Opinion

Reg Henry: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge the new selfie?

Not to put a damper on ice buckets, but... | 08/20/14 13:35:48 By - By REG HENRY

Martin Schram: NATO shouldn't let Ukraine tensions derail nuclear anti-terror reforms

The bucolic views of 2,000 acres of Wales countryside surrounding Celtic Manor just outside Newport are magnificent. But they won't help 67 heads of state, who will be there for the September 4-5 NATO summit, view the one thing they most urgently need to see. | 08/20/14 13:35:48 By - By MARTIN SCHRAM

Jay Ambrose: The assault on Perry is an assault on America

Disagree with someone's politics? Forget the ballot box, indict the bum and stick him in prison if you can. It's a dangerous, totalitarian-threatening, un-American trend, says the wonderfully worthy Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor who told Newsmax he was nothing short of outraged by recent doings in Texas. Everyone else should be, too, he said, whether liberal or conservative. | 08/20/14 13:35:48 By - By JAY AMBROSE

Still inflating the student loan bubble

The following editorial appeared in the Orange County Register on Monday, Aug. 18: | 08/20/14 08:16:02 By -

Favorite grandmother: Mayor Sophie Masloff captured Pittsburgh's heart

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Tuesday, Aug. 19: | 08/20/14 08:16:02 By -

Ghana not so golden: Government salaries threaten economic growth

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Tuesday, Aug. 19: | 08/20/14 08:16:02 By -

Why you need a vacation

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Monday, Aug. 18: | 08/20/14 08:16:02 By -

A message to the people of Ferguson

Since the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, the nation and the world have witnessed the unrest that has gripped Ferguson, Mo. At the core of these demonstrations is a demand for answers about the circumstances of this young man's death and a broader concern about the state of our criminal justice system. | 08/20/14 08:16:00 By - By ERIC H. HOLDER JR.

Steve Paul: Many reasons to value journalism in action

It's fashionable to declare the death of "newspapers." And, by "newspapers" I mean those media operations that bring news of the world and your community to your doorstep and/or to the device screen of your choosing. | 08/20/14 08:15:58 By - By STEVE PAUL

Rekha Basu: Recreational pot industry purveys a legal Rocky Mountain high

Six months ago, Bill Zweitzig, a 38-year-old jazz musician and glass blower, moved his family from Pennsylvania to Colorado to sell something he had experience selling: marijuana. This time, though, he's on salary and doesn't risk arrest. | 08/20/14 08:15:58 By - By REKHA BASU

Politicians' spats don't belong in courts

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, Aug. 19: | 08/20/14 08:10:59 By -

Perry prosecution looks like politics

The following editorial appeared in the Orange County Register on Monday, Aug. 18: | 08/20/14 08:10:59 By -

How our prejudices tell us all about Ferguson

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, Aug. 19: | 08/20/14 08:10:59 By -

How to reflexively humanize not criminalize

In the chorus of voices protesting the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., one stood out: President Barack Obama's. On the surface, what he said was routine in a presidential, consoler in chief kind of way: We've lost an 18-year-old whose family would "never hold Michael in their arms again." The significance was not the particular words, but the fact that Obama was defining Brown first and foremost as a human being - a son whose parents are grieving his sudden and permanent absence. With that standard presidential pronoun "we," Obama was implying something else radical: The death was a loss not just for the Browns and Ferguson, but for the whole nation. Michael Brown, he was saying, was one of us. All of us. | 08/20/14 08:10:57 By - By ERIN AUBRY KAPLAN

Leonard Pitts Jr.: What's next in Ferguson? Let's try a little education

What next? | 08/20/14 04:00:00 By - By LEONARD PITTS JR.

