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Opinion

Editorial Cartoons of the Week


Dems need candidate to push entitlement reform

Just as Nixon, one of his era’s most vigorous anti-communists, used the credibility of his personal record and party label to undertake his startling initiatives, a Democrat — and only a Democrat — can lead the country fiscally where it desperately needs to go.

Why states aren’t able to stop gerrymandering

The pushback to independent redistricting commissions in New Hampshire and other states shows the folly in Chief Justice John Roberts’ salvo that all is not lost because states can enact their own meaningful reforms to combat partisan gerrymandering.

Vigilance doesn’t require keeping GIs in Afghanistan

For a long period of time, an indefinite conflict in Afghanistan has been the quintessential bad investment, a war that has resulted in the deaths of over 3,500 U.S. and coalition troops at a cost of over $750 billion.


Criminal justice reform’s arrested development

while for a moment it seemed Democrats and Republicans might be moving closer to a tentative truce on the issue, unfortunately the importance of seeking a more just “justice” is becoming, like so much else, another opportunity to disagree.


OPINION

Trump has disruption down to a science

These actions will reverberate in our government for years to come, even after the Trump administration is gone, in the form of policy decisions we make without the benefit of the best evidence available.


OPINION

Trump is the product of a narcissistic media age

He cannot be too outrageous, because shocking and offensive are spoon-fed to America as the norm, courtesy of both unscripted and scripted television.

OPINION

Biden should own his gaffes and do more public events

He’s still the front-runner, but his lead is far from commanding. If he stumbles, there’s still time for another moderate to move up in the polls.


OPINION

McCabe’s complaint about firing is likely to prevail

U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss might welcome a narrow avenue to reverse a rank injustice and hand the administration a well-deserved comeuppance for an arrogant and fundamentally corrupt act of brass-knuckle politics.


OPINION

Ending Afghanistan War this way means losing it

We cannot accept a deal that places America’s security in the hands of the Taliban.

OPINION

Federal prosecutors shouldn’t have to clean up NCAA

There’s a big problem with the government’s fraud claim: Fraud typically involves a defendant who intends to injure the victim and profit at the victim’s expense, but these defendants intended neither.


OPINION

‘Safe havens’ myth no reason to stay in Afghanistan

The Taliban may very well make further gains following a U.S. withdrawal, but the myth that territorial safe havens provide great utility to terrorists planning transnational attacks should not continue to justify a war that America cannot win.


OPINION

Navy could be torpedoing Trump’s ’20 chances

When it comes time to defend his red wall along the Great Lakes, Trump is going to come face to face with the consequences of his Pentagon leadership’s failure to implement his oft-promised 355-ship Navy (up from 290 today).


OPINION

Iraq, Kuwait are beginning a beautiful friendship

For Kuwait, Iraq is a giant market and investment opportunity at its doorstep. It is also an escape from other tensions in the Arabian Peninsula.

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  • One giant leap for military spouses

    While Congress hashes out the details of President Donald Trump’s proposed “U.S. Space Force” — who will oversee it, how many personnel are needed, whether we can afford it, where will it be located — I am selfishly wondering what the future holds for the military spouse community after this sixth branch of the armed forces stands up.


  • OPINION

    Easier to applaud Hong Kong protests than back them

    What’s the sound course, between the moral hazard of recklessly encouraging risk and the moral blindness of ignoring brave people fighting for their rights? The right answer is awkwardly somewhere in the middle.


  • OPINION

    Law requiring Trump’s tax returns doesn’t add up

    Democrats argue a state has the constitutional authority to regulate presidential elections. But that relates to election procedures, not candidate qualifications.


  • OPINION

    ISIS building new caliphate in Syrian camp

    Islamic State has largely taken control of a huge camp in northeast Syria, and there’s no plan for what to do with the 70,000 people there (including more than 50,000 children). The United States and Europe must immediately address this urgent national security and humanitarian crisis before a new caliphate is established while we watch.


  • OPINION

    Would-be poet Cuccinelli needs a history lesson

    Cuccinelli conveniently forgot the history that not too many of those arriving at Ellis Island toted sacks of cash or spoke perfect and unaccented English, and that his own ancestors who sought opportunity in America might not pass muster.


  • OPINION

    Payday lenders still getting favorable terms

    The short-term loan industry went into Chicken Little mode as soon as the new rules were announced a few years ago, arguing that the requirements would put thousands of lenders out of business. That means, of course, the industry was acknowledging its business model depends on ensnaring consumers in endless debt.


