Given the weeks of apocalyptic speculation that preceded the Helsinki summit between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, the news conference that followed the meeting Monday should have been anticlimactic: Nothing was agreed, nothing gained or conceded. And yet John Brennan, who ran the Central Intelligence Agency during the Obama administration, ...Read more
FBI agent Peter Strzok's testimony last week before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees reminded me of that old warhorse of college freshman composition, "Politics and the English Language."
In 1946, British writer George Orwell connected the disorder of contemporary politics with the decay of clear, expressive language. Referring to ...Read more
There are few annoyances as constant in modern life as robocalls. Despite a 1991 federal law meant to limit them, robocalls to Americans set a new record last month with 4.1 billion, according to the company behind the YouMail call-blocking application.
Part of the reason the calls are surging is because of a federal court decision this year ...Read more
What exactly do Libertarians do?
Wait -- don't answer that. As someone who edited a small-l libertarian magazine for eight years, I know all your jokes: Libertarians are the people who lose (or spoil!) elections. They perform aesthetically challenging stripteases on C-SPAN, conduct unfortunate personal experiments with colloidal silver. I get ...Read more
There's a not-so-new self-defense weapon that needs its own defenders in Texas. And you can count us in.
That's because it's pretty clear that Texas law discriminates against the pink kitty key chain, especially popular among women who carry it for protection when they're walking to their cars at night, or into a dark parking garage.
In Texas ...Read more
There's Big Steel. There's Big Pharma. There's Big Tech and Big Coal and Big Banks and Big Oil. Now comes the latest major lobbying organization to throw its weight around and demonstrate the astounding hold that corporate conservatives have on all three branches of the U.S. government.
Say hello to Big Baby.
The New York Times reported that ...Read more
Last week's decision by University of Kansas officials to move a flag-based art exhibit was made hastily under political pressure, and it reflects a betrayal of the university's mission to promote learning and debate.
A flag spotted with black paint was first raised on the campus July 5. It was part of a months-long arts project called "Pledges...Read more
Timothy Trybus' belligerence speaks for itself. In a video that has gone viral, the 62-year-old man coarsely chides a young woman named Mia Irizarry for wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rican flag on it. He strides up to her, stabbing the air with his finger as he shouts: "You should not be wearing this in the United States of America!"
A few ...Read more
With his typical grandiosity, the president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, congratulated Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in his victory in the recent Mexican presidential elections: "Let the broad swathes of sovereignty and friendship of our peoples be opened," Maduro said on Twitter. With Lopez Obrador now in power, there is proof that: "Truth ...Read more
The predictions were dire in 2006 when California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill audaciously committing the state to cut greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020 to combat global warming.
Assembly Bill 32 would be a "job killer," the state Chamber of Commerce declared. Businesses would flee the state and new investments in ...Read more
Calls to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency didn't begin with the recent family separation and detention crisis, but the cry has increased in volume in the past few weeks among activists, congressional candidates and current representatives, mayors, and senators. Last week, House Democrats a bill that would establish a task ...Read more
As news consumers, we're swamped with information. Whether we read newspapers, watch cable news, or get stories from Aunt Judy on Facebook, we must decide which information is trustworthy.
Advocacy journalism outlets including Fox News and MSNBC, ideological talk radio, and conspiracy websites like InfoWars make this difficult. Was Trump ...Read more
We're too lazy, us Americans.
Or maybe we lack the requisite skills.
Either way, we're obviously not up to staffing a high priority presidential enterprise.
We can't cook. Serve food. Sling drinks. Wash dishes. Bus tables. Clean rooms. Tend gardens.
We can't perform such work well enough to serve the president's business interests. Or maybe ...Read more
Every harsh move the Trump administration makes on the southwestern border is designed to deter Central Americans from traveling to the United States. It blocks them at legal ports of entry, holds others in indefinite detention and has drastically restricted who can even ask for asylum. But there is no evidence that the flow of migrants is ...Read more
John McNamara sized up the new guy.
Leaning in, he delivered unsolicited advice.
"You know, you really don't need the tie."
Maybe a month later, he caught me on casual Friday. This time, the offending article was a lime green polo shirt.
"You buy that in the men's department?" he deadpanned past my desk at our old building on Capital Drive. ...Read more
Half a century ago, one of the big topics of debate in Washington and on this editorial page was: Why don't European nations contribute more to NATO? Only back then, Republicans were the ones arguing forcefully for U.S. sacrifice on NATO's behalf, while Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield was NATO's fiercest critic. Today, ...Read more
When I was 7, I took a walk around my new neighborhood in Havertown. Back in 1969, kids could do that, and expect to circle back safely to our front steps. Unfortunately, I happened upon a "Do Not Enter" sign at the end of a street not two blocks from my house, and panicked. A precocious and obedient young citizen, I stopped. The options were ...Read more
If Proposition 9, a ballot measure that seeks to break California into three new states, is passed by voters in November, it would throw the entire state into upheaval and uncertainty for months, if not years, during which the battle over the state's fate would continue in the courts and in Congress.
Residents would have to live with the ...Read more
The brutal murder of Emmett Till, a black Chicago youth, in Mississippi nearly 63 years ago went unpunished, but not forgotten. A decision by his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, to allow an open casket at Emmett's Chicago funeral represented an act of defiance as well as mourning, helping to ignite the modern civil rights movement. "Let the people ...Read more
President Donald Trump's pardon of two Oregon ranchers this week for willfully destroying federal property establishes a new level of impunity for anyone who is mad as hell and thinks it's OK to take the law into his own hands. In Trump's America, that's no problem as long as the vigilante is white, prone to carry guns and whose fashion ...Read more