Opinion

Reporting on NSA surveillance draws a Pulitzer

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Wednesday, April 16: | 04/17/14 08:13:25 By -

An Asian-American turn to the right?

The recent defeat of an effort to reinstitute affirmative action in admissions to California's public colleges and universities demonstrates the political power of Asian-American voters and challenges the conventional wisdom about their partisan loyalties. | 04/17/14 08:13:23 By - By LANHEE J. CHEN

Barbara Shelly: Would you share your DNA info to advance medicine?

The provocative question of how "big data" will affect medicine and patient privacy is getting a lot of attention at the National Institutes of Health. | 04/17/14 08:13:21 By - By BARBARA SHELLY

A tax break worth saving

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, April 16: | 04/17/14 08:08:22 By -

Martin Schram: Obamacare news you probably missed

Did you hear the latest news about Obamacare? | 04/16/14 12:17:06 By - By MARTIN SCHRAM

Jay Ambrose: The feds are coming, the feds are coming

Here comes Cliven Bundy, who looked like a 21st-century Paul Revere as he ran about his Nevada ranch shouting the feds are coming, the feds are coming, successfully arousing others who joined him in standing up to a mighty force that backed down in some of its overkill. Is he a hero, then? No, but stay tuned. | 04/16/14 09:56:25 By - By JAY AMBROSE

If Walgreen Co. moves its HQ to Europe, blame Washington's tax failure

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, April 15: | 04/16/14 08:13:32 By -

The West needs to push back on Ukraine

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, April 15: | 04/16/14 08:13:32 By -

If Moscow continues to threaten Ukraine, the U.S. and Europe should impose tougher sanctions

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, April 15: | 04/16/14 08:13:32 By -

Why poverty across the world matters to Americans

The following editorial appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Sunday, April 13: | 04/16/14 08:13:32 By -

Instead of mothballing Navy ships, give them to our allies

A bitter debate has raged in the Pentagon for several months about the wisdom of taking the nuclear aircraft carrier George Washington out of service to save money. The Washington, at 24 years old a relatively young vessel, is due for a costly refit, a routine procedure that all of the 11 large carriers in service undergo regularly. | 04/16/14 08:13:28 By - By MICHAEL MORAN

Rekha Basu: Reasoned response to fundamentalism gains strength in Iowa

A young girl stood up at the microphone in front of a theater packed with adults and asked the speaker how she could ensure she receives an adequate science education. Richard Dawkins, world renowned British evolutionary biologist, who is said to be the most cited living scientist, paused. Then he said he was sorry if her teachers were "refusing to teach seriously." He urged her to complain, and advised open-mindedness and critical thinking. "Ask yourself, is this the kind of thing you're being told because of evidence or just from authority," he said. "Mistrust it if it is from authority." | 04/16/14 09:55:19 By - By REKHA BASU

Michael Smerconish: What Jeb Bush was really saying

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush made news last weekend at the 25th anniversary celebration of his father's inauguration while speaking about his approach to a potential run in 2016. Even when appearing extemporaneous in an interview with Fox News' Shannon Bream, the possible candidate was delivering a deliberate message to the party faithful. Here is some of what he said, with my interpretation of each quote. | 04/16/14 09:54:17 By - By MICHAEL SMERCONISH

The radiant language and reality of Margaret Ashmun's 'No School Tomorrow' lived for me one summer and made me want to be a writer

My grandfather's house on the New Jersey shore was a huge 1880s double-parlor Victorian with 11 bedrooms, a wraparound porch and a big green couch in the living room next to the piano. I spent most of my time the summer I turned 8 on that couch. | 04/16/14 08:08:09 By - By AMY WILENTZ

Reading James Baldwin's 'Giovanni's Room,' I realized what I wanted to do: I wanted to make a stranger feel what I felt just by the words I chose

