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Republican Party

Augie Mardesich, former Everertt master politician, dies at 95

MILL CREEK — Augie Mardesich, the son of a commercial fisherman who was propelled into politics by family tragedy and became one of the state’s most powerful lawmakers, died Monday.He was 95.

Date: 02/11/2016 | Local News

Why RubioBot’s weakness didn’t surface during earlier debates

Let's dispel once and for all with this fiction that Marco Rubio knows what he's doing.A week ago, the youthful senator from Florida was in great shape. His surprisingly strong finish in the Iowa caucuses left him with a clear chance to consolidate mainstream Republican...

Date: 02/11/2016 | Opinion Columnists

‘Progressive,’ ‘conservative’ overused and meaningless

Nineties throwbacks seem to be everywhere these days: low unemployment, a Bush and a Clinton running for office, friends from "Full House" and "X-Files" entering our living rooms again.And now identity politics are back, too.In this...

Date: 02/10/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Exit polls: New Hampshire GOP voters feel betrayed by party

WASHINGTON — Voters in New Hampshire’s primary are deeply unhappy with the federal government, and many Republican voters are down on politicians from their own party, according to early results of the exit poll conducted by Edison Research for the Associated Press and television...

Date: 02/09/2016 | Nation & World

Obama knows what he’s doing; does Rubio?

It's time for establishment Republicans to face the truth about Marco Rubio: Once you get past the facade, there appears to be no there there.The void behind his prettified rhetoric was stunningly revealed in Saturday night's debate. Rubio sounded like a malfunctioning...

Date: 02/09/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Inslee to discuss Senate actions on cabinet appointees

Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee will address the ousting of one cabinet member and the resigning of another at a news conference Monday morning.

Date: 02/08/2016 | The Petri Dish

Republican race even more of a brawl

Heading into New Hampshire, the race for the nomination of the once-genteel Republican Party seems to have entered a kind of Mad Max phase.It is no surprise that Donald Trump is doing his best to create political mayhem. Trump was uncharacteristically subdued Monday night...

Date: 02/07/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Trump may be angry, but Cruz is plain nasty

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — When Ted Cruz last month mocked Donald Trump's "New York values," it wasn't entirely clear what he was implying.Last week, we got a clue: For Cruz, "New York" is another way of saying "Jewish."At an...

Date: 02/07/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Rubio under fire in GOP debate after rise in polls

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Marco Rubio, a first-term senator on the rise in the presidential race, faced a barrage of attacks in Saturday night’s Republican debate, with rivals vigorously challenging his readiness to be president and the depth of his expertise as they sought to salvage their own White...

Date: 02/06/2016 | Nation & World

Conservatism trumps populism in Iowa vote

The reigning idiocy of the current political season is the incessant tossing around of "establishment," an epithet now descending into meaninglessness. Its most recent abuse is by Donald Trump supporters rationalizing his Iowa defeat with the following consolation: If you...

Date: 02/05/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Cautious Rubio needs to burst out of his bubble

BOW, N.H. — Marco Rubio is in an enviable position among mainstream Republican presidential candidates after his strong finish in Iowa. Yet the man is running scared.The young Floridian is stumping through New Hampshire as if he's campaigning to win the Cautious...

Date: 02/05/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Iowa makes its case for putting trust in voters

Iowa was like a rainstorm that cleared away some of the nasty pollution clogging the air. Those last 10 polls that predicted Donald Trump would finish in first place? Wrong. The conventional wisdom about a high turnout sealing the deal for Trump proved — repeat — wrong. I am...

Date: 02/05/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Ben Carson slashes campaign staff as funds dry up

CONCORD, N.H. - Ben Carson, the famed neurosurgeon whose bid for the Republican presidential nomination has struggled to keep pace with rivals, will cut more than 50 staff positions on Thursday as part of an overhaul and downsizing of his entire campaign.

Date: 02/04/2016 | Nation & World

Proposal to fill Sound Transit seats deemed ‘Seattle-centric’

A column in two takes.Take 1: Sound Transit power playIt’s been tough enough for Sound Transit board members to cobble together ST3, a ballot measure seeking $15 billion for the next phase of expansion.

