Opinion Columns

Commentary: Still waiting for the Obama 'gift' Mitt Romney mentioned

Every day for a week and a half I’ve been checking the mail and still it hasn’t arrived.

My gift, I mean. I was one of the 50 percent of American voters who chose Barack Obama in last week’s presidential election. So surely there’s a gift awaiting me. | 11/18/12 06:02:16 By - Barbara Shelly

Commentary: Retailers are ruining Thanksgiving

Call me old-fashioned, but the plan by major big-box retailers to open for business even earlier on Thanksgiving night just makes me sad. | 11/18/12 06:08:47 By - Foon Rhee

Commentary: Soul searching time for the GOP?

I believed the predictions that Mitt Romney would win big, especially after uber-guru Michael Barone opined that Romney might even take Pennsylvania. Romney did not take Pennsylvania. Nor did he take the essential swing states of Virginia, Florida and Ohio.

The autopsies will go on for some time, but what looms large for me is the issue of trust. | 11/18/12 06:33:16 By - E. Thomas McClanahan

Commentary: California's grand experiment in greenhouse gas regulation

It probably wasn't happenstance that California's historic – good or bad, it's historic – experiment in greenhouse gas regulation was delayed until after an election in which voters would be deciding on new taxes. | 11/17/12 06:51:31 By - Dan Walters

Commentary: Obama heads to Asia to 'rebalance'

Two days before President Obama was to fly to Asia on his first foreign trip since his re-election, his top security aide Thomas Donilon said that U.S. foreign security and economic policy was being “rebalanced” towards Asia. | 11/17/12 06:41:24 By - Ben Barber

Commentary: Some bipartisan ideas for success

The have-and-have-not divide in the U.S. will only increase unless citizens and government heed recommendations of a report and work together. | 11/17/12 06:03:42 By - Lewis W. Diuguid

Commentary: The next Bush generations jumps into political arena

The George P. Bush bandwagon is rolling.

But which direction, and how fast? | 11/17/12 06:08:44 By - Bud Kennedy

Commentary: Time to start 2016 election speculation

You and I are such different people. You are just glad the 2012 election is over. I am thrilled that 2016 already has begun.

Ready for this? Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a Republican, speaks in Iowa a week from tonight. And the first polls already are out: Hillary Clinton leads in Iowa 58 to 17 percent over Joe Biden. | 11/16/12 06:06:15 By - Steve Kraske

Commentary: 2012 elections show political reporters need to do better

There's a grand tradition in newspaper writing that we might call the "boy, was I stupid" column.

I was fully prepared to pen my version of that column after writing, on the very day of the first presidential debate, that the Barack Obama-Mitt Romney exchange would have very little impact on the eventual outcome of the race. | 11/15/12 06:07:50 By - Dave Helling

Commentary: Once again, American democracy passes the test

Voters had to wait in line too long in some places, the election cost way too much money. The entire process of choosing a candidate takes far too much time, and the system is a crazy patchwork of different rules. And yet, American democracy passed a crucial test in this election. It worked. | 11/15/12 06:06:17 By - Frida Ghitis

Commentary: For our durable republic's sake, put down the Kool-Aid

Judging from the rabid, shrill, apocalyptic mouth foam seeping through my email filters, some of us (most of us, the numbers say) need to be rudely slapped out of our delusion that this is America in 2012. | 11/15/12 06:06:01 By - Dusty Nix

Commentary: In Texas, secession talk is no joke

I'd like to laugh about the idea of Texas secession.

But here in Tarrant County, where Ron Paul Republicans and the Tea Party have taken control, the talk is very serious. | 11/14/12 12:30:55 By - Bud Kennedy

Commentary: Obama's Latin America policy needs tweaking

The guessing game about President Barack Obama’s second-term cabinet has already started, and one of the biggest questions is who will replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and how that will affect U.S. foreign policy. | 11/14/12 06:05:18 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: GOP must rethink its relationship with Latinos

Memo to the GOP: Be nice to Latinos.We come in peace.

The fastest growing demographic in the United States handed Mitt Romney the defeat he requested. Gracias, de nada. | 11/14/12 06:04:14 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: Elections are over and now I'm bored

OK, what do we do now? Just about everyone, it seems, is happy that the election season is over. People are breathing a collective sigh of relief that a campaign that lasted nearly as long as the Crusades finally has come to a close. | 11/13/12 06:05:17 By - James Werrell

Commentary: Politician wants Texas to secede because 'maggots' re-elected Obama

Texas Republicans are already using the s-word.

One party official from Southeast Texas calls for -- not secession -- separation. | 11/12/12 06:03:42 By - Bud Kennedy

Commentary: Time for GOP to adjust to our changing nation

I once said that the Republican Party should join forces with the NAACP. A marriage between the group whose image is about crime-fighting and a group fighting the effects of crime is a natural one. | 11/12/12 06:17:15 By - Issac J. Bailey

Commentary: Cuban American support for Obama shouldn't be surprising

When I saw the magic number Wednesday morning — a stunning 47 percent — it was not as big a surprise to me. | 11/12/12 06:05:22 By - Fabiola Santiago

Commentary: For Latinos, 2012 election was a turning point

President Barack Obama’s reelection was a huge victory for Latino voters, one that will transform U.S. presidential elections for the foreseeable future. | 11/11/12 06:02:25 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: Political campaigns are bad for good government

Call this one: Why modern political campaigns are bad for good government. | 11/11/12 06:03:32 By - Peter Callaghan

Commentary: Women voters reject extremism and re-elect McCaskill

The conventional wisdom holds that Todd Akin lost his chance to become a U.S. senator on Aug. 19, the Sunday his “legitimate rape” remark went viral. | 11/10/12 06:17:55 By - Barbara Shelly

Commentary: Will the 'many' ever become 'one' America again?

If you have a dollar bill handy, take it out and look at the back of it.

While I'm sure you've noticed the images there before, I'd like you to study them a little more carefully today, particularly focusing on the right side of the currency. There you will see the front side of the Great Seal of the United States of America (the seal's reverse side is to the left). | 11/10/12 06:04:45 By - Bob Ray Sanders

Commentary: Israeli Shalom Cohen served in diplomatic shadows in Cairo, Tunis

If Daniel showed courage living in a lion’s den, the Shalom Cohen showed even more courage – he worked beneath a blue and white flag emblazoned with the Star of David as Israel’s first ambassador to Tunisia and then as ambassador to Egypt. | 11/10/12 06:22:22 By - Ben Barber

Commentary: Hispanics may help Texas GOP

Texas Democrats are in trouble, and more than they ever imagined.

Not only did their candidates take a shellacking Tuesday, but they also lost the chance to say, "Wait 'til next generation." | 11/09/12 06:01:29 By - Bud Kennedy

Commentary: It's a Citizens United world

A California Common Cause leader convened a press conference and demanded answers: "Why are they trying to hide where their money comes from?" The good government advocate went on to accuse Kansas oil billionaires Charles and David Koch of being the source of secretive donations in a highly charged California initiative. | 11/09/12 06:02:44 By - Dan Morain

Commentary: Beirut's rebirth marred by violence

In early September 1970, just as I was preparing to leave from Washington on a three-month reporting trip to the Middle East, Palestinian militants flew three hijacked airliners to a desert air strip in Jordan, blew up the planes and held some of the passengers as hostages. | 11/08/12 06:07:03 By - C.W. Gusewelle

Commentary: The election is over but we remain

While people throughout the Grand Strand and the nation were engrossed in voting and election coverage Tuesday, a man was walking on Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach near 11th Avenue North. | 11/08/12 06:11:29 By - Issac J. Bailey

Commentary: GOP must drop its myths about Obama supporters

Last night on Fox News, talk show host Bill O'Reilly said this: "Obama wins because it's not a traditional America anymore. The white establishment is the minority. People want things."

I would say this more forcefully in a different setting, but that view is simply wrong - and harmful to the long-term viability of the Republican Party. | 11/07/12 13:55:47 By - Issac J. Bailey

Commentary: Best way to help Sandy victims is cash, donating blood

Barry Porter doesn’t want you to take this the wrong way, but you can keep your canned corn, blankets and gently worn clothes.

He wants your money. | 11/07/12 06:04:40 By - Barry Saunders

Commentary: Time to drop the exit polls

Next up: exit polls.

OK, we’re all tired. We’ve overdosed on the Real Clear Politics average. Mason-Dixon is more than a line on the map. Ipsos, PPP, Gallup — everybody’s gone survey. Survey USA. | 11/06/12 12:49:18 By - Dave Helling

Commentary: The mythical American past won't die

Well, I sure got that one wrong.

Four years ago, on the eve of the last presidential election, I wrote in this space of how the country has spent much of the last three decades “re-litigating” the 1960s, arguing over the changes wrought in that decade. As far as social justice is concerned, of course, the 1960s stand second only to the 1860s as the most profoundly transformative decade in American history. It was in those years that black folks came off the back of the bus, women came out of the kitchen, Hispanics came off the margins and gay people first peeked beyond the closet. | 11/06/12 06:08:08 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Here's why Latinos will vote for Obama

It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that the latest polls show that a whopping 70 percent of Latino likely voters support President Barack Obama, while only 25 percent support Gov. Mitt Romney. There are 10 major reasons why it’s very hard for Hispanics to vote for Romney. | 11/06/12 06:14:07 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: A reason to celebrate political ads

Wasn’t that just about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, little Abigael Evans sobbing because she, as we have, has been pummeled by nasty campaign ads | 11/05/12 12:37:28 By - Barry Saunders

Commentary: My quest to see if Siri is good for mankind

I decided to leap frog over the 20th century and go directly to the 21st. I bought an iPhone 5. | 11/05/12 06:11:40 By - James Werrell

Commentary: How I'd survive a Romney presidency

It is Wednesday, Nov. 7, and Mitt Romney is president-elect of the United States.

