WASHINGTON — As a case study in the workings of modern democracy, the handling of Social Security by successive presidents and Congress over recent decades is a deeply disturbing exercise. The facts are not in dispute. Congress and the White House have agreed to benefits for retirees and the…
On Friday, Sen. Ted Cruz wrote a New York Post op-ed urging President Donald Trump to go to the United Nations to trigger a snapback of Security Council sanctions on Iran. There were some interesting uses of logic in Cruz's op-ed, and by "interesting" I mean "extremely dubious."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has recognized that if the public is not in favor of impeachment, there will be no pressure on Senate Republicans to vote for removal, President Donald Trump will be acquitted and he and his followers will feel vindicated. As a result, Trump and the Republicans might get the lift they need for re-election. She has not bought into the idea that the public will warm to impeachment as the proceedings unfold.
A photo surfaced this week revealing that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared in brownface in 2001. The image turned up in a yearbook from a private school where Trudeau was teaching at the time. He has now acknowledged that he wore blackface on other occasions. The news harked back to earlier this year when a 1984 medical school yearbook led to Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's admission that he, too, had appeared in blackface.
So here's where things stand: We have a president who not only abuses the power of his office but flaunts it, and a political system incapable of doing anything about it.
DETROIT — Next to the picket line outside the Flint, Michigan, GM assembly plant three days into the strike, American cars were whizzing by, drivers honking like crazy to signal their support.
Last week was the perfect time for our nation to mark the 232nd anniversary of the U.S. Constitution’s signing, if only to fully comprehend political forces further trampling the founding document into irrelevance.
When news broke this week that the Trump administration had refused to provide Congress with the details of a formal complaint filed by a U.S. intelligence official who was troubled by a "promise" the president had made to a foreign leader, many politicians and ordinary citizens were alarmed. But another group with a more personal stake is quietly observing these events with even greater trepidation: potential national security whistleblowers.
Among the most delicate choices the framers made in drafting the Constitution was how to deal with a president who puts himself above the law. To address that problem, they chose the mechanism of impeachment and removal from office. And they provided that this remedy could be used when a president commits "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."
People in the United States might feel a smidge of schadenfreude at our neighbor's struggle with a transgression alarmingly common among politicians here at home - if only our own schaden weren't so tremendous. Still, there's something about the Trudeau story that makes it especially hard to ignore, and his explanation for his behavior gets right at it.
One telltale sign of encroaching extremism is the tendency of previously well-balanced people to begin mistaking politics for life. Extremists insist that everything is political; this fallacy, taken to its extreme (which is what extremists do), leads to madness: Cambodians executed for wearing glasses, Frenchmen guillotined over a loaf of bread. But life is much more than politics. Life is vast; politics is but a tool for sharing the vastness in relative harmony. Thus, the test of healthy politics is happy lives - "the pursuit of happiness," as it says right there in the Declaration of Independence.
Listen to the kids on climate change
He was an ordinary schoolteacher, living at home with his parents, disrespected by his pupils, ignored by an unjust society. But finally he had enough: Thinking nobody was watching, he began ranting about the corruption all around him. One of his students made a video of that rant and put it online. The video went viral, because it reflected the feelings of so many people. The schoolteacher, unexpectedly, became the president.
Even with the benefit of investigative journalism, we still don't know for sure what "urgent concern" motivated someone in the intelligence community to complain about an action or actions by President Donald Trump. But the fact that the House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) issued a subpoena in search of information that may involve what the president said to a foreign ...
Though many of the details about the growing dispute between Congress and the acting director of national intelligence still remain secret, the implications are already disturbing.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday as the whistleblower scandal was unfolding: "Is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially 'heavily populated' call?" Actually, any sentient being knows that Trump has no idea what is and is not appropriate, so he would absolutely say something on a call that others found shocking. He told George Stephanopoulos he would take help from a foreign power again. He told Lester Holt he was thinking of Russia when he fired James Comey as FBI director. Trump is precisely the sort of person to say something deeply incriminating.
Here is a hypothetical politics question: Which constitutes a worse presidential run? A well-respected mayor who entered the race as a front-runner but failed to win a single delegate or a mayor who lost reelection as mayor, declined to continue in politics, joined the predecessor to the Air Force and then fell out of a plane to his death?
Elizabeth Warren's free ride is coming to an end.
Detroit is stuck. Its carmakers still sell plenty of vehicles. But while their chief challenge for the past century has been figuring out which cars consumers will buy, they now face a future of having to sell Americans on the very idea that they need to buy a car at all.
Nothing brings me more existential pain than hearing from former students of tyrannical English teachers, the ones who seem to think that knowing how to diagram a sentence is more important than learning how to communicate.
Across the globe, more of us than ever are reaching old age due to advances in public health. But this success comes at a cost: The surge in age-related chronic disease is burdening health-care systems and leading to human suffering we are unprepared for. The causes of aging, and the therapies that might alleviate its effects, are increasingly at the forefront of public interest and intrigue. Here are myths about aging that persist.
New York City public school teacher Kelly Finlaw believed her student debt would be forgiven because she was participating in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Enacted in 2007 as part of a broader package of student loan reforms, the initiative was intended to encourage students to take lower-paying jobs with nonprofits and the public sector. Eligible borrowers would make 10 years of payments, and their student loan balance sheet would be wiped clean.
On the surface, the latest confrontation between Congress and the White House involves the Trump administration's refusal to hand over to the House Intelligence Committee a whistleblower complaint deemed an "urgent concern" by the inspector general for the U.S. intelligence community.
