Politics, Moderate



Americans turn away from the death penalty, and Democrats are with them


Kamala Harris has always opposed capital punishment. As district attorney of San Francisco, she refused to seek the death penalty for an accused cop-killer, infuriating the police union and putting her at odds with California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. In her 2010 race for attorney general, Harris barely beat a Republican foe ...Read more

At the NATO summit, Trump indulges his weird obsessions

Donald Trump is a volatile personality with a penchant for creating chaos and uncertainty. His impulsive, irascible nature often makes it appear that the only logic to his presidency is whatever event or TV clip happens to grab his attention.

But it would be a mistake to regard his presidency as a disorganized mess. It's an organized mess that ...Read more

Rewarding bad behavior is a recipe for worse

Professional football involves systematic violence. On every play, men do things that would get them arrested in other contexts. What makes it a game -- rather than a brawl, a riot or deadly combat -- is that the violence is controlled.

There's a penalty for "unnecessary roughness" because roughness must be kept within certain limits. Some ...Read more

An option for Republicans: censure Trump

For Republicans who are weary of trying to deny the obvious about Donald Trump and his attempt to force Ukraine's president to give him ammunition against Joe Biden, there is another option. In Thursday's hearing, Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, tried it out.

Trump's conduct was "inappropriate," "misguided" and "undermined our national security," Hurd...Read more

Legal pots meets the not-in-my-backyard crowd

The effort to legalize recreational marijuana for adult use has been long, slow and arduous, but in recent years, 11 states have taken that step. The demonization of cannabis, however, has not stopped. It has merely shifted from the state level to the local level -- as not-in-my-backyard activists mobilize to keep pot as far away as possible.

...Read more

Trump was combating corruption in Ukraine? Don't make me laugh

The House Intelligence Committee is called that for good reason: It oversees intelligence matters. And Trump's defenders on the committee think it's their job to insult our intelligence.

One of their more novel defenses of how Donald Trump dealt with Ukraine is that he was implacably determined to root out corruption in that country. For sheer ...Read more

I told you Obama was a moderate

Who would have ever thought that in his post-presidency years, Barack Obama would take a hard turn to the right? But lately he's earned praise from sharp-edged conservatives while getting the side-eye from progressives.

"Good for Obama. (Not sarcastic!)" tweeted Ann Coulter.

"What's really nice to hear is Barack Obama standing up for our ...Read more

Ban fracking? On climate change, some Democrats have a better idea

The Trump administration's formal notification that it will abandon the Paris climate agreement should be treated as a huge in-kind contribution to the Democratic Party. It's an emphatic message to anyone who cares about the planet: Do not, under any circumstance, vote Republican in 2020.

The Democrats running for president could not be more ...Read more

Fiscal abandon is a bipartisan project

In 2020, Democrats and Republicans will highlight their differences on a long list of issues, from impeachment to climate change to health care. But they happen to be in perfect accord when it comes to being fiscally reckless. Our elected officials in Washington shower in red ink, douse their morning cereal with red ink and irrigate their lawns ...Read more

Trump makes life miserable for Republicans

Andrew Yang is running for the Democratic nomination for president, but he may have a unique understanding of what it's like to be a Republican member of Congress right now.

After accumulating $120,000 in student loan debt to get a Columbia law degree, Yang went to work for a big New York law firm. He quit after "the worst five months of my ...Read more

Trump keeps doing favors for Putin

Under fire from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, Donald Trump bitterly abandoned his plan to hold the next summit of the Group of Seven industrialized nations at one of his Florida resorts. But he has another idea for the meeting that he has not given up: inviting Vladimir Putin.

It's one of those Trump ideas that address no obvious ...Read more

'Medicare for All' is a vast deception

Elizabeth Warren took a pounding in the recent Democratic debate for her lack of candor on "Medicare for All." Asked whether it would require the middle class to pay more in taxes, she was a study in wriggly evasion. But that was no surprise. The selling of "Medicare for All" depends on a large amount of deception.

The name itself is deeply ...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

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

Republicans Betray Ukraine to appease Trump

Not so long ago, congressional Republicans strenuously opposed the Russian conquest of Crimea, saw an urgent need to help Ukraine fight back and castigated the president of the United States for withholding the military aid it needed. What ever happened to those guys?

Donald Trump's July 25 phone call has ignited a controversy over whether he ...Read more

Trump's strategy appears to be fighting dirty

"Never wrestle with a pig," says the old maxim. "You both get dirty, and the pig likes it." That's the risk facing Democrats who hope to impeach and remove the president or defeat him at the polls. But sometimes, pig wrestling is a task that cannot be avoided.

Donald Trump is not typical of politicians or human beings. When accused of ...Read more

Beto's Boneheaded Call for Gun Confiscation

In an IQ contest with Beto O'Rourke, I would guess, Donald Trump would finish a distant second. But in tweeting Wednesday that, when it comes to gun legislation, "Dummy Beto made it much harder to make a deal," Trump actually had a point.

The president was referring to O'Rourke's comments on AR-15 rifles during the Sept. 12 Democratic ...Read more

The US Should Not Fight a War for Saudi Oil

From Donald Trump's comments on the attack on a Saudi oil facility, allegedly by Iran, it's not clear whether he's itching for a fight, leery of a fight or willing to take part in a fight if his friends in Riyadh want him to. He alternates between talking tough, waxing conciliatory and sounding as though he has no idea what to do.

But the ...Read more

Trump Ended the Taliban Peace Talks, but Not the War in Afghanistan

The Taliban will not be guests at Camp David. The peace talks with them are history, and the Afghan government is relieved that it can proceed with the Sept. 28 presidential election without feeling irrelevant. There is only one problem: The U.S. war in Afghanistan continues on its interminable, ineffectual course.

The president said the ...Read more

If the Economy Tanks, It Will Be on Trump

Democratic political consultant James Carville once said that if he were reincarnated, he'd want to come back as the bond market because "you can intimidate everybody." Donald Trump is not intimidated by the bond market. On the contrary, its fear of him has caused yields to fall.

What scares him is my profession. "The Economy is great," he ...Read more


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