Syndicated Columns

Opinion: Low oil prices impact Latin nations
December 31, 2014
While other issues dominated the headlines, the most important news for Latin America in 2014 — and the one that will have the biggest impact in the near future — was the dramatic collapse of world oil prices.
Opinion: Governors may not make best presidents
December 31, 2014
In 1947, U.S. historian Wilfred E. Binkley took stock of the 13 men who had been president since the end of the Civil War and reached a stark conclusion: Governorship was “a training school for successful presidents.” The seven ex-governors on the list — including both Roosevelts, Theodore and Franklin — were far more effective chief executives than the six others.
Opinion: Iraqi Christians deserve U.S. help
December 30, 2014
On Christmas Day in 2008, I attended early-morning Mass at the Al Qaleb Al Aqdas (Sacred Heart) Church, in the Karrada district of Baghdad. Although Christians had already become targets in Iraq’s civil war and thousands had fled, the Chaldean Catholic church was filled with well-dressed families, and a choir sang near a large Christmas tree. Some worshipers continued on to a Santa Claus show in a nearby park.
Opinion: America’s spirit in need of revival
December 30, 2014
In the film, “Girl Interrupted,” Winona Ryder plays an 18-year-old who enters a mental institution for what is diagnosed as borderline personality disorder. The year is 1967 and the country is in turmoil over Vietnam and civil rights. While lying on her bed one night and watching TV, she sees a news report about a demonstration. The narrator says something that might apply to today’s turmoil: “We live in a time of doubt. The institutions we once trusted no longer seem reliable.”
Opinion: U.S.-Cuba thaw may shift tourism
December 28, 2014
One of the big questions following President Barack Obama’s decision to significantly expand U.S. tourism to Cuba will be how much it will affect other Caribbean tourism destinations such as the Dominican Republic, Jamaica or Cancun, Mexico. Independent experts say Cancun will be among the most hurt.
Opinion: Jeb Bush on immigration, education
December 27, 2014
In 1968, a singularly traumatic year — assassinations, urban riots, 16,899 Americans killed in Vietnam — Vice President Hubert Humphrey, the ebullient Minnesotan, said his presidential campaign was about “the politics of joy.” This was considered infelicitous.
Opinion: U.S. needs immigrants’ skills
December 27, 2014
When the topic is immigration, Democrats and Republicans alike continue to focus almost entirely on a single question: what to do about the millions of low-skill immigrants — mostly from Latin America — who are in the U.S. illegally.
Opinion: U.S. finally making progress in Iraq
December 27, 2014
Watching events unfold in Iraq this year has been like viewing a slow-motion train wreck. Tribal leaders have been warning since spring about the rise of the terrorist Islamic State and pleading for American help. But after months of slaughter, the United States is only now beginning to build an effective tribal-assistance program.
Opinion: ‘Unbroken’ film misses key plot point
December 27, 2014
I wanted to like the movie because I love the book. Laura Hillenbrand’s bestseller, “Unbroken,” is a classic.
Opinion: Jeb Bush’s exploration spurs reaction
December 25, 2014
It took only hours for Jeb Bush’s announcement he will “actively explore” a presidential bid to show the former Florida governor what running for the White House is like these days.
Opinion: Obama’s foreign policy surprises
December 25, 2014
Six months ago, President Obama’s foreign policy looked stymied. Negotiations with Israel and the Palestinians were at a dead end. Russia was gaining ground in eastern Ukraine. U.S. efforts to end the war in Syria were ineffective. A new extremist army, Islamic State, was marching into Iraq.