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Opinion: Trump was outfoxed in Singapore

It sure looks as if President Donald Trump was hoodwinked in Singapore. Trump made a huge concession — the suspension of military exercises with South Korea. That’s on top of the broader concession of the summit meeting itself, security guarantees he gave North Korea and the legitimacy that the summit provides his counterpart, Kim Jong Un. Within North Korea, the “very special bond&rdquo...

COMMENTARY: Seeking a better way to fund Ohio schools

When the Lakota School District put a levy on the ballot in 2013, I was part of a great team that worked very hard to help it pass, which it did. It was crucial for the school district. What I learned about school funding, both while working on the levy and since, is a big part of why I’m running for public office. Have you ever heard of ECOT? It may be the biggest financial scandal in Ohio...

Opinion: Taking the beauty out of ‘beauty’ pageants

The Miss America Organization announced this week that it will no longer judge women on their “outward physical appearance.” To that end, the swimsuit competition is gone. “We are no longer a pageant,” Gretchen Carlson, the group’s head, explained. “Miss America will represent a new generation of female leaders focused on scholarship, social impact, talent and empowerment...

Opinion: Diversity and inclusion harm

In conversations with most college officials, many CEOs, many politicians and race hustlers, it’s not long before the magical words “diversity” and “inclusiveness” drop from their lips. Racial minorities are the intended targets of this sociological largesse, but women are included, as well. This obsession with diversity and inclusion is in the process of leading the...

Opinion: What about our other nonviolent inmates, Mr. President?

Well, what do you say when a couple of the world’s most notorious, self-promoting products and exploiters of the reality TV world get together and do something undeniably nice? Well, how about “Thank you”? That’s what I say to President Donald Trump and She-Who-Needs-No-Introduction Kim Kardashian. As you’ve probably heard by now, the president granted clemency on June...

Opinion: Grim trends in good times

In the United States in the years after the Great Recession, pessimists had a lot of material to work with. Economic doomsayers looked at the stubbornly elevated unemployment rate and discerned a depressing new normal, in which technological and social change had rendered many Americans simply unemployable, and stagnation loomed ahead. Social pessimists looked at the disarray in working-class culture...

Opinion: Spade life and suicide resonate with women

Twelve hours after news broke that Kate Spade had taken her own life, the store that bears her name in the city where she was raised displayed a message intended to be as effervescent as the designer herself. A single blush pink rose lay on the sidewalk space outside the glass doors of the closed store on the Country Club Plaza, a fabled outdoor shopping district in Kansas City. The rose was silk...

Opinion: Shame on Google for treating the U.S. military as evil

WASHINGTON — Giving in to pressure from its workforce, Google recently announced that it is pulling out of Project Maven, a groundbreaking Pentagon program to harness artificial intelligence to sift through and interpret video imagery from drones. The move came after an uprising by 4,000 Google employees who signed a letter urging the company to cancel Project Maven and promise to never &ldquo...

Opinion: Government tussle: Who’s the worst?

The other day Scott Pruitt, the EPA chief and well-known candidate for Worst Person in Washington, tossed some reporters out of a public conference on water contamination. Way to rehabilitate your image, Scott! Pruitt has been in a long-running battle with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for the title of most terrible Trump minion. (Now, of course, we’ve also got John Bolton. But this is a holiday...
COMMENTARY: It’s time to really talk about suicide

COMMENTARY: It’s time to really talk about suicide

Last weekend I attended an event at the Little Art Theatre in Yellow Springs organized to bring awareness to the social heartbreak of suicide. Included was a showing of the movie “Suicide: The Ripple Effect, chronicling the story of Kevin Hines. At the age of 19, Kevin jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco with the intention of dying, but he survived. What struck me most about the...

COMMENTARY: New House speaker has chance to show some clout

Ohio’s House of Representatives has 99 members. On Wednesday, Rep. Ryan Smith, a Gallia County Republican, by drawing 44 votes of the 91 House votes cast – a plurality – was elected House speaker. But two of Smith’s votes came from Democrats: Reps. John Barnes, of Cleveland, and Bernadine Kent, of Columbus. So, with 61 of 66 House Republicans present and voting (four were absent...

