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Ideas & Voices


FRESH IDEAS: The jolt of love and wanting

From The Hedgehog Review: “To love is to be jolted out of the self by the strangeness of another person, and the beloved entrances precisely because of his unutterable difference — the most basic and insuperable absence. He is absent even when he is present because he is other, situated outside of myself: ‘But isn’t desire always the same, whether the object is present or absent?...

TODAY’S MODERATOR: Is there a driver shortage?

More mail on the recent news that the state is considering legislation to boost the number of commercial truckers. This came in from reader Michael Huff, who says, in part: ”With regard to the so-called trucker shortage, a lot of owner/operators and small carriers would disagree. I own a small (less than 10 trucks) carrier and our thought is that there is a driver retention problem, not a shortage...

GUEST COLUMN: Cleaning out the closet of life

Sorting through a childhood closet is not for the sentimental-hearted. It can leave you at a standstill surrounded by tokens of memories chronicling the life of a family. Where do you even begin to let go? Our two sons shared a room always. Over the last 28 years, their common closet has accrued grade-school book reports, sports trophies, chess sets, stamp collections and shoeboxes full of baseball...

COMMENTARY: Can Democrats save Trump from himself?

After President Donald Trump’s first legislative battle, a deplorably stingy attempt to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, went down without a vote in the House, I wondered: What happened to all of the “winning”? “We are gonna win, win, win,” Trump had promised at a National Rifle Association convention in Louisville last May. &ldquo...

COMMENTARY: Paul Ryan a convenient scapegoat for Trump’s failure

Paul Ryan did it. That’s the argument many of the louder voices on the right are shouting. In the story they tell, the speaker of the House is fully responsible for the GOP’s failure to pass an Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill last week. President Trump should walk across a Havana ballroom like Michael Corleone in “The Godfather Part II,” kiss Ryan on the mouth and say, &ldquo...

Freedom Caucus conservatives are today’s abolitionists

The House Freedom Caucusis taking flak, with many saying they are responsible for the failure to pass the American Health Care Act. With all other Republicans on board, the votes of the 29 Freedom Caucus members could have led to passing the legislation. But they refused to support it. Should they be chastised as obstructionists? Are they childish idealists who don’t grasp that politics is about...

COMMENTARY: GOP health plan failure may be a blessing

The failure of the Republican health care plan might be the best thing to happen to American governance in nearly 25 years. There are still substantial problems with the Affordable Care Act, but now — instead of Red State/Blue State, where the ACA passed with zero Republican votes and the Republican plan would have passed with zero Democratic votes – perhaps we can get back to the interests...

FRESH IDEAS: Embracing ‘followership’

From The New York Times: “Our elite schools overemphasize leadership partly because they’re preparing students for the corporate world, and they assume that this is what businesses need. But a discipline in organizational psychology, called ‘followership,’ is gaining in popularity. MORE FRESH IDEAS: Novels won’t stop. “Robert Kelley, a professor of management and...

OPINION: Why defang the State Department?

What in the world is going on at Donald Trump’s State Department? And where in the world is Secretary of State Rex Tillerson? The answer to that second question, at least as of last week, was Asia, where according to foreign journalists he truncated his meetings with South Korean officials after he reportedly felt fatigued. But wait. Tillerson later claimed the Koreans had invented this diagnosis...

Looking at ‘deaths of despair’

Here’s an interesting health story — the Associated Press reported last week that “Middle-age white Americans with limited education are increasingly dying younger, on average, than other middle-age U.S. adults, a trend driven by their dwindling economic opportunities, research by two Princeton University economists has found. OPINION: A view of standardized tests from a father and...

We’re against emotionalism, except when we’re not

Conservatives have rightly taken pride in Neil Gorsuch’s calm and cerebral performance at his Senate confirmation hearings. Many commentators, along with Republican senators, have mocked Democrats for presuming to evaluate Gorsuch based on the outcomes of his cases. Did he “side with the little guy” or with big corporations? The right answer, conservatives have correctly chided,...
COMMENTARY: The EPA’s mission is to faithfully execute the law

COMMENTARY: The EPA’s mission is to faithfully execute the law

When asked to comment on President Donald Trump’s choice of former Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Obama administration EPA head Gina McCarthy told the New York Times: “It’s fine to have differing opinions on how to meet the mission of the agency. Many Republican administrators have had that. But here, for the first time, I see...

