continue Reading

Column: Planned Parenthood’s disturbing practices

“Thank you Planned Parenthood. God bless you.” — Barack Obama, address to Planned Parenthood, April 26, 2013   Planned Parenthood’s reaction to the release of a clandestinely recorded conversation about the sale of fetal body parts was highly revealing. After protesting that it did nothing illegal, it apologized for the “tone” of one of its… Continue Reading

Column: Is Donald Trumping himself?

Donald Trump can’t help himself. Nor can we. The “worse” he gets, it seems, the better we like it. Watching Trump is so deliciously awful, we don’t hang on every word. We hang on the edge of our seats waiting for the next word. Whatever will this man say next? Trump’s list of quotables is… Continue Reading

Column: Iran nuclear deal a historic catastrophe

Distinguished scientist Freeman Dyson has called the 1433 decision of the emperor of China to discontinue his country’s exploration of the outside world the “worst political blunder in the history of civilization.” The United States seems at this moment about to break the record for the worst political blunder of all time, with its Obama… Continue Reading

Obama’s perfect response to Confederate flag wavers

When President Obama arrived in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, a vulgar sight awaited him: About 10 demonstrators across the street from his downtown hotel waving Confederate battle flags as the motorcade pulled up. Such a greeting of the nation’s first black president would have been appalling under any circumstance. It was all the more repugnant… Continue Reading

Column: A modest proposal for humanity

In his satirical solution to Ireland’s prolific poor, especially among Catholics whose fish diet was thought to enhance fertility, Jonathan Swift suggested a new menu item: Succulent 1-year-olds for dinner. His essay “A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People from Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country … ” was intended… Continue Reading

Column: Instant judgment by the GOP

Negotiators in Vienna had announced the Iran nuclear deal only an hour earlier, but Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a Republican presidential candidate, was already on the airwaves denouncing it. “You have created a possible death sentence for Israel,” he declared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “This is a virtual declaration of war against Sunni… Continue Reading

Column: Dare not say his name

In South Carolina these days, no one speaks his name. The 21-year-old man-boy, who allegedly murdered nine people and incited unity instead of the race war he hoped for, has been condemned to an eternal slog not toward fame but to ignominy. He is no one. “We don’t say his name,” Gov. Nikki Haley told… Continue Reading

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