  • OPINION

    Just say no to buying Canada’s drugs

    There’s something deeply disturbing about Congress and the federal government standing powerless before U.S. drug companies and relying on little Canada to bail us out.


  • OPINION

    The problem with the ‘superbug’ label

    Bacterial drug resistance is a major public health problem that potentially affects all of us. Using accurate language is necessary to keep the public optimally informed about this important threat.


  • OPINION

    Vets closer to better prostate cancer tests, treatment

    The use of advanced genomic tests is helping better determine a veteran’s risk of harboring undetected prostate cancer.


  • OPINION

    Epstein did not deserve the ‘allegedlys’ stories require

    He needed to sit in court. He needed to hear woman after woman explain that they weren’t having fun; they were traumatized. He wasn’t an eccentric playboy; he was a predator. Nobody wanted his sperm.


  • OPINION

    Data support more checks for young gun buyers

    Fully 38 percent of murder offenders with known ages are below age 25. This is due in part to ongoing development of brain domains that regulate impulse control, judgment and long-term planning.


  • OPINION

    Today’s Dems lack RFK’s words of healing

    I do not believe Trump is a racist, much less a white supremacist. I think the rhetoric of the Democratic candidates is incendiary and dangerous, and also politically self-destructive.


  • OPINION

    On Epstein’s death, mull facts, not theories

    With a shocking set of facts such as this one, that kind of speculation, frequently based on naked suspicion, is inevitable and, in today’s world, impossible to stop. The only antidote is a swift, thorough and objective search for the truth.


  • OPINION

    ‘National conservatism’ is ‘Warren conservatism’

    National conservatives preen as defenders of the dignity of the rural and small-town — mostly white and non-college educated — working class. However, these defenders nullify the members’ dignity by discounting their agency.


  • OPINION

    Games don’t kill, but hate fuels gamer culture

    Our industry’s corrosive ideas about manhood and power bleed into too many of the products we ship. We’ve told one kind of player that they are the center of the universe, and we’ve catered to their every whim for 30 years.


  • OPINION

    Can speech on social media incite violence?

    We could easily tighten up the current law of incitement without undermining free-speech protections.


  • OPINION

    A new opening for Trump to avoid disaster in Syria

    It’s true that Trump campaigned on getting the United States out of foreign wars. But he also campaigned on not repeating the mistake Obama made in Iraq when he completely withdrew and left a vacuum ISIS filled.


  • OPINION

    USMC commandant sets bar for reform

    The Pentagon is buzzing about a potentially revolutionary order by the new Marine Corps commandant that bluntly answers the essential question for would-be military reformers: What should we discard from the legacy arsenal to make room for what we need to fight the wars of the future?


  • OPINION

    Trump adept at attacking cartoon enemies

    What makes the attack on political correctness so disturbing is that the ideology doesn’t exist anywhere but in the radioactive contempt for it.


  • OPINION

    The best thing Saudi Arabia, Iran could do for women

    In Iran and Saudi Arabia alike, the persecution and prosecution of women’s rights activists shows the ruling patriarchy’s unchanging attitude toward women.


  • OPINION

    ISIS, white nationalists equal threats to US

    There is no political justification for acts of mass murder of civilians. When political leaders give such acts cover, even inadvertently, the movement spreads and innocent people die.


  • OPINION

    China lost chance to be ‘Near-Arctic’ 150 years ago

    While Beijing fortifies contested islands to its southeast, it remains silent on its long-surrendered northeastern lands, leaving Russia the undisputed sovereign of Eurasia’s far northeast.


  • OPINION

    Mass shootings linked by ease of getting gun

    Each time, someone bent on mass murder found it possible — easy, really — to get the weaponry with which to carry out those intentions.


  • OPINION

    Hopefully, Esper’s DOD reform includes finances

    The task of moving this massive bureaucracy toward audit compliance is a significant one.


  • OPINION

    Media’s gun massacre coverage template must change

    Can the news media manage to become part of the solution to this mind-numbing curse?


  • OPINION

    Mass shootings appall Texans, but so do solutions

    I can’t think of another situation where we would not do something together about wolves roving among us.


  • OPINION

    For Democratic presidential field, it’s winnowing time

    After two rounds of quasi-debates — “10-participant debate” is a quasi-oxymoron — the Democratic field is well on its way to contraction.


  • OPINION

    We must reestablish what unites us as Americans

    What precisely is the “point in time” to which Americans today can refer as they try to make sense of ongoing events?


