National Columns

Opinion: Latin America lags in innovation

New figures showing a sharp decline of foreign investments in Latin America made big headlines in many countries in the region in recent days, but there is other, less noticed data that should trigger even bigger alarm bells. I’m talking about the latest indicators of innovation, which have a ...

Opinion: Use common sense on Confederate flag

Let’s start at a place where consensus is easy: No one that I know of is arguing that anyone should be prohibited from displaying the South’s most familiar icon — the Confederate battle flag — on his person or his private property or even in public locations, such as the bumper of his ...

Opinion: U.S. must be ready to say no to Iran

The June 30 deadline is almost here for a final agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program, and it’s hard to see how the negotiators can meet it.That may not be a bad thing.The gaps are still wide between Tehran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council ...

Opinion: Flag’s rejection was long overdue

“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing — after they’ve tried everything else.”That’s an observation widely credited to Winston Churchill, though it’s one he may or may not have ever made. Whoever said it, the truth of the axiom has seldom been more obvious than ...

Opinion: America moved by victim’s families

Washington ? After a massacre like the one at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, our immediate reaction is to do something. Something, for politicians, means legislation. And for Democratic politicians, this means gun control.It’s the all-purpose, go-to, knee-jerk solution. Within hours of the ...

Opinion: Mixed messages persist in Iran talks

Washington ? Iran enters the endgame of the nuclear talks with what amount to two negotiating positions — the parameters reportedly endorsed in April at Lausanne by Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and another set of “red lines” drawn this week by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.The two positions ...

Opinion: Court takes legislative role on ACA

Washington ? Although conservatives are dismayed about the Supreme Court’s complicity in rewriting the Affordable Care Act — its ratification of the IRS’ disregard of the statute’s plain and purposeful language — they have contributed to this outcome. Their decades of populist praise ...

Opinion: S.C. shooter’s motivation was clear

Let there be no (pretend) confusion about the church shooter’s motivationThis is for Elisabeth Hasselbeck of “Fox & Friends,” who described last Thursday’s act of white extremist terrorism at Emanuel AME church in Charleston as an “attack on faith.”It’s for Rick Perry, who ...

Opinion: Columnist has questions for Clinton

Washington ? Hillary Clinton’s reticence is drowning out her message, which is that she is the cure for the many ailments that afflict America during a second Democratic presidential term. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has called her “the most opaque person you’ll ever meet in your ...

Opinion: ‘06 report may refocus Mideast policy

Washington ? “The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating. ... Sectarian conflict is the principal challenge to stability.”That’s from the opening page of the 2006 Iraq Study Group report. Nine years later, it’s haunting to revisit the bipartisan commission review chaired by former ...

Opinion: Statement may foreshadow state crisis

On June 21, this newspaper ran a story about the still-pending school finance case and the fact that the court may well find that state funding of public K-12 education is inadequate and violates the Kansas Constitution. The theme of the article was that the uncertainty surrounding how the ...

Opinion: U.S. must prepare for post-Putin era

As the Kremlin stokes the conflict in Ukraine and ratchets up tensions with NATO, there’s lots of talk about a Cold War redux.So it was fascinating to hear Mikhail Khodorkovsky — the billionaire oil magnate whom Russian President Vladimir Putin imprisoned for a decade — describe a Russia ...

Opinion: Greece confirms perils of socialism

Washington ? Now come Greeks bearing the gift of confirmation that Margaret Thatcher was right about socialist governments: “They always run out of other people’s money.” Greece, from whose ancient playwrights Western drama descends, is in an absurdist melodrama about securing yet another ...

Opinion: Pope makes compelling case on climate

There is something I have never understood about the argument over global warming.That argument was, of course, renewed last week with the leaking, and then the official release, of a new papal letter excoriating human mistreatment of “our common home.” In this latest encyclical, Pope ...

Opinion: Key U.S. allies in Iraq not in Baghdad

Washington ? It’s time for a new strategy in Iraq and Syria. It begins by admitting that the old borders are gone, that a unified Syria or Iraq will never be reconstituted, that the Sykes-Picot map is defunct.We may not want to enunciate that policy officially. After all, it does contradict ...

Opinion: Charleston deaths spur anger, questions

Charleston, S.C. ? U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., came home Thursday to join in mourning the nine people at Emanuel AME Church who were gunned down during their Wednesday night prayer service.But after he joined hundreds in a prayer vigil at nearby Morris Brown AME Church, Clyburn wasn’t in ...

Opinion: Unlike Clinton, Bush bucks party base

Washington ? The two dynastic candidates told compelling stories recently about why they should be president, but there has been one big difference: Jeb Bush has taken the political risk of disagreeing with his party’s base, and Hillary Clinton hasn’t.Their formal announcement speeches were ...

Opinion: ‘Reset’ may not save McDonald’s

Washington ? In January, McDonald’s, leaning against the winds of fashion, said kale would never replace lettuce on its burgers. In May, however, it said it will test kale in a breakfast meal (breakfast is about 25 percent of McDonald’s sales). Kale might or might not cause construction ...

Opinion: Dolezal proves race not a fixed fact

Of the 60 people who co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909, only seven were, in fact, “colored.” Most of the organization’s founders were white liberals like Mary White Ovington. Its highest honor, the Spingarn Medal, is named for Joel Spingarn, ...

Opinion: Weary nation faces growing threat

Washington ? In November 2012, Jeh Johnson, who was then the Pentagon’s general counsel, let himself speculate in a speech about al-Qaida, “How will this conflict end?” He foresaw a “tipping point” at which U.S. officials might be able to say that the group had been “effectively ...