Opinion

European allies no help in dealing with Putin

Even if it accomplishes nothing else, calling Vladimir Putin nasty names makes us feel a little better. Thug, megalomaniac, liar, war criminal, mass murderer - those are just the printable ones. | 07/28/14 13:18:44 By - By CARL HIAASEN

Doyle McManus: Anti-poverty talk from conservative Paul Ryan?

Quick quiz: Which potential 2016 presidential candidate had this to say about federal anti-poverty programs last week?. | 07/28/14 13:13:43 By - By DOYLE MCMANUS

Dan K. Thomasson: Put partisanship aside for sensible immigration reform

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama three weeks ago attended July 4 ceremonies for 25 members of the U.S. armed forces who were sworn in as newly minted American citizens. It was a quiet, dignified and impressive event that punctuated the importance of somehow solving what has become the nation's most pressing domestic problem: the lack of coherent immigration policy. | 07/28/14 13:03:43 By - By DAN K. THOMASSON

John M. Crisp: Immigration protests short on compassion

If one were looking for an occasion to convene fellow protestors, to make signs and placards, to post picket lines, and to compose protest chants, many possibilities present themselves. | 07/28/14 12:43:43 By - By JOHN M. CRISP

Trudy Rubin: In Gaza, time to stop the blame and recognize the humanity

On my refrigerator door I keep a photo of an exceptional Palestinian woman who ran kindergartens in Gaza in the 1990s for the Philly-based American Friends Service Committee. Mary Khaas, who died more than a decade ago, would drag her teachers from their refugee-camp homes to visit her Jewish friends at a kibbutz just across the Gaza border. She believed in two states and wanted each side to stop demonizing the other. | 07/28/14 12:33:43 By - TRUDY RUBIN

Cuellar's immigration stance a lesson in bipartisanship

The following editorial appeared in the Dallas Morning News on Thursday, July 24: | 07/28/14 08:19:03 By -

Executions should not be run by trial and error

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Friday, July 25: | 07/28/14 08:19:03 By -

Improper probes: Report finds excesses in targeting terror suspects

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Friday, July 25: | 07/28/14 08:19:03 By -

How to escape the medical care debt trap

The single biggest cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States isn't job loss or irresponsible use of credit. It's medical expenses. | 07/28/14 08:18:59 By - By STEVE TRUMBLE

Deeper look into IRS doings doesn't look pretty

No one likes to receive a letter from the Internal Revenue Service. | 07/28/14 08:18:59 By - By JEFF BERGNER

How to save both elephants and the ivory trade

Because of British currency restrictions enacted just before World War II, my father had to come up with an innovative way of getting his cash out of England when, fearing a German invasion, we immigrated to the United States. He settled on silver. Before leaving, he purchased all the Georgian silver objects he could find, with the idea of selling them once the family reached America. | 07/28/14 08:18:59 By - By GODFREY HARRIS

A policy of discrimination

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, July 24: | 07/28/14 08:14:05 By -

A tale of two carbon taxes

Australia has repealed its carbon tax, leaving climate advocates in the U.S. and abroad feeling disheartened. While the repeal has long been anticipated - Prime Minister Tony Abbott campaigned to scrap the tax and has been gearing up to repeal it ever since he took office - it nonetheless strikes at the heart of supporters of a price on carbon. | 07/28/14 08:14:02 By - BRENDON STEELE

Indonesia's Jokowi needs world's backing

Democracy prevailed in Indonesia last week. Now leaders there and around the world must quickly get behind the country's president-elect. | 07/28/14 08:14:02 By - By KAREN BROOKS

Move on the migrant children crisis

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Friday, July 25: | 07/28/14 08:08:45 By -

World War I: How did the unthinkable happen?

World War I broke out 100 years ago this summer. In late June, Gavrilo Princip, a 19-year old terrorist loosely associated with the Greater Serbia secret society "Black Hand," assassinated the heir to the Austrian throne in the Bosnian mountain town of Sarajevo. Scarcely five weeks later, the major European powers embarked upon the most destructive war in history. Before hostilities ended 52 months later, some 10 million soldiers and 7 million civilians had died. Another 20 million emerged wounded or horribly disfigured. | 07/27/14 04:00:00 By - STEPHEN A. SCHUKER

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Selfies in Auschwitz and why it's wrong

In a place haunted by ghosts, on a thoroughfare of the damned, standing upon ground once watered by blood, Breanna Mitchell lifted a camera to take her own picture. She smiled a sunshine smile. | 07/27/14 04:00:00 By - By LEONARD PITTS JR.

Keeping the Cold War buried

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Friday, July 25: | 07/25/14 15:37:58 By -

Mary Sanchez: Border obsession overlooks the promise of trade with Mexico

Texas Gov. Rick Perry made headlines recently by ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. This bravado comes at a price: $12 million a month. Perry plans to send the bill the federal government. That's one way to finance your presidential campaign ads. | 07/25/14 13:52:56 By - By MARY SANCHEZ

Gaza's Victims: civilians and peace

After more than two weeks of fighting between Hamas and Israel, there is no question which side has the upper hand. Thursday's strike on a U.N.-run school for Palestinian children increased the Palestinian death toll to more than 760. By that point, the death toll on the Israeli side stood at 35, including a Thai worker in Israel. | 07/25/14 13:32:57 By - By PRINCESS HAYA AL HUSSEIN

Gaza's Victims: civilians and peace

After more than two weeks of fighting between Hamas and Israel, there is no question which side has the upper hand. Thursday's Israeli strike on a U.N.-run school for Palestinian children increased the Palestinian death toll to more than 760. By that point, the death toll on the Israeli side stood at 35, including a Thai worker in Israel. | 07/25/14 12:43:36 By - By PRINCESS HAYA AL HUSSEIN

Trudy Rubin: Boosting Abbas might end cycle of violence

As the Gaza war drags on and the terrible civilian death toll keeps rising, it's necessary to look to the past to find a way to stop the killing. It's particularly vital to revisit the moment in 2005 when Israel made a strategic error by unilaterally withdrawing from the Gaza Strip. | 07/25/14 12:18:35 By - TRUDY RUBIN

Administration can't afford to lose on Obamacare subsidies

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, July 23: | 07/25/14 08:13:38 By -

Congress should act to close the metadata gaps

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, July 23: | 07/25/14 08:13:38 By -

Gina Barreca: We're teaching to the test � not students' futures

I'm worried that we're no longer teaching students how to think critically or to write well. | 07/25/14 08:03:42 By - By GINA BARRECA

Christine M. Flowers: Intercession badly needed in this mad world

Yesterday was my feast day, or as the Italians call it, my "onomastico."Since I live in the United States, it went completely unnoticed.If I lived in Italy, however, I would have been showered with cards and phone calls.That's because about 75 percent of the paesani, or "countrymen," are named after saints, and the other 25 percent are named Sal, which is short for Salvatore, which means savior.I think you can see why Italian obstetricians also need theological degrees before they're admitted to practice medicine. | 07/25/14 08:03:42 By - By CHRISTINE M. FLOWERS

Shootdown further reveals NATO weakness

The ongoing crisis in Ukraine has claimed yet another casualty: the NATO alliance. | 07/24/14 08:38:35 By - By RICHARD PARKER

Obamacare will have another date with the Supreme Court

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday, July 23: | 07/24/14 08:18:35 By -

Doyle McManus: A turning point in Ukraine?