Morning in America? Not for me. | 11/05/12 06:09:21 By - Barbara Shelly

Commentary: A vote not wasted at all

In later years, people asked him: Why, with the Vietnam issue at the centerpiece of the 1972 campaign for president, did you not talk about the fact that you had flown a bomber in World War II and won the Distinguished Flying Cross? George McGovern never fully answered the question, but it seemed to be that like many World War II veterans, he didn’t talk much about his service because he feared it might be bragging, when in fact he thought he was just doing his duty. | 11/04/12 06:04:43 By - Jim Jenkins

Commentary: Election coverage focused too much on gaffe, not on issues

Missouri’s sad descent into presidential-election irrelevancy has at least one side benefit: We’ve been spared the deluge of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney political ads polluting the evening news. | 11/04/12 06:07:04 By - Dave Helling

Commentary: President Obama is still a symbol of hope, agent of change

Four years ago, the day after Barack Obama was elected America's first black president while trumpeting a message of hope and change, I wrote a column recounting dark days in this country. | 11/03/12 06:04:22 By - Bob Ray Sanders

Commentary: Too many acts of inhumanity committed in the name of religion

Islamic zealots are on perpetual alert for any act or expression they perceive as disrespectful of their prophet or their faith. | 11/03/12 06:01:37 By - C.W. Gusewelle

Commentary: Obama campaign's happy photos and hollow promises

The striking thing about this campaign is that the guy who looks and behaves like the challenger is the incumbent — President Barack Obama. | 11/03/12 06:13:09 By - E. Thomas McClanahan

Commentary: Some food for thought for voters

The presidential candidate voters judge to have the best solutions for the economy will almost certainly win next week.

But when it comes to the economy, we’re like auto mechanics puzzled by an old, balky engine. And voters — as well as the candidates — are fixated on that old engine. | 11/02/12 06:07:10 By - Keith Chrostowski

Commentary: Rep. Allen West attempts a makeover

After less than two years in Congress, Rep. Allen West has raised $15 million to get himself re-elected. That’s a mountain of money, but you’d need every dime if your job was to make West look like a calm, responsible person. | 11/02/12 06:07:21 By - Carl Hiaasen

Fresno Bee endorsement: Barack Obama

We certainly understand voters' desire for change in our national government. President Barack Obama has largely failed to achieve the hope and positive change that he promised in 2008. We've had an extremely bumpy road for the past four years -- not all of it is of the president's making. | 11/01/12 12:44:59 By -

Rock Hill Herald endorsement: Barack Obama

The next four years will be fraught with formidable challenges for the nation but also rife with opportunities. That will be the case whether incumbent Barack Obama or former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is elected president. | 11/01/12 12:15:03 By -

Commentary: Rallying the R's as electoral strategy

Long before Mitt Romney, and not just for the sake of alliteration, the Republican Party could have been described as the party of the "r's." That's because its base, the core constituencies it has to energize to win elections, all begin with "r." For a long time there were five, but they recently added a sixth. | 11/01/12 06:04:04 By - Dennis Jett

Commentary: Hispanic voter turnout will be key to election

President Barack Obama may be wrong on many issues, but he is right on this one: he may win the election because Republicans have totally alienated Hispanic voters. | 11/01/12 06:08:40 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: Do we really want a bully for president?

For many years, I have railed against the never-ending state of American presidential politics and the damage it does to our form of government. But this year, I am rethinking that. | 11/01/12 06:04:29 By - Bob Cuddy

Commentary: Does the US need to increase defense spending?

THE ISSUE: Monday's presidential debate revealed that President Obama and Gov. Romney fundamentally disagree on levels of U.S. defense spending. Romney has pledged to peg the base budget (not counting war funding) "at a floor of 4 percent of GDP." Should the United States increase defense spending? | 10/31/12 06:09:00 By - Pia Lopez and Ben Boychuk

Tri-City Herald endorsement: Mitt Romney

President Obama inherited a failing economy, and for the past two years he has been saddled with a reluctant Congress. | 10/30/12 12:52:42 By -

Commentary: Romney shows some focus on Latin America

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's peace-through-strength foreign policy would most likely be a throwback to President George W. Bush's cowboy diplomacy, but we have to give him credit for one thing: he is focusing on Latin America as a land of opportunities. | 10/30/12 06:05:28 By -

Commentary: The woes of an undecided voter

I'm Peter. And I'm an undecided voter.

Sure, it was fun for awhile. Everyone wanted to talk to me, to court me. It was one big political party, and I was the guest of honor. | 10/30/12 06:14:41 By - Peter Callaghan

The News Tribune endorsement: Barack Obama

Is the country better off than it was four years ago? We believe the answer is yes and that Barack Obama deserves re-election. | 10/29/12 14:48:37 By -

Lexington Herald-Leader: Barack Obama

Politicians say what they think voters want to hear. Still, it's disappointing that neither candidate for president is preparing Americans for hard choices ahead. | 10/29/12 12:41:55 By -

News & Observer endorsement: Barack Obama

Ever since he electrified the 2004 Democratic National Convention with a keynote speech, Barack Obama of Chicago had been marked as a man who might be destined for the White House. Destiny was fulfilled sooner than expected. The then-Illinois senator, a first-termer, was introduced to the next convention four years later as the nominee after a brutal series of primaries that saw him overcome candidates that included Hillary Clinton, the accomplished first lady who now is his secretary of state. | 10/29/12 11:06:49 By -

Commentary: Time to fill judicial vacancies in California's Eastern District

On Wednesday, Eastern District of California Judge Anthony Ishii will assume senior status after 15 years of valuable service. This means that the Eastern District will experience two openings in six judgeships. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has designated both as emergencies because of the substantial caseloads that the district’s judges carry. | 10/29/12 06:17:45 By - Carl Tobias

Commentary: Cuba policy was missing from presidential debates

Bayonets and battleships made appearances but, on the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, the final presidential debate — focused on foreign affairs — was notable for one missing hot topic: Cuba. | 10/29/12 06:12:13 By - Fabiola Santiago

Commentary: With a little luck...

Lives are shaped in great part by luck.

More than anything, I believe, they are influenced by the people one encounters at critical points in the journey. | 10/29/12 06:08:00 By - C.W. Gusewelle

Commentary: Dukakis recalls negative ads that blocked him from White House

As millions of dollars pour into negative TV ads in the final days of the 2012 presidential campaign, former Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis recalled how his hopes for the White House in 1988 were destroyed by negative ads linking him to rapist and murderer Willie Horton. | 10/28/12 06:06:18 By - Ben Barber

Commentar: FDR, Social Security and the U.N.

The year after witnessing the opening of his masterpiece, the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, architect Louis Kahn took on a project in New York City. | 10/28/12 06:02:23 By - Bob Ray Sanders

Commentary: How George McGovern shaped Obama’s Democratic Party

When President Obama praised George McGovern, the 1972 Democratic presidential nominee who died Sunday, as “a statesman of great conscience and conviction,” I’m sure he was doing more than paying lip service to a party colleague whose political career effectively ended when the president was still in grade school. McGovern, more than anyone else, is responsible for shaping the Democratic Party that Obama leads. | 10/28/12 06:38:26 By - Glenn Garvin

Commentary: A sign of the times

I woke up one recent morning to Romney-Ryan signs propped on my neighbors’ lawns.

No surprise there. Many are Republicans, and although I’m not a fan of Romney and my vote is for the sitting president, I was thrilled by the voter spirit. | 10/27/12 06:04:41 By - Fabiola Santiago

Commentary: Disney's newest princess and the meaning of 'ethnic enough'

Another day, another Disney princess.

At first glance, Sofia looks like every other Disney leading lady — small lips, button nose, big doe eyes. But she’s different. She’s Disney’s first little girl princess, tailor made for the 2- to 7-year-old set. More than that, she’s the first Latina to join the clique. | 10/27/12 06:37:38 By - Jenee Osterheldt

Presidential endorsements from McClatchy's newspapers

Endorsements for president from newspaper editorial boards around McClatchy. | 10/26/12 11:58:41 By -

Commentary: The nonexistent problem of voter fraud

It seems not a day goes by that I don’t marvel at the good fortune we have to live in the state of California.

My latest cause for celebration came upon reading a front-page story detailing how our state has become a national leader in improving voter rights and access — at the very same time all sorts of nasty winds are blowing in the opposite direction. | 10/26/12 06:08:24 By - Joe Tarica

Commentary: Rev. Billy Graham - the 'magnificent phony'

It’s comforting to know that some people and things never change.

Like the Rev. Billy Graham. | 10/26/12 06:08:53 By - Barry Saunders

Commentary: Romney's approach to China seems like overkill

In last week's debate, President Barack Obama turned to Republican Mitt Romney and said, "Governor, you're the last person who’s going to get tough on China."

I hope Obama is right. | 10/25/12 06:06:14 By - E. Thomas McClanahan

Commentary: Going door-to-door to get out the vote

Union workers on leave from jobs in Los Angeles and San Francisco showed up ready for duty at a messy office near the Reno airport, and started rhythmically clapping and chanting, "Sí, se puede." | 10/25/12 06:10:14 By - Dan Morain

Commentary: Love the debates, not the Super PACs

I like the campaign debates. I watched most of the Republican primary matchups, even after they got repetitive, and I find the current flight of televised faceoffs riveting. | 10/24/12 06:05:07 By - Edward Wasserman

Commentary: Health insurance and the savage doctrine of personal responsibility

It seems like poor form to spit on the graves of dead people, but such are the passions inspired by our health care debate.