An oasis of liberty in the Arizona sun

PHOENIX — As a boy, Barry Goldwater Jr., son of the former senator and 1964 Republican presidential nominee, would step out of his father’s house and shoot at tin cans 50 yards away. Now 78, he says he could fire in any direction and not endanger “anything but a cactus.” His father, born in 1909 in Arizona territory, three years before statehood, built the house on a bluff...

Trump’s chickens finally come home to roost

On Monday, accountability finally arrived for Donald Trump. After 70 years spent largely skating free of consequences for his puerile misbehaviors and diarrheal mouth, he likely found it something of a shock. Seven decades is a long time, after all, and if the so-called president has learned nothing else in those years, he has learned this: Accountability is for other people. Received a bill? Stiff...

COMMENTARY: Remembering black history is American history

Why don’t we have White History Month? I was recently talking with a medical professional and the subject of Black History Month, which was marked last month, came up. The phrase had barely been uttered when this person I have known and respected for many years quipped, “Why don’t we have White History Month?” The response seemed obvious; pretty much every month is white history...

TODAY’S MODERATOR: Seeking more truckers

The trucking industry in Ohio is under stress to find enough qualified drivers — and state lawmakers are worried about it. Staff writer Jim Otte reported this week on “A series of bills were introduced addressing various problems that have put the industry in crisis, according to state Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, the author of one of the bills. ‘The trucking industry is in crisis...
A view of standardized tests from a father and a school leader

A view of standardized tests from a father and a school leader

It’s an interesting life I live. By day I’m Hamilton City Schools’ superintendent. However, when I get home late at night I am a husband and the father to our fourth-grade daughter. When I arrived home the other evening, I walked into a familiar scene. My wife was sitting at the table next to our daughter whose eyes were red and cheeks were flush. They were working on homework, I...
Gail Collins: Trump stays buggy

Gail Collins: Trump stays buggy

Whatever Donald Trump has, it’s spreading. We’ve got a president who makes things up — and won’t retract when he’s cornered. This week press secretary Sean Spicer followed the leader. He picked up Trump’s wiretap story and added a new exciting detail: Not only had Barack Obama bugged Trump Tower, he might have used British intelligence spies to do the dirty work...
Krauthammer: American democracy is not so decadent after all

Krauthammer: American democracy is not so decadent after all

Under the dark gray cloud, amid the general gloom, allow me to offer a ray of sunshine. The last two months have brought a pleasant surprise: Turns out the much feared, much predicted withering of our democratic institutions has been grossly exaggerated. The system lives. Let me explain. Donald Trump’s triumph last year was based on a frontal attack on the Washington “establishment,&rdquo...

OPINION: Is it time for congressional term limits?

Recently, Sen. Ted Cruz proposed a constitutional amendment limiting Congressional terms as a way “to put an end to the cronyism and deceit that has transformed Washington into a graveyard of good intentions.” Sound familiar? It should. Just a quarter century ago, “demosclerosis” was offered as the diagnosis describing the breakdown in government’s ability to respond...

TODAY’S MODERATOR: We’re eating a lot less beef

What’s on your plate for dinner? According to reports, it probably isn’t beef. The New York Times reported this week on “a new study points to one change that is starker than many have thought: Americans cut their beef consumption by 19 percent — nearly one-fifth — in the years from 2005 to 2014, according to research released on Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense...

FRESH IDEAS: Novels just keep going

From the Times Literary Supplement: “Any number of critics have regurgitated the idea that the novel as we know it today persists in a kind of zombie state, stripped of whatever vital essence it once had (and this in spite of the fact that novels are being published and consumed in unprecedented numbers). But the argument for the novel’s demise has its own kind of ghoulish quality to it...

COMMENTARY: We’ve lost the story that organizes us as a nation

One of the things we’ve lost in this country is our story. It is the narrative that unites us around a common multigenerational project, that gives an overarching sense of meaning and purpose to our history. For most of the past 400 years, Americans did have an overarching story. It was the Exodus story. The Puritans came to this continent and felt they were escaping the bondage of their Egypt...

Will Russiagate backfire on the left?