It's neither pleasant nor polite to say it, but the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 may have been the best thing to happen to President Barack Obama's policy on Ukraine in weeks. | 07/24/14 08:13:45 By - By DOYLE MCMANUS

Ann McFeatters: Historians will recall our leaders' inaction

WASHINGTON - When historians look back on 2014, they will note not just how flagrantly Vladimir Putin disregarded international law or how stubbornly Gaza and Israel kept firing missiles at each other. They will also be puzzled at how poorly the United States handled its economy. | 07/24/14 08:13:45 By - By ANN MCFEATTERS

Reg Henry: Mother Goose and chicks visit home nest

When you write a newspaper column, it is advisable to read as much as you can. This week my reading included "Mother Goose." | 07/23/14 13:09:03 By - By REG HENRY

Martin Schram: A world held hostage

We live in a world of populations held hostage. | 07/23/14 13:09:03 By - By MARTIN SCHRAM

Jay Ambrose: Watch out for Bobby Jindal�

Bobby Jindal once gave a speech inspiring TV entertainer-commentator Jon Stewart to respond with satiric torture, which is to say, the speech wasn't just a little awful, but laughably awful. The other day, I saw Jindal give a speech inspiring a massive audience to a standing ovation, which is to say, it is untrue he's all substance and no show. He has the oratorical oomph to get to the Oval Office. | 07/23/14 12:49:03 By - By JAY AMBROSE

Taxes preventing recreational marijuana from working as planned

The following editorial appeared in the Orange County Register on Saturday, July 19: | 07/23/14 08:14:29 By -

Americans should recall nation's immigrant roots

The following editorial appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Tuesday, July 22: | 07/23/14 08:14:29 By -

Despite court ruling, Confederate flag does not belong on Texas license plate

The following editorial appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Friday, July 18: | 07/23/14 08:14:29 By -

The bishop and Abe Lincoln: an example of religion's positive influence on politics

The Founding Fathers had good reasons for explicitly barring government from inserting itself into matters of religion. But nothing in the Constitution forbids a president from consulting with clerics, and meetings between presidents and religious figures have, on occasion, helped shape history. | 07/23/14 08:14:25 By - By GUSTAV NIEBUHR

Where are the ambassadors?

Next month the United States will host dozens of African leaders in Washington. But unless something changes before then, we will still be without confirmed ambassadors in 14 countries on the African continent, including in such strategically important nations as Niger, Cameroon and Sierra Leone. | 07/23/14 08:14:25 By - By CLAUDIA KENNEDY AND STEPHEN A. CHENEY

Congress should pass online sales tax bill

The following editorial appeared in the San Jose Mercury News on Saturday, July 19: | 07/23/14 08:09:14 By -

Keep the oceans clean

The following editorial appeared in the Miami Herald on Tuesday, July 22: | 07/23/14 08:09:14 By -

Give US companies an incentive to not dodge taxes

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, July 20: | 07/23/14 08:09:14 By -

Alcoholism and drug addiction among Native Americans are curable diseases

A body is found behind the ice cream parlor on West Main Street, just around the corner from the office of the Native Sun News and the first thing that goes through the minds of all of our employees as they report to work and see the yellow tape roping off the area is: I wonder if it is an Indian? | 07/23/14 08:09:12 By - By TIM GIAGO (NANWICA KCIJI)

Rekha Basu: Iowa's Branstad among governors in the wrong on immigration issue

A few days after Iowa's governor was spotlighted on MSNBC for declaring undocumented children from Central America unwelcome in his state, "Meet the Press" highlighted one Iowa city's plan to welcome them. | 07/23/14 08:09:10 By - By REKHA BASU

Jay Ambrose: Watch out for Bobby Jindal�

Bobby Jindal once gave a speech disturbing TV entertainer-commentator Jon Stewart to the point of satiric torture, which is to say, the speech wasn't just a little awful, but laughably awful. The other day, I saw Jindal give a speech inspiring a massive audience to a standing ovation, which is to say, it is untrue he's all substance and no show. He has the oral oomph to get to the Oval Office. | 07/23/14 08:09:10 By - By JAY AMBROSE

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Adam Kwasman runs for wrong bus, leaves border issue unsolved

It's a revealing video. | 07/23/14 04:00:00 By - By LEONARD PITTS JR.

Putin can't avoid responsibility for passenger jet atrocity

The following editorial appeared in the Sacramento Bee on Saturday, July 19: | 07/22/14 08:09:27 By -

Troops won't solve migration crisis

The following editorial appeared in the Dallas Morning News on Monday, July 21: | 07/22/14 08:09:27 By -

House GOP, home of hyperbole and hyperpartisanship

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Saturday, July 19: | 07/22/14 08:09:27 By -

That's all? Citigroup eludes real punishment on securities

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Monday, July 21: | 07/22/14 08:09:27 By -

If Putin doesn't back down on Ukraine, the world should impose more sanctions

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, July 20: | 07/22/14 08:09:27 By -

At a dangerous moment, make Putin choose

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, July 20: | 07/22/14 08:09:27 By -

Dying days of financial reform?

This week marks the fourth anniversary of the most wide-sweeping financial reform since the Great Depression (known as Dodd-Frank). To avoid another 2008 would be great, but at this date and rate, astonishingly, only half the provisions have been implemented. Is financial reform in its dying days? Are we safer? | 07/22/14 08:09:24 By - By BART CHILTON

Regulation by stealth: time to re-examine federal agencies

In recent weeks, President Barack Obama announced plans to use executive authority to implement immigration reforms in absence of cooperation from Congress. House Speaker John A. Boehner also announced plans to initiate a lawsuit designed to check the president's power to take unilateral executive actions.Given this tension, it's a good time to consider how exactly the executive branch is able to implement policy without congressional consent. | 07/22/14 08:09:24 By - By JOHN D. GRAHAM AND JAMES BROUGHEL

Robin Abcarian: Breaking California up would be uncool to do

Chop California in six? | 07/22/14 08:09:19 By - By ROBIN ABCARIAN

Doyle McManus: Why Germany feels dissed

BERLIN - I arrived in Berlin last week hoping to see something rare: a country that's prosperous, well-governed and even happy, if only because it was just crowned champion of soccer's World Cup. | 07/22/14 08:09:19 By - By DOYLE MCMANUS

John Timpane: Moon landing 45 years ago brought us together

It was, after all, only a boot-crunching dust. You wouldn't think the sight would affect so many or change so much. | 07/22/14 08:09:19 By - By JOHN TIMPANE

Mark Fazlollah: On the US-Mexico border, a meeting place for two nations divided

In the mid-1980s, the border between Tijuana and Southern California was a showcase of America's failed immigration enforcement. On a busy night, thousands of people slipped into the United States illegally. | 07/22/14 08:09:19 By - By MARK FAZLOLLAH

Trudy Rubin: After plane horror, Europe must stand up to Putin

Vladimir Putin has become a global menace. | 07/21/14 13:24:01 By - TRUDY RUBIN

John M. Crisp: Why I won't be running in Pamplona

Pamplona's storied bull run created some extra interest recently when a perturbed toro named Brevito inflicted a nasty horn wound on Bill Hillmann's right thigh. | 07/21/14 12:59:03 By - By JOHN M. CRISP

Iran: inspectors on the ground or boots on the ground

With nuclear negotiations with Iran being extended, it's hard not to draw parallels to the U.S. experience with Iraq in 2002 and 2003. While most of us would prefer not to revisit or re-debate the run-up to the invasion, the more responsible path is to look at the parallels and learn where we can. At a minimum, we owe that to the men and women who served in the Iraq war. | 07/21/14 08:19:10 By - By COL. LAWRENCE WILKERSON

To fight trucker fatigue, focus on economics, not electronics

Last month, after a tractor-trailer collided with a vehicle carrying actor Tracy Morgan and others, national attention focused - briefly - on the serious issue of fatigued truck drivers. | 07/21/14 08:19:10 By - By KAREN LEVY

Bring back local seafood

The United States should be a very fishy country. | 07/21/14 08:19:10 By - By PAUL GREENBERG

Better-educated public school kids � for a price

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, July 16: | 07/21/14 08:09:32 By -

A recount that really matters in Afghanistan

The following editorial appeared in the Sacramento Bee on Thursday, July 17: | 07/21/14 08:09:32 By -

America can, and should, set standards for drone use

The increasing use in recent years of unmanned aerial vehicles, known as UAVs or drones, has spurred innovation and provoked concern. UAVs, which the U.S. Air Force now calls RPAs, or remotely piloted aircraft - a reminder that humans control them - can fly in places where the risk to a pilot would be too great to justify a manned mission. It is the use of armed UAVs to carry out what the U.S. government calls "targeted killings" on foreign soil of individuals believed to pose a serious terrorist threat to the United States that has spurred criticism, concern and debate, in the U.S. and abroad. | 07/21/14 08:09:28 By - By LINCOLN P. BLOOMFIELD JR.