COMMENTARY: Doctors report that they’re looking for help

Professional burnout is a real and troubling phenomenon for physicians. Last summer, the Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA) sent a survey to physicians across Ohio asking about their experience with workplace burnout — and the results were striking. The survey, which drew more than 1,500 responses in just five days, found that nearly 60 percent of the respondents said they need help addressing...

Opinion: Diversity and inclusion harm

In conversations with most college officials, many CEOs, many politicians and race hustlers, it’s not long before the magical words “diversity” and “inclusiveness” drop from their lips. Racial minorities are the intended targets of this sociological largesse, but women are included, as well. This obsession with diversity and inclusion is in the process of leading the...

Opinion: What about our other nonviolent inmates, Mr. President?

Well, what do you say when a couple of the world’s most notorious, self-promoting products and exploiters of the reality TV world get together and do something undeniably nice? Well, how about “Thank you”? That’s what I say to President Donald Trump and She-Who-Needs-No-Introduction Kim Kardashian. As you’ve probably heard by now, the president granted clemency on June...

Opinion: Grim trends in good times

In the United States in the years after the Great Recession, pessimists had a lot of material to work with. Economic doomsayers looked at the stubbornly elevated unemployment rate and discerned a depressing new normal, in which technological and social change had rendered many Americans simply unemployable, and stagnation loomed ahead. Social pessimists looked at the disarray in working-class culture...

Opinion: Spade life and suicide resonate with women

Twelve hours after news broke that Kate Spade had taken her own life, the store that bears her name in the city where she was raised displayed a message intended to be as effervescent as the designer herself. A single blush pink rose lay on the sidewalk space outside the glass doors of the closed store on the Country Club Plaza, a fabled outdoor shopping district in Kansas City. The rose was silk...

Opinion: Shame on Google for treating the U.S. military as evil

WASHINGTON — Giving in to pressure from its workforce, Google recently announced that it is pulling out of Project Maven, a groundbreaking Pentagon program to harness artificial intelligence to sift through and interpret video imagery from drones. The move came after an uprising by 4,000 Google employees who signed a letter urging the company to cancel Project Maven and promise to never &ldquo...

Opinion: Government tussle: Who’s the worst?

The other day Scott Pruitt, the EPA chief and well-known candidate for Worst Person in Washington, tossed some reporters out of a public conference on water contamination. Way to rehabilitate your image, Scott! Pruitt has been in a long-running battle with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for the title of most terrible Trump minion. (Now, of course, we’ve also got John Bolton. But this is a holiday...
COMMENTARY: It’s time to really talk about suicide

COMMENTARY: It’s time to really talk about suicide

Last weekend I attended an event at the Little Art Theatre in Yellow Springs organized to bring awareness to the social heartbreak of suicide. Included was a showing of the movie “Suicide: The Ripple Effect, chronicling the story of Kevin Hines. At the age of 19, Kevin jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco with the intention of dying, but he survived. What struck me most about the...

COMMENTARY: New House speaker has chance to show some clout

Ohio’s House of Representatives has 99 members. On Wednesday, Rep. Ryan Smith, a Gallia County Republican, by drawing 44 votes of the 91 House votes cast – a plurality – was elected House speaker. But two of Smith’s votes came from Democrats: Reps. John Barnes, of Cleveland, and Bernadine Kent, of Columbus. So, with 61 of 66 House Republicans present and voting (four were absent...

COMMENTARY: Doctors report that they’re looking for help

Professional burnout is a real and troubling phenomenon for physicians. Last summer, the Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA) sent a survey to physicians across Ohio asking about their experience with workplace burnout — and the results were striking. The survey, which drew more than 1,500 responses in just five days, found that nearly 60 percent of the respondents said they need help addressing...

