Latest commentary

Commentary: GOP Rep. Myrick must stop false comments on health care

When Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., went on the radio Saturday to warn listeners against health care proposals before Congress, she referred to her own breast cancer experience. She surely left many listeners believing government-run health care was being proposed. That was deliberately misleading — or shamefully misinformed. | 09/25/09 06:10:07 By -

Commentary: Hannity gets it wrong on California water woes

Sean Hannity came to the San Joaquin Valley a few days ago and did what he does best. He exaggerated, distorted and turned a complex situation into a hysterical rant.

But I'll give the Fox News right-wing shouter this: citing all the wrong reasons, he unintentionally fingered the right culprit for the economic disaster unfolding on the Valley's west side and in Northern California. | 09/21/09 12:40:54 By - Bill McEwan

Commentary: System fails a wounded warrior

Soldier John Mayo came home from the war in Iraq mentally ill with post-traumatic stress disorder, and was heavily medicated with sleeping pills, anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants. In that terribly mixed-up mental state, he got caught shoplifting from the Elmendorf Base Exchange. But he took a plea bargain, got a less-than-honorable discharge and lost his military medical benefits. He has been dumped onto the street, with no treatment for the mental wounds he suffered while serving in Iraq. That's not right. | 09/21/09 11:53:50 By -

Commentary: Congress is wasting time on Constitution amendment

There they go again, those federal government big-footers, dictating what America's children will be indoctrinated with as a price of attending public school. This time, they want every high school senior to be taught the U.S. Constitution. Are they kidding? | 09/17/09 14:49:08 By -

Commentary: Five Fourth Circuit Court openings need to be filled

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Chief Judge Karen Williams recently retired, citing serious illness. The Fourth Circuit, long considered the nation's most ideologically conservative appeals court, will keenly feel the loss of the experienced, respected jurist, who was the tribunal's first female judge, was serving as its chief judge and was often mentioned as a Supreme Court nominee. | 09/15/09 06:09:12 By - Carl Tobias

Commentary: Family recalls their N.Y. firefighter son's death on 9-11

A son dies, pictures stay up on his parents' walls. A son dies in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, more pictures go up.

The pictures are up in a Rock Hill living room, hundreds of miles from where the Marriott Hotel stood next to the World Trade Center. The place where Peter Vega — "Petie" to everybody on his block in Brooklyn, and "Big Head" to his buddies because he sure had a dome so large he needed a special helmet — died. | 09/11/09 14:09:37 By - Andrew Dys

Commentary: Personal responsibility is a good message for adults too

With all of the public attention focused on President Barack Obama's speech to the nation's schoolchildren, I had to wonder: Did the adults learn anything?

Obama urged kids to study hard and not give up, even if they don't like some classes or things are tough at home. He reminded students that each of them has special abilities and that it's their responsibility to develop them. | 09/11/09 01:05:18 By - Tom Eblen

Commentary: Obama faces decision time in Afghanistan

During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama called Afghanistan a "war of necessity." Now we'll see if he means it.

He faces a pivotal decision. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has turned in a report calling for a shift in strategy, one that implicitly requires significantly more troops. The mission, says McChrystal, is protecting the population; the war can’t be won solely by offensive operations against the enemy. | 09/11/09 06:05:48 By - E. Thomas McClanahan

Commentary: There's too much at stake in Afghanistan

Eight years ago today, the United States was at peace. The next day that all changed, when hijackers with box cutters and an extremist Islamic agenda caused the crashes of four airliners and the deaths of nearly 3,000. For those who lost loved ones because of that day, including survivors of the 33 responders to the World Trade Center who have since committed suicide, the pain is now familiar but no less potent. | 09/10/09 12:53:22 By -

Commentary: Getting 'off the grid' isn't easy to do

Back in May, I flew to Los Angeles. My cellphone did not.

I left it in the car, a fact I only discovered as I was lining up at security. Had I found myself standing there in my underdrawers, I don't think I'd have felt more naked. There was this panicky sense of isolation, this disconcerting feeling of being cut off. Whenever I confessed my plight, I got looks of stark pity like you'd give someone with a terminal disease. It was a very long five days. | 09/08/09 14:08:12 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Boycotting Obama's message teaches a bad lesson

It used to be that Americans would crowd around their radios and TVs to hear "their" president. It wasn't so long ago that the first President Bush or President Ronald Reagan addressed American school kids. Even if you didn't vote for the man — or you disagree with his policies — he is a symbol of our enduring democracy. The seal of the United States reads: "E pluribus unum," Latin for "Out of many, one." | 09/08/09 13:00:26 By - Marcos Breton

Commentary: Time for Congress to get to work

As Congress reconvenes today and begins again to consider health care reform, its members, including several leaders from California, must get back to basics. From Rep. Dennis Cardoza, of Merced, to Rep. George Radanovich, of Mariposa, and even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, of San Francisco — they need to tune out the rhetoric and tune in to the real problems of the American people. | 09/08/09 12:27:29 By -

Commentary: Over-reacting to Obama's address is uncalled for

President Barack Obama will speak from a Virginia high school on Tuesday. He will urge American kids across the nation to stay in school. Learn, strive, be better citizens. Make better lives for yourselves, families and neighbors. Well, sound the alarm! Obama is going to invade our schools! Like Hitler! Or is it Stalin? Che? The devil? | 09/08/09 12:11:54 By -

Commentary: Nothing sinister about Obama's message to kids

The president of the United States will urge the nation's youth to work hard in school, set educational goals and take responsibility for their learning. Unless you're getting a paycheck from the Republican Party or for trashing Barack Obama, there's no reason to see anything sinister about this. | 09/04/09 13:53:58 By -

Commentary: Another Texas secessionist is getting GOP votes

If any Texas Republicans had never heard of Larry Kilgore, they probably have now. Kilgore, 44, of Mansfield, is an anti-abortion activist and perennial Republican candidate. Until Gov. Rick Perry piped up, he was the only candidate talking about Texas seceding from the United States. | 09/03/09 11:59:19 By - Bud Kennedy

Commentary: Cheney needs to get off the warpath

It is, to put it mildly, disturbing that former Vice President Dick Cheney has continued his attacks on the Obama administration and has invoked national security as the reason. Does Cheney actually believe that Obama does not care as much about the security of this country as did he and President George W. Bush? Does he think the president would put Americans in danger intentionally? | 09/02/09 06:17:50 By -

Commentary: America's short attention span

Saturday was an anniversary of sorts. It was four years ago that Hurricane Katrina, the feared monster of lore and accurate prediction, roared as a Category 3 storm from the Gulf of Mexico into the heart of New Orleans, La. The rest is history, and that's the way Americans like it. | 08/31/09 13:21:10 By - Charles E. Richardson

Commentary: Health care debate shows Democrats can't lead

The sad truth is that the Democrats can't govern even when they have all the marbles in their pockets. It doesn't appear that they even know how to fight back when the stakes were never higher. | 08/21/09 17:38:04 By - Joseph L. Galloway

Commentary: A Republican about face on end-of-life counseling

"Death panel" fear-mongers are too late. The much-maligned end-of-life counseling to encourage advance directives has been paid for by Medicare since 2005. The end-of-life discussion, previously optional, became mandatory Jan. 1. Among the mandate's biggest champions were Republicans who now disavow their involvement. | 08/21/09 14:12:14 By -

Commentary: A look at universal health care

We need health care reform. Period.

Any time working American citizens cannot afford insurance, any time providing insurance can eat up the profits of small businesses and any time pre-existing medical conditions can send insurance premiums into the stratosphere, we need to take a closer look at our health care system. | 08/21/09 08:45:12 By - Merlene Davis

Commentary: Afraid of 'socialized' medicine? We've had it for decades

There's a fascinating audio clip on YouTube. It's from a 1961 phonograph record in which a politically ambitious entertainer named Ronald Reagan tries his best to scare people about "socialized medicine." | 08/21/09 07:49:36 By - Tom Eblen

Commentary: A pollster's view of Obama's health care reform missteps

The once invincible Barack Obama finds himself on the defensive — facing waning support for health care reform. So what happened? Obama misread the lesson from Bill Clinton's failed reform effort. The problem for health care reform has never been political, it's about how to effectively communicate the benefits of reform to the American public. Neither Clinton nor Obama did that. | 08/21/09 06:11:19 By - Clifford Young and Mark Burles

Commentary: 'Death panels' hoax shouldn't block a sensible reform provision

There are no "death panels" in the proposed legislation to overhaul the healthcare system. HR 3200, the main proposal in the U.S. House, makes periodic, voluntary end-of-life discussions with your doctor a covered expense under Medicare (Sec. 1233). In truth, Republicans supported such discussions in Medicare proposals when George W. Bush was president. | 08/20/09 12:13:19 By -

Commentary: Anchorage gay-rights fight reveals a generational divide

The Assembly's trepidation, the mayor's wrong-headed veto, and even the cultural split over extending equal rights protections to gay and lesbian people can be seen as much about generational differences as it is about ideology. | 08/19/09 19:54:12 By - Julia O'Malley

Commentary: Sanford has a long way to go to make amends

No one should be surprised that practically every move Gov. Mark Sanford ever made — or will make — in administering the duties of his office is being probed and prodded. For better or worse, that's what happens when trust is broken. | 08/17/09 13:52:47 By - Warren Bolton

Commentary: Ignore the vitriol in health care reform debate

What's happened to the debate over health care reform? Why are some people so angry? Do they actually believe that health care reform will include "death panels" to refuse care to the elderly and disabled? Do people who rail against "socialized" medicine realize that we already have government-run programs, most notably in the form of Medicare? How many seniors — despite the problems we have in Alaska — want to give up Medicare because it's "socialist"? Are people really happy with the status quo: the escalating costs and a system that rations care depending on the quality of the coverage you, or your employer, can afford, the fine print in your policy and the availability of doctors and nurses? | 08/17/09 11:19:29 By - The Anchorage Daily News

Commentary: Factoring in Rove

President Bush's political advisor appears to have had excessive influence on the infamous dismissal of U.S. attorneys. What's filtering out from congressional investigations into the firing of several United States attorneys in 2006 by the Bush administration isn't exactly supporting the long-held contention of administration officials that the firings were not political. | 08/14/09 11:44:00 By - The (Raleigh) News & Observer

Commentary: Woodstock gave peace a chance

On Saturday, it will be 40 years since 400,000 hippies descended on Max Yasgur's dairy farm for a concert. Forty years later, a faint patina of absurdity attaches to those days. One watches archival footage of young people groping and grooving and getting stoned in the mud with the same faintly horrified fascination one watches young people of earlier years dancing the jitterbug or swallowing goldfish. It seems quaint — something foolish and long ago. | 08/14/09 06:18:13 By - Leonard Pitts, Jr.