Dan K. Thomasson: Hillary's costly speeches

WASHINGTON - These days a whole lot of money is being spent in anticipation that not only will Hillary Clinton be the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee she ultimately will win the nation's highest office. | 07/21/14 08:09:23 By - By DAN K. THOMASSON

Questions surround the value of lower unemployment rate

You just can't make everyone happy. | 07/20/14 04:00:00 By - By GAIL MARKSJARVIS

Leonard Pitts Jr.: GOP can't get out of its own way

So, Todd Akin is back and he's talking rape again. | 07/20/14 04:00:00 By - By LEONARD PITTS JR.

Kounalakis: Russia is now clearly a state sponsor of terror

The collective gasp heard around the world after the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is a recognition that what just happened is different. Civilian casualties in war zones are, unfortunately, all too common, sometimes outpacing the deaths of combatants. But this wanton act of shooting down a civilian airliner falls under a whole new category of terror. | 07/19/14 07:41:30 By - Markos Kounalakis

Mary Sanchez: Let's treat gun safety as a public health issue

Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? | 07/18/14 14:25:30 By - By MARY SANCHEZ

No quick or easy solutions to border crisis

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, July 16: | 07/18/14 08:13:59 By -

Despite doomsayers, Obama leads a recovery

The following editorial appeared in the Raleigh News & Observer on Monday, July 14: | 07/18/14 08:13:59 By -

A rival to US leadership: BRICS nations to start an alternative World Bank

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Wednesday, July 16: | 07/18/14 08:13:59 By -

Big spenders: The FTC blames Amazon for sales to children

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, July 17: | 07/18/14 08:13:59 By -

Mexico's mix of oil and drugs

The following editorial appeared in the Dallas Morning News on Tuesday, July 15: | 07/18/14 08:13:59 By -

Ever-increasing debt will harm future generations

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Thursday, July 17: | 07/18/14 08:13:59 By -

Missing in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Courageous political leaders on both sides

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, July 17: | 07/18/14 08:13:59 By -

Kurdistan, Scotland and Catalonia: They just want to be free, or do they?

Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq's semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead with such a vote, it would be joining two other parts of the world embarked on similar paths: Scotland and Catalonia. | 07/18/14 08:13:55 By - By HENRI BARKEY

We were boys, we were friends, we were enemies

The latest round of bombings, rocket attacks, airstrikes - sparked in part by the abductions and killings of three Israeli teenagers and a Palestinian teen - make hope for peace seem as impossible as these outrages against innocents are beyond reprehensible. My nephews and nieces in Israel and their peers in Gaza run for cover and cower in fear. Both sides are killing the future. | 07/18/14 08:13:55 By - By BEN KAMIN

Cynthia M. Allen: It's a complicated situation on the Texas border

I'm willing to make the wildly optimistic assumption that the majority of Americans appreciate the complexity of the current situation on our border. | 07/18/14 08:13:50 By - By CYNTHIA ALLEN

Trudy Rubin: Awful truths about Gaza war

Here's the awful truth about the Gaza war in which Israeli air strikes are matching Hamas rockets number for number. | 07/18/14 08:13:50 By - TRUDY RUBIN

Christine M. Flowers: Unlawful rapper doesn't deserve praise

I hate "urban music," whether it's rap, hip-hop, gangsta or whatever else they're calling it these days. The brutal assault on my ears and my dignity (Beyonce, honey, Jay-Z and your gynecologist should be the only ones gazing at ... that) makes me wonder what Langston Hughes, James Baldwin and Zora Neale Hurston would think of the trashy mess. | 07/18/14 08:13:50 By - By CHRISTINE M. FLOWERS

Gina Barreca: I won't take growing old sitting down

I've lived my life with enthusiasm, courage, raucousness and passion. Why on earth would I want to grow old gracefully? | 07/18/14 08:13:50 By - By GINA BARRECA

New highway bill swerves to avoid elephant on road

Perhaps averting another standoff with Democrats, the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives took a small step earlier this week by allocating an additional $10 billion to continue to paying for freeway projects nationwide. | 07/18/14 08:11:33 By - Editorial Board

What players' brain damage will cost the NFL

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, July 15: | 07/17/14 08:13:50 By -

Thwarting the migrant smugglers

The following editorial appeared in the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday, July 16: | 07/17/14 08:13:50 By -

Congress must accelerate Highway Trust Fund solutions

The following editorial appeared in the Miami Herald on Monday, July 14: | 07/17/14 08:13:50 By -

Haiti deserves justice

The following editorial appeared in the Miami Herald on Tuesday, July 15: | 07/17/14 08:13:50 By -

The case for genetically modified food

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, July 15: | 07/17/14 08:13:50 By -

CDC drops the ball, and the anthrax

The following editorial appeared in the San Jose Mercury News on Wednesday, July 16: | 07/17/14 08:13:50 By -

Carl Leubsdorf: Scoring Hillary's pre-campaign hits and misses

Hillary Clinton reportedly plans to spend most of the summer in relative seclusion, after a month-long pre-campaign road test promoting her qualifications from being secretary of state and testing her stamina for a potential marathon ahead. | 07/17/14 08:13:45 By - By CARL P. LEUBSDORF

Ann McFeatters: Americans sure have odd ways of dealing with their problems

WASHINGTON � We Americans are marvelously inventive when it comes to dealing with our piques. | 07/17/14 08:13:45 By - By ANN MCFEATTERS

Foolish gun measures draw welcome opposition

The following editorial appeared in the Kansas City Star on Wednesday, July 16: | 07/17/14 08:08:43 By -

Israel's losing war

A popular colloquial definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Israel launched military campaigns in 2008 and 2012, purportedly to eliminate Hamas' rocket-launching capabilities from the Gaza Strip. Obviously, the campaigns failed: Hamas is again unleashing a barrage of rockets, and Israel is again bombarding Gaza. Israel cannot win this war, primarily because it is fighting only the symptoms of the conflict with the Palestinians - rocket launching - not the underlying causes, which are the Gaza blockade and the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. | 07/17/14 08:08:42 By - By IBRAHIM SHARQIEH

Danny Westneat: 'No new taxes' means no new anything in D.C.

Should doctors who are behind on their taxes be tapped to repair the nation's highway system? | 07/17/14 08:08:41 By - By DANNY WESTNEAT

Martin Schram: Cleveland's GOP convention news recalls forgotten lesson for fiery pols

What a week for Cleveland! | 07/16/14 12:18:34 By - By MARTIN SCHRAM

Reg Henry: Let us agree to disagree like sane people

Have you ever wondered what makes other people hold the ridiculous political opinions they do? | 07/16/14 11:53:34 By - By REG HENRY

With IRS embroiled, time is right to repeal federal income tax

A high-level official of the Internal Revenue Service declares her innocence before a congressional committee and then asserts the Fifth Amendment right that she had effectively just waived. Incriminating emails have surfaced, while others are declared lost. An arrogant IRS commissioner declares that none of this amounts to anything for which he should apologize on behalf of his agency. | 07/16/14 11:38:35 By - By COLIN HANNA

When friends spy on friends

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, July 15: | 07/16/14 08:13:50 By -

The Dow at 17,000 is a paradox of two economies

The following editorial appeared in the Dallas Morning News on Saturday, July 12: | 07/16/14 08:13:50 By -

How to keep the Highway Trust Fund in motion

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Monday, July 14: | 07/16/14 08:13:50 By -

Kansas goes a little gun crazy with its Second Amendment Protection Act

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Friday, July 11: | 07/16/14 08:13:50 By -

VA scandal highlights the need to change Pentagon spending priorities

The ongoing Department of Veterans Affairs scandal raises an important question: When our veterans are being denied access to basic health care, why is the Pentagon squandering billions of dollars on programs that do not benefit our military forces? Is there a link in organization attitudes? | 07/16/14 08:13:47 By - By STUART PLATT �

Avoid 'mission creep' in Iraq

"Mission creep" is the process whereby a military commitment made under one rationale morphs into something larger and more dangerous.That is exactly the risk the Obama administration is running in Iraq. | 07/16/14 08:13:47 By - By WILLIAM D. HARTUNG

