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Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Steve Chapman
Trump

Trump Launches A Suicidal War On His Own Party

With his approval rating sinking, Trump has decided his problem is that he has too many allies. So he set out to rid of himself of an important one: Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

August 13, 2017
Viewing stands for inaugural donors under construction

Shutting Out Foreign Workers Would Cost American Jobs

Donald Trump is a businessman who has routinely hired foreign guest workers to staff his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, claiming it’s impossible to find Americans to do the work. But his administration now wants to shut out foreigners who fill comparable jobs, which he now insists Americans would be happy to take. Consistency is not a Trump obsession.

August 11, 2017
Border Wall

Donald Trump’s Pathetic Lies

He lies about inconsequential things. After a much-criticized appearance at the Boy Scouts of America’s national jamboree, Trump claimed, “I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them.” The organization denied it, and his press secretary acknowledged the call never happened.

August 7, 2017

Two Cheers For Sanctions On Russia

These penalties may inflict too little pain to matter, or they may inflict pain mainly on the target country’s people, who are helpless to change the policy at issue. The governments we sanction may get help from other countries that don’t share our goals. Sanctions can even backfire by hurting American companies.

August 4, 2017

Trump Is On The Losing Side Of The Culture War

The culture war has been going on a long time, and it won’t end any time soon. But the outcome is not in doubt. Some conservatives were gratified to see President Donald Trump bar transgender people from the military. The backlash suggests it will be much like the Native Americans’ victory at Little Bighorn — memorable but ultimately irrelevant.

July 31, 2017
Trump, Wall, Border

Mike Pence’s Opportunity

Donald Trump and those around him have made a long series of mistakes stemming from his campaign’s contacts with Russians and subsequent inquiries into the matter, which raise the real possibility of his impeachment. But none of those compares to his biggest blunder: choosing Mike Pence as his running mate.

July 25, 2017
traffic stops

Curbing Traffic Stops Would Save Lives

When an officer stops and approaches a vehicle, both the cop and the driver are vulnerable. Any wrong move or misjudgment can turn the encounter deadly.

July 20, 2017
Russia

Trump Forces A GOP Retreat On Russia

Obama was vilified as a Russian patsy for actions that don’t remotely approach what we know Trump and his circle have done. Today, all but a few congressional Republicans avert their eyes and swallow their tongues.

July 15, 2017

Facing Down The North Korean Threat

In the 1960s, when Chinese tyrant Mao Zedong was striving to build nuclear weapons, he inspired great anxiety in the United States. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson considered launching an attack to prevent it, before deciding not to. When China advanced to building ICBMs, Johnson deployed an anti-ballistic missile system to intercept them in flight. A few years later, however, it was dismantled.

July 9, 2017
broken bicycle

A Polarized Public? No. A Polarizing System

Congress is so bogged down in conflict it can barely function. Presidents have found it’s easier to issue executive orders than win over legislators. Polarization has grown to the point that people in each party increasingly see the opposition as dangerous extremists.

July 6, 2017
Robert E. Lee

Confederate Monuments And The Fourth Of July

In 1961, when I was a boy in the West Texas city of Midland, a new high school opened. It was named after Robert E. Lee, for reasons that are obvious: White resentment of the civil rights movement had produced widespread nostalgia for the Confederacy. San Antonio’s Lee High School opened in 1958; Houston’s in 1962.

July 2, 2017

The Foolishness Of Pursuing Regime Change In Iran

Some people in Washington are sick of trying to get the government of Iran to change its ways — which include financing terrorism, punishing dissent and supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad. They have embraced another idea: Help topple the rulers in Tehran in hopes of getting someone more to our liking.

June 30, 2017
MEDICAID-062216

The Illusory Savings From Cutting Medicaid

What it means is that if the government does something that costs money, some human somewhere will bear the expense. “Free” public schools, “free” parks and “free” roads all have to be paid for by the citizenry. Collectively, we can’t get something for nothing. This useful insight has long been offered as an objection to costly government programs. But it applies as well to measures that extract savings from costly government programs.