COMMENTARY: It’s not just physician burnout — suicide is a danger, too

As a retired physician who has now become involved in suicide awareness and advocacy, I believe burnout is a very real issue among physicians and I am pleased to see that many medical schools and residencies are addressing the need for physician self care. Did I ever think I was in a high-risk suicide group? Growing up, I have to say it was a topic I never thought about. I did lose my paternal grandmother...

COMMENTARY: An old idea from Ike and JFK could help Korea summit

The summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, tentatively planned for June 12, comes near the anniversary of one of President John F. Kennedy’s most famous speeches. JFK, in a 1963 commencement address at American University, proposed to the Soviet Union ending nuclear weapons testing. If Trump and Kim are wise, they will follow up on JFK’s test ban proposal to...

Opinion: Loose lips sank the Colorado baker’s case

“Loose lips sink ships” was a World War II slogan warning Americans against inadvertently disclosing important secrets, such as troop ships’ sailing schedules. On Monday, the Supreme Court showed that loose lips can sink cases. In Colorado in 2012, a Christian baker declined the request of a same-sex couple to decorate a cake for a reception celebrating their marriage in Massachusetts...

Opinion: Boehner’s Right — It’s Trump’s Party Now

“There is no Republican Party. There’s a Trump party,” John Boehner told a Mackinac, Michigan, gathering of the GOP faithful last week. “The Republican Party is kind of taking a nap somewhere.” Ex-Speaker Boehner should probably re-check the old party’s pulse, for the Bush-Boehner GOP may not just be napping. It could be comatose. Consider. That GOP was dedicated...

Opinion: Why dialogue matters — even in the Trump Era

WASHINGTON — If President Trump’s survival tactics depend upon dividing the country into warring camps, does this mean his opponents have an interest in bringing the country together around shared purposes? If the answer is “yes,” then those seeking to replace Trumpism with something better have to discover ways of engaging with voters whose choices in the last election differed...

Opinion: Is a second American civil war possible?

Imagine that an impeachment resolution against Donald Trump passes the House. Trump claims it’s the work of the “deep state.” Sean Hannity of Fox News demands that every honest patriot take to the streets. Right-wing social media call for war. As insurrection spreads, Trump commands the armed forces to side with the “patriots.” Or, it’s November 2020 and Trump has...

Opinion: An American 13-year-old, pregnant and married to her rapist

Dawn Tyree was 11 years old when a family friend began to molest her. A bit more than a year later, she became pregnant from these rapes, and her parents found out what had been going on. But they didn’t go to the police; instead, they found another solution. “It was decided for me that I would marry him,” Tyree recalled. So Tyree, then 13, was married to her rapist, then age 32...

Opinion: How many divisions does the Deep State have?

During the so-called McCarthy era, a single question cut across all partisan and philosophical lines: Were you on Sen. Joe McCarthy’s side or not? McCarthy’s conspiratorial, bullying, blunderbuss anti-communism and “red-baiting” was either defensible or it wasn’t. Remarkably, for many on the right, the question of whether you were “with” McCarthy almost completely...

Opinion: Barr’s racism is worse than Bee’s potty mouth

On the political entertainment front, everyone seems to be on apology tour these days, but not with apologies for everybody. President Donald Trump is miffed that Disney chief Bob Iger phoned Valerie Jarrett, former top aide to President Barack Obama. He reportedly wanted her to be the first to know that Disney-owned ABC is canceling its reboot of the 1990s sitcom “Roseanne,” despite its...

Opinion: Past versus present Americans

Having enjoyed my 82nd birthday, I am part of a group of about 50 million Americans who are 65 years of age or older. Those who are 90 or older were in school during the 1930s. My age cohort was in school during the 1940s. Baby boomers approaching their 70s were in school during the 1950s and early ’60s. Try this question to any one of those 50 million Americans who are 65 or older: Do you recall...

Opinion: Why can’t Homeland Security think straight on racial violence?

Who comes to mind if you hear that the government wants to track “violent, terroristic acts that were driven by race-related extremist ideologies.” The white nationalist thugs who marched through the streets of Charlottesville, Va., perhaps, carrying torches as they chanted vile threats to Jews, African-Americans and Latinos. Nope. You’re focusing on the wrong race. You just don&rsquo...

