Opinion

Commentary: Let’s declare a National Political Truce Day

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

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

Commentary: The plight of an undecided voter

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

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

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

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

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

Commentary: We can disagree without being enemies

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

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

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

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

Commentary: Romney still has a tough sell on Medicare

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

Commentary: Don't know much about history

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

Commentary: Maybe Arkansas politicians shouldn't write books

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

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

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

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

Commentary: Maybe Count von Count is needed on Capitol Hill

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

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

Commentary: The GOP's 'war on reality' and those job numbers

"Reality," Stephen Colbert once famously said, "has a well-known liberal bias." | 10/11/12 06:08:43 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: All eyes will be on Biden in VP debate

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

Commentary: Romney skips as he moves to the center

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

Commentary: Mitt Romney's fact-free foreign policy

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

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

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

Commentary: Great idea on sequestration from an unlikely source

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

Commentary: Getting the runaround in order to vote

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

Commentary: What happens in foreign policy after election ends?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Commentary: President Obama must be sharper at next debates

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

Commentary: Have the food police taken over?

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

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

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

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

Commentary: Todd Akin's paternalistic world view

"Ladylike?"

It is a telling choice of word. Hearing it used unironically, as would-be Missouri senator Todd Akin did last week, one almost feels as if Amelia Earhart never flew a plane and Sally Ride never rode a space shuttle. As if Madame C.J. Walker never made millions and Meg Whitman never made CEO. As if Lisa Leslie never dunked, Pat Benatar never rocked, Oprah Winfrey never reigned, Hillary Clinton never ran. | 10/05/12 06:03:37 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

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

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

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

Commentary: Could Romney mount a Reagan-like comeback?

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

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

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

Commentary: GOP has added fuel to Todd Akin fire

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

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

Commentary: Small donors coming up big for Obama

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Commentary: Republicans are playing defense over voter registration fraud

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

Commentary: Feeling like Mitt on the freeway of life

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

Commentary: No need to make Congress bigger

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

Commentary: We are just like Middle East Muslims

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

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

Did you see what the president said about Islam?

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

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

Dear Former Governor Romney:

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

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

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

Commentary: Presidential elections polls make no sense

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

Commentary: Affordable health care should transcend politics

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

Commentary: Being poor isn't a character flaw

Sharkara Peters is a 35-year-old single mother of two. She works 34 hours a week at a fast food restaurant. A few months back, she was hospitalized with a blood clot in her lung. Then, one of her daughters needed surgery. As a result, Peters lost about three weeks of work, and could not muster her $335 monthly rent. When I met her last month while in Charlotte reporting on poverty on the eve of the Democratic National Convention, she was facing eviction. | 09/28/12 06:08:32 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Todd Akin is not a friend of women

Tick tock, tick tock.

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

Commentary: The media and Muslim riots

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

Commentary: Don't write Mitt Romney off just yet

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

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

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

Commentary: Romney steers clear of 47% remark and iPhones

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

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

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

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

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

Commentary: Romney blew an opportunity with Latino voters

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

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

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

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

Commentary: No need for elections when we have pollsters

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

Commentary: Who are those undecided voters?

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

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

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

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

Commentary: Personal bankruptcy and the sin of getting too sick

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

Commentary: A wealthy addiction to wealth

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

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

Commentary: Extremism rears its head in Arab Autumn

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

Commentary: Maybe Mitt Romney should make voters worry

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

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

Commentary: Teaching the Muslim world about freedom of speech

They are, perhaps, the most dangerous words ever written: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." That, for those who don't know, is the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. | 09/20/12 06:03:39 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Where is the youth vote?

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

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

Commentary: Enduring myth about America's 47 percent

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

Commentary: 'Innocence of Muslims' and free speech

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

Commentary: The plagiarism panic in journalism

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

Commentary: GOP must cooperate to fill Texas Federal Court openings

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

Commentary: Romney's 47 percent insult

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

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

Commentary: Mitt Romney missed a shot at President Barack Obama

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

Commentary: Terry Jones' hub of hatred

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

Commentary: Another reason no one trusts Congress

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

Commentary: Our economy has recovered when...

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

Commentary: The return of 'Massachusetts Mitt'?