The big losers of the Russian hacking scandal may yet be those who invested all their capital in a script that turned out to based on a fairy tale. In Monday’s Intelligence Committee hearings, James Comey did confirm that his FBI has found nothing to support President Trump’s tweet that President Obama ordered him wiretapped. Not unexpected, but undeniably an embarrassment for the tweeter-in-chief...

COMMENTARY: Gorsuch’s convenient untruth about partisan judges

With a shrewdly calculated innocence, Judge Neil Gorsuch told a big fat lie at his confirmation hearing on Tuesday. Because it was a lie everyone expected, nobody called it that. “There’s no such thing as a Republican judge or a Democratic judge,” Gorsuch said. Gorsuch, the amiable veteran of many Republican campaigns, is well-placed to know how serious a fib that was. As Sen. Al...

And Jesus said unto Paul of Ryan …

A woman who had been bleeding for 12 years came up behind Jesus and touched his clothes in hope of a cure. Jesus turned to her and said: “Fear not. Because of your faith, you are now healed.” Then spoke Pious Paul of Ryan: “But teacher, is that wise? When you cure her, she learns dependency. Then the poor won’t take care of themselves, knowing that you’ll always bail...

OPINION: Gorsuch offers chance to be nation of laws, not Left politics

My first experience with Senate confirmation hearings for a Supreme Court justice nominee was in 1991 at the hearings for Clarence Thomas. I came to Washington to support Justice Thomas. The hearings were a national embarrassment. The main focus turned out to be about neither the Constitution nor about Thomas’ jurisprudence. It was about Democratic senators descending to the gutter and dredging...

COMMENTARY: Conservative fantasies are finally colliding with reality

This week the Trump administration put out a budget blueprint — or more accurately, a “budget” blueprint. After all, real budgets detail where the money comes from and where it goes; this proclamation covers only around a third of federal spending, while saying nothing about revenues or projected deficits. As the fiscal expert Stan Collender put it: “This is not a budget. It&rsquo...

More conservative than thou

In our ideologically scrambled age, it’s getting very hard to tell who’s who. Political conservatives have been opposed to “socialized” medicine pretty much forever. Republicans who agreed with this philosophically paid a heavy political price as Democrats rolled out the “Mediscare” tactic every election season. But how are we to make sense of the cross currents...

Questions for Supreme Court nominee Judge Gorsuch

WASHINGTON — This week, the Senate Judiciary Committee will question Neil Gorsuch about the judiciary’s role. Herewith some pertinent questions: — Lincoln’s greatness began with his recoil from the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act, which empowered residents of those territories to decide whether to have slavery. The act’s premise was that “popular sovereignty” &mdash...
Gail Collins: Trump channels Old Hickory

Gail Collins: Trump channels Old Hickory

Donald Trump wants us to think he’s like Andrew Jackson. So there he was, at Jackson’s home in Tennessee on Wednesday, celebrating Old Hickory’s 250th birthday. Fans called Jackson “Old Hickory” because he was tough and shared his men’s hardship and deprivation in the Army. There are no similar anecdotes for Donald Trump, although we are looking into a rumor he...
Charles Krauthammer: The real world of Obamacare repeal

Charles Krauthammer: The real world of Obamacare repeal

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, but for governments it’s not that easy. Once something is given — say, health insurance coverage to 20 million Americans — you take it away at your peril. This is true for any government benefit, but especially for health care. There’s a reason not one Western democracy with some system of national health care has ever abolished it...

Is a Korean missile crisis ahead?

To back up Defense Secretary “Mad Dog” Mattis’ warning last month, that the U.S. “remains steadfast in its commitment” to its allies, President Donald Trump is sending B-1 and B-52 bombers to Korea. About 300,000 South Korean and 15,000 U.S. troops have begun their annual Foal Eagle joint war exercises that run through April. “The two sides are like two accelerating...

COMMENTARY: Health care and ‘The Virtue of Selfishness’

“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.” The novelist Anatole France’s mischievous observation came to mind when the Congressional Budget Office released its analysis of the Republican cut-taxes/gut-Medicaid bill and its defenders went into a continuous loop talking about “freedom...

Are chemicals putting your sperm in trouble?

