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
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
WASHINGTON -- Here are two facts that cannot be reconciled: The planet has experienced the warmest January-through-March on record, and the Obama administration has authorized massive new oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean.
"Climate change can no longer be denied ... and action can no longer be delayed," President Obama said in an Earth Day ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- At this point in the campaign, do you see the Republican presidential hopeful who's going to beat Hillary Clinton? I didn't think so.
Not if what we're watching now is the best they can do. Maybe a thoroughbred will emerge from the coming debates, assuming the party finds a way to cram all the candidates onto the same stage. So ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The first two steps toward uplifting young black men are simple: Stop killing them and stop locking them in prison for nonviolent offenses.
Subsequent steps are harder, but no real progress can be made until the basics of life and liberty are dealt with. If anything positive is to come of Freddie Gray's death and the Baltimore ...Read more
BALTIMORE -- This city needs to be built up again, but first a lot of it ought to be torn down.
There has been much talk, following Monday's night of rage, about the social maladies that afflict this city. One of the most visible should also be one of the most straightforward to address: Baltimore's enormous stock of derelict, abandoned housing...Read more
WASHINGTON -- No one can be certain which way the Supreme Court will rule on gay marriage, but the direction of history's arrow is plain for all to see -- except, apparently, the Republican candidates for president.
Actually, the very fact that the court is hearing arguments on the issue this week seems to telegraph how the justices are leaning...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Drone strikes, by their nature, are bound to kill innocent civilians. It is all too easy to ignore this ugly fact -- and the dubious morality of the whole enterprise -- until the unfortunate victims happen to be Westerners.
Only then does "collateral damage" become big news and an occasion for public sorrow. President Obama ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- In a sane world, the Republican-led Senate would have confirmed Loretta Lynch as attorney general months ago. But sanity hasn't been seen around here in some time.
No one has raised the slightest question about Lynch's qualifications. No one disputes that she has been a tough, effective U.S. attorney and a strong manager. No one ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- That was quick. Strike up "Happy Days Are Here Again" and cue the balloon drop. Better yet, Democrats could skip the whole primaries-and-convention thing and let Hillary Clinton get to work on picking a running mate.
Barring the political equivalent of an asteroid strike, it's over. The slick video Clinton released Sunday was both...Read more
WASHINGTON -- You thought, perhaps, that we were making this stuff up? That the whole "Black Lives Matter" thing was probably overblown? That the idea of African-American men having to fear routine encounters with the police was being exaggerated by self-serving activists?
Let's go to the videotape.
In North Charleston, South Carolina, last ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The framework agreement over Iran's nuclear program dramatically changes the Middle East. Hard-liners and hawks may complain all they want, but things will never go back to the way they were.
I believe the change is clearly -- perhaps historically -- for the better. In that part of the world, however, there is always the ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The only purpose of the "religious freedom" laws in Indiana and other states is to assert that discrimination against gay people is acceptable. The only way to "fix" such measures is to repeal them.
As events this week have shown, the nation is becoming intolerant of intolerance. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence insisted that the absurdly ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- As gung-ho "experts" press President Obama to do this, that or the other in the Middle East, keep a simple rule in mind: Whatever the avid interventionists suggest probably won't work -- and surely will have unintended consequences.
Obama's overall policy toward the region has been modest, cautious, incremental and situational. ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- We don't need to know the political or religious views of Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Gunter Lubitz to call his crashing of a crowded airliner into a mountainside an act of terrorism. And we don't need any further evidence to recognize a cruel irony: Legitimate fear of potential terrorist attacks apparently made this tragedy ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- With Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas becoming the first A-lister to throw his hat in the ring for president -- in his case, I'm picturing a Napoleonic bicorn rather than a fedora -- it's time to handicap the race for the Republican nomination. I see it as Jeb Bush vs. the field, and I'm not ready to put my money on Bush.
Some may write off...Read more
WASHINGTON -- It's been just a few weeks since Republicans took full control of Congress, but already it is safe to say they have no earthly idea of what they want to accomplish.
What we're seeing is not just a bit of sputtering before the GOP machine cranks up and begins to systematically fulfill its governing plan. There is no plan. ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- See, I keep telling you that old-fashioned racism is alive and well in this country. After the fraternity bus sing-along at the University of Oklahoma, do you hear me now?
Frankly, the happy-go-lucky bigotry of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity brothers -- captured on video and shown to the world -- shocked even me. And I ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The Hillary Clinton email controversy is a reminder of one inescapable fact: She comes with baggage. Not the kind that fits in the overhead bin, either. I'm talking steamer trunks.
How could anyone serve four years as secretary of state with no official email account, instead conducting business from a private address with its own...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The worst moment of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress, at least for me, came when he used Elie Wiesel, a great moral hero, as a Hollywood-style prop. Presidents giving State of the Union addresses have the right to tug at our heartstrings by saluting honored guests in the gallery. Foreign leaders taking...Read more