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

Commentary: Some specific questions that need answering before election day

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

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

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

Commentary: Obama, economy are in a deep rut

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

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

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

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

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

Commentary: When the NFL, Chick-fil-A and gay marriage collide

We are gathered here today to discuss two recent controversies about same sex marriage. One comes from the world of pigskin, the other from the world of chicken fat. | 09/14/12 06:13:54 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Sister Simone Campbell's inspiring message

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

Commentary: Gimme tax shelter

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

Commentary: The hypocrisy of 'Party of God' politics

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

Commentary: Bill Clinton is our political Turtleman

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

Commentary: Hungry children shouldn't be political pawns

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

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

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

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

Commentary: Paying the political price for making tough decisions

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

Commentary: Saving money is no argument for ending death penalty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Commentary: Dying for the right to vote

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

Commentary: Dolphins lose when humans provide the food

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

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

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

Leonard Pitts Jr.: At the DNC, a nun's wisdom speaks volumes

Let’s talk about the other speech.

Yes, Bill Clinton delivered a 48-minute stemwinder to the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night that was so mesmerizing even Republicans praised it. But after the huzzahs for Clinton fade, save a little nod of affirmation for Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK, a Roman Catholic social justice group. She did not speak long — about seven minutes. Her delivery was not particularly powerful. But with the moral authority of her calling, she did something that has sorely needed doing for some weeks now. | 09/07/12 06:55:18 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

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

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

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

Commentary: GOP 'acts stupid' and loses Latino voters

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

Commentary: A bump road to enlightenment in Charlotte

To reach the Convention Center, you must first walk the gauntlet of dead baby parts. It’s one of the newer and more gruesome tactics in the fight over reproductive choice, protesters hoisting large color placards depicting aborted fetuses torn in chunks as a group of men preaches an unending sermon on the evils of abortion. As rhetorical tactics go, it is a bludgeon. | 09/06/12 07:04:35 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

DAVE BARRY: Celebrity DJs and Sansabelt pants at the DNC

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

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

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

Commentary: Can Obama bring back the magic?

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

Commentary: Presidential politics are a blazing pants inferno

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

Commentary: What comes next after hope and change?

In Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, the narrator is conveyed to the gates of hell, upon which he finds a sign: “Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.”

This city is not hell. But a case can be made, as the Democratic Party convenes here to nominate Barack Obama to a second term, that the same admonition applies. Abandon hope. | 09/05/12 12:48:10 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Commentary: Romney paints himself into an ideological corner

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

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

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

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

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

Commentary: Americans are wasteful with food

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

Commentary: GOP swings right on Latin America

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Commentary: America's shrinking middle class

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

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

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

Commentary: Todd Akin answered Claire McCakill's prayers

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

Commentary: No need for four-day political conventions

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

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

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

DAVE BARRY: My all-purpose Republican National Convention speech

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

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

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

Commentary: Romney should just release those tax returns

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

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

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

Commentary: How Romney could help himself with Hispanic voters

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

Commentary: Lines show immigrants want to be here legally

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

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

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

Commentary: Questions media should ask about Julian Assange, WikiLeaks

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

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

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

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

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

DAVE BARRY: Dancing of RNC delegates is enough to drive me to drink

Potential Hurricane Isaac ravaged the Tampa Bay area Monday, slamming the coast with winds that sometimes approached the speed of a fully loaded forklift and leaving a trail of devastation in the form of water that occasionally fell from the sky and got things wet. | 08/28/12 07:04:44 By - Dave Barry

Commentary: Ecuador's power play and Julian Assange

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

Commentary: Mitt Romney the Tin Man

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

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

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

Commentary: Taking a stand for fair early voting in Florida

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

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

Commentary: Ayn Rand challenged my perspective

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

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

Commentary: Todd Akin is the face of Missouri politics

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

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

Commentary: Will Pakistan and America divorce?

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

Commentary: Libertarian Gary Johnson hopes Ron Paul supporters will switch

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

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

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

Commentary: In politics, there are no absolutes

Gosh, it sure was a busy Sunday for Republicans.

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

Commentary: Paul Ryan's Medicare plans

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

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

Commentary: No more 'Mediscare'

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

Commentary: Will cap and trade really kill jobs?

