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Trump's shutdown and the economic precipice

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

I was in Bill Clinton's Cabinet when Newt Gingrich pulled the plug on the federal government in the mid-'90s. It wasn't a pretty picture. A long shutdown hurts millions of people who rely on government for services and paychecks.

Donald Trump's shutdown also adds to growing worries about the economy. The stock market is on track for the worst ...Read more

Merry Christmas to the Chreasters, Christians who attend services only on Christmas and Easter

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- Christmas remains wondrous, but it arrives at a difficult moment for Christianity in the United States.

We still see Christmas trees strapped to the tops of cars, neighbors lighting up their homes and kids getting as excited as ever. And the churches will be unusually full. This last point is revealing: A relative decline of ...Read more

Me and Frosty, we're gonna be fine

From the Left / Marc Munroe Dion /

For the newspaper columnist, the Christmas effort is fraught with peril. Is he/she writing about Christmas because there are warm feelings to be conveyed, because the babe was warmed by the breath of oxen, because Jesus may come back before global warming finishes off the last of those cute-as-hell penguins?

Or...

Is the writer just looking ...Read more

Trump has forfeited America's Cold War victories

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

Perhaps the timing of George H.W. Bush's death last month was merciful. This way he didn't have to see America lose the Cold War.

Bush presided over the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991. But the triumph he and others earned with American blood and treasure over 71 years, defeating the Soviet Union and keeping its successor in check, has been ...Read more

There is no such thing as inhumane security

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Mr. Pitts is away. Today's column is by Robert Koehler.

It's the phrase "border security" that freezes my soul every time I hear it uttered, every time I see it in print -- so simplistically obvious, the equivalent of keeping your door locked. Did you ever have your cellphone swiped? If you're careless about this, you'll pay the price.

...Read more

What this current crisis tells us about 2020 voters

From the Left / Mark Shields /

In these Washington hours of genuine bipartisan panic after the principled resignation of the nation's thoroughly respected secretary of defense, James Mattis, American voters are forced to confront the real-life consequences of what it means to have elected an amateur-outsider -- with no governmental or military experience -- to be president of...Read more

Obamacare ruling notwithstanding, Trump has nothing to show for health care promises

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Editor's note: Mr. Page is away. The following column is by Jules Witcover.

WASHINGTON -- After two long years of fruitlessly trying to kill Obamacare, the Republican Party and President Trump have been given a political hand grenade by a federal judge in Texas to get the job done.

U.S. ...Read more

Everywhere, there is a growing backlash to populism

From the Left / Fareed Zakaria /

NEW YORK -- Emmanuel Macron has been the great hope for those who worry that global politics is being dominated by populism, nationalism and racism. In his presidential campaign last year, Macron was able to rally France around a message of reform and multilateralism, staying firmly wedded to the European Union and other international alliances ...Read more

Rudy Giuliani is the fool for our time

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

WASHINGTON -- Rudy Giuliani started Tuesday in the manner Americans have come to expect of the president's lawyer: He attacked former FBI director James Comey by tweeting a cartoon image of Bashful from Disney's "Snow White."

Giuliani deleted the tweet, and anyway, it's not clear why he chose Bashful. Considering Giuliani's recent antics, the ...Read more

The Trump that might have been

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- The week before Christmas may go down as the strangest and most revealing of Donald Trump's presidency.

Over just a few days, his sheer thuggishness, venality and corruption were laid bare. But it was also a time for Trumpian good deeds that allowed us a glimpse at how he might have governed if he had been shrewder -- and had a ...Read more

Michael Flynn's judge just struck a potent blow for the rule of law

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

WASHINGTON -- Judge Emmet G. Sullivan saw it coming.

The veteran jurist presiding over Michael Flynn's sentencing had seen the filing by President Trump's former national security adviser alleging that he was essentially tricked into lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia. No doubt, he had seen Trump's false claim that the FBI ...Read more

A tale of two foundations, one slandered, one dishonest

From the Left / Joe Conason /

Nobody ought to be surprised to hear of the belated demise of the Donald J. Trump Foundation, a racketeering enterprise under investigation by the state authorities in New York for the past two years. Barbara Underwood, the state attorney general, announced that the foundation will dissolve and its assets distributed to bona fide charitable ...Read more

White churches have moral responsibility to stand up

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

In 2019, we will commemorate 400 years since the first 20 slaves were transported by ship from Africa by white slave traders and landed in Jamestown, Va.

Now four centuries later, race still remains a central dividing line. Today, for example, the racial wealth gap exposes a stark difference. The median wealth of a white household (median means...Read more

Trump's contempt for his job is evident in shutdown threat

From the Left / Clarence Page /

Editor's note: Clarence Page is away. Today's column is by Jules Witcover.

WASHINGTON -- Every American president's responsibility is to see that the government in his care runs smoothly and continuously.

Consider, then, Donald Trump's blatant declaration in his White House meeting last week with the Democratic congressional leaders: "I...Read more

This week in Trump inhumanity: Keeping a mother from her dying toddler

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration is making a fool of Chief Justice John Roberts.

Administration lawyers told the Supreme Court that Trump's travel ban was not a "Muslim ban" in large part because it grants waivers to those in hardship who don't pose a national-security threat -- and Roberts fell for it. In his majority opinion upholding ...Read more

Trump's secrets of success have finally failed him

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

WASHINGTON -- The racket inside Donald Trump's head must sound like the roar of a train. Investigations are coming at him from all sides -- from the special counsel, from the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, from the New York state attorney general, from the relentless poking around of news organizations and, soon, from the hydra-headed ...Read more

What's truly terrifying about Trump's private transactions

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

Donald Trump has described the payments his bagman, Michael Cohen, made to two women during the 2016 campaign so they wouldn't discuss their alleged affairs with him as "a simple private transaction."

Last week, when ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked Cohen if Trump knew the payments were wrong and were made to help his election, Cohen replied, ...Read more

Recent events have led to the beginning of the end for the gun lobby

From the Left / E.J. Dionne Jr. /

WASHINGTON -- Sometimes, dramatic shifts in American politics go unnoticed. They are buried under other news or dismissed because they represent such a sharp break from long-standing assumptions and expectations.

So please open your mind to this: Taken together, the events of 2016 and the results of the 2018 election will be remembered as the ...Read more

The GOP majority's last words: But her emails!

From the Left / Dana Milbank /

Republicans, in the waning hours of their eight-year reign in the House, are using this precious time to do what they love best: investigating Hillary Clinton's emails.

The House Oversight Committee had one last item on this year's calendar -- a hearing Thursday on the Clinton Foundation. But it didn't stop there! Republicans and their ...Read more

After reading Epstein's victims' account, how does Labor Secretary Acosta sleep at night?

From the Left / Leonard Pitts Jr. /

Editor's Note: Leonard Pitts, Jr. is away. The following column is by Carl Hiaasen.

Stephen King himself would be challenged to invent a fictional villain as monstrous as Jeffrey Epstein, but Epstein is real.

And, despite mountainous evidence of stomach-churning crimes, today he is free as a bird -- thanks to the man who now sits as the...Read more

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