The Federal Railroad Administration's decision to formally cancel a $929 million federal grant made in 2010 to the hugely troubled California bullet-train project was immediately depicted by Gov. Gavin Newsom as "political retribution" by President Donald Trump. But there are two key facts that strongly undercut Newsom's claim.
The first is ...Read more
With Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey's signature on Wednesday, her state took the lead in the race to pass the nation's most restrictive abortion law. Ivey gave women in Washington one more reason to be grateful they live in a state that protects their right to choose but not a reason to be complacent about those rights being curtailed nationally.
President Donald Trump made a great show Friday of declaring that imported automobiles are a threat to national security, buttressing his argument in favor of tariffs on global auto imports. Happily, he put off deciding whether to pull that trigger for at least six months.
The escalating trade war with China is already threatening to hit an ...Read more
To take flight as a passenger in a large airplane is disorienting. Let's be honest, it is unnatural for us wingless humans to soar above the Earth. Yet U.S. commercial air travel is so common and reliable that fliers worry about whether the onboard Wi-Fi works without questioning how the gigantic metal bird stays aloft.
Until turbulence hits --...Read more
Christian Perez is a young man who's clearly capable of embracing change -- as evidenced by his bright red Phillies T-shirt with the name and No. 3 of the team's newest slugger, Bryce Harper. So why did the 30-year-old health-care worker from Philadelphia's Hunting Park neighborhood just spend a couple of hours on a perfect sun-soaked spring ...Read more
A president's power under the Constitution to "grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States" can be an important safety valve when the criminal justice system fails or when an offender has served his time and turned his life around. But the pardon power must be exercised for good reasons and free of political favoritism, or...Read more
It doesn't happen often, but when I agree with President Donald Trump I acknowledge it: Last week a reporter shouted a question at the president: Are we going to war with Iran? The president replied, "I hope not." So should we all.
But to hope is to relinquish agency and power over the course of events, implying that others have as much or more...Read more
A Lee's Summit, Mo., school board discussion of racial equity got so contentious the superintendent invited the board to buy him out and hire someone more to their liking. No wonder Superintendent Dennis Carpenter was frustrated after the board president suggested that "driving while blond" is an issue on par with driving while black.
That got ...Read more
Well, it looks like 2019 won't be the California state Legislature's "Year of Housing" after all.
For months, it seemed like California lawmakers were warming to the idea of sweeping legislation to make it easier to build badly needed housing. The boldest proposal on the table, by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), called for the state to ...Read more
Move the Liberty Bell? Is conservative radio host Dennis Prager serious in his piece in National Review?
To be precise, that would mean moving it again. Its original placement in Independence Hall was slightly before my time, but I was there when, a few ticks after midnight on Jan. 1, 1976, it was moved to a pavilion across Chestnut Street, 100...Read more
If there's one thing Democrats and ayatollahs agree on these days, it's that John Bolton is trying to start a war with Iran. President Donald Trump has said that he is open to negotiations and does not want a war, but his mustachioed national security adviser will not abide.
Popular as it may be in Washington, this theory has it backwards. ...Read more
President Donald Trump, courtesy of the Office of Government Ethics, gave the public its annual look at his business holdings on Thursday afternoon. According to Trump's personal financial disclosure form, his boutique portfolio of golf courses, hotels, real estate and other ventures had revenue of at least $435 million in 2018, about $30 ...Read more
My old friend Clarinda signs her e-mails "Hugs, Cl," which I think is a warm and friendly way of closing a letter to people we especially like -- good friends, specific co-workers, special neighbors -- people with whom we have a positive and informal relationship. Since imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery, I have taken to ...Read more
It makes perfect political sense that the strictest anti-abortion law in the nation, signed Wednesday by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, contains a reassuring passage stating "that a woman who receives an abortion will not be held criminally culpable or civilly liable."
Foes of abortion rights know that the vast majority of the public recoils at the ...Read more
This is where I get off, pro-life friends. And not as in hey, thanks so much for the ride, but more like how did I miss that enormous cudgel in your pocket?
The only two labels we use to describe a whole spectrum of views on abortion rights have always meant very different things to different people.
But before I moved back to red-state ...Read more
The Justice Department has added another level of confusion to the nation's already muddled capital punishment system, advising the Food and Drug Administration that it lacks the authority to regulate the importation of drugs used in lethal injections. As a consequence, the Justice Department said, the FDA can't stand in the way of states ...Read more
Some have suggested that the founder of WikiLeaks, who recently was sentenced in Britain to 50 weeks in jail for jumping bail seven years ago, should be viewed as a heroic defender of press freedom and the public's right to know. But Julian Assange is no hero.
Mr. Assange is a purveyor of stolen material -- classified American documents -- who ...Read more
Researchers for the U.S. Department of Agriculture say the Trump administration is retaliating against them for highlighting how farmers are being hurt by President Donald Trump's trade and tax policies. Some have resigned over it. The pattern is familiar with this White House, which also clashes with its own experts on issues like climate ...Read more
The immigration reform plan put forward by the White House on Thursday is a woefully insufficient answer to a terribly difficult problem.
Under the plan President Trump outlined, the government would issue fewer family reunification visas to would-be residents and more merit-based visas weighted toward younger people with "valuable skills." ...Read more
A new member of the family was coming. A baby boy: Marlen Ochoa-Lopez and Yovani Lopez's boy. Nine months pregnant, Marlen already had a 3-year-old son who now would have a brother.
Marlen, 19, was doing the things that parents do when they're bringing a new baby into the world. That includes stocking up on supplies. Before Marlen went missing,...Read more