WASHINGTON -- Historians studying the Trump presidency will have a prodigious amount of digital material that demands examination but defies explanation. The president's Aug. 21, half-hour, South Lawn press availability deserves to be at the top of that list.
With the whir of a helicopter engine in the background, Donald Trump veered from topic...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Meanwhile, in the semitropical vastness of eastern Congo, a killer is loose.
The second largest Ebola outbreak in history has entered its second year. It has taken more than 1,900 lives and shows no signs of abating. Compared with West Africa's outbreak in 2014-2015 that spread like wildfire, this one is more of a slow burn. ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- I have a confession to make. I am one of the five remaining Americans who is uncomfortable with vulgarity, put off by profanity and offended by blasphemy. Swearing is now generally taken as a sign of authenticity; it is more often the expression of anger and aggression. I don't think political discourse is improved by language more...Read more
WASHINGTON -- President Trump will do just about anything to get his daily, hypodermic fix of attention, including the spread of racist tropes and conspiracy theories. And no, I am not starting a rumor that Trump is secretly a drug addict. It is a metaphor. But if my editors and their fact checkers were all on vacation, encouraging this lie ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The concert film "Amazing Grace" accomplishes something I thought impossible -- capturing the Holy Ghost on celluloid.
Over two days in 1972, director Sidney Pollock filmed Aretha Franklin as she was recording the best-selling gospel album of all time. The setting was the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in the Watts section ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Never in my political lifetime has an American president had less moral standing to address a national threat. Nearly every phrase of Donald Trump's televised response to the El Paso and Dayton shootings could be matched with some discrediting contrast in his own voice.
Trump said: "We are a loving nation." And this love he has ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- I had fully intended to ignore President Trump's latest round of racially charged taunts against an African American elected official, and an African American activist, and an African American journalist and a whole city with a lot of African Americans in it. I had every intention of walking past Trump's latest outrages and writing...Read more
WASHINGTON -- With the imminent departure of Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats, President Trump has nearly completed his purge of independent minds.
Coats' proposed replacement, Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, is so manifestly unqualified that he may face confirmation problems with the Senate Intelligence Committee. But this is ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- I was at the dentist getting a tooth drilled at the start of Robert Mueller's comparable experience on Capitol Hill. I am the kind of person who cringes intensely while watching anyone fail in a public and humiliating fashion. So it was just as well that I missed the beginning of Mueller's halting, unsure performance and the ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- American politics is now caught in an odd and dangerous form of escalation.
The cycle begins with President Trump engaging in some form of divisive prejudice, either out of calculation or compulsion. (A group of elected, progressive women of color, say, should "go back" to their hellhole countries of origin.) There is a public ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Susan Brooks. Brian Fitzpatrick. Will Hurd. Fred Upton.
You may have read or heard these names in passing, but they are worth lingering upon. These are the four Republicans who supported a resolution condemning President Trump's plainly racist taunt urging four House members to "go back" to their countries of family origin. These ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- For many, summer is the literary season of lighter novels at the beach or pool. For me -- exhausted by the quickening pace of President Trump's moral and mental disintegration -- escape takes the form of reading works of fiction that I have often read before. Encountering a new novel is usually a stimulant. Reading a familiar novel...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The celebration of American independence is supposed to be a unifying national ritual. But we are a country with profound differences over the meaning of nationhood itself.
People in more typical countries -- such as Belgium, Japan or Russia -- are attached primarily to a unique piece of earth, a unique language, a unique culture ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- I worked for a leader who was sometimes accused of lacking in the smarts department. But no one I know who spent time with President George W. Bush was left with that impression.
Bush took an almost gleeful satisfaction in picking holes in arguments, as any half-prepared briefer quickly learned. He was also an avid reader of ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- "There has never been anyone who has defended us and who has fought for us, who we have loved more than Donald J. Trump. No one!"
This recent statement by religious right activist Ralph Reed is objectively true, at least when it comes to sloppy kisses for the president. Considered purely as a political transaction, religious ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- When dealing with a political figure who faces allegations of sexual assault, financial misdeeds and obstruction of justice, it is difficult to sort out the greatest damage to our public life. But a strong case can be made that it is the assault on truth.
This was again on display in a recent interview of President Trump by NBC ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a report that is the closest thing we have to the quantification of despair. Between 1999 and 2017, suicide rates in America rose to their highest level since World War II. The increase can be found among women and men, and in every racial and ethnic group. But ...Read more
CÚCUTA, Colombia -- The walkers come in a steady flow, individually and in small groups, through most of the day. The serpentine mountain road they take often has little room at the sides, leaving refugees in the path of traffic. The 350-mile journey to Bogota is part forced march and part pilgrimage -- impelled by hunger and desperation in ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- One measure of the seriousness of a Democratic candidate for president is his or her understanding of the importance of religion in our common life. I am not talking here of the perfunctory bow toward personal, sectarian belief, which is neither qualifying nor disqualifying in a prospective president. I refer instead to a candidate...Read more
WASHINGTON -- One of the largest obstacles to the defeat of Donald Trump in the 2020 election is the radicalism of the Democratic Party on the issue of abortion. By forcing Joe Biden to abandon his support for the Hyde Amendment -- which currently prevents the funding of abortions through Medicare -- the abortion lobby and activist liberals have...Read more