Let’s begin with sex. As a couple finishes its business, millions of sperm begin theirs: rushing toward an egg to fertilize it. But these days, scientists say, an increasing proportion of sperm — now about 90 percent in a typical young man — are misshapen, sometimes with two heads or two tails. Even when properly shaped, today’s sperm are often pathetic swimmers, veering like...

OPINION: Friedman’s right man to be U.S. Ambassador to Israel

I recently had the opportunity to meet David Friedman, President Trump’s nominee to be America’s next ambassador to Israel. I was impressed by this brilliant and passionate man, an observant Jew, a fluent Hebrew speaker (he read my necklace that has my name in Hebrew), who has the values crucial to our important Israeli ally. This is critical to re-establish American leadership in the...

O.J. series lays bare our inability to distinguish fame, infamy

The cover image on iTunes for the Academy Award-winning documentary series “O.J. Simpson: Made in America” is a dripping glove in the design of the stars and stripes. It perfectly captures the message of the series — the “trial of the century” was really a reflection of America’s sins. So, yes, the history of the Rodney King beating, the Watts riots of 1965, Mark...

Eugenics was a progressive cause

WASHINGTON — The progressive mob that disrupted Charles Murray’s appearance last week at Middlebury College was protesting a 1994 book read by few if any of the protesters. Some of them denounced “eugenics,” thereby demonstrating an interesting ignorance: Eugenics — controlled breeding to improve the heritable traits of human beings — was a progressive cause. In...

Will someone tell Ben Carson slaves were not immigrants

A hypothetical narrative for your consideration: A man climbs through the window of a sleeping girl. She stirs awake and starts to scream, but he punches her with a closed fist. Brandishing a gun, he vows to kill her parents, asleep in the next room, if she makes another sound. She nods in tearful comprehension and he is upon her, tearing at her night clothes. Then he violently makes love to her....
Charles Krauthammer: Down the conspiracy rabbit hole

Charles Krauthammer: Down the conspiracy rabbit hole

When he was Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state, George Shultz was once asked about the CIA’s disavowal of involvement in a mysterious recent bombing in Lebanon. Replied Shultz: “If the CIA denies something, it’s denied.” Has there ever been a more dry, more wry, more ironic verdict on the world of espionage? Within it, there is admission and denial, smoke and mirrors...
Gail Collins: Getting freedom from health

Gail Collins: Getting freedom from health

What’s the rush on repealing Obamacare? It’s true President Donald Trump did promise speediness during the campaign. But that was before he discovered that health care was … “complicated.” This sort of thinking will send us back to discussions about how our president has no permanent convictions on any subject except the inferiority of Arnold Schwarzenegger as a reality...

The Beltway conspiracy to break Trump

At Mar-a-Lago this weekend, President Donald Trump was filled “with fury” says The Washington Post, “mad — steaming, raging, mad.” Early Saturday the fuming president exploded with this tweet: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” The president has...

She’s 17 and needs birth control. What now?

LEWISTON, Maine — She is 17 years old, has an alarming itch “down there” and has come to the family planning clinic because she doesn’t know where else to go. Sara Hayes, a nurse practitioner, breezes into the examining room and soothes the teenager. Hayes takes a swab and quickly diagnoses a mild yeast infection — perhaps from scented tampons — while setting aside...

Sessions brouhaha nothing but Democrat obstructionism

Good citizens across the nation surely are wondering why, when critical business regarding America’s future needs tending to, the game preoccupying Washington, D.C., these days is “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire.” If there is some question about the propriety of conversations that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had with the Russian ambassador, when he was a U.S. senator, let those responsible...

Just one continuous lie after another

The latest big buzz is about Jeff Sessions, the attorney general. It turns out that he lied during his confirmation hearings, denying that he had met with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign. In fact, he met twice with the Russian ambassador, who is widely reported to also be a key spymaster. Not incidentally, if this news hadn’t come to light, forcing Mr. Sessions to recuse himself,...

National sigh of relief

The morning after President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress, the Dow Jones industrial average shot up 300 points, lifting the stock market above 21,000. But the excitement of the money managers couldn’t touch the ecstasy of conservative observers. John Hinderaker of the Power Line blog gushed that the speech was “tremendous” and “inspired,” and that...

