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
WASHINGTON -- One of the most seemingly compelling arguments against the free trade legislation now before Congress turns out to be largely bogus.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), opponents contend, is being hammered out behind closed doors, a backroom deal rigged in favor of corporate interests. While the public is kept in the dark, this ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Let us talk about answering hypothetical questions, gotcha-type questions and no questions at all. That is, let us talk about Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee and Hillary Clinton.
Bush first flubbed his answer Monday to a question from Fox News' Megyn Kelly about the war in Iraq.
Kelly: "Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized...Read more
WASHINGTON -- How depressing is it that, out of the more than a dozen announced or prospective Republican candidates for president in 2016, only one, Carly Fiorina, is a woman. Even more depressing: that Fiorina, as long-shot as her candidacy is, would not be taken even semi-seriously were it not for her gender.
This is a tough and ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The quarterback arrived at Salem State University by helicopter to adoring, cheering crowds. "Most famous witch hunt victims in Salem?" read one sign. "Bridget Bishop. Rebecca Nurse. Tom Brady."
Oh please. I don't care much about football in general or Deflategate in particular. At least I hadn't until Wednesday's report ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Oh, Bill. There you go again. We knew you were going to pop off, but did it have to be so soon -- and so tone-deaf?
The Clinton deal is "two for the price of one," as Bill Clinton famously promised in 1992. But 23 years later, that bargain comes with different baggage attached.
Then it was the intimations of Hillary Clinton as co...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Today's topic is toxic substances and the appalling gaps in the current law that is supposed to protect the public from dangerous chemicals.
For example, before a new chemical enters the market, the manufacturer must demonstrate its safety and the substance must win approval from federal regulators, right?
Not even close.
When ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The anger in Ferguson, Missouri -- even the violence -- was more understandable and, in that sense, less upsetting, than what we have been witnessing in Baltimore this week, in the aftermath of yet another black man dying in police custody.
In Ferguson, the majority African-American community felt aggrieved by its treatment at ...Read more
Hanged for the FewJames T Carpenter
A label Billor has fled for the last ten years. Flandism is the most radical and rigid sect of Monidism, a sect that sometimes alienates its followers like Billor or angered kings like Merkvor.
Billor and four others are recruited by King Merkvor to find Weslin, ...
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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