Politics, Moderate

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Politics

Who's the Studliest of Them All?

WASHINGTON -- Because so many Republicans want to be president -- or at least pretend they do -- debate organizers have decided to eliminate the least popular from the stage based on how they rank in the latest national polls.

Fox News, which is hosting the first televised debate Aug. 6, and CNN, host of the second on Sept. 16, have come up ...Read more

Bab(i)es On Campus

Trigger warning: This column will include discussion of ideas that may conflict with your own.

WASHINGTON -- Those accustomed to reading or listening only to liberal commentators may not be aware of "trigger warnings" and "safe zones" on college campuses.

It seems that mostly conservative sites and writers are concerned with the ...Read more

Jeb Bush's Unfortunate Honesty

WASHINGTON -- You know we're off to the races when the first slip of the tongue by the presumed Republican presidential front-runner consumes the news for days and launches the primary race in earnest.

Even if the presumed front-runner hasn't officially announced his candidacy yet.

Jeb Bush's first, second, third and fourth answers to the ...Read more

Defining Deity Down

WASHINGTON -- It is nearly axiomatic that presidential contests tend to shine a harsh light on conservative Christians -- inasmuch as they are viewed as the Republican Party's base and are, therefore, deemed fair game.

Of course, religious folks come in a variety of stripes, checks and polka dots. Many are Democrats. But it is the members of ...Read more

Speech Abuse

WASHINGTON -- The recent spectacle of Pamela Geller, the erstwhile journalist who organized a provocative Prophet Muhammad cartoon-drawing contest in Texas, gives pause to even the most passionate defenders of the First Amendment.

Not since Westboro Baptist Church's "God Hates Fags" message -- and Florida's Quran-burning pastor Terry Jones -- ...Read more

Matters of Perception

WASHINGTON -- Comments about recent events in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray provide a glimpse at perhaps one of our greatest challenges -- perception.

In this case, as in too many others involving police, perception seems to be black and white.

"I think that if you look at what's happened over the course of the last year, you ...Read more

Wife of the Party

WASHINGTON -- The life of the wife of a presidential candidate can sometimes be like the government. Taxing.

You wake up and blink through that first cup of coffee, trying to register that the Politico headline blaring "How Rand Paul blew it on Baltimore" is about your husband.

Did Rand go to Baltimore? What did he blow?

Paul the ...Read more

Fear of Free Speech

WASHINGTON -- True words are often said in jest, it has long been said. But a harsher idiom has been taking shape in recent years: Jest is becoming the only way to express truth.

It is the columnist's curse to entertain such thoughts about disparate events that seemingly share only coincidental timing -- President Obama's comedic speech ...Read more

With a song in prisoners' hearts

BISHOPVILLE, S.C. -- Lee Correctional Institution, South Carolina's largest maximum-security prison, gets plenty of bad press -- from a riot and a lockdown in February to drone-delivered contraband a few days ago.

But within the walls of this all-male complex, something rare and beautiful is also happening.

On a recent serendipitous visit to ...Read more

Mr. Hughes Goes to Washington

WASHINGTON -- When postal worker Doug Hughes -- otherwise known as the gyrocopter dude -- landed his gizmo on the West Lawn of the Capitol, he wasn't worried about being shot down, he says.

He must be a believer in miracles because he might have been shot down -- and probably should have been. Horrible as this would have been in retrospect, he ...Read more

2016: The Woman Trap

WASHINGTON -- Here we go. If you're a woman who might prefer someone other than Hillary Clinton as the next president of the United States, you're a self-loathing, anti-woman traitor.

Already, women I know report that they're feeling the heat from their more-liberal friends. Not a Democrat for Hillary? Good luck leaning forward, at least in ...Read more

Ring in the Olde?

WASHINGTON -- Americans, perhaps more than anyone, worship the future and resent the past.

This is never truer than during a political season. It doesn't matter whether the past (meaning all of four years ago) trumps the present -- or whether the future carries a whiff of embers and smoke -- we gallop into tomorrow like a dog who mastered the ...Read more

Rolling Stone Gathers Dirt On Itself

WASHINGTON -- "As we asked ourselves how we could have gotten the story wrong ..."

Thus read a Rolling Stone editor's note attached to a post-mortem story on the false story it published last fall about an alleged gang rape by members of University of Virginia's Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.

Such statements extract all the oxygen from the air that...Read more

Revenge of the Help

WASHINGTON -- The new tell-all, "The Residence," featuring intimate anecdotes collected from past and current White House staff members, is absolutely delicious -- and utterly lacking in nutritious content.

Just as desserts should be.

Washington political writers, meanwhile, have been tearing through lists of revealed secrets thinking to ...Read more

Born-Again Parenting

WASHINGTON -- For a variety of reasons, I gave up alcohol Jan. 4. I have your attention, don't I? This is because people who enjoy drinking are always curious about people who stop. I know I always am. And this is so because most regular imbibers, especially us wine drinkers -- and especially mothers -- worry that perhaps we enjoy it too much.

...Read more

Freedom is a Two-Way Street

WASHINGTON -- Excited protests against Indiana's recently passed religious freedom law have highlighted both America's growing support for same-sex marriage and our apparent incapacity to entertain more than one idea at a time.

The law in question is a version of the 1993 federal Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA) signed by then-...Read more

A Leap of Faith -- Into Thin Air

WASHINGTON -- The apparently intentional downing of a Germanwings airliner by the co-pilot has us riveted, as commercial plane crashes usually do.

In each terrible instance, we put ourselves in the cabin, imagining what our last thoughts or actions would be. Would we close our eyes and pray? Would we scream? Would we seize the person next to us...Read more

Wacko Birds Nesting in U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON -- President Obama got it two-thirds right when he said that the delayed confirmation of his attorney general nominee, Loretta Lynch, is owing to Senate dysfunction and Republican stubbornness.

He left out the part about Democratic intransigence and at least one incident of "wacko-birdness" from the left.

When John McCain originally...Read more

Let's Not Talk

WASHINGTON -- I'm standing in the Starbucks line behind 10 other sleepyheads waiting to order my tall skinny cappuccino, otherwise known as a shot of coffee described as I wish to be.

Absolutely no one is talking about race.

In fact, no one is talking at all except to mumble an order while checking email.

I confess I'm not usually here at ...Read more

Hillary & the Media: Act 2016

WASHINGTON -- Amid all the verbiage about Hillary Clinton's email, one irrefutable fact emerges: Polls will drive us crazy before the Clintons do.

The latest CNN/ORC poll shows that a majority of Americans (51 percent) think the email controversy is "serious," yet 57 percent would be "proud" to have her as president. So what are we to conclude?...Read more

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