June 26, 2017
Trump on the attack against news media

Trump’s Putin Crush, And Other Signs Of Guilt

“After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my ‘collusion with the Russians,’ nobody has been able to show any proof,” Trump tweeted. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, insisted, “I have yet to see anything, even a scintilla. And so it’s time to wrap this up.” An article in National Review said Democrats have “all but given up on their quest to prove the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.”

June 22, 2017
Flag burning protected under First Amendment

Political Violence: ‘As American As Cherry Pie’

Wednesday’s attack on Republican members of Congress by a gun-wielding Bernie Sanders supporter was an occasion to wonder what we have come to when political differences are seen as grounds for killing. What we have come to, in fact, is the place we have always been. Our history is spattered with the blood of people targeted for political reasons.

June 19, 2017
Russians, Trump,

Trump’s Palpable Fear Of The Truth

It is an audacious person who would stake her reputation, if not her immortal soul, on Trump’s veracity. Years from now, people will have forgotten much about the scandal surrounding the president right now. But Sanders’ risible assertion is built to live on as an example of taking mendacity too far. If she lives to be 100, her obituary will quote that sentence.

June 11, 2017
White men, special snowflakes

Trump’s Overriding Trait: Incompetence

What do the directors of the Transportation Security Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI have in common? Easy question, you may think: They are all important law enforcement officials with roles in combating terrorism.

June 9, 2017
climate accord

Trump Forgets The Past And Blights The Future

Donald Trump’s chief argument for withdrawing from the Paris climate accord is that it would destroy jobs, stifle growth, cause electricity blackouts and raise energy prices to ruinous levels.

June 4, 2017
impeachment

Don’t Rush To Impeachment

Under the best of circumstances, impeachment is a national trauma with lasting consequences, for good or ill. Trump made it to the White House because the nation was so divided. If he is removed, it should be because the nation is united.

May 21, 2017

The Wussification Of Baseball Is A Good Thing

Losing pitcher Jon Lester was disgusted by the umpire’s ruling. “Baseball has been played for over 100 years the exact same way, and now we’re trying to change everything and make it soft,” he groused. “We’re out there playing with a bunch of pansies right now.”

May 19, 2017

The Specter Of Single-Payer Health Care

The other day, Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., held a town hall meeting where constituents grilled him about his role in passing the American Health Care Act. When he claimed the insurance market is “collapsing,” a chant went up: “Single-payer, single-payer!”

May 15, 2017

Trump Makes Himself Look Guilty

Among Donald Trump’s many shortcomings are the vast amount of history he doesn’t know and the little he does. Perhaps someone told him that when Richard Nixon faced an unwelcome investigation, he fired the investigator.

May 12, 2017
Executive Orders, Trump, Immigrant

On Churches In Politics, Trump Does … Nothing

In the executive order he signed Thursday titled “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty,” Donald Trump had a rare opportunity to pursue a small yet significant change that would have accomplished both of his stated purposes. Instead, he ceremoniously unveiled a heaping platter of nothingburgers.

May 8, 2017

A Bold Remedy For Overdose Deaths

Addiction to opioids is hazardous to your health. To most people, this may sound like an obvious and inescapable reality. If your chief priority is staying cool, the thinking goes, you don’t move to Phoenix. If you really want to stay alive, you don’t use heroin. But humans have created innumerable places in Phoenix where it’s possible to minimize personal contact with searing heat.

April 27, 2017
Protesters yell outside of the Berkeley Police Department protesting police violence in Berkeley, Calif., on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group/TNS)

The Un-Free Speech Movement At Berkeley

UC Berkeley is an exceptional institution whose history includes the 1964-65 protests that gained fame as the Free Speech Movement. Long known as a hotbed of left-wing activism, it has lately gained attention as a place where right-wingers venture at their peril. In February, the administration abruptly called off a talk by then-Breitbart News troll Milo Yiannopoulos after protesters threw stones and firebombs and smashed windows.

April 23, 2017