George Skelton: There's a new sheriff at the California Public Utilities Commission. PG&E better shape up

Politics / Op Eds /

There's a new sheriff in town to regulate utilities and force them to toe the line in wildfire prevention and power shutdowns.

She's Marybel Batjer, whom Gov. Gavin Newsom recently appointed president of the California Public Utilities Commission. They don't come much better in government.

Batjer is a smart, dedicated, hard-nosed-but-likable ...Read more

Startling discovery: Impeachment is not bringing out the best in Trump

Politics / Op Eds /

Thomas Jefferson created his own Bible, deleting with a penknife those portions of the New Testament that troubled his deist views. In similar fashion, Donald Trump has apparently created his own Constitution by ripping out any clause that challenges his power or deflates his blimp-sized ego.

Monday, in the midst of the reality show that he ...Read more

Stuart Rothenberg: Would everyone please shut up for 48 hours?

Politics / Op Eds /

It's language I try not to use, but would everyone please shut up for a while?

How about two days? That's not too much to ask, is it?

The accusations and finger-pointing are getting out of hand. And tiring. And depressing. And divisive.

Maybe the cable TV folks could do something to change the tone of our national discussion by showing only ...Read more

Commentary: Trump's latest whopper: Dems' 'phony emoluments' made him cave on G-7

Politics / Op Eds /

So who persuaded President Donald Trump to reverse his plan to host next year's Group of 7 summit at one of his properties?

According to The New York Times and the Washington Post, it was criticism from fellow Republicans that caused Trump to change course after acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney announced on Thursday that the June...Read more

Commentary: We should prepare now for next hurricane

Politics / Op Eds /

Seven years ago this month, Hurricane Sandy pummeled the East Coast of the United States, killing more than 150 people and causing about $70 billion in damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure.

Governments and individuals responded with an outpouring of support for the devastated communities and funds for relief and rebuilding. The ...Read more

Editorial: Undoing the great mistake of 2016

Politics / Op Eds /

As the 2020 election approaches, the United States is deeply and bitterly polarized, shaken by acts of random and not-so-random violence, with wages still rising too slowly, income inequality continuing to increase and the American dream feeling more and more out of reach for too many people. Despite low unemployment and a frothy stock market, ...Read more

Robin Abcarian: Devin Nunes sued a fake cow. And kept suing and suing and suing …

Politics / Op Eds /

It's been a big legal year for Republican U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes of Tulare, Calif., who once co-sponsored the "Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuits Act."

He has sued:

--A stone fruit farmer in Dinuba, Calif., and two other people for conspiring to damage his 2018 reelection by asking that Nunes not be allowed to call himself a "farmer" on the ballot...Read more

Commentary: I recently took part in my first 'active killer' school drill. It was as terrifying as it was misguided

Politics / Op Eds /

One day last winter, before Florida passed a law allowing teachers to carry guns in schools, my high school students were settling into the languid routines of study hall. Some asked for library passes. Others sprawled over laptops and textbooks or pulled copies of "Monster" by Walter Dean Myers from my bookcase. Despite being told to put their ...Read more

Michael Hiltzik: Trump proposes denying free school meals to a half-million children

Politics / Op Eds /

Ever vigilant for ways to save money for the overburdened federal taxpayer, the Trump administration last week delivered its analysis of a change in eligibility for free or reduced-price school breakfasts and lunches.

The savings: $90 million a year, or two-thousandths of a percent of the $14.5-trillion federal budget. The collateral damage: ...Read more

Editorial: Choice is not enough when it comes to education

Politics / Op Eds /

More than two decades after the charter law in Pennsylvania was passed, school choice remains the center of a lively but largely unresolved debate -- one that has taken on new shapes.

"School choice" used to be synonymous with vouchers, but that is no longer the case, at least in Pennsylvania. Now, the state offers a range of public education ...Read more

Editorial: President Trump keeps digging himself a deeper hole

Politics / Op Eds /

The Trump presidency has entered a new and disturbing phase. As if an impeachment inquiry wasn't enough, Trump keeps digging himself a deeper hole.

Abandoning allies as he cedes northern Syria to Turkey. Planning to host the Group of 7 meeting at his golf resort. Stonewalling the impeachment inquiry. Insulting the speaker of the House.

And ...Read more

Commentary: Riots around the globe are linked by a common thread: frustration

Politics / Op Eds /

If it's true that "a riot," as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "is the language of the unheard," then a lot of people around the world are becoming fluent in that particular dialect.

Hong Kong, with its epic showdown between street demonstrators and police over demands for more democracy, has grabbed most of the world's attention. ...Read more

Will Bunch: About 50 Republicans are going to decide whether America becomes a dictatorship

Politics / Op Eds /

"The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him."

-- George Orwell, "1984"

The third week of October 2019 will go down in history as the moment when Donald Trump made his final, most essential demand on the ...Read more

Commentary: Mick Mulvaney can't handle the truth

Politics / Op Eds /

There've been so many things wrong with Mick Mulvaney's series of explanations for why his office delayed nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine, it's hard to know where to begin.

In summary, though, the acting White House chief of staff did two things no public official should ever, ever do. He denied saying what he was recorded saying...Read more

Commentary: We're all in denial about climate change

Politics / Op Eds /

Even people who say they believe in climate change may be in denial -- the same kind of denial that allows us to ignore our own mortality.

This tendency to turn away from disturbing facts manifests itself not in what people say but what they do. In one recent study, for example, many people in hurricane-prone regions failed to take basic ...Read more

Editorial: Get a dog and reap the health benefits

Politics / Op Eds /

Anyone who has ever owned a dog knows the experience can have its, um, drawbacks. Dogs of our acquaintance have been known to shred rolls of toilet paper, gobble food off counters, bark furiously at squirrels and letter carriers, barf on rugs, whine to be walked no matter what the weather and require expensive, time-consuming visits to the ...Read more

Patricia Murphy: Mick Mulvaney, from Washington reformer to chief of graft

Politics / Op Eds /

In 2008, days after political newcomer Mick Mulvaney won a seat in the South Carolina state Senate, he told a local newspaper that many voters had suggested that he run for the U.S. House seat held by Democrat John Spratt instead. "I couldn't stop laughing," Mulvaney said. "I'm perfectly happy being in the Senate."

But within a year, Mulvaney ...Read more

Dahleen Glanton: Column: Rep. Elijah Cummings' rise to power explains why African Americans are aligned with Democrats

Politics / Op Eds /

Many Republicans just can't seem to grasp why African Americans are so committed to the Democratic Party. If anyone really wants to understand this seemingly shatterproof bond, they need look no further than Rep. Elijah Cummings.

At one of the most crucial periods of our time, when the future of an American president is on the line, a black man...Read more

John M. Crisp: A normalized Iran is still best option in Middle East

Politics / Op Eds /

For several years I've argued that the Middle Eastern power most likely to be able to impose semi-stability on the region is Iran. The United States has labored at this task for decades without success. Now President Donald Trump's bungling in northern Syria and his public expression of a desire to leave the Middle East completely have destroyed...Read more

Doyle McManus: Foreign policy is on the 2020 ballot, right alongside Trump

Politics / Op Eds /

A rare, underappreciated drama broke out in last week's Democratic presidential debate in Ohio: The candidates had a serious argument over foreign policy.

Asked about President Trump's decision to let Turkey seize northern Syria, the Democrats unleashed a predictable flood of condemnation: "outrageous," "shameful," "a betrayal of American ...Read more


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