Commentary: California's mountain of debt

What, one might ask, is the appropriate metaphor for California's convoluted budgetary situation? Would be it be Enron, which cooked its books to fool investors and lenders? Perhaps a Third World country whose rulers run up a mountain of debt while squandering revenues? Or both? | 08/13/09 11:55:12 By - Dan Walters

Commentary: Uproar over U.S. 'bases' in Colombia is phony

Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, never one to let facts get in his way, is stoking another anti-American controversy among his neighbors. This one involves non-existent U.S. military "bases" in Colombia. | 08/13/09 00:06:00 By - Miami Herald

Commentary: Shriver leaves a great Kennedy legacy

In a family that has included a president, three senators and untold numbers of political movers and shakers, Eunice Kennedy Shriver may well be remembered as the most consequential of Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy's nine children. | 08/12/09 11:22:46 By - Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Sen. Martinez's resignation disappointing

By the time Sen. Mel Martinez announced late last year that he would not stand for reelection, it was clear that he had lost his appetite for the job. There is no shame in that — juggling responsibilities to his party, his constituents and his family obviously took a toll. But calling it quits after one term is a far cry from calling it quits before the term is over. | 08/12/09 00:06:00 By - Miami Herald

Commentary: A call for cooler heads in health care debate

It happens sometimes at sporting events. You come to watch the action on the field and end up gaping as a melee breaks out in the stands. Unfortunately, that’s the scenario threatening to take over what should be a serious debate over how to reform the U.S. health care system. | 08/12/09 00:06:00 By - Kansas City Star

Commentary: Boxer could get knocked off in next campaign

California's U.S. senators tend to fall into two categories — headline-grabbers and dependable workhorses for the state's interests. For the past 17 years, the state's two senators have been Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. Both elected during the much-heralded "year of the woman," they have followed the state's time-honored pattern. | 08/11/09 00:06:00 By - Dan Walters

Commentary: As school starts, watch for swine flu

Parents, be alert to sniffles, sneezes and coughs. You’re a major line of defense in the battle against swine flu. Parents know first when children start showing symptoms. Ailing kids must be kept home, for everyone’s health. This year will be far different from past years as school districts and health departments around the county prepare for an expected onslaught of the fast-spreading swine flu. | 08/11/09 00:06:00 By - Bradenton Herald

Commentary: Ban texting-while-driving? Duh.

The amazing thing about the debate over the need for laws to ban texting while driving is that there is a debate over the need for laws to ban texting while driving. In the first place, you'd think you wouldn't need a law, that simple common sense would be enough to tell us it's unsafe to divert attention to a tiny keyboard and screen while simultaneously piloting two tons of metal, rubber, glass and, let us not forget, flesh, at freeway speeds — or even street speeds. In the second place, if common sense were insufficient, you'd think lawmakers would have rushed to back it up with tough laws. | 08/10/09 18:18:44 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: White House done little on cyber security

Last month, a surge of cyber attacks temporarily crashed more than two dozen government and commercial Web sites in the United States and South Korea. Experts described the attacks as minor, but they emphasized a growing threat and offered a reminder for the Obama administration that it should move more quickly on this front. With so much of our lives, histories and finances all online, this is a huge problem. | 08/10/09 11:44:19 By - Kansas City Star

Commentary: Even post-Palin, need for ethics reform

We support the right of citizens to file official complaints of misconduct against elected or appointed state officials. It's a good way to exercise our constitutionally guaranteed right for a redress of grievances and keep our public servants honest. But the complaint-a-week caseload that stacked up against Palin seemed out of hand — and raised questions about secrecy, liability, costs and accountability. | 08/10/09 11:39:49 By - Anchorage Daily News

Commentary: Want jobs? Encourage entrepreneurs

It's easy to focus too much on jobs in a down economy. In our society, a job can define you. It's how most of us earn our living, get our health insurance and save for retirement. The unemployment numbers are simple to understand. In theory, we could have a very healthy economy with no employees at all, if everyone were self-employed. But the opposite is not true. We cannot have enough jobs without a healthy economy. | 08/10/09 11:26:35 By - Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Keep food out of landfills

Composting leftover foods is a good way forward. Federal statistics indicate that excess food and yard waste account for about the same percentage of the overall waste stream (12.8 and 12.5, respectively). However, about 65 percent of yard waste is recycled, compared with just 3 percent of food waste. | 08/06/09 18:36:59 By - Kansas City Star

Commentary: Journalists' release good news for all

Welcome home, Laura Ling. Welcome home, Euna Lee. Sacramento has a special place in its heart for Ling, who grew up in Carmichael. But the pair's release ought to bring joy across the country and the world. It is always good news when someone who is being held unjustly against her will wins freedom. | 08/06/09 10:44:03 By - Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Beware dangers of government-sponsored gambling

There's no such thing as a good lottery. No circumstances under which it’s OK for a state government to entice its citizens to gamble. The very idea is anathema to what government is supposed to be all about. | 08/06/09 00:06:00 By - The State

Commentary: Time for universities to crack down on hazing

A lawsuit claiming that a 19-year-old sophomore at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory died as a result of a violent hazing will again bring to the forefront the old and occasionally deadly initiation "custom" most often associated with college fraternities. | 08/06/09 00:06:00 By - News & Observer

Commentary: Journalists' safe return a diplomatic victory for North Korea, US

Don't be fooled by that photo of an unsmiling Bill Clinton sitting next to a dour Kim Jong Il. Both men wore grim expressions for the cameras, but they must have been smiling inwardly because both got what they wanted from the former president's visit to North Korea. | 08/06/09 10:38:07 By - Miami Herald

Commentary: It's okay to demand involuntary treatment for street drunks

At first blush, it may sound heavy-handed, and possibly even pointless: Anchorage will try to reduce the number of chronic street drunks by forcing them into detoxification and treatment. Skeptics will naturally wonder: Doesn't that infringe on their personal freedom? And what good is it to "force" someone into treatment for an addiction, anyway? | 08/06/09 00:05:59 By - Anchorage Daily News

Commentary: Some slurs shouldn't be played with

"You are such a racist nigger." — reader e-mail To answer your questions: yes, the e-mail is quoted in its entirety. Yes, it's authentic; I received it a year or so ago. And, no, it is not unique in its sentiment, its coarseness or its deafness to irony. That note has always struck me as a stark benchmark of our slide into racial incoherence.

Here's another: Last week on Fox & Friends, Glenn Beck, the Fox News host, declared President Obama a "racist" with "a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture." Bare seconds later, Beck turned around and said, "I'm not saying he doesn't like white people. . . " | 08/05/09 17:15:15 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Immigrants face injustice at detention centers

Regardless of their legal status, immigrants deserve a fair shot at justice once they are in this country. That's especially true for the most vulnerable, those in detention and facing deportation. All too often, however, they are denied justice and basic due process. | 08/05/09 11:00:57 By - Miami Herald

Commentary: Some of Palin's fame helped Alaska

Every time I write or say anything publicly about Sarah Palin I receive a pile of mail. Hate mail from Palin fans who demand blind adoration of their conservative heroine. | 08/05/09 00:06:00 By - Michael Carey

Commentary: Obama: Born in the U.S.A

My daughter was born in Los Angeles County on Sept. 4, 1990. I know this because I was there. Should that not be proof enough, I also have her birth certificate. Barack Obama, you see, has a birth certificate much like my daughter's, documenting his birth in Hawaii on Aug. 4, 1961. | 08/04/09 16:31:48 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Guantanamo testing U.S. courage

Throughout his presidential campaign, Barack Obama was an outspoken critic of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and an advocate of relying on recognized constitutional values to deal with the detainees. Now that he is president, a young Afghan detainee named Mohammed Jawad is testing Mr. Obama's commitment. | 08/04/09 16:25:46 By - Miami Herald

Commentary: Foul-mouthed politicians missing the real obscenities

It wouldn't even make decent reality TV. But that's about the level of discourse from Kentucky's two leading candidates for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. | 08/04/09 16:12:37 By - Lexington Herald-Ledger

Commentary: Leavenworth's the spot for Gitmo detainees

Despite the Kansas congressional contingent’s objections to a proposed terror prison/terror court in Leavenworth, the city is a good site to handle the vital national responsibility. | 08/04/09 10:28:31 By - Kansas City Star

Commentary: Environmental regulators' flights ethically uncertain

The officials directing California's historic effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions already face an extremely difficult task. They shouldn't be complicating the challenge by taking luxury trips abroad that are partially financed by the businesses they regulate. | 08/03/09 18:20:35 By - Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Video poker still a bad deal for North Carolina

Take an industry battling for acceptance, mix it with lawmakers hungry for cash, and you have a recipe for mischief and bad public policy. North Carolina's lawmakers have been through this once. They shouldn't test their luck again. | 08/01/09 00:06:00 By - Charlotte Observer

Commentary: No surprise, Illinois lacks transparency on stimulus funds

It was a small but reassuring condition of the $787 billion federal stimulus package: President Barack Obama promised "an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability" in tracking how the money is spent. Well, surprise, most states are being about as transparent as mud. And surprise again, Illinois is the worst in the nation, according to a ranking by the watchdog group Good Jobs First. | 08/01/09 00:06:00 By - Belleville News-Democrat

Commentary: History says Sen. Hutchison's replacement won't last long

If history is any judge, whomever Gov. Rick Perry names to be Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s temporary replacement shouldn’t count on the job long term. | 07/31/09 14:53:32 By - Mike Norman

Commentary: Chavez's temper tantrums aren't fooling anyone

Over the years, Venezuela's Hugo Chávez has displayed a predictable pattern of behavior whenever one of his hare-brained schemes goes awry: The clearer the evidence of wrongdoing, the more false indignation he exhibits and the louder he complains. | 07/31/09 00:06:00 By - Miami Herald

Commentary: For everyone's safety, Army needs to respect whistle-blowers

The Army must reassure the Blue Grass Army Depot's workers and neighbors that the atmosphere for employees who raise safety concerns is not as toxic as the stuff they're guarding. | 07/31/09 00:06:00 By - Lexington Herald-Ledger

Commentary: Minimum wage boost nice, but still too low

Workers on the lowest rung of the pay scale got a slight boost last week when the federal minimum wage was raised to $7.25 an hour. The third and final installment in the federal minimum wage is a good effort to put more money into the economy but a long way from giving the lowest-paid workers a living wage. | 07/29/09 16:24:13 By - Centre Daily Times

Commentary: Bunning's exit shows money drives politics

The money has spoken. Despite his earlier insistence that he would stay in the race for re-election, Sen. Jim Bunning has thrown in the towel. Not-so-subtle signs from Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell did the trick as Republican money migrated to Secretary of State Trey Grayson's exploratory committee. | 07/29/09 15:34:23 By - Lexington Herald-Leader

Commentary: 'Cash for clunkers,' now in effect, offers lots of benefits

It is easy to poke holes in the Congressionally approved definition of a "clunker" — since it includes some high-end cars with a heavy thirst for gasoline. No, it isn't perfect, and yes, this was a plan passed on the fly. But the cash for clunkers program is still a good idea. | 07/29/09 13:48:00 By - Idaho Statesman

Commentary: In-state tuition for undocumented kids? No clear answer

No in-state tuition qualifiers has gotten the attention that’s focused on students who were brought here illegally as children and want to seek the American dream of a college education. | 07/29/09 13:23:23 By - Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Commentary: Congress shouldn't join in 'birther' conspiracy theory

All of them know better, or should. But the issue fires up the base, and serves as a handy fundraising tool for right-wing organizations that might support them. | 07/29/09 12:24:45 By - Charlotte Observer

Commentary: Let's talk about race as a nation

This surely is a moment for people of good will to share their viewpoints about race, their personal experiences and their hopes for a new post-racial era. | 07/29/09 00:06:00 By - Miami Herald

Commentary: How I'm still fighting to end abortion

Every social revolution in American history — whether civil rights in the 1960s, woman’s voting rights in the 1880s, the abolitionists in the 1850s, or the anti-child labor movement of the 1900s — used incendiary rhetoric, offensive images and clamorous activism. | 07/29/09 00:06:00 By - Randall Terry, Operation Rescue

Commentary: Budget leaves California schools a mess

The latest budget dance reveals, once again, that California's education finance system is a mess. It needs an overhaul.

