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Syndicated Columns

Opinion: Governorships can help, hurt résumé
February 13, 2015
Although he is always preternaturally placid, Mike Pence today exemplifies a Republican conundrum. Sitting recently 24 blocks from Capitol Hill, where he served six terms as a congressman, and eight blocks from the White House, which some Republicans hope he craves, Pence, now in his third year as Indiana’s governor, discussed two issues, Common Core and Medicaid expansion, that illustrate the following:
Opinion: Will age be a factor in 2016 race?
February 13, 2015
Americans always like something new. A recent focus group session with a cross section of Colorado voters showed how that might affect the unfolding 2016 presidential campaign.
Opinion: Some media lies worse than others
February 12, 2015
There’s this speech I give my students. Distilled, it goes like this. “Your primary asset as a journalist is not your dogged curiosity, your talent for research or your ability to make prose sing on deadline. No, your one indispensable asset is your credibility. If you are not believable, nothing else matters.”
Opinion: Iran nuclear pact looks doubtful
February 11, 2015
Sitting next to Iran’s foreign minister on Sunday as he said that another extension of the nuclear talks isn’t “in the interests of anybody,” it seemed clear that this particular can isn’t going to get kicked down the road much farther.
Opinion: English skills low in Latin America
February 10, 2015
If you only speak English and are planning to travel abroad, you are likely to have an easier time finding English speakers in South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and China than in most Latin American countries.
Opinion: Christianity comparison falls short
February 10, 2015
There was a time when the 63-year-old National Prayer Breakfast was a rather mundane affair. It rarely made news. Speakers — evangelist Billy Graham spoke at most of the early ones — talked about Jesus and salvation. Presidents, beginning with Dwight D. Eisenhower, would follow with unremarkable comments mostly ignored or relegated to the religion page by the secular press.
Opinion: Senator seeks to simplify education
February 9, 2015
In 1981, Tennessee’s 41-year-old governor proposed to President Ronald Reagan a swap: Washington would fully fund Medicaid and the states would have complete responsibility for primary and secondary education. Reagan, a former governor, was receptive. But Democrats, who controlled the House and were beginning to be controlled by teachers unions (the largest, the National Education Association, had bartered its first presidential endorsement, of Jimmy Carter, for creation of the Department of Education) balked.
Opinion: ‘Secret Knowledge’ can’t be trusted
February 8, 2015
I call it the Secret Knowledge. Meaning that body of information not everyone has, that body known only to those few people who had the good sense to go off the beaten path and seek it. It is information you’ll never see in your “newspapers” or “network news” or any other place overly concerned with verifiable “facts” and reliable “sources.” It will not come to you through a university “study,” peer-reviewed “article,” renowned “expert,” government “agency” or any other such traditional bastion of authority.
Editorial:Election action
Measures that will significantly impact Kansas elections are moving ahead before the details of their impact have been fully examined.
February 8, 2015
A couple of election bills proposed by Secretary of State Kris Kobach are zooming along in the Kansas House.
Opinion: U.S. can think like a superpower
February 7, 2015
Niccolo Machiavelli, perhaps the shrewdest political philosopher in history, believed that great events were shaped by luck — or “fortuna” as he called this unpredictable force of life. The same actions might produce success or failure, depending on the whims of the goddess Fortuna.
Opinion: Method to Islamic State’s madness?
February 6, 2015
Why did they do it? What did the Islamic State think it could possibly gain by burning alive a captured Jordanian pilot? I wouldn’t underestimate the absence of logic, the sheer depraved thrill of a triumphant cult reveling in its barbarism. But I wouldn’t overestimate it either. You don’t overrun much of Syria and Iraq without having deployed keen tactical and strategic reasoning.