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

Commentary: Droughts and those climate-change deniers

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

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

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

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

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

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

Commentary: The lessons of Hurricane Andrew should not be forgotten

Here’s what an idiot I was: I thought it was going to be fun.

Scary, yes — the lights would go out, the winds would howl, the windows would rattle — but essentially harmless for all that. It would be fun, in a ghost-stories-in-the dark, shiver-up-your-back kind of way. We would camp out in the house, eating bologna sandwiches and playing board games, waiting for the lights to come back on. | 08/23/12 06:02:40 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

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

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

Commentary: Todd Akin's disregard for women and schoolchildren

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

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

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

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

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

Commentary: Too many doubts in Chavis Carter's ‘suicide’ case

What happened to Chavis Carter? The official story is that the 21-year-old African-American man was with two other people when they were detained by police in Jonesboro, Ark.. The other two were released, but when the officers searched Carter, they found marijuana. He also had an outstanding warrant. So they searched him again, handcuffed him and put him in the back of their car. As police were preparing to leave, they smelled smoke. They opened the car and found Carter slumped over, covered in blood, dying from a bullet wound to his temple. | 08/21/12 06:08:28 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

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

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

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

Commentary: The scary thought of growing old

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

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

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

Commentary: Truth is taking a beating this campaign season

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

Commentary: Revisiting the great Chick-fil-a debate

There are two things I really like about me.

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

Commentary: President Obama's next job?

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

Commentary: Making sense of the senseless

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

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

Commentary: Looking for terrorism in all the wrong places

Can we finally say the thing we have not said so far?

Last week, a white supremacist shot up a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, killing six people and wounding three. It is considered likely that the shooter mistook the Sikhs, whose men wear beards and turbans, for Muslims. The massacre came a few weeks after a characteristically baseless charge by Michele Bachmann and several other conservative legislators that a Muslim aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has ties to Islamic extremism. | 08/17/12 06:01:44 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

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

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

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

Commentary: We all receive government assistance

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

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

Commentary: Latin America falls behind on innovation index

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

Commentary: Let the free market break up the banks

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

Commentary: How the Arab Spring might help Israel

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

Commentary: Gun violence spills off the big screen

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

Commentary: Those plain talkin' politicians

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

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

Last week was an active one for religious bigots.

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

Commentary: No Labels' quest to elect problem-solvers

Are you a NObama voter?

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

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

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

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

And down it crashed.

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

Commentary: Congress must toughen up work rules for welfare

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

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

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

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

Commentary: NRA prevents funding for studies on gun violence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rule No. 1 in business is know your customers.

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

Commentary: Medicare for everyone

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

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

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

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

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

Commentary: A solution to the problem of roaring mouths saying nothing

Truth is, there are few things more fully bipartisan than ducking a question. The art of making sound while saying nothing has become so ordinary and ubiquitous a part of politics as to defy notice, like wallpaper. | 07/31/12 10:21:11 By - By Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: In Colorado, ordinary people display true heroism

In a place of escapism, where people had gone to enjoy the fantasy of a man who could fight what we cannot, hell broke loose and chaos reigned. As, periodically, they must. In a gun-besotted nation where the right of each citizen to possess as many weapons of mass destruction as he or she wants is considered sacred and inviolable, who can expect otherwise? We are all vulnerable, always. | 07/25/12 07:19:10 By - By Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Olympic fever should extend to math contests

But when we focus our entire attention on sports competitions and virtually ignore math tournaments, we create only one kind of role models, and fail to glorify those who are the most likely to make the scientific discoveries that can improve our living standards or conquer diseases. | 07/23/12 15:58:54 By - By Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: Texas GOP wages war on thinking

The Texas GOP has set itself explicitly against teaching children to be critical thinkers. Never mind the creeping stupidization of this country, the growing dumbification of our children, our mounting rejection of, even contempt for, objective fact. | 07/22/12 06:00:00 By - By Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Food stamp debate brings out the haters

It didn't take long for the more hard-hearted of the small-government crowd to respond to the news that the feds spent about $75.7 billion on their food stamp initiative last year, which is double what it spent four years ago. | 07/19/12 14:34:25 By - By J.R. Labbe

