National Columns

Opinion: Obama feeds anti-establishment fervor

Washington ? The New Hampshire results have solidified the reigning cliche that the 2016 campaign is an anti-establishment revolt of both the left and the right. Largely overlooked, however, is the role played in setting the national mood by the seven-year legacy of the Obama presidency.Yes, ...

Opinion: Economic protections focus of case

Washington ? It is frequently said that, unfortunately, Americans disdain government. It is more usefully said that, unfortunately, they have abundant reasons for doing so. In coming days, the Supreme Court, by deciding to hear a case from Connecticut, can begin limiting a contemptible ...

Opinion: Mexico wall an $8 billion hoax

For the first time, Donald Trump has disclosed that his proposed wall on the border with Mexico — which has become one of the centerpieces of his campaign — would cost about $8 billion. If so, it would be the biggest waste of money in recent history, even if it were paid for in Mexican ...

Opinion: Officer’s lawsuit an act of contempt

First he killed him. Now he’s suing him.I have no idea whether Robert Rialmo, the Chicago police officer who shot 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier to death the day after Christmas, was justified in doing so. Certainly, the sequence of events Rialmo describes seems to suggest he was within bounds ...

Opinion: Kerry presses diplomacy in Syria

Washington ? Secretary of State John Kerry said in an interview that the U.S. is nearing a final “crunch time” on Syria — in which it will either make progress toward a cease-fire or begin moving toward “Plan B” and new military moves.For Kerry-watchers, it’s a familiar moment of ...

Opinion: Sanders can’t duck foreign policy

A recent NBC News poll found that only 11 percent of Democrats consider terrorism the most important issue in the presidential race, and only 5 percent cite foreign policy overall.Perhaps that’s why Bernie Sanders didn’t seem worried about his fumbling foreign-policy performance when he ...

Opinion: Islamic State’s threat still growing

Washington ? Republican and Democratic presidential candidates should be able to agree on one stark foreign policy reality: The tide hasn’t turned in the war against the Islamic State. In the 18 months that the U.S. has been working to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the group, it has ...

Opinion: Can television sitcoms battle bigotry?

So it turns out sitcoms can erase bigotry.That’s the bottom line of a study recently presented before a conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. And it doesn’t even have to be a particularly good sitcom.To judge, at least, from a screening of its first two episodes, ...

Opinion: Views of football may be changing

Washington ? Settling unhappily into his Super Bowl seat, Himalayan high behind the end zone, Joe spots an empty seat low and on the 50-yard line. He descends to it and asks the man seated next to him why the wonderful seat is unoccupied. The man says, “It’s mine. I was supposed to come ...

Opinion: Conservatism beats Trump in Iowa

Washington ? The reigning idiocy of the current political season is the incessant tossing around of “establishment,” an epithet now descending into meaninglessness. Its most recent abuse is by Donald Trump supporters rationalizing his Iowa defeat with the following consolation: If you tally ...

Opinion: Group seeks justice in police shooting

Last week, a group of church friends held a town hall meeting in Brunswick, Ga. Their purpose is embodied in their name: Justice For Caroline Small.Chances are, you’ve never heard of her.She was a waitress, a mother of two girls, and a woman with mental health issues who was in and out of ...

Opinion: GOP seeks Trump-free campaign

Washington ? When Huck Finn asked Tom Sawyer what a Moslem is, Tom said a Moslem is someone who is not a Presbyterian, which is true, but not the whole truth. Donald Trump says he is a Presbyterian (“I drink my little wine ... and have my little cracker”), which apparently was not good ...

Opinion: Angry voters send message in Iowa

Who will win the Republican and Democratic nominations is still anyone’s guess, but the Iowa caucus voters defined three themes that are likely to roll through the rest of this year’s campaign: alienation, disruption and resilience.Let me unpack those words. Our political system has been ...

Opinion: Pope should focus on immigration

When he visits Mexico in mid-February, Pope Francis, who has made the plight of migrants one of the central themes of his papacy, should have no mercy with Republican hopeful Donald Trump.Francis will have a unique opportunity to expose Trump as a pathological liar on immigration matters, just ...

Opinion: Tahrir Square revolution isn’t over

Jan. 25 marked the fifth anniversary of the Tahrir Square revolt — an uprising organized by young Facebook-savvy Egyptians that came to symbolize the Arab Spring.At the time, I spent days in and around the square interviewing the revolt’s youthful leaders as well as ordinary Cairenes. Those ...

Opinion: Justice seldom gets more poetic

“A lie can get halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.”That nugget of wisdom dates from the 1800s, i.e., decades before anyone ever heard of the Internet — much less Fox “News.”If a lie traveled that fast in the 19th century, you can only imagine its ...

Opinion: Trump tariffs just another tax

Washington ? Woodrow Wilson, who enjoyed moralizing about the mundane, called paying taxes a “glorious privilege.” In 1865, when there was a Civil War income tax, one taxpayer shared this sensibility, sort of. Mark Twain said that his tax bill of $36.82 (including a $3.12 fine for filing ...

Opinion: Clinton offered sound advice on Egypt

Washington ? Five years ago, President Obama made a decision that helped topple Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. His policy represented a bet that the democratic surge of the Arab Spring could lead to a stable political transition in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East.Obama’s embrace of ...

Opinion: Trump, Sanders tap voter anxiety

Washington ? It’s hard to believe that the United States, having resisted the siren song of socialism during its entire 20th-century heyday (the only major democracy to do so), should suddenly succumb to its charms a generation after its intellectual demise. Indeed, the prospect of socialist ...

Opinion: Cruz has focused campaign in Iowa

Boone, Iowa — On a frigid, gray morning, Rafael Cruz’s unnamed target was as evident as his message touting his son’s principles as he addressed some two dozen Ted Cruz supporters in a basement room of a converted livery stable.“Don’t listen to the rhetoric,” the elder Cruz pleaded. ...