Date: 02/04/2016 | The Petri Dish

Rick Santorum ends bid for White House, backs Rubio

WASHINGTON — Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum ended his bid for the White House Wednesday and said he will support Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

Date: 02/03/2016 | Nation & World

Rubio's night in Iowa shows outsiders can be beat

WAUKEE, Iowa — The establishment struck back.The headlines will show that Ted Cruz won the Iowa caucuses, but the more significant message out of Iowa was that Marco Rubio was neck-and-neck with Donald Trump for second place and within a few points of the lead: It...

Date: 02/03/2016 | Opinion Columnists

A lot of division still amongst all the ‘winners’ in Iowa

The only thing missing from Marco Rubio's victory speech Monday night was the victory: In Iowa's Republican caucus, Rubio finished not first, not second, but third. Was he expecting a bronze medal?Overall, it was a long evening that offered too many declarations of triumph...

Date: 02/03/2016 | Opinion Columnists

What the race looks like, outside and inside the U.S.

Who will win the Republican and Democratic nominations is still anyone's guess, but the Iowa caucus voters defined three themes that are likely to roll through the rest of this year's campaign: alienation, disruption and resilience.Let me unpack those words. Our political...

Date: 02/03/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Not how GOP, Fox or Bundys planned things

Pop. Sploosh. That sound you DON'T hear is exploding heads of Trump supporters. After decades of purposeful preparation, holding incompatible thoughts has become stress-free, making it effortless to reconcile their love for him with his attacks on their most sanctified...

Date: 02/03/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Before campaign, Cruz sought sentencing reforms

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had the voice of a liberal and a libertarian when he wrote a piece for the Brennan Center for Justice in April that ripped the federal criminal justice system on three fronts — "overcriminalization, harsh mandatory minimum sentences, and the demise of...

Date: 02/02/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Trump isn’t politically incorrect, just insulting

If you ask Donald Trump fans what they like about him, there's an excellent chance they'll say, "Because he's not politically correct."But this is only true if you misunderstand the meaning of political correctness, as Trump himself apparently does.

Date: 02/01/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Trump, Sanders killed politics as usual

Whoever wins Monday in Iowa, and whoever eventually wins the presidential nominations, one thing is already clear: Traditional politics and politicians have failed.That glaring fact is still difficult for the establishments of both parties to grasp. I mean, surely...

Date: 01/31/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Holocaust survivors see the threat in hostility toward Muslims

Wednesday's International Holocaust Remembrance Day is always a somber time for Auschwitz survivor Irene Weiss. But this year's observance had an additional layer of grief: For the first time, Weiss is worried about her adopted homeland."I am exceptionally concerned...

Date: 01/29/2016 | Opinion Columnists

GOP's choice is populism vs. conservatism

It's hard to believe that the United States, having resisted the siren song of socialism during its entire 20th-century heyday (the only major democracy to do so), should suddenly succumb to its charms a generation after its intellectual demise. Indeed, the prospect of socialist Bernie...

Date: 01/29/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Lawmaker under pressure over military record questions

OLYMPIA — Republican leaders in the House say that one of their members should resign if he can’t prove he did not knowingly exaggerate his military service.

Date: 01/28/2016 | Northwest

Dark money ad hits GOP candidate John Kasich

WASHINGTON — "Who is he?" a new attack advertisement ominously wonders about Republican presidential candidate John Kasich, before trashing him as "an Obama Republican."But the commercial raises another question: Who's asking?A group...

Date: 01/27/2016 | Nation & World

Palin paved the way for Trump eight years ago

At first it seemed too weirdly awful to be true, but there she was: Sarah Palin standing next to Donald Trump last Tuesday and endorsing him for president.Like previously conjoined twins who had shared a brain before Dr. Ben Carson separated them, these two anti-everything,...

Date: 01/26/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Anything can happen; even Bloomberg

Just what this presidential campaign needs, another know-it-all billionaire. Whip out your checkbook, Michael Bloomberg, and come on in.News that the former New York mayor is thinking about entering the race is no surprise, when you think about it. It's well-known that he...