Ferguson's police force can learn from LAPD

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, Aug. 19: | 08/19/14 08:11:50 By -

Governor makes right call to quell unrest in Ferguson

Gov. Jay Nixon on Monday took the long-overdue action to order Missouri National Guard troops to Ferguson. They will try to help end the unrest and violence that followed peaceful protests in recent days over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer. | 08/19/14 08:11:50 By -

Proposed FDA tobacco product rules rightly under review

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, Aug. 17: | 08/19/14 08:11:50 By -

Perry's indictment damages governor and the state

The following editorial appeared in the Dallas Morning News on Saturday, Aug. 16: | 08/19/14 08:11:50 By -

A first step in reining in the NSA

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Monday, Aug. 18: | 08/19/14 08:11:50 By -

Slash the Pentagon's mysterious slush fund

As if monitoring the Pentagon's enormous budget were not difficult enough, every year Congress also has to deal with a separate war budget. Known in Washington-ese as the Overseas Contingency Operations, or OCO, account, it is submitted separately. It was originally meant to cover the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it has since grown into an all-purpose funding mechanism for almost anything the Pentagon wants. | 08/19/14 08:11:46 By - By WILLIAM D. HARTUNG

David Nicklaus: Frustration in Ferguson has deep economic roots

It was the middle-class suburb of Ferguson that boiled over last week, but to the rest of the world this was a St. Louis crisis. | 08/19/14 08:11:43 By - By DAVID NICKLAUS

James E. Causey: Why people are angry over Ferguson police shooting

Why did the Ferguson Police Department leave the body of Michael Brown uncovered in the hot street after a police officer killed him? | 08/19/14 08:11:43 By - By JAMES E. CAUSEY

John M. Crisp: Driverless cars attempt to solve the wrong problem

Some ideas are so good that their appeal is immediately compelling. | 08/18/14 14:26:28 By - By JOHN M. CRISP

Dan K. Thomasson: Gov. Rick Perry's indictment nothing more than Texas politics

Being a governor seems to be risky business these days. | 08/18/14 14:26:28 By - By DAN K. THOMASSON

Carl Hiaasen: SeaWorld's troubles increase as public learns about plight of orcas

SeaWorld's stock took a dive last week in the backlash against its treatment of captive killer whales. | 08/18/14 14:26:28 By - By CARL HIAASEN

Doyle McManus: Obama tests the bounds of lame-duckery

There are two words every president, including Barack Obama, hates to hear: "lame duck." | 08/18/14 14:21:28 By - By DOYLE MCMANUS

Don't overreach on immigration, Mr. Obama

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Friday, Aug. 15: | 08/18/14 08:12:02 By -

Spending too much, too fast, without oversight, in Afghanistan

The following editorial appeared in the Orange County Register on Wednesday, Aug. 13: | 08/18/14 08:12:02 By -

Call torture what it is

If we are going to have a meaningful conversation about our national security policies, we need to be honest about what those policies entail. | 08/18/14 08:11:56 By - By CURT GOERING

Crashers needed for two-party political system

The word "spoiler," when applied only to small-party candidates, is an epithet of political bigotry. It says to people who want to enter the electoral arena and talk about ignored but important issues that they should not do so. | 08/18/14 08:11:56 By - By RALPH NADER

Nation's true heroes fought to expose and end torture

After more than a decade of denial and concealment on the part of our government, President Barack Obama's recent acknowledgment that "we tortured some folks" felt like a milestone. Even in its spare, reductive phrasing, the president's statement opened up the possibility, finally, of national reflection, contrition and accountability. | 08/18/14 08:11:56 By - By JAMEEL JAFFER AND LARRY SIEMS

No magic cure-all for depression

We are all shocked and saddened by last week's pparent suicide of Robin Williams. It leaves us all with a number of questions, including: | 08/18/14 08:11:56 By - By ANN ROSEN SPECTOR

The Advanced Placement numbers racket

When the Los Angeles Times reported that the number of Advanced Placement exams taken in the Los Angeles Unified School District had hit an all-time high, I couldn't help but wonder: Is that a good thing? Do AP courses help high school students gain admission to prestigious colleges? | 08/18/14 08:11:56 By - By BRIAN GIBBS

Missouri police killing highlights broader problem

Do police officers have an existential fear of black men? It's quite clear that black men have an existential fear of the police. | 08/18/14 08:11:56 By - By FRED MCKISSACK

Frida Ghitis: The Gaza problem can be solved

One of the remarkable aspects of the war between Israel and Hamas and other Palestinian extremist groups in Gaza has been the degree to which Israelis stood together in almost complete consensus about the rightness of their country's cause. | 08/18/14 08:11:51 By - By FRIDA GHITIS

Michael Smerconish: Media misinterpret Hillary, who's clearly preparing to run

Many observers who read Jeffrey Goldberg's interview of Hillary Clinton in the Atlantic interpreted it as a formal declaration of independence from President Barack Obama. I doubt that was the intention. | 08/18/14 08:11:51 By - By MICHAEL SMERCONISH

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Ferguson police arrest reporters for reporting

Looks like police in Ferguson, Missouri, took it upon themselves to suspend the First Amendment Wednesday night. | 08/17/14 04:00:00 By - By LEONARD PITTS JR.

