National Columns

Opinion: Ebola dangers trump individual rights

Washington ? Unnervingly, the U.S. public health services remain steps behind the Ebola virus. Contact tracing is what we do, Centers for Disease Control Director Tom Frieden assured the nation. It will stop the epidemic “in its tracks.” And yet nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, who ...

Opinion: Panetta offers valid criticism

Leon Panetta has taken a lot of heat for publicly dumping on Barack Obama’s foreign policy while the president is still in the White House.Where’s his loyalty? the critics ask, as Panetta makes the publicity rounds for his new memoir, “Worthy Fights,” which says tough things about ...

Opinion: Obama facing escalation pressure

Washington ? As fighters from the Islamic State surge toward control of Anbar Province in western Iraq and the border town of Kobane in Syria, U.S. commanders and diplomats are signaling that the U.S. must expand its military operations before the extremists control even more territory.“Too ...

Opinion: Language police overstep in petition

Washington ? Wretched excess by government can be beneficial if it startles people into wholesome disgust and deepened distrust, and prompts judicial rebukes that enlarge freedom. So let’s hope the Federal Communications Commission embraces the formal petition inciting it to deny licenses to ...

Opinion: Aid to Palestinians is misguided

After World War II, the Marshall Plan helped rebuild a devastated Europe. The key word in that sentence is “after.”Last weekend at a conference of donor nations held in Cairo, Egypt, to discuss rebuilding Gaza, following the latest exchange of rockets between Hamas and Israel, Secretary of ...

Opinion: Nobel Prize sends urgent message

The Nobel committee finally got the Peace Prize right in 2014.After blowing the chance to choose Malala Yousafzai last year — as a brave and inspiring champion of girls’ education worldwide — the committee finally tapped her, along with Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian campaigner against ...

Opinion: Case focuses on right to earn a living

Washington ? Come Tuesday, the national pastime will be the subject of oral arguments in a portentous Supreme Court case. This pastime is not baseball but rent seeking — the unseemly yet uninhibited scramble of private interests to bend government power for their benefit. If the court directs ...

Opinion: Americans’ rights being nibbled away

Last week, a federal judge told us what we already knew.Namely, that police in Ferguson, Mo., violated the rights of protesters demonstrating against the shooting death of Michael Brown. U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry struck down an ad hoc rule under which cops had said people could not ...

Opinion: It’s hard to place limits on war

Washington ? What happens when an American plan for limited war against the Islamic State meets the savage reality of combat, as happened last week when the extremists pounded Kurdish fighters just inside Syria’s border with Turkey? The cry rose in Washington and abroad for more American ...

Opinion: Tentative approach won’t defeat ISIS

Washington ? During the 1944 Warsaw uprising, Stalin ordered the advancing Red Army to stop at the outskirts of the city while the Nazis, for 63 days, annihilated the non-Communist Polish partisans. Only then did Stalin take Warsaw.No one can match Stalin for merciless cynicism, but President ...

Opinion: New staff can boost Obama agenda

Washington ? Presidents often need new energy and talent to refurbish their second terms. George W. Bush opted for such a shake-up in 2006 and it arguably saved his presidency. Barack Obama is now facing a similar moment, and there are signs he’s looking to make some personnel changes after ...

Christie prepares for possible run

Newark, N.J ? Gov. Chris Christie could be forgiven if he had chips on both shoulders as big as those shoulders are. This year, the first of his second term, has been overshadowed by often partisan investigations, more protracted than productive, of the involvement of several of his former ...

Opinion: Love is the best family value

Our topic du jour: the latest stunning milestone in the march toward gay equality.No, the other stunning milestone.We will get around to what the Supreme Court did (more accurately, declined to do) in a moment. But first: Have you seen the new Cheerios commercial? It broke out online a few days ...

Opinion: Government competence in decline

Whatever happened to good old American know-how?The nation that invented modern management seems to be suffering a crisis of competence.The Secret Service can’t protect the White House. Public health authorities can’t get their arms around a one-man Ebola outbreak. The army we trained in ...

Opinion: Latin American economies struggle

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is scheduled to release its much-awaited 2015 economic projections for Latin America next week, and — judging from what I heard in an interview with the IMF’S chief economist for Latin America — there won’t be much to celebrate.Alejandro Werner, ...

Opinion: N.J. Republican would be fresh voice

Princeton, N.J. ? Every 36 years, it seems Jeff Bell disturbs New Jersey’s political order. In 1978, as a 34-year-old apostle of supply-side economics and a harbinger of the Reagan Revolution, he stunned the keepers of the conventional wisdom by defeating a four-term senator, Clifford Case, ...

Opinion: Rebel effort in Syria still splintered

Istanbul, Turkey ? The squabbling factions that make up the Syrian “moderate opposition” should get their act together. But so should the foreign nations — such as the United States, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Jordan — that have been funding the chaotic melange of fighters inside ...

Opinion: Fear of black men goes viral

Let us give Sean Groubert every benefit of the doubt.Let us assume he is a good person. Let us assume he is kind to children, well liked by neighbors. And by all means, let’s assume he has a black friend. For good measure, let’s assume he has two.Now, with those assumptions in force, ...

Opinion: Midterm elections could set stage for GOP

Washington ? You can win midterm elections without a positive agenda. You can’t win presidential elections that way. It is therefore vitally important for Republicans to win the Senate in 2014. Here’s why.In midterms, it’s all right to be the party of no. The 2010 election, for example, ...

Opinion: ‘Moderate opposition’ still elusive

Reyhanli, Turkey — As Syrian rebel commander Hamza al-Shamali describes the battle inside Syria, a few miles across the border, the immediate problem isn’t defeating the Islamic State. It’s coordinating the ragtag brigades of the Free Syrian Army into a coherent force that can fill the ...