National Columns

Opinion: Trump populism reminiscent of Chavez

The conventional wisdom is that Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump is a populist clown who won’t be able to set the Republican agenda or capture the Republican nomination, much less win the 2016 presidential election. But the conventional wisdom has often been wrong.Trump’s rise ...

Opinion: Broaden violence discussion

This will not be a column about Sandra Bland, although it could be.Certainly there is cause for outrage over the way a Texas state trooper escalated the routine traffic stop of an indignant African-American woman into a violent arrest; she died of an apparent jail cell suicide three days later. ...

Opinion: ‘Reaganism’ invoked in varied forms

Republicans are embracing many versions of ReaganismThe Republican Party has a bigger problem than Donald Trump: It hasn’t figured out what it wants to be.GOP candidates still worship the legacy of Ronald Reagan, and cast themselves as Reagan’s heirs; there’s hardly a GOP stump speech in ...

Opinion: Cuba event should include dissidents

If Secretary of State John Kerry is serious when he claims that the Obama administration will keep pressing for democracy and human rights in Cuba, this is the least he should do: invite Cuban dissidents to the flag-raising ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Havana when he travels for the historic ...

Opinion: Clinton setting her own campaign pace

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton appears to be making progress toward regaining control of her campaign after three months in which questions about the past have sometimes overshadowed her focus on the future.But only success in next year’s primaries and caucuses can validate those ...

Opinion: ‘Principle’ must be evening applied

Here’s the thing about principle.Unless applied equally, it is not really principle at all. He who climbs on his moral high horse when a wrong is done to him or his, but leaves the horse stabled when an identical wrong is done to someone else, acts from self-interest and that is the opposite ...

Opinion: Some Israelis support deal with Iran

Israeli officials are orchestrating a campaign to have Congress scuttle the Iran nuclear deal by voting it down and overriding a promised presidential veto. Republican presidential hopefuls have jumped on the bandwagon, denouncing the deal as if it heralded the end of the world.There are indeed ...

Opinion: Videos could shift abortion views

Washington ? “Thank you Planned Parenthood. God bless you.”      — Barack Obama, address to Planned Parenthood, April 26, 2013Planned Parenthood’s reaction to the release of a clandestinely recorded conversation about the sale of fetal body parts was highly revealing. After ...

Opinion: ‘Lone wolf’ terrorism hard to combat

Washington ? “He acknowledged the truth, he gives (allegiance), the order has been given, his heart beats, he accepts, butterflies kick in. ... The target is given, the anticipation is over, a sense of relief.”With this stream-of-consciousness narrative, an Islamic State fighter using the ...

Opinion: Lift finance limits but identify donors

A remarkable thing just happened in the chaotic race for the Republican presidential nomination, and it wasn’t the rise of Donald Trump. It was the impressive numbers reported for the first stage of the GOP’s “money primary”: the competition to raise the hundreds of millions of dollars ...

Opinion: U.S. has system of injustice

The United States does not have a justice system.If we define a justice system as a system designed for the production of justice, then it seems obvious that term cannot reasonably be applied to a system that countenances the mass incarceration by race and class of hundreds of thousands of ...

Opinion: Trump still has grip on GOP

Washington ? Don’t be sure the McCain episode is the beginning of the end of Donald Trump’s bizarre presidential campaign. Don’t even be sure it’s the end of the beginning. Attacking him with censure and shame is like trying to destroy Godzilla with electricity: It might just make him ...

Opinion: Euro ‘Grexit’ may be best course

Washington ? The Greek financial crisis has eased — for now. But many skeptics share the worry of German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble that the bailout plan may not work, and that the only way to restore competitiveness and growth is a Greek exit from the euro.Schauble was blasted as a ...

Opinion: Iran’s reaction to pact uncertain

Here’s one of the questions that worry both critics and supporters of the Iran deal: Will it encourage Tehran to make further mischief in the Middle East?Iran is the power behind Syria’s war-criminal president, Bashar al-Assad, the armer of Hezbollah, the trainer of Iraqi Shiite militias ...

Opinion: Obama makes poor deal with Iran

At his press conference last Wednesday, our president of self-regard again linked himself with Ronald Reagan, seeking to equate his supposed success in gaining a deal with Iran not to build a nuclear weapon for 10 years to Reagan’s arms control negotiations with the Soviet Union.There is at ...

Opinion: The public hates the media, but who cares?

In her 1985 speech after receiving the Best Actress Oscar for her role in “Places in the Heart,” actress Sally Field famously gushed, “You like me; you really, really like me.”The latest in a long history of surveys examining the public’s level of trust in the news media might ...

Opinion: So, Donald Trump is number one?

He’s number one?!Yes, it’s an early poll and, as such, pretty near useless.Yes, Herman Cain was once number one, too, and we know what happened with that.Yes, the fact that he is number one probably reflects name recognition as much as anything else.And no, he will never be his party’s ...

Opinion: Imperfect deal better than alternative

Washington — To understand why the Iran nuclear deal is such a triumph, consider the most likely alternative: war.Imagine a U.S.-led military strike — not a pinprick but an extended bombing campaign robust enough to eliminate 98 percent of Iran’s enriched uranium, put two-thirds of the ...

Opinion: Worse than we could have imagined

Washington — When you write a column, as did I two weeks ago, headlined “The worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history,” you don’t expect to revisit the issue. We had hit bottom. Or so I thought. Then on Tuesday the final terms of the Iranian nuclear deal were published. I was ...

Opinion: On to our next Iranian challenge

Washington — The shrill Republican attacks on the Iran nuclear deal are an embarrassment. Most global leaders share President Obama’s view that the agreement is preferable to any realistic alternative. It’s a diplomatic achievement that reinforces U.S. leadership, rather than undermining ...