Opinion

Ann McFeatters: Export-Import Bank fight not exactly a battle royal

WASHINGTON - The excitement is building. Only a few more weeks until the long-awaited mid-term elections, which Republicans hope will mean they take over the Senate and smite President Barack Obama even harder. | 08/28/14 08:19:44 By - By ANN MCFEATTERS

What's next for Gaza?

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday, Aug. 27: | 08/28/14 08:10:07 By -

Warren Buffett should explain Burger King deal, which looks to some like tax evasion

The following editorial appeared in the Kansas City Star on Wednesday, Aug. 27: | 08/28/14 08:10:07 By -

Health care reform's hidden gem

Corporate America's CEO pay horror stories just keep rolling in. | 08/28/14 08:10:03 By - By SAM PIZZIGATI

American leadership in Mideast matters for our national security

It is painful beyond words to behold the bloodthirsty brutality of the jihadists in the Middle East right now. But perhaps even more disturbing is the sight of an American president unable or unwilling to accurately assess the magnitude of the threat to America and our allies, and taking hesitant, awkward, vacillating half-measures in response. | 08/28/14 08:10:03 By - By RICK SANTORUM

Deny the Islamic State a safe haven

In 2002, my aircraft carrier battle group was conducting retaliatory strikes against Afghanistan when I was directed to move into the Persian Gulf and begin precursor combat operations against Iraq. While meeting with the fleet commander, I told him we were ready to go. But when asked my opinion of the impeding war, I replied that it was "a tragic misadventure." | 08/28/14 08:10:03 By - By JOE SESTAK

Carl P. Leubsdorf: Paul Ryan puts policy ahead of politics

Among prospective Republican presidential candidates, Rep. Paul Ryan is unique. He puts policy ahead of politics. | 08/28/14 08:10:00 By - By CARL P. LEUBSDORF

Michael Hiltzik: Warren Buffett is 'betting against America' on Burger King. Or is he?

Back in February, in his annual message to shareholders in his company Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett said this: "Who has ever benefited during the past 237 years by betting against America? ... America's best years lie ahead." | 08/28/14 08:10:00 By - By MICHAEL HILTZIK

Reg Henry: Cornhole is nothing to dismiss out of hand

Labor Day is almost upon us, a time to relax, enjoy the waning warmth of summer, have a few adult beverages, consider the contributions of labor and play cornhole. | 08/27/14 13:39:44 By - By REG HENRY

Martin Schram: How to fix the NFL's 'Redskins' problem � and more

Official Washington, most notably Congress, is still away on its extended pre-Labor Day vacation, a fact that hasn't altered the zero-sum rate at which your problems are being solved. | 08/27/14 13:39:44 By - By MARTIN SCHRAM

Jay Ambrose: Signs of possible healing in Ferguson

We've had plenty of rhetorical villains since the fatal police shooting of a black teen in Ferguson, Missouri, grandstanders stirring up fear in vengeful tones, and we've ha violence and looting, mostly by nonresidents taking advantage of a tragedy to enrich themselves. But we've had heroes, too, and, at the young man's funeral, we had calls for engaged citizenship and a stop to community disruption. | 08/27/14 13:39:44 By - By JAY AMBROSE

Blame the slaughter of elephants on African governments' dysfunction

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Tuesday, Aug. 26: | 08/27/14 08:10:08 By -

Whopper of a wake-up call about US tax policy

The following editorial appeared in the Orange County Register on Tuesday, Aug. 26: | 08/27/14 08:10:08 By -

Good nutrition deserves the old college try

The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Tuesday, Aug. 26: | 08/27/14 08:10:08 By -

Bringing Bergdahl home broke US law

The following editorial appeared in the Orange County Register on Tuesday, Aug. 26: | 08/27/14 08:10:08 By -

50 years later, SNAP proves its continuing vitality

A lot has happened in the 50 years since LBJ signed the Food Stamp Act of 1964 into law. We've elected eight presidents, watched our population grow and shift, gained knowledge about health and nutrition, enjoyed economic booms and survived recessions. Through it all, food stamps have been there, steadfastly providing better nutrition to hungry Americans. | 08/27/14 08:10:04 By - By JAMES WEILL

Fix the broken immigration system

Fix what ails immigration now, or risk another 11 million unauthorized workers later. | 08/27/14 08:10:04 By - By TAMAR JACOBY

