National Columns

Opinion: Culture shift key to progress

I liked the movie “Selma,” though it could have done without the rap song during credits that referenced “hands up, don’t shoot,” a slogan that emerged from the shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer whose actions the Justice Department recently determined did ...

Opinion: Bibi provides good drama, poor policy

Benjamin Netanyahu did a disservice to the U.S.-Israel alliance and the goal of preventing an Iranian bomb by his political grandstanding before Congress last week.If his real goal was to prevent Tehran from getting nukes (and not just to boost his re-election odds or trash President Obama), ...

Opinion: Ferguson, Mo., is not an exception

By now, it should come as news to no one that Ferguson, Mo., has a lousy excuse for a police department.The behavior of many of its officers, as seen in news reports during last year’s protests and rioting over the shooting of Michael Brown, was thuggish, unprofessional, and contemptuous of ...

Opinion: Trade pact spurs odd alliances

Washington ? Michael Froman received from a Harvard Law School classmate, Barack Obama, a job that validates the axiom that the unlikelihood of any negotiation reaching agreement grows by the square of the number of parties involved. In trade negotiations, even one’s own country is ...

Opinion: Netanyahu forces Obama to defend policy

Washington ? Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress was notable in two respects. Queen Esther got her first standing O in 2,500 years. And President Obama came up empty in his campaign to pre-emptively undermine Netanyahu before the Israeli prime minister could present his case on the Iran ...

Opinion: Killing leaders may not kill ISIS

Washington ? Gen. John Allen, the retired Marine who is coordinating the campaign against the Islamic State, gave an upbeat briefing to Congress last week. He said that because of airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition, the group has “lost half of its Iraq-based leadership and thousands of ...

Opinion: IRS corruption eludes prosecution

Washington ? Rep. Peter Roskam is now chairman of the Ways and Means subcommittee whose jurisdiction includes oversight of the Internal Revenue Service, and hence of Lois Lerner’s legacy. He knows how interesting her career was before she, as head of the IRS exempt-organizations division, ...

Opinion: Resilient truth must rise again

First, they sang “God Will Take Care of You.”Then they walked out of Brown Chapel to a playground where they organized themselves into 24 groups of 25 each and set out marching. Their route out of Selma took them onto Highway 80, which is carried over the Alabama River by a bridge named in ...

Opinion: Netanyahu sharpens focus on Iran deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lobbied powerfully against a nuclear agreement with Iran in a well-crafted speech to Congress Tuesday. The problem is that he has now created a zero-sum game with the Obama administration, in which either the president or the prime minister seems likely ...

Opinion: Critic’s murder ‘a present’ for Putin

The assassination of Boris Nemtsov on Friday only steps from the Kremlin marks the final blow to the dream of a liberal, democratic Russia, a dream that once flourished after the breakup of the Soviet Union.It’s hard to believe this joyous, funny, tall, mop-haired opposition leader was shot ...

Opinion: Arizona case focuses on redistricting

Washington ? The Supreme Court frequently ponders arcane matters. This week, however, in oral arguments concerning two cases, the justices’ task will be to teach remedial reading to Congress and to Arizona.On Wednesday, the justices will consider this: Did Congress mean what it said when, ...

Opinion: ‘My Girl’ stands the test of time

There are sounds it feels like you’ve known forever, sounds that have been in your ear so long, it’s hard to believe they were ever new. One of those sounds is this:James Jamerson thumps a heartbeat on the bass. Robert White’s guitar corkscrews out in reply. And the immortal David Ruffin ...

Opinion: U.S. has better options in Iran nuclear talks

Washington ? A sunset clause?The news from the nuclear talks with Iran was already troubling. Iran was being granted the “right to enrich.” It would be allowed to retain and spin thousands of centrifuges. It could continue construction of the Arak plutonium reactor. Yet so thoroughly was ...

Opinion: New governor seeks change in Illinois

Chicago ? The most portentous election of 2014, which gave the worst-governed state its first Republican governor in 12 years, has initiated this century’s most intriguing political experiment. Illinois has favored Democratic presidential candidates by an average of 16 points in the last six ...

Opinion: Giuliani comments are indefensible

Amazing. Just … amazing.Here we are, six years later, six years of mom jeans and golf dates and taking the girls for ice cream. And yet, some of us are still hung up on the perceived “otherness,” the “not like us”-ness, of Barack Obama.The latest is Rudy Giuliani, speaking last week ...

Opinion: Question policy, not patriotism

Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, is taking some heat — and winning praise in some quarters — for remarks he made at a private dinner last week at which he questioned President Obama’s love for America.Speaking at Manhattan’s upscale “21 Club” at a gathering of ...

Opinion: Israeli’s critique deserves answer

Tel Aviv, Israel ? The public rift between President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the Iranian nuclear issue is often described as a personality dispute. But a senior Israeli official argued that the break has been building for more than two years and reflects a deep ...

Opinion: Jon Stewart provides a link to sanity

I am not insane. For this, I have Jon Stewart to thank.Thirteen years ago, it felt like I was in a front row seat on the express train to Crazy Town. That, you will recall, is when the wheels began to come off the Bush administration’s argument for invading Iraq, i.e., to find the weapons of ...

Opinion: Fighting terrorism in cyberspace

Washington ? “We’re here today because we all understand that in dealing with violent extremism, that we need answers that go beyond a military answer. We need answers that go beyond force.” — Vice President Joe Biden at the Countering Violent Extremism Summit, Feb. 17The Obama ...

Opinion: Bibi, Boehner playing dangerous games

Bibi Netanyahu wants to make sure President Barack Obama doesn’t ink a nuclear deal with Tehran. Any nuclear deal.In an effort to prevent such a deal, the Israeli prime minister (known at home as “Bibi,” not Benjamin) has used unprecedented means to do an end run around the White House. ...