Last week I wrote that, contrary to what Mitt Romney has said in his campaign, Americans do die for lack of health insurance. Every day, in fact. | 10/24/12 06:10:37 By - Barbara Shelly

Commentary: CEOs haven't been successful presidents

Mitt Romney’s victory over Barack Obama in their first debate has raised the temperature on another bubbling argument — over whether CEOs can be good presidents. | 10/23/12 06:02:13 By - Keith Chrostowski

Commentary: Twitter's debate coverage taught me everything I need to know in 2012

As the election nears and the volume of information increases, it seems we only have time for snippets of information, spin and opinions. | 10/23/12 06:10:14 By - Peter Callaghan

Commentary: Romney fails to make his case with women

Mitt Romney may be a perfect husband. He's clearly devoted to Ann Romney. Their storybook relationship began as blushing teenagers, and 43 years and five sons later, Mitt is still smitten with Ann. Lovely. | 10/23/12 06:02:42 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: Will Obama, Romney meet the Commander-in-Chief test?

Monday's presidential debate is a chance for the candidates to meet the commander-in-chief threshold and address foreign policy matters before an expected audience of more than 60 million viewers in advance of the Nov. 6 election. | 10/22/12 11:51:05 By - Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan

Commentary: Castro's latest political survival tactic

Once again, the Cuban government is vying to unleash another mass exodus on the United States. | 10/22/12 06:08:46 By - Fabiola Santiago

Commentary: Should Medicare be run like the airline industry?

One of the best laugh lines in any Republican’s stump speech is a claim that Obamacare brings the “efficiency of the Post Office and the charm of the IRS” to the nation’s health care system. | 10/22/12 06:01:03 By - Dave Helling

Commentary: The gymnastics of presidential debates

That binder full of (disaffected) women wouldn’t help my candidacy, of course. But mostly, I blame the debate process. I know now (sadly, because with that on my resume, it would have really helped my chances at getting on Survivor Season 26) that I can’t be president. | 10/21/12 06:22:31 By - Fred Grimm

Commentary: Voting is a constitutionally-protected right that doesn't require a photo ID

South Carolina’s voter ID law was upheld because top state officials promised a federal court that voters who couldn’t secure one of the 5 types of photo ID wouldn’t have to get them after all. | 10/21/12 06:18:04 By - Issac J. Bailey

Commentary: I'm tired of this superficial election cycle

I wish this election cycle would hurry up and die.

And I’m not even in a swing state that is being inundated with endless political ads I’d rather not see.

I’m tired of the obsessive arguing. | 10/20/12 06:14:39 By - Issac J. Bailey

Commentary: 'Obamacare' is still a fiscal mess

Soon after the Supreme Court upheld the bulk of Obamacare, the Congressional Budget Office came out with a new estimate for its cost. No surprise: As before, CBO said it would reduce, not raise, the federal deficit. This put a warm glow in the heart of every Democrat and Obamacare supporter. | 10/20/12 06:04:44 By - E. Thomas McClanahan

Commentary: The two faces of Lance Armstrong

Eighty million yellow wristbands worn as symbols of hope now represent duplicity.

Seven yellow jerseys worn as mantles of a champion now represent fraud. | 10/19/12 06:07:17 By - Linda Robertson

Commentary: In gun rights battle, freedom also has restrictions

Some Kansas cities and the Libertarian Party are locked in a dispute, as you may know, over whether cities can legally prohibit people from openly carrying loaded weapons in public places. The party says an open-carry ban would violate both the U.S. and Kansas constitutions and state law. | 10/19/12 06:01:14 By - Dave Helling

Commentary: Malala's heroic stand against the Taliban

Malala. The name itself is lyrical.

It falls from the tongue with a soothing cadence, despite the grim circumstances under which the world met 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai. | 10/18/12 06:06:48 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: Climate change means conservation ethics must change

For decades environmentalists have been guided in their work by what became known as the “precautionary principle.” This decision-making guide was first put forward in environmental terms by pioneering naturalist and biologist Aldo Leopold in his landmark 1940s essay “Round River.” | 10/18/12 06:06:38 By - Rocky Barker

Commentary: Absentee ballots matter more than the political polls

As the public focuses on political polls, the campaigns in the nation’s biggest battleground state are concentrating on a more-important set of figures: Absentee-ballot votes. | 10/17/12 06:00:20 By - Marc Caputo

Commentary: The battle at the fiscal cliff's edge

What’s it like to stand on the edge of the fiscal cliff?

Look around. You’re on it. | 10/17/12 06:08:04 By - Steve Kraske

Commentary: 'Malarkey' and other VP debate musings

The vice presidential candidates came to Kentucky for one of the most substantive debates in years — a clear, energetic argument over policy differences that left their bosses' recent performance in the dust. | 10/16/12 06:10:14 By - Tom Eblen

Commentary: Let’s declare a National Political Truce Day

Here’s a truth that many people on both sides of the political aisle will want to deny, whether they are in Washington gearing up for the presidential election or closer to home in places such as the newly-created 7th Congressional District:

No matter who wins in November, the United States of America will not crumble. | 10/15/12 06:03:14 By - Issac J. Bailey

Commentary: The plight of an undecided voter

Even close friends have a hard time understanding that I don’t like to talk about federal politics in general and presidential politics in particular, because I don’t have the expertise I need to feel comfortable expressing more than the most general of opinions. So it was with some relief that, barely more than a month out from what partisans are ridiculously calling the most important presidential election in our lifetime, I made it through a week abroad with 11 rather partisanly conservative friends without getting dragged into such a conversation. | 10/15/12 06:05:12 By - Cindi Ross Scoppe

Commentary: Mr. Romney, people die because they lack health insurance

Poor Mitt Romney. In trying to be all things to all people on health care, he’s found himself stuck in a time warp. | 10/14/12 06:26:02 By - Barbara Shelly

Commentary: What's an election season without a candidate trying to match message to hit music?

Since I was an elementary school kid listening to a Top 40 station on my parents' AM radio, I have been a fan of Fleetwood Mac. Spin Gold Dust Woman and I am ready to hear the album Rumours. | 10/14/12 06:07:49 By - Rich Copley

Commentary: We can disagree without being enemies

It's natural for President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to fiercely compete for the highest office in the land, but the day they become enemies who work at cross purposes and choose to do anything to win the presidency, losing sight of the America we pledge to be “one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” we’re in trouble — all of us. | 10/14/12 06:17:26 By - Warren Bolton

Commentary: Timeshare mogul David Siegel tells employees who to vote for

David Siegel, Florida’s unloved icon of wretched excess, would seem to make it easy for writers of satirical columns. He writes his own stuff.

Siegel, the Orlando timeshare mogul, just fired off an email to his 7,000 employees telling them who should get their vote, the Orlando Sentinel reported Wednesday. Because if Obama wins, they can kiss their jobs goodbye. | 10/13/12 06:08:24 By - Fred Grimm

Commentary: Romney still has a tough sell on Medicare

Republican Mitt Romney gave himself a tremendous boost in last week’s debate. He achieved his main goal — presenting himself as a reasonable alternative to the incumbent. Now he must convince a majority of voters it’s time to fire President Barack Obama. | 10/13/12 06:27:00 By - E. Thomas McClanahan

Commentary: Don't know much about history

Mitt Romney says 47 percent of Americans are dependent on the federal government. A story in The Herald last week says that 47 percent of South Carolina high school and middle schools failed an exam on U.S. history and the Constitution. | 10/13/12 06:07:33 By - Terry Plumb

Commentary: Cuts to PBS won't help US financial issues

During the Oct. 3 presidential debate, moderated by Jim Lehrer of the Public Broadcasting Service, Republican nominee Mitt Romney was pressed to say what budget cuts he would make to reduce the federal deficit. | 10/12/12 06:09:19 By - Bob Ray Sanders

Commentary: Maybe Arkansas politicians shouldn't write books

Apparently the talk of "legitimate rape" or the U.N. invading Texas was only the beginning.

Nothing in Missouri or Lubbock this campaign can top two candidates from the lofty altitudes of northern Arkansas. | 10/12/12 06:10:02 By - Bud Kennedy

Commentary: Maybe Count von Count is needed on Capitol Hill

The presidential campaign’s stalking horse is big, yellow and not much of a horse at all.

It’s Big Bird, the Sesame Street character. | 10/12/12 06:11:46 By - Marc Caputo

Commentary: Romney skips as he moves to the center

After Mitt Romney’s masterful debate performance in Colorado, my blue Democratic friends are feeling, well, blue. And a bit red in the face, too, angry and wondering why President Obama didn’t bring up the 47 percent. | 10/11/12 06:05:38 By - Myriam Marquez

Commentary: All eyes will be on Biden in VP debate

Who could have guessed that President Barack Obama would suddenly be depending on Vice President Joe Biden's communications skills to get his re-election campaign back on track? That's right, the same Joe Biden who has an uncanny ability to say the wrong thing in the wrong place at the wrong time. | 10/11/12 06:01:12 By - Tom Eblen

Commentary: Time to fill Florida's Federal District court openings

The federal judiciary still experiences 78 openings in the 858 appeals and district court judgeships, four of which are in Florida. These vacancies, that comprise nearly nine percent of the seats nationwide and even more in Florida, undermine expeditious, inexpensive and fair case resolution. Accordingly, President Barack Obama must promptly nominate, and the Senate should quickly approve, lower court nominees, so that the judiciary can deliver justice. | 10/10/12 13:29:18 By - Carl Tobias

Commentary: Mitt Romney's fact-free foreign policy

Fact checking the things that Mitt Romney says is like shooting at an elephant with a shotgun from a distance of five feet. The target is too big to miss, but hitting it also won't slow it down. | 10/10/12 06:01:48 By - Dennis Jett

Commentary: As political ad cash rolls in are TV 'watchdogs' being quiet?

