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Syndicated Columns

Opinion: Arguments against pipeline are silly
January 16, 2015
Not since the multiplication of the loaves and fishes near the Sea of Galilee has there been creativity as miraculous as that of the Keystone XL pipeline. It has not yet been built but already is perhaps the most constructive infrastructure project since the Interstate Highway System. It has accomplished an astonishing trifecta: 
Opinion: ‘War’ is wrong way to fight terrorism
January 16, 2015
In the days after the deadly attack in Paris on Charlie Hebdo magazine, France declared “war” on terrorism, 10,000 French paramilitary police took to the streets and U.S. conservatives chided President Obama for not leading this new war against jihadists.
Opinion: Bush picks expedience on gay marriage
January 15, 2015
“You’re like a dull knife, just ain’t cuttin’, just talkin’ loud and saying nothing” — James Brown Granted, it’s not entirely fair to use that lyric to describe Jeb Bush’s comments on same-sex marriage. After all, he is not known to have talked loudly.
Opinion: Higher ed faces new struggles
January 14, 2015
Higher education in America is at a crossroads of two compelling, but competing, forces – the traditional approach versus a new reality. Traditional four-year institutions are motivated to keep the “college experience” as the defining element for students, while students today are seeking colleges that are affordable and provide the knowledge and technical skills leading to a rewarding career.
Opinion: Threats underlie U.S.-Iran talks
January 13, 2015
As the United States and Iran continue negotiating a possible breakthrough nuclear agreement, both sides are carrying concealed weapons that could be used if the talks collapse.  The threats that underlie the bargaining are rarely discussed publicly, but both countries recognize the dangers ahead if they don’t reach an agreement by the June 30 deadline. America’s leverage is its demonstrated ability to use cyberweapons to attack Iranian nuclear facilities; Iran’s leverage is its ability to target the 2,190 U.S. military personnel now in Iraq.
Opinion: Low gas prices spur talk of tax hike
January 12, 2015
For 32 years I’ve been advocating a major tax on petroleum. I’ve got as much chance this time around as did Don Quixote with windmills. But I shall tilt my lance once more. The only time you can even think of proposing a gas tax increase is when oil prices are at rock bottom. When I last suggested the idea six years ago, oil was selling at $40 a barrel. It eventually rose back to $110. It’s now around $48. Correspondingly, the price at the pump has fallen in the last three months by more than a dollar to about $2.20 per gallon.
Opinion: Terrorists kill satire — or maybe not
January 11, 2015
Dear Terrorists: OK, you win. We surrender. Never thought I’d say that, but then, I never thought I’d see gunmen burst into the offices of a satirical magazine as happened last Wednesday in Paris. Never thought I’d see 12 people killed — most were employees, two were police officers — because a magazine published provocative cartoons mocking extremist Islam.
Opinion: Questions to ask the next AG
January 11, 2015
Senate confirmation hearings put nominees on notice that, as a Michigan state legislator reportedly once said, “I’m watching everything you do with a fine-toothed comb.” Loretta Lynch, a talented lawyer and seasoned U.S. attorney, should be confirmed as attorney general. Her hearing, however, should not be perfunctory. Questions like the following would highlight some festering problems:
Opinion: Radical Islam already curbing free speech
January 10, 2015
Wednesday’s shocking terror attack on the French satirical journal Charlie Hebdo should finally awaken Western publics to the threat posed by radical Islamists to free speech worldwide.
Opinion: Books look at climate change history
January 9, 2015
We know, because they often say so, that those who think catastrophic global warming is probable and perhaps imminent are exemplary empiricists. They say those who disagree with them are “climate change deniers” disrespectful of science.
Opinion: Market, not policy, drives oil prices
January 8, 2015
The recent plunge of oil prices to below $50 a barrel offers the same lessons as previous sharp fluctuations: Energy markets work, and politicians who try to steer them almost always get it wrong.