National Columnists

Trump and the media: Demolition derby

The traditional media have decided not to take President Trump’s insults lying down. After what may be the strongest — and to his supporters — most thrilling takedown of journalists by any president, Editor and Publisher magazine featured this headline: “Newspapers Aim to Ride ‘Trump ...

There’s nothing free

It was Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman who made famous the adage, ‘’There’s no such thing as a free lunch.’’ Professor Friedman could have added that there is a difference between something’s being free and something’s having a zero price. For example, people say that ...

State lawmakers channel grief into fight against opioids

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — In statehouses across the country, lawmakers with loved ones who fell victim to drugs are leading the fight against the nation's deadly opioid-abuse crisis, drawing on tragic personal experience to attack the problem. A Minnesota state senator whose daughter died of a ...

Partisan lines stay fixed amid Trump turmoil

Amid the turmoil of the first month of the Trump administration, with courts blocking his temporary travel ban and his national security adviser resigning after 24 days, the solid partisan divisions in the electorate — modestly changed in 2016 from what they’d been over the previous two ...

‘Passionate intensity’ has brought about political consequences

Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while ...

Repeal! No, wait!

Republicans promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But now they are hesitating. I understand why. Most Americans opposed Obamacare ever since the Democrats imposed it. But now that Congress actually might kill it, more (about half those polled) say, “Wait, I like Obamacare!” ...

Attacking bigotry starts with us

Here’s a crime story you likely didn’t hear about. It happened on the New York City subway. But it is not the hate-filled crime that matters as much as the response to it by the group of total strangers who happened to file into a particular subway car on a wintery Saturday night. As ...

Legislature takes charge of medical marijuana

Anyone who has read the 23-page initiated measure providing for medical marijuana has to agree that the Legislature did the right thing to suspend its effective date until July 1. The detail required to create such a program lends itself more to the normal legislative process than a “yes” ...

Moral supremacy and Mr. Putin

Is Donald Trump to be allowed to craft a foreign policy based on the ideas on which he ran and won the presidency in 2016? Our foreign policy elite’s answer appears to be a thunderous no. Case in point: U.S. relations with Russia. During the campaign Trump was clear. He would seek ...

Cutting off their nose

President Trump has kept the one promise that caused conservatives to rally to him through all the turmoil of the presidential election. In nominating Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court, the president is putting a Scalia-worthy replacement in Antonin Scalia’s seat. At a time ...

Trump’s 2nd-week follow-through

Donald Trump’s second week as president has been full of surprises and Sturm und Drang. His Friday afternoon executive order barring for 90 days immigration from seven countries designated by the Obama administration as “countries of concern” was obviously ill-vetted and prompted ...

The President and immigration

This past weekend, we all saw massive public outrage in major cities throughout the country. It was directed at the Jan. 27 issuance of an executive order, signed by President Donald Trump, addressing immigration. With the executive order, the president ordered the suspension of entry of all ...

Trump is taking the Bannon Way, and it will end in disaster

The Trump White House is engulfed in a firestorm of its own ignition. The Democrats and the media were only too happy to pour on more gasoline. I am increasingly confident that I’ll be able to begin a lot of columns that way over the next four years. That’s because the one clear takeaway ...

The coming clash with Iran

When Gen. Michael Flynn marched into the White House Briefing Room to declare that "we are officially putting Iran on notice," he drew a red line for President Trump. In tweeting the threat, Trump agreed. His credibility is now on the line.    And what triggered this virtual ...

Trump bubble bursts

No! The bubble burst. My fantasy died. I wasn’t a big Donald Trump backer — on TV I have called him a bully, a narcissist, etc. — but his first days were thrilling! Finally, a president who meant it when he said he’d cut red tape that kills growth, a man who mocks political ...

Not all refugees are welcome

For years, left-wingers would contest my use of the term “open borders lobby” because, they sternly rebuked me, nooooobody in America seriously believes in open borders. Whelp. This weekend, thousands of anti-Trump liberals took to the streets, airports and college campuses chanting ...

Twenty-first century slavery

"It is my property.” “It is not human.” “It is not even three-fifths of a person.” “It is not a person.” “I can do with my property whatever I want.” “You have no legal right to control my property.” “Science says it is not an intelligent being.” “It cannot survive ...

The week that was

Republican members of Congress met in Philadelphia last weekend for what was called a retreat. It might have been more accurately labeled an advance. Perhaps not since the days of Franklin Roosevelt’s first term has so much been done by so few that will potentially impact so many (to ...

‘America First’ is not a threat but a promise

"From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first, America first,” Donald Trump proclaimed in his inaugural address. As has been his habit, he added to the prepared text the word “only” and employed the rhetorical device of repetition by repeating “America first.” The ...

Humiliating Mexico over border wall would be a big mistake

By all means, build a wall on the border, but don’t make Mexico pay for it. It was a great — and by great I mean effective, not noble or heroic— applause line from then-candidate Trump on the campaign trail. Audiences loved it, particularly the call-and-response. Trump: “Who’s going ...