Blurring line between police, warriors

The following editorial appeared in the Orange County Register on Wednesday, Aug. 13: | 08/15/14 08:11:37 By -

The world needs a freer, better Egypt

The following editorial appeared in the Kansas City Star on Thursday, Aug. 14: | 08/15/14 08:11:37 By -

Belated justice: Cambodia settles a score with the Khmer Rouge

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, Aug. 14: | 08/15/14 08:11:37 By -

End the aid: The US must not subsidize war in South Sudan

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, Aug. 14: | 08/15/14 08:11:37 By -

Unintended torture not part of the bargain

The following editorial appeared in the Miami Herald on Wednesday, Aug. 13: | 08/15/14 08:11:37 By -

Palestinians seeking International Criminal Court Investigation

Seventy-five-year-old George Ayyad stands calmly near his 31-year-old son, Jeries, who has been in a coma in the intensive care unit of St. Joseph Hospital in Jerusalem for two weeks. The elder Ayyad, who had the duty of ringing the church bells at the Orthodox Church in Gaza city, has lost his wife, Jalila, and is waiting to find out the fate of his son, whose legs were amputated. | 08/15/14 08:11:34 By - By DAOUD KUTTAB

Why is U.S. military supporting Iraq's kleptocrats?

The hot, noisy deck of an aircraft carrier during flight operations is a dangerous inferno of a place: deafeningly loud in the blast of jet exhaust, the wash of rotor blades and the stench of jet fuel. But every catapult launch that sends a Super Hornet out over the Persian Gulf projects the power of American might. | 08/15/14 08:11:34 By - By RICHARD PARKER

Like an old soldier maybe the Redskins mascot will slowly fade away

Neil Cavuto, a broadcaster with the Fox Business Network, can't be blamed for looking askance at the decision by the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office for cancelling the Washington professional football team's ownership of the name "Redskins" and the patent protections that go with it. | 08/15/14 08:11:34 By - By TIM GIAGO (NANWICA KCIJI)

Are we ready for another Revolution?

The woman was pointing to my book on the American Revolution. She was inquiring if I believed people were fed up with the way the country was being run and ready for a repeat of 1776. | 08/15/14 08:11:34 By - By BRUCE E. MOWDAY

Mary Sanchez: Is police brutality on the rise? We need data

Americans had spent days watching round-the-clock coverage of the escalating tensions in Ferguson, Missouri when President Obama acknowledged that we are "deeply disturbed" by the situation. | 08/15/14 08:11:31 By - By MARY SANCHEZ

James E. Causey: Police shootings: What black parents tell their sons

When I was growing up, my parents often gave me pep talks that were different from the ones my white male friends got from their parents. | 08/15/14 08:11:31 By - By JAMES E. CAUSEY

Cynthia M. Allen: The horrific destruction of Christianity in Iraq

Convert to Islam, pay a religious levy or die. | 08/15/14 08:11:31 By - By CYNTHIA M. ALLEN

Christine M. Flowers: Suicide, an act of violence that assaults us all

I first heard about Robin Williams' death while I was standing in line at my mother's viewing and a friend's BlackBerry dinged with the news alert from CNN. | 08/15/14 08:11:31 By - By CHRISTINE M. FLOWERS

Gina Barreca: Flabbergasted by gadgets that sometimes go on strike

I used to know how things worked. Now I don't have a clue. | 08/15/14 08:11:31 By - By GINA BARRECA

Ann McFeatters: Commercial drones coming to skies near you!