With IRS embroiled, time is right to repeal federal income tax

A high-level official of the Internal Revenue Service declares her innocence before a congressional committee and then asserts the Fifth Amendment right that she had effectively just waived. Incriminating emails have surfaced, while others are declared lost. An arrogant IRS commissioner declares that none of this amounts to anything for which he should apologize on behalf of his agency. | 07/16/14 08:13:47 By - By COLIN HANNA

Undoing Afghanistan's resource curse

Afghanistan is teetering on the edge. A little-known bill just passed the upper house of its parliament that could help counter threats to the country's stability and future development, but only if the U.S. government works with Afghanistan to ensure that it is fixed before it becomes law. | 07/16/14 08:13:47 By - By JODI VITTORI

The German-American breakup

When candidate Barack Obama spoke in July 2008 in Berlin near the Brandenburg Gate, he told a rapturous German audience that peace and progress "require allies who will listen to each other, learn from each other and, most of all, trust each other." It was supposed to be the opposite of George W. Bush's cowboy diplomacy, which alienated the Federal Republic of Germany and much of Europe. Yet six years later, relations between Washington and Berlin are more mistrustful than ever. | 07/16/14 08:13:47 By - By JACOB HEILBRUNN

Rekha Basu: You can't escape the Kochs

You can't escape the Koch brothers. They're everywhere. Underwriting efforts to eliminate Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. Trying to get rid of aid to education, the Environmental Protection Agency and minimum-wage laws. They're the brunt of late-night monologues, dramatic TV series and comedy film. They're even supporting Iowa candidates. | 07/16/14 08:13:45 By - By REKHA BASU

Michael Pearce: For one fisherman, quantity is the name of the game

EL DORADO RESERVOIR, Kan. - Like clowns from a tiny car at the circus, fishing rods kept coming and coming from Jerry Howard's boat. They came from stacks on each side of where he sat at the back of the 18-foot boat. Others were carefully pulled from the boat's side, where they'd been threaded through narrow openings to rest within the craft's hull. | 07/16/14 08:13:45 By - By MICHAEL PEARCE

Jay Ambrose: A more stable world requires more stable policies

The world is lately an unstable mess, as crazily off balance as at anytime in the past three and a half decades, says a recent front-page story in The Wall Street Journal, and it's clearly, frighteningly true. | 07/16/14 08:08:39 By - By JAY AMBROSE

Conspiracy hobbyists zero in on a new target: Catholic Charities?!

First, the border hawks lied about the children coming to Texas. | 07/16/14 05:50:27 By - Bud Kennedy

Leonard Pitts Jr.: John Siegenthaler, a man who made different choices

Here we go again. Same stuff, different day. Deja vu all over again. | 07/16/14 04:00:00 By - By LEONARD PITTS JR.

The Roberts court turns further rightward in service of the few

The following editorial appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Sunday, July 13: | 07/15/14 08:13:17 By -

Obama's spy scandal

The following editorial appeared in the Orange County Register on Saturday, July 12: | 07/15/14 08:13:17 By -

Land mines meant to deter troops still kill civilians

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Monday, July 14: | 07/15/14 08:13:17 By -

Repeal the renewable fuel standard

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, July 12: | 07/15/14 08:13:17 By -

Some (considered) fixes to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, July 13: | 07/15/14 08:13:17 By -

Studying physics can give wayward teens a cause

There's a great anecdote one often hears from professional dancers: As a kid, I could never sit still, they'll say. My teacher wanted to put me on Ritalin, but my parents put me in dance class. | 07/15/14 08:13:14 By - By AMANDA GEFTER

Due process at the border

When Juan Pablo Guerrero Diaz left El Salvador to come to the U.S., his daughter was still in diapers. Now she is 14, and this year, after fleeing for her life, she was reunited with her parents in Los Angeles. | 07/15/14 08:13:14 By - By HECTOR VILLAGRA

If you like Uber, you would've loved the jitney

Car services like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar are thriving because they've embraced an obvious, good idea: connecting those who have spare time and wheels with people who need rides. Founded just five years ago, Uber now operates in 128 cities and on every continent but Antarctica. The company and its competitors connect riders and drivers every day across America. | 07/15/14 08:13:14 By - By MATTHEW MITCHELL AND MICHAEL FARREN

For better politics, it's time for some raging moderates

Like more than 20 percent of my fellow Californians, I am now classified as a no-party-preference voter, registered to vote but with no affiliation to any of the state's political parties. | 07/15/14 08:13:14 By - By DAN SCHNUR

If IBM's Watson had legs, it would jaywalk

It's strange to walk the streets of Seattle and San Jose, two of the world's great software capitals, and see people behaving like machines. I'm referring to jaywalking or, more precisely, the lack of it. You see packs of knowledge workers huddled on street corners. They appear able to ignore the data streaming in through their eyes and ears that would make it clear to other creatures - dogs, squirrels or, for that matter, New Yorkers - that the coast is clear and it's safe to cross. Instead they wait for a blinking machine to issue orders. | 07/15/14 08:13:14 By - By STEPHEN BAKER

Michael Hiltzik: Is literature dead? Or, how to read books in the digital age

Several recent articles appearing online have pointed to a couple of burning questions about book reading in this overstuffed era: Why do people buy books they have no intention of reading? And, how can one ever find the time to read a book at all? | 07/15/14 08:13:11 By - By MICHAEL HILTZIK

Robin Abcarian: New contract an extraordinary win for NFL cheerleaders

On July 1, about six months after being hit with a wage theft lawsuit that generated worldwide attention, the Oakland Raiders shipped out a new contract to the 40 members of its Raiderettes cheerleading squad, who call themselves "football's fabulous females." | 07/15/14 08:13:11 By - By ROBIN ABCARIAN

Germany recoils at spying by the United States

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Monday, July 14: | 07/15/14 08:08:07 By -

Christine M. Flowers: Remember the cruel and unusual death

The merits of the death penalty have been and will continue to be debated as long as justice is viewed through a personal prism. I believe that a society must impose the most draconian punishment for the most heinous crimes, otherwise we do violence to the humanity of the victim. Others have a legitimate, heartfelt and sober belief that the government has no right to essentially “murder” one of its citizens. | 05/02/14 10:34:43 By - Christine M. Flowers

William Douglas: L.A. Times writer explains line about Donald Sterling should own hockey team

It’s been a rough week for Los Angeles Times columnist Sandy Banks. Her email and voicemail have been flooded with messages — some of them stern and others Sterno-hot with anger — about a line she wrote in a weekend piece about disgraced and freshly banned Los Angeles Clippers basketball team owner Donald Sterling after his recorded racist remarks about black people. | 05/01/14 10:29:23 By - By William Douglas

L.A. Clippers’ Donald Sterling could escape blacks by owning a hockey team. Really?

She had to drag hockey into this mess. In a weekend column in the Los Angeles Times, Sandy Banks wrote that it’s time for Los Angeles Clippers’ Donald Sterling to give up ownership of his National Basketball Association team in the wake of recordings on which he purportedly makes racist comments about black people. Banks offers a novel solution for Sterling if he wants to stay in the sports business. | 04/29/14 13:13:47 By - By William Douglas

NCAA President: 'change is needed – and it must come from within'

Mark Emmert responds to Tacoma News Tribune column. "Converting student-athletes into unionized employees throws the baby out with the bath water," he writes. | 04/20/14 09:01:22 By - By Mark Emmert

What lies behind Putin's moves in Ukraine

Most analysis of the Ukraine crisis ask why Russian President Vladimir Putin would risk international condemnation – and potential military confrontation – with his aggressive military moves in Crimea. | 03/02/14 21:11:53 By - By Markos Kounalakis

A year-end assortment of McClatchy cartoons for 2013

Over 2013, McClatchy cartoonists across the chain have used their wit and insight for editorial cartoons. | 12/26/13 06:00:00 By -

What do you think?

We'd like your feedback on the new McClatchyDC.com. | 09/01/13 05:23:23 By -

Have questions?

