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home : opinion : editorial October 16, 2018

The peculiar politics of Maine
Could towns like this, a tiny crossroads of fewer than 1,300 households -- now draped in brilliant autumn foliage colors, by Election Day perhaps resting quietly under a gentle dusting of snow -- decide whether Democrats or Republicans rule the House? Or whether subpoena-assisted investigations are mounted against President Donald J. Trump and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh?
Saturday, October 13, 2018


Civility is for suckers
It's doubtful that a former American presidential candidate has ever formally endorsed incivility before, but Hillary Clinton is ever full of surprises.
Friday, October 12, 2018

GOP needs update to Dems' UFC cage match rules
It's time to update the GOP's Marquess of Queensbury Rules.
Thursday, October 11, 2018

What should happen to deputy AG who discussed bugging Trump?
Not long after a 2017 meeting in which Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reportedly discussed wearing a wire to secretly record conversations with President Trump, two top officials in the meeting, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and bureau lawyer Lisa Page, went to the office of a third FBI official, general counsel James Baker.
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The left's foolhardy attack on the Senate
Democrats suffered a stinging loss in the fight over Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation, and have concluded that the constitutional system is to blame.
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

'Jeopardy' answer: Nebraska
OMAHA, Neb. --- I'll take the #bluewave for $300.
Saturday, October 6, 2018

It is in our interest to save other species
The dusky gopher frog is a tiny thing. Once thriving in the longleaf pine forests of the South, only about 250 remain in the wild, in Mississippi. The endangered frog could soon disappear forever if the U.S. Supreme Court rules against a plan to preserve breeding ponds in Louisiana.
Saturday, October 6, 2018

Don't blame Dianne Feinstein
Friday, October 5, 2018

Whatever it takes
The Democrats' current position on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh is: We cannot have someone addicted to beer on our highest court! What if a foreign power were to ply him with this nectar in a can? Talk about taking control of our government! Suppose they throw in a case of Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier?
Thursday, October 4, 2018

In Kavanaugh fight, Democrats move goal posts far, far away
Ask any casual observer what the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation fight is about, and the answer will be the allegation that at a high school party 36 years ago, when Kavanaugh was 17, he drunkenly forced then-15-year-old Christine Ford onto a bed, tried to undress her and, when she tried to scream, covered her mouth with his hand.
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Atticus Finch was on the wrong side
It's time for "To Kill a Mockingbird" to give up its treasured place in American culture.
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Little lies mean a lot
Brett Kavanaugh's fraught relationship with the truth took another hit Sunday, when a classmate from Yale called the Supreme Court nominee's claim of being a moderate drinker in college a "blatant mischaracterization." Under oath, Kavanaugh said that he was too busy being angelic -- studying and playing sports -- to get stumbling drunk.
Monday, October 1, 2018

Mini Me Goes on the Attack or Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire ... or a Question of Character
President Trump was proud of his nominee, understandably so. His opening statement, reminiscent of Clarence Thomas' claim that his confirmation hearing was "a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks," could have been written or delivered by the president. But Justice Thomas was confirmed 27 years ago, when we survivors were still trying to convince people that no meant no. And this time, there is no racial issue to make an all-white Senate uncomfortable. Judge Kavanaugh was reduced to the usual Trumpian name-calling, attacking rather than explaining, turning himself into the innocent victim of a vast left-wing conspiracy.
Saturday, September 29, 2018

The Caleb Cushing candidate
Brett Kavanaugh, meet Caleb Cushing.
Friday, September 28, 2018

Brett Kavanaugh should be angry
Brett Kavanaugh may have saved his Supreme Court confirmation with one of the most memorable statements in modern congressional history. 
Friday, September 28, 2018

Are low prices always a good thing?
If you like exploring the great outdoors, as I do, you probably enjoy shopping (or at least looking) in those high-end stores serving campers, hikers and the like. There, the wilderness fantasy rides high: Neat displays of specialized tents, headlamps and fleece jackets. Often a stone-and-wood decor smelling of cedar. And salespeople who know all about trail shoes.
Thursday, September 27, 2018