Date: 01/26/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Campaign turning into a New York state of mind

Many Americans used to regard New York City as a bankrupt foreign vessel docked on their Atlantic coastline. Then the place got cleaned up, and after the heroism (and stoicism) of Sept. 11, 2001, much of the hostility was replaced with affection.Perhaps nothing signifies the...

Date: 01/26/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Fey returns to SNL for one long Palin joke

You pretty much knew “Saturday Night Live” was going to get Tina Fey back this weekend to play Sarah Palin. With Palin’s big return to the news in endorsing Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, the possibilities were endless.

Date: 01/25/2016 | Life

GOP elites now holding noses to back Trump

Late Thursday night, the National Review, the storied conservative magazine founded by William F. Buckley, published an issue denouncing Donald Trump."Trump is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus...

Date: 01/25/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Clinton, Rubio win Des Moines Register endorsements

Just over a week ahead of the Iowa caucuses, Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio won the party endorsements of the Des Moines Register on Saturday, securing one of the most coveted and hard-fought political prizes of the presidential calendar.Both Clinton, the Democrat, and...

Date: 01/24/2016 | Nation & World

Message garbled, but Trump may see bump from Palin

I love poetic justice. This wild and wacky Republican presidential campaign deserved Sarah Palin, and now it's got her.Palin's endorsement of front-runner Donald Trump at an Iowa rally this week was a master class in surrealist poetry. Geniuses of the Dada movement would...

Date: 01/24/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Conservative magazine lashes out at Donald Trump

WASHINGTON — An influential conservative magazine is launching a full-throated assault on Donald Trump's credentials as a conservative, widening a rift in the Republican party over its presidential primary front-runner.The latest issue of National Review, which credits...

Date: 01/23/2016 | Nation & World

The GOP gets the Iran prisoner swap wrong

Give President Obama credit. His Iran nuclear deal may be disastrous but the packaging was brilliant. The near-simultaneous prisoner exchange was meant to distract from last Saturday's official implementation of the sanctions-lifting deal. And it did. The Republicans concentrated almost...

Date: 01/22/2016 | Opinion Columnists

The Donald’s Letter to the Evangelicals

Two Corinthians, right? Two Corinthians 3:17. That's the whole ballgame. ... Is that the one? Is that the one you like? I think that's the one you like.— Donald Trump, preaching the gospel at Liberty University.The front-runner for the...

Date: 01/21/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Seeking authority in 2016? Trump’s your daddy

So you say you want a daddy for your president?OK, so maybe you didn't say it, but on a subliminal level, you may have felt it, especially if you're a Republican primary voter leaning toward Donald Trump.Such is the finding of a recent national poll unveiled in...

Date: 01/21/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Trump riles those across the pond, too

The British Parliament set out Monday afternoon to debate a question that is often argued on this side of pond but has never before been taken up in the halls of Westminster: Is Donald Trump dangerous? Or is he merely a buffoon?The man who would Make America Great Again, it...

Date: 01/20/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Will rational Republicans please rise?

I keep trying to write something other than rants about Republican politics, but I can't. It's simply too important to point out the dangers of their science denial, their attacks on public education, their clinging to destructive economic policy, their preference for war...

Date: 01/20/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Republican state lawmaker asks teens about their virginity

OLYMPIA — A Washington state lawmaker apologized after asking a group of teenagers about their virginity during a meeting.

Date: 01/19/2016 | Northwest

Candidates won’t admit to long, costly war ahead of us

TAMPA, Fla. — There's a scary disconnect between the somber warnings you hear privately from military leaders about the war against the Islamic State and the glib debating points coming from Republican and Democratic politicians.The politicians fulminate about...

Date: 01/19/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Trump’s appeal to some easy to understand

God help me. I have come to appreciate why some Republican voters like Donald Trump. It's because he embodies New York in all its ostentation and swagger. When punched, he punches back. He owns his anger. He looks as if he is having a blast. At Thursday night's Fox Business...

Date: 01/18/2016 | Opinion Columnists

GOP field apes Trump instead of defying him

"I will gladly accept the mantle of anger."Thus did Donald Trump react last week to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who in her Republican response to the State of the Union address bravely called on Americans to resist the temptation "to follow the siren...

