Category Archives: National Columnist

Trump: Self-worship over sound judgment

The Trump campaign has lately alternated between disaster and farce: the awkward rollout of Mike Pence, the botched logo, two parliamentary disputes on the convention floor, a muddled message, a plagiarized speech by the would-be first lady. But in one respect, the Republican National Convention of 2016 has been a yuge success. It is the… Continue Reading

Going backpacking? Tips to choose the right pack

Going backpacking? Tips to choose the right pack

Upon hearing the word “backpack,” people naturally think of back-to-school season, when throngs of children board buses and head to classrooms across the country. However, the backpack need not be pigeonholed into such a narrow stereotype; there are many different uses for backpacks. Outdoor enthusiasts, particularly hikers and day-trippers, rely extensively on backpacks. Backpacks facilitate… Continue Reading

Trump campaign leaves Melania out to dry

Imitation may be the highest form of flattery, but plagiarism, not so much. This is especially so if you’re Melania Trump on opening night at the Republican National Convention. Or, is it? By the reaction, both within and without the campaign, you’d have thought the woman had lifted Lady Macbeth’s “Out, damned spot,” or, say,… Continue Reading

Bright, fresh flavors for hot summer nights

Bright, fresh flavors for hot summer nights

TRADITIONAL ISRAELI SALAD  Servings: makes 6 servings Preparation time: 15 minutes INGREDIENTS 3 cups chopped tomatoes 3 cups seeded chopped cucumbers 1/4 cup chopped parsley 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon coarse salt In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, oil, juice and salt. Toss well to combine,… Continue Reading

GOP Convention — the coronation of a charlatan

Years from now, bright-eyed children will look up at Grandma or Grandpa and ask, “Where were you when they nominated Donald Trump?” Far too many prominent Republicans will have to hang their heads in shame. As the garish imperial coronation in Cleveland reaches its climax, there will be much commentary — some, no doubt, from… Continue Reading

Column: For Trump, it’s (white) America First

It was just another week in Donald Trump’s (white) America First campaign. At least twice, Trump alleged that people have called for a “moment of silence” for the madman who killed five police officers in Dallas at a Black Lives Matter protest. It was an incendiary accusation, bound to stir racial hatred. Like Trump’s accusation… Continue Reading

Column: GOP minds are at sea — but not the right one

Neither the unanimous decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, nor China’s rejection of it, was surprising. The timing of it was, however, as serendipitous as China’s rejection is ominous. Coming as Republican delegates convene on Lake Erie’s shore, the tribunal’s opinion about the South China Sea underscores the current frivolousness of… Continue Reading

Resisting the revisionists: Finally, a first step

“The most significant reinforcement of our collective defense any time since the Cold War,” President Obama called it. A bit of an exaggeration, perhaps, but it was still an achievement: Last week’s NATO summit in Warsaw ordered the deployment of troops to Eastern Europe, the alliance’s most serious response yet to Russia’s aggression and provocations… Continue Reading

The travesty of teacher tenure

The mills of justice grind slowly, but life plunges on, leaving lives blighted when justice, by being delayed, is irremediably denied. Fortunately, California’s Supreme Court might soon decide to hear — four years after litigation began — the 21st century’s most portentous civil rights case, which concerns an ongoing denial of equal protection of the… Continue Reading

Beef and fruit kebabs add a twist to summer grilling

Beef and fruit kebabs add a twist to summer grilling

CITRUS-MARINATED BEEF AND FRUIT KEBABS  Servings: makes 6 beef kebabs, plus 4 fruit kebabs Preparation time: 20 minutes; marinating time: 15 minutes to 2 hours Cooking time: for the beef kebabs: 11 to 16 minutes; for the fruit kebabs: 5 to 7 minutes INGREDIENTS 1 medium orange 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves 1 tablespoon smoked… Continue Reading

Republican attacks on Comey undermine the rule of law

Republicans summoned FBI Director James Comey to Capitol Hill on Thursday to question him about his determination that Hillary Clinton did not break the law with her use of a private email server. They termed it an “emergency” hearing, and their questions were correspondingly urgent. “Have you seen the Broadway production ‘Hamilton’?” Rep. John Mica… Continue Reading

Column: Is anemic growth the new normal?