In 1975, when I was young, I went to hear James Baldwin speak. Afterward, I waited in a long line and finally got to stand before him. I told him that his book "Giovanni's Room" had made me want to be a writer. He looked me up and down and asked, "Do your parents know?" I was earnest and sincere and at first didn't realize he was making a joke. I blushed and stammered something, no or yes, I can't remember. | 04/16/14 08:08:09 By - By DIANA WAGMAN

Richard Halliburton's 'The Royal Road to Romance' was the perfect book for a kid with wanderlust

The book was called "The Royal Road to Romance," and to a pre-adolescent boy with a fear of anything girlish, it sounded an awful lot like a bodice-ripper. Even if it wasn't a steamy love story, it certainly didn't seem like the kind of book any self-respecting apprentice to the world of manhood should be caught dead reading. | 04/16/14 08:08:09 By - By SCOTT MARTELLE

Kevin Horrigan: The pessimist's guide to grizzly bears and Earth Day

This coming Friday, to "celebrate Earth Day," the Walt Disney Co. will release one of those cutesy, fun-for-all-ages, nature documentaries. "Bears" is about grizzly bears. | 04/16/14 09:56:01 By - By KEVIN HORRIGAN

Leonard Pitts Jr.: From Manhattan to Washington, Indians get snookered

Twenty-four dollars. | 04/16/14 09:57:03 By - By LEONARD PITTS JR.

Climate change has arrived

The following editorial appeared in the Miami Herald on Monday, April 14: | 04/15/14 08:13:14 By -

A push for e-mail privacy

The following editorial appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday, April 13: | 04/15/14 08:13:14 By -

Late-night churn: The 'real' Colbert will follow Letterman

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Monday, April 14: | 04/15/14 08:13:14 By -

Charles Koch's public message represents rhetorical spin at its flimsiest

The following editorial appeared in the Kansas City Star on Monday, April 14: | 04/15/14 08:13:14 By -

Jobless being held hostage

The following editorial appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Monday, April 14: | 04/15/14 08:13:14 By -

Hungary's tilt: Right-wing parties gain in the latest election

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Monday, April 14: | 04/15/14 08:13:14 By -

Whether it's bikes or bytes, teens are teens

If you're like most middle-class parents, you've probably gotten annoyed with your daughter for constantly checking her Instagram feed or with your son for his two-thumbed texting at the dinner table. But before you rage against technology and start unfavorably comparing your children's lives to your less-wired childhood, ask yourself this: Do you let your 10-year-old roam the neighborhood on her bicycle as long as she's back by dinner? Are you comfortable, for hours at a time, not knowing your teenager's exact whereabouts? | 04/15/14 08:13:12 By - By DANAH BOYD

The boundaries of Boston Strong

The 118th Boston Marathon, next week, will actually be the first of its kind - the first running of the iconic American foot race after two bombers killed three people, injured 263 (many horribly) and shook the nation a year ago. | 04/15/14 08:13:12 By - By SUSAN BRENNEMAN

Union bosses threatened by homegrown freedom-fighters

When executives at Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga recently pressured employees to join the United Auto Workers, those workers had the help of the Beacon Center, a Tennessee think tank that not only provided much-needed research on the harms of unionization but also held town-hall forums to fight pro-union propaganda. | 04/15/14 08:13:12 By - By TERRENCE SCANLON

Bob Ray Sanders: A lesson in forgiveness from a Fort Hood victim

When President Barack Obama and the first lady made a return visit to Fort Hood last week, they paused in front of the kind of memorials we have become accustomed to seeing since the start of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. | 04/15/14 09:56:35 By - By BOB RAY SANDERS

Has GM pulled a Pinto?