Commentary: Let's get serious about voter suppression

The name of the game, remember, is not voter prevention, but voter suppression, i.e., bringing down the numbers. In the last presidential election, only 63 percent of eligible voters voted - and that was the best showing in 48 years. Clearly, Americans are not overly enthusiastic about performing this civic duty as it is. | 07/18/12 10:28:16 By - By Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Black Americans silent as efforts to suppress the black vote grow

An open letter to African America: There is a sustained effort to suppress the black vote as we approach this pivotal election. And what is our response? Silence. | 07/15/12 06:00:00 By - By Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Here's why expanding Medicaid makes sense

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

Commentary: Ronald Reagan and the art of compromise

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

Commentary: Using aid to fight corruption

Daniel Yohannes has a tough job – he has to give away about $900 million in U.S. foreign aid each year, but only to countries that fight corruption. | 07/11/12 06:02:53 By - Ben Barber

Commentary: This column was made in the USA

I’m only me. Never mind the rumors. These words were not assembled by a sweaty cabal of cut-rate journalists, working out of some east Asian boiler-room. “Fred Grimm” has not yet been outsourced. It’s just me. (Or, as a sneaky pretender from Manila or Mumbai might write, “It is only I.”) | 07/11/12 06:10:38 By - Fred Grimm

Commentary: Chief Justice John Roberts isn't just a neutral umpire

Chief Justice John Roberts is brilliant and quotable. That doesn't necessarily make him right. He deferred to congressional power to tax with one hand, but with the other laid the groundwork for constraining the regulation of interstate commerce. And that's an open invitation to those who have long wanted to rein it in. | 07/11/12 06:10:41 By - Linda P. Campbell

Commentary: Our perfectly imperfect Constitution

Since the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Health Care Act -- "Obamacare," as many call it -- political operatives and pundits have been throwing around the Constitution like it was a baseball in a Little League game. | 07/10/12 06:00:22 By - Bob Ray Sanders

Commentary: Health care law ruling wasn't a 'conservative victory'

Call it the stupidity of hope. A lot of conservatives are twisting themselves into knots in an attempt to portray last week’s Supreme Court decision on Obamacare as a victory. Their reasoning: Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion rejected the Obama administration’s arguments that the clause in the U.S. Constitution granting Congress authority to regulate interstate commerce gives the government the right to force individuals to buy healthcare. | 07/10/12 06:10:52 By - Glenn Garvin

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

Last week, the federal judiciary marked significant milestones when United States District Judge Garland Burrell of the Eastern District of California took senior status following two decades of valuable service. | 07/09/12 15:51:02 By - Carl Tobias

Commentary: Health care view depends on where you sit

How you reacted to the pretty darned historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act might depend upon the lens you look through.

Is it a primarily a constitutional issue, a political issue or a public policy issue? | 07/09/12 06:05:57 By - Peter Callaghan

Commentary: End the death penalty

While others have been analyzing and debating the U.S. Supreme Court's most recent divisive decision, I have been thinking about another landmark case handed down 40 years -- almost to the day -- before the court's ruling to uphold the controversial Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare." | 07/09/12 06:05:08 By - Bob Ray Sanders

Commentary: Health care law will benefit small businesses

In health insurance, size matters way too much.

In this marketplace, the sharpest dividing line between the haves and have-nots hinges on the size of your employer. Among Texas companies with at least 50 workers, 95 percent offer health insurance to employees. Among smaller companies, 31 percent offer coverage. | 07/08/12 06:09:10 By - Mitchell Schnurman

Commentary: North Carolina must make eugenics wrong right

North Carolina has determined that doing the right thing is too inconvenient and too expensive.

For some time now, the state has been on a seemingly noble quest to right old wrongs. | 07/08/12 06:06:59 By - Issac J.Bailey

Commentary: 'Fox & Friends' gets Texas town's flag 'ban' wrong

A Fox & Friends Weekend host's words jarred America awake Sunday.