No more Mr. White Guy
"They know the optics of 11 white men questioning Dr. Ford ... will be so harmful and so damaging to the GOP." -- Areva Martin, CNN legal analyst
Thursday, September 27, 2018

For Democrats in Ford-Kavanaugh fight, believing is enough
What is perhaps most extraordinary about the all-out war over the Brett Kavanaugh nomination is how little the public knows about the accusations of Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who claims that at a high-school party in 1982, when she was 15, a drunken 17-year-old Kavanaugh forced her onto a bed, tried to undress her, and, when she tried to scream, covered her mouth with his hand.
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The assault on Kavanaugh validates Trump
The attempted political assassination of Brett Kavanaugh is bad for the country, but good for a Trumpian attitude toward American politics.
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Can we have a sensible immigration policy?
What would a sensible immigration policy look like? It would have three goals: be humane, enforce the laws and meet America's need for labor. This can happen only if our political fringes get out of the way.
Monday, September 24, 2018

What to look for as the midterms near
Six weeks out, and this year's vital midterm congressional elections finally are coming into focus.
Saturday, September 22, 2018

Harrop Column
In our highly polarized era, we too often judge election results from the confines of partisan politics. That's not nearly as useful on the state and local levels, where elected officials have roads to fix, kids to educate and budgets to balance. Voters want people who can do the job. Ideology can wait.
Saturday, September 22, 2018

President Trump drops his civil tone and slams Kavanaugh accuser's credibility
WASHINGTON (AP) — Abandoning his previous restraint, President Donald Trump challenged by name the woman accusing his Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault on Friday, declaring that if the alleged attack was so terrible she would have reported it to law enforcement.
Friday, September 21, 2018

As midterms loom, GOP hopes political storm dissipates
Republicans know what the midterm election polls say. They hear the talk about a blue wave. They're aware of historical party-in-power midterm losses in the House. But they still see something else, seven weeks out from Election Day.
Friday, September 21, 2018

Haven Monahan to testify in Kavanaugh hearings
If this is what the left pulls against a sweet nerd like Brett Kavanaugh, I can't wait for the hearings to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg!
Thursday, September 20, 2018

Brett Kavanaugh's Kafkaesque nightmare
 If Franz Kafka had written about confirmation hearings, he couldn't have come up with a better scenario than the one now unfolding in the U.S. Senate. 
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

How about Medicare Advantage for all?
A resurfaced Barack Obama has uttered those three little words: "Medicare for all."
Monday, September 17, 2018

An economic boom is a terrible thing to waste
President Donald Trump is showing that it's possible to preside over a period of peace and prosperity and still be notably unpopular.
Monday, September 17, 2018

Everyone's urinating on the dossier now
I was minding my own business reading about Bob Woodward, the GREATEST INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER IN THE HISTORY OF OUR REPUBLIC (as he will be the first to tell you), and came across this bit of genius from his book. According to The New York Times, Woodward is flabbergasted that former FBI Director James Comey released the Russian dossier, when he had the "airtight" report of 17 INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES.
Saturday, September 15, 2018

The lost art of dating
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- Meet the dating czar.
Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Chicago Bears NFL franchise began in Decatur
A.E. “Gene” Staley’s successful corn manufacturing company in Decatur was already producing starch, glucose, sugar and syrup in 1919 when it added professional football to the assembly line.
Saturday, September 15, 2018

Federal court rules against education secretary in for-profit colleges fraud case
WASHINGTON (AP) — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ move to delay Obama-era protections for students defrauded by for-profit colleges was dealt a setback when a federal judge found her actions to be “arbitrary and capricious.”
Friday, September 14, 2018