Friends, donors and countrymen

Political news gathering these days often consists of warnings about "donor fatigue," followed by excited updates on the dollar figure each candidate and party has collected. Given the complaints and overheated debates about all this, why don't we take the next logical step? Let's skip elections entirely and simply sell the offices to the candidates who offer the most cash. (Some cynics might say we already do that.) We could then easily fund Social Security and other programs and avoid those annoying robocalls, beseeching emails and ubiquitous television ads. | 08/27/14 08:10:04 By - By VICKI LEON

The Beatles' cry of freedom: 'Money,' 50 years later

In early 1964 a friend called me up and asked if I wanted to hear the new Beatles album, "With the Beatles." It had come out in Britain a couple of months before, but no one I knew had heard it, or for that matter heard of it. My friend's father, an airplane pilot, had brought it back. It was just days after the Beatles' first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show." | 08/27/14 08:10:04 By - By GREIL MARCUS

Rekha Basu: Trendiness aside, ice bucket challenge a triumph for those who have suffered

My son explained the gig this way: People are dumping buckets of ice water over themselves, filming it and posting the videos online. Then they tag three others, who have 24 hours to do the same or pay up. They're doing this in the name of ALS. | 08/27/14 08:10:01 By - By REKHA BASU

Jay Ambrose: Signs of possible healing in Ferguson

We've had plenty of rhetorical villains since the fatal police shooting of a black teen in Ferguson, Missouri, grandstanders stirring up fear in vengeful tones, and we've had violence and looting, mostly by non-residents taking advantage of a tragedy to enrich themselves. But we've had heroes, too, and, at the young man's funeral, we had calls for engaged citizenship and a stop to community disruption. | 08/27/14 08:10:01 By - By JAY AMBROSE

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Michael Brown no angel? Why should it matter?

You've probably never heard of Claudette Colvin. And yet, had history twisted in a slightly different direction, she might loom as large in American memory as Rosa Parks does now while Parks herself would be a little-remembered seamstress. | 08/27/14 04:00:00 By - By LEONARD PITTS JR.

Can the mourning of Michael Brown help us find our common language?

The following editorial appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Tuesday, Aug. 26: | 08/26/14 08:10:06 By -

Jackie Robinson West: America's Team

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Monday, Aug. 25: | 08/26/14 08:10:06 By -

Taney tale good for baseball

The following editorial appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday, Aug. 24: | 08/26/14 08:10:06 By -

Football is America's war game

The NFL will be visiting London this year. Three regular-season games are set for Wembley Stadium, where the NFL has touched down annually since 2007. It's not surprising that the NFL wants to expand into new territories. Under the logic of capitalism, nothing stays still: You expand or you decline - there is no other possibility. | 08/26/14 08:10:03 By - By MARK EDMUNDSON

Why Obama won't abandon Israel

The ongoing Gaza crisis seems to have broken a lot of crockery in the U.S.-Israel relationship. | 08/26/14 08:10:03 By - By AARON DAVID MILLER

Kicking the football habit

A few years ago, I began to feel guilty about watching football. What started it were the revelations about brain damage we now know the game caused in many retired players. But there was plenty more - the cynical commercialization of the sport, its cultish celebration of violence and the more subtle ways in which football warps our societal attitudes about race, gender and sexual orientation. | 08/26/14 08:10:03 By - By STEVE ALMOND

Michael Hiltzik: Big business takes aim at corporate activists

"Shareholder democracy" long has been derided as an oxymoron, like "military intelligence" or "jumbo shrimp." Yes, corporate managements bow endlessly to the mandate that they act exclusively in the shareholders' interest, but in real life they treat the poor sap with a few hundred shares as hardly more important than the night janitor. | 08/26/14 08:09:59 By - By MICHAEL HILTZIK

Dan K. Thomasson: Cautionary tales for James Foley and war correspondents everywhere

Being a war correspondent is glamorous and exciting, high up on the list of any aspiring young journalist. But it is also extremely dangerous under any circumstance but especially when those practicing it are pretty much on their own without the proper support or guidance. | 08/25/14 14:02:54 By - By DAN K. THOMASSON

John M. Crisp: Give the president a break on his vacation

After American journalist James Foley suffered a gruesome decapitation on video last week, President Barack Obama called the event appalling, commiserated with Foley's parents via phone, and departed for a round of golf with ex-NBA star Alonzo Mourning. | 08/25/14 13:57:55 By - By JOHN M. CRISP