In the late 1960s, a charismatic vice president at Ford Motor Co. decided to bring out a low-priced car that could be produced for little money while bringing in huge profits.Recently, another Detroit CEO, Mary Barra, sat before a congressional committee answering withering questions about the Cobalt, a low-cost car produced by General Motors with a design flaw that the company acknowledges was responsible for more than a dozen deaths. For those of us who teach the Pinto case, the similarities are unsettling. | 04/15/14 09:56:02 By - By JONATHAN TURLEY

When the chickens came home to roost

The chickens are out of feed. Before they can make a dash through the coop's open door, I hoist the round metal feeder from its hook and squat-walk backward until I can stand straight again. I turn my back on the flock, fill the feeder and crouch back into the coop. | 04/15/14 08:08:12 By - By MEGAN KIMBLE

Trudy Rubin: Organizations to help Afghan women

What do Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton agree on? They, like many other prominent Americans, talk effusively about helping Afghan women. | 04/15/14 08:08:11 By - By TRUDY RUBIN

Lewis W. Diuguid: A lonely, tough existence for blacks in Guatemala

Getting to this old port town required us to rise early from our Hotel Catamaran cabins on pylons over water. | 04/15/14 08:08:11 By - By LEWIS W. DIUGUID

Carl Hiaasen: First, do no harm ... to your bank account

After being sued by the Wall Street Journal, the government finally released its Medicare reimbursement data last week. It included the less-than-stunning revelation that 28 of the 100 doctors who received the largest payments in 2012 were from Florida. | 04/15/14 09:50:21 By - By CARL HIAASEN

Doyle McManus: Reading between the lines in Washington

Reading is such an improbable idea - a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading - and of this weekend's Los Angeles Times Festival of Books - we asked four readers (who also happen to be writers) to celebrate books that mattered in their lives. | 04/14/14 10:00:56 By - By DOYLE MCMANUS

Dan K. Thomasson: Oh, for the days of Dr. Welby

When our longtime family doctor retired in the early 1960s, he was, according to my mother, charging the same amount for an office visit as he did in the 1930s when she and my father first became his patients. I always thought that was a bit of an exaggeration and it probably was but not much of one. The routine visit still hadn't reached $10. | 04/14/14 10:01:37 By - By DAN K. THOMASSON

John M. Crisp: Senate torture report needs full disclosure

When my students use their cellphones to text during class, they always do so furtively, hands beneath a desk or hidden (they think) behind a strategically positioned purse or backpack. Thus they affirm this very human principle: When we're doing something we know we're not supposed to be doing, we usually try to hide it. | 04/14/14 10:02:20 By - By JOHN M. CRISP

The GOP must compromise on jobless benefits

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Friday, April 11: | 04/14/14 08:13:36 By -

Congress, extend jobless benefits, again

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Friday, April 11: | 04/14/14 08:13:36 By -

India's elections could bring major change

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Friday, April 11: | 04/14/14 08:13:36 By -

GM's Mary Barra fails to reassure an angry Congress

The following editorial appeared in the San Jose Mercury News on Friday, April 11: | 04/14/14 08:13:36 By -

Crisis in Venezuela: Too much crime, not enough toilet paper

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Friday, April 11: | 04/14/14 08:13:36 By -

Digging out of the CIA-Senate quagmire

Last week, the Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., voted to declassify parts of its report on the CIA's rendition, detention and interrogation program. The White House, the CIA and the Senate still have to negotiate which portions of the report will be redacted before it is made public. But this is an important step in resolving the ugly dispute that has erupted between the intelligence committee and the intelligence agency. | 04/14/14 08:13:31 By - By JEFFREY H. SMITH

China's Tibet conundrum: how to conquer a myth

Beijing has no shortage of issues to confront. There's the South China Sea, uncontrollable corruption, a slowing economy and factional disputes within the party and military. But Chinese officials also face one of the most difficult challenges in modern statecraft: how to conquer a myth. | 04/14/14 08:13:31 By - By STEFAN HALPER AND LEZLEE BROWN HALPER

Will your health care advance directive be there when it's needed?

For years, the American Bar Association has preached the need for every adult to have a health care advance directive. That is the legal document, such as a living will or health care power of attorney, that enables you to make your health care preferences clear and legally binding. | 04/14/14 08:13:31 By - By JAMES R. SILKENAT

Steve Paul: The tea leaves suggest Hillary Clinton would be a formidable candidate

For the Democrats right now, the presumptive though not entirely certain presidential nominee is Hillary Rodham Clinton. For the Republicans - well, it's too early to say. But, according to demographics and polling, it's all uphill for the GOP. | 04/14/14 09:59:36 By - By STEVE PAUL

Leonard Pitts Jr.: ... and this is Overkill News Network

Dear CNN: | 04/14/14 10:00:16 By - By LEONARD PITTS JR.