  • OPINION

    Political cartooning is becoming a lost art

    One needn’t agree with their opinions to appreciate the skill of those who see public debates and participants through more imaginative eyes than our own.


  • OPINION

    The cost of Army wardrobe malfunctions

    The money spent on researching, producing and distributing new uniforms every few years would have been immensely more effective if instead it had been used to provide the best possible equipment to the soldiers who need it the most.


  • OPINION

    What rural Christians hear when Dems debate

    The rural evangelical voters in states that will likely decide 2020 talk less about social issues and more about the economy. What they appreciate is a sense that Trump speaks directly to them.


  • OPINION

    Gabbard’s defense of Assad is why she can’t be president

    Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s plan to overtly side with Assad and Russia while they commit crimes against humanity would be a strategic disaster, a gift to the extremists and a betrayal of decades of U.S. commitments to stand up to mass atrocities.


  • OPINION

    What Iran will do next, and how the West can respond

    Tactically speaking, look for things in the Gulf to get worse before they get better. But over time, it’s not in anyone’s interest to stumble into a war.


  • OPINION

    Dems’ big ideas are unlikely to become reality

    Even if a Democrat defeats President Donald Trump, the political situation in 2021 is unlikely to be ripe for sweeping changes.


  • OPINION

    Public health techniques can slow gun violence

    To truly address gun violence, we need to view it through a public health lens — one that reframes the issue as a preventable disease that can be cured with the help of all community members.


  • OPINION

    AFRICOM can make fishing fair for nations in its AOR

    Without the resources necessary for maritime protection, there is little that African coastal governments can do to protect their waters. This is where the U.S. military could be especially helpful, and there is precedent.


  • OPINION

    A regime’s success depends on its dictator

    There is a lesson in Cuba's revolution about the relationship between economic factors — often said to determine political outcomes — and the human factor, which may be what really counts.


  • OPINION

    Intel shakeup could prove dangerous

    The deepest worry among intelligence professionals is how the Ratcliffe nomination, and the intense partisanship that fueled it, will be perceived by America’s intelligence partners overseas.


  • OPINION

    Weary and wary, Mueller fulfilled his obligation

    After two years of draining the swamp of several of its slimiest occupants, Mueller had to present himself one final time for the benefit of politicians bent on showboating at his expense.


  • OPINION

    Trump cutting corners with Afghan exit?

    Buying into Pakistan’s proclaimed bona fides, and making concessions up front to its proxies won’t bring peace to Afghanistan.


  • OPINION

    Hey Democratic presidential hopefuls: Before moderators ask theirs, mull these queries

    The Democratic presidential circus pitches its tent in Detroit this week. It will be especially entertaining if the presidential aspirants are asked some questions like these.


  • OPINION

    Why we can’t let go of the Franken question

    Which decade’s standards should we apply when we think about Al Franken? Then or now? I don’t think there’s necessarily a right answer to that question, but I do think it’s one of the right questions.


  • OPINION

    Facebook feels the pinch of privacy crackdown

    The privacy reckoning for Facebook and the rest of the internet is denting the company’s ad machine.


  • OPINION

    1 reason why all scenes of show should go

    “13 Reasons Why” presents suicide as a way to get revenge and sends a message that seeking help is pointless.


  • OPINION

    Tide has turned, and Trump has the advantage

    With the conclusion of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony on Wednesday, Trump has decisively repulsed the attempt to deny him the opportunity to win vindication at the polls in November 2020.


  • OPINION

    Trump’s refugee policies are damaging US cities

    Over the past several decades, small cities throughout upstate New York and mid-America have counted on refugees to fill jobs left open as more Americans flock to the coasts and bigger cities. Now, with the refugee cap at a historic low, economic development in these cities is stalling.


  • OPINION

    How Mueller showcased the obstruction case

    When the evidence did not support criminal conspiracy charges, Mueller had no problem stating that conclusion. That he has never made the same statement concerning obstruction has always suggested Mueller believes the evidence of obstruction was sufficient but his hands were tied. His testimony Wednesday only strengthened that impression.


  • OPINION

    Ensure physicians who treat vets are licensed

    The main reason unlicensed doctors were permitted to practice was because VHA employees were not properly trained on the resources available to check the status of these licenses.


  • Military appreciation night makes problems seem minor league

    I was running late, as usual. A mini-crisis had erupted on email at home, and typing an emergency response had put me behind schedule. My tires squealed turning past the “Lot Full” sign at the parking lot entrance across from the ballpark. I gave the attendant as pathetic a look as I could muster, but before I could beg, he waved his hand toward a space that had just opened up.