Date: 01/17/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Luckily for GOP, Nikki Haley fights like a girl

CHARLESTON, S.C. — By broad consensus, the winner of Thursday night's GOP debate was Donald Trump, followed by Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, with most of the post-game commentary focused on "the fight" between Cruz and Trump.Oh, how we love a good fight.

Date: 01/17/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Haley calls for bipartisanship, while Obama pays lip service

There are two ways to talk up bipartisanship. You can give the notion lip service. You can lament its loss in modern politics. You can lay the blame of partisan rancor on the times and not at your own clay feet. You can say, "It's one of the few regrets of my presidency —...

Date: 01/15/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Obama has little to show for his two terms

President Obama's Tuesday night address to Congress was less about the state of the union than the state of the presidency. And the state of this presidency is spent.The signs of intellectual exhaustion were everywhere. Consider just three. After taking credit for success in...

Date: 01/15/2016 | Opinion Columnists

GOP senators seek subpoena power to investigate inmate releases

(Updated below with response from the governor's office)

Date: 01/14/2016 | The Petri Dish

Obama urges avoiding a state of disunion

President Obama's final State of the Union address Tuesday night wasn't a speech to Congress. It was a sermon to the nation.It wasn't about policy prescriptions, really, or even about Obama's record in office. It was a speech about one man whose name the president never...

Date: 01/14/2016 | Opinion Columnists

With circus in town, Jeb hones his message

Reports of Jeb Bush's political death may be greatly exaggerated. Not only is Bush essentially locked in a statistical tie for second place in New Hampshire, depending on which poll you prefer, but he's enjoying the benefits of being largely ignored by the media.The milieu...

Date: 01/13/2016 | Opinion Columnists

State Rep. Shea visits Oregon protesters

SPOKANE — Washington state Rep. Matt Shea recently visited an Oregon wildlife refuge that is occupied by armed protesters who want some federal lands turned over to local residents.

Date: 01/12/2016 | Northwest

Lawmakers to tackle charter schools after Inslee gives address

Tuesday marks the first full day of the 2016 legislative session and Gov. Jay Inslee will grab the spotlight when he delivers his State of the State to a joint session of the House and Senate.

Date: 01/12/2016 | The Petri Dish

Soon enough, Trump could be Democrats’ problem

For Democrats who might be rooting for Donald Trump, thinking he would be easy to beat in November, I have some advice: Be careful what you wish for.In his campaign, or rampage, Trump has done more than take a sledgehammer to the Republican Party. He almost seems to be...

Date: 01/12/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Trump tells 3,000 in Reno NFL has gone ‘soft’ like the U.S.

RENO, Nev. — Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump said Sunday he doesn’t watch professional football much anymore because the NFL has gone “soft” like the United States.

Date: 01/11/2016 | Nation & World

The left should avoid hopping on birther bandwagon

When you dance with the devil, the choreography can get awkward.Ted Cruz last week made his latest appeal to America's nativist fringe by naming Rep. Steve King of Iowa as a national co-chairman of his presidential campaign. King, called a "courageous...

Date: 01/11/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Trump escalates attacks on Ted Cruz’s eligibility to run

WAVERLY, Iowa — Donald Trump taunted fellow Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz over his eligibility to be president on Saturday, offering the following response to Cruz’s instance that he’s a natural born citizen: “You’re not.”

Date: 01/10/2016 | Nation & World

Ranchers’ cause, not tactics, gains support in GOP circles

DENVER — Republicans have widely condemned the armed standoff by a group of ranchers to reclaim federal land in eastern Oregon, but their goal of taking back some of Washington’s vast holdings in the West has gained traction in the GOP.

Date: 01/10/2016 | Nation & World

GOP hopefuls pitch path to fight poverty

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Republican presidential candidates said Saturday their party must do more to convince poor Americans that conservative policy — and not an active federal government — will expand economic opportunity.But the White House hopefuls, addressing...

Date: 01/10/2016 | Nation & World

Cartoonists need to draw a finer line of satire with Trump

So much for so long had felt like sport — like a sideshow before the main event, or a rambling preamble before the big address. But now, shenanigans get real.When Donald Trump announced his presidential candidacy last summer, visual satirists all along the political...

