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The decline of Rand Paul

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

WASHINGTON -- Rand Paul took a left turn on his journey to the Republican nomination, and now his hopes seem to be headed south.

The libertarian Kentucky senator's new book, "Taking a Stand," came out Tuesday, and it is chock-full of lines that would position Paul well -- if he were running against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination....Read more

Malaise

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

It's "June gloom" in Southern California, that period well known to locals when the sunshine you expect doesn't show until the end of the day, if at all. This year, the gloom couldn't wait until June, and so it came in May.

That may also be true for the country.

Back in the 1970s, when inflation and interest rates were hovering near double ...Read more

The Disintegration of Us-vs.-Them Politics

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

For all the decades of its existence, American social conservatism has been rooted in a premise simple enough to be fully expressed in just three words:

Us versus them.

As in, an implicit promise to defend the former against the latter. This was its mission when it pushed for immigration quotas in the 1920s, when it animated the Red Scare of ...Read more

Candidates, What Do You Propose?

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- It's far too early in the campaign season to bemoan the absence of serious policy proposals from the presidential candidates -- but not too soon to set out some parameters of what those proposals, whatever the candidate's ideology, should be expected to address.

Issues of character and judgment matter, whether they involve Hillary...Read more

Whatever Happened to Antitrust?

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

Last week's settlement between the Justice Department and five giant banks reveals the appalling weakness of modern antitrust.

The banks had engaged in the biggest price-fixing conspiracy in modern history. Their self-described "cartel" used an exclusive electronic chat room and coded language to manipulate the $5.3 trillion-a-...Read more

Stop Logging Our Phone Calls

From the Left / Eugene Robinson /

WASHINGTON -- Once in a great while, House Republicans get it right. So let me praise them for leading a bipartisan effort to curtail the National Security Agency's bulk collection of data on the phone calls of innocent Americans.

The USA Freedom Act, which the House passed earlier this month by an overwhelming 338-88 vote, would end the NSA's ...Read more

Blanching Hitler

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

"I remember waking up," Adolf Hitler says. "I was lying on an area of undeveloped land, surrounded by terraces of houses." The year is 2011, somewhere in Berlin, and Hitler, uniformed as he was when he committed suicide, cannot account for how he got where he is. That's OK with him, because he can't really account for how he, impoverished and ...Read more

Religious Conservatives' Shifting Role

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- The Roman historian Tacitus described Emperor Nero's persecution of Christians: "In their very deaths they were made the subjects of sport: for they were covered with the hides of wild beasts, and torn to death by dogs, or nailed to crosses, or set fire to, and when the day waned, burned to serve for the evening lights."

In spite ...Read more

Wanna Hear a Biker Joke?

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

One hundred and seventy bikers were arrested in Waco, Texas.

Of those arrested, 30 were fat guys nicknamed "Tiny."

Also arrested were a couple "Gypsies," several "Ray-Rays," a "Buzzard," a number of guys nicknamed "Porky," "Killer," "Spider," and on an odd note, one guy whose nickname is "Beyonce."

Police say sorting out the men's nicknames...Read more

PFC Jared Hunter Forced to Make a Shameful Choice

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Before he tried marijuana, he thought of trying suicide. Heavy drinking hadn't helped. Nor had various pills prescribed by Veterans Affairs doctors. He was still angry, still depressed, still could not sleep.

But he found that marijuana helped. It took the anger and depression away. It took the sleeplessness away. Most of all, it took the 11-...Read more

My Return to Organized Labor

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

WASHINGTON -- I am proud to be a card carrying member of Local 32035 of the Communications Workers of America.

It was not always thus. The Washington Post is an open shop, and I dropped my membership several years ago when the union was encouraging readers to cancel their subscriptions to protest some management action. I didn't see much sense ...Read more

Clinton's Compulsive Speechifying

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Again with the speeches. The gross excessiveness of it all, vacuuming up six-figure checks well past the point of rational need or political seemliness. The ceaseless drip of information that ought to have already been released, now being presented with a self-serving back pat over transparency.

I wasn't planning to write, again, ...Read more

Chris Christie Channels Ralph Perk

From the Left / Mark Shields /

History, just by what it selects to remember, can indeed be cruel. Consider, for example, Republican Ralph Perk, who, during the 1970s in heavily Democratic Cleveland, was elected mayor three times. But what Mayor Perk is mostly remembered for was that day in 1972 when, while using a blowtorch to cut the steel ribbon to ceremonially open the ...Read more

Why No One Cares About Hillary's Emails

From the Left / Susan Estrich /

I have watched the paid chatterers shaking their bobbed heads or frowning their well-practiced frown or just grimacing in frustration as they lament the seeming foolishness of the "American people" in not responding with greater shock and awe to the growing revelation that Hillary Clinton used her private email system to forward non-classified...Read more

Britain Resigns as a World Power

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

LONDON -- On Monday, the Right Honorable David Cameron, prime minister of Great Britain, gave his first major speech after being re-elected to his high office -- once held by Pitt, Gladstone, Disraeli, Lloyd George, Churchill, and Thatcher. Confronting a world of challenges -- from Greece's possible exit from the euro, a massive migration crisis...Read more

Chasing Miracles In Iraq

From the Left / Eugene Robinson /

WASHINGTON -- If Iraqis won't fight for their nation's survival, why on earth should we?

This is the question posed by the fall of Ramadi, which revealed the emptiness at the core of U.S. policy. President Obama's critics are missing the point: Ultimately, it doesn't matter how many troops he sends back to Iraq or whether their footwear happens...Read more

The Clintons' Cloud of Deviancy

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- I recall the moment when the press finally turned against Bill Clinton.

In 1998, I was a junior writer at U.S. News & World Report, then (for the children in the audience) an actual, physical weekly magazine, useful for pressing leaves or as packing material. When the word came that there was a blue dress stained with actual, ...Read more

The Second Cuban Revolution

From the Left / Clarence Page /

(Bill Press is filling in for Clarence - ed.)

HAVANA, Cuba -- If you want to see the face of the new Cuba, talk to Niuris Higuiera, co-owner and chef of Havana's Paladar Atelier (paladar's the name Cubans use for privately-owned restaurants).

Higuiera's not only a top chef, the Alice Waters or Nora Pouillon of Cuba, she's as sharp an ...Read more

The Poor Get A Moment

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- Will we regard poverty as a haunting national problem, or will the focus groups continue to tell politicians of all stripes to talk only about the middle class because mentioning the poor is politically toxic?

Might the condition of low-income Americans galvanize religious people to see alleviating poverty and righting social ...Read more

Jeb Bush Learned Nothing from Iraq War Debacle

If there was one question Jeb Bush should have prepared for - should have had down cold - it was the one he blew in an interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly.

He blew it again the next day and, amazingly, yet again the next.

It wasn't a trick question. It wasn't a gotcha question. It was a softball: Would you, knowing what we know now, have ...Read more