WASHINGTON -- In 1994, the Clinton administration decreed a bright shining future for education. Its Goals 2000 legislation proclaimed that by that year America's high school graduation rate would be 90 percent and American students would lead the world in math and science achievements. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., was unimpressed: "...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Soon, in a federal court that few Americans know exists, there will come a ruling on a constitutional principle that today barely exists but that could, if the judicial branch will resuscitate it, begin to rectify the imbalance between the legislative and executive branches. It is the "nondelegation doctrine," which expresses John ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- His tractor is so noisy that, when driving it, the man who calls himself "just a farmer from Butler County" puts his cellphone under his cap, set on vibrate. Charles Grassley, 85, who has served in the Senate longer than all but 11 of the 1,983 other senators -- and who still runs 3 miles four mornings a week -- does not have ample...Read more
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honorable man.
-- Shakespeare, "Julius Caesar"
WASHINGTON -- Hakeem Jeffries has, it is whispered, ambitions. The 48-year-old congressman now in his fourth term representing portions of Brooklyn and ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Surely the silliest aspirant for the Democrats' 2020 presidential nomination is already known: "Beto," aka Robert Francis, O'Rourke is a skateboarding man-child whose fascination with himself caused him to live-stream a recent dental appointment for -- open-wide, please -- teeth cleaning. His journal about his post-election ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Margaret Thatcher's description of herself as a "conviction politician" alarmed some Britons but delighted others because her convictions were incompatible with the flaccid centrist consensus that had produced their nation's 1970s stagnation. In 1979, voters rolled the dice, sending her to Downing Street. In Massachusetts Sen. ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Back in the day, small rural airports had textile windsocks, simple and empty things that indicated which way the wind was blowing. The ubiquitous Sen. Lindsey Graham has become a political windsock, and as such he -- more than the sturdy, substantial elephant -- is emblematic of his party today.
When in 1994, Graham, a South ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Half or a quarter of the way through this interesting experiment with an incessantly splenetic presidency, much of the nation has become accustomed to daily mortifications. Or has lost its capacity for embarrassment, which is even worse.
If the country's condition is calibrated simply by economic data -- if, that is, America is ...Read more
LONDON -- The poet Rupert Brooke voiced the exhilaration of those Britons who welcomed the war in 1914 as a chance to escape monotonous normality, "as swimmers into cleanness leaping." They got four years mired in Flanders' mud. In a 2016 referendum, Britons voted, 52 percent to 48 percent, for the exhilaration of emancipation from the European ...Read more
"In my country the people can do as they like, although it often happens that they don't like what they have done." -- Winston Churchill, 1946
LONDON -- During the Second World War, as U.S. power was eclipsing Britain's, Harold Macmillan, a future prime minister, reportedly said, "These Americans represent the new Roman Empire and we ...Read more
BERLIN -- Armin-Paulus Hampel, a former journalist and commentator who now is a member of the Bundestag, is ebullient, affable, opinionated, voluble and excellent company at lunch. But because his party is Alternative for Germany, one wonders whether he is representative of it, and whether he is as congenial politically as he is socially.
AfD ...Read more
BERLIN -- In one of contemporary history's intriguing caroms, European politics just now is a story of how one decision by a pastor's dutiful daughter has made life miserable for a vicar's dutiful daughter. Two of the world's most important conservative parties are involved in an unintended tutorial on a cardinal tenet of conservatism, the law ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- If Republicans have a lick of sense, they are alarmed by a recent sign of intelligent life in the other party. The sign is the election by Democrats in the House of Representatives of Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos as chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. In November she won a fourth term by 24 percentage points, ...Read more
"You're the top! You're an Arrow collar.
You're the top! You're a Coolidge dollar.
You're the nimble tread of the feet of Fred Astaire,
You're Mrs. Sweeny,
-- A version of "You're the Top," Cole Porter (1934)
WASHINGTON -- In the early 1930s, when Benito Mussolini was ...Read more
"The money man dealing himself a hot royal flush. Then giving you and me a phony hand like a pair of tens or something."
--"Waiting for Lefty," Clifford Odets, 1935
WASHINGTON -- With his gravelly voice and his lack of senatorial sheen -- even in a well-pressed suit he somehow radiates rumpledness -- Sherrod Brown could have wandered ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- A word can be worth a thousand pictures. In the movie "Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer," the mild word "snip" describes what the camera, demonstrating the eloquence of reticence, does not show in gory detail: Kermit Gosnell's use of scissors to cut the spinal cords of hundreds of babies that survived his late-...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Unanimity is elusive in today's America but the Supreme Court achieved it last week. Although the dusky gopher frog is endangered, so are property rights and accountable governance. Both would have been further jeopardized if the frog's partisans in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) had gotten away with designating 1,544 ...Read more
EDITORS: The George F. Will column sent Thursday on the dusky gopher frog can now be published on Thursday, Dec. 6, or another time of your choosing.
WASHINGTON -- At the beginning of his long and well-lived life, George Herbert Walker Bush, who in politics was always prosaic, acquired, by way of a grandfather, the name of a British poet and ...Read more
DENVER -- Social scientists, say Colorado boosters, have plausible metrics identifying their state as the happiest and healthiest state, the former quality perhaps producing the latter. Or the other way around. Or maybe the tangle of causation cannot be unwoven. Be that as it may, 300 days of sunshine -- this Mile High City is practically cheek-...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Tyson Timbs made a mistake, but not one as important as Indiana's Supreme Court made in allowing to stand the punishment the state inflicted on him. He was a drug addict -- first with opioids prescribed for a work-related injury, then heroin -- when his father died. He blew the $73,000 insurance payout on drugs and a $41,558 Land ...Read more