A wry squint into our grim future

WASHINGTON — Although America’s political system seems unable to stimulate robust, sustained economic growth, it at least is stimulating consumption of a small but important segment of literature. Dystopian novels are selling briskly — Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” (1932), Sinclair Lewis’ “It Can’t Happen Here” (1935), George Orwell&rsquo...

What kind of witnesses shall we be?

There is a strip mall across the street from Auschwitz. From the commandant’s house at Plaszow it’s a short walk to McDonald’s. Belzec is in a residential neighborhood. I didn’t expect that. In 2005, when I joined an interfaith pilgrimage to these camps where the Holocaust happened, it kept surprising me to find them located, not in deep woods hidden from prying eyes, but smack...
Charles Krauthammer: Revolt of the attorneys general

Charles Krauthammer: Revolt of the attorneys general

Among the many unintended legacies of Barack Obama, one has gone largely unnoticed: the emergence of a novel form of resistance to executive overreach, a check-and-balance improvised in reaction to his various presidential power grabs. It’s the revolt of the state attorneys general, banding together to sue and curb the executive. And it has outlived Obama. Normally one would expect Congress...
Gail Collins: The three Donald Trumps speak

Gail Collins: The three Donald Trumps speak

Dear Advice Lady: Everybody is saying how reasonable President Donald Trump sounded in his big speech to Congress, but it made me crazy! I was yelling at the TV the whole time. If he bothers me this much when he’s trying to be statesmanlike, how am I going to make it through four years? — Sincerely, Can’t Stand Trump Dear Can’t Stand Trump: Prioritize. If everything he says...

Trump: Old words, new wrapping

The obsession with Donald Trump’s ability to spend one hour in a disciplined relationship with a teleprompter obscured one of his central goals on Tuesday night: He continued to try to scare the country to death. Yes, he lived up to media expectations that he would finally attempt to look “presidential” and that he could recite words that sounded optimistic and forward-looking. He...

Lavrov vs. McCain: Is Russia an enemy?

The founding fathers of the Munich Security Conference, said John McCain, would be “be alarmed by the turning away from universal values and toward old ties of blood, and race, and sectarianism.” McCain was followed by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov who called for a “post-West world order.” Russia has “immense potential” for that said Lavrov, “we’re...

A fake savior’s betrayal of the people

Dear Trump Voters, You’ve been had. President Donald Trump sold you a clunker. Now that he’s in the White House, he’s betraying you — and I’m writing in hopes that you’ll recognize that betrayal and hold him accountable. Trump spoke to your genuine pain, to the fading of the American dream, and he won your votes. But will he deliver? Please watch his speeches carefully...

Clueless leftist leader misses point of Trump-led rebirth

Appearing recently on ABC’s “The View,” Senator Chuck Schumer painted a picture of Republicans unhappy with the their new president and getting ready to bolt. “When you talk to Republicans quietly — you know — in the cloak room and the gym — they are having real problems with him. … My prediction is if he keeps on this path … within three, four...
Mona Charen: What’s up with rape in Sweden?

Mona Charen: What’s up with rape in Sweden?

President Donald Trump was more right than wrong about Sweden. Fox News was slightly misleading. Fox News and, more particularly, certain right-wing websites have been conjuring the “Idyllic Sweden destroyed by Muslim refugees” line, complete with “no go” zones, Sharia law and terror attacks. That’s an exaggeration, but so is The Washington Post’s take: “In...

Why the GOP really hates Obamacare

Across the country, Republicans have been facing crowds demanding to know how they will protect the 20 million Americans who gained health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act, and will lose it if the act is repealed. And after all that inveighing against the evils of Obamacare, it turns out that they’ve got nothing. Instead, they’re talking about freedom — which these days...

‘Big government’ is ever growing, on the sly

WASHINGTON — In 1960, when John Kennedy was elected president, America’s population was 180 million and it had approximately 1.8 million federal bureaucrats (not counting uniformed military personnel and postal workers). Fifty-seven years later, with seven new Cabinet agencies, and myriad new sub-Cabinet agencies (e.g., the Environmental Protection Agency), and a slew of matters on the...

