Articles filed under Commentary

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  • Are we doomed to polarization? Jul 13, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: We Americans are trapped in a political dilemma. We all like representative democracy, but we don’t much like the way it’s performing. The reason for this dissatisfaction is clear. Polls in recent years detail a polarized nation, divided both ideologically and politically.

  • Stop costly, unnecessary runway ideas at private airport Jul 11, 2014 5:01 AM
    Guest columnist Allan Englehardt: While pilots would love to see a longer runway at Chicago Executive Airport for safety, in this case, economically, it just does not make sense. The public will not stand for the spending that will be involved.

  • We’re always finding new ways for people who want to talk Jul 10, 2014 7:05 AM
    Columnist Jim Slusher: Back in the olden days when George Carlin was alive and people used email, Carlin had a joke I thought timely and profound. It went something like this: “I’ve finally discovered what email is for. It’s for people who don’t want to talk to each other.”

  • The divided states of Obama Jul 10, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Michael Gerson: The headline — “Poll: Obama Worst President Since World War II” — was both provocative and misleading. The Quinnipiac survey did, indeed, place President Obama at the top of the worst since FDR. But this was largely a measure of partisan concentration. Republicans were united in their unfavorable historical judgment of Obama. Democrats divided their votes (and would insist, I’d imagine, that they have more options to choose from).

  • Cold and calculating on immigration Jul 9, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Ruben Navarrette: Whenever President Obama acts unilaterally on immigration reform — and it’s not often enough — the reactions on both the right and the left are so predictable.

  • An offer they can’t refuse Jul 8, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Richard Cohen: FADE IN: Michael Corleone’s den. He is at his desk. Facing him are members of his organization. Michael rises and dims the lights. He starts a PowerPoint display showing the various Mafia families. The chieftains and button men are puzzled but they say nothing. Michael turns the lights back on. It is clear he is about to say something important. Michael: “We’re gonna incorporate.”

  • We must not be enemies Jul 6, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnists Steven and Cokie Roberts: Howard Baker wrote his own epitaph. The Tennessee Republican served in the Senate for 18 years — eight of them as his party’s leader — before retiring in 1984. When he died recently at 88, we looked up a speech Baker gave in 1998, in which he described his leadership style. “Very often,” he said, he found himself “engaged in fire-breathing, passionate debate” with fellow senators. But afterward, “I would usually walk to the desk of my most recent antagonist, extend a hand of friendship, and solicit his support for the next issue for the following day.”

  • On Iraq, difficult choices now and to come Jul 6, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Michael Gerson: The summary moment of Barack Obama's foreign policy came in August 2013 during a consequential stroll.

  • Poverty at the core of school failure Jul 4, 2014 5:01 AM
    Guest columnist Mary Shesgreen: I oppose charter schools because they address the wrong problem. The real cause of academic failure is not, as charter proponents contend, bad teachers, teachers unions and bureaucratic school systems. The real cause is poverty. Charter schools not only do not solve poverty, they create a major distraction from that simple fact.

  • Don’t let Congress decide what’s ‘reasonable’ Jul 3, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Byron York: While much of Washington grapples with international crises, chronic economic troubles and upcoming midterm elections, Senate Democrats are steadily pushing forward with what they hope will become the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

  • How to define an American Jul 3, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Ruben Navarrette: It’s a summer night in Washington. On the Mall, across from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, people are sitting on lawn chairs and huddled on blankets staring at a white screen. The feature: “Documented,” the new film by journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, one of most famous undocumented immigrants in the country — and one of the most outspoken.

  • Believe your own eyes, not the deniers Jul 2, 2014 5:00 AM
    Columnist Richard Cohen: A friend of mine worked for a small-town newspaper years ago and had to write the weather report. The county fair was approaching but the prediction was for rain. So the editors, fearing the wrath of local merchants, ordered my friend to change “rainy” to “sunny.” That was the newspaper’s policy. It has since been adopted by much of the Republican Party.

  • Into the morass Jul 1, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Gene Lyons: Remember the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush? It happened on Dec. 14, 2008, near the end of the president’s second term. Bush had traveled to Baghdad for a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The two announced the signing of the U.S.-Iraqi Status of Forces Agreement promising that all American soldiers would leave Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011.

  • The power of authenticity Jul 1, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Michael Gerson: There are many ways to succeed in American politics, but most of them involve authenticity. Voters are often not interested in (or even capable of) of making decisions based on a carefully sorted list of policy priorities. They often take politicians in the totality of their acts. They develop a composite picture that includes a candidate’s general policy predispositions (left or right), but also his or her public persona (“A least he knows what he believes.” “What a character; I like her.”).

  • The lesson Congress should learn from the VA scandal Jun 29, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Lee Hamilton: Like other federal scandals before it, the mess involving VA hospitals has followed a well-trod path. First comes the revelation of misdoing. Then comes the reaction: a shocked public, an administration on the defensive, grandstanding members of Congress. Finally, major reform bills get introduced, debated, then put aside when the heat dies down, or the target agency gets more money thrown at the problem. With the VA, we’re at the reform part of the cycle.

  • Hillary Clinton’s immigration misstep Jun 29, 2014 5:01 AM
    Columnist Ruben Navarrette: We already knew the immigration issue was a tough one for Republicans. They have a hard time opposing legal status for the undocumented without sounding anti-Hispanic. They insist their leaders take loyalty oaths to oppose an “amnesty,” alienating them from the mainstream. They have to balance supporting a business community that wants more immigration with coddling a nativist wing that wants less.

  • This is National HIV Testing Day: Know your status Jun 27, 2014 2:37 PM
    Guest columnist Gerald Schochetman: It has been more than 30 years since Secretary of Health and Human Services Margaret Heckler made a historic announcement. “The probable cause of AIDS has been found,” she began, “a variant of a known human cancer virus.” It was 1984, and she stated that a vaccine would be available within two years. It was a statement based in hope rather than in science.

  • Target overly generous state salaries to cut budget Jun 27, 2014 5:01 AM
    Guest columnist Paul Kersey: Citizens and politicians agree: Illinois’ budget is a mess. Yet nothing ever seems to be done about it. Why not? Because one-third of the state’s spending — employee compensation — is off the table. Until Illinois politicians have the courage to take a scalpel to government employee wages and benefits, Illinois’ budget will continue to be unmanageable. But doing so means challenging Illinois’ most deeply entrenched special interest: government unions.

  • You’ll find much world-class talent when you go local Jun 26, 2014 7:48 AM
    Columnist Jim Slusher: We are all missing something important when we pay high prices for concert or show tickets or focus our attention on television entertainers. We can be equally impressed and delighted by suburban performers right under our noses.

  • Suburban Chicago’s schools: Not as good as parents think Jun 25, 2014 1:01 AM
    Guest Columnist Lance Izumi: Are Illinois’ public schools that serve many middle-class children performing well? Their parents think so. But many of these schools are not as good as they think.

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