Category Archives: National Columnist

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

A BARN ABODE: Large open space, classic farmhouse architecture

A BARN ABODE: Large open space, classic farmhouse architecture

Rustic charms roost in timber-framed homes that resemble barns. Rooted in American agrarian architecture, barn home designs have an expansive “cathedral” quality, says Kevin Durkin, president and founder of Heritage Restorations, based in Waco, Texas. “Barn-style homes are popular for their large, open areas and classic farmhouse architectural style,” Durkin says. “The beauty of the… Continue Reading

Britain’s welcome revival of nationhood

The Leave campaign won the referendum on withdrawing Britain from the European Union because the arguments on which the Remain side relied made Leave’s case. The Remain campaign began with a sham, was monomaniacal with its Project Fear, and ended in governmental thuggishness. The sham was Prime Minister David Cameron’s attempt to justify Remain by… Continue Reading

Trump’s Potemkin village

Not long ago, Donald Trump set a $1 billion fundraising goal for his presidential battle against Hillary Clinton. Now he says there’s “no reason” to raise that much, and his operatives fear they will struggle to raise even $300 million. He brought in only $3.1 million in May to Clinton’s $27 million, leaving him with… Continue Reading

Did Trump ditch his manager to appease Christians?

If you turned on cable TV news Monday, chances are good that you caught Corey Lewandowski fibbing that he doesn’t have a clue why Donald Trump fired him as his campaign manager. Of course he knows. In a series of interviews on several shows, Lewandowski dodged every question, including from CNN’s Dana Bash whether Trump’s… Continue Reading

Trump’s attacks on freedom of religion

Donald Trump apparently wants to institute something akin to Jim Crow discrimination against Muslims, including those who are citizens of the United States. Is this what the Republican Party wants as well? What’s your opinion about legalized religious bigotry, House Speaker Paul Ryan? How about you, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell? Do Republican quislings agree… Continue Reading

Column: Trump’s relentless assault on the truth

Donald Trump must be the biggest liar in the history of American politics, and that’s saying something. Trump lies the way other people breathe. We’re used to politicians who stretch the truth, who waffle or dissemble, who emphasize some facts while omitting others. But I can’t think of any other political figure who so brazenly… Continue Reading

Column: When party establishments mattered

Months before the 1940 Republican convention nominated Wendell Willkie, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Theodore Roosevelt’s waspish daughter, said that Willkie’s support sprang “from the grass roots of a thousand country clubs.” There actually was a Republican establishment in 1940, when GOP elites created a nominee ex nihilo. According to Charles Peters’ book “Five Days in Philadelphia,”… Continue Reading

Trump is running as Trump. Surprise!

When in his 1964 GOP acceptance speech Barry Goldwater declared that “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice,” a reporter sitting near journalist/historian Theodore White famously exclaimed: “My God, he’s going to run as Barry Goldwater!” Six weeks into Donald Trump’s general election campaign, Republicans are discovering that he indeed intends to run… Continue Reading

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