Echoes of wartime internment: A communal memory

Imagine this. You are a boy, living in a child’s blissful unaware. You are not terribly different from other kids. Maybe you play stickball in the street and pretend to be Joe DiMaggio. Maybe you listen to “The Lone Ranger” on the Philco. Maybe you’re crazy for Superman. Maybe it’s a good life. Then comes that sudden Sunday in December. All at once, everyone is angry...
Charles Krauthammer: Trump and the ‘Madman Theory’

Charles Krauthammer: Trump and the ‘Madman Theory’

At the heart of Donald Trump’s foreign policy team lies a glaring contradiction. On the one hand, it is composed of men of experience, judgment and traditionalism. Practically every member of the team — the heads of State, Homeland Security, the CIA, and most especially Defense Secretary James Mattis and national security adviser H.R. McMaster — could fit in a Cabinet put together...

Gail Collins: Trump is bad for water and puppies

And now, things that are Really Happening in the world of Donald Trump. We bring you this list as a public service. It’s easy to be distracted by all the strange/contradictory/awful things the president says. Maybe he keeps talking crazy to divert attention from the fact that he doesn’t have anything else to report. In Washington, outside of the ongoing disaster that is immigration policy...

Is a Trump-Putin detente dead?

Among the reasons Donald Trump is president is that he read the nation and the world better than his rivals. He saw the surging power of American nationalism at home, and of ethnonationalism in Europe. And he embraced Brexit. While our bipartisan establishment worships diversity, Trump saw Middle America recoiling from the demographic change brought about by Third World invasions. And he promised...

Can Democrats rise to Trump’s challenge?

The most striking aspect of the vast and swiftly organized movement against Donald Trump is how little it had to do with the Democratic Party. Whoever is elected to chair the Democratic National Committee this weekend should draw two conclusions from this, and they are in tension. First, the anti-Trump effort, while broadly motivated by a progressive worldview, is diverse in both philosophy and experience...

How can we get rid of President Trump?

We’re just a month into the Trump presidency, and already so many are wondering: How can we end it? One poll from Public Policy Polling found that as many Americans — 46 percent — favor impeachment of President Donald Trump as oppose it. Ladbrokes, the betting website, offers even odds that Trump will resign or leave office through impeachment before his term ends. There have been...

Let “Jane Roe’s” legacy be an end to abortion

I first met Norma McCorvey some 20 years ago, soon after her Christian conversion, which set her against the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion, and in which she was the plaintiff. Operating under the alias “Jane Roe,” McCorvey, 22 years old and pregnant with a child she didn’t want, represented by two young women attorneys anxious to legalize abortion, sued the...

Trump a leader of nationalism, not patriotism

National Review has sparked an important debate about nationalism. As someone who has been accused throughout her life of excessive love of country, I feel a bit awkward rebutting anything that travels under the name “Love of Country.” Nevertheless, I must join Jonah Goldberg, Yuval Levin, Ben Shapiro and others in demurring from Rich Lowry and Ramesh Ponnuru’s defense of nationalism...

An open letter to our so-called president

Dear Mr. So-Called President: So let me explain to you how this works. You were elected as chief executive of the United States. I won’t belabor the fact that you won with a minority of the popular vote and a little help from your friends, FBI Director James Comey and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The bottom line is, you were elected. And this does entitle you to certain things. You get...

An adult voice amid pandemic childishness

WASHINGTON — In his 72 years, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, who was raised in segregated Richmond, Virginia, acknowledges that he has seen much change, often for the better, including advances in the 1960s. But in his elegant new memoir, “All Falling Faiths: Reflections on the Promise and Failure of the 1960s,” he explains why...
Charles Krauthammer: The case of the cover-up in search of a crime

Charles Krauthammer: The case of the cover-up in search of a crime

It’s a Watergate-era cliche that the cover-up is always worse than the crime. In the Mike Flynn affair, we have the first recorded instance of a cover-up in the absence of a crime. Being covered up were the Dec. 29 phone calls between Flynn and the Russian ambassador to Washington. The presumed violation was Flynn negotiating with a foreign adversary while the Obama administration was still...
Gail Collins: Well, Trump watchers, things could be worse

Gail Collins: Well, Trump watchers, things could be worse

I know a lot of you were saying in December that this administration wouldn’t last a month. But I’ll bet you didn’t actually have “worry about collapse of the government” written down on your schedule for February. Americans who went into a state of shock after the election are now floating in new, hitherto-uncharted realms of worry. We’ve learned that Donald Trump&rsquo...