Opinion: The Baptist apocalypse

Among Trump-supporting religious believers, the long odds he overcame to win the presidency are often interpreted as a providential sign: Only God could have put Donald Trump in the White House, which means he must be there for some high and holy purpose. The trouble with this theory is that it’s way too simplistic. Such a God might, for instance, offer political success as a temptation rather...

COMMENTARY: You may imprison the body, but not the mind

In a previous column, I wrote about the power of a book, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” to change my views on race, politics, and religion. Today I’d like to explore the incredible story of an imprisoned man who learned to communicate in a new way and subsequently be influenced by a classic 19th century Russian novel. This is based on a story from public radio. Mohamed Barud,...

COMMENTARY: The things we can learn about life from farmers

On a recent Sunday afternoon, I was at the local garden store on a very specific mission. My assignment was to find begonias. Well, not just any begonias, but the “red kind with variegated leaves that have a hint of yellow at the tip,” … like, who knows what that means? In my world where begonias are begonias, I had no idea what I was looking for. But for my husband, who takes his...

Opinion: Democrats’ dishonesty hands Trump a winning issue

WASHINGTON — How evil is MS-13? Last year, two gang members in Texas reportedly murdered a teenage girl as an offering to Satan. According to prosecutors, the gang leader (known as “Diabolico”) told the young girl that “the Beast” wanted “a soul” before having his partner shoot her in the head and dump her body on a street corner. As charges were read against...

Opinion: A quiz before summer break

Hey, vacation time is coming, and you’re probably planning to take a short rest from current events, too. Perfectly natural — I’ve noticed you’ve begun to twitch every time you hear the word “Spygate.” But you’re not gone yet. So let’s see how well you’ve been keeping up over the past few months: 1. During his book tour, former FBI head James Comey...

Opinion: Children, ‘animals’ and immigrants

Maybe you’ve seen the video of the hero the French have dubbed “Spider-Man.” When he saw a toddler dangling off a fourth-story balcony, he scaled the exterior of the Paris building in about 30 seconds to save the child. Turns out Mamoudou Gassama was a newly arrived illegal immigrant from Mali. A grateful President Emmanuel Macron made him a French citizen a day later. So, does that...

Opinion: The plot against health care

On Wednesday, Virginia’s legislature voted to expand Medicaid, accepting a key piece of the Affordable Care Act. Around 400,000 people will gain coverage. The politics of the move aren’t hard to understand. Virginians overwhelmingly support Medicaid expansion; last fall, Democrat Ralph Northam won the governorship by a landslide after a campaign largely focused on health care. But wait...

OPINION: What James Garfield could teach us today

I’m guessing you haven’t spent much time thinking about James Garfield recently. But our 20th president is more relevant now than he ever has been, and he’s worth a moment of your time. After fighting with the 42nd Ohio Infantry during the Civil War, Garfield served a number of terms in the House of Representatives before running for the presidency in 1880. He won, just barely, and...

Opinion: How McConnell is winning the long game

Franklin Roosevelt, afflicted by the disease at age 39, died in April 1945 at the polio recuperation facility he had created in Warm Springs, Georgia. Before then, Mitch McConnell, living in Five Points, Alabama, began going there for treatment for the polio that struck him at age 2, in 1944. After paralysis by polio, an inner iron undergirded the ebullience of FDR, who hitherto had relied on privilege...

Opinion: This time, the joke was on Roseanne Barr

I told you so. I’m sorry, maybe that’s petty, but I can’t help it. For over a month now, I’ve felt like a man caught in a feedback loop, doomed to joust till the end of time with readers upset with me for writing that I would boycott the hit reboot of Roseanne Barr’s eponymous sitcom because of her support for that sentient sack of racism and misogyny who serves as president...

Opinion: What is America’s cause in the world today?

After being sworn in for a fourth term, Vladimir Putin departed the Kremlin for Annunciation Cathedral to receive the televised blessing of Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church. The patriarch and his priests in sacred vestments surrounded Putin, who, standing alone, made the sign of the cross. Meanwhile, sacred vestments from the Sistine Chapel were being transported by the Vatican to New...