For more than two decades, after adjusting for California's high cost of living, the state has ranked in the bottom 10 in many school spending categories. Yet the state continues with the same convoluted, complicated formulas that fail to match needs and academic performance. | 07/28/09 18:21:31 By - Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Alaska should put stimulus money to work

Lawmakers should override stimulus money veto, and the Parnell administration should make sure that $28 million pays off. | 07/28/09 18:17:45 By - Anchorage Daily News

Commentary: With so many men out of work, expect social instability

In July, male unemployment hit 10.5 percent. Ten percent is the tripwire, a signal of a serious social problem.

Unemployment for women is just 8 percent. | 07/28/09 00:06:00 By - Judith Kleinfeld

Commentary: Enough whining, put economy in perspective

MODESTO, Calif — Right now, we're hearing a whole lot of whining about the sad state of our state. Well, we suggest it's time to say "enough." It's time to put a little perspective on the economy and to restrain ourselves in the use of hyperbole and crisis predictions. | 07/28/09 00:06:00 By - Modesto Bee

Commentary: Big government worse than Wall Street disease

The medicine of big government is even worse than the original disease on Wall Street, and the falling polls for the president's initiatives show the American people are catching on to this. | 07/28/09 00:06:00 By - Victor Davis Hanson

Commentary: California needs to reexamine its workforce

While inconvenient for the public — as anyone who's tried to get a driver's license renewed on a furlough Friday can attest — furloughs are the most equitable way to cut costs. | 07/27/09 18:30:50 By - Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Kenyan slum a 'humanitarian disgrace'

Before entering one of the world’s largest slums, a dozen American journalists are directed toward a row of knee-high rubber boots. The instruction is to swap your shoes for boots and keep your pants tucked inside the boot tops. One million people — one-third of Nairobi’s population — live here in Kibera, a tin-roof maze of living spaces that lack clean running water and basic sanitation. | 07/27/09 13:52:24 By - Miriam Pepper

Commentary: Congress should study up on immigration reform

Here's a homework assignment for members of Congress: During summer recess, take home the Council on Foreign Relations report on immigration reform. Read it carefully. It's a bipartisan blueprint for how to fix our broken immigration system. | 07/26/09 12:10:53 By - Miami Herald

Commentary: Preventing health problems is key to reform

How can America outspend every other nation in the world in health care and yet be ranked by the World Health Organization only 37th in health care quality? The answer is clear: For some reason, we have been willing to pay higher and higher medical costs rather than focus on preventing health problems before they occur. | 07/24/09 00:06:00 By - Rep. Doris O. Matsui and Dr. Harold Goldstein

Commentary: Let's hope government spending works

While the federal government’s economic stimulus package raises considerable consternation over the $787 billion debt load, the fact is that gravy train left the station and we’re along for the ride whether we like it or not. So we’ll grit our teeth while we spend the money and hope that the goal of a quicker economic recovery comes to fruition. | 07/24/09 00:06:00 By - Bradenton Herald

Commentary: Obama got one coal appointment right, one wrong

The appointment of Joseph G. Pizarchik, a strip-mine regulator in Pennsylvania, to head the Interior Department's Office of Surface Mining, is being viewed by many as a sop to the coal industry. Before confirming Pizarchik, the Senate should dig into his record, especially his support for allowing power-plant waste to be buried in unlined pits and old mines despite the threat to groundwater. | 07/23/09 15:20:03 By - Lexington Herald-Ledger

Commentary: Walter Cronkite's loyalty was, above all, to the truth

Here's the way it was: If Uncle Walter said it, that meant it was true. You could take it to the bank and pay bills with it. Uncle Walter's word was gold. | 07/23/09 15:05:11 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: It's time to close Miami sex offender shantytown

The state must take the lead to close shantytown under bridge. The causeway shantytown debacle should have taken three days — tops — to get state and local officials working together to find places for these felons, most of them on probation for sex crimes, to live without endangering children. | 07/23/09 12:19:57 By - Miami Herald

Commentary: Imagine reading a bill before passing it

In 1776, the rallying cry was, "No taxation without representation." Today, it could be, "No taxation without totally clueless representation." That's what Americans got on June 26, when the House voted 219-212 for the "cap-and-tax" energy bill, as the Republicans refer to it. | 07/23/09 06:00:00 By - Kevin Ferris

Commentary: Police officer, Gates expected deference, but neither got it

The charges have since been dropped, but the incident has fueled the undying assertions that, to some people, especially some in law enforcement, it doesn't matter how many degrees a black man earns or how successful he is, he will always be just a black man. | 07/22/09 17:25:51 By - Merlene Davis

Commentary: Only a matter of time for cell-phone driving bans

In the blink of an eye, I could become a killer. You could, too. Not intentionally, of course, but a killer just the same. In the back of our minds, we've always known it. But the news this week has focused attention on the dangers of talking, texting and e-mailing while driving. | 07/22/09 00:06:00 By - Tom Eblen

Commentary: Honduras should accept the Arias proposal

As Costa Rican President Oscar Arias attempts to find a solution to the Honduras crisis, the interim government of Roberto Micheletti faces the potential for growing violence by digging in its heels. Honduras's interim government should accept the deal from Costa Rican President Oscar Arias. | 07/22/09 00:06:00 By - Miami Herald

Commentary: Alaska, like other states, should invest in kids health

Alaska needs to get with it. Other states are showing us up with their commitment to paying for health insurance for children in working families even as the recession hurts state budgets. | 07/22/09 00:06:00 By - Anchorage Daily News

Commentary: Using local police for immigration enforcement a dangerous idea

Not only does police enforcement of immigration law divert scarce public safety resources from crime fighting, it undermines vital community policing opportunities. Victims and witnesses are unwilling to report crime if they know that they or their family members or neighbors may be turned over to immigration authorities. | 07/21/09 00:06:00 By - Julie Harumi Mass

Commentary: Vietnamese-American memorial on Kansas riverfront would show acceptance

If the Wichita City Council votes Tuesday to place a Vietnamese-American community memorial on riverfront land just beyond John S. Stevens Veterans Memorial Park, it will be a welcome end to a botched process that bruised feelings as it needlessly called into question love of country, respect for U.S. citizens of Vietnamese descent, and appreciation of the service and sacrifice of U.S. military veterans. | 07/21/09 00:06:00 By - Witchita Eagle

Commentary: Teens, learn the dangers of 'sexting'

Parents, be forewarned. And teach your children about the dangers of sexting — not just in school but in life. Boyfriends and girlfriends sharing explicit images via cell phone are courting major trouble. What kids today view as harmless fun is considered a crime in the adult world — indeed, a felony. | 07/21/09 00:06:00 By - Bradenton Herald

Commentary: Sanford: I'm sorry

I have struggled with how best to convey my regret in letting so many down, and in that regard I realize this column does not do justice to the process of saying “I am sorry.” A hand-written note or phone call would ultimately be more appropriate, but given the number of people I need to apologize to, I write this to begin the journey of trying to get things more right with you and others. | 07/20/09 16:53:59 By - Mark Sanford

Commentary: In 40 years, no giant leap past the "If we can..." cliche

Ever since Neil Armstrong took that giant leap for mankind, we’ve been posing this question: If we can land people on the moon, then how hard can it be to achieve just about anything? | 07/20/09 13:00:04 By - Mike Hendricks

Commentary: House Dem's health care 'fix' hurts small business

The proposal to impose a penalty of 8 percent of payroll on all but the smallest businesses is particularly onerous and unworkable — especially in South Florida where small businesses are the backbone of the area's economy. | 07/20/09 10:14:37 By - Miami Herald

Commentary: New bipartisan report a welcome take on legal immigration

The United States needs a new, comprehensive immigration policy. This is obvious. Recent attention on this issue has largely focused on illegal immigration. But a new, bipartisan report from the Council on Foreign Relations correctly notes that the primary immigration threat to America is welcoming too few talented immigrants. | 07/20/09 09:15:26 By - Kansas City Star

Commentary: Sotomayor biased? It's a bogus charge

Sotomayor's critics say her decision in the New Haven firefighters case proves she is biased and unfit for the highest court in the land. Nonsense. At its heart, the New Haven lawsuit was about the validity of a highly questionable written test. | 07/20/09 09:09:50 By - Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Sotomayor should be confirmed

Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor has a sound judicial record and should be confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. | 07/14/09 11:31:56 By - The Miami Herald

Commentary: A black athlete and racial hypocrisy

Dallas Cowboys backup tight end Martellus Bennett is doing everything he can possibly do to invite self-promotional controversy. In the past week, he debuted a video showcasing the "Black Olympics," a Kool-Aid-, fried chicken- and watermelon-eating contest between himself and his brother, a rookie free agent with the Seattle Seahawks. | 07/13/09 12:59:15 By - Jason Whitlock

Commentary: Palin leaves Parnell plenty to do

When he takes over for Gov. Sarah Palin, Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell faces a tough but manageable assignment. Tops on his to-do list: follow through on Gov. Palin's progress toward a natural gas pipeline, sharpen the focus of state energy policy, build a sustainable budget despite declining oil revenues and stake out some initiatives of his own in fields like domestic violence and health care. | 07/13/09 10:55:59 By - The Anchorage Daily News

Commentary: Rainbow Lounge investigation must be transparent

It's vital that Fort Worth know what really happened at the Rainbow Lounge on June 28, the night that officers from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and the Fort Worth Police Department came into the gay bar and arrested some of its patrons. In the process, Chad Gibson, 26, received head injuries that left him hospitalized for a week. | 07/09/09 12:17:48 By - The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Commentary: It's not the end of the world as we know it

We should have known the apocalypse was near when 20,000 people showed up to see the Monkees' Micky Dolenz at a political "tea party." Or when Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin parked her political roller coaster. Or when Johnson County had microquakes.