"There is this city council in Texas," host Alisyn Camerota began, "and they're saying no more American flags!" | 07/07/12 06:23:59 By - Bud Kennedy

Commentary: Having it all

Among vivid memories retained from two trips my wife and I took to southern Africa are encounters with elephant herds. Few experiences compare with being within yards of those lumbering creatures, watching them munch saplings like a teenager eating potato chips. | 07/07/12 06:17:01 By - Terry Plumb

Commentary: Phoning it in vs. self-plagiarism

Jonah Lehrer is a science writer who at age 30 is at the top of his game. He has written three books, two of them bestsellers, his articles and columns run in the country’s best newspapers and magazines and he has parlayed his publishing success into online celebrity and star billing on the speaking circuit. | 07/07/12 06:03:31 By - Edward Wasserman

Commentary: 'Obamacare' and the voice of 'the American people'

After the U.S. Supreme Court basically supported the legality of what Republicans have come to call “Obamacare,” the GOP’s bombastic leaders went on and on and on about what an outrage it was and how disastrous it was going to be for “the American people.” | 07/06/12 12:40:19 By - Jim Jenkins

Commentary: Immigration debate harbors plenty of misconceptions

Last week, I wrote that we have nothing to fear from immigration and many readers responded as if in the same voice: They said I don't get it. | 07/06/12 06:07:42 By - Marcos Breton

Commentary: Holding Glenn Beck's Mercury One charity accountable

Author and entertainer Glenn Beck brings his circus to Arlington on July 28.

Fine.

Just don't fib about it. | 07/06/12 01:40:00 By - Bud Kennedy

Commentary: Chief Justice Roberts' clever move on health care law

A clever one, Chief Justice John Roberts.

While Roberts saved the Affordable Care Act and gave Democrats and liberals a big victory, he also gave Republicans and conservatives lasting weapons in their fight to rein in big government. | 07/05/12 07:12:28 By - Keith Chrostowski

Commentary: Founding Fathers should have given us a three-day Independence Day weekend

Had John Adams been a bit better at predicting the future, we’d all be coming off a three-day weekend. | 07/04/12 06:00:48 By - Peter Callaghan

Commentary: If the pundits say it, it must be true

Woe is us, fellow Missourians.

We are exposed. | 07/04/12 06:06:38 By - Barbara Shelly

Commentary: Real people suffer when health care is mixed with politics

Amid the white-hot political rhetoric in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision to declare that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional, I remember Devin Pate of Aynor, South Carolina. | 07/03/12 06:05:22 By - Issac J. Bailey

Commentary: Fast and Furious? How about plodding and pointless

Rep. Darrell Issa’s joke of an investigation into Operation Fast and Furious needs a name. | 07/03/12 06:01:49 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: 'Obamacare' will be good for the U.S.

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina is not happy about the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as "Obamacare." | 07/02/12 06:06:11 By - James Werrell

Commentary: Unintended consequences wrought by the NRA

Greyston Garcia pretty much owed his freedom to the political might of the National Rifle Association. And maybe his death. | 07/02/12 06:03:28 By - Fred Grimm

Commentary: Scalia's politics show too much in Arizona dissent

If Justice Antonin Scalia wasn't already the darling of immigration hardliners in Arizona and out, he made sure of it on Monday. | 07/01/12 06:07:26 By - Linda P. Campbell

Commentary: Children in the shadow of the immigration fight

I knew a young lady for four years before she had the courage to come out to me.

I never suspected her secret.

She was smart.

She worked hard.

She stayed out of trouble. | 07/01/12 06:05:43 By - Issac J.Bailey

Commentary: There is nothing to fear from immigrant families

On Tuesday, I spoke to a group of retirees who I thought would love me, but some clearly didn't because we disagreed on the issue of immigration. In fact, some in my audience seemed to have no idea what to make of me. | 06/30/12 06:05:37 By - Marcos Breton

Commentary: Hopefully, Reille Hunter has said her last word on Edwards affair

On Tuesday, Rielle Hunter announced that she and John Edwards were no longer a couple. This determination apparently came after publication of her book, which chewed over intimate details of their relationship. | 06/30/12 06:17:44 By - Mark Washburn

Commentary: Texas must stop messing with Planned Parenthood

Texas needs to stop messing with Planned Parenthood.

To the self-serving politicians who use the organization as a target to help rally their conservative base I say: Leave it alone. | 06/29/12 06:05:53 By - Bob Ray Sanders

Commentary: Problems, abuse continue to plague for-profit juvenile lockups

Yet again, a judge has been tasked to sort through wrenching allegations of abuse and neglect and violence at a privatized juvenile lock-up. | 06/29/12 06:08:21 By - Fred Grimm

Commentary: Who comes up with these Super PAC names?

