Politics, Moderate





Right now there's finger-pointing everywhere

Politics, Moderate / Bob Franken /

It's really difficult to tell because his hands are so small, but it looks for all the world that President Donald Trump has an extended middle finger raised at, well, all the world. Who knew that he could speak in sign language? Or at least that he knew how to say one word? Come to think of it, it's two words. He seems to have decided on a ...Read more

Why we should impeach and remove

EDITORS -- Effective Nov. 1, columns by Robert J. Samuelson will be available for print publication only.

WASHINGTON -- No one has worked more aggressively to trigger impeachment than the president. You may remember that, during the campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump suggested that, should he win, he might become one of the most "boring" ...Read more

Will the Supreme Court or Congress ban discrimination against gays?

For 55 years, federal law has banned employment discrimination on the basis of sex. If you're a woman, you can't be denied a job because an employer thinks it's not suitable for women. The law hasn't always been obeyed or enforced as it should be, but the basic rule is clear.

What isn't clear is a question now before the U.S. Supreme Court: ...Read more

Yet again, the truth outed

WASHINGTON -- Shakespeare long ago wrote that "truth will out," meaning that what's true -- by virtue of its basis in fact and logic -- eventually will conquer the lie.

Sometimes truth is so eager to be heard that it slips past the speaker's tongue without his conscious cooperation.

Enter acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. On ...Read more

If You Share Your DNA, Should You Expect Privacy?

Politics, Moderate / Diane Dimond /

Imagine a day when hardly anyone is able to get away with murder. Think about that. If there were a way to almost guarantee a killer would be discovered and punished, wouldn't the murder rate go into freefall decline?

Frivolous thinking, you say? Well, consider the forensic crime-fighting advances that have been developed in recent years.

...Read more

Baseball and the political games played on Capitol Hill

Politics, Moderate / Bob Franken /

Oct. 15 meant that those of us who call D.C. home had to make a decision. We were forced to pick between keeping tabs on another Democratic presidential candidate debate or going to the ballgame to watch Washington at Nats Park sweep the St. Louis Cardinals (sorry for gloating, St. Louis), thereby winning the National League pennant and heading ...Read more

Perhaps Sanders and Warren are the ones being politically expedient

EDITORS -- Effective Nov. 1, columns by Catherine Rampell will be available for print publication only.

Another Democratic debate, another argument about how anyone who questions the merits of various lefty ideas just doesn't have "the guts" (to use Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' preferred term) to "dream big and fight hard" (quoth Massachusetts ...Read more

If I had a conversation with Brad Pitt I'd ask about his faith in God

I'm sure diehard Brad Pitt fans will be flocking to theaters to see his new film, "Ad Astra," a space drama that delves into deep existential questions. Pitt plays middle-aged astronaut Roy McBride, who is on a mission to Neptune to find answers about a 30-year-old voyage during which his astronaut father's crew disappeared.

Of all the films I ...Read more

Bill Barr to nonbelievers: Go to hell!

Attorney General William Barr believes fervently in the free exercise of religion -- for religious believers, or at least for those who fall within the "Judeo-Christian" category. But for anyone whose exercise of religious freedom involves rejecting religion, he harbors a distinct hostility.

He made his feelings clear in a recent lecture at the...Read more

White fragility cripples America's ability to heal its racism

CHICAGO -- After a recent reading of Robin J. DiAngelo's urgently needed book "White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism," I vowed to wait for a clear-cut example of white fragility before writing about it.

My wait lasted all of two weeks. That's when white students at Georgia Southern University burned the books ...Read more

The US should double down on support for Lebanon

EDITORS -- Effective Nov. 1, columns by David Ignatius will be available for print publication only.

BEIRUT -- The aftershocks of President Trump's abandonment of the Kurds in Syria are rumbling through the region, and a string of Lebanese officials told me last week that they fear they're the next to be discarded by America.

Lebanese ...Read more

Why the global economy remains so weak

EDITORS -- Effective Nov. 1, columns by Robert J. Samuelson will be available for print publication only.

WASHINGTON -- We've seen this movie before. The top economists at the International Monetary Fund -- the global agency created after World War II to promote stability and growth in the world economy -- unveil their latest forecast, which is...Read more

The attorney general is determined to undermine your privacy

Politics, Moderate / Jacob Sullum /

The Justice Department claims to support "strong encryption, which is used by billions of people every day for services such as banking, commerce, and communications." Yet the department is actively working to weaken encryption, lest fully secure communications frustrate law enforcement agencies seeking access to possibly incriminating messages ...Read more

Is Trump's tail wagging Erdogan?

WASHINGTON -- So let me get this straight: President Trump ordered the removal of American troops from northern Syria, knowing that Turkey would invade, seize and occupy Kurd-occupied land.

But now, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did just that, killing Kurds who had been U.S. allies in the fight against the Islamic State, Trump is...Read more

Is this Barr's cry for help?

On Friday, in a closed-door speech at the University of Notre Dame, Attorney General William Barr talked at length about a "campaign to destroy the traditional moral order."

The alleged perpetrator of this campaign?

"Militant secularists," who insist upon keeping government institutions free from the influence of any faith or creed.

To be ...Read more

Trump's enablers employ a verbal smokescreen

Politics, Moderate / Bob Franken /

President Donald Trump and his accomplices are really busy deflecting all the damning charges against them by using every misleading tactic available. They are putting the "con" in "Constitution." When he doesn't flat-out lie, his lawyers are utilizing that time-dishonored tactic of obfuscation, muddying up the clear meaning of the nation's ...Read more

Mass shooting at condo complex isn't a Chicago thing. It's uniquely American

Politics, Moderate / Rex Huppke /

They were eating dinner when the shooting started.

That's a pretty American sentence, when you think about it.

Shootings just happen in this country. During dinner. During mass. During parties and picnics. On shopping trips. At class. In movie theaters.

Four people were eating dinner Saturday night in a condo on Chicago's Northwest Side when ...Read more

For American soldiers, Trump's betrayal of the Kurds is sickening

WASHINGTON -- At a gathering last Saturday night of military and intelligence veterans, one topic shrouded the room: President Trump's decision to abandon Kurdish fighters in Syria who had fought and died to help America destroy the Islamic State.

"It's a dagger to the heart to walk away from people who shed blood for us," one former top CIA ...Read more

The malevolent aura of Donald J. Trump

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- As the world seems consumed by all things Ukraine, it's time once again to dust off the ever-popular, evergreen headline: Rudy, Rudy, Rudy.

As in, what happened to the nation's mayor, Rudy Giuliani? He held so much promise. He was the prosecutor and leader who cleaned up New York City. He was the man of the hour after the 9/11...Read more

Parent-teacher conferences reveal unfortunate patterns

CHICAGO -- It's parent-teacher conference time at schools across the land and I'm here to share the two unfortunate rules of thumb that teachers like myself understand about this exercise.

First, mostly it's the stronger students' parents who'll show up. They're a joy, but you really need to see the parents of the kids who are ...Read more