National Columnists

Tough road ahead for Trump in Year 2

As we reach, gingerly, the anniversary of Donald Trump's inauguration as president, none of the disasters feared by critics has come to pass. The economy has turned at least mildly upward rather than plummet to depression. The executive branch has obeyed court orders. No military disaster has ...

Republicans must lead abortion debate

This year, as every year, I will be joining the hundreds of thousands who will be arriving in Washington, D.C., for the March for Life. March for Life notes the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, Jan. 22, 1973, which legalized abortion on demand in our country. The event has taken ...

Stop Feministsplaining sex to men

There's a word that has become popular in feminist circles these days: "mansplaining." The word is a mashup of "man" and "explaining" and refers to men who condescendingly explain the facts of life to women. So, for example, if a man believes a woman doesn't understand directions and slowly ...

Get off the couch if you want Medicaid

Last week, the Trump administration announced it will allow states to impose a "community engagement" requirement on healthy adults getting Medicaid, the public health insurance program for low-income people. So far, 10 states intend to do it, though not welfare-haven New York. To get Medicaid, ...

Big Brother on America’s fishing boats

Salt water. Seagulls. Striped bass. My fondest childhood memories come from fishing with my dad on the creaky piers and slick jetties of the Jersey shore. The Atlantic Ocean is in my blood. So when fishing families in New England reached out to me for help spreading word about their economic ...

Selling hate

Who will warn Americans about hate groups? The media know: the Southern Poverty Law Center. SPLC, based in Alabama, calls itself "the premier" group monitoring hate. Give us money, they say, and they will "fight the hate that thrives in our country." I once believed in the center's ...

Trump: In immigration debate, race matters

President Trump "said things which were hate-filled, vile and racist. ... I cannot believe ... any president has ever spoken the words that I ... heard our president speak yesterday." So wailed Sen. Dick Durbin after departing the White House. And what caused the minority leader to ...

Constitutional ignorance — perhaps contempt

Hillary Clinton blamed the Electoral College for her stunning defeat in the 2016 presidential election in her latest memoirs, "What Happened?" Some have claimed that the Electoral College is one of the most dangerous institutions in American politics. Why? They say the Electoral College system, ...

Thanks, China (maybe)

"When prosperity comes, do not use all of it." -- Confucius Is China about to do the United States a big favor, however unwittingly? According to Bloomberg, China is considering whether to slow, or even stop, purchases of U.S. Treasuries. At $3.14 trillion, China holds the world's largest ...

Always proud he was my president

Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, who created the international scholarship program that bears his name and that has produced 59 Nobel Prize winners among its estimated 360,000 alumni, was not, for entirely legitimate reasons, a humble man. Admitted to the University of Arkansas at 15, he ...

Is ‘Fire and Fury’ fizzling?

The most disappointed people in America this past week must be those Trump execrators who opened their Amazon package only to find that the copy of "Fire and Fury" they had ordered was subtitled "The Allied Bombing of Germany, 1942-1945." It's a well-regarded 2009 volume by University of ...

Election 2018 Scoreboards: Who’s up and who’s down?

Looking ahead to Election 2018, the numbers are close enough for either party to end up in control of the House, the Senate or both. The final outcome will be determined by a combination of the races in play, the fundamentals in each race, and the strength of the political winds in ...

Trump can take credit for black unemployment drop

There's plenty to celebrate in the December Bureau of Labor Statistics report showing black unemployment at 6.8 percent, the lowest ever since they started reporting the data in 1972. President Trump tweeted out his excitement and, of course, took credit for the good news. Has there ever ...

Time’s up for ‘temporary’ alien protection

Se acabo el tiempo. Seventeen years after granting "temporary protected status" to nearly 200,000 Salvadoran citizens who had fled earthquakes in 2001 or who were already here illegally and claimed they were unable to return to their homeland because of civil strife, America is setting a ...

Punish poor people

Store owner Kamal Saleh was just hit with thousands of dollars in fines. His crime? He sold three cigars for $8.89. "Too cheap!" say New York City bureaucrats. "The cigars should have cost 11 cents more." Politicians want you to spend more for tobacco. They decided this after ...

Don’t be too quick to dismiss ‘Beltway insiders’

"Fishermen, sharpen your hooks, bring out the cheese balls and grease your bicycles. Soon there's going to be trout fishing inside the Beltway." That's the first time the phrase "inside the Beltway" -- meaning, in this instance, the physical realm within the I-495 ring road that surrounds ...

Congress plotting to cut a hole in the 4th amendment, again

Hidden beneath the controversy stirred up last week by the publication of a book called "Fire and Fury," a highly critical insider's view of the Trump White House that the president has not only denounced on national television but also tried to prevent from being published and distributed, are ...

Yes, take Oprah seriously

If Hillary Clinton could deliver a political speech half as effectively as Oprah Winfrey, she might be president today. The actress, media mogul and erstwhile queen of daytime TV gave what, if she ever becomes president, will be known to history as the Golden Globes Address. The first de ...

Are Trump’s accusers ‘mad’?

"Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer." -- W.C. Fields Having lost an election they thought they would win and unable to get over it; having been staggeringly wrong about their predictions that a Trump presidency would be the end of global economies; now ...

‘Fire and Fury’ is much ado about nothing new

There are plenty of shocking bombshells in Michael Wolff's new book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," but is there anything actually new? I haven't read it yet, but I have been following the crowdsourced effort by other journalists to recount every salacious tidbit. The quotes ...