Find answers in the FAQs about our new website. | 09/01/13 05:23:59 By -

Keep a skeptical eye on Al Jazeera America

A journalist friend of mine posted on Facebook last week, proclaiming her joy at two bits of media news: that the libertarian brothers Charles and David Koch have given up on the idea of buying the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers, and that an American subsidiary of the Arab news channel Al Jazeera has gone on the air. | 08/27/13 14:50:16 By - Glenn Garvin

Commentary: Zimmerman verdict leaves key question unanswered

Let us give the jury the benefit of the doubt. | 07/14/13 23:22:10 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Obama risks excessive secrecy

President Obama went to Berlin in 2008 as a presidential candidate and was greeted like a rock star, drawing a crowd of 200,000 for speech. He returned to Germany’s capital last week to speak at the historic Brandenburg Gate and the crowd was 4,500, fewer even than the 6,000 tickets distributed. | 06/27/13 06:36:23 By -

Commentary: Don't make excuses for Paula Deen

In the past week, many commenters have rushed to defend fallen Food Network star Paula Deen. But one excuse for her cluelessness about race really takes the cake: that she is "of another time." | 06/26/13 06:39:37 By - Curtis Tate

When loving others becomes routine, it can overshadow the routine of evil

I held my 8-year-old daughter a bit tighter Monday night. | 04/16/13 17:23:45 By - Issac J. Bailey

New questions raised about origins of U.S. Honor Flag

That U.S. Honor Flag? | 04/14/13 08:50:00 By - Bud Kennedy

Commentary: Longing for a human voice in customer service

Dear Whoever is in Charge of Customer Service for DirecTV:

All I wanted was to watch the game. | 03/29/13 06:01:26 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: War costs last forever

The past is never dead, as William Faulkner might have written if he were analyzing the federal budget, it’s not even paid for. Did you realize that World War II still costs U.S. taxpayers $5 billion a year? Or that we haven’t closed the financial books on the Civil War yet? | 03/29/13 06:07:31 By - Glenn Garvin

Commentary: In Georgia, happiness is a mandatory gun

I own a couple of firearms. If I should ever have to move to Nelson, Ga. (and surely a merciful God would not demand such a dire penance from me), at least I'll be in compliance with the law. | 03/29/13 06:03:25 By - Dusty Nix

Commentary: Beyonce should be a better role model

There are three unmistakable signs that a man is getting old:

• His mailbox is bombarded with letters from the AARP.

• He spends 15 minutes looking for his cellphone – while he’s talking on it.

• He looks at Beyoncé and thinks “That girl needs to put some clothes on.” | 03/28/13 13:05:15 By - Barry Saunders

Commentary: Iraq war taught us a lesson

“President Bush, driven by his own moral certainty, has guided the nation to a point where, he claims, the consequences of inaction are worse than those of war itself. But in doing so, he has gambled American treasure, prestige and lives. And, we think, in his zeal to convince the world of the need to invade Iraq, he has neglected to adequately prepare Americans for the potential hazards that lie ahead – not only during the battle itself but also in the aftermath.” | 03/28/13 06:03:05 By - James Werrell

Commentary: 'Unpaid' writers have bills to pay too

People who make their living by writing for publication had good reason to follow the recent hoo-hah over publishers who think paying writers for their work is optional. | 03/28/13 06:01:10 By - Edward Wasserman

Commentary: Life's good in gun-crazy Florida

Almost. Almost a massacre. Almost a college campus horror. But last week’s thwarted killing spree had no discernible effect on Tallahassee’s gun fetish. Almost mattered almost not at all. | 03/27/13 06:02:00 By - Fred Grimm

Commentary: Sen. Pat Roberts' food stamp 'solution' is same old blame game

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts wants to “restore integrity” to America’s food stamp program.

How about restoring some dignity to the people who receive the aid? | 03/27/13 06:08:57 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: Dr. Ben Carson's baffling vitriol against President Obama

You wouldn’t know it just by looking, but Dr. Ben Carson, the brilliant neurosurgeon, and I have a couple of things in common. | 03/26/13 07:28:05 By - Barry Saunders

Commentary: It’s called living — no matter how fast it seems

Really? Bobbie Smith, too? Geez.

This is what I’m thinking when word comes that the lead singer of the Spinners has died. It comes a month after Richard Street and Damon Harris, who sang on Papa Was A Rolling Stone with the Temptations, passed away just days apart. Now Smith, whose ice cream dollop of a tenor on Could It Be I’m Falling In Love serenaded me through junior year in high school, has joined them. It feels — and this feeling has become uncomfortably familiar lately — as if Somebody Up There is taking a sledgehammer to my childhood. | 03/26/13 06:07:14 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Pope Francis' ties with Jews, Muslims could strengthen Vatican

The most interesting thing about Argentine Pope Francis may be not just that he’s the first Latin American to head the Vatican, but also that he may become the Church’s biggest champion of interfaith dialogue e | 03/26/13 06:05:42 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: Texas is slow to get rolling on the road to compromise

Finally, the bipartisan "No Labels" movement is going somewhere.

But not Texas. | 03/25/13 06:02:56 By - Bud Kennedy

Commentary: More guns, more places won't solve anything

I want to claim shock that in a state that has among the highest rates of domestic violence in a nation that leads the industrialized world in the rate of gun violence, there are those we sent to Columbia who believe the problem is that we have too few guns in too few places. | 03/25/13 06:00:57 By - Issac J. Bailey

Commentary: Bloomberg's big soda ban didn't go far enough for one Duke professor

Neither Sarah Palin nor Gary Bennett was upset when a judge struck down New York’s “big soda ban” the day before it was supposed to go into effect last week. | 03/24/13 06:00:40 By - Barry Saunders

Commentary: A Sudan 'Lost Boy' finds a life-saving mission

Although he has found a home in Fort Worth -- a place he has come to love -- in many ways 33-year-old Gatjan Deng is still on a journey that he began when he was only 9. | 03/24/13 06:03:20 By - Bob Ray Sanders

Commentary: Venezuela election will be a David vs. Goliath contest

When Venezuela’s opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski says the April 14 presidential election will be a “David versus Goliath” fight, in which the government’s candidate will have a formidable advantage, he’s not kidding. | 03/23/13 06:07:26 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: Surprising results from a gun survey

You’d think, reading news reports about people rushing out to buy assault rifles and stock up on ammo, that gun ownership is on the rise. But according to at least one survey, just the opposite is true. | 03/23/13 06:14:18 By - James Werrell

Commentary: Sen. Rob Portman's gay marriage 'change of heart'

Let there be no cheers for Rob Portman.

The Ohio senator is, pardon the tautology, a conservative Republican and last week, he did something conservative Republicans do not do. He came out for same-sex marriage. This is a man whose anti-gay bonafides were so pronounced that his 2011 selection as commencement speaker at the University of Michigan law school prompted an uproar among the graduates, many of whom signed a letter protesting his appearance as an insult to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. | 03/22/13 06:02:14 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Women's progress understated by oft-used wages number

Next month, brace yourself for another round of grumbling about gender discrimination in the workplace. April 9 is Equal Pay Day, supposedly the magic point at which women finally make what men made in the previous year. | 03/22/13 06:09:18 By - E. Thomas McClanahan

Commentary: Media throw Bradley Manning to the wolves

In media mythology, the years from the mid-1960s to the mid-’70s were the classical age, a heroic time of moral clarity.

Mainstream journalism marinated in adversarialism. Little Southern newspapers infuriated their own readers by staring down segregation. Foreign correspondents forced upon an unwilling public the realities of a brutal war. Network news ignored official disdain and showed the bottomless suffering the war inflicted on the innocents it was supposed to save. With the Pentagon Papers, newspapers defied secrecy rules to expose government lies. With Watergate, reporters forced out a corrupt president. | 03/21/13 06:02:22 By - Edward Wasserman

Commentary: Concentration of wealth with the 1% is too profound to ignore

In 2011, a Kansas City union rep was explaining why Occupy Wall Street wasn’t galvanizing more of his members. | 03/21/13 06:00:34 By - Steve Kraske

Commentary: Too many deaths in an unnecessary war

Someone left a SpongeBob SquarePants snow globe on Elizabeth Jacobson’s grave. A fuzzy yellow Easter Bunny. A sand dollar adorned with the yellow SpongeBob character. | 03/20/13 06:03:12 By - Fred Grimm

Commentary: No reason to fear U.N. resolution Agenda 21

Hey, Missouri citizen. When you woke up this morning and gulped your orange juice, did you obsess about United Nations resolution Agenda 21? | 03/20/13 06:01:26 By - Barbara Shelly

Commentary: The media blew it on Iraq

A decade ago, the media screwed up, and screwed up royally.