Date: 01/10/2016 | Commentary

Despite veto, consider these wins by GOP

Republicans fulfilled a popular campaign pledge Wednesday when, by a 240-181 vote, the House passed a bill repealing the Affordable Care Act and defunding Planned Parenthood. The bill, already passed by the Senate, now goes to the desk of President Barack Obama, where it surely will be...

Date: 01/10/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Trump casts Canadian label on Cruz

Who says Donald Trump lacks subtlety? The way he's raising "birther" questions about his chief rival for the nomination is worthy of Machiavelli."I'd hate to see something like that get in his way," Trump said of the fact that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas,...

Date: 01/10/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Fair or not, Clinton must address double standard

Fair play can sometimes be a raunchy racket.In the midst of Hillary Clinton's promising presidential bid, a blast from the past blew through the back door and rattled the joints of the political edifice of Clinton. Juanita Broaddrick, the Arkansas woman who has claimed that...

Date: 01/10/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Can Ted Cruz run for president? McCain has questions

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said Thursday that fellow Sen. John McCain is calling for an exploration of his right to run for president because he intends to endorse Marco Rubio in the race.

Date: 01/07/2016 | Nation & World

No honor for intransigence on gun safety

It is axiomatic that congressional Republicans will oppose anything smacking of "gun control," which may as well be read as "Your mama."Thus, it comes as no surprise that President Obama's announcement of executive actions to clarify and enhance...

Date: 01/07/2016 | Opinion Columnists

GOP candidates have encouraged rule of lawlessness

Ammon Bundy and the other armed militants occupying a federal facility at a wildlife refuge in Oregon have a beef with the administration — the Teddy Roosevelt administration."It has been provided for us to be able to come together and unite in making a hard...

Date: 01/06/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Democracy is unsatisfying to the selfish

Well, knock me down and call me Cliven. A bunch of patriotic ammosexuals have battled past uncaged sage grouse and stormed an empty building in Oregon, protesting the jailing of arsonists. Because if we can't burn stuff wherever we want, what's next? Stop signs at...

Date: 01/06/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Holding fire when it’s white guys with guns

What do you think the response would be if a bunch of black people, filled with rage and armed to the teeth, took over a federal government installation and defied officials to kick them out? I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be wait-and-see.Probably more like point-and-shoot.

Date: 01/05/2016 | Opinion Columnists

If 2016 is anything like ’15, buckle up

You probably noticed that 2015 was pretty weird. But hey, it's a brand new year — a fresh start, a blank slate, an unwritten script. In 2016, what could possibly go wrong?Uh, where to begin?My fingers balk at typing the words "President-elect...

Date: 01/03/2016 | Opinion Columnists

Top Ben Carson staffers resign in campaign shake-up

WASHINGTON - Ben Carson, the former neurosurgeon whose Republican campaign for president has fallen from the first tier, has parted ways with his campaign manager and communications director after a decline in the polls and a week of confusion about who would remain on his team.

Date: 12/31/2015 | Nation & World

President Obama’s skin looks different in GOP ads

WASHINGTON— A new study shows that negative ads targeting President Obama in 2008 depicted him with very dark skin, and that these images would have appealed to some viewers’ racial biases.

Date: 12/30/2015 | Nation & World

What Congress got done in 2015

Congress and the Washington Legislature have taken their lumps on these pages during the past year. Often, it's been with ample cause. But while both preferred to use deadlines as a cudgel against the other party rather than a motivator, each body did get some work done in 2015.

Date: 12/30/2015 | Editorials

Count on supporters to excuse worst of Clinton vs. Trump

After lamenting Donald Trump's "penchant for sexism" last week, Hillary Clinton announced to supporters that her former-president husband — her "not-so-secret weapon" — will hit the campaign trail for her in January. Characteristically, in all capital...

Date: 12/30/2015 | Opinion Columnists

George Pataki quits GOP presidential primary

Former New York Gov. George Pataki, a longshot in his quest for the Republican presidential nomination, ended his candidacy on Tuesday, according to a supporter.Bruce Breton, former chairman of the Wyndam, N.H., Republican Party and a Pataki backer, confirmed Pataki’s exit from the race.

