Politics, Moderate





The Israeli-Palestinian peace process is dead

WASHINGTON -- This month commemorates two pinnacles for the benign, naive superpower that was America, both involving our now-lost role as Middle East peacemaker. Forty years ago, President Carter brokered the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt; and 25 years ago, President Clinton presided over the signing of the Oslo Accord between ...Read more

Is there a Kavanaugh doppelganger?

WASHINGTON -- In one of Brett Kavanaugh's responses to allegations that he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl when he was in high school, a charge he has denied "categorically and unequivocally," he suggested that, perhaps, this was a case of mistaken identity.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a member of the Judiciary Committee reiterated this ...Read more

Trump could play Scrooge this holiday season

For years, Donald Trump and right-wing pundits warned us about the War on Christmas. We should have listened.

Yes, they were mistaken about who would wage the assault. The anti-yuletide antagonist turns out to be neither Starbucks nor gay people nor the Obamas nor even the villainous American Civil Liberties Union.

In truth, Scrooge is Trump ...Read more

Warning from the almost-depression

WASHINGTON -- All during the 2008-09 financial crisis, Americans were told that the government was saving Wall Street not to protect overpaid bankers but to help Main Street avoid a second Great Depression. It was a hard case to make. However valid the logic, it was overwhelmed by infuriating realities -- government was pouring tens of billions ...Read more

Eleventh-hour slander

WASHINGTON -- After several days of showboating and judicial hazing, Democrats pulled out their biggest weapon against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh -- a letter from an anonymous woman claiming sexual misconduct in high school.

There are no words -- except perhaps desperate, scurrilous and embarrassing to anyone with a conscience and a ...Read more

We need to make the American dream accessible to all people

CHICAGO -- Hispanics in the United States have always been paradoxical -- both ultra-invested in their heritage yet proudly all-American; more law-abiding in the immigrant stages of life in the U.S. yet more likely to brush with the police in subsequent generations.

Another paradox is that no matter how demonized or discriminated against, ...Read more

Heaven help us in the next financial crisis

What we had here is a failure to communicate.

A decade after the financial crisis, it is clear the policymakers who averted a second Great Depression never convinced the public that what they did was right: They had to save the banks, and to save the banks, they had to save the bankers.

Those bankers started the fire, after all. The response ...Read more

Kerry's memoir shows a man strong enough to not worry about looking weak

WASHINGTON -- The public conversation this past week was dominated by a book about a man who is obsessed with winning, President Trump. Too little attention was given to a book about someone who illustrates the benefits of losing, former Secretary of State John Kerry.

Kerry's memoir, "Every Day Is Extra," was published in early September. It's ...Read more

Not every problem needs a federal solution

Fifty-five percent of voters believe that Facebook has too much power. Forty-seven percent believe the same about Twitter. For those in the political world, such numbers represent an obvious call for government action.

But voters disagree. Just 21 percent want the federal government to regulate social media giants.

That gap is partly due to ...Read more

Democrats can't afford to keep taking Latinos for granted

CHICAGO -- It's that time of the year again, when Latinos suddenly transform, Cinderella-like, from an undereducated, downtrodden and problematic population into a desirable voting bloc. They will soon turn out in droves, like an awakened sleeping giant, to revive the fortunes of the Democratic Party.

Or not.

There's little reason to believe ...Read more

There's lots of deregulation afoot. But will it really help anyone?

President Trump may be amoral, erratic, ill-informed, petty. He may speak admiringly of autocrats. His behavior may deserve invocation of the 25th Amendment.

But, hey, the tax cuts and deregulation!

So declared the anonymous senior Trump administration official who published an op-ed in the New York Times last week. And this Publius is not ...Read more

Legacies of the financial crisis

WASHINGTON -- Ten years after the 2008-09 financial crisis, we're swamped with studies and reminiscences. What are the legacies of the crisis? How long will they endure? Are they accurate -- or just convenient scapegoats? Here are three takeaways.

(1) (BEG BOLD)We can no longer rule out another worldwide depression -- something akin to the ...Read more

Things left behind

PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. -- Tuesday morning, I did what millions of people have done in hundreds of places for centuries. I picked the few favorite items that I could take with me before abandoning my home to the fates of an impending disaster.

They're only things, I told myself. Which, intellectually, we know to be true. But emotionally, we become...Read more

A portrait of a president who places image over principle

WASHINGTON -- Only a man who is deeply worried about his own strength would talk as much as Donald Trump does about the danger of appearing weak.

That's my biggest takeaway from reading "Fear," Bob Woodward's new book about the Trump presidency. The scoops were mostly revealed last week. What's fresh is Trump's repeated, obsessive talk about ...Read more

Why we don't prepare for the future

Does America adapt by crisis or consensus? Do we spontaneously change because we see we must, or must we be coerced by events that leave us no choice?

-- "The Good Life and Its Discontents: The American Dream in the Age of Entitlement"

WASHINGTON -- That's what I wrote more than 20 years ago. Americans would solve their most pressing ...Read more

No, I'm Spartacus!

WASHINGTON -- It was Day Three of the Brett Kavanaugh hearings when Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J,, launched his 2020 presidential bid as a Thracian gladiator.

His eyes glimmering pools of earnestness, Booker girded his loins and told the chamber that he was going to do the unthinkable. He was going to put everything at risk, even his place in the U....Read more

AP computer course funnels more students into STEM pipeline

CHICAGO -- Finally, some good news for brown and black students: A record number of them took Advanced Placement (AP) computer-science exams and earned a high-enough score to qualify for college credit.

The College Board, the nonprofit organization that owns the AP program, recently reported these three very bright spots:

-- African-American ...Read more

Tax Bezos. Help workers. But not like this.

By all means, let's raise the living standards of workers at Amazon, Walmart, McDonald's and other employers of low-wage Americans.

And, by all means, let's raise Jeffrey P. Bezos's taxes, too. The founder of Amazon (and owner of The Washington Post) is the wealthiest man in the world. He didn't need the tax cut that Republicans just gave ...Read more

What's the right way to deal with life in 'Crazytown'?

WASHINGTON -- This is indeed "Crazytown," as a quote from Bob Woodward's new book describes it, and we are watching a "nervous breakdown." The problem is that it afflicts the country as a whole, and not just our narcissistic chief executive.

President Trump has drawn America with him into "the devil's workshop," as Woodward quotes former White ...Read more

Protesting during the national anthem, freedom of speech and justice

Sixty-nine percent of voters nationwide believe freedom of speech is "absolutely essential." Another 23 percent believe it is "very important." In a deeply polarized political era, it's encouraging -- and amazing -- to find that 9 in 10 Americans recognize this basic freedom as being so important.

However, agreeing that free speech is important...Read more