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Thursday, October 19, 2017
Jamie Stiehm

Our Free Press Endured Worse Than Trump — And Triumphed

Now we live in a time when the 45th president insults and threatens the press as his daily bread. The press has taken his verbal abuse on the chin. On Donald Trump’s first full day in office, he called the press his “enemy” at the CIA. In a Nixonian move, Trump just tweeted that NBC’s license might be revoked for a report on enlarging the nuclear arsenal. Yet Nixon hated the press privately. Trump is poisoning the public well of ink and airwaves.

October 15, 2017

The Senate: A Country For Old Men

The reason the Senate moves glacially is because its arteries are clogged — literally. Under the shiny white Capitol dome is a country for old men. The body politic needs an infusion of fresh blood. The old nickname, “the Plantation,” still fits.

October 8, 2017
Patriots Stun Falcons in superbowl

Democracy Is Not A Spectator Sport

Teach your children. Nonviolent resistance opens a way out of the dark. The legions of kneeling NFL players, whom President Trump tongue-lashed like a plantation overseer, should be congratulated, not condemned. They created a public stage of protest to be seen and witnessed. They moved the ball of progress forward.

October 1, 2017
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign event at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Hillary Making Medea Rounds

But this is a different version of Herself — ahem! — herself. Ironically, this is the winning version, much more true and real. It’s a shame she didn’t show up at the carnival — ahem! — the campaign. She’s here to tell us “What Happened,” the title of her new tome. It may make you weep, but a good cry never hurt anybody.

September 17, 2017
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tennis Greats Ashe and King Showed We Are Created Equal

Arthur Ashe, the late champion of infinite class and grace, was my favorite male player. I knew his life story, or thought I did. Ashe broke the color barrier in American men’s tennis and Davis Cup competition, overcoming a youth spent in segregated Richmond, Virginia, where Confederate statues lined Monument Avenue.

September 8, 2017

What A Difference A Leader Makes In Crisis

Confronted with the catastrophe still unfolding now, Turner sticks by his story. His defiant tone, under duress, falls flat. It seems clear now that those living in Houston’s 100-year floodplain should have been strongly encouraged to flee their homes, ahead of time, in an orderly process. That’s emergency preparedness 101.

September 5, 2017

What’s Written In The Stars

Here in the nation’s capital, it was the happiest thing to happen in seven months. Looking skyward, people were moved to see the moon cover the sun almost totally. Strangers passing the time of day in Georgetown, and then passing a pair of eclipse glasses around, melted into mere fellow earthlings. It sparked a sense of oneness, just us and the cosmos.

August 26, 2017
White Genocide, Neo Nazi, White Nationalist

Country To Confederacy: Be Gone With The Wind

The Virginia tragedy is the knell. It shook America with street scenes of violent white male supremacists. Young hooligans claimed the life of a young woman and injured other brave resisters. It was a terrible thing, made worse by the president’s defiant defense of new Confederates.

August 19, 2017
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the media regarding donations to veterans foundations at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, U.S., May 31, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Republican Discontent With Trump Rising Like A River

With crisp stage timing, Senator Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican, is making media rounds for a new book denouncing Trump, “Conscience of a Conservative.” (He took the title from a famed Arizona conservative, the late Barry Goldwater.) Flake, 54, is the first senator to speak out strongly, painting the president as an unclothed emperor.

August 5, 2017
James_Madison

On Madison, Trump And Other Presidents Who Burned The White House

Sad to say about the American president, but you can’t take him anywhere. Trump needs a tete-a-tete with his best friend on the world stage, President Vladimir Putin, the spymaster who loved him. There’s a lot of stuff to talk about. It’s a secret no more that Russia influenced the 2016 election and attacked American democracy to help his victory.

July 7, 2017
Obama, Trump

Strange, What Trump And Obama Have In Common

Strange thing passing, but the Republican repeal push on health care echoes Obama’s efforts to get it passed in the first place, six or seven years ago. First, neither the 44th nor the 45th president have strong ties or friends in Congress. Lacking discipline for unity, Trump will remain an obstreperous outsider to the political establishment; that’s what he ran on.

June 30, 2017
Obamacare

Obamacare: Will The Senate Let It Live?

The body is still warm, though President Trump is gleefully pronouncing it dead. We are talking about President Obama’s signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act. And part of this is personal. Repealing Obamacare, dealing a lethal blow to Barack Obama’s legacy, is truly the best part of the Republican fun.