Nineteen weeks before the elections, and already the airwaves are clogged with competing political commercials.

Many are funded by so-called Super PACs, political action committees that are allowed to collect unlimited sums from companies, unions and individuals, and then spend that money supporting or attacking candidates. | 06/28/12 06:07:48 By - Carl Hiaasen

Commentary: When Mitt Romney addresses the NAACP...

Dear Mitt Romney:

I was pleased to hear that you have accepted an invitation to speak in July before the 103rd convention of the NAACP in Houston. In anticipation of that event, I have taken the liberty of writing a speech for you. It’s only a beginning, space limitations being what they are, but it should get you off to a solid start and you can take it from there. | 06/28/12 06:07:06 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: Dump the politics and fix the U.S. health care system

The U.S. Supreme Court will rule soon on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the 2010 law that is often called "Obamacare" but just as easily could be called "Romneycare." | 06/27/12 06:02:28 By - Tom Eblen

Commentary: Hidden stories tell us much about our presidents

Americans are drawn to explore the hidden, inner lives of their political leaders; the more mysterious and complex the better.

A new biography Barack Obama: The Story, by David Maraniss, taps into that drive to get inside the heart, the mind and the soul of the man leading the nation, a quest fed partly by human curiosity — a wish to understand an interesting human being — and partly by a compulsion to obtain special insights into the political man. | 06/27/12 06:09:58 By - Frida Ghitis

Commentary: Mexico's elections could resurrect the PRI

With virtually all polls showing that soap opera star-looking candidate Enrique Peña Nieto, 45, is likely to win the July 1 elections, the big question is whether his victory would mean a return to Mexico’s corruption-ridden, authoritarian ways of the past. Although times have changed, that may very well happen. | 06/26/12 06:15:28 By - Andres Oppenheimer

Commentary: To survive, unions must evolve

After the Wisconsin beat-down, an existential wail arose from shattered union leaders, members and their friends.

Ritual moaning about the array of forces aligned against labor accompanied second-guessing over tactics and strategy. | 06/25/12 06:04:54 By - Keith Chrostowski

Commentary: Marco Rubio as GOP's hope and change candidate

Meet the GOP candidate for hope and change. Just not for the 2012 elections, and maybe not even 2016.

Marco Rubio, the junior senator from Florida, has been bantered about as a possible running mate for Mitt Romney for months now. Romney finally conceded that Rubio was being vetted. But don’t take that as an endorsement, or even the truth. | 06/25/12 06:02:09 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: Citizens United and the return of the 'copper kings'

Then as now, oligarchs were making their desires known.

A massive corporation controlled legislators and judges, and a commentator observed that "local folks now found themselves locked in the grip of a corporation controlled from Wall Street and insensitive to their concerns." | 06/24/12 06:03:24 By - Dan Morain

Commentary: Repealed helmet laws have been good for organ recipients

Okay, okay. I was wrong about motorcycle helmets. | 06/24/12 06:20:36 By - Fred Grimm

Commentary: More fighting with enemy swords

A few days ago I felt like I stepped on a land mine.

I wrote an article suggesting that to defeat some of the terrorists stalking us and our allies around the world we may have to borrow their methods of fighting and arm insurgent groups to harass governments like Iran that threaten us. | 06/23/12 06:07:35 By - Ben Barber

Commentary: Corporate secrecy, not spending is Citizen United's biggest problem

The Kansas City Council approved a resolution on June 14 denouncing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the infamous Citizens United campaign finance case.

“Only human beings, not corporations, are endowed with constitutional rights,” the resolution read. | 06/23/12 06:11:31 By - David Helling

Commentary: Politicians as 'bath salt' pushers

I’ll bet none of Miami’s city commissioners has ever heard of Gabi Price. That’s sad for many reasons, including the fact that knowing her story might have saved the commissioners from elevating their ordinary jackassery to international levels last week. | 06/23/12 06:13:29 By - Glenn Garvin

Title IX protections go beyond the playing field

When most people think of Title IX, they think about how it has benefited women’s sports. Indeed, since the law was passed, participation in sports by young women and girls has risen an incredible 90 percent. But there is much more to Title IX. | 06/22/12 06:02:30 By - Lenora Lapidus

Commentary: Rodney King asked the question others would not

There was always something hapless about Rodney King.