When a foreign adversary meddled in a presidential election
In the 1990s, a hostile foreign power meddled in our presidential election. There were serious questions about whether one party's candidate -- the beneficiary -- was complicit in the meddling, or at least looked the other way while it was going on. The candidate fiercely resisted the appointment of a special prosecutor, then known as an independent counsel, to investigate. Finally, amid only moderate media interest and public concern, it all faded away.
Friday, September 14, 2018

On climate threat, states refuse to surrender
As large parts of America burn or drown under weird weather conditions made more extreme by global warming, California and other states are doggedly pursuing solutions. What do you say to those who deny climate change is happening -- or who dismiss the scientific consensus that humankind is making the problem worse? You say nothing and move forward.
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The blue-collar recovery
The economic recovery is really beginning to reach into Trump country. 
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Broken Windows
In 1982, James Q. Wilson and his Harvard colleague George Kelling offered a simple idea that had a profound effect on policing: "If a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken." And that is not simply a blight for the neighbors but a clear message that the neighborhood is dangerous, which in turn makes it more dangerous.
Monday, September 10, 2018

US lacks leverage as assault on Syrian enclave looms
WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite dire U.S. warnings and fears of a humanitarian disaster, the Trump administration has little leverage to stop Russia, Iran and Syria pressing ahead with a massive military assault against Syria’s northwest Idlib province.
Saturday, September 8, 2018

Justice Kavanaugh
He will be confirmed, barring some totally unexpected development. He has been vetted by the investigators. He has been vetted by the media. The Republicans have the votes.
Saturday, September 8, 2018

Libersals never sleep (and neither does Jeff Sessions)
The left is very close to having a governing majority due entirely to immigration. Despite the promise of the Trump campaign, there isn't much standing in their way. Now, they're just running out the clock. Soon, we will have admitted so many immigrants that it will be too late to do anything.
Friday, September 7, 2018

The Silly Debate About Socialism
What's with all this socialism business? A handful of lefty candidates are calling themselves socialists without a single radical socialistic item on their promise lists. They seem to have little idea of what socialism is. And most of the conservatives talking back to them don't seem to know, either.
Thursday, September 6, 2018

On Trump-Russia, too much secrecy keeps public in dark
National leaders of all stripes have complained for decades that Washington keeps too many secrets. Too much of the government's information is classified, the argument goes, making it nearly impossible for Americans to know what their leaders are doing.
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Identity politics are a double-edged sword
The recent primaries, particularly on the Democratic side, have unleashed a pack of first-ism cliches. If elected in November, Andrew Gillum would become "Florida's first black governor" (CNN). Stacey Abrams in Georgia could be "America's first black female governor" (Time).
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

John McCain's final challange
From the Vietnam combat of the Lyndon B. Johnson years to the political wars of the Donald J. Trump era, John S. McCain III -- grandson, son and father of naval officers, Hanoi prisoner of war, lion of Capitol Hill, presidential nominee, keeper of the American flame and defender of the American faith -- was at the center of the nation's life.
Monday, September 3, 2018

Contrary to media coverage, most Americans aren't that into politics
For many obsessed with politics, the upcoming midterm elections are perceived as a fight between good and evil that will determine the fate of the nation. In the narrative framed by true believers and much media coverage, it's a fight between those who are convinced that President Donald Trump can make America great and those who dream of a socialist future.
Friday, August 31, 2018

The not-so-super delegates
I was a junior "rules junkie," as we called ourselves, when I coined the term "superdelegates" in 1982. Then-Sen. Ted Kennedy was running against Walter Mondale then. Not then, of course, but in the Hunt Commission, or the Rules Commission, the lines were clearly drawn. The Mondale people were pushing to make party leaders and elected officials automatic, uncommitted delegates for the next convention. They called them "PLEOs." I called them "superdelegates" in the Washington Post and "white boys" in the single hotel room that fit all the feminists.
Thursday, August 30, 2018

Hall monitor nation
Apart from building the wall, President Trump's most important act as president so far was his attack on internet censorship this week.
Thursday, August 30, 2018

Here's to people who work with their hands
After leaving high school, my father worked in factories and drove trucks. College was never in the cards for him. Though a good thinker -- the Navy put him in a program dominated by college grads -- he never excelled academically. And in any case, he had parents and young brothers to support.
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Battle of Michigan Avenue is finally over, and it was won by the protesters.
The lopsided fight between anti-war demonstrators and the brutish police force of Chicago's Democratic mayor Richard Daley the night of Aug. 28, 1968, in the midst of the Democratic convention, was a debacle for the left.
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Death of a Hero
The president's former campaign chairman stands convicted of eight felony counts.