Now, we learn that some are predicting an apocalypse today. Around midday, we'll hit 12:34:56 p.m. on 7/8/09. | 07/08/09 13:50:25 By - Bud Kennedy

Commentary: 100,000 reasons to shed no tears for McNamara

Beginning in 1965 and for nearly three years McNamara each year drafted into the military 100,000 young boys whose scores in the mental qualification and aptitude tests were in the lowest quarter — so-called Category IV's. Men with IQ's of 65 or even lower. The cold, hard statistics say that these almost helpless young men died in action in the jungles at a rate three times higher than the average draftee. | 07/08/09 01:01:47 By - Joseph L. Galloway

Commentary: Honduran crisis should serve as hemispheric wake-up call

I wouldn't be surprised if the political crisis in Honduras is resolved within the next three months. But the Honduran military coup should serve as a wake-up call for all nations in the hemisphere to react more swiftly to the constant violations of the rule of law in countries like Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador, and not wait for the situations to blow up, like in Honduras. | 07/07/09 16:17:37 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: Plenty of strange governors' tales to go around

Remember the '60s-era Summer of Love? Looks as if 2009 is turning out to be the Summer of Gov. First Mark Sanford. Now Sarah Palin. Just as South Carolina's Sanford relinquished his tawdry hold on the headlines last week, Alaska's Sarah Palin on Friday shocked politics-watchers by announcing she won't run again and is quitting. | 07/07/09 13:37:46 By - The Charlotte Observer

Commentary: Galloway on McNamara: Reading an obit with great pleasure

Back in 1990 I had a series of strange phone conversations with McMamara while doing research for my book We Were Soldiers Once And Young. McNamara prefaced every conversation with this: "I do not want to comment on the record for fear that I might distort history in the process." Then he would proceed to talk for an hour, doing precisely that with answers that were disingenuous in the extreme — when they were not bald-faced lies. | 07/07/09 11:20:50 By - Joseph L. Galloway

Commentary: Palin's resignation doesn't make sense

Shock was the order of the day Friday when Gov. Sarah Palin announced her resignation. Many Alaskans had speculated that she wouldn't seek a second term as governor to clear the decks for a presidential run in 2012, but no one expected her to walk away from the job with a year and a half to go. After the shock, confusion. | 07/06/09 11:34:23 By - The Anchorage Daily News

Commentary: Obesity plagues America

From the no-duh files comes the latest study on Americans' waistlines, which concludes that the country is getting fatter. The Trust for America's Health report, while largely a confirmation of what any sighted person already knows, also provides a timely reminder of a big factor driving up the cost of overhauling the nation's health care system. | 07/06/09 11:26:24 By - The (Tacoma) News Tribune

Commentary: As U.S. troops pull back in Iraq, wars' toll falls now on Obama

The American military withdrew to their bases outside the cities in Iraq this past week to thunderous cheers, marching bands and fireworks from the ever-grateful and always xenophobic Iraqi citizenry. | 07/03/09 16:55:08 By - Joseph L. Galloway

Commentary: Bud Selig gets Lou Gehrig tribute right

This Saturday, the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig's "Luckiest Man On the Face of the Earth" address will be commemorated with a reading of the 277-word speech during the seventh-inning stretch at every home ballpark in Major League Baseball. | 07/02/09 11:31:19 By - John McGrath

Commentary: Sanford saga is too much ado about nothing

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford deserves every bit of the public shellacking he’s getting for leaving the country for several days without telling anyone. But are calls for his impeachment or resignation warranted? After all, nothing happened. | 07/01/09 12:33:55 By - Warren Bolton

Commentary: Sanford should stay in office

The people calling for Gov. Mark Sanford's resignation — from The New York Times to state Sen. Jake Knotts — either want to ensure that Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer wins the 2010 gubernatorial election or else haven't thought through the effect this could have on the outcome of that crucial race. | 06/30/09 11:59:52 By - The State (Columbia, S.C.)

Commentary: Zelaya's naked power grab led to Honduras coup

Here's a question for all of the new-found defenders of Honduran democracy, which include Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Argentina's president Cristina Fernandez: Where were you last week? Perhaps if some of these warnings about sticking to the constitution had been addressed to President Mel Zelaya, the Honduran army would still be in the barracks where it belongs. | 06/30/09 12:19:10 By - Glenn Garvin

Commentary: Prisons are a good place for budget overhaul

California's cost of guarding, feeding, clothing, medicating and supposedly educating its nearly 170,000 prison inmates and supervising 110,000 parolees is about $10 billion a year. And it's very easily the fastest-growing segment of the deficit-ridden state budget over the past decade. | 06/29/09 12:03:04 By - Dan Walters

Commentary: Sanford has plenty of amends to make

Gov. Mark Sanford's revelation that he had been unfaithful to his wife, Jenny, and had spent the past several days in Argentina with another woman instead of hiking on the Appalachian Trail — as he had told staff and as staff had told this state's media and its people — felt like a punch to the gut. | 06/25/09 14:28:55 By - The State (Columbia, S.C.)

Commentary: A father remembered

Sunday was my first Father's Day without a father. My dad died March 23. He lived 85 mostly hearty, mostly healthy years, but his final days were difficult, leading afterward to many repetitions of that line so many have us have exchanged with friends and family: "At least he is no longer suffering." | 06/22/09 11:55:41 By - Daniel Weintraub

Commentary: A Tweet for freedom in Iran

Look at the protest marches in Iran's capital — the largest since the 1979 revolution — and you see a real contribution of the West to democracy around the world: information technology. That technology makes it nearly impossible for a repressive regime to control people's access to information. | 06/22/09 11:27:57 By - The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Do flies deserve any compassion?

Lexington Herald-Leader columnist Merlene Davis was quite impressed when President Barack Obama snatched and killed a fly last week in the middle of an interview. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wasn't. So who was right? | 06/21/09 17:38:08 By - Merlene Davis

Commentary: Patrick Fitzgerald strikes out

When U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald was investigating the leak of a CIA officer's name a couple of years ago, he bullied witnesses, threw innocent people in jail and generally acted like J. Edgar Hoover on the trail of a commie spy — and his noisiest cheerleaders were American liberals, thrilled by the discovery that prosecutorial abuse can be fun when you're directing it at the Bush administration.

I wonder if they'll like it as much now that Fitzgerald is slapping around the First Amendment. | 06/19/09 15:32:23 By - Glenn Garvin

Commentary: Kevin Johnson seems to attract controversy

When a federal investigation of Mayor Kevin Johnson and his nonprofit St. HOPE was concluded in April, I wrote the words: "It's over." Shame on me. It's never over with this guy. | 06/17/09 13:41:05 By - Marcos Breton

Commentary: Don't hate Palin because she's pretty

I wasn't surprised when I watched David Letterman's jokes about Sarah Palin last week. I wasn't particularly outraged, either. In fact, to be honest, I laughed a little. My first thought when I watched the clip of Letterman's jokes at my desk last week was this: Hot lady winks at debates and wears Naughty Monkey pumps and encourages her daughter, the teen mom, to talk about not having sex on national television, and now she's mad somebody made some sexist jokes? She opened the door. And, Letterman (who isn't above going lowbrow for a laugh) just walked through it. | 06/17/09 12:57:39 By - Julia O'Malley

Commentary: Iranian protest movement shows deep divisions in society

Despite what hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may wish, the election dispute in Iran has laid bare deep divisions in the country between a large segment of society and its clerical leadership. | 06/17/09 11:50:32 By - The Miami Herald

Commentary: Why the Holocaust Museum is important

The Holocaust Museum memorializes the murders of 6 million Jews and the horrific treatment of those who somehow escaped death at the hands of the Nazis during World War II. It also creates a visual display of genocide in hopes it would never happen again, though it has in eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. | 06/16/09 11:16:40 By - Jeff Jardine

Commentary: Discussions of Sotomayor's qualifications too much about ethnicity

On Tuesday, columnist Bill Ferguson wrote: "It really is too bad that we can't have a real discussion on Judge (Sonia) Sotomayor's qualifications in the midst of all of this talk about race and gender. Is she one of the finest legal minds in the country? Does she have a reputation for writing groundbreaking, well thought-out opinions? Is she respected in the legal community as one of the best at her profession? | 06/15/09 13:50:29 By - Charles E. Richardson

Commentary: Finally, regulation for tobacco

Tobacco is unique. As many have pointed out, it's the only legal product that, when used as intended, kills its users. | 06/15/09 11:05:23 By - The (Tacoma) News Tribune

Commentary: Will apology from DJs accomplish anything really?

Undoubtedly, many people will be listening Thursday when some tasteless shock jocks on Sacramento's KRXQ apologize for mocking transgender people on the air. But is Thursday about apologizing to transgender people? Or is it about capitalizing on a staged event in an effort to score big in the ratings? | 06/11/09 13:18:28 By - Marcos Breton

Commentary: Alaska shouldn't try to force through Knik Bridge project

As Anchorage's local government and transportation planners near the end of a nine-month process aimed at halting the expensive and controversial Knik Arm Bridge project, the Palin administration has suddenly stepped in and is trying to keep the project alive. It's a misguided use of state time and transportation dollars. | 06/11/09 11:32:43 By - The Anchorage Daily News

Commentary: A medical marijuana proposal

Patients are caught in a Catch-22, where it's legal to possess marijuana and use it as medicine, but practically impossible to obtain it legally. Confiscated marijuana is destroyed as soon as it's no longer needed as evidence. Why not make it available to a legitimate user instead? | 06/09/09 11:56:04 By - The Tri-City Herald

Commentary: Tiller's shooting was domestic terrorism

When one American takes the life of another in the nation's heartland over an issue with deep political, ideological and moral implications, that's domestic terrorism. And regardless of anyone's perspective on abortion, such violence is unacceptable as a tool for changing the way society or any individuals treat that difficult and divisive issue. | 06/08/09 14:00:54 By - The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Commentary: Obama sets right balance in Cairo address

President Barack Obama on Thursday called for "a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world." That is a timely and necessary appeal. Obama deserves praise for both the words and symbolic nature of the setting in which he spoke them, to young Egyptians at Al Azhar University in Cairo, one of the hearts of Islam. | 06/05/09 13:20:58 By - The Kansas City Star

Commentary: What’s up with Dick Cheney?

If former vice president Darth Cheney had been arrested for any of his multiple felonies, he might remember the most important of the Miranda rights that the arresting officer would have read to him: You have the right to remain silent. | 06/04/09 16:01:40 By - Joseph L. Galloway

Commentary: Drums of a blue crab war?

