Politics, Moderate

/

Politics

Obama's Truth Out of Africa

WASHINGTON -- It is good to be President Barack Obama these days.

In the midst of a visit to Africa, including Kenya, where Republican front-runner Donald Trump has insisted Obama was born, the president seems to have been liberated by events and circumstances to speak his true mind.

Events include the Supreme Court's favorable rulings on the ...Read more

Before We Lose Our Minds

WASHINGTON -- Current quibbling over what Jeb Bush meant when he said it's time to phase out and replace Medicare -- as opposed to "attacking the seniors," as one woman at a recent event bellowed out -- will soon seem quaint against the realities of our future.

Never mind projections that the program will only be able to finance 86 percent of ...Read more

Trumping Himself

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump can't help himself. Nor can we.

The "worse" he gets, it seems, the better we like it. Watching Trump is so deliciously awful, we don't hang on every word. We hang on the edge of our seats waiting for the next word. Whatever will this man say next?

Trump's list of quotables is long, but two stand out.

First, it was ...Read more

Nucatola Puts Me in The Mind of Swift

WASHINGTON -- In his satirical solution to Ireland's prolific poor, especially among Catholics whose fish diet was thought to enhance fertility, Jonathan Swift suggested a new menu item: Succulent 1-year-olds for dinner.

His essay "A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People from Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country ... "...Read more

Dare Not Say His Name

WASHINGTON -- In South Carolina these days, no one speaks his name.

The 21-year-old man-boy, who allegedly murdered nine people and incited unity instead of the race war he hoped for, has been condemned to an eternal slog not toward fame but to ignominy.

He is no one.

"We don't say his name," Gov. Nikki Haley told me during an interview ...Read more

Nucatola Puts Me in The Mind of Swift

WASHINGTON -- In his satirical solution to Ireland's prolific poor, especially among Catholics whose fish diet was thought to enhance fertility, Jonathan Swift suggested a new menu item: Succulent 1-year-olds for dinner.

His essay "A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People from Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country ... "...Read more

When Bragging is Winning

WASHINGTON -- "So, Mom," he says. "Did you tweet that you were going on 'Meet the Press'?"

No.

"Did you tweet that you were going on 'Hardball'?"

No.

So goes a recent conversation with my adult son, who insists I must be more aggressive about raising my profile, building my brand and promoting myself.

"In my tribe," I say, "self-promotion ...Read more

The Don vs. The Bern

WASHINGTON -- Stranger things have happened in American politics, but the sudden surge of Democratic/Populist Bernie Sanders and Republican/Pompulist Donald Trump puts one in mind of alternate universes.

And I don't mean Miss Universes.

Both men are holding second place in some polls behind Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, respectively. And both ...Read more

The Don vs. The Bern

WASHINGTON -- Stranger things have happened in American politics, but the sudden surge of Democratic/Populist Bernie Sanders and Republican/Pompulist Donald Trump puts one in mind of alternate universes.

And I don't mean Miss Universes.

Both men are holding second place in some polls behind Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, respectively. And both ...Read more

Michelle Obama's Evolution

WASHINGTON -- First-term first ladies are often shadows to their more-important husbands, dabbling in lite fare to avoid criticism and picking safe projects to shield them and their families from the inevitable slings and arrows.

The safest bet has been to keep interests close to hearth and home -- the universally approved place and role of ...Read more

The Mourning After

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- By all appearances Friday morning, as thousands lined the street waiting (and wilting) for hours in 90-degree heat to enter the funeral arena where President Obama was to deliver a eulogy for state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, racial unity seemed a comfortable fact of life.

For many, no doubt, it is. And numerous conversations ...Read more

Waiting for Obama

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Even as hundreds formed a human heart in Marion Square near Mother Emanuel Church, retailers and city residents were a little nervous about President Obama's arrival here Friday.

I say: "It's wonderful the way Charleston has come together."

They say: "Just hope it stays that way."

For shopkeepers along King Street, the ...Read more

Take It Down

WASHINGTON -- In a historic moment, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called late yesterday for removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from the Statehouse grounds.

It was the right thing to do and, to many of us, long overdue.

Whatever arguments have been offered in the past for its prominent placement on government property, the massacre of ...Read more

A Time to Grieve

WASHINGTON -- Unspeakable, unimaginable, incomprehensible and unthinkable are the words we've heard and used to describe the horrific murders of nine African-Americans as they prayed in a Charleston, South Carolina, church, shot by a hate-filled racist on a genocidal purge.

These are all we can summon to describe an event that is not human. The...Read more

And Now Comes Jeb

WASHINGTON -- If anyone should be feeling an overwhelming sense of Groundhog Day this presidential election, c'est moi.

Frankly, I've been covering Bushes for so long, I feel like I ought to be parachuting out of airplanes. In fact, the arc of my career parallels the so-called Bush Dynasty, beginning in 1980 when I was a young reporter for the ...Read more

Bill's Clintonesque Rebuttal

WASHINGTON -- It had a familiar ring: "I don't ever know what people's motives are," said former President Bill Clinton, prompting one to pause and consider just what the definition of "motives" is.

Indeed, one doesn't ever know. But when a country or a firm gives large sums of money to a charity founded by a former U.S. president, whose wife ...Read more

Pool Party Mayhem

WASHINGTON -- Video imagery doesn't get much worse than a white police officer throwing an African-American girl in a bikini to the ground, kneeling on her back as she cries, and drawing his gun on other teens.

What in God's name is wrong with our cops?

I should say, what was wrong with McKinney, Texas, police Cpl. Eric Casebolt, the officer ...Read more

Caitlyn Jenner's Politics

WASHINGTON -- Barring a terror strike or an Ebola outbreak to distract us, the 2016 presidential election seems headed for a gender identity showdown.

Within days of Caitlyn Jenner's Vanity Fair cover photo, Republican presidential candidates were being asked to comment, while conservative pundits were warning of a political apocalypse.

...Read more

Jenner's Coming-Out Party Better Kept In

WASHINGTON -- It wasn't quite "Call me Ishmael," but "Call me Caitlyn" made a whale of a splash.

One could hardly find a news channel the past couple of days that wasn't touting the former Bruce Jenner for her courageous transgender metamorphosis or admiring her "gorgeous" new look.

Within moments of the release of Vanity Fair's July cover ...Read more

Reality Show Jumps 19 Sharks

Washington -- Several years ago, I heard Republican strategist Karl Rove give a most eloquent answer to a question about his faith, rendered here from memory:

Faith is a gift that, unfortunately, I have not received.

I feel the same way about reality shows.

Whatever was given to the millions who delight in reality TV was not received ...Read more

Social Connections

Comics

Mike Luckovich Steve Benson Steve Breen Clay Bennett Chip Bok Michael Ramirez