• University of Maryland economist: One Senate race looms particularly large

    BY PETER MORICI | Published: Sat, Oct 11, 2014

    Despite another seemingly good jobs report, President Obama’s approval rating is lower than a snake’s belly, and Republicans could retake the Senate. ISIS and the Ukraine weigh on voters’ minds but the economy isn’t what Obama cracks it up to be. Obama has increased employment by 5.5 million, about 4 percent, but measured against other presidents his performance is hardly stellar. Ronald Reagan was dealt a tough hand too. Early in his first term, unemployment peaked at 10.8 percent but he cut spending, taxes and meddlesome government regulations. Employment rose 8.4 million, more than 9 percent, his first 68 months. The 5.9 percent unemployment rate is a fraud. The percentage of adults working or seeking employment

  • Jules Witcover: Catalogue of woes puts Washington in the doldrums

    By Jules Witcover | Published: Sat, Oct 11, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Baseball lore recalls that legendary manager Casey Stengel, when running the hapless 1962 New York Mets, forlornly asked his charges: “Can’t anybody here play this game?” It’s an appropriate question right now in the nation’s capital concerning not only baseball but also football and politics. On Tuesday night at their home ballpark, the Washington Nationals, the National League’s winningest team of 2014 and seemingly headed for the World Series, lost their third game out of four to the San Francisco Giants and were blown out of contention. The demise came the day after the Washington Redskins, the NFL team under increasing pressure to change its name, had lost the fourth of their first five games under

  • Charles Krauthammer: The double game our allies play

    By Charles Krauthammer | Published: Fri, Oct 10, 2014

    WASHINGTON — During the 1944 Warsaw uprising, Stalin ordered the advancing Red Army to stop at the outskirts of the city while the Nazis, for 63 days, annihilated the non-Communist Polish partisans. Only then did Stalin take Warsaw. No one can match Stalin for merciless cynicism, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey is offering a determined echo by ordering Turkish tanks massed on the Syrian border, within sight of the besieged Syrian town of Kobane, to sit and do nothing. For almost a month, Kobane Kurds have been trying to hold off Islamic State fighters. Outgunned, outmanned and surrounded on three sides, the defending Kurds have begged Turkey to allow weapons and reinforcements through the border. Erdogan has

  • Bobby Jindal: Let's say yes to affordable energy

    BY BOBBY JINDAL | Published: Fri, Oct 10, 2014

    Opening more federal lands would help

  • E.J. Dionne: A Tar Heel rebellion against reaction

    By E.J. Dionne Jr. | Published: Fri, Oct 10, 2014

    BURLINGTON, N.C. — The clergy gathered in the second-floor conference room at the First Baptist Church here were pondering whether this midterm election might be different from other midterm elections. The five African-American pastors and bishops represented diverse theological traditions, but all were profoundly unhappy over what North Carolina’s ultra-conservative state government in Raleigh had done to reduce access to the ballot box, cut education spending, and turn back money to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The irony, said the Rev.

  • Ed Apple: Public officials shouldn't forget who's the boss

    BY ED APPLE | Published: Fri, Oct 10, 2014

    No calling is more gratifying than serving the public’s common good. The wise and explicit directions given in the preamble to the Constitution leave no doubt about who has the ultimate power in government. Because of recent experiences that I’ve had with some public officials and employees, I want to remind them of who works for whom. When I was first elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives, a wise friend gave me some good advice: Always be available, approachable and accessible to your constituents, he said. Next, remember that the only reason voters gave you this job is for you to do your best every day to enhance, enrich and ennoble their lives. Of particular importance is to handle each contact as timely as

  • George F. Will: Is Chris Christie running?

    By George F. Will | Published: Thu, Oct 9, 2014

    NEWARK, N.J. — Gov. Chris Christie could be forgiven if he had chips on both shoulders as big as those shoulders. This year, the first of his second term, has been overshadowed by often partisan investigations, more protracted than productive, of the involvement of several of his former aides — he fired them — in the closing of some access lanes to the George Washington Bridge. Nevertheless, Christie today radiates serenity. His critics, including many Hillary Clinton enthusiasts, hoped the last 12 months would be for him a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year. He has, however, thrived. He won two elections last November.

  • Washington Examiner: Obama needs a Plan B regarding ISIS

    Washington Examiner editorial | Published: Thu, Oct 9, 2014

    WHEN President Obama announced the beginning of U.S. and coalition operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, he categorically ruled out placing U.S. combat troops on the ground. His plan eventually involves training, arming and sending local militias to serve as a proxy for U.S. infantry. In the meantime, air strikes are supposed to “degrade” the Islamic State and the threat it poses. Though it would be premature to declare the air campaign against the Islamic State a failure, we can at least say that so far, this isn’t working. If the Islamic State’s army were simply hunkering down and surviving, then complaints about U.S. strategy would seem premature. But in fact the Islamic State continues to gain

  • Oklahoma history professor: U.S. history is a great story, warts and all

    BY LARRY C. FLOYD | Published: Wed, Oct 8, 2014

    Teaching introductory U.S. history to college freshmen and sophomores, I sometimes feel a swell of pride when I speak of the importance that the Founding Fathers placed on what they called “virtue.” They defined this as the willingness of leaders and ordinary citizens to sacrifice their personal interests for the good of society. And then I relate with some shame how these same virtuous leaders compromised their Enlightenment-inspired principles and allowed slavery to be written into the U.S. Constitution. I can only remind students that this nation’s history comes in lighter and darker shades of gray. A school board member in Littleton, Colo.