The legendary disputes over Chesapeake Bay natural resources involving Maryland and Virginia watermen have been called wars for good reason. Both states have not always cooperated to protect the great estuary's natural resources, which include striped bass, shad and blue crabs. | 06/03/09 06:00:48 By - Carlos Tobias

Commentary: My answer to being slimed on Huffington Post

Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy's economics reporter, responds to a Huffington Post blog that called him un-American for a story he wrote wondering about the role of speculation in recent oil price hikes: "You can defend the trade however you choose — and since Mr. Martin is a commodities trader I'd expect him to — but this isn't the way oil trading used to work. And in the real world, far from Wall Street's fine dining and fancy John Lobb shoes, real people trying to stretch their income have less wiggle room because of higher pump prices." | 05/29/09 17:08:47 By - Kevin G. Hall

Commentary: Schwarzenegger no longer lauded by local officials

Five years ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger was the much-heralded hero for city council members, county supervisors and other local government officials, helping them achieve long-sought constitutional protections against raids by the state. | 05/29/09 11:20:43 By - Dan Walters

Commentary: How Twitter poses a threat to newspapers

The end began in January 1998, when Matt Drudge broke the story on his blog that linked President Clinton amorously to a young White House intern. At least that's how his scoop is remembered, as a signature moment in the growing dominance of online news. Except that's not what happened. Drudge didn't break the intern story because he didn't have it. What he reported was that Newsweek magazine had the story but wouldn't publish it. | 05/28/09 06:17:27 By - Edward Wasserman

Commentary: Gitmo is a picnic compared to U.S. prisons

President Obama's promise to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba has hit a snag because he hasn't figured out what to do with the 240 detainees.

Apparently even the scrawniest Taliban is so cunning and strong that he'll be able to break out of our toughest maximum-security prisons — prisons that nobody ever escapes from, except in the movies. | 05/27/09 08:36:55 By - Carl Hiaasen

Commentary: Guantanamo closing becomes a battle of fear vs. faith

On Thursday, the American people heard an appeal to fear, and an appeal to faith in the principles of the Constitution. An appeal to fear, and an appeal to faith in this country's competence to identify and protect itself from security risks. | 05/23/09 05:18:47 By - The Lexington Herald-Leader

Commentary: Alaska shouldn't pay for partisan political trips

We have no quarrel with Gov. Palin campaigning for someone outside Alaska. She's a national figure now. But to describe her trip to Georgia as state business because Chambliss favors ANWR drilling is fig leaf cover at best. Supporting Alaska in a congressional issue is hardly grounds for using State of Alaska money to support one side in an election battle. | 05/18/09 11:31:55 By - The Anchorage Daily News

Commentary: Missouri House vote shows disdain for poor

Say you're a single mom who's having a hard time. Maybe you lost a decent job and you're waiting tables or working at a convenience store. Maybe you have headaches, or something worse. You think you should see a doctor, but you can't pay. Guess what? Republicans in the Missouri House this week killed a plan that would have provided health insurance for 35,000 people like you — parents who make up to 50 percent of the poverty level. | 05/13/09 12:48:46 By - Barbara Shelly

Commentary: Priests who keep their oath ignored by media

Father Alberto Cutié is blessed in many ways, although some of those blessings are less obvious. For example, Cutié is lucky to have come into the priesthood at a time when marriage isn't allowed. How is that a blessing? While it's true that traditional marriages were possible in the priesthood during the early formation of the church, it's also true that at times, priests were allowed to marry but not to have sex with their wives. | 05/11/09 11:42:30 By - Jackie Bueno Sousa

Commentary: Credit card reform is overdue

Consumers may have reason to feel overlooked as the government rushes to bail out banks, carmakers and insurance companies "too big to fail," but there is one bright spot in legislation moving forward on Capitol Hill. The Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights won approval from the House in a solid bipartisan vote, 357-70, last week and has the support of the administration as it moves to the Senate for a showdown vote. | 05/08/09 10:25:15 By - The Miami Herald

Commentary: Bring on the torture inquiries

There's not a big enough rug in the world to cover the controversy over torture, no matter how hard or diligently anyone tries to sweep. The magnitude of the problem and questions about the moral climate in the United States push us toward a high profile, apolitical (if possible) panel of distinguished and trusted Americans to sort through the facts. | 05/06/09 11:47:20 By - The Tri-City Herald

Commentary: Abuse of ethics complaint law equals bad politics

Alaska citizens have a right to file ethics complaints against their elected representatives. State law guarantees it. But when Alaskans use the ethics law to score political points, they abuse that right and may put it at risk. | 05/04/09 10:29:21 By - The Anchorage Daily News

Commentary: Time for some perspective on swine flu fear

The announcement that one of the country's largest school districts is shutting down for more than a week in the wake of the swine flu outbreak naturally is cause for concern. It should not be a reason to panic. Panic is a disease whose symptoms include unfounded rumors and overreaction. Such an infection can be more contagious than any flu virus. | 05/01/09 12:36:01 By - The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Commentary: Swine flu is no cause for panic yet

Faced with a potentially lethal strain of influenza, the danger lies in under-reacting. Or overreacting – as when stock markets tremble in response to the World Health Organization's "be ready just in case" warning about swine flu.

This flu is still in the wait-and-see stage. | 04/28/09 10:14:44 By - The (Tacoma) News Tribune

Commentary: Congressional hearings on torture a bad idea

It would be mistake for Congress to conduct hearings on torture. Rather, that body ought to comply with President Obama's suggestion that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder be allowed to determine whether laws were broken by the previous administration in drafting U.S. interrogation policy. | 04/27/09 13:06:41 By - Terry Plumb

Commentary: California's state lawmakers are out of touch

It's not breaking news that the California Legislature is out of touch with Californians who are struggling to pay their bills in this terrible economy. So we shouldn't have been surprised that Assembly Speaker Karen Bass initially gave 136 legislative staffers pay raises while the state is approaching bankruptcy. | 04/27/09 10:33:41 By - Jim Boren

Commentary: Obama and D.C. dance the torture minuet

There they go again, those folks in Washington, D.C. Everyone wants the power; nobody wants the responsibility. We're back to the question of which Bush administration officials ordered Justice Department lawyers to concoct some legal way to use illegal torture methods on the prisoners we were taking in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and elsewhere. | 04/24/09 07:53:23 By - Joseph L. Galloway

Commentary: Perry's word put ideology over country

Have you ever had one of those moments when you gazed across and did not recognize your fellow Americans?

I find myself in the middle of one. I felt it last week, that jolt of unrecognition, that instant of worry for the state – and future – of the Union. Not because of the so-called "teabag" protests on April 15. No, it was Texas Gov. Rick Perry, speaking after one such demonstration, who made the moment surreal. | 04/24/09 06:14:48 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Fujimori's conviction should give Bush nightmares

There was a truly remarkable news item recently that received less notice than it deserved. A former president was tried, convicted and sentenced to a long jail term for crimes committed in his government's fight against terrorism.

No, this was not George W. Bush's worst nightmare come true. However, with new revelations every day, there can be no doubt the Bush administration used torture and committed other illegal acts during its so-called war on terror. | 04/23/09 06:20:42 By - Dennis Jett

Commentary: Tea party wasn't about taxes

The real reason people are twirling tea bags and making signs and creating a big fuss, that was inspired by talk radio mavens, and are really mad is because they lost the November elections and they lost to Barack Obama. | 04/21/09 11:15:30 By - Charles E. Richardson

Commentary: Obama's Cuba policy is relatively better

Now that the Obama administration has relaxed the rules for Cuban-Americans who wish to visit relatives in Cuba, and some of us are champing at the bit for the opportunity to chomp down legally on Cuban cigars, the question becomes: Who or what is family? That's not as easy a question to answer as you might think. | 04/20/09 13:39:18 By - Barry Saunders

Commentary: We've only just begun to judge Bush presidency

So apparently, we're not allowed to talk about George W. Bush anymore.

You had to take it with the proverbial granule of salt since, as you'll recall, some folks weren't particularly receptive to people criticizing Bush when he was in office, either. | 04/17/09 11:16:24 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Nothing grassroots about 'tea party'

Today a number of frustrated Americans will be attending "tea parties." These aren't exactly grassroots events. They have been organized or hyped largely by conservative groups, Republican politicians and others opposed to the Obama administration's plans to get the U.S. economy back on track and to clean up many of the financial messes left by former President George Bush. | 04/15/09 13:31:30 By - The Kansas City Star

Commentary: Comparing California to the nation on tax day

Today is tax day, and the natives are restless. Around the country and here in California, anti-tax groups are planning a series of "tea parties" to protest the rising burden of government and the services it provides. | 04/15/09 10:45:15 By - Daniel Weintraub

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Commentary: Torture is no longer an option

One of Barack Obama's first decisions as president was to ban the use of torture and coercive techniques against terror suspects. CIA Director Leon Panetta made that policy change official last week in announcing the closing of secret foreign sites used by the United States to imprison and torture detainees. The decisions will help restore America's diminished status as a nation of laws – not of men. | 04/13/09 09:38:20 By - The Miami Herald

Commentary: Bringing 'integrity' back to Justice Dept.

The unfortunate legacy of the Justice Department under President George W. Bush will be one of politicization and incompetence. That is nowhere more evident than in the fall of the Public Integrity Section, once respected for its professionalism and nonpartisanship in pursuing corruption cases. | 04/08/09 11:41:34 By - The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Reducing the nuclear threat

During last year's presidential campaign, candidate Barack Obama told Sen. John McCain that presidents can, indeed, multitask; and that he personally could walk and chew gum at the same time. Since taking office, Mr. Obama has done just that, starting new initiatives at a breakneck pace. He continued in that vein on his European tour when, in the face of North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile, he announced an ambitious new approach to nuclear disarmament. | 04/07/09 11:12:13 By - The Miami Herald

Commentary: Tourism won't change Cuba's government

I'm not opposed to the growing push in Washington, D.C., to liberalize U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba, but the stated reason behind the move – that a flood of U.S. tourists will bring democracy to the island – is wishful thinking. | 04/07/09 06:20:32 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: Stevens, Alaskans ill-served by prosecution's shoddy work

Federal authorities have done a disservice to Ted Stevens and to Alaska with their shoddy handling of this high–profile corruption case. Their misconduct denied Stevens a fair trial and deprived Alaskans of a final, unassailable judgment on the legitimacy of the allegations against him. The Obama administration's new attorney general, Eric Holder, showed good judgment in deciding Stevens' conviction was tainted and should be set aside. | 04/06/09 10:48:09 By - The Anchorage Daily News

Commentary: Prosecutors forgot about justice in Ted Stevens trial

Faced with clear signs of government misconduct, Attorney General Eric Holder made the right call by moving to dismiss the Justice Department's case against former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens. This is a disappointing end to the Stevens saga, but prosecutors botched this case so badly that the attorney general had no choice but to bring it to a merciful close. | 04/03/09 10:49:24 By - The Miami Herald

Commentary: Time to start talking about legalizing drugs

Maybe we should legalize drugs.