He entered the nation's consciousness — and its conscience — as a shambling drunk, an unemployed black construction worker who tried to outrun L.A. police rather than be arrested for drunk driving. The result was a police beating, surreptitiously captured on video, so profoundly vicious that the chief of police himself said it made him sick. In 1992, when a suburban jury, conspicuously bleached of black jurors, acquitted four white police officers of any crime, the City of Angels went to hell, erupting in one of the worst urban riots in modern American history. | 06/22/12 06:05:38 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: A cheer for NYC Mayor Bloomberg's soda policy

For lunch one day this week, Kansas City Mayor Sly James savored a salad with an “unidentifiable dressing,” fish, and some kind of “mystery meat.” He did not clean his plate. | 06/22/12 06:05:45 By - Barbara Shelly

Commentary: Rodney King wasn't a role model but that doesn't matter

When parts of Los Angeles erupted in violence in 1992 after four cops were exonerated for beating Rodney King like a candy-filled piñata, an oft-asked question went something like this: Why are y’all so upset over what happened to him? He wasn’t any kind of hero. | 06/21/12 06:04:01 By - Barry Saunders

Commentary: Yearning to fly

“When once you have tasted flight,” Leonardo da Vinci is reported to have said, “you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” | 06/21/12 06:01:13 By - C.W. Gusewelle

Commentary: Filling Eastern District of Pennsylvania judicial vacancies

This week, the federal courts pass important milestones when United States District Judge Berle Schiller of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania assumes senior status after twelve years of dedicated service. | 06/21/12 13:19:55 By - Carl Tobias

Commentary: Obama's immigration stance still has a way to go

Leave it to a reporter to spoil the party.

“So what’s the political advantage of the president’s decision?” was the query poised by a colleague Friday as immigration activists swooned and critics stomped over the Obama administration’s decision to give a break to some undocumented children. | 06/20/12 06:04:13 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: Freeing journalists from their online muzzle

To the mainstream news business, social media are both an opportunity and an irritant. They enable reporters to learn more and learn it more quickly, and furnish them with spiffy new channels to people they wouldn’t otherwise reach. New media accelerate the creation and spread of news, and enrich the news diet by welcoming nontraditional sources to step up and tell what they know. | 06/20/12 06:05:44 By - Edward Wasserman

Commentary: A Florida voters 'bumble-fest'

First of all, it’s not really a purge. Purges are organized, thorough and ruthlessly efficient.

Bumble-fest is a more precise term for Gov. Rick Scott's effort to cull non-citizens from the voter rolls. | 06/19/12 06:03:19 By - Carl Hiaasen

Commentary: Romney's immigration stance? What Would Rubio Do

Mitt Romney has a more nuanced immigration stance these days.

Call it WWRD, an abbreviation for What Would Rubio Do? | 06/19/12 06:02:45 By - Marc Caputo

Commentary: The Rio+20 Earth Summit: A chance to set our planet in the right direction

We are two aging environmentalists with more than 80 years between us spent advocating for a cleaner planet and healthier economy. Even from our well-worn perch, what will be taking place at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Brazil this week has the makings of a potential game changer. | 06/18/12 13:39:03 By - Brent Blackwelder and Randall Hayes

Commentary: What could top kindergarten graduation?

I’m between graduations and have been thinking of how best to balance the message.

I want to be celebratory and congratulatory without acting like they just won the Nobel Prize. | 06/18/12 06:01:28 By - Peter Callaghan

Commentary: The dollars and sense of addressing hearing loss in the workplace

Hearing loss doesn’t win many headlines. Nor does it win much time in the doctor’s office. But maybe it should. And perhaps America’s employers should be the first to listen up. | 06/18/12 06:00:19 By - Sergei Kochkin, PhD

Commentary: Add rising sea levels to the list of banned terms

It must be frustrating for our guys in Tallahassee. The governor and the legislative leadership have made it plenty clear that they have no use for this global warming stuff. Yet climate scientists keep dumping water on Florida’s future. | 06/17/12 06:09:00 By - Fred Grimm

Commentary: With friends like Pakistan, does the U.S. need enemies?