News media that rely on ads have always had a problem covering their own advertisers. It’s rare to find a reporter who doesn’t have a story, sometimes well-founded, of an employer whose newsroom pulled its punches or looked the other way to avoid rattling the worthies who paid the bills. | 10/10/12 06:01:58 By - Edward Wasserman

Commentary: Great idea on sequestration from an unlikely source

To say I've never been a fan of Jack Kingston would be an understatement of epic proportions. The U.S. representative from Georgia's 1st Congressional District is one of the most familiar faces of the Republican Party's goofy fringe, that outer-orbit political asteroid belt from which Mitt Romney did a good job of distancing himself Wednesday night. | 10/10/12 06:04:16 By - Dusty Nix

Commentary: What happens in foreign policy after election ends?

Remember that awkward presidential open microphone incident? | 10/09/12 06:15:16 By - Frida Ghitis

Commentary: Getting the runaround in order to vote

A judge in Pennsylvania last week put a hold on the state’s new voter ID law. Citizens will not be required to produce government-issued photo identification in order to have their vote count on Nov. 6. That must be a disappointment to the Republican state legislative leader who had exulted upon the law’s passage that “this is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.” | 10/09/12 06:12:32 By - Barbara Shelly

Commentary: Ex-GAO head Walker wants straight talk from Romney, Obama

David Walker isn't running for president, but he's on a nationwide bus tour focused on what voters need to know -- and ask -- before Nov. 6.

Walker served as comptroller general and head of the Government Accountability Office under both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, from 1998 to 2008, and has been warning about the nation's fiscal irresponsibility for years. After leaving his federal post, Walker continued his assault on the federal debt and now leads an outfit called the Comeback America Initiative that's dedicated to nonpartisan solutions to problems that transcend political divisions. | 10/08/12 06:03:17 By - Linda P. Campbell

Commentary: As California governor, Schwarzenegger was all sizzle, no steak

I used to love Arnold Schwarzenegger's movies. I met the former governor of California at The Sacramento Bee, interviewed him, and he seemed a decent person. | 10/08/12 06:04:55 By - Marcos Breton

Commentary: Before saber rattling over Iran, think about high costs of war

Speaking to a men's breakfast club in downtown Fort Worth last week, I was challenged by one person to name some "positive things" that the president has done during his four years in office. Without hesitation, I began by saying, "He ended America's involvement in the Iraq war. If he didn't do anything else -- and, of course, he did -- that is an amazing accomplishment considering the great costs." | 10/07/12 06:21:55 By - Bob Ray Sanders

Commentary: How business leaders could help U.S. avoid fiscal cliff

If I were a businessman, I’d be selling defective parachutes to the politicians who are about to jump the country off the “fiscal cliff.” | 10/07/12 06:12:45 By - Keith Chrostowski

Commentary: President Obama must be sharper at next debates

I hope I end up feeling better after the next two presidential debates. I'm uncomfortable about the one Wednesday night in Denver. | 10/06/12 06:03:37 By - Mike Norman

Commentary: Self-driving cars - rise of the machines?

If they give him any thought at all, younger Americans probably view California Gov. Jerry Brown as just another boring, aging politician. Their parents remember him as Governor Moonbeam, a retread from the flower-power, free-love days of the 1960s. | 10/06/12 06:04:59 By - Terry Plumb

Commentary: Have the food police taken over?

When does a movement that once seemed reasonable begin to slip its moorings?

When first lady Michelle Obama began her anti-obesity campaign, I thought, Yeah, seems like a good idea. Get the kids outside and by all means, limit their intake of sugar water, er, soda. But worrisome signs were there from the beginning, evident in the campaign against cigarettes. | 10/06/12 06:26:06 By - E. Thomas McClanahan

Commentary: Bashar Assad's face belies his cruelty and cowardice

Hafez Assad, the previous president of Syria, was a tyrant whose clan favoritism fractured the country and deeply disaffected many of its people.

His son and successor, Bashar, is infinitely worse — the author of crimes against humanity whose savagery and scale almost defy belief. | 10/05/12 06:08:16 By - C.W. Gusewelle

Commentary: Are U.S. officials right to condemn and discourage an inflammatory film?

THE ISSUE: Demonstrations across the Muslim world – including a deadly attack last week on a U.S. Consulate in Libya – may have been triggered by a video called "Innocence of Muslims." U.S. officials condemned the video, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff went so far as to call Terry Jones, a Florida pastor known for his anti-Islamic views, to discourage him from promoting the film. | 10/04/12 06:11:00 By - Ben Boychuk and Pia Lopez

Commentary: Could Romney mount a Reagan-like comeback?

There was only one presidential debate in 1980 between challenger Ronald Reagan and President Jimmy Carter. Just two days before the Oct. 28 debate, Carter was eight points ahead in the Gallup poll. A week after the debate, he lost to Reagan by nearly 10 percentage points. | 10/04/12 06:06:47 By - Victor Davis Hanson

Commentary: GOP has added fuel to Todd Akin fire

This week demonstrated for all the world to see just how badly the Republican Party botched the Todd Akin controversy.

That’s “botched” as in “messed up,” “mishandled” and outright “bungled.” | 10/03/12 06:10:40 By - Steve Kraske

Commentary: Small donors coming up big for Obama

For a billionaire like Sheldon Adelson, who gives $5 million at a pop to super PACs, people like Shirley Peters, a retired child protective services worker living in Fresno, ought to be incredibly annoying. | 10/03/12 06:03:04 By - Dan Morain

Commentary: Billionaire Koch brothers try to buy Florida's courts

The new stealth campaign against three Florida Supreme Court justices is being backed by those meddling right-wing billionaires from Wichita, Charles and David Koch.

They couldn’t care less about Florida, but they love to throw their money around. | 10/03/12 06:04:07 By - Carl Hiaasen

Commentary: Feeling like Mitt on the freeway of life

Oh, those vulgar masses, creeping along I-95 in their funky Corollas and Civics and Chevys, trapped in the torpor of common folk traffic, while I zip along in the Lexus lane. | 10/02/12 06:08:53 By - Fred Grimm

Commentary: The 'beer test' is no way to pick a president

"Sigh! ... Sigh! ... Sigh!"

That's Al Gore in his first presidential debate with George W. Bush in 2000. The sighing, which the audience could easily hear, apparently was meant to convey a sort of mournful contempt on Gore's part: "Oh, George, your stupid answer to that question saddens me so." | 10/02/12 06:09:58 By - James Werrell

Commentary: Republicans are playing defense over voter registration fraud

President Barack Obama has received unexpected help from the unlikeliest of quarters: The Republican National Committee.Devoted to bashing Obama, the RNC gave the president’s reelection campaign a political contribution of sorts by insisting that state parties, such as Florida’s, hire a vendor that’s now under investigation for voter-registration fraud by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in as many as 10 counties involving at least 220 suspect forms. | 10/02/12 06:04:22 By - Marc Caputo

Commentary: No need to make Congress bigger

Members of Congress have packed their bags and headed home, taking another recess until after the November elections. On one hand, that's good because it means they can't do as much harm if they're not in session. However, they have left behind a lot of unfinished business, including addressing massive automatic spending cuts that could send the country into recession again. | 10/01/12 06:01:56 By - Bob Ray Sanders

Commentary: We are just like Middle East Muslims

If you want to know how peaceful protestors who took to the streets in the Middle East feel, imagine that a photo of a black Jesus was in your church. Or that “In God we trust” was removed from our coins. Or that “God” was omitted from the Pledge of Allegiance. | 09/30/12 06:04:17 By - Issac J.Bailey

Commentary: A 53-percenter's memo to Mitt Romney

Dear Former Governor Romney:

First, a confession: Once or twice during my 67 years, I suspect my family has fallen among 47 percent of Americans whom you so cavalierly dismissed in your infamous pep talk to millionaires in Boca Raton. | 09/30/12 06:01:11 By - Terry Plumb

Commentary: Remember what George W. Bush said about Islam?

Did you see what the president said about Islam?

"Islam is a faith that brings comfort to people." | 09/30/12 06:05:57 By - Bud Kennedy

Commentary: Ahmadinejad can't deny his own words on Israel

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad downplayed his previous statements that Israel should be “wiped off” the map during his visit to New York this week, but a quick look at Iran’s government media — including the Hispantv network geared to Latin American audiences — leaves little doubt about the true nature of the Iranian regime. | 09/29/12 06:05:28 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: Presidential elections polls make no sense

I’m overdosing on polls. One day you hear President Barack Obama is up by 5 over Republican Mitt Romney and the next day Romney is ahead by a point. None of it seems to make much sense. | 09/29/12 06:06:01 By - E. Thomas McClanahan

Commentary: Affordable health care should transcend politics

If ignorance is indeed bliss, some political operatives apparently live in a state of perpetual happiness. | 09/29/12 06:05:03 By - Barry Saunders

Commentary: Todd Akin is not a friend of women

Tick tock, tick tock.

Is that Todd Akin’s biological clock? | 09/28/12 06:03:33 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: Don't write Mitt Romney off just yet

It's over, right? Lots of analysts last week spent lots of time proclaiming that the presidential race was all but wrapped up and President Barack Obama had won a second term. | 09/27/12 06:00:05 By - Steve Kraske

Commentary: The media and Muslim riots

It's rare that a story so fully exemplifies the worst tendencies of the news media as the coverage of the protest in Muslim countries over a U.S.-made video ridiculing the founder of Islam. | 09/27/12 06:04:26 By - Edward Wasserman

Commentary: Is Grover Norquist's no-tax pledge losing its grip on GOP?