Oh no! The United States is falling behind in yet another big area � commercial use of drones. (Those things that buzz around and gather information and drop bombs overseas but don't yet deliver Amazon packages.) | 08/14/14 15:06:17 By - By ANN MCFEATTERS

Government needs to rethink 'terrorist watch list'

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, Aug. 13: | 08/14/14 08:11:42 By -

How Putin exploits the chaos that now consumes the West

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday, Aug. 13: | 08/14/14 08:11:42 By -

NCAA decision could change college sports

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday, Aug. 13: | 08/14/14 08:11:42 By -

More jobs available, many paying less

The following editorial appeared in the Orange County Register on Tuesday, Aug. 12: | 08/14/14 08:11:42 By -

Renewed US presence in Iraq calls into question Obama's pivot from the Middle East toward Asia

What do President Barack Obama's decision to authorize airstrikes against the Sunni militants of the Islamic State and his previous commitment to send American military advisors and trainers back into Iraq have to do with his "pivot" to Asia? Everything and nothing. | 08/14/14 08:11:38 By - By GARY SCHMITT

What the US should do in Iraq: Stop what is counterproductive

From a moral perspective, President Barack Obama's response to the plight of Iraqi minorities targeted for extinction by vicious Islamists is justifiable and even commendable. Yet the resumption of American military action in Iraq - bombs for the wicked, bundles for the innocent - cannot disguise the overall disarray of U.S. policy in the region. | 08/14/14 08:11:38 By - By ANDREW J. BACEVICH

In Gaza, the solution is either compromise or endless war

Almost 60 years ago, I was a young foreign service officer, standing on the Gaza border with my contact from the Israeli Foreign Ministry. The Eisenhower administration had been using all the pressure it could to force Israel to withdraw from Gaza in the wake of the 1956 war. But Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion was adamantly opposed to it. My Israeli contact said to me: "What we really want is for you to persuade Brazil to accept all the population of Gaza and resettle them in the Amazon." I don't know whether it was just an idea or an actual proposal, but he said this in all seriousness. | 08/14/14 08:11:38 By - By EUGENE BIRD

Doyle McManus: Make no mistake, we're back in an Iraq war

Every time President Barack Obama thinks he has succeeded in establishing restraint as the central doctrine of his foreign policy, a new outburst of chaos in the Middle East draws him back in. In 2011, fears that Libya's Moammar Kadafi would massacre opponents led the United States into an air war. In 2013, Syria's use of chemical weapons against civilians almost drew Obama into another. Now it's Iraq, where the president thought he had disentangled the United States, only to see a new threat arise in the form of the terrorist army of the Islamic State. | 08/14/14 08:11:35 By - By DOYLE MCMANUS

Carl P. Leubsdorf: Texas and North Carolina push back on voter rights

It's August, and most of the federal government is on vacation. | 08/14/14 08:11:35 By - By CARL P. LEUBSDORF

Michael Hiltzik: Obama order rights a wrong

Little noticed in coverage of President Barack Obama's signing of the Fair Play and Safe Workplaces executive order July 31 was a provision that has been called "one of the most important positive steps for civil rights in the last 20 years." | 08/14/14 08:11:35 By - By MICHAEL HILTZIK

Opinion: Forecast in Kentucky U.S. Senate race calls for downpour of garbage

Keep those umbrellas close. It's about to start pouring garbage in Kentucky's U.S. Senate race. With 12 weeks to go, a race already largely devoid of meaningful and substantive policy discussions is threatening to get intensely personal. | 08/13/14 12:06:46 By - Sam Youngman

Another reminder of why corporations cannot police themselves

What kind of people would knowingly expose someone to the risk of infection just to make a buck? | 08/13/14 14:32:41 By - By REUBEN GUTTMAN AND TRACI BUSCHNER

Fairness for college athletes

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, Aug. 12: | 08/13/14 08:17:20 By -

Churches paying employees with federal dollars must follow anti-discrimination rules

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, Aug. 12: | 08/13/14 08:17:20 By -