Trudy Rubin: Sooner than later, US will have to confront Islamic State fighters

How do you deal with a hideous terrorist group that has morphed into a Mideast state with a huge war chest and an aggressive army - and beheads an American journalist? | 08/25/14 13:52:55 By - TRUDY RUBIN

To answer calling, these professionals go into danger to help others

The following editorial appeared in the Sacramento Bee on Friday, Aug. 22: | 08/25/14 08:18:12 By -

Combatting Ebola with unproven drugs unwise

Amid reports of protesters breaking into a holding center in Liberia and carrying away Ebola patients, the current outbreak in West Africa threatens to transform from a local and contained problem to a pandemic with potential worldwide ramifications. | 08/25/14 08:18:09 By - By PHILIP M. ROSOFF

Candidates should agree to stop avalanche of outside spending

The attack ad is the defining feature of present-day elections. | 08/25/14 08:18:09 By - By ROBERT WEISSMAN

The US policy of not paying ransoms to kidnappers is the right one

The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Friday, Aug. 22: | 08/25/14 08:13:13 By -

Williams' suicide could prove conversation changer

The following editorial appeared in the Philadelphia Daily News on Friday, Aug. 22: | 08/25/14 08:13:13 By -

Israel, and the US, may want to rethink Iron Dome's usefulness

Strategically speaking, the Iron Dome antimissile shield, precisely because of its effectiveness, has been disastrous for Israel: It has saved Hamas from destruction and it has helped to seriously undermine Israel's image as a civilized state in the eyes of many in the West. | 08/25/14 08:13:10 By - By BENNY MORRIS

Why the 'ice bucket challenge' became so big

By now, most people have seen friends or celebrities pour buckets of ice water over their heads as part of the "ice bucket challenge" for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the neurodegenerative condition also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. | 08/25/14 08:13:10 By - By ROY ROSIN, DAVID A. ASCH, AND RAINA MERCHANT

Patrick O'Callahan: Bring mood disorders into the light

One day when I was in the fifth grade, my mother - a decorous Irish Catholic - drew clown lips around her mouth with lipstick, took off her clothes and wandered gibbering through the house. She smashed eggs on the kitchen floor, dumped flour and sugar on the goo, and splashed the counters with ketchup. My father came home, wrapped a coat around her, and bundled her off in the station wagon. | 08/25/14 08:13:07 By - By PATRICK O'CALLAHAN

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Perry v. Lehmberg and the veto that illuminated an unsettling trend

A truism: Almost nobody looks good in his booking photo. | 08/24/14 04:00:00 By - By LEONARD PITTS JR.

Mary Sanchez: Police forces nationwide need a reality check

One of the unsung blessings of Twitter is the way it continually reminds us that willful ignorance is alive and thriving in the American body politic. | 08/22/14 15:25:48 By - By MARY SANCHEZ

Christine M. Flowers: Why are people saying such things about fellow columnist?

TO THE EDITOR: | 08/22/14 15:15:48 By - By CHRISTINE M. FLOWERS

Rick Perry case deserves fullest, fairest hearing

The following editorial appeared in the Dallas Morning News on Thursday, Aug. 21: | 08/22/14 08:15:50 By -

Eric Holder comes to Ferguson; change is coming

The following editorial appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Thursday, Aug. 21: | 08/22/14 08:15:50 By -

What does 'win' actually mean this time around in Iraq?

Let's be honest. The United States has crossed the threshold on Iraq. We're in it to salvage the country - again - using American military might. | 08/22/14 08:15:50 By - By ROBIN WRIGHT

Trudy Rubin: Tell the truth about Islamic State threat

President Barack Obama gave vent this week to an uncharacteristic show of emotion over the barbaric beheading of American journalist James Foley by the militant jihadi group the Islamic State. He denounced the group as a "cancer" in the region and accused it of rampaging "across cities and villages, killing unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence" as it seized a third of Syria and Iraq. | 08/22/14 08:15:49 By - TRUDY RUBIN

Brutish beheading makes it clear: Islamic State must be stopped

The following editorial appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Thursday, Aug. 21: | 08/22/14 08:11:01 By -

Foley's murder exposes militants' evil

The following editorial appeared in the Raleigh News & Observer on Thursday, Aug. 21: | 08/22/14 08:11:01 By -

Mo'ne Davis has dominated, and we like it

The following editorial appeared in Newsday on Wednesday, Aug. 20: | 08/22/14 08:11:01 By -