  • Michael Gerson: On Ebola, hard choices

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Wed, Oct 8, 2014

    WASHINGTON — Here is what officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health have been telling us: America has some Ebola infections (and is likely to see more) but America does not have an Ebola outbreak, which is extremely unlikely in a health system capable of basic public health measures (such as isolation and contact tracing). So: Infections but no outbreak. Some in the media — splicing their own agendas into the Ebola virus — have used this response (variously) to criticize governmental doublespeak, diagnose institutional rot, or slam immigration laxity. This is political and ideological scavenging.

  • Ruth Marcus: One amazing transformation

    By Ruth Marcus | Published: Wed, Oct 8, 2014

    Warp-speed change in gay marriage views

  • Cal Thomas: On ISIS, Ebola, Americans can handle the truth

    By Cal Thomas | Published: Tue, Oct 7, 2014

    The Ebola virus is not a threat, but ISIS is. That’s what some of our leaders tell us. Should we believe them? Do they have a track record for truth-telling that would lend them credibility? ISIS hasn’t (yet) invaded America, but Ebola has. We are bombing ISIS in Syria, but treating Ebola here as an interloper that can be controlled. There is nothing to worry about. No need to panic. Pay no attention to the disease behind the curtain. Experts are in charge and we must always trust our experts. Do you? I sure don’t. Sometimes it seems the priority of our elected officials and experts is self-protection rather than the protection of the public, which they are supposed to serve. We only know what they tell us.

  • Colorado Springs Gazette: New ERA is a bill worth supporting

    Colorado Springs Gazette editorial | Published: Mon, Oct 6, 2014

    WHEN politicians come asking for your vote this fall, especially those seeking to serve or remain in Congress, ask them what they think of the ERA. It’s alive and well and gaining momentum. We're not talking about the old Equal Rights Amendment that fizzled in the late 1970s. Today, ERA means the Employee Rights Act and it may take shape as the decade’s leading civil rights crusade. It’s a common-sense solution to provide an array of protections in the workplace. The proposal is long overdue and has more than 80 percent support across all major voter demographics. Consider a candidate out of touch if he or she says something like “ER what?” Challenge candidates who say they’re undecided or against the ERA.

  • George F. Will: A bell-ringer in New Jersey

    By George F. Will | Published: Sun, Oct 5, 2014

    PRINCETON, N.J. — Every 36 years, it seems Jeff Bell disturbs New Jersey’s political order. In 1978, as a 34-year-old apostle of supply-side economics and a harbinger of the Reagan Revolution, he stunned the keepers of the conventional wisdom by defeating a four-term senator, Clifford Case, in the Republican primary. Bell, a Columbia University graduate who fought in Vietnam, lost to Bill Bradley in the 1978 general election, but in 1982 he went to Washington to help implement President Reagan’s economic policies that produced five quarters of above 7 percent growth and six years averaging 4.6 percent. Bell, now 70, is back. He won the Republican nomination to run against Sen.

  • Newspaper association president: Newspapers are the 'ties that bind'

    BY ROBERT M. WILLIAMS JR. | Published: Sun, Oct 5, 2014

    What do you care most about in life? Most of us would put family at, or near, the top of such a list. Friends would be there. So would our jobs or businesses, our livelihoods. Our homes. Maybe our pets. Our hobbies and pastimes. Add in those around us: Neighbors, the community, etc. That’s our world, our “sphere of influence.” Whatever happens to those who inhabit that place in our hearts and lives means something to us. We monitor. We respond. We pay attention. We laugh. We cry. We hurt. We rejoice. We care. And that’s what well-run newspapers do, too. As I’ve traveled the nation this past year, it’s been reassuring to see so many dedicated men and women who see newspapering as so much

  • Paul Greenberg: Little country, great leader

    By Paul Greenberg | Published: Sun, Oct 5, 2014

    Vaclav Havel to be honored at U.S. Capitol

  • Emory University professor: Thank goodness for the benefits of fossil fuels

    BY PATRICK ALLITT | Published: Sat, Oct 4, 2014

    We all have a gift for ingratitude. It’s so easy to take for granted how we live today, and to forget that our ancestors lived much harder lives. In earlier generations people died at every age, including newborns, children, teenagers and women in childbirth. Epidemics like cholera, for which there was no cure, cut a lethal swath through cities; chronic malaria afflicted hundreds of thousands. American life expectancy is now 80 years — childbirth and childhood have never been safer, killer epidemics are rare and American malaria has vanished. Why the change? Because of the industrial revolution. It improved standards of living and brought innovations in nutrition, medicine and public health.

  • Michael Gerson: Discipline along with love

    By Michael Gerson | Published: Sat, Oct 4, 2014

    Belief in the child is vital

  • E.J. Dionne: Will the election turn on terrorism?

    By E.J. Dionne Jr. | Published: Fri, Oct 3, 2014

    U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire

  • Kathleen Parker: Whose war on women?

    By Kathleen Parker | Published: Fri, Oct 3, 2014

    WASHINGTON — It has long been accepted by the conventionally wise that the Republican Party is waging a “war on women.” Let’s be clear. The war on women is based on just one thing — abortion rights. While it is true that access to abortion has been restricted in several states owing to Republican efforts, it is not true that women as a whole care only or mostly about abortion. I promise, this isn’t another abortion column, not that the horrific number of abortions performed each year shouldn’t make one’s stomach turn. Instead, extremists on the pro-choice left celebrate the “right” to terminate a 20-week-old fetus. Google an image of this stage of fetal development and try to comprehend the glee we