We got the Iraq war wrong.

Big time. | 03/19/13 06:04:30 By - Issac J. Bailey

Commentary: Right to counsel? It’s stacked against the poor

Karen Houppert has written a book of nightmares. | 03/19/13 06:09:01 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: A conundrum of capitalism - we want high wages, cheap goods

The conundrum of capitalism is finally easing its tight hold on the economy.

The first part of the conundrum is the primal drive of most consumers to spend as little as possible on goods and services. | 03/19/13 06:05:45 By - Keith Chrostowski

Commentary: Targeted killings have deadly, tainted history

The name Patrice Lumumba doesn't mean anything to most Americans today, and certainly not to most people in my home state of Texas. | 03/18/13 06:03:42 By - Bob Ray Sanders

Commentary: Empty rhetoric over nullification

Pumped up on conservative steroids, many Republican legislators in Kansas and Missouri want to send a message to Washington, D.C.

It goes something like this: You can’t tell us what to do. | 03/18/13 06:05:09 By - Yael T. Abouhalkah

Commentary: The abortion debate and Jesus

I spent time with a group of readers the past couple of weeks, talking mostly about faith. | 03/17/13 03:13:07 By - Issac J. Bailey

Commentary: Little knives and cellphones on planes? This won't end well

Gee, what could possibly go wrong with this?

At the same time the FCC is requesting that airlines ease up on restricting the use of cell phones, the TSA is fixing to relax rules so we can carry knives onto planes. | 03/17/13 06:04:23 By - Barry Saunders

Commentary: Helping alleviate the student debt trap

Nearly a year ago, President Obama came to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he campaigned for re-election by reaching out to young people saddled by crushing student debt and facing a jump in interest rates on their federal loans. | 03/16/13 06:00:22 By - Ned Barnett

Commentary: Drone debate lands in Texas

Drone phobia is upon us. | 03/16/13 06:05:24 By - Bud Kennedy

Commentary: Israel seeks calm but fears the future

The Israel Defense Force (IDF) has long been vaunted as the preeminent military power in the Middle East. But Israel lost the eight-day war last November in the Gaza Strip, both Israelis and the Gaza Palestinians believe. | 03/15/13 13:46:56 By - Ben Barber

Commentary: Coverage of Obama may take harder edge in second term

Second terms have a habit of being unkind to presidents and one wonders whether the pattern will apply to Barack Obama, whose treatment by the press has been unusually respectful, to put it mildly. | 03/15/13 06:04:33 By - E. Thomas McClanahan

Commentary: Six ways the Catholic Church is just like the Republican Party

One might think that a political party and a religious organization would not have that much in common. But the Republican Party, in the wake of its failure to retake the White House, and the Catholic Church, in the aftermath of a series of scandals, actually have a lot in common. Here are at least six similarities: | 03/15/13 06:01:41 By - Dennis Jett

Commentary: Mayor Bloomberg and the supersized soda menace

Perhaps you remember when Dr. Doom conquered the world.

Or perhaps you don’t. Sadly enough, even in this day and age, not everyone is comic-book literate. | 03/15/13 06:00:09 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Pope Francis could impact politics in Latin America

One of the biggest questions about Pope Francis is whether he will be a politically activist pontiff who — much as he has done in Argentina — will be a thorn in the side of leftist-populist governments throughout Latin America. Some say he will. | 03/14/13 07:43:02 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: Jeb Bush's views on immigration keep shifting

Yet another member of the Bush family has demonstrated an uncanny ability to flinch on immigration.

Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, has long advocated a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, roughly in line with current thinking of a bipartisan group in Congress. Yet in a new book he has written with Clint Bolick, “Immigration Wars,” Bush has flip-flopped on the question of the path to citizenship. | 03/14/13 06:04:07 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: Falkland Islands redux

The Argentine-British dispute over the Falkland/Malvinas islands is once again heating up, and the latest events point at a new diplomatic setback for Argentina’s legitimate claims over the South Atlantic islands. | 03/14/13 06:07:33 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: U.S Census quits using 'Negro' and it's about time

When I was born my mother named me Merlene, a compilation of her middle name, Merle, and an ending that must have sounded good at the time. | 03/13/13 06:06:11 By - Merlene Davis

Commentary: GOP still doesn't get it, but thinks it can win anyhow

Ever since failing to make Obama a one-term president, Mitt Romney has been trying to figure out why he doesn't occupy the White House. In a recent interview (naturally with Fox News), he blamed his loss in part on his failure to connect with minorities and his remark that 47 percent of Americans think they are entitled to a government that does something for them. He said he regretted the comment, but indicated his only error was a poor choice of words and not the sentiment behind them. Politicians say they misspoke whenever they inadvertently reveal what they really think. | 03/13/13 06:03:27 By - Dennis Jett

Commentary: Introverts and the art of telecommuting

It’s not just a women’s issue.

Granted, that’s how many of us are framing last month’s decision by Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo! Inc., to end telecommuting and require all employees to report to the office. It ignited a firestorm of controversy over whether Mayer, a working mother herself, has backstabbed the sisterhood. Columnist Kathleen Parker called it the latest iteration of the “mommy war.” | 03/12/13 06:07:53 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Big holes in the medical safety net

Paul Chan is hopeful that the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, will improve the treatment of people who lack health insurance. That would come as welcome relief if his research is any indication of what’s happening to the uninsured right now. | 03/12/13 06:09:29 By - Alan Bavley

Commentary: What is really driving the creative process

Inventor Thomas Alva Edison is quoted as saying that “genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.” I make no claims to being a genius, but I’m not sure Edison took into account some of the other things that influence the creative process. | 03/11/13 06:06:34 By - James Werrell

Commentary: Want a job in Obama's administration? Support his opponent

Former Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire may still get asked to serve in President Obama’s administration.

But if the call doesn’t come, she has no one to blame but herself. | 03/11/13 06:05:54 By - Peter Callaghan

Commentary: Obama has a peace opportunity during World War I centennial

President Barack Obama finally has a chance to live up to winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, and he can do it next year in Kansas City. | 03/10/13 06:10:02 By - Lewis W. Diuguid

Commentary: Send the spring break hordes to Cuba

For those of us who survived the invasion of ’85, forgetting is not so easy. | 03/10/13 06:07:04 By - Fred Grimm

Commentary: Sandra Day O'Connor is retired but still engaged

Her hair is snowy white. She leans heavily on a cane and calls herself "just an unemployed cowgirl." But this self-deprecating ex-cowgirl is retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman to serve on the nation's highest court, and she remains passionate about the nation she served. | 03/09/13 06:17:10 By - Ginger Rutland

Commentary: Who needs science anyway?

At first blush, I might have guessed that a group calling itself the American Suntanning Association was a group promoting nudism. Much to my disappointment, I learned it’s an organization representing 14,000 tanning salon owners. | 03/09/13 06:11:46 By - Terry Plumb

Commentary: Justice Scalia shows his politics

Surely by now Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia knows that his Feb. 27 comments from the bench about a voting rights case were at best insensitive. | 03/09/13 06:08:26 By - Bob Ray Sanders

Commentary: Cancer took Debi Austin's vocal cords, didn't stop her anti-smoking message

Debi Austin spoke loudest after surgeons removed her cancerous vocal cords. | 03/08/13 06:09:16 By - Dan Morain

Commentary: Changes in the GOP?

