Columns

Would Trump start a war in order to save presidency?

Jules witcover WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s saber-rattling against Iran over that fire at sea of two oil tankers has raised fears of a miscalculation that could lead to war. With all the latest polling numbers suggesting his reelection next year could be in jeopardy, would he start one to ...

Time is about up for mandatory high heels

Just think about it: a clothing item that permanently disfigures a body part, encouraging nerve growths that set off shooting pain. Fashionwise, it telegraphs sexual availability. And amazingly, some employers demand that their female workers wear this cause of physical agony to the ...

Trump’s personality is his biggest re-election obstacle

“What’s your pitch to the swing voter on the fence?” ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked President Trump in an interview that aired Sunday. Questions of this sort are gifts to politicians, but interviewers ask them for a couple of reasons. One, they’re civic-minded. Politicians ...

Dear Annie

Dear Annie: I need to vent here. I have a group of girlfriends, and there is one, “Melanie,” who dominates the conversation. Melanie’s voice is louder than mine so if I am telling a story or asking a question, she will just blare out whatever is on her mind. Another annoying habit: Even ...

Hypocrisy has lost all meaning

There was a time when calling someone a hypocrite could stain their reputation. No more. Like the overused and often misapplied word “racism,” hypocrisy has lost the power to cause harm. The media and Democrats are agog over President Trump’s comment to former Bill Clinton adviser and ...

Lies the liar tells are revealing

When politicians talk in private, they regularly use a cruel shorthand. For example, a candidate who is uninformed, unreflective and uncurious is often branded a “lightweight,” as in, “He is so lightweight he could tap-dance on a souffle.” Conversely, a “heavyweight” would be a ...

Pain, disability the result of many toe problems

Quick, what body part is most out-of-sight? How about that which is farthest away? Have you ever wondered what part of your body is most confined? The answer is obvious: your toes! These apparently simple structures are hidden away from site and easy to ignore. They are the structures farthest ...

Searching for attributes in nature

My father told me that when he was a little child he used to imagine that the voices coming from his radio were of people living inside it. Tiny news announcers, little singers, and miniature music band members would share the little space, taking turns to recite the news, sing and play ...

Rapists’ rights simply defy reason

WASHINGTON — In Alabama, where a new law denies abortion to women even in cases of incest or rape, a rapist may still pursue custody rights of a child conceived during his assault. I’ll give you a moment to digest that sentence. It gets worse. In a recent case, a young woman in ...

To beat Trump, Dems must be modest

WASHINGTON — “It is a great advantage to a president,” said the 30th of them, “and a major source of safety to the country, for him to know he is not a great man.” Or, Calvin Coolidge would say today, a great woman. While today’s incumbent advertises himself as an “extremely ...

Climate change likely a trap for Democrats in 2020

The more the climate debate changes, the more it stays the same. Polls show that the public is worried about climate change, but that doesn’t mean that it is any more ready to bear any burden or pay any price to combat it. If President Donald Trump claws his way to victory again in ...

Extirpating whiteness a bad habit politicians often have

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who, like nearly everyone, is running for president, presides over the largest and most media-centric city in America. His national name recognition is respectable, but his support is undetectable. Literally. He’s at 0%, lagging behind such Democratic titans as ...

Finding people to fill empty spaces

A tiny French mountain village with a long name, L’Hospitalet-pres-l’Andorre, has lost half its population over three decades, according to the French newspaper Le Monde. Its name in English would be “The Hospital Near Andorra.” (Andorra is a small principality shoehorned between France ...

New reason to get moving on Trump impeachment

WASHINGTON — President Trump has rebuffed FBI Director Christopher Wray for reporting that the Russians are again pursuing opposition research with which to meddle in the 2020 presidential election. It shockingly reveals he never saw anything wrong with Russian interference in 20l6, when he ...

Conservative divide was more apparent as Cold War ended

The idea holding together the conservative movement since the 1960s was called “fusionism.” The concept, which always worked better as an organizing principle than a philosophical one, was that freedom and virtue were inextricably linked. Virtue not freely chosen wasn’t virtuous. Or as ...

Praying (or not) for president

Only the most partisan person would begrudge prayers for the president of the United States, but a recent visit by President Trump to the mega McLean Bible Church in Virginia has rubbed some congregants the wrong way. The White House informed the church with only a few minutes notice that the ...

‘We’ once did fight wars but that was long time ago

Beneath the perfectly manicured lawns and under the pines and elm trees at the Normandy cemetery lie 9,388 Americans who died during D-Day or in the liberation of France that followed. Among them is a most unlikely combatant, a 56-year-old Army officer who was a wounded veteran of World War I ...

USS John S. McCain episode speaks volumes about Trumpism

Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, says it’s reasonable to think the president should be protected from seeing a warship with John McCain’s name on it. The USS John S. McCain, a destroyer named after three generations of McCains — two legendary admirals and the late ...

We are a nation not made by flimsy people

George will “By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled, Here once the embattled farmers stood And fired the shot heard round the world.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Concord Hymn” WASHINGTON — After the morning bloodshed on Lexington ...

A tribute to editor who was right

Connie Schultz The first time I had a conversation with editor Stuart Warner, I didn’t like him much. This was in 2001, just weeks after my five-day series had run in The Plain Dealer. Without my knowledge, Stuart had provided a thorough critique of the series to our editor-in-chief. Each ...