National Columnists

America’s unsustainable empire

Before President Trump trashes the Iran nuclear deal, he might consider: If he could negotiate an identical deal with Kim Jong Un, it would astonish the world and win him the Nobel Peace Prize. For Iran has no nuclear bomb or ICBM and has never tested either. It has never enriched uranium to ...

Touching the Nation

She was born into comfort in Manhattan and raised in Rye, a leafy, exclusive suburb in New York's Westchester County. She would leave college before graduating to marry. She never had a career beyond wife, mother and citizen. But her death, in her 10th decade, evoked an almost spontaneous ...

Educational fraud continues

Earlier this month, the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress, aka The Nation's Report Card, was released. It's not a pretty story. Only 37 percent of 12th-graders tested proficient or better in reading, and only 25 percent did so in math. Among black students, only 17 percent tested ...

America not as intolerant as we make it out to be

I don't normally watch the GLAAD Media Awards. Not that there's anything wrong with them. GLAAD, by the way, originally stood for "Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation" before the organization declared that GLAAD was its name and not an acronym. But I did see a video of Britney ...

Impeachment frenzy in fictional TV

The intense fear and loathing that permeates news coverage of President Donald Trump is being multiplied on television dramas. Impeachment scenarios and 25th Amendment removal strategies are rolling around in the brains of scriptwriters. Barbara Hall, the creator of the pro-Hillary Clinton ...

President Trump and the attorney-client privilege

A few weeks ago, President Donald Trump was an outwardly happy man because of the utterance of one solitary word from the lips of special counsel Robert Mueller to one of Trump's lawyers. The word that thrilled the president and his legal team was "subject." It seems that Mueller and one of ...

Trump’s vitally important anti-poverty initiative

It takes a lot of courage for a president to target almost a quarter of the federal budget for reform in an election year. But this is exactly what President Trump is doing with his executive order, "Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility." We're now ...

If you don’t agree with me, you’re a racist who likes death threats

On Monday, George Yancy, a black professor of philosophy at Emory University, wrote a lengthy piece in The New York Times detailing the awful death threats he has received from white racists. I can sympathize -- throughout 2016, I received my fair share of death threats. But Yancy sees those ...

Comey’s pocket stuffers in the press

The definition of "news" is very elastic these days. Another word we could use is "publicity." When former FBI Director James Comey's publisher, MacMillan, boasts that it will kill enough trees to print 850,000 copies -- when a decent fraction of sales is in e-books and audiobooks -- publicity ...

Hidden taxes

The cable bill was the last straw, says Kristin Tate. "That's the one that really made me mad." Comcast included $36 in charges for mysterious things like "utility tax" and "government access fee." That motivated her to research obscure taxes and put what she learned in a new book, "How ...

Return of the feckless Chick-Fil-A-phobes

Move over, Trump Derangement Syndrome. Another unhinged liberal pathology is back: Chick-fil-A-phobia. Perhaps, in the interest of public health, the CDC should launch a weekly C-F-A-P surveillance report to map the recurrence of this culturally infectious disease. Early-onset symptoms ...

A mayor’s most important job

When World War II ended, Washington, D.C.'s population was about 900,000; today it's about 700,000. In 1950, Baltimore's population was almost 950,000; today it's around 614,000. Detroit's 1950 population was close to 1.85 million; today it's down to 673,000. Camden, New Jersey's 1950 ...

Trump’s Syria strike was meant to project strength. It did the opposite.

In 2013, after Syrian dictator Bashar Assad crossed President Obama's red line and used chemical weapons on innocent civilians, a U.S. official told the Los Angeles Times that Obama's retaliatory strike would likely be "just muscular enough not to get mocked" but not so devastating that it ...

South Dakota asks the Supreme court to circumvent Congress and the market

WASHINGTON — South Dakota has become what South Carolina once was — stubborn, pugnacious and wrong. In 1860, South Carolina became the first state to vote to secede. In 2016, South Dakota’s legislature picked a fight in the hope that the U.S. Supreme Court would reverse a prior decision, ...

This hospital bed may kill you

Danger lurks for hospital patients in a place they'd least expect it -- the bed. Hospitals claim to disinfect beds in between patients. Don't believe it. Data from four New York hospitals prove beds are full of germs. Patients are nearly six times as likely to come down with staph, strep or ...

The real threat to Donald Trump

In the midst of worrying about North Korea, Syria and Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives this fall, President Donald Trump is now worrying about a government assault on his own business, which targeted his own lawyer. Michael Cohen has been the personal lawyer for Trump ...

War on science

We've been told conservatives don't believe in science and that there's a "Republican war on science." But John Tierney, who's written about science for The New York Times for 25 years and now writes for the Manhattan Institute's City Journal, told me in my latest online video, "The real ...

The student data-mining scandal under our noses

While congresscritters expressed outrage at Facebook's intrusive data grabs during Capitol Hill hearings with Mark Zuckerberg this week, not a peep was heard about the Silicon Valley-Beltway theft ring purloining the personal information and browsing habits of millions of American ...

Has the war party hooked Trump?

With his Sunday tweet that Bashar Assad, "Animal Assad," ordered a gas attack on Syrian civilians, and Vladimir Putin was morally complicit in the atrocity, President Donald Trump just painted himself and us into a corner. "Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack ...

Republicans and patriotism

The election night words of the long-shot Republican candidate after his upset victory remain with me to this day: "I learned long ago that serving only oneself is a petty and unsatisfying ambition. But serve a cause greater than self-interest and you will know a happiness far more sublime than ...