Politics, Moderate





Team Trump should be careful what it wishes for on China

ATLANTA -- For months, President Trump's economic advisers have cheered Chinese economic suffering, celebrating every sign of weakness -- in stock markets, manufacturing, retail sales, investment -- since it surely means China is on the verge of a humiliating capitulation to Trump's demands.

Now might be a good time to put the schadenfreude to ...Read more

The euro -- still vulnerable after all these years

WASHINGTON -- On its 20th birthday, the best that can be said of the euro -- the European currency used by 19 countries -- is that it has survived. Two decades after being introduced in 1999, it has not achieved its central goals: increasing economic growth and strengthening public support for European political institutions.

In many ways, just...Read more

South Carolina against the tides

CAMDEN, S.C. -- Tom Mullikin is that guy -- you know, the one who finishes Christmas dinner, then takes off to scale Mount Everest, conducting business by satellite phone to check progress on his plan to build an ocean reef upon his return.

Yes, a reef.

But first, Everest. If Mullikin succeeds in reaching the summit, he'll have met his ...Read more

This new year, let's resolve to add to our lives, not subtract

CHICAGO -- The term "self-care" is such a treacly cliche, conjuring up images of narcissistic millennials paying an arm and a leg to do yoga while cats or baby goats take a walk on them, mid-pose.

But after a year like 2018, this is a really good time to rethink the wisdom of New Year's resolutions.

Resolutions -- usually to lose weight, get ...Read more

If we're going to waste billions on a wall, let those billions be Trump's

President Trump wants a wall. Democratic lawmakers don't want to pay for it.

Here's an elegant compromise: If Trump truly thinks building a wall is such a brilliant idea, he should pay for it himself.

I'm actually not the first to propose this. Last week, Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) suggested that our builder in chief pledge "some of his own...Read more

Trump's perilous withdrawal from Syria

WASHINGTON -- Asked to describe U.S. policy toward Syria after President Trump's sudden decision on Dec. 19 to withdraw U.S. troops from that country, several key officials use the same two words: "total chaos."

There's another phrase that comes to mind in assessing Trump's move: snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. American-backed forces...Read more

Keeping the shutdown in perspective

In official Washington and the nation's political media world, the partial shutdown of the federal government is a crisis dominating the arrival of a new Congress this week.

That perception is certainly understandable when you consider what a company town Washington, D.C., has become. Just about everyone in political circles has friends and ...Read more

Trump era takes a toll on Hispanics' faith in America

EDITORS: Please note language in 8th graf.

CHICAGO -- Despite the myth of the monolithic Hispanic voting bloc whose sole concern is immigration, more than a decade of data has shown that education, health care, jobs and the economy have been the most pressing issues on Latinos' minds.

But this past year, after countless hate crimes against ...Read more

The demographic time bomb that could hit America

In 2017, the United States saw the fewest babies born in 30 years, a stat that produced a lot of hand-wringing.

But it turns out things could be worse -- a lot worse. We could be Japan, whose unfolding demographic crisis provides some lessons for where America might be headed.

According to a new report from the Japanese government, Japanese ...Read more

A look into the crystal ball for Jan. 1, 2020

WASHINGTON -- Bill Safire, the late, great New York Times columnist, made a tradition over 35 years of publishing a year-end "office pool," a multiple-choice quiz in which, as he liked to say, "every reader becomes a pundit" because nobody knows the right answers.

The office pool died with Safire in 2009, but perhaps readers will enjoy ...Read more

Our unhappy new year

EDITORS: Please insert the attached table between the 5th and 6th grafs. Also, please note that Robert J. Samuelson is taking a one-column vacation. His next column will move Friday, Jan. 4, for release Monday, Jan. 7.

WASHINGTON -- As we enter 2019, the question that looms over America is simple: Can we govern? The answer is no. Unless this ...Read more

Trump did what he always does and changed his mind. Why was Congress surprised?

The only way to deal with Donald Trump is to not do deals with Donald Trump. The private sector has learned this; when will Congress?

For his entire career, our dealmaker in chief has relied on a not-so-secret technique for extracting supposedly good deals: He agrees to a given set of terms and then, at the last minute, reneges on them.

He has...Read more

Here's hoping the U.S.-North Korea dialogue continues in the new year

WASHINGTON -- Here's one New Year's resolution that should be easy: The United States and North Korea should resume the diplomatic progress they began in 2018 toward peace and denuclearization.

It's a measure of this year's turbulent pace that the Singapore summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un just six months ago now seems a ...Read more

Keystone Cops capture U.S. economy

The Keystone Cops are officially in charge of our economy.

Markets have been plunging, with the S&P 500 down 20 percent from its September peak. A lot of factors have driven the correction, including President Trump's trade wars, his government shutdown and a surprise court ruling declaring Obamacare unconstitutional.

Trump needs a villain, ...Read more

What Trump's Syria decision means on the front lines of the fight against the Islamic State

WASHINGTON -- The voice of Gen. Mazloum Abdi, the Kurdish commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces militia, is tight and controlled as he describes President's Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the country and leave America's allies to their fate.

"This was something we never expected," he said somberly in a telephone interview ...Read more

The myth of American military invincibility

WASHINGTON -- The most uncovered story in Washington these days is the loss of U.S. military power -- a lesson particularly important in light of recent events: the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis; President Trump's insane decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria; North Korea's announcement that it will keep nuclear weapons after ...Read more

The Grinch has lost his mind

WASHINGTON -- 'Tis not the season to be jolly, thanks to Donald Trump.

His sudden, unilateral decision to withdraw troops from Syria, forcing the resignation of Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis -- one of the last bulwarks against the president's impulsivity -- has cast a pall on the holidays and, perhaps, the future.

In his letter of ...Read more

This Christmas, open your heart to the stranger seeking refuge

CHICAGO -- It's shocking that in an increasingly secular country, those who complain that Christmas is too commercialized and not Christian enough are almost always the same people who seem to lack a shred of humanity for people who are suffering.

Fox News' Tucker Carlson recently bemoaned "progressive attacks on Christmas," fretting that ...Read more

The loyal soldier reached his limit

During the past year, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has sometimes seemed to be running the Pentagon with clenched teeth. He kept quiet when President Trump made decisions that Mattis thought were wrong; he sat steely-eyed in White House meetings, refusing to indulge in the idolatry toward Trump of other Cabinet members. He argued for the policies...Read more

Has the GOP tax cut delivered? Yes -- and the tooth fairy was here just last night!

Happy first birthday, GOP tax cuts.

Normally we don't expect much of 1-year-olds. This kiddo's parents, however, had high hopes -- promises, you might say -- for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: It would reduce deficits, supercharge the economy (and stocks and wages), and draw droves of grateful voters to the Republican Party.

So where do those ...Read more


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