Category Archives: National Columnist

Column: The IRS commissioner merits impeachment

Republican congressional leaders ardently want conservative members of the House to not force a vote on impeaching the IRS commissioner. The public does not care about John Koskinen’s many misdeeds. And impeachment will distract attention from issues that interest the public. And because Democrats are not ingrates, the required two-thirds of the Senate will never… Continue Reading

Column: The week that was … embarrassing

America has had better weeks than the one just past. Only days away from the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates convened for what was dubbed the “Commander-in-Chief Forum,” sponsored by NBC News and hosted by “Where in the world is Matt Lauer?” Indeed. And then there was… Continue Reading

Trump is without sense or sensibility

The most revealing moment in the presidential candidates’ first joint forum Wednesday night came when Donald Trump told the world how much he admires Vladimir Putin. Never mind that the Russian strongman invaded Ukraine and seized Crimea. Never mind that he supports the butcher Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Never mind that so many of his… Continue Reading

What to watch for in US election’s homestretch

The U.S. presidential campaign seems to have been going on for an eternity. The Labor Day holiday on Sept. 5 marks the start of the final stretch. Here are some leading indicators to determine whether Donald Trump will make this a competitive contest or whether Hillary Clinton can build on her current advantage to open… Continue Reading

Misleading statistics

Mark Twain famously said that there were three kinds of lies — “lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Since this is an election year, we can expect to hear plenty of all three kinds. Even if the statistics themselves are absolutely accurate, the words that describe what they are measuring can be grossly misleading. Household income… Continue Reading

Reality interrupts the Trump Show

It looks more and more as if Donald Trump’s reality show isn’t going to be renewed for another season. I’m not talking about “Celebrity Apprentice,” the NBC show Trump turned into a classic of the reality genre; that show is now in the strong hands of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The show that’s in trouble is the… Continue Reading

The only immigration solution

The one great service of Donald Trump’s extended peregrinations on immigration policy is to have demonstrated how, in the end, there’s only one place to go. You can rail for a year about the squishy soft, weak-kneed and stupid politicians who have opened our borders to the wretched refuse of Mexico. You can promise to… Continue Reading

A ‘slush fund’ by any other name

Because truth in labeling laws are among the laws from which Washington feels exempt, the titles of congressional legislation often take liberties with the facts (e.g., the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). The Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act, however, precisely names the ailment for which it is the remedy. The Justice Department has negotiated… Continue Reading

Trump can’t fake love of ‘the blacks’

When Donald Trump says he has a great relationship with “the Blacks,” I wonder if he also gets along well with the Smiths. We know he’s tight with the Whites. But what’s with the definite article? During a brief dalliance with Google, I learned that Trump has used “the” before whites at least once —… Continue Reading

The devolution of the GOP

Friday started as it usually does: an early wake up call, an interview with the next president of the United States and a hateful personal attack from Donald Trump. Such is life during these dog days of August in a nasty presidential campaign not even near its ugly end. These days, a rudely out-of-bounds Trump… Continue Reading

Clinton must learn from her mistakes

Much of the criticism of Hillary Clinton over her emails and her family’s foundation is unfairly harsh. But the Clintons themselves invite such scrutiny and suspicion. First, the emails. Months of investigation turned up essentially nothing worthy of being called a scandal. Unless you doubt the integrity of FBI director James Comey — and I… Continue Reading

Column: The GOP’s Trumpian deflation

Donald Trump. Would that it were unnecessary to mention his name except, say, as a Viagra pitchman. Despite such casting perfection, this isn’t intended as a personal metaphor for the man, though it is for the GOP. Cue sound of balloon losing vigor. The erstwhile party of Lincoln has rendered itself impotent by its clammy-handed… Continue Reading

The bribery standard in national politics

Bernie Sanders never understood the epic quality of the Clinton scandals. In his first debate, he famously dismissed the email issue, it being beneath the dignity of a great revolutionary to deal in things so tawdry and straightforward. Sanders failed to understand that Clinton scandals are sprawling, multilayered, complex things. They defy time and space.… Continue Reading

Is Jill Stein the Ralph Nader of 2016?

Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential nominee, favors alternative energy — and she leads by example. On Tuesday, she burned one of her own supporters. Stein, making an appearance at the National Press Club in Washington, took her campaign on an unexpected detour when she accused the famed leftist Noam Chomsky of being cowardly. The… Continue Reading

Hillary’s heel

When I wrote the headline “Hillary’s heel,” I was thinking of Achilles, not Bill, though the former president is usually within nipping range of his wife’s pantsuit hem. Hillary Clinton’s Achilles’ heel is her very Clinton-ness. Just as her husband was willing to parse the meaning of the word “is” rather than admitting his foibles… Continue Reading

Trump never really had an immigration policy

Donald Trump made a seemingly momentous announcement on Monday, jettisoning a presidential campaign’s worth of assertions that he would deport millions of undocumented immigrants and close what he has repeatedly called an “open” border. Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly, who interviewed Trump, was obviously stunned. After telling Trump that the news media is “running wild… Continue Reading

Trump is the Churchillian leader we need

In the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, American voters were forced to choose between a liberal Democrat and weak establishment Republicans. Democrats won both times. In the 2010 and 2014 midterms, tired of the leftist agenda, voters sent an unmistakable message to Washington: Republicans took control of the Senate and filled more seats in the… Continue Reading

Column: The price of powerlessness

This week Russian bombers flew out of Iranian air bases to attack rebel positions in Syria. The State Department pretended not to be surprised. It should be. It should be alarmed. Iran’s intensely nationalistic revolutionary regime had never permitted foreign forces to operate from its soil. Until now. The reordering of the Middle East is… Continue Reading

Column: Getting fed up with democracy

Maybe Donald Trump didn’t create an appetite for authoritarianism. Maybe an appetite for authoritarianism created Donald Trump. Many of us in the media have portrayed Trump as a uniquely dangerous threat to democracy, an aspiring strongman with little regard for checks on executive power by other branches of government, the media or the Constitution. And… Continue Reading

Column: Trump and blacks

Who would have thought that Donald Trump, of all people, would be addressing the fact that the black community suffers the most from a breakdown of law and order? But sanity on racial issues is sufficiently rare that it must be welcomed, from whatever source it comes. When establishment Republicans have addressed the problems of… Continue Reading

Beach burkini bingo

Once upon a time, a scantily clad lass padding down a beach might cause a riot — at least of eyeballs eager to extend the sidelong glance. Today, it’s the fully clothed woman who overheats the passions in France, where three towns have banned the burkini. Leave it to the French to criminalize modesty. Latest… Continue Reading

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