The president's formal personal lawyer is pleading guilty and cooperating.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

'Colleges Defend Free Speech' Should Not Be a Headline
As the academic year starts, we can expect to hear new tales of censorship at colleges and persecution of faculty who go astray from prescribed views. Much of the storytelling will take place on Fox News Channel and in other conservative outlets selling the notion that colleges have become islands of intolerance run by liberal thought police.
Monday, August 27, 2018

The pantsuit that cried wolf
Friday, August 24, 2018

Mothers Who Do Too Much
Here's a true story about a fine woman with an advanced degree whom I will not name for obvious reasons:
Thursday, August 23, 2018

John Brennan shows how to lose to Trump in one easy step
John Brennan may not know it, but he is acting in a drama scripted and produced by Donald J. Trump.
Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Environmental Malpractice Washes Onto the Beach
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency over an environmental disaster that he insists has nothing to do with him.
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A Devastating Message for Democrats
While commentators chastise congressional Democrats for lacking a cogent message for midterm voters, does the opposition really need to say much more than "to hell with Trump"? If so, they can start hammering a theme that will unite the party base, attract wavering supporters and blister the hide off this president for a monumental broken promise.
Monday, August 20, 2018

2020 Vision
Every four years, political professionals assess the landscape and gird for the final push toward the midterm congressional elections. With Donald Trump in the White House and with small Republican margins of control in both chambers of Congress, and with Democrats lusting for revenge, these contests are especially critical.
Saturday, August 18, 2018

The immortal Indianapolis
The worst disaster in the history of the United States Navy only began with the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. 
Friday, August 17, 2018

Eyes on the prizefighters
The media wanted last August's "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville to be the next "Bridge to Selma," an iconic civil rights moment honored by the entire country every year. All week, there were excited announcements of the coming anniversary this past Sunday.
Thursday, August 16, 2018

With Mueller, like Kenneth Starr, beware of wishful thinking
In Washington in the 1990s, it was a sure bet that whenever conservative journalists and activists got together, the conversation turned to the Clintons, Kenneth Starr and the Whitewater investigation. There was a good bit of what one editor memorably called "hush-hush and heavy breathing" when insiders discussed momentous developments that were surely on the way. Somebody knew somebody who had heard from somebody close to Starr that big indictments were imminent -- just around the corner.
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Turkish hostage crisis
It's never a good idea to negotiate with a hostage-taker, but when it's a NATO ally, there isn't much choice.
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Trump connection
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- The scene here in this old Colonial seaport is deceptively pacific. The sun shimmers off the sea, the fishing boats pass quietly. But the talk over a leisurely lunch, harvested from the cool blue waters below, is anything but tranquil. The topics are Donald Trump, the midterm congressional elections and how little -- or how much -- a Republican House candidate should identify himself with the president.
Monday, August 13, 2018

Don't ban Alex Jones
It's just gotten a little easier for the government to control the weather.
Saturday, August 11, 2018

Men of stature and decency
Friday, August 10, 2018

Sarah Jeong better drive carefully!
If you're worried about the social media monopolies censoring speech, just be happy they can't put you in prison.
Thursday, August 9, 2018

Elizabeth Warren's lie
Elizabeth Warren is branching out. 
Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The John the Baptist of the left
A voice crying in the wilderness is supposed to be ignored, not rewarded with accolades and growing influence.
Monday, August 6, 2018