Facebook: Talk politics and see how long your 'friends' last

Shortly after Israel invaded the Gaza Strip in 2009, a close Muslim friend I'd known since elementary school suddenly disappeared from my Facebook feed. She'd been excoriating Israel in her posts, and I'd said nothing. Then I posted a statistic showing the number of Hamas-fired missiles landing in southern Israel, where my husband has family. That same day, I noticed my friend had written "OMG!!" under my post. And then she was gone. | 08/13/14 08:17:18 By - By TAL ABBADY

Facebook: Free, until it isn't

A recent decision by Facebook to limit the content we see in our newsfeeds could have far-reaching and potentially deleterious unintended consequences for the global nonprofit and advocacy communities. | 08/13/14 08:17:18 By - By SETH GINSBERG

Rekha Basu: Iowa summit serves reminder of why religion, politics don't mix

Of everything coming out of this year's Iowa Family Leadership Summit, the fear factor is what stayed with me. | 08/13/14 08:17:16 By - By REKHA BASU

Patt Morrison: What is being an American? Immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas has some ideas

In July, Jose Antonio Vargas was arrested trying to board a plane for LA for a screening of his film "Documented," about his life before and after he "outed" himself as an undocumented immigrant living in the U.S. for decades. For the first time since he began living openly without papers in 2011, he will have to appear before an immigration judge. In the meantime, he continues his Define American campaign, challenging this country to acknowledge him and those like him as Americans. And he's moving back to California from the East Coast, to the state where he grew up and one of 11 in the country that will issue him an honest-to-goodness driver's license. | 08/13/14 08:12:16 By - By PATT MORRISON

Jay Ambrose: A GOP war on poverty?

Here they come, a charging brigade, conservatives who just might win a fresh war on poverty and otherwise help the down and out because of compassion that hardly stands alone. It is accompanied by analytical soundness. | 08/13/14 08:12:16 By - By JAY AMBROSE

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Riots in Ferguson, and what they mean

A riot can be many things. | 08/13/14 04:00:00 By - By LEONARD PITTS JR.

How will Washington respond to Paul Ryan's poverty plan?

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Monday, Aug. 11: | 08/12/14 13:57:37 By -

Will more money fix the VA's problems?

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Monday, Aug. 11: | 08/12/14 13:57:37 By -

Dan K. Thomasson: NCAA ruling and the myth of the student athlete

It may take a bit longer but it seems clear that college athletics is about to change dramatically and one of the most autocratic, often overbearing institutions ever conceived might never be the same. | 08/12/14 13:57:33 By - By DAN K. THOMASSON

How to fight Islamic State jihadists

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, Aug. 10: | 08/12/14 13:52:46 By -

Doyle McManus: What's the secret of Nixon's unpopularity?

Most American presidents' reputations improve after they leave office. In the warm light of history, once-derided chief executives seem to gain retroactive stature. | 08/12/14 13:52:39 By - By DOYLE MCMANUS

Michael Hiltzik: Is US academic freedom a casualty of the Israeli-Palestinian debate?

Steven Salaita is a respected scholar in American Indian studies and Israeli-Arab relations, which got him hired recently to a tenured position at the University of Illinois. | 08/12/14 13:52:39 By - By MICHAEL HILTZIK

The responsibility part of corporate 'personhood'

The following editorial appeared in the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer on Sunday, Aug. 10: | 08/12/14 13:47:45 By -

John M. Crisp: Reserve some moral outrage for torture

Assume there are two types of countries in the world: those that torture and those that don't. Americans who believe that our nation is among non-torturers may have been disappointed recently when President Barack Obama announced, somewhat inelegantly, that "we tortured some folks." | 08/12/14 13:47:39 By - By JOHN M. CRISP

Social Security crisis closer than you think

The latest Social Security Trustees' report shows the projected dates of insolvency for the program's trust funds remain largely unchanged. Regrettably, some misinterpret this as an indication that Social Security doesn't require immediate reform. Make no mistake: There is a Social Security crisis. | 08/12/14 13:37:43 By - By JASON J. FICHTNER AND FREDERICK W. KILBOURNE

Keep politics out of the pulpit

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Friday, Aug. 8: | 08/12/14 13:37:46 By -

An anniversary we should keep in perspective

The following editorial appeared in the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer on Thursday, Aug. 7: | 08/12/14 13:33:16 By -

It's too soon to give out Ebola drugs

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Friday, Aug. 8: | 08/12/14 13:33:16 By -