Mary Sanchez: Military chief's plea � put returning soldiers to work

How do you recognize a military veteran? Really see them, once they're out of military fatigues. No boots and camouflage. After the homecoming is over, with its flags and patriotic speeches and TV cameras and families weeping in relief. | 04/11/14 13:18:04 By - By MARY SANCHEZ

Barbara Shelly: Give Kathleen Sebelius credit -- she survived the furnace

So this is it for Kathleen Sebelius. The former Kansas governor apparently will officially announce her resignation as U.S. health and human services secretary on Friday. | 04/11/14 09:50:35 By - By BARBARA SHELLY

Christine M. Flowers: Our immigration prejudices and the spirit of 'St. Louis'

Jeb Bush made some very provocative comments about immigration the other day. They were red meat for a conservative base that thinks in broad brushstrokes about foreigners. Actually, they were more like a bullfighter's red cape, or scarlet blood in the water. | 04/11/14 09:51:44 By - By CHRISTINE M. FLOWERS

Four presidents mark an equal-rights milestone

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, April 10: | 04/11/14 08:13:06 By -

Medicare's data release is welcome sunshine

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Thursday, April 10: | 04/11/14 08:13:06 By -

Medicare's real doctor payment problem

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, April 10: | 04/11/14 08:13:06 By -

Gina Barreca: 'Mad Men,' 'Game of Thrones' not so different after all

Which wildly popular Sunday night television show relies more heavily on fantasy: AMC's "Mad Men" or HBO's "Game of Thrones"? | 04/11/14 09:52:14 By - By GINA BARRECA

Iran's U.N. envoy isn't a threat

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, April 10: | 04/11/14 08:08:10 By -

War-torn Afghanistan holds a successful election

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, April 10: | 04/11/14 08:08:10 By -

Memo to John Kerry: Stay strong on the Middle East

There's a new industry in Washington, Jerusalem and Ramallah. It's called Kerry-bashing: The secretary of State never should have tried to bring about an Israeli-Palestinian deal; he wasted too much time; he's too soft on the Israelis or Palestinians or both; he needs to get on to other issues. | 04/11/14 09:49:55 By - By STEVEN L. SPIEGEL

Trudy Rubin: Why Afghan elections matter

When Afghans went to the polls last week to elect a new president, Afghan social media enthusiasts sent out some incredible photos of women voters. | 04/11/14 09:51:14 By - TRUDY RUBIN

Cynthia M. Allen: Honoring sacrifice, supporting military families

Anna Karcher knows something about sacrifice. | 04/11/14 08:08:08 By - By CYNTHIA M. ALLEN

Carl Leubsdorf: Tax deadline and no reform in sight

The annual tax filing deadline, which comes next Tuesday, provides a good opportunity for tax reform advocates to decry the current law's increasing complexity and inequities, and to urge enactment of a simpler, fairer system. | 04/11/14 09:52:53 By - By CARL LEUBSDORF

Pennsylvania school stabbings: Why?

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, April 10: | 04/10/14 10:36:01 By -

House Republicans resist action on immigration

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Wednesday, April 9: | 04/10/14 08:11:21 By -

The lethal injection debate: How much should death row inmates know?