Is the Left playing with fire again?

To those who lived through that era that tore us apart in the ’60s and ’70s, it is starting to look like “deja vu all over again.” And as Adlai Stevenson, Bobby Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey did then, Democrats today like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are pandering to the hell-raisers, hoping to ride their energy to victory. Democrats would do well to recall what happened the...

Husbands are deadlier than terrorists

With the President Donald Trump Reality Show, it’s easy to be distracted by ANGRY ALL-CAPITAL TWEETS or Oval Office tantrums. But resist, and stay focused on matters of life and death. Consider two critical issues: refugees and guns. Trump is going berserk over the former, but wants to ease rules on the latter. So let’s look at the relative risks. In the four decades between 1975 and 2015...

GOP, Trump shouldn’t pour money into black colleges

The topic of historically black colleges and universities came up in the recent “listening session” at the White House with President Trump and his internal team of black leaders, as part of Black History Month. Reportedly, this piqued the president’s interest, with presidential aide Omarosa Manigault announcing to the media that she is working on an executive order to help the HBCUs...

Get ready for the inevitable fire

What will you do when terrorists attack, or U.S. friction with some foreign power turns into a military confrontation? I don’t mean in your personal life, where you should keep calm and carry on. I mean politically. Think about it carefully: The fate of the republic may depend on your answer. Of course, nobody knows whether there will be a shocking, 9/11-type event, or what form it might take...

Another kind of resistance in Illinois

There is no way to prove this, but see if you agree with me: The average American parent would be glad to see his public high school celebrate Martin Luther King Day with tributes to the Civil Rights movement, lectures on the history of slavery and Jim Crow and discussions of the challenges faced by blacks and other minorities in America today. Actually, it’s not really a guess, because curricula...

‘I am not your negro’ a work of brilliance

Death has this way of making truth-tellers seem harmless. Alive, Martin Luther King provoked a president and divided a nation with his truth. Dead, he is an image on a commemorative place mat, his words safe enough for recitation by children. This also holds, albeit to a lesser degree, for Malcolm X and Medgar Evers. Dead, they were no longer dangerous. “We took out all the radicality of their...

The North Korean red line

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The Cold War was waged and won in many places, including this beach city, home to the RAND Corp. Created in 1948 to think about research and development as it effects military planning and procurement, RAND pioneered strategic thinking about nuclear weapons in the context of the U.S.-Soviet competition. Seven decades later it is thinking about the nuclear threat from a...

Charles Krauthammer: The travel moratorium is a hopeless disaster

Stupid but legal. Such is the Trump administration’s travel ban for people from seven Muslim countries. Of course, as with almost everything in American life, what should be a policy or even a moral issue becomes a legal one. The judicial challenge should have been given short shrift, since the presidential grant of authority to exclude the entry of immigrants is extremely wide and statutorily...
Gail Collins: Elizabeth Warren persists

Gail Collins: Elizabeth Warren persists

It’s a dark and dismal time for American liberals. Except for the part where the opposition keeps shooting itself in the foot. We will now pause to contemplate the fact that this week the Senate Republicans attempted to forward their agenda by silencing Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts while she was reading a letter from Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow. In explanation, Majority Leader...

Steve Bannon vs. Pope Francis?

Steve Bannon disrupted American politics and helped elect Donald Trump as president. Will he disrupt the Roman Catholic Church by joining forces with right-wing Catholics who oppose Pope Francis? Bannon’s dark vision contrasts sharply with the sunny disposition of a pope who has chided “sourpusses” and “querulous and disillusioned pessimists.” Bannon believes that &ldquo...

Moral supremacy and Mr. Putin

Is Donald Trump to be allowed to craft a foreign policy based on the ideas on which he ran and won the presidency in 2016? Our foreign policy elite’s answer appears to be a thunderous no. Case in point: U.S. relations with Russia. During the campaign Trump was clear. He would seek closer ties with Russia and cooperate with Vladimir Putin in smashing al-Qaida and ISIS terrorists in Syria, and...