It’s hard to stay angry, especially when you’re really not. That effort is beginning to drain the long harrumph that has been the Republican Party for the past four years. | 03/08/13 06:02:19 By - Ned Barnett

Commentary: Sometimes politicians embarrass a state more than it deserves

In the contest among certain states to see which can do the most embarrassing political face plant, Georgia continues to be among the leaders. The Peach State's latest sweepstakes entry (well, maybe not the latest -- let's not discount the possibility that something even stupider has emerged) is … drum roll … a nullification bill. | 03/07/13 06:02:37 By - Dusty Nix

Commentary: Carrie Nation would be proud of Kansas liquor laws

In 1881, Kansas put into play the first statewide constitutional prohibition of alcohol. | 03/07/13 06:14:12 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: Gay rights - from MLK to Brendon Ayanbadejo

Brendon Ayanbadejo is wrong. It is painful to say that. Ayanbadejo’s heart is in a good place and the advice he gave last week on MSNBC’s The Ed Show was practical and well intentioned. But mainly, yes, it was wrong. | 03/07/13 06:08:31 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Hugo Chávez's 'revolution' won't lose steam in Venezuela

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s death will most likely mark the beginning of the end of Venezuela’s political clout in Latin America, but his influence inside Venezuela is likely to last for many decades. | 03/06/13 11:28:55 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: The diplomacy style of John Kerry

The metaphor became a clever laugh line even before John Kerry took the reins of the State Department from Hillary Clinton. Kerry spoke respectfully of his predecessor, saying he had “big heels” to fill. Richard Haass, head of the Council of Foreign Relations, expressed his admiration for Hillary by joking that Kerry would have to fill “very large Manolo Blahniks.” | 03/06/13 06:09:56 By - Frida Ghitis

Commentary: Sequester offers an opportunity to realign national security

No matter how bad the problem, a former colleague of mine used to always preface discussions by saying that it represented an "opportunity." The Sequester's cuts will hit the Department of Defense (DOD) especially hard. But rather than focus on the cuts, I suggest we see this as an opportunity to assess and better align America's national security interests and capabilities. | 03/05/13 06:10:12 By - Scott Sigmund Gartner

Commentary: Voting Rights Act not a ‘racial entitlement’

One day, many years ago, I was working in my college bookstore when this guy walks in wearing a T-shirt. “White Power,” it said. | 03/05/13 06:02:51 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer made good call on work in office rule

The new chief executive of Yahoo spoke, and a nation of telecommuters howled back.

Actually, it was Yahoo’s human resources director, Jackie Reses, who issued the controversial memo, marked “proprietary and confidential — do not forward.” | 03/05/13 06:10:09 By - Barbara Shelly

Commentary: Some questions without easy answers

The Dept. of Awkward Questions has been working overtime recently.

Please try to keep up. | 03/04/13 06:03:14 By - Keith Chrostowski

Commentary: GOP must embrace immigration reform

The wake-up call Republicans received last Election Day has the party and some of its more popular and strident leaders engaged in an "extreme makeover." | 03/03/13 06:25:54 By - Bob Ray Sanders

Commentary: Brazil must become more outward looking

Brazil, South America’s biggest country, may become a global economic super-star in the future, but it will have to stop being an inward-looking giant. | 03/03/13 06:00:17 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: Where is the science against genetically modified crops?

If this column appeared under the headline, “Massive defeat for the anti-science forces,” you would naturally assume I’m talking about some kind of setback for conservative Republicans, right? And you would be completely wrong. | 03/02/13 06:03:56 By - Glenn Garvin

Commentary: More guns but fewer gun owners in America

There’s a little-known fact about guns in America, and it’s one that the firearms industry and its political allies don’t like to dwell on: The rate of gun ownership in America is declining. | 03/01/13 06:05:29 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: More fear-based rants around gun control

The Wizard of Second Amendment Fear was back at it Saturday, cranking up conspiracies.

Expanded background checks for gun purchases are a government plot to grab guns, claimed the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre. | 02/28/13 06:08:59 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: The Bush email hacking episode's hidden dangers

Media throughout the country carried news recently that a half-dozen email accounts belonging to ex-President George W. Bush and several of his friends and relatives had been hacked. The words and images that were pilfered weren’t all that interesting, so all in all it wasn’t a huge story. | 02/28/13 06:01:02 By - Edward Wasserman

Commentary: One year after Trayvon Martin's death, more questions about other violent deaths

People wore their hoodies Tuesday to remember Trayvon Martin on the first anniversary of his appalling shooting death at the hands of a neighborhood watchman, who pursued the black youth on the suspicion that he didn’t look like he belonged in his gated townhouse community. | 02/27/13 11:42:56 By - Fabiola Santiago

Commentary: The N word and a slap for Jonah Bennett

“The first kick I took was when I hit the ground.” - Bruce Springsteen, “Born in the U.S.A.”

So now, Jonah has received a lesson in How Things Are. He is 19 months old. | 02/27/13 06:07:04 By -

Commentary: A racism conundrum in Flint, Michigan

I remember interviewing a white man who refused to shake my black hand. | 02/27/13 06:05:28 By - Issac J. Bailey

Commentary: My mother is my hero

I’m here because my mother, Elizabeth Bailey McDaniel, refused to die. | 02/26/13 13:51:22 By - Issac J. Bailey

Commentary: The value of recess

What was your favorite subject in school? If many of us were honest, the answer would be recess. | 02/26/13 06:08:20 By - James Werrell

Commentary: Boy Scouts leader makes point to ponder on gays

There was nothing unusual about a representative of the Boy Scouts of America's national office being invited to speak Friday night at a Fort Worth banquet to raise money for three enduring inner-city troops and honor four longtime Scout leaders. | 02/26/13 06:03:02 By - Bob Ray Sanders

Commentary: Are we numb to gun violence at this point?

According to Slate magazine, there have been nearly 2,000 gun-related deaths in the U.S. since 20 children and seven adults were massacred in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14. | 02/25/13 06:00:15 By - Marcos Breton

Commentary: A better understanding of hate crimes is needed

The power of hate crimes to terrorize is relatively simple: They are criminal acts that send a message far beyond the initial victim. | 02/25/13 06:03:55 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: Dick Lugar's take on D.C. partisanship

Few people have more reason to be bitter about America’s political polarization than Dick Lugar – he was fired because of it. | 02/24/13 06:08:45 By - Taylor Batten

Commentary: Investing in preschool is investing in America

Compared with our counterparts in the developed world, the United States is a wealthy nation of dummies and dropouts. A few years ago, American 15-year-olds were ranked 17th in science and an unimpressive 25th in math when compared with their peers in other countries. | 02/23/13 06:01:03 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: Florida governor's about-face on Medicaid expansion

Florida Gov. Rick Scott did an abrupt about-face on Wednesday and said he has learned to love the foundation on which Obamacare was built, the expansion of Medicaid. He called it common sense. | 02/22/13 14:31:37 By - Mike Norman

Commentary: Our deadly love affair with guns

President Barack Obama received a vigorous ovation when he declared during his State of the Union address last week that the parents of Hadiya Pendleton deserved a vote on bills before Congress that would stem gun violence. | 02/22/13 06:03:59 By - Terry Plumb

Commentary: Crunching the numbers on immigration

Giovanni Peri, an Italian-born economist at UC Davis, is quickly becoming one of the most important voices in America's immigration debate. | 02/22/13 06:05:46 By - Marcos Breton

Commentary: Would Rush Limbaugh stand up for Rosa Parks? No.

Dear David from Georgia:

I wanted to thank you for the email you sent last week. It made me laugh out loud. It seems you were unhappy I took a shot at Rush Limbaugh a few days back. | 02/21/13 06:08:33 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Stop planting the seeds of bullying and hatred

He’s found a Hurley tank top on the rack. It’s striped — yellow, orange, black, red and blue.

The teen holds it up to his mom. | 02/21/13 06:08:08 By - Jenee' Osterheldt

Commentary: Chris Dorner was no kind of hero

Hero, my butt.

All right, that was not exactly my response to the gentleman who called and suggested a column in defense of California cop-killer Christopher Dorner. It is, though, the only translation that my editor would allow in the newspaper. | 02/20/13 06:03:15 By - Barry Saunders

Commentary: Wal-Mart moms are a potent and frustrated force

The Wal-Mart mom does it all. She raises kids, works a job or two, runs Girl Scout troops, cares for elderly relatives and walks the family dog. Without her — regardless of where she shops — entire households, schools and neighborhoods would go to pieces. | 02/19/13 06:05:45 By - Barbara Shelly

Commentary: Marco Rubio won't be sunk by a swig of water

It’s official: Marco Rubio is a national punch line.