Opinion: Memorial Day lessons for the NFL

WASHINGTON — It is, unfortunately, appropriate that the National Football League’s owners decided to issue their new rule attacking free expression the week before Memorial Day. A holiday dedicated to those who gave their lives for our nation’s freedom has itself been mired in political controversy almost from the beginning. The latest round of posturing and pandering around patriotism...

Opinion: Aboard Trump’s terrifying North Korea roller coaster

This isn’t diplomacy that President Donald Trump is practicing with Kim Jong Un. It’s a roller-coaster ride — and it may be leading us to a more dangerous period in relations with North Korea. Trump again proved his exceptional talent last week by following his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal with his cancellation of the June 12 summit meeting with Kim; few presidents manage...

Opinion: Capitalism vs. Socialism

Several recent polls, plus the popularity of Sen. Bernie Sanders, demonstrate that young people prefer socialism to free market capitalism. That, I believe, is a result of their ignorance and indoctrination during their school years, from kindergarten through college. For the most part, neither they nor many of their teachers and professors know what free market capitalism is. Free market capitalism...

Opinion: The Democrats’ midterm dilemma

One of the few people to really see Donald Trump coming was the University of Chicago economist Luigi Zingales, who warned way back in 2011 that American politics was going the way of his native Italy, that we could easily produce our own version of Silvio Berlusconi, and that Trump was an obvious candidate to bottle the celebrity-populist-outsider cocktail. So Zingales’ advice to Democrats...

Opinion: Pro-life movement must reject terrorist element

Shelley Shannon was correctly labeled a terrorist by the federal judge who sentenced her for firebombing abortion clinics in the 1990s. Shannon is a free woman again, having been released this week (May 21) from prison after serving 25 years. Pray that she doesn’t go back to terrorism. Shannon is a rabid activist, the type that federal authorities had in mind when they passed a law to keep people...

Opinion: The commencement speech you never hear

My youngest son’s college graduation ceremony was scheduled to be held outdoors. The invitation specified that it would be moved inside to the gym only in the event of “severe” weather. As it turned out, the day was unseasonably cold (low 50s) with occasional drizzle — probably about as nasty as the weather gets in May without qualifying for severe status. Yet my husband and...

Opinion: What’s the matter with Europe?

If you had to identify a place and time where the humanitarian dream — the vision of a society offering decent lives to all its members — came closest to realization, that place and time would surely be Western Europe in the six decades after World War II. It was one of history’s miracles: a continent ravaged by dictatorship, genocide and war transformed itself into a model of democracy...

Opinion: Trump’s trade wars would avenge only mythical casualties

America’s government declares “war” promiscuously — on poverty, on drugs, on cancer, etc. — except when actually going to war, which the nation has done often since it last declared war (on June 5, 1942, on Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary). But the incipient war du jour is being postponed. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the Trump administration is “putting...

Opinion: ‘I was wrong’ — the three hardest words in the English language

They might be the three hardest words in the English language: “I was wrong.” Three simple syllables, but many of us find them unpronounceable. As in a Twitter critic who referred to me as “her” the other day. “Her?” tweeted I. Whereupon, she launched into this tortured explanation of how my beard and name were not enough for her to determine my gender. “Can&rsquo...

Opinion: Trump is proving to be most pro-life president in history

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s critics were apoplectic last week when the president referred to MS-13 gang members as “animals.” Of course, no one should be dehumanized. Yet many of the same people expressing outrage that Trump would dehumanize vicious gang members have no problem dehumanizing innocent, unborn children. Trump has stood up for the humanity of the unborn child...

Opinion: How Trump gets into your bed

It’s not every day we start our discussion of current events with the president’s sex life. Well, actually, it’s gotten to be pretty frequent. But today we’re going to talk less about what Donald Trump does in bed and more about his efforts to interfere with other people’s intimate affairs. “When I ran for office, I pledged to stand for life. And as president, that&rsquo...

