National Columnists

Losers blame the voters

On Nov. 4, 2008, American voters faced the happy task of choosing between two popular presidential nominees, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, both of whom, according to the last pre-election Gallup Poll, about 3 in 5 Americans regarded positively. In stark contrast, the 2016 ...

Dems get good news, but there’s a long way to go

Just over a week ago, turnout in the Texas primary raised serious questions about how big the Democratic wave could grow by November. This week, however, Connor Lamb won a narrow special victory in a Pennsylvania district that President Trump had carried by 20 points. Democratic spirits soared ...

Tillerson’s insubordination meant he had to go

WASHINGTON -- There are many reasons Rex Tillerson's tenure as secretary of state was a failure, from his notorious isolation from his subordinates to his failure to help quickly staff the political appointment positions at State with competent Republicans. But it was his insubordination to the ...

If a Conservative Speaks, Will Liberals Hear?

If a tree falls in a forest with no one around, does it make a noise? That grade school joke of sorts has a serious contemporary equivalent. It is increasingly clear that if a conservative speaks up, liberals will not actually hear it unless the conservative tells them what they want to hear. ...

President Trump and the Freedom of Speech

When James Madison drafted the First Amendment -- "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech" -- he made sure to use the article "the" in front of the word "freedom." What seemed normal to him and superfluous to moderns was actually a profound signal that has resonated for ...

Apocalypse now?

Since the beginning of recorded history there have been end of the world predictions. In recent years we have had radio preachers, politicians and scientists declare with certainty that the world would soon end, either because of our decadent lifestyle, or because of "global warming," now known ...

North Korea’s dark history should frame any negotiations

President Trump's decision to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un elicited a wide range of responses from experts. But one thing you hear from everyone is that the president and administration need to prepare. The North Koreans may be technologically (and morally) backward and ...

Lies about trade

Maybe Donald Trump is such a powerful communicator and pot-stirrer that other countries, embarrassed by their own trade barriers, will eliminate them. Then I will thank the president for the wonderful thing he did. Genuine free trade will be a recipe for wonderful economic growth. But I ...

Look homeward, ‘Change Agents’

Here is my homework assignment for all the fist-clenching, gun control-demanding teenagers walking out of classrooms this week (and next week and next month) to protest school shootings: Ask not what the rest of the country can do for your local school's safety; ask what your local school ...

How do Trump critics respond to success?

President Trump's critics, who include many establishment Republicans, are finding themselves left with few issues given the president's recent string of successes. How difficult it must have been for The New York Times, perhaps the most vehement media critic of the president (The Washington ...

The island of misfit toys takes over

Peter Navarro is not a household name, but he should be for the damage he wants to do to the American economy. He is a left-wing academic from California. His economic ideas tend to be on the fringe and he has largely been rejected by both Democrats and Republicans. But Navarro, a man who ...

Babies with Down Syndrome have a right to life

WASHINGTON — When Karen Gaffney’s mother found out she would be born with Down syndrome, the doctor said Karen probably would not be able to tie her own shoes. Instead, as Karen explained in a moving and eloquent TEDx talk, she has become an accomplished open-water swimmer who has crossed ...

Let him arrest me!

Late Monday afternoon, we were treated to a series of bizarre interviews on nearly every major cable television channel except Fox when a colorful character named Sam Nunberg, a former personal and political aide to Donald Trump, took to the airwaves to denounce a grand jury subpoena he ...

Trump on trade: Better than Smoot-Hawley?

onald Trump's announcement that he is imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from other countries has aroused little enthusiasm and much criticism. It evidently prompted the resignation of Gary Cohn as head of his National Economic Council. It has also prompted free trade-minded ...

Intersectionality and Anti-Semitism

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is an anti-Semite. This isn't in question. It's a fact, and one the minister continues to underscore with each speech. Last week, he spoke before the 2018 Saviours' Day event in Chicago. He stated: "White folks are going down. And Satan is going down. And ...

Antibiotics unearthed to kill superbugs

Top public health authorities descended on Capitol Hill Thursday to sound the alarm about a grim future without antibiotics. These lifesaving drugs are losing their mojo as germs adapt to them. It's a process scientists call antibiotic resistance. In the United States, two million people a ...

No Trade Barriers

No, President Trump, it's not true that if you tax imported steel, we "will have protection for the first time in a long while." The opposite is true. If you raise tariffs on steel and aluminum, you punish consumers. Yes, such tariffs also punish Chinese producers and protect some ...

Give VA Secretary David Shulkin the boot

Will the VA scandal never end? While the Department of Veterans Affairs secretary lives high on the hog and his lying chief of staff resigns in disgrace while escaping any punishment, legions of vets every day in this country are denied the medical care they earned. President Trump was ...

Why is the GOP terrified of tariffs?

From Lincoln to William McKinley to Theodore Roosevelt, and from Warren Harding through Calvin Coolidge, the Republican Party erected the most awesome manufacturing machine the world had ever seen. And, as the party of high tariffs through those seven decades, the GOP was rewarded by ...

Trump’s tariffs express his adolescent delight in executive swagger

Is it too much to ask that the government not insult our intelligence while it is lightening our wallets? As an overture to his predictable announcement of steel and aluminum tariffs, the president, that human sponge ever eager to soak up information, held a "listening session," at which he ...