The question was simple enough. If California Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen could do it over again, would she have signed the pledge in which she promised to never vote to raise taxes? She paused and thought and finally said she didn't know. | 09/27/12 06:05:23 By - Dan Morain

Commentary: Kevin McClatchy hopes coming out will helps sports become more tolerant

Every time a public figure steps out of the closet to trade years of pain and loneliness for living openly as a gay person, there is a typical reaction from some. | 09/26/12 06:09:00 By - Marcos Breton

Commentary: Romney steers clear of 47% remark and iPhones

Mitt Romney returned to Florida last week, only this time his handlers cautioned donors not to make video recordings at private fund-raising events. In other words, take out your checkbook but pocket your iPhone. | 09/26/12 06:08:46 By - Carl Hiaasen

Commentary: Chuck Norris, wife bring the election season doom and gloom

Chuck Norris says that if this election doesn't go his way, America "may be lost forever." Wait a minute. Didn't he say that last election? | 09/25/12 06:14:32 By - Bud Kennedy

Commentary: Romney blew an opportunity with Latino voters

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had his best opportunity to reach out to Hispanics and increase his paltry 30 percent support among Latino voters last week when he appeared before a nationally broadcast Univision/Facebook forum in Miami. He blew it. | 09/24/12 12:21:45 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: GOP isn't helping Romney by using far-right talking points

If Barack Obama wins re-election he’ll have several thank-you notes to write.

He’ll want to drop Newt Gingrich a letter, thanking him for bringing up GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s work at Bain Capital, setting the stage for the Democrats’ attack on the issue. Ditto for Rick Santorum, who took health care reform off the table by highlighting Romney’s support for the individual mandate in Massachusetts. | 09/24/12 06:18:57 By - Dave Helling

Commentary: No need for elections when we have pollsters

The presidential election is officially set, the pollsters are working overtime, and the Middle East is in turmoil, again. Your unanswerable questions have again been posed, and our unfathomable answers have again been made up. | 09/24/12 06:07:19 By - Peter Callaghan

Commentary: Doesn't Romney want the 47% on his side?

If 47 percent of Americans really were freeloaders, the way Mitt Romney suggests, don't you think the federal government would be a lot more than $16 trillion in debt? | 09/23/12 06:01:49 By - Linda P. Campbell

Commentary: Who are those undecided voters?

Who are this year’s undecided voters and why haven’t they made up their minds yet?

Those were the questions I posed in last week’s highly unscientific exercise, and it seems the answers may be as simple as they seemed. | 09/23/12 06:21:56 By - Joe Tarica

Commentary: Personal bankruptcy and the sin of getting too sick

This weekend, a friend was mixing it up at a wedding shower, helping ease another woman’s path into that bedrock institution. The next day she was lying in a hospital bed at the Medical University of South Carolina, having suffered a brain aneurysm. | 09/22/12 06:03:15 By - Issac J. Bailey

Commentary: Maybe Mitt Romney should make voters worry

Why does Mitt Romney want to be president, given the disdain he showed for nearly half of all Americans during a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser?

Beats me. But just in case he wins, I want it to be known that I repaid the student loans I took out while attending the University of South Carolina. I wouldn’t want the president to think I’m one of those “victims” who simply want to mooch off the government. | 09/21/12 06:03:37 By - Warren Bolton

Commentary: Extremism rears its head in Arab Autumn

This Arab Autumn may be as instructive as the Arab Spring. On the 11th anniversary of 9/11, Americans got a reminder that terrorist acts by Islamic extremists against the U.S. aren’t in our rearview mirror. They’re just awaiting the right moment to take center stage again. | 09/21/12 06:01:46 By - Fannie Flono

Commentary: A wealthy addiction to wealth

After the Bush tax cuts created a tornadic updraft of greater wealth to people at the top of America’s income ladder, a friend offered an observation.

Having grown up in a wealthy family, he said people who are already rich can never get enough money. They become slaves to the need to keep what they’ve got while striving to acquire more. It sounded as if he was talking about most people’s idea of the American dream, but he didn’t say it in an endearing way. | 09/21/12 06:01:29 By - Lewis W. Diuguid

Commentary: Where is the youth vote?

The headline was true enough, though it was politically incorrect by today's standards: "Pretty Teen Coed Is First Vote Caster."

This newspaper detailed how Joanne Durbin, that "pretty blonde college student," and a half-dozen other newly minted young voters might change the face of democracy. | 09/20/12 06:06:25 By - Dan Morain

Commentary: Enduring myth about America's 47 percent

Mitt Romney's sneer at Americans who don’t pay federal income taxes is dangerously wrong, based on a fallacy that widens an ugly divide in the country he wants to lead. He should stop embracing this mistake. | 09/19/12 11:35:31 By -

Commentary: The plagiarism panic in journalism

One of the first things I learned in my first newsroom job was how to use a thick, black pencil to transform an official press release into a news story. You crossed out the letterhead and contact information, made a few style fixes, put ## where you wanted it to end, and sent it to the typesetters. | 09/19/12 06:06:04 By - Edward Wasserman

Commentary: GOP must cooperate to fill Texas Federal Court openings

Circuit Judge Emilio Garza recently assumed senior status after two decades of service. This means the bench has 77 vacancies in 856 appellate and district judgeships, while the Fifth Circuit experiences two in 17 and the Texas District Courts have four in 41. These openings, which are some ten percent nationally and for the Texas Districts and 12 percent in the Fifth Circuit, erode justice's delivery. | 09/19/12 06:06:05 By - Carl Tobias

Commentary: 'Innocence of Muslims' and free speech

Americans are free to say anything. Except "fightin' words." We can spout off. But never to provoke chaos or a riot. | 09/19/12 06:02:31 By - Bud Kennedy

Commentary: Romney's 47 percent insult

The leaked video of Mitt Romney insulting 47 percent of Americans is an eye-opener: Yes, he really thinks like this.

And are you surprised? Nope, unless you’re a dyed-in-wool Republican. | 09/18/12 15:14:24 By - Yael T. Abouhalkah

Commentary: Mitt Romney missed a shot at President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama got a hug and a lift. Mitt Romney had a swing and a miss. The performance of the Democratic and Republican candidates in Florida last week told the tale of two campaigns. One feels a surge. The other looks troubled. | 09/18/12 06:08:01 By - Marc Caputo

Commentary: Terry Jones' hub of hatred

Preacher Terry Jones’ hub of hate sits on vast green grounds in the northwest fringe of this otherwise progressive college town. | 09/18/12 06:19:17 By - Fabiola Santiago

Commentary: Another reason no one trusts Congress

It would be interesting to know if anyone on Capitol Hill ever takes time out from being seduced by lobbyists to wonder about what Americans think of their elected representatives. Congress has the lowest approval rating ever in public opinion polls and only one American in ten is gullible enough to think they are doing an adequate job. If Congress were a company, it would have gone out of business long ago. | 09/17/12 13:42:04 By - Dennis Jett

Commentary: Our economy has recovered when...

The long and staggering recovery has made a distant memory of what a normal economy on two feet looks like. There is one thing, however, we should know by now: It’s really hard for government to light the fires of an organic recovery that leads to self-sustaining growth. | 09/17/12 06:14:41 By - Keith Chrostowski

Commentary: Some specific questions that need answering before election day

Presidential nominating conventions make for interesting political theater, even if you do come away from watching them as confused as ever about what either candidate would actually do if elected. | 09/16/12 06:00:38 By - Tom Eblen

Commentary: The return of 'Massachusetts Mitt'?

Anyone who watched Mitt Romney at the Republican National Convention could have, or should have, anyway, predicted that although the former Massachusetts governor was walking tall on a rough-and-tough tea party carpet during his primary campaign, he’d eventually come back to the polished liberal hardwood underneath | 09/16/12 06:00:37 By - Jim Jenkins

Commentary: Obama's math on jobs doesn't compute

If you were playing one of those buzzword-bingo drinking games during the Democratic convention last week, I sure hope you didn’t have the phrase “created 4.5 million jobs” on your card. Those words got repeated so often, by so many speakers, that you would have had to be locked up in maximum-security rehab halfway through the convention. | 09/15/12 06:09:18 By - Glenn Garvin

Commentary: Obama, economy are in a deep rut

And so the once-dreamlike story entered its nightmare phase. In the beginning, nothing could go wrong for Barack Obama. Now, it seems nothing can go right. | 09/15/12 06:11:35 By - E. Thomas McClanahan

Commentary: Death penalty deters murders? Evidence doesn't bear that out

Ever since California added the death penalty to its penal code in the 1870s, supporters have argued that the threat of executions would make potential murderers think twice before committing heinous crimes. | 09/14/12 12:02:46 By -

Commentary: Sister Simone Campbell's inspiring message

Like a lot of other people, I watched the Democratic National Convention fully expecting President Barack Obama to end the three-day gathering with a breathtaking and inspiring speech. | 09/14/12 06:02:03 By - Merlene Davis

Commentary: Romney errs on 'In God We Trust' claim

God first got his 2 cents in about U.S. money in 1864. That's when the U.S. Mint rolled out the first 2-cent coins bearing "In God We Trust," as authorized by an act of Congress. | 09/14/12 06:02:13 By - Linda P. Campbell

Commentary: The hypocrisy of 'Party of God' politics

Brace for the fire and brimstone, Democrats. You didn't invite The Big Guy to your party in Charlotte. Sodom and Gomorrah were a carnival compared to what you're in for. | 09/13/12 06:01:50 By - Dusty Nix

Commentary: Gimme tax shelter

Now that the Democratic National Convention is over and everybody’s returned home, here is an indisputable truth: The Democrats are riding a losing horse by asking the rich to pay a bit more in taxes. | 09/13/12 06:10:02 By - Barry Saunders

Commentary: Bill Clinton is our political Turtleman

In avoidance of the political conventions I turned to a character named Ernie Brown Jr., who is known to his millions of fans as the Turtleman. Personally — and I speak for many Americans — I’d rather watch a man flop around with wild rodents in his hair than listen to another political speech. | 09/12/12 06:08:04 By - Carl Hiaasen

Commentary: Hungry children shouldn't be political pawns

Before he lit up the Internet with comments on rape, Todd Akin was slamming efforts that feed hungry children. His dismissive thoughts on school lunch programs were overshadowed by his far more appalling statement on “legitimate rape.” But it’s the derision of federal government help for hungry children that is the tougher political issue. | 09/12/12 06:05:55 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: Out of the twisted metal a 9/11 memorial rises

The 14-foot hunk of twisted metal has proved capable of making grown men, arguably some of the metro’s bravest, swell with emotion.