Female candidates must move beyond #MeToo
Have you heard? A woman who recently ran for president got nearly 3 million more votes than Donald Trump. Only the Electoral College -- actually, a few thousand ballots in three key states -- delivered the presidency to the current POTUS. And that was with an assist from Russia.
Saturday, August 4, 2018

The ACLU won't rest until every illegal gets in
After all the wailing about the children streaming across our wide-open, wall-less border, there was very little media interest in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday on this very subject. Knowing facts could interfere with their showboating displays of compassio
Thursday, August 2, 2018

After 'really bad' month, GOP midterm fear rises
From time to time, I've been catching up with a Republican strategist who is trying to help the GOP keep control of the House in this November's midterm elections. It's been an up-and-down ride.
Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Sombra, rescue dog of my dreams
Dear Sombra,

So you're the German shepherd so good at sniffing out stashes of cocaine that drug traffickers in Colombia want you dead. Your story -- how your laser-guided snout helped the Colombian National Police seize at least 9 tons of drugs, leading to 245 arrests -- has gone global.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The battle over socialism is joined
It's begun. We are having a debate over socialism. 
Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Don't call me
My son was in the other room on the phone, and he sounded like me, which is not always a good thing. By the time I caught on, he was asking for the supervisor's supervisor. Usually, he gets mad at me when I lose it with customer service representatives, but here he was, channeling me at my worst.
Monday, July 30, 2018

Pressure mounts, former Trump 'fixer' turns aggressive
WASHINGTON (AP) — The hiring of a Washington insider to be a public attack dog. Tantalizing leaks to the media. Puzzling allegations of actions that could fell a president. Talk of more to come.
Saturday, July 28, 2018

Social Security's 'slow motion' crisis speeds up
Saturday, July 28, 2018

The power of low expectations
Saturday, July 28, 2018

Central Park rapists: Trump was right
The city of New York released thousands of documents from the 1989 Central Park rape case last week, provoking more weeping and gnashing of teeth over Donald Trump's full-page ads in four New York newspapers taken out soon after that attack with the headline:

"BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY.

"BRING BACK OUR POLICE!"

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The real conflict with Iran
It's Tehran's turn for the "fire and fury" treatment.
Thursday, July 26, 2018

Why is Mueller handing off key cases?
Something has been going on with Robert Mueller's investigation of people thought to have played significant roles in the Trump-Russia affair. The special counsel, assigned to investigate "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump," has been farming out seemingly important parts of the investigation to offices outside his own.
Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The GOP is Trump's party now
The remarkable transformation of the Republican Party, begun with Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, reached a historical milestone last week in Helsinki with the president's warm embrace of Vladimir Putin.
Saturday, July 21, 2018

Don't dismiss NATO's faraway members
Donald Trump thrives on an image of strength, so it's never a good look when he inadvertently invokes the spirit of Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister whose name has become a watchword for appeasement. 
Saturday, July 21, 2018

Putin is killing millions of Americans!
I don't know what Trump said during that two hours when he met privately with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but like so many in the media, I know what I hope he said: Mr. Putin, I need you to publicly admit your complicity in our illegal alien problem.
Friday, July 20, 2018

Requiem for a pretty boy with dignity
Tab Hunter died this month at 86. Blond and blue-eyed with a sweet smile, Hunter fit the 1950s bill for a Hollywood heartthrob. But he had no interest in the girls who swooned over him -- or for girls in general. Hunter was one of several closeted gay movie stars leading complicated double lives. Unlike most of the others, however, he eventually chose a life of sexual honesty.
Thursday, July 19, 2018

Why Trump doesn't admit Russian election interference
Was Russia's effort to interfere in the 2016 election the most important issue on the table at President Trump's Helsinki summit with Vladimir Putin? No. But it's not an unimportant issue, either, and Trump knew the American press is obsessed with it. So he knew it would play a big role in the Trump-Putin post-summit news conference.
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

















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