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, April 9: | 04/10/14 08:11:21 By -

Give Mideast peace talks a rest

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday, April 9: | 04/10/14 08:11:21 By -

Race can color a child's future

The following editorial appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Monday, April 7: | 04/10/14 08:11:21 By -

A new trend -- prosecuting rap

Rap music has become a target for prosecutors who realize how effectively it can be wielded to gain leverage in a plea bargain, guarantee an indictment or secure a conviction. | 04/10/14 09:55:49 By - By CHARIS E. KUBRIN AND ERIK NIELSON

The archaeology paradox: More laws, less treasure

The Getty Center in Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Museum in New York and Sotheby's auction house - these are just some of the major institutions that have been forced to repatriate artworks in recent years. Italy, Egypt, Greece, Turkey and Cambodia have all successfully used their cultural property laws to secure the return of important antiquities from collectors and museums. | 04/10/14 08:11:18 By - By ADAM WALLWORK

Coming soon: More ways to get to know your doctor

This week, the federal government is releasing a massive database capable of providing patients with much more information about their doctors. | 04/10/14 08:11:18 By - By CHARLES ORNSTEIN

Doyle McManus: The GOP's 2016 handicap -- immigration

In case you missed it, here's what former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush had to say last week when asked about people who come to America illegally to make better lives: | 04/10/14 09:57:15 By - By DOYLE MCMANUS

Ann McFeatters: Pay equity is a tough sell

Women! Relax! Former President Jimmy Carter is on your side! | 04/10/14 09:56:27 By - By ANN MCFEATTERS

Reg Henry: Money talks, but for some it's a mute point

My wallet has been acting up. Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed in a recent ruling that money is a form of free speech vital to democracy, my greenbacks want to get out and buy the best politicians they can. Without, of course, any hint of corruption. | 04/10/14 08:11:15 By - By REG HENRY

Martin Schram: The court knows what it is doing, and we are the worse off

The latest Supreme Court ruling - defending the rights of billionaires to try to rent, if not buy, the gratitude and votes of unlimited numbers of politicians - has just provided fresh evidence that helps us finally answer a central question that has divided the experts. | 04/10/14 09:57:51 By - By MARTIN SCHRAM

Jay Ambrose: Picky, picky, picky? No, serious, serious, serious

Pat Paulsen was a hoot. The comedian, who appeared on "The Smothers Brothers" TV show starting back in the late 1960s, was also a perennial presidential candidate, getting loud laughs by being just a tad more evasive, ludicrous and shallow than the real thing. Pat also had a pat answer to any imagined criticism, even if it was on the order of his having burned down Washington. | 04/09/14 10:03:27 By - By JAY AMBROSE

ZunZuneo was a well-intentioned effort to break Cuba's information monopoly

The following editorial appeared in the Miami Herald on Tuesday, April 8: | 04/09/14 08:17:53 By -

Time to expose the CIA's 'dark side'

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, April 8: | 04/09/14 08:17:53 By -

To curb school lunch waste, ease the fruit and vegetable rules

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, April 8: | 04/09/14 08:17:53 By -

If Putin keeps going �

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, April 8: | 04/09/14 09:52:15 By -

An EPA rule will clarify its authority on water

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Tuesday, April 8: | 04/09/14 08:17:53 By -

In college, choose to thrive

Students have about a month to really think about what kind of college would help them grow as a person, what kind of school would best prepare them for the future, and at which school would they be happiest. But how does one answer the other questions about which school is the best match? | 04/09/14 10:01:02 By - By MICHAEL S. ROTH

Globalization is the real issue in Ukraine

Chief among the elements of good writing, a cunning author focuses on plot, skillfully thickening it and foreshadowing slowly what this story is really about. | 04/09/14 08:17:50 By - By RICHARD PARKER

Afghans' vote of confidence

The following editorial appeared in the Dallas Morning News on Tuesday, April 8: | 04/09/14 08:12:58 By -

Self-driving cars could keep seniors in the driver's seat

My Grandma Bobbie is 93 and lives on her own, in a spotless condo decorated with enviable midcentury furnishings. The daughter of a General Motors millwright, she grew up in Detroit riding the streetcar, but one of her goals was to get to the promised land - the suburbs - and preferably by car. | 04/09/14 08:12:55 By - By BRETT BERK

Rekha Basu: While America moves forward, Iowa Republicans step backward

As stealthily as it reared its ugly head, the power to harness prejudice against gay people to win national elections is shriveling up and dying a well-deserved death. | 04/09/14 10:02:10 By - By REKHA BASU