It ought to affect everyone living here that way. | 09/11/12 06:01:35 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: Paying the political price for making tough decisions

Rep. James Clyburn, the Grand Strand’s favorite Democrat, told the S.C. Delegation at the Democratic National Convention he would never forget the dark days of September 2008 when then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told him to rush into a meeting. | 09/10/12 14:56:37 By - Issac J. Bailey

Commentary: Saving money is no argument for ending death penalty

If you're going to argue against the death penalty, then argue against the death penalty. Call it cruel and unusual. Argue that God – and not governments – should decide life and death. Cast doubt on it as a deterrent to violent crime or expand on the words of former President Jimmy Carter. | 09/10/12 06:02:37 By - Marcos Breton

Commentary: As for me, I'm joining the Pessimists Party

The National Optimists Party wants my support. Not my vote, I guess, since it doesn’t appear to have any candidates. That, by itself, made me think more highly of it. Instead of my vote, the founders want my participation in the “Party of the Future.” | 09/10/12 06:03:24 By - Peter Callaghan

Commentary: Wrapping our heads around multidimensional change in income and global warming

The US election now largely focuses on two central issues: the economy - by which most mean unemployment - and social issues - in particular abortion and gay rights. Somewhat surprisingly, two recently contentious issues - income distribution and climate change - remain on the sidelines. | 09/09/12 06:01:10 By - Scott Sigmund Gartner

Commentary: Will 'Jim Crow' lite voting laws succeed?

Old Southern political bosses of the Jim Crow era would have winked with delight at the ingenious ploys of their latter-day successors in the art of voter suppression. | 09/09/12 06:01:03 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: Dying for the right to vote

Through the dark years of Jim Crow rule, the agonizing battles of the civil rights movement and the constant struggle not to regress after passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, the assault on that basic American right to vote has been persistent -- often disguised as more noble efforts, but discrimination all the same. | 09/08/12 06:04:15 By - Bob Ray Sanders

Commentary: Dolphins lose when humans provide the food

Earlier this summer, in the Gulf waters near the Florida-Alabama border, somebody stabbed a screwdriver into the head of a bottlenose dolphin. | 09/08/12 06:18:12 By - Carl Hiaasen

DAVE BARRY: Message from the conventions? We're all toilet bound

After many standing ovations and much shouting of "whoo," the Democrats have wrapped up their convention and are heading home, except for Bill Clinton, who is expected to conclude his remarks sometime around Halloween. | 09/07/12 07:01:07 By - Dave Barry

Commentary: Glenn Beck, Hank Williams Jr. are bellyaching all the way to the bank

Only a month ago, Texas hosted "Restoring Love." Looks like it didn't take.

In a week when national TV viewers watched an 82-year-old man verbally assail an innocent chair, musician Hank Williams Jr. unleashed a Stockyards harangue against gays and "Love" host Glenn Beck himself blew up at a cranky flight attendant. | 09/07/12 06:08:22 By - Bud Kennedy

Commentary: GOP 'acts stupid' and loses Latino voters

Was it something I said? | 09/07/12 01:34:59 By - Marcos Breton

DAVE BARRY: Celebrity DJs and Sansabelt pants at the DNC

The big thrill of Day Two of the Democratic convention was provided by former President Bill Clinton, who brought the crowd to its feet with a stirring nomination speech for Barack Obama, and then, in the evening's climactic moment, tossed his hotel keycard to a lucky delegate. | 09/06/12 06:57:54 By - Dave Barry

Commentary: Are we better off now than four years ago? Yes.

Are things better than they were four years ago? That’s the question looming over the Democratic National Convention this week. It’s not hard to answer for those who remember what was going on in this country when Barack Obama was sworn in as president. But many have forgotten. | 09/06/12 06:16:23 By - Issac J. Bailey

Commentary: Can Obama bring back the magic?

To many Americans, Barack Obama is two people. There’s the pre-presidency Obama who lit up audiences, and America, prior to his 2008 election to the White House. | 09/06/12 06:02:26 By - Steve Kraske

Commentary: Presidential politics are a blazing pants inferno

Actually, that was us, perched there in Clint’s empty chair. A collective non-entity, subjected to a dazzling campaign about next to nothingness. | 09/06/12 06:08:46 By - Fred Grimm

DAVE BARRY: At the DNC, I'm engaged in journalism just for you

There is an innocent explanation for how I wound up on the floor of a bar with the governor of Montana. I was engaging in journalism. The key to political journalism is to gather insider information, and to do that, you need to go where the political insiders hang out. | 09/05/12 06:59:42 By - Dave Barry

Commentary: I could be a Republican but they don't want me

I could be Republican, but I'm not and the GOP has itself to blame for that. I'm Catholic, fiscally conservative and save a little part of each day for prayer. | 09/05/12 06:05:03 By - Marcos Breton

Commentary: Romney's 'human side' must show in his policies

There were parts of Thursday evening at the Republican National Convention that had me so wrapped in warmth, I almost forgot I am a registered Democrat. | 09/05/12 06:05:43 By - Merlene Davis

Commentary: Romney paints himself into an ideological corner

If there were any doubts that Republican candidate Mitt Romney is not a closet moderate but a true convert to his party’s extreme right wing, they should have been cleared by now. His first steps as the Republican nominee suggest that what you see is what you would get if he is elected. | 09/05/12 06:09:57 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: Clint Eastwood's RNC speech was bad and ugly for Romney

The music couldn’t have been more fitting when Clint Eastwood walked on the Republican National Convention stage to a rendition of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly’s theme. Eastwood’s speech, though, was more bad than ugly and far more ugly than good. | 09/04/12 11:24:55 By - Marc Caputo

DAVE BARRY: Could Clint Eastwood talk to a chair at the DNC too?

Now the eyeballs of the nation turn toward this vibrant, proud, ambitious city in North or possibly South Carolina as the Democrats gather here to present their message of hope for America, namely that the Republicans are fascist, racist women-hating scum. | 09/04/12 06:42:53 By - Dave Barry

Commentary: GOP swings right on Latin America

The Republican platform approved by the party’s convention last week — a blueprint of what a Romney administration would do if it is elected — makes no bones about its hard-line policy toward Latin America. Its section on the region starts out by saying that “We will resist foreign influence in our hemisphere,” and calls Venezuela a “narco terrorist” state. | 09/04/12 06:05:16 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: Americans are wasteful with food

Mulch piles undoubtedly are virtuous. But we seem to feed ours way too often. A nice supply of mulch is good for soothing the guilt over wasting food. When, for example, we buy a bag of lettuce and, a week or so later, it has turned into something dark and slimy and about to morph into an entirely different life form, we can ease our consciences with the fact that it will make great mulch. | 09/04/12 06:05:22 By - James Werrell

Commentary: On Labor Day remember we're all in this together

Here's a question we hear too much: Whose work is most valuable? Here's a question we should ask a lot more often: Whose work isn't valuable? This Labor Day, let's take the time to reflect on how the work that others do adds to our lives and our communities. | 09/03/12 06:02:24 By - Liz Shuler

Commentary: Ending the GOP's 'war on women'

Ladies, remember what your mothers told you about men who regard women as sex objects? They're no good. Keep that in mind when pondering the Republican Party platform this year and all those heated conversations about the "war on women." | 09/03/12 06:04:49 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: America's shrinking middle class

A long and familiar list of concerns fuels Americans’ discontent this election season: the economy, taxes, the deficit, health care reform and on and on. | 09/02/12 06:10:21 By - Taylor Batten

Commentary: Drastic measures may be needed to stem the tide of cash in US elections

"We have the best Congress money can buy," humorist Will Rogers quipped in the 1930s. More recent comedians have suggested that politicians wear NASCAR-like jumpsuits so citizens can see the logos of all of their sponsors. | 09/02/12 06:02:04 By - Tom Eblen

Commentary: Todd Akin answered Claire McCakill's prayers

If Todd Akin had simply repeated his position that he’s strongly against abortion — opposed even to granting exceptions for rape and incest — his fatal interview in St. Louis would now be forgotten. | 09/01/12 06:04:37 By - E. Thomas McClanahan

Commentary: Ecuador's Correa and Julian Assange make strange bedfellows

When somebody, someday, opens a hall of fame dedicated to great moments in international diplomacy, the competition for space will be fierce. I’m sure there will be an exhibit on Vlad Tepes, the 15th-century Romanian prince who, when a visiting delegation of Turkish diplomats refused to take off their hats (only in the presence of the sultan, they said) had his men nail the hats to their heads. Then there’s Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov, who stayed in the White House during secret World War II negotiations with Franklin Roosevelt. White House servants who unpacked his suitcase reported to the president that it was stuffed with bread, sausage and a pistol that Molotov kept under his pillow at night. | 09/01/12 06:03:01 By - Glenn Garvin

