By LEE H. HAMILTON I’ve been struck recently by news coverage of climate change and humans’ degradation of the planet. Two opposing themes keep appearing. One is the sense that, as individuals, there’s little we can do; the forces are too large. The other — and I think many Americans would agree with this — is that as citizens of the planet we have a responsibility to protect it and to pass it on in good shape to those who follow us. So how do we reconcile those warring impulses — not just on the environment, but on many global … [Read more...] about How should Americans engage globally?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is playing a sophisticated game. Since her Democrats took the House, she’s the one who has steadfastly fought off a hasty plunge into the impeachment of President Donald Trump. In the process, she has appeared to resist the more volatile factions in her caucus, particularly the attention-grabbing newbies, along with impatient Democrats nationwide who have loudly demanded that she clear the way so they can drop the I-Bomb. She will not like this comparison, but Pelosi has been the tortoise racing with her … [Read more...] about Pelosi and Mueller’s mush
Beto O’Rourke, the losing Texas senator candidate who bootstrapped his way into becoming a losing presidential candidate, had a message for refugees who had come to America: Your new country is a hellhole. The former congressman told a roundtable of refugees and immigrants in Nashville, Tenn.: “This country was founded on white supremacy. And every single institution and structure that we have in this country still reflects the legacy of slavery and segregation and Jim Crow and suppression.” Just in case the newcomers were … [Read more...] about Ilhan Omar holds America in contempt
What a sad debate between those who contend that Donald Trump fires off his increasingly hateful comments because he’s cleverly trying to distract and those who insist it’s because he simply has no impulse control. Is his racism uncontrolled or is it calculated, the worst form of demagoguery? In spite of his halfhearted claim — “I don’t have a racist bone in my body” — he really makes no bones about the fact that he’s an out-and-out bigot. And here’s the scary part: It works. Look no further than his massive rallies, where … [Read more...] about The Trump dump
Looking at the United Kingdom from this side of the Atlantic, it’s fair to say that who becomes prime minister isn’t always a crucial development. The “special relationship” is solid — so keep calm and carry on, as the British would say. Tuesday brought something different. Not panic-inducing, but different: the ascension of Boris Johnson, a quirky, cerebral figure, to the post of prime minister. Johnson, won a Conservative Party election to succeed Theresa May. He takes office Wednesday. Johnson will become a consequential … [Read more...] about Will Boris Johnson give special relationship a boost?
It’s obvious to many people that our president, Donald Trump, is really Archie Bunker in the age of social media. The problem is, we have to deal with President Bunker. He is our duly elected chief executive, after all. So it’s essential that Congress reach an occasional accommodation with him, otherwise do-or-die measures like raising the debt ceiling will be left undone, and the country will continue to wither. Amping up the limit is crucial, otherwise the “full faith and credit” of the United States will become meaningless. … [Read more...] about President Bunker
By LEE H. HAMILTON A few years ago, I was at a polling place here in Indiana where a long line of people stood waiting to vote. A woman recognized me and called me over. “Why is it,” she asked, “that you politicians make it so hard and inconvenient to vote?” I thought of this the other day when I read the news reports about presidents Trump and Putin meeting and jestingly accusing one another of election meddling. The background, of course, is the pressing issue of Russian interference in US elections. American voters take … [Read more...] about Let’s not just focus on elections, but on how we elect
The American middle class just got a lot richer. Joe Biden, who invariably and tiresomely refers to himself as “Middle-Class Joe,” made $15 million the first two years after the end of the Obama administration. According to one estimate, it takes an annual income of $420,000 to be in the top 1 percent of earners. Biden made 26 times that in 2017. He used to be remarkable among top politicians for not being very wealthy, but even in the old days of straitened circumstances, he and his wife were making about $400,000 a year, … [Read more...] about ‘Middle-Class Joe’ cashes In
By BEN DeGROW Families who have faced obstacles in their efforts to give their children with special needs the best shot at academic and life success can take heart from a pair of recent court rulings. In 2018 the U.S. Department of Education handed Michigan the lowest rating of all states for special education services. At roughly the same time, federal courts stepped up what schools must do under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. In a 2017 ruling known as Endrew F, the U.S. Supreme Court said that schools must … [Read more...] about Give more power to parents of special-needs learners
A cliche about violent offenders is that someone often will say what a nice, quiet neighbor the person was before the eruption. A new study of mass attacks in America suggests quite the opposite — and that perhaps more of these rampages can be prevented. The U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center studied 27 incidents in 2018 in which a total of nearly 200 people were killed or injured in public spaces, including Mercy Hospital in Chicago and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. The findings don’t at … [Read more...] about Mass shooters give hints before they explode that we can work with