Michael Smerconish: Dershowitz and his life at Harvard Law

The snow has finally ended, spring break is behind us, and major-league baseball is under way. That means the 2013-14 college year is entering the home stretch, and at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass., a legendary law professor will soon deliver his final lecture. | 04/09/14 10:02:42 By - By MICHAEL SMERCONISH

Frida Ghitis: Syria remains the world's most urgent human and strategic crisis

There's a dangerous human tendency to gradually pay less attention to crises that unfold over long periods of time. That, of course, is possible only for those whose daily lives are not directly affected. For everyone else, it creates an unconscious illusion that the situation can be ignored without consequences. | 04/09/14 10:01:37 By - By FRIDA GHITIS

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Wake up, people, and see the danger we're in

This is a column about campaign finance reform. | 04/09/14 04:00:00 By - By LEONARD PITTS JR.

UConn program rose from the ashes to the summit

The following editorial appeared in the Hartford Courant on Tuesday, April 8: | 04/08/14 11:27:02 By -

McCutcheon decision unravels campaign finance regulation

The following editorial appeared in the Seattle Times on Monday, April 7: | 04/08/14 08:12:15 By -

Global aid only enables South Sudan fighting

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Monday, April 7: | 04/08/14 08:12:15 By -

Affordable Care Act reaches important milestone

The following editorial appeared in the Miami Herald on Monday, April 7: | 04/08/14 08:12:15 By -

Egypt must change its repressive ways

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Monday, April 7: | 04/08/14 08:12:15 By -

Progress, Rwandan style

Twenty years ago, the state of Rwanda set about trying to hack itself out of existence. Starting on April 7, 1994, Hutu extremists, in a premeditated 100-day campaign, systematically butchered close to 1 million Tutsis - three-quarters of all those in the country - as well as moderate Hutus, driving countless more into exile. | 04/08/14 08:12:13 By - By JONATHAN TEPPERMAN

For the Internet, it's the next logical step

There's a reason we all love to "reply" to emails we receive, while striving to avoid an inappropriate "reply all." Internet addresses can be so messy, and even the tiniest error misdirects our communication. Soon the Internet addressing challenge will be even more difficult, as "Top Level Domains" (TLDs) mushroom from a handful of familiar ones (.com, .org, .gov, .uk) to a flock of hundreds, many written in unfamiliar alphabets. | 04/08/14 08:12:13 By - By JOHN CARY SIMS

Trudy Rubin: Turkish political fight with Pennsylvania angle

Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has declared war on "the man in Pennsylvania." | 04/08/14 09:50:03 By - By TRUDY RUBIN

Steve Paul: GM case may once again undermine confidence

General Motors is in a world of hurt. With evidence that the car maker knew about the ignition problem for at least a decade and suppressed damning documents, the case is mounting that something was rotten in GM's castle. | 04/08/14 09:49:34 By - By STEVE PAUL

Carl Hiaasen: The profound urgency of DCF reform

With much chest-thumping, Florida Gov. Rick Scott last week signed a law clipping auto-tag fees by about $25 per vehicle in the state. He used the opportunity to blast former Gov. Charlie Crist for raising those fees five years ago. | 04/07/14 10:32:02 By - By CARL HIAASEN

Doyle McManus: Is Obamacare too big to fail?

When Obamacare's first open-enrollment period ended last week, the tally was impressive: 7.1 million Americans signed up for insurance on federal and state exchanges by the March 31 deadline, several million more signed up for Medicaid and a whole lot of under-26 Americans got covered by their parents' plans. | 04/07/14 10:01:07 By - By DOYLE MCMANUS

Dan K. Thomasson: Government for sale to highest bidder

Look for this advertisement on TV, your local newspaper and online in the not too distant future: | 04/07/14 10:01:42 By - By DAN K. THOMASSON