I come neither eagerly nor easily to that maybe. Rather, I come by way of spiraling drug violence in Mexico that recently forced Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to acknowledge the role America's insatiable appetite for narcotics plays in the carnage. I come by way of watching Olympian Michael Phelps do the usual public relations song and dance after being outed smoking weed, and knowing the whole thing was a ritualized farce. Most of all, I come by way of personal antipathy: I don't like and have never used illegal drugs. | 04/02/09 10:18:21 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Postpartisanship and federal judgeships

President Barack Obama campaigned on a pledge to decrease the ubiquitous partisanship that has infected the federal government.

One area crying out for bipartisanship is the choice of federal judges. Charges and recriminations, toxic partisanship and continuous paybacks have plagued judicial appointments for two decades. | 04/02/09 06:15:37 By - Carl Tobias

Commentary: Palin's party-switching Senate pick deserves scrutiny

Alaskan Senate Democrats have good reason to reject Gov. Palin's selection for the Juneau senate vacancy. Given Tim Grussendorf's strange history with his party registration, Gov. Palin has given Senate Democrats ample reason to reject the nominee. Juneau Democratic Party officials are urging them to reject the choice. | 03/31/09 10:19:51 By - The Anchorage Daily News

Commentary: Too many without health insurance

On its face, it sounds like a simple enough decision. An employer offers health insurance, and workers buy it, of course, because they know the potential consequences in opting out of a plan. A catastrophic illness could strike unexpectedly, an accident could mean weeks or months in a hospital. Protection also is typically offered for family members, at a price. However, as wages stagnate, health insurance costs rise, and too many workers in this country go without coverage. | 03/31/09 06:14:44 By - The (Raleigh) News & Observer

Commentary: A way forward in Afghanistan

When I was a police advisor in Afghanistan's Helmand Province in 2007, I woke up one morning to some impressive explosions more than 20 miles away. When I checked with the Tactical Operations Center on my base, no one knew who was fighting. | 03/26/09 09:53:39 By - Capt. Brandon Anderson

Commentary: Skip the demagoguery over the AIG bonuses

Congress appears to be tempering its feigned fury over the AIG bonuses reported a week and a half ago. That’s good, but let’s first give the public’s genuine fury its due. | 03/25/09 13:15:26 By -

Commentary: Stick to the economy

At least once or twice every session the Florida Legislature strays from its missions -- passing a balanced budget and approving sound laws based on the state Constitution, scientific evidence or other solid research. This year Floridians want lawmakers to keep their focus lasered on fixing the state's faltering economy and finding solutions to the $3 billion deficit that won't throw the poor, elderly and ailing under the train. | 03/25/09 13:01:04 By -

Commentary: AmeriCorps case needs resolution

Since AmeriCorps began in September 1994, about 2,600 nonprofit and community groups a year have worked with volunteers to improve communities. For their service, volunteers get a $4,725 education award for college or graduate school and a living allowance. | 03/24/09 14:51:49 By - Sacramento Bee

Commentary: U.S. must do more to reduce violence on Mexican border

The Obama administration must pay more attention to the escalating violence on the border between the United States and Mexico, as the Mexican drug cartels react to the crackdown by Mexico's President Felipe Calderon. | 03/24/09 14:39:10 By -

Commentary; Our View: We need lighter pork

The old epithet for money set aside by members of Congress for local projects was "pork." The new euphemism is "congressionally directed spending." | 03/24/09 13:12:25 By -

Commentary: Report finally defines 'torture'

As president, George W. Bush said U.S. antiterror interrogators were using "an alternative set of procedures" that to this day former Vice President Dick Cheney contends were "absolutely essential" to stopping another Sept. 11, 2001-style attack. | 03/24/09 12:30:16 By -

Commentary: For Sen. Burris, it's all about bucks

Well, U.S. Sen. Roland Burris has been busy since his controversial appointment by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Burris set up his 2010 re-election Web site (actually the Web site was registered on Jan. 8, a week before he was sworn into office). | 03/24/09 12:17:00 By -

Commentary: Immigration issues needs solutions, not more raids

The recent immigration raid at Yamato Engine Specialists is a failure on many levels. It disrupted an important local business with many employees. It "rounded up" more than two dozen hard-working people in our community. And it did nothing to stop the flow of illegal immigration in to the United States. | 03/24/09 12:15:43 By -

Commentary: A great day for the U.S. Army

On a bright, sunny spring day in Georgia, Fort Benning and the National Infantry Museum dedicated a new parade ground, and the first of what will be thousands of basic training companies broke it in by marching in review for their graduation. | 03/19/09 20:45:05 By - Joe Galloway

Commentary: Iraqis try to rebuild lives six year after U.S. invasion

There will be no celebrations here today for the sixth anniversary of the United States invasion of Iraq. The positive might be that there don't appear to be any large-scale protests about continued American presence either. In the capital, people are very involved in trying to rebuild their lives. | 03/19/09 14:14:23 By - The Kansas City Star

Commentary: Newspapers don't need sympathy cards

On the day the last newspaper is published, I expect no sympathy card from Kwame Kilpatrick. Were it not for a newspaper – The Detroit Free Press – his use of public funds to cover up his affair with one of his aides would be unrevealed and, he might still be mayor of Detroit.

Only the local paper performs the critical function of holding accountable the mayor, the governor, the local magnates and potentates for how they spend your money, run your institutions, validate or violate your trust. If newspapers go, no other entity will have the wherewithal to do that. Which means the next Kilpatrick is never caught. | 03/19/09 12:44:51 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: AIG bonuses are just part of the problem

Should U.S. taxpayers be livid over the gargantuan bonuses being paid to workers at AIG, the global insurance giant that has received at least $170 billion in government bailout aid?

Do geese fly? Do dogs bark? Do politicians grandstand? | 03/19/09 11:45:34 By - The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Commentary: PETA should worry about Iraq's dead dogs, not Iditarod

As the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race moves toward its end in Nome with a well-meaning few fretting, as they always do, over whether dogs born to run really want to run 1,000 miles, the dogs of Iraq are dying by the thousands. | 03/19/09 10:46:23 By - Craig Medred

Commentary: Get credit flowing by building confidence

By any standard I've observed over the course of my 55-year career in finance, stock market values are – face it – bargains.

Despite the obvious, however, the owners of the cash remain unconvinced that the market has reached the bottom – so they're unwilling to commit. | 03/19/09 12:41:48 By - Nicholas F. Brady

Commentary: Sanford's latest request is unreal

Mr. Sanford's latest attempt to avoid using federal stimulus funds to actually put South Carolinians to work and help pull our state out of recession is so unhinged from reality that it's difficult to believe even that it's a politically calculated effort to position himself as a 2012 challenger to President Barack Obama. | 03/18/09 13:10:22 By -

Commentary: Why California court will uphold Prop 8

There've been decades of complaint that the great flood of ballot measures confronting California voters could be reduced and simplified if the state Supreme Court more strictly enforced the constitution's rule against voter initiatives covering more than one subject or revising (not just amending) the constitution. | 03/17/09 11:12:36 By - Peter Schrag

Commentary: Let the Twitter backlash begin

In our high-speed roadrunner world, you barely have time to lay an egg before someone tries to crack it. So it goes with the instant messaging service Twitter. Fifteen minutes ago it was the next new thing, the supercool cock of the high-tech walk. | 03/16/09 11:51:29 By - J. Peder Zane

Commentary: Stem cell debate will continue

While President Obama has lifted the Bush administration's ban on opening new lines to embryonic stem cell research, concerns over this aspect of biotechnology are real. This is an ethical and moral conflict that will persist, like the debate over abortion, despite rulings by administrations or the federal courts. | 03/16/09 09:57:30 By - The Tri-City Herald

Commentary: Northrop Grumman adds jobs while subtracting others

It wasn't exactly a surprise when Northrop Grumman Corp. announced last week that it was shedding 750 jobs. That kind of news has become all too common in this moribund economy.

Far more eye-catching was this nugget that did not make the headlines: The same firm has about 850 openings for jobs that are highly paid with good health plans and other benefits. | 03/11/09 11:43:51 By - Daniel Weintraub

Commentary: Water bottlers enjoying Florida's public spigot

You probably thought there was a serious water shortage in Florida.

But hold on. It turns out there's a boundless, virtually free supply of Florida water – though not for residents. The public spigot remains open day and night for Nestle, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and 19 other corporations that bottle our water and sell it for a huge per-unit profit. | 03/11/09 09:52:24 By - Carl Hiaasen

Commentary: Chuck Norris for president of Texas?

First, we get Kinky Friedman running for governor. Now, Chuck Norris is predicting that Texans might rise up and declare our independence – and that he might run for president.

If Walker, Texas Ranger, wants to be president – are we powerless to stop him? | 03/11/09 07:42:13 By - Bud Kennedy

Commentary: Political discourse in an online world

Once, not so long ago, serious people decried the reduction and trivialization of political ideas to the level of a bumper sticker. Some days, I long for the coherence, the relevance, the completeness of bumper stickers. | 03/09/09 14:29:38 By - Brad Warthen

Commentary: We shouldn't be eager to see immigrants leave

A key measure of the nation's economic health is its ability to attract capital, not only the financial kind, but capital of the human sort. The immigration debate in recent years has often discounted the contribution of new arrivals, while sometimes implying that the United States would be better off if most immigrants would simply go home. Well, we should be careful what we wish for. | 03/09/09 14:27:55 By - E. Thomas McClanahan

Commentary: Sudan's al-Bashir should pay for Darfur's suffering

For six years, President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan has masterminded the systematic attacks that brought death to some 300,000 people in the western region of Darfur. Last week, the International Criminal Court finally issued an arrest warrant for him in recognition of the Sudanese president's responsibility for the horrifying slaughter and the abject failure of all diplomatic efforts to make him end the suffering. | 03/09/09 10:51:22 By - The Miami Herald

Commentary: Valuing women a sign of a healthy society

Today is International Women's Day. One of today's themes is, "Women and men united to end violence against women and girls." It's not very catchy, but it certainly is appropriate. Women of all ages remain too susceptible to violence in this world. Not just random violence, but deliberate, targeted cruelty. | 03/09/09 10:42:32 By - The Miami Herald

Commentary: Why are we thrilled by others' pain?

Are you happy now??

All you eyes pressed to the window staring at the detritus of someone else's life, all you mouths chattering together like birds on a wire, all you watchers and voyeurs, you Peeping Toms and Thomasinas, you eye spies and inquiring minds that had to know, did you get what you needed, did you see what you wanted? Are you happy now? | 03/02/09 14:09:14 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: New optimism in tough times

Never in my lifetime have I seen the country grappling with such severe economic disruption. All of this gloom led me to think about fear and resilience; how Americans define "the good life" and how some find opportunity during painful transitions. | 03/02/09 11:39:09 By - Maria Henson

Commentary: Teens should have choice about abortion

Alaska's constitution says pregnant teens have a right to decide on abortion. The Legislature and governor should not be trying to find a way around it. | 03/02/09 09:53:34 By - The Anchorage Daily News

Commentary: Gates got it right on flag-draped coffin photos

Exploitation or honor? The U.S. policy of barring photographs of the coffins of war dead has been construed both ways. But the question ought to be separated from the arguments over a fading war. The issue of how best to pay respect to the fallen deserves to be dealt with on its own merits. | 02/27/09 11:18:13 By - The Tacoma News Tribune

Commentary: What's wrong about DC voting rights?