Canada, leading the free world

OTTAWA — President Donald Trump’s harsh travel ban reflects a global pattern: All around the world, countries are slamming the doors shut. One great exception: Canada. It may now be the finest example of the values of the Statue of Liberty. This isn’t just because Canadian leaders are particularly enlightened, although there’s some of that. It’s mostly because the Canadian...

Mercy for the ‘Dreamers’ must be tempered by justice

In 2012, President Obama signed an executive order to protect those who arrived illegally to the United States as minors. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals provides a two-year window to shield these people from deportation and allow them to work. They must have been under 16 when they arrived, be in school or have completed school, and have no criminal record. The order produced consternation...

Out of control, and it keeps getting worse

For the past couple of months, thoughtful people have been quietly worrying that the Trump administration might get us into a foreign policy crisis, maybe even a war. Partly this worry reflected Donald Trump’s addiction to bombast and swagger, which plays fine in Breitbart and on Fox News but doesn’t go down well with foreign governments. But it also reflected a cold view of the incentives...

Where Justice Scalia was wrong

WASHINGTON — With an asperity born of exasperation, Justice Antonin Scalia once wrote, “If you want aspirations, you can read the Declaration of Independence,” but “there is no such philosophizing in our Constitution,” which is “a practical and pragmatic charter of government.” Scalia was wrong, and much depends on Neil Gorsuch not resembling Scalia in this...

Trump’s travel ban is a national embarrassment

I have never been more embarrassed for this country. Under the rubric of protecting Americans from terrorism, the Trump regime last week banned travel into the United States by people from seven majority-Muslim nations. And never mind that experts, including the Cato Institute, a Washington think tank, say the combined U.S. death toll in terrorist attacks from citizens of those nations is zero since...
Gail Collins: Meet Neil Gorsuch — the presidential pet

Gail Collins: Meet Neil Gorsuch — the presidential pet

The world was a-swoon over Donald Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court. And the way Trump announced it. “How normal!” enthused a CNN commentator. Yes! Trump managed to introduce Judge Neil Gorsuch to an audience of supporters without bragging about the size of the crowd. Gorsuch is what they call an originalist: a judicial breed that cynics define as people who believe that if...
Charles Krauthammer: Thank God for Harry Reid

Charles Krauthammer: Thank God for Harry Reid

There are many people to thank for the coming accession of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Donald Trump for winning the election. Hillary Clinton for losing it. Mitch McConnell for holding open the high court seat through 2016, resolute and immovable against furious — and hypocritical — opposition from Democrats and media. And, of course, Harry Reid. God bless Harry Reid. It’s...

Republicans have struck a devil’s deal

Many Republican members of Congress have made a Faustian bargain with Donald Trump. They don’t particularly admire him as a man, they don’t trust him as an administrator, they don’t agree with him on major issues, but they respect the grip he has on their voters, they hope he’ll sign their legislation and they certainly don’t want to be seen siding with the inflamed progressives...

Basking in the GOP’s Supreme hypocrisy

You want bipartisanship on Supreme Court nominations? Let’s have a consensual moment around Sen. Ted Cruz’s idea that having only eight Supreme Court justices is just fine. “There is certainly long historical precedent for a Supreme Court with fewer justices,” the Texas Republican said last year when GOP senators were refusing even to give a hearing to Judge Merrick Garland...

Trump handles his first firestorm of presidency

That hysterical reaction to the travel ban announced Friday is a portent of what is to come if President Donald Trump carries out the mandate given to him by those who elected him. The travel ban bars refugees for 120 days. From Syria, refugees are banned indefinitely. And a 90-day ban has been imposed on travel here from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. Was that weekend-long primal...

President Trump, meet my family

This newspaper has periodically, to its shame, succumbed to the kind of xenophobic fearmongering that President Donald Trump is now trying to make American policy. In 1941, The Times cautioned in a front-page article that European Jews desperately seeking American visas might be Nazi spies. In 1942, as Japanese-Americans were being interned, The Times cheerfully suggested that the detainees were happily...

Some marchers have long been walking for life and our future

I wonder why when hundreds of thousands of women show up in Washington to demonstrate for what one Wall Street Journal columnist called “everything under the progressive sun,” the press goes bonkers with coverage. Yet, when similar numbers of pro-lifers reportedly show up for the March for Life, as they have been doing every January since the Roe v. Wade decision in January 1973, , they...
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