Date: 12/29/2015 | Nation & World

GOP will never be the same after Trump

History will remember 2015 as the year when The Republican Party As We Knew It was destroyed by Donald Trump. An entity called the GOP will survive — but can never be the same.Am I overstating Trump's impact, given that not a single vote has been cast? Hardly. I'm not...

Date: 12/29/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Republicans seeking taxpayer bailout for Puerto Rico investors

Puerto Rico is sinking in $73 billion of debt. Mired in a long-running depression, the U.S. territory has already cut essential services to bare bones. Puerto Rico can't fully pay its bondholders without setting off total economic collapse.One of two things can happen, short...

Date: 12/29/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Five big things we learned about Congress in 2015

WASHINGTON — Let’s start with what we already knew when the 114th Congress gaveled in this past January: Republicans were cheering their control of both chambers for the first time in eight years, including a historic majority in the House of Representatives.

Date: 12/27/2015 | Nation & World

Was 2015 a redder, bluer year for America?

The year is almost over, and an election looms. Is the country more divided now than it ever was? Can Americans find common ground on anything? Is there life beyond political squabbles? As 2015 comes to a close, Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, reflect on the...

Date: 12/27/2015 | Commentary

A Dickens of a time with Trump

"Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew. ..."— Charles Dickens,...

Date: 12/25/2015 | Editorials

Santa needs to bring us some sanity before rage consumes our Christmas spirit

Santa, baby, just slip a little something useful under America’s Christmas tree.We don’t need hoverboards, Apple watches, drones or the pie face game.Our country needs courage. Reason. Sanity. But we’d settle for sedation.

Date: 12/24/2015 | Commentary

GOP must rally around an alternative to that putz

Zei Gezunt, Lindsey Graham.The Republican senator from South Carolina had good reasons to quit the Republican presidential race, as he did this week. He had succeeded in his goal of making the rest of the field more hawkish. He avoided an embarrassing defeat in his...

Date: 12/24/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Secret’s out: Trump is white guys’ best hope

The biggest political news is that Donald Trump may be doing even better than polls have suggested. Yikes.Apparently, many Trump supporters have been fibbing to pollsters, saying they're for someone else when they really intend to vote for The Donald. And those fudging the...

Date: 12/24/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Ben Carson, sinking in polls, plans staff shakeup

Ben Carson has plans for a staff shakeup — soon.The retired neurosurgeon, who for a time this fall appeared to be a viable candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, is preparing to reorganize his campaign amid tumbling poll numbers and underwhelming debate performances.

Date: 12/23/2015 | Nation & World

If politicians make the ‘nice’ list, some gift ideas

Getting into the Christmas spirit, we thought we would pick out gifts for some prominent people, so here goes:For Donald Trump, finding something for the man who has or can buy anything is a challenge. Nevertheless, he plainly does not have a copy of the U.S. Constitution,...

Date: 12/23/2015 | Commentary

‘Politically correct’ a nervous tic among the GOP

Back in the summer, when Fox's Megyn Kelly confronted Donald Trump with a few of the nasty things he had said about women, the candidate had a simple retort."The big problem this country has is being politically correct," he said.The big problem? Not...

Date: 12/23/2015 | Opinion Columnists

More bravado than ‘Mikado,’ Trump as Lord High Executioner

With apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan.(With Donald Trump performing as Ko-Ko, the Lord High Executioner, with his little list of people who never will be missed.) As next year it must happen that some losers must emerge— I've got a...

Date: 12/22/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Obama a realist governing in an age of anxiety

President Obama gave a speech Tuesday at the National Archives that stood in almost perfect counterpoint to the Republican presidential debate that took place that evening in Las Vegas: Against the rising GOP tide of anger toward immigrants, Obama anchored himself among the historical...

Date: 12/21/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Does GOP know what it believes in?

It is no longer possible to think of "the Republican Party" as a coherent political force. It is nothing of the sort — and the Donald Trump insurgency should be seen as a symptom of the party's disintegration, not the cause.I realize this may seem an odd...

