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Politics

Lies the liars tell

From the Left / Mark Shields /

When politicians talk in private, they regularly use a cruel shorthand. For example, a candidate who is uninformed, unreflective and uncurious is often branded a "lightweight," as in, "He is so lightweight he could tap-dance on a souffle." Conversely, a "heavyweight" would be a politician of some substance, some political clout and personal ...Read more

'We' once did fight wars

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Beneath the perfectly manicured lawns and under the pines and elm trees at the Normandy cemetery lie 9,388 Americans who died during D-Day or in the liberation of France that followed. Among them is a most unlikely combatant, a 56-year-old Army officer who was a wounded veteran of World War I also suffering from a heart condition and arthritis. ...Read more

Understanding why Donald Trump loathes John McCain

From the Left / Mark Shields /

The guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain, "Big Bad John," was christened in 1992 in honor of the U.S. Navy's first father-son duo of four-star admirals, "Slew" and Jack. On July 12, 2018, their son and grandson respectively, retired Navy captain and U.S. Sen. John S. McCain III was added to the official namesake of that Navy ship in a ...Read more

Remember: American politics is very imitative

From the Left / Mark Shields /

It's a better than even bet that in Massachusetts today there is more than one ambitious young Democratic candidate running for local office who is deliberately pronouncing the word "again" so that it rhymes with "a pain." Why, you logically ask? Because that's how the martyred John F. Kennedy pronounced "again." American politics and campaigns ...Read more

Trustworthiness and likability, 2020 could well be a very good year

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In my line of work, I run into more than a few Democrats whose mood swings of late are frankly semi-wild. Last November, when their party won 41 Republican U.S. House seats and took the House majority from the GOP, Democrats were almost giddy, increasingly confident that voters in 2020 would see the error of their ways and make Donald Trump the ...Read more

A story 'too good to check'

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Shortly after the cooling of the earth, when I was working for The Washington Post, I more than once heard a grizzled editor skeptically caution a younger reporter who was sure that he, alone, had gotten a stop-the-presses exclusive scoop that was going to lead the paper and, quite possibly, change the world: "If your mother tells you she loves ...Read more

Norman Mineta's is an uniquely American story

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Feb. 19, 1942, was not President Franklin Roosevelt's finest day. Some 10 weeks after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, FDR signed Executive Order 9066, which violated the legal rights of some 120,000 Japanese Americans. In short order, people of Japanese descent were given just 48 hours to dispose of their homes, their farms, their businesses. ...Read more

America has an urgent need for baseball today

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In America today and in its capital city of Washington, D.C., we see, sadly, that with enough money and influence, the fix can be put in. A widely used passenger plane model -- whose safety standards were certified by the manufacturer -- had to be grounded after separate crashes took 346 lives. According to the sworn testimony of the president's...Read more

What will we, the voters, be looking for in our next president?

From the Left / Mark Shields /

We Americans have a predictable reaction when a president in his performance or his conduct disappoints us: We almost always go looking for a successor presidential candidate who, we think, possesses the very qualities of character and talent we unhappily learned were missing in the president who has just let us down.

Think about the pattern: ...Read more

He actually was a great man

From the Left / Mark Shields /

He was the most uncommon presidential candidate. Most of them, disappointingly, flatter every group of voters they appear before by telling them what they're confident they want to hear. Candidates, to put it bluntly, verbally caress the erogenous zones of the body politic. But not so with one presidential candidate, then-Sen. Ernest "Fritz" ...Read more

The Powell Doctrine Has Been Repealed

From the Left / Mark Shields /

Long before he would become America's 65th secretary of state, Colin Powell was a young Army officer who served two combat tours in Vietnam. There, Lt. Powell held in his arms a young American soldier whose body had been blown apart -- and whose life would, in a few hours, be ended -- by a land mine. Colin Powell understood the responsibility ...Read more

This president is the polar opposite of those I respect

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island, as a humble private, I was taught that at the very top of the chain of command stood the president of the United States, who was then Dwight D. Eisenhower. As supreme commander of the Allied forces in Europe, Gen. Eisenhower had made the fateful decision on June 6, 1944, to send 159,000 Allied troops ...Read more

 

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