Commentary: No need for four-day political conventions

There was a great sigh of relief here when Isaac skirted the Florida coast, missing the Republican National Convention. There was, of course, concern Isaac would smack some other part of the gulf, but at least a truncated RNC is able to go forward. | 08/31/12 14:21:34 By - Dave Helling

Commentary: Two out of three ain't bad for RNC

Like baseball players who come to Florida for spring training, Republicans came to Tampa hoping to get their ticket punched – their national ticket that is. | 08/31/12 14:07:43 By - Rob Christensen

DAVE BARRY: My all-purpose Republican National Convention speech

The Republican convention reached an exciting climax Thursday, with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and their families waving from the stage to throngs of wildly cheering delegates as 120,000 red, white and blue balloons were released from the ceiling and immediately, for security reasons, shot down by Secret Service snipers. | 08/31/12 07:18:51 By - Dave Barry

Commentary: Romney should just release those tax returns

If Mitt Romney were seeking a spot on the Raleigh City Council, the Wake County Board of Commissioners or perhaps even one of those prestigious seats in the General Assembly (how’s “state House Rep. Romney” strike you, guy?), his income taxes wouldn’t be of any importance as long as he’d never been locked up for not paying them. | 08/31/12 06:07:42 By - Jim Jenkins

Commentary: Pussy Riot's punishment makes Putin look petty and afraid

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his backers may believe they won a victory by putting away the three rabble-rousing, rocking girls of Pussy Riot, but they are mistaken. The biggest loser in the high-profile battle between the increasingly authoritarian president and their inventive opposition was the president’s carefully cultivated image. | 08/31/12 06:13:32 By - Frida Ghitis

DAVE BARRY: GOP in Tampa - Oh, the humidity!

The official theme of day three of the Republican National Convention was “We Can Change It.” I believe this is a reference to our underwear. It’s hot here, and the humidity is 19 jillion percent, and most of us have to do a lot of walking outside, because the convention zone is surrounded by a vast security perimeter guarded by police, soldiers, Secret Service and — the outermost line of defense — angry shouting men brandishing RON PAUL signs. | 08/30/12 08:08:29 By - Dave Barry

Commentary: Lines show immigrants want to be here legally

The ludicrous question “What part of illegal don’t you understand?” received the perfect reply Sunday. The answer came from several hundred people, some arriving two hours before their session with an immigration attorney at the Guadalupe Center. | 08/30/12 06:02:44 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: How Romney could help himself with Hispanic voters

One of the key things to watch in this week’s Republican national convention in Tampa is whether the Romney-Ryan ticket will be able to connect with Hispanics and improve its dismal approval ratings among Latino voters. There are some things they could do — but I doubt they will. | 08/30/12 06:07:11 By - Andres Oppenheimer

DAVE BARRY: GOP convention attempts to make Mitt Romney seem human

The Republican Convention finally got going Tuesday with a parade of speakers taking the stage to express the official theme of the evening: “Mitt Romney: You’re Darned Tooting He’s Human!” | 08/29/12 07:08:15 By - Dave Barry

Commentary: Questions media should ask about Julian Assange, WikiLeaks

I’m badly out of step with my media brethren, since I find the fate of WikiLeaks and its besieged founder, Julian Assange, a truly compelling story. Other media don't agree. The pressure on Assange, who has sought sanctuary in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, is fringe stuff, a quirky faceoff involving a spectral, white-haired weirdo whom journalists disdain who spilled secrets that annoyed officialdom and that U.S. media mostly ignored anyway. | 08/29/12 06:05:29 By - Edward Wasserman

Commentary: Akin, abortion, strip-clubs and the GOP platform

It’s been widely noted that Tampa is the strip-club capital of America, and this week vigilant media will be scrutinizing arrest reports in search of Republicans who strayed too far from the convention center (not to mention the party’s puritanical agenda). | 08/29/12 06:01:58 By - Carl Hiaasen

Commentary: Neil Armstrong was an icon, not just 'a' man

I’d been 12 years old for one day, but I was old enough to realize there was something odd about the first words spoken on the moon. | 08/29/12 06:10:23 By - Peter Callaghan

Commentary: Ecuador's power play and Julian Assange

While Ecuador’s populist President Rafael Correa steps up his international offensive to grant political asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, an exiled Ecuadoran journalist seeking political asylum has some very interesting insights into what’s behind the Ecuadorian leader’s latest quest for international attention. | 08/28/12 06:09:17 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: Mitt Romney the Tin Man

I hope I’m not bringing the storm curse to Tampa. The last time I covered a GOP convention, in New York in 2004, the Florida delegation had to hustle out early as Hurricane Frances barreled ahead to central Florida. I arrived at Orlando’s eerily shuttered airport on the last plane allowed to land, with hefty wind gusts raising the stakes. | 08/27/12 12:42:01 By - Myriam Marquez

DAVE BARRY: Taking a long Tampa sidewalk to the GOP convention

I don’t know why anybody thought it was a good idea to hold a presidential nominating convention in Florida. This state has a terrible track record with presidential politics. Does anybody remember 2000? That was the year when the presidential election was decided by Florida residents who were deeply confused about which holes to punch in a ballot. This is not surprising: Florida residents are also deeply confused about what lane they’re driving in, or what, specifically, they’re supposed to do when the traffic light changes color. | 08/27/12 11:57:02 By - Dave Barry

Commentary: Taking a stand for fair early voting in Florida

Leave it to the Conch Republic to bring a little heat to the fray.

Harry L. Sawyer Jr. — fifth-generation Conch, former Monroe County Sheriff’s detective and for the last 24 years the Key West-based supervisor of elections — has told fellow Republicans Gov. Rick Scott and his secretary of state that he’s not playing the disenfranchisement game. | 08/27/12 06:17:21 By - Fabiola Santiago

Commentary: Ayn Rand challenged my perspective

"Life altering" is how I described, in an email to a friend, the experience of reading Ayn Rand’s "The Fountainhead."

Given that I was already in my 40s, this was a book forced upon me not by an educational institution but by my own gnawing need to fertilize what so often can feel like a too-long fallow mind. | 08/27/12 06:08:16 By - Burgetta Wheeler

Commentary: Todd Akin is the face of Missouri politics

Now that U.S. Rep. Todd Akin has brought a spotlight to Missouri by spouting off about “legitimate rape,” here are some other fun things to know about the Show-Me State.

• It was the first state to pass a constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage, in 2004. The spokeswoman for that effort, Vicky Hartzler, is now finishing up her first term as a Republican member of the U.S. Congress. | 08/27/12 06:00:06 By - Barbara Shelly

Commentary: Will Pakistan and America divorce?

About a dozen of us Old Pakistan Hands gathered together the other night with an equal number of Pakistani-Americans to break the daily fast during the month of Ramadan with an Iftar meal. And we broke the ice too when we talked frankly about what some called the worst relations between the U.S. and Pakistan since that state was created in 1947. | 08/26/12 06:01:51 By - Ben Barber

Commentary: 'Walmart Moms' are unhappy with Romney and Obama

Watching a group of 'Walmart Moms' discuss the presidential election last week, shed some light on why North Carolina is regarded as a toss up state. | 08/26/12 06:08:26 By - Rob Christensen

Commentary: Libertarian Gary Johnson hopes Ron Paul supporters will switch

Libertarian presidential candidate and would-be spoiler Gary Johnson smoked out new campaign cash here this week. But his hopes are just a pipe dream unless he wins over Republican voters loyal to never-say-quit candidate Ron Paul. | 08/26/12 06:36:01 By - Bud Kennedy

Commentary: In politics, there are no absolutes

Gosh, it sure was a busy Sunday for Republicans.

First, Senate candidate and U.S. Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri twisted himself into knots explaining why abortion should be prohibited, even for rape victims. Then Politico broke the story of U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder’s late night dip into the Sea of Galilee without his knickers. | 08/25/12 06:01:22 By - Dave Helling

Commentary: No more 'Mediscare'

The other day I was watching former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean on CNBC do his best to bash the Medicare reform plan authored by Paul Ryan and endorsed, with a key change, by presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. | 08/25/12 06:02:25 By - E. Thomas McClanahan

Commentary: Paul Ryan's Medicare plans

Grab ahold of the wheelchair, Granny. You’re going over the cliff!

That was the Obama camp’s response after Mitt Romney announced his running mate. | 08/25/12 06:20:42 By - Terry Plumb

Commentary: Will cap and trade really kill jobs?

Extraordinarily smart people at the California Air Resources Board have taken to using the term "leakage" as they go about devising the experimental cap and trade system for reducing greenhouse gases. | 08/24/12 06:09:56 By - Dan Morain

Commentary: Droughts and those climate-change deniers

As Mark Twain used to say, “Everybody talks about the weather but nobody ever does anything about it.” Ironically, if we want to continue living on this planet, we might finally have to do something about the weather. Are there any climate-change deniers still willing to claim that mankind has no effect on the weather? | 08/24/12 06:13:43 By - James Werrell

It's nice and all, but please quit telling me to be safe.

Against my better judgment, I'm posting this on Facebook. Flame away.

