National Opinions

National Opinions

No treason: Putin,Trump couldn’t make relationship work

Given the weeks of apocalyptic speculation that preceded the Helsinki summit between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, the news conference that followed the meeting Monday should have been anticlimactic: Nothing was agreed, nothing gained or conceded. And yet John Brennan, who ran the Central Intelligence Agency during the Obama administration, tweeted that Trump’s performance was “nothing short of treasonous.”

National Opinions

Face it: It’s Trump, Putin vs. America

From the beginning of his administration, President Donald Trump has responded to every new bit of evidence from the CIA, FBI and NSA that Russia intervened in our last election on his behalf by either attacking Barack Obama or the Democrats for being too lax — never President Vladimir Putin of Russia for his unprecedented cyberhit on our democratic process.

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Lie back and take it, America

Everyone who worried that the #MeToo movement had gone too far can breathe a sigh of relief. It turns out that even if there’s very credible evidence that a man is complicit in sexual harassment and degradation, he can still work at the apex of American politics.

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Big question that Democrats must insist Kavanaugh answer

It is unlikely that Democrats will be able to block Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Anthony Kennedy, from taking a seat on the Supreme Court. But they can do all they can to clarify the stakes in this battle, to illustrate in advance of the midterm elections what GOP control of the White House and Congress really means for the country over the long term.

National Opinions

After Kavanaugh announcement, the deluge begins

In the second year of his presidency, Donald Trump has become more and more willing to act Trumpishly rather than deferring to the official wisdom of his party. But with his second Supreme Court nomination, notwithstanding all the head-fakes and reality-television atmospherics, Trump has demonstrated that he’ll take his Trumpishness only so far. It’s one thing to blow up the G-7 with trade wars and make nice with a murderous North Korean despot; it’s quite another to disappoint the D.C. conservative legal establishment. So instead of the dark horses who caught his eye or the female rising star his base and some noisy columnists kept touting, he circled back to the best-known, deepest-resumed, most-vouched-for choice, and gave us Judge Brett Kavanaugh as the nominee.

National Opinions

Obama Homeland chief: ICE needs reform, not abolition

“Abolish ICE” makes for a good rallying cry on the left. Demanding the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency also provides President Donald Trump with a useful weapon for bludgeoning Democrats politically. He has said as much, and a good portion of the American public will listen to him.

National Opinions

Former Senate leader: Republicans must protect Mueller

When I retired from the U.S. Senate in 2007 as its majority leader, my parting words were a prayer for my colleagues to rise above the passions of the moment and protect the institution as a bulwark for our country’s enduring values. The Senate I served in was not devoid of partisanship, nor should it be, but my hope was that patriotism would always take priority over party.

National Opinions

Big Business reaps Trump’s whirlwind on trade tariffs

The imminent prospect of a trade war, it seems, concentrates the mind. Until very recently, big business and the institutions that represent its interests didn’t seem to be taking President Donald Trump’s protectionist rhetoric very seriously. After all, corporations have invested trillions based on the belief that world markets would remain open, that U.S. industry would retain access to both foreign customers and foreign suppliers.

National Opinions

Religious bias surrounding Barrett, on Supreme Court short list

When Notre Dame law professor and possible Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett was nominated for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, her affiliation with a religious group called People of Praise raised red flags. It was some sort of cult, they implied. Sen. Dianne Feinstein famously reproved the nominee by intoning that “the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern.”

National Opinions

Travel ban ruling was Supreme Court’s worst decision ever

At one point in Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s ringing dissent from last week’s Supreme Court decision upholding Donald Trump’s ban on travelers from a group of nations, most of them with Muslim-majority populations, she recounts his many insults against followers of Islam. Though most of us can likely recall his bigotry clearly enough without a refresher, it’s worth quoting at some length to appreciate the stunning depth, breadth and constancy of Trump’s prejudice.

National Opinions

My heart aches for slain journalists; proud of journalism

Five newspaper people were killed Thursday at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis. I can’t imagine how brutal that must be for the families. I met one of the victims, Rob Hiaasen, a few times; he was the brother of my close friend Carl Hiaasen. From all accounts Rob was a fine journalist and a wonderful man. My heart aches for his family, for all the families.