To speak of Pakistan as America’s partner in the war against global terrorism is both an abuse of fact and an insult to the public’s intelligence. | 06/17/12 06:08:13 By - C.W. Gusewelle

Commentary: Fighting with the enemy's sword

Since the end of the Cold War, the United States and our Western allies from England to Israel to Indonesia have been fighting with one hand tied behind our backs while our anonymous and amorphous enemies launch suicide bombers, kidnappers, roadside bombs, car bombs, truck bombs, airplane bombs and other sneaky attacks. | 06/16/12 06:00:59 By - Ben Barber

Commentary: Texas congressional race becomes an extreme Obama hate-fest

Roger Williams has gone extreme, and he had to.

After years as a genial local car dealer, he's knee-deep in a Central Texas congressional runoff that amounts to an Obama-hating contest against a Tea Party leader aligned with the John Birch Society and Constitution Party. | 06/16/12 06:04:56 By - Bud Kennedy

Commentary: NameItChangeIt gives women in politics a way to fight innuendo

Adoring parents of this generation, intent on uplifting their young daughters, tell them that no goal is too high. No profession, no position of power, no political office is off limits to them. | 06/16/12 06:23:22 By - Mary Sanchez

Commentary: Florida Gov. Scott's voters purge has flawed process, politics

The hurricanes forming in the Atlantic aren’t the only stalkers Floridians face heading into summer and fall. There’s another brutal season brewing: Presidential elections. | 06/15/12 06:03:27 By - Fabiola Santiago

Commentary: In the end, the bullies lost

As soon as the school bell rang for class break, my heart started to pound. I knew what was coming: my Calvary. A group of schoolmates who used to bully me daily surrounded me in the classroom. They mocked my behavior and feminine gestures. They called me a gay slur. I couldn’t comprehend why they made fun of me tirelessly. I was unaware of my sexual orientation. I was only 14. | 06/15/12 06:06:48 By - Daniel Shoer Roth

Commentary: Cleaver's quest to clean up ethics committee

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s latest cause has nothing to do with Kansas City or even Missouri, and he knows it’s not going to win many points with some voters. | 06/14/12 06:06:41 By - Steve Kraske

Commentary: GOP could learn a lesson from Jeb Bush's 'grand bargain'

A little self-deprecating, forthright about the future — both his and the nation’s — and putting a kinder face on his party, Jeb Bush’s recent TV chat with Charlie Rose reminds us why the former Florida governor remains so popular. | 06/14/12 06:00:19 By - Myriam Marquez

Commentary: Ray Bradbury and the gift of imagination

The movie version of "Fahrenheit 451" came out when I was a teenager, and had the virtue of most movies you remember most vividly: It isn't quite like anything else you've ever seen. It's directed (in English) by legendary French filmmaker Francois Truffaut, and stars Oskar Werner and a young Julie Christie in what might be the best performance of her career, a dual role as both a victim of mind control and a free-spirited rebel against it. | 06/13/12 06:04:48 By - Dusty Nix

Commentary: Preparing for a political season of discontent, anger

A throng of demonstrators clustered on the sidewalk along the north side of Broward Boulevard, waving their signs, clamoring for attention from the passing motorists. | 06/13/12 06:06:23 By - Fred Grimm

Commentary: Romney should take advantage of rising GOP tide

Like a change of momentum in a big game, the last two weeks have brought an almost palpable shift — and for President Barack Obama, a long-running nightmare of bad news. The economy, which had been strengthening, suddenly downshifted. The jobless rate ticked up. Growth estimates were revised down. | 06/12/12 06:02:13 By - E. Thomas McClanahan

Commentary: Seeing Jesus in a cheese sandwich

Chyanna Richards saw Jesus in her bathroom.

A few days ago, Richards, who lives near Houston, told a local TV news station she saw the image of Christ in a splotch of green mold on the wall above her tub. “People say, ‘Your house is blessed,’ ” Richards said. | 06/12/12 06:08:13 By - Leonard Pitts Jr.

Commentary: How innocent people land in prison

David Quindt can't escape the 15 months he spent in Sacramento County jail for a murder he didn't commit. He moved all the way to Hawaii for a fresh start, yet he doesn't want to completely forget. Each semester, he tells his story to law school students to "open their eyes" about how criminal justice in America can go terribly wrong. | 06/12/12 06:05:53 By - Foon Rhee

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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

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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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