The D.C. House Voting Rights Act under debate in the U.S. Senate violates the Constitution. Period. And any member who votes to approve it violates an oath of office to protect and defend the nation's founding document. | 02/26/09 10:18:10 By - The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Commentary: Obama's bailout lacking in common sense

There's a reason that English is the most widely spoken language on the planet: It's the most highly adaptable, capable of evolving to meet new needs in the blink of an eye. For example: Just last year, offering mortgages at a cheaper-than-market teaser interest rate with little or no money down was known as "predatory lending." But conditions changed – specifically, the party occupying the White House – and now we call that style of lending "national policy." | 02/24/09 14:27:00 By - Glenn Garvin

Schwarzenegger: With budget finished, a new task begins for California

When it comes to California's budget, nothing is easy. Even in the good years, when revenue comes in as expected or better, the process of passing a state budget still involves pressures from special interests, fierce ideological disagreements, senseless delays that impact real Californians, and a seeming inability to look beyond the year immediately in front of our faces. | 02/20/09 14:38:04 By - Arnold Schwarzenegger

Commentary: Palin should use stimulus funding for Alaska

Gov. Sarah Palin appears to be focusing on the negative in the just-passed federal stimulus law, and that could hurt Alaskans suffering from the effects of the national recession. Rather than embrace the economic benefits that the $787 billion package is expected to bring, Palin embraced wholesale the congressional Republicans' criticism of the law. | 02/20/09 14:52:11 By -

Commentary: Obama must quickly fill Ninth Circuit vacancies

One of the most important responsibilities that the United States Constitution delegates to the President is appointing federal judges.

One of the initial assignments President Barack Obama should undertake in fulfilling this critical duty is naming excellent jurists for the two Ninth Circuit judgeships that are vacant. | 02/20/09 06:05:09 By - Carl Tobias

Commentary: Gov. Sanford and 'savior-based' economics

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford no stranger to red-ink federal largesse. In May 2003, just as the S.C. legislative session was ending, Bush signed a tax-cut bill that included – courtesy of the free-spending Republican Congress – a $20 billion appropriation to the states. South Carolina's share of the goodies was $265 million. | 02/13/09 12:01:05 By - The Myrtle Beach Sun

Commentary: Phelps is neither a villain nor cereal box hero

Buy Kellogg's cereal. Eat lots of it. That's our reaction to calls by marijuana advocates to boycott the Kellogg Co. because it chose to stop portraying Michael Phelps as a hero for kids on boxes of Frosted Flakes. | 02/13/09 10:29:18 By - The (Tacoma) News Tribune

Commentary: Happy birthday to Darwin and Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were born Feb. 12, 1809 – 200 years ago today. They were born far apart in circumstance as well as distance. But both shaped history, Lincoln in government, Darwin in science. | 02/12/09 13:33:53 By - The (Raleigh) News & Observer

Commentary: Suleman, octuplets and medical ethics

Train wrecks invite gawkers, and the magnitude of the Nadya Suleman story just keeps growing. Suleman is the California single mom who gave birth to eight babies while her first six waited at home. The Suleman story has so many layers that reopen big questions about parenting, reproductive freedom, medical ethics, societal obligations and celebrity culture. | 02/09/09 13:10:55 By - The (Tacoma) News Tribune

Commentary: Rep. Faircough - thought police

Eagle River Rep. Anna Fairclough is out of line pressuring the university to turn out pro-development students. It is not a legislator's job to browbeat citizens into conforming to her views. Legislators are supposed to be representatives of the people. We are a representative democracy, not a legislative autocracy. | 02/09/09 10:10:24 By -

Commentary: Alaska needs a new crime lab

Alaska's current crime lab is old, outdated and without the proper equipment to do toxicology tests. A new crime lab would be a shovel-ready project that Alaska urgently needs. | 02/09/09 08:35:30 By - The Anchorage Daily News

Commentary: Changing DC won't come easy for Obama

"I screwed up." – President Barack Obama, Feb. 3, 2009

Wait a minute. He said that? There were cameras and microphones? Somebody caught it on tape?

Presidents don't say that. Bill Clinton never said that. George W. Bush would have cut off his tongue with rusty gardening shears before he said that. But you're telling me Barack Obama actually said it? These are the words that came out of his mouth in a series of interviews with network news anchors? | 02/09/09 11:14:38 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Iran must help find missing Florida man

In the nearly two years since Robert "Bob" Levinson of Coral Springs vanished during a trip to Iran in March 2007, the government of that country has done little to find out what happened to him. | 02/06/09 10:06:10 By - The Miami Herald

Commentary: CEO compensation an easy target

Restricting the pay of executives whose companies get federal bailout money, as President Obama announced Wednesday, is entirely appropriate. | 02/05/09 13:50:26 By - The Charlotte Observer

Commentary: Obama nominees showing little has changed

While some of President Obama's appointments are outstanding, others were either badly botched or reflect a half-hearted commitment to the change principle central to his ballot-box success last fall. | 02/04/09 07:31:17 By - The Charlotte Observer

Commentary: Credit card industry's abusive tactics must end

Near the end of 2008, the Federal Reserve Board adopted new rules that would end some of the worst abuses by credit-card issuers. These rules, 18 months in the making, would put an end to such practices as hiking interest rates on customers who have never made a late payment and kept their accounts current, as well as the practice of increasing interest rates on money already borrowed. Trouble is, the rules won't take effect until July of 2010. | 02/04/09 06:48:09 By - The Miami Herald

Commentary: Postal Service needs more options

The U.S. Postal Service has been on a cost-cutting mission since 2002, but it still ends up each fiscal year with a budget deficit. Given the current economic climate, the Post Office needs options – such as five-day delivery – to help it remain a viable service. | 02/03/09 14:42:41 By - The Miami Herald

Commentary: Should Obama dump Daschle?

Loyalty is good. But, the new president's lofty standards for appointees' ethics have already been dented by Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner's tax troubles. Should the Obama administration stand behind Tom Daschle, nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, given his tax and post-senate work issues? | 02/03/09 12:07:19 By - The (Raleigh) News & Observer

Commentary: Protecting our northern border

The Homeland Security Department, and its predecessor agencies, have always given the northern border too little attention. Janet Napolitano, the new secretary of Homeland Security, has asked for a review to see how the operations work and if the border is secure enough. We are glad the agency is finally taking our nation's northern border seriously. | 02/03/09 11:28:14 By - The Bellingham Herald

Commentary: Better plans for Afghanistan

President Barack Obama's administration has promised a more effective strategy in Afghanistan. It can't come too soon. The latest round in longstanding turmoil there has lingered since 2001 and intensified last year, when 151 U.S. troops died in the fighting. That was the most since the Bush administration efficiently ousted the Taliban regime that had sheltered Osama bin Laden. | 02/03/09 10:45:07 By - The (Raleigh) News & Observer

Commentary: Some Dems up in arms over Gillibrand

New York Gov. David Paterson's choice to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat with U.S. Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand has triggered some fascinating intra-party target practice. | 02/02/09 13:31:23 By - J.R. Labbe

Commentary: Cap on gas prices a bad move

Alaska's Bush region has a real problem; but a program to ensure a $3 cap on the price of gas is the wrong solution. | 02/02/09 11:41:47 By - The Anchorage Daily News

Commentary: Sticking to partisan ideology won't help

The last thing we need is more rhetoric and ideology from our representatives in Washington. We've been feasting on such things for years. Look where that's gotten us. | 01/30/09 14:06:25 By - Issac Bailey

Commentary: Bank robbers in Oxxford suits and Mercedes limos

This is a story of the greatest bank robbery in the history of the world, a tale that would have the James gang and John Dillinger and Willie Sutton green with envy. This is the story of a reverse bank robbery, a tale of how the banks looted the national treasury and robbed the American taxpayer and corporate stockholders of billions, if not trillions, of dollars. | 01/29/09 07:46:22 By - Joseph L. Galloway

Commentary: Pay bias rule is finally fixed

Congress righted a wrong this week. Members approved the Lilly Ledbetter bill, which makes it easier for U.S. workers to win pay-discrimination lawsuits, fixing a flawed 2007 Supreme Court ruling upholding an unreasonable deadline for filing a grievance. | 01/29/09 16:31:06 By - The Charlotte Observer

Commentary: If I lived in the White House

Aside from all the paperwork, politics and personal sacrifice involved with leading the country, living in the White House would be pretty cool. | 01/29/09 14:23:36 By - Mary Lou Aguirre

Commentary: Obama must get serious about transparency

If President Barack Obama is serious about greater transparency in his administration, then he needs to change current practices in press briefings. | 01/28/09 15:25:40 By -

Commentary: Here's hoping Obama's right-wing critics fail

"I hope he fails." – Limbaugh

Do you ever say that about your president if you are an American who loves your country? Would you say it about George W. Bush, who was disastrous; about Bill Clinton, who was slimy; about Jimmy Carter, who was inept; about Richard Nixon, who was crooked? You may think he's going to fail, yes. You may warn he's going to fail, yes.