How to deal with the Russian cyber theft

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Friday, Aug. 8: | 08/12/14 13:33:16 By -

Obama plays catch-up in opening US opportunities

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Friday, Aug. 8: | 08/12/14 13:33:16 By -

Not enough primary-care doctors? Try Missouri's prescription

Everyone agrees that the United States does not have enough primary-care physicians. There are huge swaths of the nation, especially rural and inner-city areas, that lack any primary-care physicians. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the shortage is at least 16,000 doctors. | 08/12/14 13:37:43 By - By ARTHUR L. CAPLAN

This is not the first immigrant crisis in America

Children are fleeing strife-torn Central American countries and crossing the border into the United States. Congress rants about border security yet cannot agree on any reform legislation. Barbed wire-topped walls to keep people out work no better than the Berlin Wall did to keep people in. | 08/12/14 13:33:06 By - By DANIEL J. EVANS

Trying times remind us about luck, need for compassion

As the horrors of this summer unfold - war, disease and refugee children - we should reflect on how lucky we are. If you had been born in Central America, the Middle East or West Africa, your life would be quite different. Of course, you don't have to travel far to see bad luck. Violence, illness and homelessness occur here, too. | 08/12/14 13:33:06 By - By ANDREW FIALA

In anticipating EPA plan, states can follow examples of neighbors

While debate rages on about the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Clean Power Plan aimed at reducing greenhouse gas pollution from existing U.S. power plants, it's important to take a look at what is already working around the country from the standpoint of clean energy deployment. | 08/12/14 13:33:06 By - By DAN BAKAL

Leonard Pitts Jr.: The so-called 'war on whites' is a fight the GOP can't win

At this point, you really have to wonder: Is it still news when a Republican says something asinine? | 08/12/14 13:32:59 By - By LEONARD PITTS JR.

Ebola provides a painful lesson on Liberia

Dr. Elinor Graham and her friend, Dr. Roseda Marshall, are two remarkable doctors united by their concern for the well-being of the Liberian people. In recent weeks they have been gathering medical supplies and raising awareness about Liberia among Americans. | 08/12/14 13:32:59 By - By JERRY LARGE

The CIA vs. the Senate is the constitutional equivalent of Watergate

CIA spying on the Senate is the constitutional equivalent of the Watergate break-in. In both cases, the executive branch attacked the very foundations of our system of checks and balances. | 08/12/14 13:27:36 By - By BRUCE ACKERMAN

Is Amazon the bully or the hero?

The Seattle Times recently invited children's book author Nina Laden and writer Frank Schaeffer to debate on the fractious contract negotiations between online retailer Amazon.com and book publisher Hachette. | 08/12/14 13:27:36 By - By NINA LADEN AND FRANK SCHAEFFER

Social Security demystified

When the Social Security Trustees recently released their report on the financial condition of Social Security, they echoed the warnings made by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that the program is financially unsustainable without changes. Yet, there are many voices trying to downplay these red flags, claiming that warnings about the financial problems facing Social Security are exaggerated to justify deep cuts in benefits. To have a constructive discussion about the future of the Social Security program, it is important to dispense with several myths. | 08/08/14 13:47:21 By - By MAYA MACGUINEAS

Hostile ally: Danger grows for US forces in Afghanistan

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, Aug. 7: | 08/08/14 08:22:29 By -

The damaging legacy of Nixon and Watergate

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Thursday, Aug. 7: | 08/08/14 08:22:29 By -

A failing state across the Mediterranean from Europe

The following editorial appeared in the Orange County Register on Wednesday, Aug. 6: | 08/08/14 08:22:29 By -

How to avoid the next housing bust

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday, Aug. 6: | 08/08/14 08:22:29 By -

Plan Colombia worked; why not try something similar in Central America?

