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Columns

Column: Harry Reid Led a No-Holds-Barred Senate

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Washington Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is an acquired taste. It may surprise people outside of his Democratic caucus that many of his colleagues will miss him. But they will. Charismatic he is not. He sometimes stumbles in his choice of words, and utterly fails a series of other Beltway tests. For example, our era claims to revere authenticity but prefers contrived personalities that seem warm and solicitous. Reid refuses …

Column: Thoughts for Your Penny: It’s More Trouble Than It’s Worth

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Approaching noon, I had a hankering for shrimp tempura sushi and some dumplings. At a local takeout, my bill came to $15.01. After I handed the man $20, he began counting out 99 cents to hand me along with four $1 bills. While there was a tip jar, there was not the penny …

Column: Indiana’s Bill Is a Step Back for America

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

There’s something very dangerous happening in states across the country. A wave of legislation, introduced in more than two dozen states, would allow people to discriminate against their neighbors. Some, such as the bill enacted in Indiana last week that drew a national outcry and one passed in Arkansas, say individuals can cite …

Column: States Would Do Better to Cooperate on Greenhouse Gas Rules

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Will states take the easy way? The Environmental Protection Agency will soon demand that states cut their greenhouse-gas emissions. You would think that state leaders, particularly Republicans warning of an EPA regulatory apocalypse, would be frantically reaching for the least onerous strategies to comply. But so far many …

Column: The Fed Should Not Be Above Criticism

Monday, March 16, 2015

“Bash” is a useful word for journalists looking to stack the deck. We criticize; the people we disagree with “bash.” The bashing may take the form of criticism, but the choice of words has primed readers to regard the criticism as stupid and vulgar. Even Robert Samuelson of …

Column: The First Amendment and the Oklahoma Racist Chant

Monday, March 16, 2015

University of Oklahoma President David Boren has expelled two members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity on his campus for leading a horrifying racist chant. Does his decision violate their First Amendment rights? And if it does, what’s wrong with this picture, in which a public university wouldn’t …

Column: American Political Dynasties Have Been Forces for Good

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Last year, when Jeb Bush was mulling a presidential campaign, his mother, Barbara, spoke for a majority of Americans when she declared that besides “the Kennedys, Clintons (and) Bushes, there are just more families than that” who should …

Column: Just Say No to the School Testing Fiasco

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The “nice try” award of the week goes to Rivendell Principal Keri Gelenian for daring to challenge the education reform juggernaut — the Common Core and its absurd testing regimes. Earlier this winter, as reported in the Valley News, Gelenian sent a letter to 200 fellow administrators, trying …

Column: Looking Back, and Ahead, at 70

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Two lines from A.E. Housman’s poem Loveliest of Trees play over and over in my mind, not the ones about the glory of cherry blossoms as you might think when we are locked in a dark and bitter …

Patents Have Become the Enemy of Technology Progress

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Founding Fathers of the United States considered intellectual property so important that they gave it a special place in the Constitution: “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and …

Column: To Boost Growth, Put a Lid on Runaway Costs in the Economy

Friday, March 13, 2015

What can the U.S. do to boost growth during the next 20 years? I have an idea — a big, overarching vision. It might not be right, but I want to put it forward. I think it’s time for the era of cost control. Most of the suggestions …

Column: Is It Paranoia If They Are Out to Get You?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Washington Open letters are the next new thing, so let’s imagine Hillary Clinton sending a simple note to all voters: Dear fellow American, I want to offer you what has always been the Clinton deal. You get peace …

Column: Boehner Leads a Minority Government

Friday, March 13, 2015

Last week’s drama in the House of Representatives, when Speaker John Boehner needed Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi to rescue him from his own rebellious party, looked like a messy disaster for Republicans. But it could have been worse. If the House GOP had forced a shutdown of the …