June 23, 2017
heavy security for inaugural in DC

No Joy In Mudville — And Washington

At the end of the day, we heard The Washington Post’s earthshaking scoop: Trump is under investigation for obstruction of justice. But there was no joy in Mudville, or Washington, even for those who saw big trouble coming. Universally, we were grief-stricken and gobsmacked at the turn of events for Congress and the rocky Trump White House — not even five-months-old.

June 19, 2017
Comey

Comey Rides In Like A Paragon Of Political Virtue

Recently fired as FBI director, James Comey arrived at the teeming Senate Intelligence Committee hearing room. He rode a white horse into the big story, which casts him as a truth-teller versus a new president with few scruples. Sure, the white horse is in my imagination, but that’s the kind of guy Comey likes to be: 6’8″ tall and just as upright.

June 10, 2017
Trump

Playing The Part Of President: Trump Falling Down On World Stage

The truth is clear as a June day: Donald J. Trump has no idea how to play his part. He doesn’t have the class or the chops; nor does he have curiosity or compassion. To borrow a phrase from him, he does not “look the part.”

June 2, 2017
was JFK socialist

The President Who Never Combed Gray Hair Turns 100

he president who tragically died at 46 never combed gray hair, as the Irish say about dying young. His 100th birthday is upon us Monday, May 29. Yo-Yo Ma, the great cellist, played at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to honor his memory.

May 26, 2017
Comey

Comey Plays Cordelia To Trump’s Lear: A Political Tragedy

The scene was straight out of Shakespeare. FBI Director James Comey played Cordelia at the loyalty dinner with President Trump, one week into his White House reign. Comey and the stage character Cordelia get punished severely for speaking truth to power’s face.

May 20, 2017
Trump, Democracy

Trump and American History: The Wrong North Star

American history is a grand sprawling canvas. Scholars spent their lives writing about the Civil War. But Trump has given us a whole new window on it. He clarified that we needed a tough Southern slave plantation owner to hold things together. President Jackson has become his north star in a sea of ignorance. After visiting the National Archives on the National Mall, where Trump’s tweets will join the Emancipation Proclamation, my father asked me, “How many of these Smithsonian museums do you think he’s visited?”

May 5, 2017
Trump, Intelligence Briefings

Kennedy Leaves Trump And O’Reilly In The Stardust

A word of advice to gruff billy goat Trump, 70, and pal Bill. Go back to graceful Jack Kennedy, who charted courses for the country, but never combed gray hair. Self-deprecating wit is the secret sauce to disarming people. Try it sometime. Though it might be easier for these men to land on the moon. Yet it works wonders.

April 21, 2017
Gorsuch filibuster

The Senate Changes Its Ways For Gorsuch

Murphy declared the center of the Senate might not hold any more, if the rules were changed for Gorsuch to be railroaded through. Once the rule changes, it is permanent. The rules changed by a series of votes Thursday. The final Gorsuch vote will move ahead Friday night — before they break for Easter and Passover.

April 7, 2017
Campaign CEO Stephen Bannon listens during Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's round table discussion on security at Trump Tower in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., August 17, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Bannon Getting Even With the Yankees

In fact, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, a son of the South, lost no time in waging war on the federal government from within. Wielding the budget knife at the National Institutes of Health, the State Department and National Endowment for the Arts are skirmishes in what will soon be a siege.

March 31, 2017
Gorsuch, Gun Lobby

How Neil Gorsuch Snowed One Side Of The Senate Aisle

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) noted that millions of “dark” dollars had been raised to buttress the nomination of Gorsuch, without names attached. “They obviously think you will be worth their money,” Whitehouse said bluntly.

March 26, 2017
Former U.S. President George W. Bush visits Warren Easton Charter High School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Don’t Paint President Bush In Rose Colors

You see, he was rough-hewn, but Bush belonged to the political establishment as a genial governor when he ran. Trump is such an angry outsider that you can sense Washington wishing for the good ol’ days. Back then, presidents didn’t accuse others in the elite club of wiretapping.

March 17, 2017
Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass: Bookends Of A Great American Life

Douglass, striking in appearance and speech, became the first public speaker to tell the story of American slavery from personal experience. After his spellbinding oratory on Nantucket Island, Douglass became a sensation on the anti-slavery circuit.

March 11, 2017
Presidential, Trump

Hold The Presses: Trump Tries To Act Presidential

The fancy joint session address to Congress is not a place you can lead chants like, “Lock her up.” Best to avoid the word “carnage” if possible. If you’re the American president, please act like one. For the first time in a long life, Trump tried to do that. Fake gravitas does not become him, but his slick performance fooled half the people.

March 3, 2017