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Syndicated Columns

Opinion: Obamacare debate not over yet
April 25, 2014
Recently, Barack Obama — a Demosthenes determined to elevate our politics from coarseness to elegance; a Pericles sent to ameliorate our rhetorical impoverishment — spoke at the University of Michigan. He came to that very friendly venue — in 2012, he received 67 percent of the vote in Ann Arbor’s county — after visiting a local sandwich shop, where a muse must have whispered in the presidential ear. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., had recently released his budget, so Obama expressed his disapproval by calling it, for the benefit of his academic audience, a “meanwich” and a “stinkburger.”
Opinion: Writer not LOL over texts
April 25, 2014
Last week I sent a text message to a friend. A Hollywood business meeting I had high hopes for had been suddenly “postponed.”
Opinion: Progress, but no deal, in Iran
April 24, 2014
As the Iran nuclear talks reach roughly the halfway point in the six-month timetable for negotiating a comprehensive agreement, both sides report slow, steady progress in closing gaps — but no deal yet.
Opinion: When all we have is each other
April 23, 2014
It was an angry book. Much of the response was angry, too. Some towns banned it, some towns burned it. Every town talked about it.
Opinion: Iran appointee stirs sour memories
April 22, 2014
Hamid Aboutalebi looked like the ideal candidate to become Tehran’s ambassador to the United Nations. He speaks fluent English and French, has served as ambassador to Italy, Australia, Belgium, and the European Union, and — in an ecumenical twist — got his Ph.D. from a Catholic university.
Opinion: Disclosure poses unacceptable risk
April 21, 2014
The debate over campaign contributions is never-ending for a simple reason: Both sides of the argument have merit.
Opinion: Kansas killings offer reminder of KKK hate
April 21, 2014
The news that a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan is suspected of shooting and killing three people near Jewish community centers in Kansas seems at first glance like a disparaged past flaring briefly into the present. Americans like to imagine that the KKK belongs to a long-gone South and anti-Semitism to a distant 20th century. Sadly, this better reflects a naive faith in the nation’s history of religious tolerance than the realities experienced by many religious minorities. Although the KKK has evolved and its membership has dwindled, it remains part of an American legacy of religious intolerance.
Opinion: If this isn’t racism, what is?
April 20, 2014
I have a question for George Will. If he can’t answer it, maybe Brit Hume can. Both men were recently part of a panel on “Fox News Sunday” to which moderator Chris Wallace posed this question: Has race played a role in the often-harsh treatment of President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder? Wallace was reacting to a clip of Holder strongly hinting that a testy encounter with House Republicans was part of a pattern of race-based abuse of himself and the president.
Opinion: Court to look at campaign ‘truth’
April 20, 2014
Occasionally, the Supreme Court considers questions that are answered merely by asking them. On Tuesday, the court will hear arguments about this: Should a government agency, whose members are chosen by elected officials, be empowered to fine or imprison any candidate or other participant in the political process who during a campaign makes what the agency considers “false statements” about a member of the political class or a ballot initiative?
Opinion: Wary Obama averted war in Ukraine
April 19, 2014
Has the Obama administration really found the famous “exit ramp” in Ukraine that will provide an eventual diplomatic resolution of the crisis? It looked that way Thursday in Geneva, where seven hours of negotiations produced what Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called “a compromise, of sorts.”
Opinion: Groups pit liberty against democracy
April 18, 2014
In a 2006 interview, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said the Constitution is “basically about” one word — “democracy” — that appears in neither that document nor the Declaration of Independence. Democracy is America’s way of allocating political power. The Constitution, however, was adopted to confine that power in order to “secure the blessings of” that which simultaneously justifies and limits democratic government — natural liberty.

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