Classifying Internet as utility a perilous concept

On the heels of more than 1.1 million Americans recently submitting comments to the Federal Communications Commission on Internet openness, the FCC has announced that it will hold a series of "open Internet roundtable discussions" with the aim of clarifying to what extent communications law should be reinterpreted. Central to that proceeding is "net neutrality," a catchall term for severe regulation of broadband providers and Internet companies. This notion that the FCC should reinterpret the law and, for the first time ever, "reclassify" broadband as a public utility is perilous. | 08/22/14 08:10:59 By - By BRENT SKORUP

Cynthia M. Allen: Closing the opportunity gap with school choice

The events that have recently overtaken Ferguson, Mo., have exposed much more than just the vestiges of racial distrust and strained law enforcement-citizen relationships. | 08/22/14 08:10:56 By - By CYNTHIA M. ALLEN

Violence in Ferguson, and the race divide in the U.S.

A poll and a set of charts both say something important about the situation in Ferguson and around the country. The poll shows the divide between black and white reaction to the shooting, and the charts map the different worlds most white and black Americans inhabit. | 08/22/14 08:10:56 By - By JERRY LARGE

Gina Barreca: Arts feed curiosity, creativity, connection

We need to keep teaching the arts in our schools. | 08/22/14 08:10:56 By - By GINA BARRECA

Destruction of Syrian chemical weapons shows US may know what it's doing after all

The following editorial appeared in the Wednesday, Aug. 20: | 08/21/14 08:15:58 By -

US still has time to stake out a position of strength on Ukraine

American and European stock markets have been jumpy for weeks as they contemplate possible armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Inside Ukraine, certainly, Kiev's forces have been pushing back separatists supported by Moscow, and they've been surprisingly successful in the eyes of many, perhaps including Moscow, and have thus increased fears of a more direct Russian intervention. But while rumors of clashes last week contributed to the latest burst of market volatility, evidence of actual hostilities between national armies is scarce. | 08/21/14 08:15:57 By - By JOHN BOLTON

Trans community can change minds by changing discourse

At a literary soiree in Paris, James Thurber was once told how much funnier his stories were in French. "Yes," he replied sadly. "My works lose something in the original." | 08/21/14 08:15:57 By - By JENNIFER FINNEY BOYLAN

Today's war-torn Mideast is not yesterday's Europe

In recent weeks, politicians and pundits have likened the Syrian and Iraqi civil wars to the Thirty Years' War and the other so-called religious wars that divided Europe in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. It's easy to see what gave rise to the comparisons. In Europe, the warring parties were mostly Christians, but often one side supported Protestantism and the other Catholicism. In today's Middle East wars, the combatants are mostly Muslims, but Sunnis and Shiites tend to be on opposite sides. | 08/21/14 08:15:57 By - By PETER H. WILSON

Ann McFeatters: Americans love their used cars � but buyer beware!

WASHINGTON - Let's talk about buying used cars. | 08/21/14 08:15:54 By - By ANN MCFEATTERS

Carl P. Leubsdorf: Campaign 2016 and the right- and left-wing slant on U.S. policy in Iraq

For several years, debate over President Barack Obama's international policies has followed a simple partisan pattern. | 08/21/14 08:15:54 By - By CARL P. LEUBSDORF

Danny Westneat: Seattle no place to look for a Ferguson solution

Dear national media: Please stop asking former Seattle police chiefs how to quell the riots outside St. Louis. | 08/21/14 08:15:54 By - By DANNY WESTNEAT

Michael Hiltzik: Left out in the cold by ice bucket fad

Americans are probably not unique in treating philanthropy as a sort of game, with the goal of making it go down painlessly. | 08/21/14 08:15:54 By - By MICHAEL HILTZIK

Epidemics and the global village

The agitating Ebola emergency has captured headlines. There are some who undoubtedly assume that this kind of epidemic is unusual. However, localized epidemic disease has been a part of the biological system of the planet since the origin of life. Pandemics in which the spread of disease can encompass a continent or the world are just as ancient a process. | 08/21/14 08:10:59 By - By BILL MILLER

A view from the front lines in Ferguson

Shortly after 9 p.m. on Sunday night I joined approximately 150 protesters, who formed a line stretching across West Florissant Avenue. | 08/21/14 08:10:59 By - By ROBERT BRUCE WARE

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

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

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

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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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