Julián Castro wants you to know that Joe Biden is old. Or at least it seemed that way during last week’s Democratic presidential debate, when Castro told Biden six times that Biden couldn’t remember what he just said.
The House Judiciary Committee brought in President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on Tuesday as part of what it’s now calling an impeachment investigation. Indeed, the committee subpoenaed Lewandowski, former White House staff secretary Rob Porter and former White H…
Bruce Plante Cartoon: Locked and loaded?
At midnight Monday morning, around 50,000 General Motors workers went on strike. The last GM strike took place in 2007 - a year before the federal government bailed out the auto industry and before the global financial crisis.
WASHINGTON — A Columbia Journalism Review poll released this year found that half of all Americans have “hardly any confidence at all” in the media, which beat out even Congress as the institution for which the public has the lowest confidence. It’s not hard to see why.
WASHINGTON — The recent fiasco at The New York Times, which last weekend published the latest uncorroborated sexual-assault accusation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, was a monument to hearsay and a travesty of journalistic ethics.
Politicians have a long history of swearing. Surreptitious recordings of the White House during the Johnson and Nixon administrations in the 1960s and ’70s document extensive presidential profanity. Andrew Jackson reportedly swore so much that his pet parrot started imitating him, to the poi…
Jury duty restored faith in what it means to be American
When Jimmy Carter was elected president in 1976, he put his peanut farm into a blind trust.
When I was a child, I spoke to trees. I knew my secrets would be safe with these great green friendly things. And, I thought, the trees spoke back to me. I'd press my ear against their trunks to hear the reverberating, strangely musical sound of branches knocking against one another in the wind, a sound that seems to be traveling to your ear from the decades coded into each tree's annual growth rings.
All the votes have yet to be counted. A fraught coalition negotiation awaits. And if he clears those hurdles, indictments for corruption lie around the corner.
In the wake of Saturday's attack on Saudi Arabia's main oil production facility, Iran's leaders find themselves in what must feel like an unfamiliar position. Despite the widespread view that Tehran is (directly or indirectly) responsible for the strikes, very few observers are calling for the massive military response that might have been expected.
Almost 50,000 General Motors workers represented by the United Auto Workers union went on strike just after midnight on Monday. At issue: Workers want the Big Three automakers to address pay disparities that trace back to the Great Recession (people hired before 2007 earn more than those who came on after). The companies can certainly afford that, given that GM's profits alone topped $8.1 billion in 2018. And, since this is the United States in 2019, do I need to tell you that health care is also an issue in the strike?
After sophisticated and highly effective aerial strikes on Saudi oil facilities temporarily cut more than half of the kingdom's crude production and briefly wiped out the world's spare capacity of oil, senior U.S. officials quickly settled on Iran as the culprit.
As the United Auto Workers strike against General Motors threatens to drag on, the company decided to play hardball: It announced that it is cutting off health benefits for striking workers. Though they will be able to pick up coverage through COBRA with the help of the union - coverage that won't be as comprehensive - the move sends a clear message that this will be a merciless fight.
Back in 1990, Spy magazine ran a full-page cartoon under the headline: "Cokie Roberts - Moderately Well Known Broadcast Journalist or Center of the Universe?"
A new poll out from NBC News and The Wall Street Journal contains a shocking result: Only 9 percent of Democratic primary voters say they've made up their minds about whom they're going to vote for. Nine percent!
For once, Marc Thiessen got it right on Donald Trump
For decades, Americans could remember previous generations with reverence. The Greatest Generation freed Europe and established the liberal world order. The Silent Generation helped them build post-World War II prosperity and battle international communism. And the baby boomers had their moments, mostly long past: marching for civil rights; speaking out against an endless war; revolutionizing the culture. But when their children and grandchildren look back at the boomer legacy, "reverence" is not the word that will come to mind.
The events being staged this week by District of Columbia officials ahead of Thursday's House hearing on District statehood are part of a campaign to raise awareness about the injustice of District disenfranchisement. But the key to making this week's historic hearing possible had little to do with the city's statehood aspirations. The 2018 midterm elections, when Democrats took over the House, paved the path forward for the District's Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton's District. Admission Act.
The bright, bold line that runs through Washington separates the party of R's from the party of D's. But there is another line - a more subtle but very pronounced, very important line - dividing the Ins from the Outs. The first group is small and powerful; the second is large and envious. Lin-Manuel Miranda memorialized the line in his masterpiece, "Hamilton." The Ins are those few individuals who are "in the room where it happens." As for the rest of us:
When then-Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., made the agonizing decision nearly a year ago to vote against the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, she was well aware that she was probably sealing her doom in her uphill race for reelection.
When Russian local elections didn't go President Vladimir Putin's way on Sept. 8, he didn't take it well. Despite the usual techniques of banning and jailing opposition candidates, beating peaceful protesters and putting the full weight of state-controlled media behind favored candidates, Putin's United Russia party lost seats across the country, especially in Moscow.
President Donald Trump's former campaign manager testified in front of a House committee on Tuesday. By the end of the hearing, he had served notice that he prefers to be known as a "good-looking man," has "lots of guns" in his safe at home and criticized a member of Congress for saying the tooth fairy wasn't real.
If a Democrat were president right now and the events of the last week in the Middle East had taken place, what would he or she be doing?
One bit of rhetoric that has been central to President Donald Trump's political career is the primacy of Americans above everyone else. His "America first" mantra has been used to isolate the United States internationally and to defend his dramatic immigration policies.