Politics, Moderate





Promise of free college might be an empty mirage

CHICAGO -- Gubernatorial candidates in Maryland, Arizona, Connecticut and at least seven other states -- plus even more candidates for Congress -- are running on plans to make college free or "debt-free," according to the industry publication Inside Higher Ed.

But how much impact on college attendance, graduation and lifetime earnings do such ...Read more

Long may Sen. Jiminy Cricket's flag wave

WASHINGTON -- Republican Sen. Jeff Flake may have become a momentary hero for Democrats hoping to block Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but Sen. Lindsey Graham has cinched the role as Jiminy Cricket of the U.S. Senate.

Never one to shy away from cameras or fall short on quotable one-liners, Graham came out swinging during Senate ...Read more

America is living under a volcano

WASHINGTON -- America watched three searing versions of reality television this week. They all demonstrated that under the glare of the lights and the stress of questioning, character reveals itself.

Christine Blasey Ford was a startlingly powerful witness before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, in part because she had been unknown to ...Read more

Will the booming economy save republicans in the midterms?

Democrats need to win a net 23 seats in November to gain majority control in the House of Representatives. History suggests that they have a good chance of doing so because the party out of power almost always gains seats in the midterm. Even an average midterm gain would be enough to make Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi the Speaker of the House. ...Read more

Instead of focusing on fear, take action in dangerous situations

CHICAGO -- Last week, Gabrielle Giffords nailed it: "Three workplace active shooting attacks in just the last 24 hours should spark outrage in every American. No matter where you work, learn, play or live -- you have a right to feel safe, and I'm horrified that that's no longer the reality in America."

The former Arizona congresswoman was shot ...Read more

The GOP's counternarrative on 'Russia collusion' doesn't add up

WASHINGTON -- President Trump and his allies like to claim that the real "Russia collusion" story involves Justice Department and FBI officials, investigators hired by Hillary Clinton's campaign, and Russians who were feeding them information.

After reviewing scores of documents and messages released by Trump supporters in Congress, I find that...Read more

Kavanaugh circus includes plenty of sideshows

WASHINGTON -- If the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process has revealed anything, it is that there's an antidote for disaffection toward Republicans: Give Democrats the upper hand for about five minutes.

Anyone tuning in to the first Senate Judiciary Committee hearings earlier this month surely thought they had flipped to a circus show featuring...Read more

The GOP's two top priorities seem to be duds. So what does the party even stand for?

If you'd asked me a few years ago to name the Republican Party's top policy priorities, I would have said: 1) Obamacare repeal and 2) tax cuts.

Today, the GOP seems to believe that both are duds with voters. Worse than duds: huge liabilities, ripe for Democratic exploitation.

Virtually from the moment the Affordable Care Act passed, Republican...Read more

The message The Economist intended is not the one it sent

WASHINGTON -- The Economist magazine is marking its 175th birthday with a special issue that looks back on its history and speculates about the future. It is a sobering exercise, highlighting the present breakdown in the world's political order, a collapse made worse by Donald Trump but not caused by him.

When the magazine was founded in 1843 ...Read more

Florence isn't finished yet

PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. -- From dark and stormy to clear and breezy, the coastline that a million or so of us evacuated two weeks ago now looks like any other perfect day at the beach.

The only signs of there having been any weather at all are a few scattered piles of pine straw in the street. Yet doom is rising all around us with rivers close to ...Read more

Why should we believe Kavanaugh?

Why does it matter whether a then-17-year-old Brett M. Kavanaugh drunkenly tried to rape a 15 year old, at a house party, 36 years ago?

That question is implicit in all of the Republican defenses of the Supreme Court nominee.

The accusation amounts to "a little hiccup," says Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.; a "drive-by shooting," says Sen. Lindsey O....Read more

Is the Korea denuclearization process for real?

WASHINGTON -- After the big bang of the Singapore summit in June, with its showy but vague North Korean commitment to denuclearization, many analysts doubted that the deal had any real substance. But we're beginning to see the first signs of what a serious accord would look like.

This week's North-South summit meeting in Pyongyang produced ...Read more

Allegations against Brett Kavanaugh fail to move public opinion

Despite enormous media coverage and intense discussions in official Washington, the allegations leveled against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have had little impact on public opinion (so far).

Before his confirmation hearings, a ScottRasmussen.com survey found that 48 percent of voters wanted their senator to confirm Kavanaugh. After ...Read more

War on Poverty is far from over for black and Hispanic children

CHICAGO -- A mere two months ago, President Trump's White House declared the War on Poverty "largely over and a success." The administration argued that few Americans are truly poor anymore -- it estimated that the poverty rate was only about 3 percent -- and that the economy's upward tide would continue to lift the boats of those who remained ...Read more

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