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Politics

Donations leave Hillary in a cloud

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- In thinking about donations to the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments and interests, an adage attributed to Benjamin Franklin and a Yiddish word come to mind.

From Franklin -- actually, from Franklin's alter ego, Poor Richard -- comes the saying, "He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas." In foreign policy, ...Read more

Does Tsarnaev Deserve to Die?

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- How should we think about whether Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev deserves the death penalty?

Perhaps you oppose the death penalty in all cases, on the grounds that state-sanctioned homicide is wrong, that it diminishes the moral authority of the state and its citizens. As Pope John Paul II said in 1999, expressing the ...Read more

Green Shoots of Bipartisanship

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Could this city actually be working? The past week has witnessed several developments -- on the Iran nuclear agreement, Medicare reimbursement rates, and fast-track trade authority -- that offer grounds, if not for irrational exuberance, then for tempered optimism.

Emphasis on tempered. Legislative gridlock has not magically ...Read more

Hillary's Vapid Launch

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- The more I watch Hillary Clinton's announcement video, the less I like it. This may be putting it mildly.

I understand what Clinton & Co. were trying to do: Make the moment less about Hillary, more about the voters. Downplay the sense of Clinton as inevitable juggernaut and entitled successor to the dynastic throne.

Clinton'...Read more

Extending Rights to Transgender People

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- The White House now offers a gender-neutral restroom, for use by men, women and anyone whose gender is less than certain. If this news tempts you to giggle -- please refrain.

Certainly, the bathroom wars are a bizarrely outsized aspect of a serious subject, which is ensuring full rights for transgender Americans. Bring up the ...Read more

Make a Deal with Iran -- and Congress

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- If President Obama had his way, Congress would simply keep its pesky nose out of the Iran nuclear deal. Given his critics' behavior, it's easy to understand such presidential bristling. Still, the better course -- and, more to the point, the unavoidable course, given Republican majorities in both houses -- would be for the Obama ...Read more

Indiana's Odious Law

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- There are three essential questions to ask elected officials -- and those running for office -- in the usefully messy aftermath of the fight over Indiana's ill-intentioned law to protect religious freedom.

Before I get to the questions, let me expand on that description:

The fight over Indiana's especially odious version of the ...Read more

Sharp Elbows Jab Both Ways

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- If you looked in my Washington Post personnel file, you would find an ancient evaluation that describes me as having "sharp elbows." More precisely, being perceived as having "sharp elbows."

At the time, I thought this assessment was unfair. In retrospect, it was probably more accurate than I realized. Either way, it prompted me ...Read more

A Checkup for Obamacare

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

"In a few moments, when I sign this bill, all of the overheated rhetoric over reform will finally confront the reality of reform."

--President Obama, March 23, 2010

WASHINGTON -- Not exactly. Five years after the Affordable Care Act became law, the reality of reform remains hotly contested.

When it comes to the wisdom of the law, that'...Read more

Senators, Do Your Job

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Let's get a few things straight about the delay in confirming Loretta Lynch as attorney general. It's outrageous. It also has nothing to do with her race or gender.

Contriving prejudice where none exists demeans the importance of fighting discrimination. And it demeans those who drop such ugly hints.

To wit, Illinois Democratic ...Read more

Can Anybody Around Here Pass a Law?

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- As if more proof were needed about congressional dysfunction, witness the spectacle of the last two weeks, in which the Senate managed to grind itself to a halt over a human trafficking bill that both sides want to pass.

The bill would create a fund to recompense trafficking victims, paid for by fines on offenders. The snag, as ...Read more

Seeking the Seal of Academic Approval

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- College acceptance letters go out -- actually, college admissions web portals go live -- in a few weeks. This column was originally intended to help calm anxious high school seniors, and their anxious parents, about the whole crazy-making process.

Then, in the course of a single day this past week, one friend emailed to fret about...Read more

For Hillary, Questions Still Swirl

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- For what she says is the sake of "convenience" -- who wants to have to fiddle with two hand-held devices when one will do nicely? -- Hillary Clinton bought herself a heap of trouble.

Then she added to the pile by failing to explain herself for a full week. The storm over her use of a private email account mushroomed -- as was ...Read more

Policing By Fleecing, in Ferguson and Beyond

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- The most important thing to understand about the problems with the Ferguson, Missouri, police force is that they're not unique to Ferguson.

The investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, launched in the aftermath of a police officer's fatal shooting of Michael Brown, would be upsetting, infuriating --...Read more

Hope for Obamacare Advocates?

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Will Justice Anthony Kennedy's solicitude for states trump his antipathy to the Affordable Care Act and save the day for Obamacare?

With all the usual caveats -- it's dangerous to read too much into random comments at oral argument, justices are apt to change their minds -- that seems to be the better bet emerging from the ...Read more

Hillary's Impulse to Secrecy

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Hillary Clinton may not have a serious opponent for the Democratic nomination -- except herself.

The Clintons' unfortunate tendency to be their own worst enemy is on display, again, with reports that, as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton conducted official business solely from a personal email account.

This is a problem -- and ...Read more

Hillary's Impulse to Secrecy

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Hillary Clinton may not have a serious opponent for the Democratic nomination -- except herself.

The Clintons' unfortunate tendency to be their own worst enemy is on display, again, with reports that, as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton conducted official business solely from a personal email account.

This is a problem -- and ...Read more

In ACA Case, Context is Key

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- As with everything else here these days, the talk about the Affordable Care Act case before the Supreme Court this week will focus on ideological splits: Will any conservative justice join the four liberals all but certain to back the administration?

In fact, the correct conservative legal position would be to rule for the ...Read more

Afghanistan's First Lady

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- The most striking thing about interviewing Rula Ghani, the first lady of Afghanistan, may be that the interview is taking place at all.

Consider: Zeenat Karzai, the physician wife of former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, was rarely seen in public during her husband's decade-long tenure.

Ghani, whose husband, Ashraf Ghani, became ...Read more

Scott Walker's Education Fell Short

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- In terms of his fitness for the presidency, the fact that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker fell short of graduating from college is interesting but ultimately immaterial. What is relevant -- and concerning -- is how Walker talks about the issue.

Walker's most extensive recent discussion of the matter of his college non-graduation (he ...Read more

 

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