Date: 12/20/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Rather than sow distrust, we need to start talking

When President Obama addressed the nation following the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, he reiterated the call to resist animus toward Muslims.This was a familiar message — the same we had heard from President George W. Bush following the 9/11 attacks. We aren't...

Date: 12/20/2015 | Opinion Columnists

GOP must abandon the bigots in its base

Editor's note: This column contains words and phrases that, while expurgated, still imply vulgarities and racial, religious and other epithets.A couple of weeks ago, I wrote: "Let's not mince words, Donald Trump is a bigot and a racist."I...

Date: 12/20/2015 | Opinion Columnists

‘Confident America’? Depends on who in the GOP you ask

It was a night of fear and loathing in Las Vegas."We have people across this country who are scared to death," said Chris Christie. "Everywhere in America is a target for these terrorists."Donald Trump informed viewers that "our...

Date: 12/18/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Why Trump keeps telling the same whoppers

Why does Donald Trump repeat talking points that he knows are untrue? During Tuesday night's debate, The Donald asserted that before 9/11, terrorists put their "friends, family, girlfriends" into planes, and "they were sent back — for the most part to Saudi...

Date: 12/18/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Rubio wins ‘metadata’ dust-up with Cruz

Terrorism is not going away. We saw that in the closing of the Los Angeles schools after what was deemed a "credible" threat. The threat turned out to be not real, but with the country under heightened alarm, local authorities have become hyper-vigilant. That was 650,000...

Date: 12/18/2015 | Opinion Columnists

When we treat Muslim Americans as ‘the other’

Marjan Ehsassi is American by choice — and, until recently, was fiercely proud of it.Born in Geneva to an Iranian diplomat who served under the shah, she grew up in Iran until the revolution made life there inhospitable for her family. She married an American, has two...

Date: 12/17/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Obama trying to avoid a quick fix at an unacceptable cost

To Republican presidential candidates who were denouncing President Obama on Tuesday night for not fighting harder against the Islamic State, there's an obvious if unspoken answer: Obama doesn't think this is an existential battle that's worth the cost to America of an all-out war.

Date: 12/17/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Clinton enjoying Trump’s campaign dominance

Gee, wonder what Hillary Clinton has been up to?If you haven't heard much about her lately, it's because Clinton news has been as scarce as winter weather on the Eastern seaboard. Did somebody say emails? What ever happened to Benghazi? Is she still even running for...

Date: 12/17/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Trump providing cover for other candidates’ far-right flings

In the towering cumulonimbus that Donald Trump has formed over the Republican Party, there is a small silver lining: He makes the rest of the candidates look not quite so zany.On Sunday, Trump declared that his nearest (but not terribly near) rival, Ted Cruz, is "a...

Date: 12/16/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Should Cruz’s Canadian birth keep him off ballot?

During the most recent presidential election, non-candidate Donald Trump crowned himself king of the "birther" movement, with his constant questions about whether President Barack Obama was born in Kenya or the United States. Now (it pains me to say) Trump is the GOP...

Date: 12/16/2015 | Opinion Columnists

Cruz isn’t cure for Trump that GOP hopes for

If Ted Cruz is the Republican Party's cure for Donald Trump, the antidote may be worse than the poison.With polls showing the Texas senator rising to challenge the bombastic billionaire nationwide — and zooming past him in first-in-the-nation Iowa — the...

Date: 12/15/2015 | Opinion Columnists

A look at GOP candidates’ approaches to Tuesday’s debate

WASHINGTON — Nine Republicans hopefuls meet Tuesday in the next prime-time presidential debate, with a familiar slate of candidates looking to wrangle over what to do about the threat of terrorism and who has the right temperament and judgment to lead the nation.

Date: 12/14/2015 | Nation & World

Trump, Carson bristle at talk of brokered Republican convention

Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson said Sunday that talk of a contested convention to select the Republican nominee violates terms of neutrality agreements they made with party leaders not to mount third-party campaigns.

Date: 12/13/2015 | Nation & World

CNN: Christie returns to main GOP presidential debate stage

WASHINGTON — CNN is inviting Gov. Chris Christie back to prime-time in the upcoming Republican presidential debate.

Date: 12/13/2015 | Nation & World

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