America’s economy has now slouched into the eighth year of a recovery that demonstrates how much we have defined recovery down. The idea that essentially zero interest rates are, after seven and a half years, stimulating the economy “strains credulity,” says James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. But last month… Continue Reading

Column: America’s killing fields

Horror. Shock. Disbelief. Numbness. Grief. Anger. And terrible sadness. These fractured thoughts were all I could muster upon waking Friday to news of the ambush on Dallas police. They were still fresh in my mind from the night before when I’d turned in early, exhausted by the images of 32-year-old Philando Castile dying in Minnesota… Continue Reading

Comey: A theory

Why did he do it? FBI director James Comey spent 14 minutes laying out an unassailable case for prosecuting Hillary Clinton for the mishandling of classified material. Then at literally the last minute, he recommended against prosecution. This is baffling. Under the statute (18 U.S.C. section 793(f)), it’s a felony to mishandle classified information either… Continue Reading

The Ahab caucus returns to port empty-handed, again

Next to the word “overreach” in the dictionary should be a group picture of the House Republican caucus. Once again, in their Ahab-like pursuit of Hillary Clinton, they have managed to make themselves look desperately partisan and woefully incompetent. What were they thinking when they hauled FBI Director James Comey to Capitol Hill to challenge… Continue Reading

Ordinary Americans — For whom Trump tolls?

Perusing the wires on a deadline morn, I was struck by a constellation of intellectuals struggling to translate the relative meanings of Brexit, Donald Trump and the West’s populist surge against elites. At least three bright fellows caught my eye: columnist Ross Douthat of The New York Times; Daniel Drezner, professor of international politics at… Continue Reading

The hypocrisy at the heart of Trump’s campaign

Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, had a message to deliver. “Hillary Clinton is the epitome of the establishment; she’s been in power for 25 years,” he informed Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last Sunday. When Trump, Manafort added, “says he’s going to bring real change to the country, voters believe him —… Continue Reading

Column: The corrupting crusade against ‘corruption’

The progressive drive to broadly define and thoroughly eradicate political “corruption” has corrupted politics. But discord is not altogether pandemic in Washington, and last week a unanimous Supreme Court, in this term’s most important decision, limited the discretion prosecutors have to criminalize politics. Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was sentenced to prison for unseemly behavior.… Continue Reading

Column: Another Bill-gate harming Hillary

But of course Bill Clinton wants his wife to become president of the United States and make history as the nation’s first female commander in chief. Why, he’d be pleased as punch and proud as proud can be. Plus, it would be tons of fun to return to the White House as the first husband.… Continue Reading

Brexit: Sovereign Kingdom or little England?

Given their arrogance, pomposity and habitual absurdities, it is hard not to feel a certain satisfaction with the comeuppance that Brexit has delivered to the unaccountable European Union bureaucrats in Brussels. Nonetheless, we would do well to refrain from smug condescension. Unity is not easy. What began in 1951 as a six-member European Coal and… Continue Reading

Two years, $7 million, no smoking gun

The House Select Committee on Benghazi released its long-awaited findings Tuesday and concluded that … well, it looks as though they’re going to have to empanel another select committee to iron out the dueling conclusions reached by various members of the committee. The panel members spent two years and $7 million to come up with… Continue Reading

Clinton, Warren mean double-trouble for Trump

Watching Hillary Clinton beaming sidewise on stage as Elizabeth Warren took her text on Donald Trump brought the Wrigley twin ditty to mind: Double your pleasure, double your fun, with double good, double good, Doublemint gum. Instead of two happy twins riding a tandem bicycle to celebrate chewing gum, the Clinton-Warren sixties sister-clones — wearing… Continue Reading

Bacon makes every dish better

Bacon makes every dish better

BACON AND BASIL PASTA SALAD  Servings: makes 12 servings Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: for the pasta and bacon; refrigeration time: 2 hours INGREDIENTS 1 (16-ounce) package penne pasta 8 ounces bacon 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved 2 bell peppers (red, orange or green or mixture), chopped 4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)… Continue Reading

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