But do you ever hope he fails? Knowing his failure is the country's failure? Isn't that, well . . . disloyal? | 01/28/09 13:44:06 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Finally, movement on mileage

After less than a week in office, President Barack Obama has moved aggressively to wipe away one of the most noxious anti-environmental policies of the Bush administration. On Monday, the president ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to re-examine whether California and 13 other states should be allowed to impose tougher auto emission standards to combat global warming. | 01/27/09 14:20:36 By - The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Obama faces high tide of expectations

The new president will be tested now. And, as he promised, so will we. But the large challenge before us has been clearly and fairly stated, and thus the difficult journey is well begun. | 01/27/09 06:38:10 By - C.W. Gusewelle

Commentary: Yow was an inspiration for all

Long-time North Carolina State University Women's Basketball Coach Kay Yow spent years at her profession's pinnacle; however, her personal fight against cancer was inspiring. | 01/26/09 14:14:11 By - The (Raleigh) News & Observer

Commentary: 'Che' paints incomplete picture of Guevara

Another movie romanticizing Ernesto "Che" Guevara comes to Miami. Cuban exiles are appalled. Most everybody else shrugs and says, "Get over it." We would if only someone in Hollywood would do an accurate portrayal of the homophobic, racist Butcher of La Cabana. | 01/26/09 06:08:30 By - Myriam Marquez

Commentary: Nation gets something completely different

Perhaps it would be a bit much to quote from the Book of Revelation: "Behold, I make all things new." How about Monty Python? "And Now For Something Completely Different...." For that is what we're getting with President Barack Obama. | 01/21/09 13:22:39 By - Brad Warthen

Commentary: Bush's policies hurt our nation

George W. Bush was not directly responsible for the defining event of his presidency, a savage attack against this country on its own soil. He is not entirely to blame, either, for the financial meltdown that has snatched jobs, savings and economic security. Yet he will have to answer to history for choosing, in fearful and exceptional times, the vanguards of swagger, secrecy and disrespect for both the Constitution and human rights | 01/21/09 13:24:50 By - The Charlotte Observer

Commentary: Obama's speech put nation on correct path

President Barack Obama's inaugural speech didn't offer the most stirring rhetoric and his delivery was more somber than inspiring, but he did what a leader must do – point the country in the right direction. He made clear we're going to get to work fixing the economy. Not just by dumping money out of the government treasury but with investments that pay long-term dividends. | 01/21/09 09:06:20 By - The Anchorage Daily News

Commentary: A new day in America

A new president comes to office with high hopes, and the confidence of the people, despite sobering challenges ahead. | 01/21/09 08:52:04 By - The (Raleigh) News & Observer

Commentary: President Barack Obama's mentor reflects

As I sat on the mall in Washington, D.C., and saw Michelle Obama holding the same Bible that President Abraham Lincoln used during his swearing-in ceremony and listen to Barack Obama accept this new challenge in his life, I view it as a fitting tribute to one of my great students and a remarkable public servant. | 01/20/09 20:05:16 By - Charles J. Ogletree, Jr.

Commentary: Living Dr. King's dream

The marking of another Martin Luther King Jr. Day comes within the context of a historic, and relevant, event. How fitting it is that at the other end of that same mall in the nation's capital where in 1963 King's "I have a dream" speech electrified the nation, Barack Obama will take the oath as president. And it will come tomorrow, the very day after the annual holiday that honors King. | 01/19/09 14:03:39 By - The (Raleigh) News & Observer

Commentary: What should follow closure of Guantanamo?

When President-elect Barack Obama is sworn in on Tuesday, he will face the daunting task of meeting the high expectations of an America hungry for wholesale change and yearning to recover from an eight-year assault on its treasured constitutional values by the administration of George W. Bush.

Nothing is more emblematic of that assault than the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and its shameful military commissions. It is there that due process has been suspended, the Constitution has been disregarded, and our commitment to human rights has been stained by torture. | 01/19/09 07:05:59 By - Anthony D. Romero

Commentary: A new tradition of volunteerism

On this Martin Luther King Day Jr., the day before he is sworn in as president of the United States, Barack Obama, his wife and daughters will volunteer somewhere in the Washington, D.C. area. The president-elect is urging others to follow his lead. | 01/19/09 10:26:11 By - The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King

It did not seem possible 40 years ago, when Dr. Martin Luther King was shot and killed, that a day would be set aside for all Americans to honor his memory. Yet today people all across our country, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, take a break from their labors in tribute to Dr. King's contributions to this country and the world. | 01/19/09 09:35:03 By - The Miami Herald

Commentary: Creating jobs isn't easy

President George W. Bush won approval of tax cuts he wanted, but the Republican theory that strong job growth would follow never panned out. No one can accuse him of leaving Americans to face another prolonged ordeal of "coasting through prosperity." | 01/17/09 08:12:05 By - Jack Z. Smith

Commentary: Loss of reporters should be mourned

Journalists and many other Americans mourn the loss of a major newspaper. But newspapers are commercial enterprises, and enterprises do fail in a free economy. What ought to worry people – for the sake of democracy, not newspaper owners – is a net loss of reporting. | 01/16/09 14:03:51 By - The (Tacoma) News Tribune

Commentary: Continuing scandals at Justice Department

Even as the Bush administration fades into the sunset, the evidence of wrongdoing at the Department of Justice continues to pile up. The latest report comes from Justice's own inspector general and Office of Professional Responsibility, who found that a former acting chief of the Civil Rights Division considered political affiliations in hiring and personnel actions. | 01/15/09 11:18:56 By - The Miami Herald

Commentary: Better oversight needed for bailout

In a scathing report last week, a panel overseeing the bailout said the Bush administration is apparently not keeping track of how all of the money is spent. This is unacceptable. | 01/14/09 13:25:11 By - The Miami Herald

Commentary: Union leader has personal stake in Prop 8 fight

The fight over gay marriage in California is growing like a movement or a cancer, depending on your perspective. For Sacramento Central Labor Council Executive Secretary Bill Camp, who has a gay son who married over the summer, it's personal. | 01/14/09 11:54:30 By - Marcos Breton

Commentary: Obama must bring fiscal sobriety back to D.C.

Once an economic stimulus plan has helped jump-start the stalled U.S. economy, Barack Obama and Congress must end Uncle Sam's extended bender and return fiscal sobriety to Washington. | 01/13/09 11:27:06 By - Jack Z. Smith

Commentary: Filling Fourth Circuit court vacancy in N.C.

In the summer of 1994, J. Dickson Phillips, a highly-respected North Carolina judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, assumed senior status, a form of semi-retirement. No one has been named to replace him. | 01/12/09 09:34:11 By - Carl Tobias

Commentary: A good question for Mr. Bush

The year 2008 ended dismally enough without a parting apologia from the Bushes.

In recent days, besides fretting over where their retirement funds may have flown or when the axe will fall on them at work, Americans have been subjected to our soon-to-be ex-president opining that perhaps his administration has not been as disastrous as most people think. | 01/12/09 12:58:30 By - Terry Plumb

Commentary: Madoff's bail should be revoked

Bernard Madoff, the alleged Ponzi scheme mastermind, appears to have violated his release terms last month by mailing an estimated $1 million worth of watches, jewelry and other items to family and friends. The conditions of his release bar him from disposing of any assets. | 01/08/09 11:47:49 By - The Miami Herald

Commentary: Barriers to same-sex marriage should come tumbling down

I don't want to have to win a popularity contest for my marriage any more — who else has to have their wedding plans approved by the electorate? I can no longer imagine any serious public policy reason why anyone is better off if I choose to spend my life with my partner but can't marry her. | 12/30/08 20:32:05 By - Allison Mendel

Commentary: Coal's costly spillover

It looks like a moonscape, dark gray and devastated. In the foreground, ruined houses stand or totter in a frozen river of coal ash; in the background loom the tall stacks of the Tennessee Valley Authority's Kingston Fossil Plant. | 12/30/08 19:43:42 By - The Raleigh News & Observer

Commentary: Journalism students still see possibilities

The world has bigger problems than the media's current miseries, so you may have missed these reports: Macmillan Publishing eliminating 64 jobs, New York magazine announcing its first layoffs, top-level execs getting the ax at CBS, a 10 percent staff reduction at the New York financial newsweekly The Deal, Crain Communications dumping 6 percent of its workforce, a pay freeze at The New York Times, eco-themed magazines succumbing to slumping advertising, National Public Radio laying off 64 staffers, Detroit's two dailies cutting home delivery to three days a week. | 12/26/08 07:50:57 By - Edward Wasserman

Commentary: Bailouts have nobody laughing

Nobody's laughing. Actually, that's not exactly right. Bank executives are laughing, all the way to the you-know-where. | 12/24/08 08:16:45 By - The (Raleigh) News & Observer

Commentary: A battle of merry vs. happy

Has the Triangle become the latest battleground in the "War on Christmas"?

That's one reading of UNC-Chapel Hill's ban on holiday displays at its two main libraries.

In a move that strikes many as grimly Dickensian, the twinkling trees that had long graced the Wilson and Davis libraries in December have become ghosts of Christmas past. | 12/24/08 08:01:24 By - J. Peder Zane

Commentary: Cheney shows little class in Biden jabs

After eight years of advocating surveillance of American citizens and expansion of all sorts of executive powers – along with pushing the war in Iraq, of course – why should Vice President Cheney turn the temperature to "moderate" all of a sudden? So there's no real surprise in what Cheney is saying as he rides the farewell commentary circuit. | 12/23/08 11:35:30 By - The (Raleigh) News & Observer

Commentary: Remember the empty chairs at holiday tables

Even in hard times, this is the holiday season and a time when thoughts turn to home and family and dinner tables covered with food and gaily wrapped presents and bright lights. Save a moment amid the celebrations to give thought to the hundreds of thousands of men and women in uniform in far-flung parts of this world who won't be sitting down to dinner with their families. | 12/23/08 16:26:00 By - Joseph L. Galloway

Commentary: Castro's prisons hold some real heroes

Raul Castro calls his offer to swap political dissidents held in Cuban prisons for Cuban spies held in this country a "gesture for a gesture." But this latest ploy is an attempt to manipulate the plight of Cuban dissidents. | 12/22/08 09:46:39 By - The Miami Herald

Commentary: Obama's infrastructure plan sounds promising

President-elect Barack Obama proposed to stimulate the economy, and address deferred needs across the country, with the biggest public works program since President Eisenhower launched our interstate highway system in the 1950s. While details have yet to emerge, we are encouraged that Mr. Obama seems to be on the right path. | 12/20/08 07:17:55 By - The State

Commentary: Duncan's experience useful in No Child Left Behind reauthorization

When the federal No Child Left Behind law comes up for reauthorization next year, Arne Duncan's track record should serve the nation well. | 12/19/08 09:13:26 By - Linda P. Campbell

Commentary: Obama not caught up in Blago saga

Barack Obama is trying to organize an administration to govern in a time of war and serious economic crisis, and at least a portion of his staff is having to stop everything and investigate, in detail, whether anyone on the team ever had anything to do with Gov. Rod Blagovejich. It's a waste of their time and ours. | 12/19/08 06:41:29 By - Brad Warthen

Commentary: Shoe throw said so much

When Muntadhar al Zeidi hurled his shoes at President George W. Bush during a Baghdad news conference, he helped the U.S. president make a point about Iraqi democracy. However, his actions also spoke to the price of that freedom. | 12/18/08 13:55:16 By - The Miami Herald

Commentary: A shoe full of insults

The Bush administration likes to point to statistical and symbolic measures of progress in Iraq, and this week it has a new one to tout – the Footwear-Flinging Index of Freedom. | 12/17/08 14:22:48 By - The (Raleigh) News & Observer

Commentary: A step forward in recognition of Armenian genocide

An encouraging small sign emerged this week in the decades-long Turkish denial of the Armenian genocide: A group of Turkish intellectuals published a letter of apology for the World War I-era massacres of Armenians in Turkey. | 12/17/08 11:14:47 By - The Fresno Bee

Commentary: California's GOP needs an update

It's no secret that in the past 30 years, Californians have become more tolerant of gay rights, as have millions of other Americans. But in California, according to data reported last Friday at a conference of pollsters by Mark DiCamillo of the Field Poll, the change of attitude was almost entirely among Democrats and independents. | 12/17/08 09:32:49 By - Peter Schrag

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