Columns

Extremely low rent for big bucks

WASHINGTON — Despite recent revelations that Fox News and anchor Bill OíReilly had settled five complaints of sexual harassment against him to the tune of millions — his ratings went up. A few days later, a United AirIines passenger was dragged from an airplane to make room for crew ...

Middle Eastern siren call

In Greek mythology, sirens were beautiful creatures that lured sailors to their doom with their hypnotic voices. In Homer’s epic, “The Odyssey,” ships came to ruin on jagged reefs, following siren song, the pull of the beautiful voices so strong that the hero Odysseus, in order not to ...

He doesn’t look like he’s from around here

When John McCain, after graduating from Annapolis and spending 22 years in the Navy, made his first run for Congress from Arizona, he was challenged by a Republican primary opponent for not having lived long in the state. McCain, who, as a POW for 5 1/2 years, had been tortured by the North ...

End of filibuster not good for either party

Back when I was a young staffer in the House of Representatives, we viewed the Senate with some disdain. Senators — and more so their staffs — were imperious. They viewed themselves as being in the higher chamber and employed arcane rules, most notoriously the filibuster, to block actions ...

Mistrust of Trump threatens political corrosion, rule of law

Donald Trump’s unorthodox campaign and unexpected victory have produced a culture of mistrust permeating our politics and threatening to undermine the rule of law. That’s not healthy, whatever you think of Trump or his political opponents. The partisan mistrust is evident in Senate ...

Deflation of Steve Bannon sends hot air everywhere

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s sudden and unexpected removal of chief White House strategist Steve Bannon from the National Security Council has brought a first sigh of relief from Trump critics that common sense may be returning to the Oval Office. Not only has Bannon as a strongly ...

Culture wars: Thinking hard about Pence and O’Reilly

Last week, we spent six or seven days gawping at Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, for their supposedly bizarre or retro marriage rules. Pence, as even villagers in Bora Bora doubtless know by now, does not attend one-on-one dinners with women other than Karen, and he does not ...

Other opinions

State senate leader out of touch with public transparency desires Members of the Michigan House of Representatives served it up to their counterparts in the state Senate earlier this month. It should have been a slam dunk, or a home run, or whatever other sports analogy you want to ...

For liberals, finding strength in community could be big

During the presidential campaign, many Hillary Clinton voters in Atlanta’s suburbs thought they were alone. That was an easy conclusion to draw because few felt comfortable putting Clinton signs on their front lawns or expressing their political preference at parties. Their neighbors seemed ...

O’Reilly payoffs made public

It’s hard to give the complete list of companies pulling their ads right now from Bill O’Reilly’s show on Fox News Channel, because the number keeps growing. Chances are that in the time it took me to write the previous sentence, another corporate sponsor decided to suspend advertising. ...

Trump adept at obfuscation game

WASHINGTON — If there is one operative rule in this city’s left-right paradigm, it is to shift the focus of any conversation that seems at risk of revealing something approximating truth — a game at which the current administration and its media surrogates happen to excel. Thus, the ...

Trump cranks up fog machine

Donald Trump’s technique for dealing with bad news is to create enough confusion and partisanship to envelope it in dense fog. Consider the most explosive news to come along in recent history — that the FBI has commenced an investigation of Trump aides to find out if they colluded with ...

Profiling is a misunderstood concept

Profiling is needlessly a misunderstood concept. What’s called profiling is part of the optimal stock of human behavior and something we all do. Let’s begin by describing behavior that might come under the heading of profiling. Prior to making decisions, people seek to gain information. ...

Great American divide is multi-faceted

If you keep your eyes focused on Washington, D.C., you might think the great divide in America is partisan. I admit: I’m often guilty of doing just that, even though I live 1,500 miles outside the Beltway. But the more disturbing divide that is ripping the nation apart is a cultural one, ...

Doesn’t anybody know how to play this governance game?

michael barone “Dare I suggest,” writes the economist and blogger Tyler Cowen, “that the quality of governance in this country has taken a downward turn of late?” Or as Casey Stengel, while managing the New York Mets on their way to a 40-120 season in 1962, reportedly asked, ...

Trump’s credibility chasm deepening by the minute

Jules witcover WASHINGTON — In the two short months of Donald Trump’s presidency so far, Republicans and Democrats alike have managed to reduce American politics to a bipartisan laughingstock. Starting with Trump, he has devalued the truth with his serial falsehoods about matters ...

California mess should be cleaned up by any means

Mona Charen We are witnesses to an abuse of power by government that represents a test of our democracy. Anyone who fails to rally to the cause of the Americans victimized in this case should be discredited. Though I have not been shy about criticizing President Donald Trump when I think ...

There isn’t much dignity left in coal

Froma Harrop It was a pathetic scene, coal miners flanking President Donald Trump as he signed an order to dismantle the Clean Power Plan. Trump’s imagineers have turned coal miners into a Madison Avenue version of the besieged American working man, the pretty wrapping on a toxic package of ...

Congressman and the counselor

Tony Hall served in Congress for nearly 24 years, representing Ohio’s 3rd District. The Democrat left in 2002 to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, appointed by President George W. Bush. Hall laments how corrosive contemporary politics has ...

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair

WASHINGTON — Though Republicans profess to despise Big Government, especially the federal kind, it seems that what they really don’t like is Democracy — and indeed prefer a monarchy. Yes, yes, the czarina sighed, signaling her weariness with the palace historian’s inevitable scold. I ...