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Syndicated Columns

Opinion: U.S. struggles with foreign policy
July 31, 2014
With metronomic regularity, there is a choreographed minuet of carnage. Israel is attacked. Israel defends itself. Perfunctory affirmations of Israel’s right of self-defense are quickly followed by accusations that Israel’s military measures are disproportionate. Then come demands for a cease-fire, and the attackers replenish their arsenals.
Opinion: Ryan plan breaks silence on poverty
July 31, 2014
Cover your eyes and hide the kids: A Republican is talking poverty. This has not been a pretty picture in the recent past. Who can forget then-South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer likening poor people to animals one feeds from the back door and Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning calling them stray raccoons? And let’s not even get into Mitt Romney’s wholesale slander of the so-called “47 percent.”
Opinion: Human toll too great in Gaza
July 30, 2014
On my refrigerator door I keep a photo of an exceptional Palestinian woman who ran kindergartens in Gaza in the 1990s for the Philly-based American Friends Service Committee. Mary Khaas, who died more than a decade ago, would drag her teachers from their refugee-camp homes to visit her Jewish friends at a kibbutz just across the Gaza border. She believed in two states, and wanted each side to stop demonizing the other.
Opinion: Kerry error hampers long-term pact
July 29, 2014
Secretary of State John Kerry has made a significant mistake in how he’s pursuing a Gaza cease-fire — and it’s not surprising that he has upset both the Israelis and some moderate Palestinians.
Opinion: Oregonian doesn’t fit GOP image
July 28, 2014
“Are you kidding?” This is Monica Wehby’s amiable response to people who wonder whether she will be able to bear the pressures of office if she wins her race as a Republican Senate candidate. For 17 of her 52 years she has been a pediatric neurosurgeon, holding in steady hands sharp steel and the fate of children’s brains. She probably can cope with the strains of legislative life.
Opinion: Inappropriate selfies: It’s all about me
July 27, 2014
In a place haunted by ghosts, on a thoroughfare of the damned, standing upon ground once watered by blood, Breanna Mitchell lifted a camera to take her own picture. She smiled a sunshine smile.
Opinion: Kerry registers small successes
July 27, 2014
The world has been so chaotic lately that it was easy to overlook two U.S. diplomatic maneuvers — involving the turbulent nations of Afghanistan and Iran — that avoided what could have been dangerous ruptures.
Opinion: Obama too passive in world arena
July 26, 2014
The president’s demeanor is worrying a lot of people. From the immigration crisis on the Mexican border to the Islamic State rising in Mesopotamia, Barack Obama seems totally detached. When he does interrupt his endless rounds of golf, fundraising and photo ops, it’s for some affectless, mechanical, almost forced public statement.
Opinion: Court needed to fight corruption
July 25, 2014
The more I read about the massive government corruption in Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela and other countries where top officials have been accused of stealing fortunes with near total impunity, the more I like a new proposal that is making the rounds in world legal circles — creation of an International Anti-Corruption Court.
Opinion: Calif. Republican fights uphill battle
July 24, 2014
Fifty Julys ago, up the road near San Francisco, in the unfortunately named Cow Palace, the Republican National Convention gave its presidential nomination to Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, who knew he would lose: Americans were not going to have a third president in 14 months. Besides, his don’t-fence-me-in libertarian conservatism was ahead of its time. His agenda, however, was to change his party’s national brand. 
Opinion: Bus misstep funny but sad
July 24, 2014
It’s a revealing video. Not in the sense of physical nakedness. No, what is naked in that clip is a kind of political opportunism that has become all too common.

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