For the citizens of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, the crisis prompted by the surge of children from Latin America coming across the U.S. border is not simply an immigration story. It is about more than unemployment, poverty, gang violence and the other forces that split families and lead parents to make desperate decisions. | 08/08/14 08:12:36 By - By LUIS ALBERTO MORENO

Time to make chemical storage safety a top national priority

Growing up in Port Arthur, Texas, I always knew that neighbors and family members seemed to get sick more often than they should. It wasn't until I left - and came back - that I realized with fresh eyes just how dire our slow crisis was and that my community is riddled with sickness and dim prognoses. | 08/08/14 08:12:36 By - By HILTON KELLEY

Online gambling and state lotteries should be left up to the states � not Congress

WASHINGTON - From public education to increasing economic development to promoting health and public wellness to funding programs for veterans and senior citizens, state lotteries across the country have contributed billions of dollars to make our states and communities better. | 08/08/14 08:12:36 By - By JEFFREY R. ANDERSON, STEPHEN MARTINO AND CHARLES MCINTYRE

Mary Sanchez: Lives, dreams on the line as Congress dithers over immigration

Robert Sagastume is Honduran by birth, American by choice and legally stuck somewhere in between by politics. He is also the embodiment of the humanitarian problem at the heart of our border crisis. | 08/08/14 08:22:27 By - By MARY SANCHEZ

Christine M. Flowers: Standardized tests have value

I always felt like a little bit of an imposter in college. | 08/08/14 08:22:27 By - By CHRISTINE M. FLOWERS

Gina Barreca: The cheap-motel flip side of our Facebook lives

Snapshots of people at their most miserable: That's what you don't see on Facebook. But wouldn't it be fascinating? After all, real life is like seeing the reverse side of a perfectly executed needlepoint: it's messy, chaotic and it's often hard to see the big picture. | 08/08/14 08:22:27 By - By GINA BARRECA

Cynthia M. Allen: Did expiring benefits drive down the jobless rate?

In January I wrote a column questioning the morality of continuing to extend jobless payments to Americans looking for work. | 08/08/14 08:12:33 By - By CYNTHIA M. ALLEN

James Brady's second act built a movement

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, Aug. 7: | 08/08/14 08:07:22 By -

The real border problem and what we must do

The faces of frightened young children huddling together just inside our border are heartrending. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has the right attitude. Enough talk. Let's act. | 08/07/14 12:07:21 By - By JAMES P. FARWELL AND DARBY ARAKELIAN

CIA torture report needs to be released

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, Aug. 6: | 08/07/14 08:17:31 By -

The real border problem and what we must do

The faces of frightened young children huddling together just inside our border are heartrending. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has the right attitude. Enough talk. Let's act. | 08/07/14 08:17:29 By - By JAMES P. FARWELL AND DARBY ARAKELIAN

Doyle McManus: Obama's troubling guest list

The Obama administration erred on the side of inclusion in deciding which leaders to invite to its ambitious U.S.-Africa summit this week - at least in the view of human rights advocates. | 08/07/14 08:17:27 By - By DOYLE MCMANUS

Ann McFeatters: Eisenhower memorial follows pattern of long-delayed, much-debated projects

WASHINGTON � For the millions eagerly waiting to visit the long-planned Eisenhower memorial on a four-acre site on the National Mall, there's bad news. | 08/07/14 08:17:27 By - By ANN MCFEATTERS

Carl Leubsdorf: Perry 1, Cruz 0 on Texas border leadership

One fascinating sub-text of the 2016 presidential race's early phase has been the contrast in approach between the two Texas aspirants, Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Ted Cruz. Though Cruz led early Texas polls, Perry's course may make more sense as a long-term strategy. | 08/07/14 08:17:27 By - By CARL P. LEUBSDORF

We don't need underhanded attempts to obstruct access to abortion

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, Aug. 5: | 08/07/14 08:12:39 By -

Has Obama exceeded his authority?

Last week, we saw an escalation in the fight between President Barack Obama and House Republicans about his alleged lawlessness. The House voted to authorize Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to initiate lawsuits "to seek appropriate relief for the failure of the president ... to act in a manner consistent with (his) duties under the Constitution." | 08/07/14 08:12:36 By - By JOHN T. WOOLLEY

Michelle Obama: 'Let’s end veteran homelessness'

"If your mayor hasn’t signed on to the Mayors Challenge to End Veterans Homelessness, light up their phone lines and ask them why not." | 07/30/14 21:00:00 By - By Michelle Obama

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

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

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

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

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

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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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