People keep telling me to be safe (as if that's an option), keep asking me why I'm doing this crazy thing, keep asking what's wrong with me for coming here. So listen. | 08/23/12 16:25:59 By - Austin Tice

Commentary: Political laughs are on Kansas and Missouri instead of Texas

Thank goodness for Kansas and Missouri. For a few days, the rest of America isn't laughing at Texas, thanks to one congressman who skinny-dipped where Jesus walked on the water and another with a divinity degree who singled out "legitimate" rapes. | 08/23/12 06:07:35 By - Bud Kennedy

Commentary: 'We are no longer the democracy we once were'

I’m trying to keep my head up. I really am. But the last few weeks, I’ve been immersed in the raw guts of what’s wrong with this country and what’s wrong with Congress. | 08/23/12 06:09:16 By - Steve Kraske

Commentary: For Mitt Romney, it pays to keep everything vague

No dates. No dollar signs. No numbers. Mitt Romney’s two-page plan to overhaul Medicare is an exercise in vagueness. And that could prove to be a most-effective campaign weapon this election season. Or it could be his undoing. | 08/22/12 06:15:41 By - Marc Caputo

Commentary: Todd Akin's disregard for women and schoolchildren

Just keep talking, Congressman. At this rate, U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin will alienate swaths of voters long before November. Last week, Sen. Claire McCaskill’s GOP rival swiped at the federal program that feeds millions of hungry schoolchildren. | 08/22/12 06:02:54 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: Todd Akin isn't the first politician misinformed on rape, pregnancy

While the rest of the country is heaping ridicule and opprobrium onto Missouri Republican congressman Todd Akin’s combed-over head, we North Carolina residents should be thanking the heavens for such a gift as he. | 08/21/12 11:44:39 By - Barry Saunders

Commentary: Middle class should rise up and ignore the political spin

If ever there were a time to pitch a national read-in, this is it.

The 2012 election campaign is upon us, and from what we’ve seen so far, the tenor of the "messaging" is not what anybody would term enlightening. | 08/21/12 06:05:32 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: The scary thought of growing old

While going through their deceased parents' "stuff" one night last month, two sisters found an old newspaper article that their mother and father had kept. | 08/20/12 06:08:44 By - Bob Ray Sanders

Commentary: Ryan won't solve Romney's Hispanic voter problems

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was already polling at historically low numbers among Hispanic voters before his decision to name Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate. Now, Romney risks a total debacle among Hispanic voters that could cost him the election. | 08/20/12 06:04:03 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: Truth is taking a beating this campaign season

Kansas City Star political writer Steve Kraske pursues an interesting hobby each election year. He collects political mailers — those outsized campaign postcards stuffing your mailbox — so he can get a taste of what candidates are saying. | 08/19/12 06:08:08 By - Dave Helling

Commentary: Revisiting the great Chick-fil-a debate

There are two things I really like about me.

One is my very strong physical resemblance to Denzel Washington. You may have noticed it – if you squint through your weak eye while standing on your head after seven rum-and-Cokes. | 08/19/12 06:25:00 By - Barry Saunders

Commentary: President Obama's next job?

It’s never too early to think about your next job, especially if you’re president and unemployment has been over 8 percent for your entire term. So I imagine Barack Obama has probably spent some time contemplating where he could send his résumé. Here’s my advice, Mr. President: Forget the stock brokerages. Because inevitably some squinty-eyed little HR person is going to say, “Now, about that speech you made about General Motors . . .” | 08/18/12 06:01:28 By - Glenn Garvin

Commentary: Making sense of the senseless

On first hearing the news of the Aug. 4 massacre in Wisconsin, I immediately thought of my neighbors down the street, particularly remembering a young man I first met when he was 10 years old.

I watched Kulvir Singh Bhogal grow up. He made his parents, teachers and everyone who knew him very proud. | 08/18/12 06:09:33 By - Bob Ray Sanders

Commentary: Don't blame EPA for enforcing laws on coal industry

We curse the cop when we see lights flashing in our rear-view mirror.

Kentuckians are an independent people. We have good reasons to speed! Besides, speed limits restrict our "freedom" and take away our "liberty." They are downright un-American, forced upon us by politicians and government bureaucrats. | 08/17/12 06:09:13 By - Tom Eblen

Commentary: Latin America falls behind on innovation index

It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that most Latin American countries ranked towards the bottom of a new United Nations index of innovation. What’s surprising — and depressing — is that, with a few exceptions, they are not even making the list’s sub-group of “innovation learners.” | 08/16/12 06:04:19 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: We all receive government assistance

I live my life in a way that makes life harder for poor people because the government has favored me above them.

It’s true of most of us, though many people feign ignorance or deny that reality. | 08/16/12 06:04:04 By - Issac J. Bailey

Commentary: How the Arab Spring might help Israel

A few months ago, as I was speaking to a non-profit group about how developments in the Arab world would affect Israel, I noticed the faces in the crowd looking back at me with deep skepticism. I understood the reason. | 08/15/12 06:06:35 By - Frida Ghitis

Commentary: Let the free market break up the banks

Hey, let’s break up the big banks. Yeah! That would show those Wall Street fat cats and solve a lot of problems to boot — especially the risk that taxpayers could be tapped again in a panic under the “too big to fail” doctrine. The banks wouldn’t be too big, right? One reason we had the last crisis was deregulation, namely repeal of the Glass-Steagall law separating commercial and investment banking. | 08/15/12 06:01:28 By - E. Thomas McClanahan

Commentary: Gun violence spills off the big screen

The media seem to move on from mass killings more quickly nowadays than they used to, and within three days of the Aurora, Colo., cinema massacre the killer’s first appearance in court didn’t make the front of The New York Times. Denying him notoriety is fine with me, but once the stories of heroism and sacrifice were told and the dead were memorialized, there seemed little interest in learning anything from the shooting of 70 people who had little in common beyond the movie they had come to watch. | 08/14/12 06:02:49 By - Edward Wasserman

Commentary: Those plain talkin' politicians

What is it that makes some politicians, despite being well-educated, silk-stockinged and pedigreed, try to speak like a field hand – or at least as though they’d never set foot inside an English class? | 08/14/12 06:05:54 By - Barry Saunders

Commentary: Missouri Christians play 'victim' card over 'right to pray'

Last week was an active one for religious bigots.

Six Sikhs were slaughtered on Sunday by a gunman while peacefully going to their house of worship in the outskirts of Milwaukee. The gunman killed himself, so we may never learn the full story of his motivation, but it is clear that he considered his victims’ religion alien to his idea of America, and it’s quite possible he was unaware of the distinction between Sikhism and Islam. | 08/13/12 06:14:44 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: No Labels' quest to elect problem-solvers

Are you a NObama voter?

Or will you say Mitt-No! in November? | 08/13/12 06:12:43 By - Linda P. Campbell

Commentary: Conservative begin to doubt David Barton's revisionist Christian history

Four years ago, Christian history writer David Barton was a Republican kingmaker lobbying to leverage then-unknown Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin onto the presidential ticket. | 08/12/12 06:06:24 By - Bud Kennedy

Commentary: Party politics tops U.S. cyber-security

And down it crashed.

Not the nation’s electrical grid — not yet anyway — but rather legislation intended to protect it and other vital U.S. infrastructure from cyber attacks by hackers or terrorists. | 08/12/12 06:35:40 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: Congress must toughen up work rules for welfare

Welfare reform, signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1996, was fiercely opposed by many on the left.

The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan called it the most “brutal” law since Reconstruction. Several officials in the Clinton administration resigned in protest. The Children’s Defense Fund called it an “outrage.” The New York Times said it wasn’t reform. It was “punishment.” | 08/11/12 06:17:36 By - E. Thomas McClanahan

Commentary: Brazil's anti-graft battle could break the mold

You have to give credit to Brazil for what it’s doing to combat corruption and solve the worst political scandal in the country’s recent history. | 08/10/12 06:02:16 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: NRA prevents funding for studies on gun violence

There was nothing unusual about the University of Colorado's grant to its once-promising student, James E. Holmes. | 08/10/12 06:06:17 By - Dan Morain

Commentary: Chick-fil-a day only fattened Cathy's wallet

You know all those people who made last Wednesday the most profitable single day in Chick-fil-A’s history?

I’m still trying to figure out how they managed to eat the thousands of chicken sandwiches they bought – while simultaneously patting themselves on the back with both hands in honor of their political stand. | 08/09/12 06:06:35 By - Barry Saunders

Commentary: U.S. must take lead role on human rights

In the years immediately following the collapse of the Soviet Union, one would frequently hear worried musings about the sudden role of the United States, left alone on the world stage as the “World’s Only Superpower.” Some referred contemptuously to the American “hyper-power.” | 08/09/12 06:06:46 By - Frida Ghitis

Commentary: On gay marriage, a younger, wiser generation will lead

Rule No. 1 in business is know your customers.

And with that, Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy has poked the power base that will trounce his opposition to same-sex marriage. | 08/08/12 06:01:04 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: Medicare for everyone

Medicare turned 47 years old last Monday. Bill Mahan celebrated by setting up a booth on Main Street to try to convince passersby that America's health insurance crisis could be eased considerably if everyone had Medicare. | 08/07/12 06:09:02 By - Tom Eblen

Commentary: Focus on Gabby's accomplishment, not her hair

There are people out there criticizing gold-medal-winning Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas for not paying more attention to her hair. | 08/06/12 13:40:34 By - Barry Saunders

Commentary: Romney's tour de farce won't hurt him at home

Aspiring presidential candidates are required to go through many rites of passage on the road they hope will lead to the White House. Writing a heartwarming book on their life story or an inspiring tome on their political philosophy is one. Taking a world tour to meet with foreign leaders is another, especially for those with few stamps in their passport. | 08/06/12 12:48:52 By - Dennis Jett

Commentary: Here's why expanding Medicaid makes sense

What's more important in Texas: politics or money? When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act last month, it also gave states the right to opt out of the expansion of Medicaid, the program that could provide healthcare for up to 2 million more low-income Texans, starting in 2014. | 07/13/12 06:03:09 By - Mitchell Schnurman

Commentary: Ronald Reagan and the art of compromise

There's a move afoot to place a statue inside the Capitol honoring Ronald Reagan, the most consequential politician ever to come from this state and the only California governor to become president. It's a great idea, so long as it teaches a lesson about the vanishing art of compromise. | 07/12/12 06:04:46 By - Dan Morain

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