After the Florida senator’s weird decision to interrupt his Tuesday rebuttal of the president’s State of the Union speech by taking a swig from a bottle of water, he was quickly mocked on The Daily Show, Colbert Report, Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the Late Show with David Letterman. | 02/19/13 06:04:40 By - Marc Caputo

Commentary: One part of black history must change

No one for Black History Month should view kindly the economic degradation that African-Americans still face. | 02/18/13 13:12:54 By - Lewis W. Diuguid

Commentary: U.S. really is a nation of immigrants

There are those who resist immigration and those who embrace it, and finding consensus between those two groups is likely to be the key challenge in reforming our national immigration policy. | 02/18/13 06:07:09 By - James Werrell

Commentary: Michelle Obama and our definitions of beauty

Black History Month is a fine time to talk about First Lady Michelle Obama’s “big butt” and the death of Strom Thurmond’s black love child. | 02/18/13 06:06:35 By - Issac J. Bailey

Commentary: Tea party's coffers benefit from splits in GOP

The tea party may be a shrinking, aging slice of the electorate. But you'd never know that from Sal Russo's operation. | 02/17/13 06:14:26 By - Dan Morain

Commentary: Ode to the cockroach

Your Orkin man will never tell you this. Of course, you’ll probably never ask him this, either. Despite the loathing we feel for them upon sight, roaches aren’t all bad. The little six-legged critters serve an important ecological purpose. | 02/17/13 06:08:26 By - Barry Saunders

Commentary: A true hero remembered in the home of sports 'heroes'

The building was designed specifically as a stage for our "heroes" to play football, soccer or basketball, but not until Monday afternoon did Cowboys Stadium honor a person truly worthy of that description. | 02/16/13 06:03:15 By - Mac Engel

Commentary: America still struggles with its racial past

The story of Essie Mae Washington-Williams, the daughter of once avowed segregationist U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond by the black maid who worked for the family, is more curiosity than revelation to most who’ve paid attention to America’s history. Hypocrisy was a constant companion of race relations in this country during Thurmond’s lifetime – hypocrisy that Thurmond embraced through anti-black words and actions in much of his public life. | 02/16/13 06:08:34 By - Fannie Flono

Commentary: How about equal rights and protections for all?

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed the Violence Against Women Act with bipartisan support. If passed by the House of Representatives, this will be the third renewal of the act that was originally passed in 1994 aimed at preventing and alleviating domestic violence. | 02/15/13 06:05:35 By - Merlene Davis

Commentary: Geraldo Rivera and the sins of Fox News

The spectacle of TV personality Geraldo Rivera using his soapbox with Fox News to test-market a possible run for the U.S. Senate has, not surprisingly, caused some real journalists to cough up hairballs. | 02/15/13 06:04:17 By - Edward Wasserman

Commentary: A drink of water isn't Marco Rubio's problem

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the Republicans’ big Hispanic hope for 2016, is a smart politician who might still make it to his party’s presidential ticket, but he blew it big time during his nationally-broadcast State of the Union rebuttal speech on Tuesday. | 02/14/13 12:40:08 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: Mali needs more than a military response

Mali, at the crossroads of Arab North Africa and black West Africa, tends to be one of too many places in the world where we Americans remain blissfully ignorant until a military or other emergency. | 02/14/13 06:06:56 By - Pia Lopez

Commentary: Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes

An Alabama high school football coach took time out in his fifth-hour psychology class last month to voice his opinions about First Lady Michelle Obama's body. | 02/13/13 06:01:28 By - Merlene Davis

Commentary: Americans still find little about the economy to cheer them up

You hear a lot from analysts that the economy is finally turning a corner. The strengthening of the house market does give a sound reason for saying so. | 02/12/13 06:00:19 By - Keith Chrostowski

Commentary: Some life lessons from my Chinese father-in-law

My father-in-law used to love Chinese New Year, which is being marked today by 1.5 billion people from Sacramento to Shanghai. | 02/11/13 11:03:07 By - Marcos Breton

Commentary: Things really are getting better

Which of the following 10 statements is false? | 02/11/13 06:18:28 By - Issac J. Bailey

Commentary: South Carolina is a hotbed of 'Hell No-ism'

Many summers when I was young, I spent a week or longer at a camp in Florida’s Ocala National Forest. During one evening assembly, a cabin mate named Wayne loudly proclaimed: “I’m gonna take my pig and secede.” | 02/11/13 06:06:37 By - Terry Plumb

Commentary: N.C. lawmakers seeking more guns, fewer nipples

Guns don’t kill people: nipples do.

Say what? | 02/10/13 06:00:41 By - Barry Saunders

Commentary: Afghan aid at risk

Billions of dollars worth of U.S. development projects in Afghanistan – from roads to clinics to police stations – may fail to serve any useful purpose, because U.S. troops have been rapidly withdrawn from many areas leaving insecurity, corruption and violence, a senior U.S. official said in Washington. | 02/09/13 06:07:58 By - Ben Barber

Commentary: More bluster from North Korea

Only two conclusions can be drawn from the bellicose statement issued late in January by North Korea. | 02/09/13 06:05:47 By - C.W. Gusewelle

Commentary: A view of tax reform - from North Carolina

All the talk about changing North Carolina’s tax code can make your head swim. Politicians and think tanks have diverse opinions about what to do. They are, naturally, influenced by their ideology, and in some cases one group’s “facts” are in direct contradiction of another’s. I wanted to get beyond that circle. | 02/09/13 06:16:19 By - Taylor Batten

Commentary: Take fantasy out of the gun debate

You remember that serious conversation we were going to have about guns? Here’s how serious it has turned out to be. | 02/08/13 06:05:19 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Republicans should back immigration reform

Considering the difficulties facing any immigration-reform proposal, last week’s opening moves were encouraging. | 02/08/13 06:05:32 By - E. Thomas McClanahan

Commentary: A strange history of presidents and guns

Mr. President, why did you do it? What where you trying to prove? And to whom? | 02/07/13 06:07:14 By - Bob Ray Sanders

Commentary: Immigration and the global talent race

President Barack Obama’s immigration plan calling for a huge increase in visas for foreign science and engineering graduates will pose a huge challenge for China, India and Latin America: they will either have to do something to retain their best talents, or they will face the biggest brain drain in recent history. | 02/07/13 06:04:08 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: Improving gun safety would save lives

A heart-wrenching reminder of a feasible way to reduce gun violence splashed in local headlines last week.

You might have missed it because it wasn’t heavily emphasized. | 02/07/13 06:05:10 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: Black history's lessons are doubly important today

Thanks to noted African-American scholar Carter G. Woodson, the nation celebrates Black History Month in February as a tribute to the birthdays this month of President Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass. | 02/06/13 06:09:11 By - Lewis W. Diuguid

Commentary: Is Republican change of heart on immigration for real?

With Valentine’s Day approaching, I thought I’d give the GOP a little friendly advice on avoiding the missteps of courtship. | 02/05/13 06:07:40 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: Easy debt and undisciplined spending

I get it: The national debt of the United States is different from the debt used by the likes of you and me. | 02/04/13 06:02:40 By - Keith Chrostowski

Commentary: Too much misinformation surrounding immigration

As President Barack Obama gave the most important speech on immigration reform in years last Tuesday, it became clear that his greatest foe is not the Republican Party on this terribly divisive issue.

It's misinformation. | 02/04/13 06:04:08 By - Marcos Breton

Commentary: Hollywood isn't the place for accurate history

The movie Django Unchained, the 2012 American epic western film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, has received a lot of criticism. | 02/03/13 06:04:15 By - Merlene Davis

Commentary: Obama must get serious about entitlement reform

President Obama’s inaugural speech struck the notes expected on such occasions. He evoked our founding documents. He used words like “timeless” and “enduring,” and as with most Obama speeches, it was a fine performance. Yet after four years you know this president doesn’t always mean what he says. | 02/03/13 06:05:33 By - E. Thomas McClanahan

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FEATURED COLUMNIST

leonard pitts jr.

Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2004. He is the author of the Novel, Before I Forget. Read his latest commentary here.

COMMENTARY AROUND MCCLATCHY

FEATURED COLUMNIST

joe galloway

McClatchy's veteran war correspondent, Joseph L. Galloway, retired in January 2010 after half a century in the newspaper business. Read his farewell column, and an archive of his take-no-prisoners commentary. Here's one of his most-requested columns, "Fridays at the Pentagon."

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