John M. Crisp: The pope hoes a long, uphill row

I like Pope Francis, too, though I won't be thoroughly smitten by him until he changes his mind on celibacy, contraception and equality for women in the church. | 04/07/14 10:03:00 By - By JOHN M. CRISP

Ukraine's geography � and destiny

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Friday, April 4: | 04/07/14 10:04:49 By -

An FDA success story on antibiotics

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Friday, April 4: | 04/07/14 08:12:41 By -

The CIA's moral black hole

The following editorial appeared in the Baltimore Sun on Friday, April 4: | 04/07/14 08:12:41 By -

Flight 370: How can an airliner just vanish? Simple

Soon Malaysian Flight 370's "black boxes" will emit their last ping, and the wreckage will lie enveloped in its shroud of darkness and silence. Perhaps bits of floating debris will wash ashore in future months or years - some things float forever - and they may or may not be noticed or identified as belonging to the vanished airliner. | 04/07/14 10:00:32 By - By PETER GARRISON

Uri Dromi: Release Jonathan Pollard

In a last, desperate, attempt to save the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks from failure, a tripartite deal was hurriedly cooked: Israel would reportedly freeze settlements and release Palestinian prisoners, the Palestinians would stay at the negotiating table, and the Americans would release Jonathan Pollard, the former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, who was jailed for life in 1987 for passing secret documents to Israel. | 04/07/14 08:12:29 By - By URI DROMI

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Again, Christianity the last to get it right

Eleven years ago, Richard Stearns went to Washington. | 04/07/14 10:02:24 By - By LEONARD PITTS JR.

Mary Sanchez: Home from war, our soldiers continue to die

March ended with this uplifting news: For the first time in seven years, no U.S. soldiers died that month in combat. Not one. | 04/04/14 17:01:07 By - By MARY SANCHEZ

Don't risk the mission in Afghanistan

The following editorial appeared in the Kansas City Star on Friday, April 4: | 04/04/14 11:36:07 By -

Fort Hood tragedy raises questions

The following editorial appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Friday, April 4: | 04/04/14 10:41:07 By -

Gina Barreca: Gwyneth needs to recouple with reality

How do you spell conscious uncoupling? Where I came from, we always spelled it the way Tammy Wynette sang it, which is D-I-V-O-R-C-E. | 04/04/14 09:55:56 By - By GINA BARRECA

Comeuppance of archbishop not for him alone

The following editorial appeared in the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer on Thursday, April 3: | 04/04/14 08:11:18 By -

Israelis and Palestinians are losing their chance

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, April 3: | 04/04/14 08:11:18 By -

GM must come clean, compensate victims

The GM saga suggests that the company has failed to learn that cutting corners at the expense of safety is a failure that carries deadly consequences for the victims - and requires an effective response from the government. | 04/04/14 10:04:26 By -

It's law enforcement vs. the First Amendment, and citizens are losing

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, April 3: | 04/04/14 08:11:18 By -

Save the whales, 2014

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, April 3: | 04/04/14 08:11:18 By -

Markos Kounalakis: A question of Turkey and NATO

There is plenty to say about Turkey these days, although not on Twitter or YouTube. Both are frequently blacked-out in Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan's Turkey. Erdogan says he wants to "wipe out Twitter." As a result, critically important voices regarding Turkey's strategic importance and democratic evolution are harder to hear. | 04/04/14 08:11:16 By - By MARKOS KOUNALAKIS

Robin Washington: A Passover tradition explained � for $35

It was at his older brother's bar mitzvah that 9-year-old Josh Levy gave the answer that everyone from the Dalai Lama to Janet Yellen wants to know: | 04/04/14 08:11:16 By - By ROBIN WASHINGTON

Trudy Rubin: Lesson in surviving hate

At a time when sectarian wars are on the rise, a fascinating exhibit at the Free Library of Philadelphia reminds us that people aren't born with these visceral hatreds, but are taught them. | 04/04/14 09:55:04 By - By TRUDY RUBIN

Cynthia M. Allen: Healthcare enrollment numbers of dubious consequence

It was a notable week for the Obama administration. | 04/04/14 09:55:29 By - By CYNTHIA M. ALLEN

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

Commentary: Is Congress finally serious about immigration reform?

