Columnists

Florence chases hogs to higher levels

As Hurricane Florence bore down on the Carolinas, millions were at risk from wind, storm surge and flooding, causing many to seek higher ground. Meanwhile, North Carolina hog farmers faced a unique challenge: keeping nearly 9 million hogs safe. North Carolina is the United States’ ...

Trump is right to protect Americans from the International Criminal Court

WASHINGTON — Should an unaccountable United Nations court, created by a treaty to which the United States is not a signatory, and that the Senate has not ratified, be allowed to investigate, try and imprison American citizens? Unfortunately, this is no longer a theoretical question. In ...

Not every problem needs a federal solution

Fifty-five percent of voters believe that Facebook has too much power. Forty-seven percent believe the same about Twitter. For those in the political world, such numbers represent an obvious call for government action. But voters disagree. Just 21 percent want the federal government to ...

In Texas, a Democratic template for national victory in 2020

HOUSTON — Nationally, the Democratic Party, which gave indispensable assistance (“Basket of deplorables”!) to the election of today’s president, seems intent (“Impeach!”; “Abolish ICE!”; “Free stuff!”, “I am Spartacus!”) on a repeat performance. Here, however, in the 7th ...

When government becomes everything, everything becomes crazy

This week, Republican congressional candidate Rudy Peters of California was nearly stabbed by a 35-year-old Castro Valley resident, Farzad Fazeli. According to media reports, Fazeli started shouting about President Trump and then pulled out a switchblade. Thankfully, the switchblade ...

Obama joins the midterm fray

After more than 19 months on the political sidelines of the approaching midterm congressional battleground, former President Barack Obama has jumped in with both feet, rallying Democrats and other voters against Donald Trump. In what clearly has evolved as a litmus test on his Oval Office ...

How about Medicare advantage for all?

A resurfaced Barack Obama has uttered those three little words: “Medicare for all.” Does that mean that the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, was a bad idea? Not at all. The ACA was a triumph in that it cut the number of uninsured Americans by 20 million. And it hardened the idea that ...

No more castle on the hill

I've written of the Castle before. I lived in it for a year while I was in Australia. We sometimes humorously called it the White Castle, sometimes affectionately called it Standing Ruins, sometimes truthfully called it Death Bug Fortress. We always called it home. The Castle was the perfect ...

Why can’t homes just improve themselves

I hate home improvement projects. Or home sustaining projects. Or anything that requires tools more advanced than a flashlight. And not one of those fancy flashlights that double as an emergency beacon that I think is supposed to be only used by Bruce Willis trying to land a plane in a ...

Obama goes on attack, but arguments fall flat

He’s back! President Obama has emerged from his supposed cloistered life to attack President Trump. Obama broke with a tradition apparently only modern Republican ex-presidents follow, which is not to speak ill of your successor. Obama, who reportedly has been running his “Organizing for ...

Kenneth Starr still getting hardballs

Twenty years after recommending to Congress that then-President Clinton be impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice, Kenneth Starr has written a book about it. Surely, with the passage of time and many other books exploring the Lewinsky affair and the other Clinton scandals, Starr can ...

A come-to-Jesus moment for the U.S. Catholic church

Pope Francis has called for silence and prayer from those who criticize the Catholic Church’s attempts to root out and punish priests who are committing sexual abuse. But it is clear the time for silence has long passed. Priests who prey on children are criminals, not souls to be saved for ...

Community and volunteer service valuable for students

Booker T. Washington was quoted as saying, “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” In a recent survey of Marshalltown High School students, it was reported that 2,200 hours of volunteer service were performed assisting local residents and businesses with tornado recovery ...

Geoffrey Owens is a real somebody

He was minding his own business (his employer’s business, more to the point), doing what he was hired to do at Trader Joe’s in Clifton, New Jersey — checking out customers without fuss or fanfare, bagging their groceries, sending them off with a soft “Have a nice day.” One of those ...

Democrats’ visions of hand signals from white supremacists

The highlight, at least for some television watchers, of the first day of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, came when the young woman seated directly behind the nominee rested her right hand on her opposite elbow and pressed ...

It’s our constitution — not Kavanaugh

One of the best statements of how the Framers saw the role of the federal government is found in Federalist Paper 45, written by James Madison, who is known as the “Father of the Constitution”: “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and ...

This is not a Constitutional crisis

On Wednesday, The New York Times released a piece by a “senior official” in the Trump White House. Do not let “senior” fool you. This could be a deputy-level staffer, an undersecretary or someone else at a lower level than chief of staff, vice president and Cabinet secretary. Many ...

Mutiny on the ship of state

Bob Woodward is the gold standard in investigative journalism. For the past 45 years, his byline has ensured the accuracy of whatever story has followed. His reporting has not been free from controversy over the years, but no one in the national media has a better record of getting it right. ...

Regime change — American style

The campaign to overturn the 2016 election and bring down President Trump shifted into high gear this week. Inspiration came Saturday morning from the altar of the National Cathedral where our establishment came to pay homage to John McCain. Gathered there were all the presidents from 1993 ...

Not taking oneself too seriously

Mostly missing from the moving and deserved tributes to Sen. John McCain was attention to McCain’s gift for self-deprecating humor. When a Gallup Poll, during his last Senate term, showed that only 11 percent of the public had a favorable view of the U.S. Congress, McCain noted that when ...