×

Other Commentaries

Spying on you, me, the president

“The makers of our Constitution ... conferred, as against the Government, the right to be let alone — the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men.” — Justice Louis D. Brandeis, 1928 After the Watergate era had ended and Jimmy Carter was in the White ...

What price separation from Europe?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has had enough of President Trump. Speaking last Sunday in a Munich beer hall, Merkel suggested that Europe may no longer be able to rely on the United States as a faithful ally and that the continent “really must take our fate into our own hands.” I had ...

To die for Estonia?

WASHINGTON — So what if, in his speech to NATO, Donald Trump didn’t explicitly reaffirm the provision that an attack on one is an attack on all? What’s the big deal? Didn’t he affirm a general commitment to NATO during his visit? Hadn’t he earlier sent his vice president and ...

What if collusion probe finds nothing?

President Trump is back from his first foreign trip, and CBS “welcomed” him back by suggesting again that he can’t possibly win a long fight with the media. On May 28, CBS reporter Errol Barnett quizzed “Face the Nation” host John Dickerson, saying: “Trump is back to tweeting his ...

The nonexistent case for the Paris accord

For a bull in the china shop, President Donald Trump gingerly stepped around the Paris climate accord. That dance ended last week, with Trump deciding whether to stay out. “Out” should be the obvious answer. No U.S. interest is served by remaining part of the accord, which even its ...

Two ways of looking at America

There are two ways of looking at America. One approach offers hope for a bright future, focuses on common ground shared by most Americans and is grounded in pragmatism and reality. The other offers a depressing outlook, encourages polarization and is grounded in ideology and fantasy. The ...

Conservative mom breaks pot taboo

Let’s talk about marijuana. Specifically, let’s talk about how and why I came to be one of the countless parents across America (and around the world) who have let their chronically ill children try it. A groundbreaking new study published last week in the New England Journal of ...

Praying Mantis explains today’s politics and the Trump/Republican agenda

To understand the bizarre political era in which we live, let us recall the mating rituals of the praying mantis. In their amorous encounter, the male mantis approaches the female — which is the physically larger and stronger of the two — and, if permitted, mounts the female from the ...

Trump got trolled

If President Donald Trump has acted as his own worst enemy in the Russia controversy, as everyone says, he’s been baited into it. Rush Limbaugh a couple of weeks ago said he was laughing over Trump’s “epic troll” of the Democrats by firing FBI Director James Comey (and meeting with ...

Government health care doesn’t assure better care

While Washington freaked out over the Congressional Budget Office’s verdict on the American Health Care Act (aka “Trumpcare”) and how cutting back health insurance would cost countless lives, the more interesting accounting came out of California. The dream of implementing single-payer ...

In defense of discretion

When I was a kid, people in positions of authority had lots of discretion. It was part and parcel of their job. Police officers brought kids to their parents for punishment, rather than the precinct for charges. Teachers confiscated pocket knives and broke up fist fights, with the only ...

Zippo lights the way on pension reform

The state Senate recently took the first steps toward passing a significant overhaul of Pennsylvania’s troubled public pension systems. Far from entering unchartered waters, Senate Bill 1’s critical change, a 401(k)-style pension component, has been tested and approved in the private ...

Sen. Al Franken is ‘sick,’ all right

Sen. Al Franken has a new book out humbly titled “Al Franken: Giant of the Senate.” On that same level of attempted humor, his biography states he received “his doctorate in right-wing megalomania studies from Trump University.” Stay classy, Sen. Franken. Sycophantic press profiles of ...

Why Middle East peace starts in Saudi Arabia

“Whom the gods would destroy, they first tempt to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict.” — Irving Kristol WASHINGTON — The quixotic American pursuit of Middle East peace is a perennial. It invariably fails, yet every administration feels compelled to give it a try. ...

Saudi Arabia’s duplicity

Trusting Saudi Arabia to combat terrorists and extremists and “drive them out,” as President Trump called on the kingdom and other Arab and Muslim nations to do in his Riyadh speech, is akin to forging an alliance with the Ku Klux Klan to combat racism and anti-Semitism. Saudi Arabia has ...

Why Trump is right to call terrorists ‘losers’

“Loser” is strange word. Literally and most plainly, it is simply someone who doesn’t win some specific contest or challenge: the loser of a race, boxing match, business deal, etc. Economists routinely talk about how this or that policy — on trade, taxes, whatever — creates ...

Roger Ailes ruined Monica Lewinsky?

It was big news when Roger Ailes died. Everyone in his industry acknowledged that a serious, even transcendent force in American media and politics had passed away. Without Fox News over these last 20 years, the shape of American politics would be far different. The heretofore ...

The forgotten slaughters of the innocents

For now, everyone knows the sonorous name and cherubic face of 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos. She’s the littlest known victim of last week’s jihad attack in Manchester, England. Her doe-eyed image spread as rapidly across social media as the #PrayForManchester hashtags and Twitter ...

Five steps needed to create a brighter future for our nation

Losing faith in our dysfunctional system of politics and government is the essential first step for anyone who wants America to create a bright future for our children and grandchildren. Only by recognizing this reality and losing faith can we be freed to explore other ways of working together ...