The ugly duckling of Capitol Hill — immigration reform — has turned into a swan. | 02/02/13 06:18:53 By - Fabiola Santiago

Commentary: How about more taxes on guns and bullets?

Americans will never surrender their lust for guns.

For a lot of people, one is never enough and bigger is always better. That includes magazines that hold more rounds. The 22-caliber, bolt action rifle that I learned to shoot at age 11 as a Boy Scout is insufficient. | 02/02/13 06:08:23 By - Lewis W. Diuguid

Commentary: Beyonce, lip-synching and a sign of the times

Barack Obama was inaugurated for his second term last week.

I mention that only because there’s a good chance you missed it. That news, after all, was overshadowed by an apparently more important story out of Washington. It was a story that, according to the New York Daily News, caused the public to react in “outrage,” a word The Daily Mail in London echoed. One poor fellow tweeted that his life was “shattered” by it. And a local anchor in DC even affixed the dreaded scandal suffix: “gate.” | 02/01/13 06:03:51 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Effort Saxby Chambliss makes at bipartisanship matters

The long political career of Saxby Chambliss has been something I've observed with reactions that could almost be called bipolar. There's rarely been any in-between: Most of the things he's done or said have struck me as either very, very good or very, very bad. | 02/01/13 06:09:10 By - Dusty Nix

Commentary: 'Mallard Fillmore' is one unfunny cartoon duck

Just because it comes across as homophobic, racist and reactionary, I told one caller last week, is not reason enough to fish-wrap the alleged comic strip "Mallard Fillmore." | 01/31/13 06:08:13 By - Barry Saunders

Commentary: Corruption weasels into online media

Even while some media organizations roll out new online subscription plans, the Internet continues its steady drift toward a business model built overwhelmingly on money not from readers, but from advertisers. It’s advertising that’s emerging as the revenue source that everybody, from Facebook and Google to newspaper websites and gadfly bloggers, wants a piece of. | 01/30/13 06:02:10 By - Edward Wasserman

Commentary: Georgia's Eleventh Circuit judicial openings need filling

Last summer, Eleventh Circuit Judge J. L. Edmondson assumed senior status after a quarter-century of valuable service. His decision leaves the bench with 17 vacancies in the 179 appeals court judgeships and the Eleventh Circuit with two in twelve. | 01/29/13 12:08:28 By - Carl Tobias

Commentary: Manti Te’o story shows we're better connected but farther apart

You are missing the point.

Or at least, you are if you’re one of the bazillion people following the Manti Te’o story, dutifully trying to determine whether the Notre Dame football star was the victim or the perpetrator of a bizarre hoax. Granted, the story is irresistible as one of those 15-minutes-of-fame-kitten- stuck-in-the-well fables without which people who gather around the water cooler wouldn’t have anything to talk about. | 01/29/13 06:05:35 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: A tale of two gun shows

Title this a tale of two gun shows. | 01/28/13 06:07:39 By - Fabiola Santiago

Commentary: A sobering lesson from WWII

Clicking through the TV channels one Sunday during the holidays, I stumbled by pure luck onto a magnificent History Channel documentary titled “World War II From Space.” | 01/28/13 06:03:21 By - C.W. Gusewelle

Commentary: The NRA's callous and stupid shooting app

The callousness, the sheer idiocy, of some organizations never ceases to amaze me.

A month after the slaughter of 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, the National Rifle Association has released a new game that lets children fire virtual guns at clay ducks or coffin-shaped targets with bull’s eyes at chest and head levels. The guns of choice include assault and sniper rifles. | 01/27/13 06:04:16 By - Ana Veciana-Suarez

Commentary: Turning gun debate into and arms race

Sen. Lindsey Graham believes “the best way to confront a homicidal maniac who enters a school is for them to be met by armed resistance from a trained professional.” | 01/27/13 06:15:04 By - Issac J. Bailey

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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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