Opinion: Challenging Trump’s Christian apologists

WASHINGTON — Maybe it takes a royal wedding to offer lessons in what a good sermon sounds like. Maybe it takes one of the world’s most elitist institutions to provide a view of Christianity rooted not in conservative cultural warfare but in an egalitarian love that will “let justice roll down like a mighty stream.” And the Most Rev. Michael Curry, who preached for a royal couple...

Opinion: The Mississippi man tried 6 times for the same crime

One morning nearly 22 years ago, four employees of a furniture store in a small Mississippi town were shot to death. For months afterward, local law enforcement seemed stumped by the crime. Eventually, the top prosecutor — Doug Evans — charged a former store employee, Curtis Flowers, a black man who had no criminal record. The case since then has been unlike any other I’ve ever heard...

Opinion: From Russia with love

Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether President Donald Trump and the Russians colluded to rig the 2016 presidential election so far has borne little fruit. The Democrats and their media allies would love to find some Russian collusion and interference. I can help them discover some, but I doubt that they will show much interest. Here it goes. For years, Russia has been the world&rsquo...

Opinion: One family’s hell at the hands of an abusive justice system

The words that Rosie McIntyre chooses to describe what occurred in the police detective’s office are as searing as the allegation. “I felt like I was a n——r slave,” she said through tears. For a black woman, there’s hardly anything more degrading, she went on, explaining through wavering emotions. The feeling was that she was a nobody — owned, expected to...

Opinion: The fall of the German empire

The first modern German empire was announced by Otto von Bismarck at Versailles in 1871; it died on the Western Front in 1918. The second German empire was forged in a swift march of annexations and blitzkriegs; it lasted seven terrible years, from the Anschluss to the bunker, and died with Hitler and his cult. The third German empire is a different animal altogether. Repudiating both militarism and...

Opinion: Trump breaks bread, glasses and party at lunch

POTUS coming to Tuesday lunch. Translated, the president of the United States is joining 50 Republican senators in the Capitol to crash their private Tuesday lunch. Nobody is glad to hear this on the Senate side. We love the constitutional separation of powers. The Senate is the last citadel of democracy, they say. We in the press are free as birds here on the Hill, compared to the cramped Dickensian...

Opinion: Just saying yes to drug companies

Last week we learned that Novartis, the Swiss drug company, had paid Michael Cohen — Donald Trump’s personal lawyer — $1.2 million for what ended up being a single meeting. Then, on Friday, Trump announced a “plan” to reduce drug prices. Why the scare quotes? Because the “plan” was mostly free of substance, controlled or otherwise. During the 2016 campaign...

Opinion: Prohibition has been lifted at last on sports wagering

Repeal of Prohibition in 1933 instantly reduced crime by reducing the number of criminalized activities, including some that millions of Americans considered victimless activities and none of the government’s business. Now, America is going to become more law abiding, the Supreme Court having said that the federal government cannot prohibit states from legalizing what Americans have been doing...

Opinion: A grisly tale that should never be forgotten

Fair warning: this story will disgust you. But this week — Saturday, to be exact — marks 100 years since a singular act of barbarism in tiny Valdosta, Ga. And the tale of what happened there demands to be recalled. It began when somebody killed Hampton Smith, a white plantation owner. Suspicion fell on Sidney Johnson, an African-American worker said to have had a wage dispute with Smith...

Opinion: To understand why Trump won, look at Democratic hysteria

WASHINGTON — If you want to understand why Donald Trump is president today (and why he could very well win a second term), look to the Democrats’ hysterical response to two of Trump’s major foreign policy achievements over the past week. Last Thursday, the president traveled to Joint Base Andrews to greet three American hostages whose release he had secured from North Korea. Unlike...

Opinion: Women win; men take a powder

As a public service, today we are going to discuss the latest primary elections. And I promise there will be some sex scandals. But first — wow, women are on the move. The big election story on Tuesday was in Pennsylvania, whose 18-member delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives is currently composed of 18 men. (Well, OK, 16 men and two vacancies due to men who abruptly left town. As...
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