Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Jamie Stiehm
Trump, Ryan, Obamacare Repeal

Trump Tax Bill Is Thin Gruel For Middle Class

President Donald Trump’s America desperately depends upon passage of radical tax code change. Much is at stake, namely, the fundamental fairness in the taxation system President Clinton put in place in 1993. But a massive redistribution of wealth is under way — just so “the rich can get richer”…

December 1, 2017
John_F_Kennedy_Official_Portrait

JFK: When The Light Went Out Of The Sky

John F. Kennedy was the American president on a bright morning in Texas. He was murdered at midday in Dallas, in 1963. The world’s heart stood still before it broke. Beyond our borders, Berlin and Dublin wept because Kennedy won over their citizens. He built goodwill abroad and spoke in German: “I am a Berliner!”

November 24, 2017
Time Travelers

How Social Change Comes In Twos, And History Rhymes

Go down, Harvey Weinstein, down to Alabama and campaign for cowboy Roy Moore, the Republican rocking Washington the way you roiled Hollywood. The dirty river of sexual harassment finally rose to claim and name each of you — and more. Comedian Louis C.K., you can go, too.

November 18, 2017
Remains of trees in a coastal ghost forest display rising sea levels on Assateague Island in Virginia, in this October 25, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Virginia, A Ray Of Light On A Rainy Day

Forgive my blue gloom. Clinton was for all seasons — first lady, senator, secretary of state. She deserved better: a fair chance, not to be run down in the mud of her opponent’s misogyny. Her defeat was a defeat for every woman and girl who avidly supported her. My sister and her girl campaigned door to door in Las Vegas.

November 11, 2017
Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence holds a joint news conference with U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) (not pictured) following a House Republican party conference meeting in Washington, U.S. September 13, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Mike Pence Ready For Presidential Broadway

Primed and ready, Pence is acting presidential, learning his lines, much like the senior statesman he never was. Donald Trump’s reign, volatile and fragile, has left an opening for mild-mannered but ambitious Pence, 58, to seamlessly slip through.

November 8, 2017
General John Kelly

Kelly’s White House Tirade Snuffed A Candle Of Hope

As the days passed this bleak week, Kelly kept a silence, hardened into ice. He failed to apologize to a Democratic congresswoman of color for speaking poorly and falsely of her in a national media moment. Nor did he have a kind word for a pregnant Gold Star widow whose husband died in Niger. Even while saying women were “sacred.”

October 29, 2017

It Happens All The Time: Hollywood, Washington, The Old South

The free-fall from movie pharaoh to industry pariah brought a breeze of vindication. Weinstein’s life crumbled in such cinematic style that a plot point was born: a flood named #MeToo. The hashtag sprang up for legions of women who vividly reported sexual assault and harassment. They voiced their experiences online, breaking silences on social media.

October 22, 2017

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