  • OPINION

    A US-Russian deal could stabilize Syria, weaken Iran

    An agreement along these lines would benefit U.S. and Israeli interests, meet important Russian objectives and deescalate tensions in the region.


  • OPINION

    Best Dem candidate will harness hope and fear

    Hope sometimes needs fear as its fuel. Perhaps the candidate who can best harness both is the one we need to lead us out of here.


  • OPINION

    Boeing’s charge is only the end of the beginning of its 737 Max saga

    The big swing factor is whether Boeing is right that the planes will be able to fly again before the end of 2019. Time and again during the Max crisis, Boeing has been on the wrong side of conservatism.


  • A tribute to summer sellers of soft serve

    A few months ago, I was cursing my place in the world. I mean literally, the actual spot where we live here in “Rhode Iceland.” After my husband retired from the Navy, I thought I could handle the harsh, bitter, seemingly endless New England winters, but every time it snows in April (and it does every year), I curse the ground it falls upon.


  • OPINION

    Congress must retake its power to declare war

    Congress has abdicated its responsibility as Democratic and Republican presidents alike have invoked the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force against targets across 19 countries, many of which have no actual ties to al-Qaida or affiliated groups.


  • OPINION

    Embrace Big Jim’s authentic patriotism

    What does it mean to be an American? No chanting pseudo-patriot at the Trump rally could match Big Jim’s devotion to his country, as we were all reminded at his Arlington burial.


  • OPINION

    Media reports can spur, distort justice

    While the media is pursuing the truth in its own fashion, the dictates of a good story are different from those of a righteous prosecution.


  • OPINION

    Hurrah for Apollo 11, but don’t replicate it

    Thinking that space offers an escape from Earth’s problems is a dangerous delusion. We must solve them here. Battling climate change may seem daunting, but it will be child’s play when compared with making Mars habitable.


  • OPINION

    50 years ago, we were on the moon. Where to next?

    For just this one small moment, we need to look past ephemeral reelection cycles and instant polls and change the trajectory of our future.


  • Soaring debt is product of political dysfunction

    Special to The Washington Post


  • OPINION

    Thank (or blame) Stevens as you binge-watch

    The next time you reach for the remote and begin surfing through the comedies on Hulu, take a moment to thank the man who made it all possible.


  • OPINION

    Maritime security is America's immediate challenge in Persian Gulf

    If this were a boxing match, you’d say that the United States is trying to let Iran punch itself out.


  • OPINION

    Ensure opioids settlements improve lives

    Ideally, any settlement would include a provision requiring legislatures to pass laws allocating the funds to treatment, harm reduction and overdose prevention programs, while leaving states the freedom to figure out specifics based on the realities in their state.


  • OPINION

    Acting leaders won’t cut it at the Pentagon

    How can the Pentagon “gain full value from every taxpayer dollar” or “deliver performance at the speed of relevance” without Senate-confirmed senior leadership?


  • OPINION

    ‘Go back’ sentiment is antithetical to American values

    It is heartening to see the reaction to Trump’s remarks from countless Americans who recognized that his words were repulsive.


  • OPINION

    Trump sabotaging our political culture

    Trump has managed to normalize, through repetition, a toxic standard of political behavior that may spread as his supporters imitate him — and his opponents consider themselves licensed to respond in kind.


  • OPINION

    Only US can resolve rift between Japan, S. Korea

    The current Japan-South Korea conflict does China’s work for it.


  • OPINION

    The next step with North Korea: ‘Denuclearization lite’

    As unsettling as the thought may be of Kim actually having all the pieces needed for deliverable nuclear weapons — with U.S. approval — it is a circumstance that can be managed militarily, through three key steps.


  • OPINION

    The hidden cost of a free college education

    There are two schools of thought, each with some merit, that support the suspicion that federal grant and loan policies have created a growing class of overeducated workers whose degrees won’t actually help them get high-paying jobs.


  • OPINION

    Military training deaths deserve a full probe

    Troops in training can find themselves on difficult territory in potentially unreliable machines.


  • OPINION

    We just dodged constitutional crisis with the census

    If the executive branch disclaims the courts’ authority to resolve disputes, we would be in wholly uncharted territory outside the ability of the Constitution to resolve.


  • OPINION

    Moment of truth for US-Turkey relations

    The Trump administration has massively increased the use of unilateral sanctions as a key instrument of its strategy to force behavior changes in other countries.


  • OPINION

    Like it or not, Democrats, Trump is on a roll

    The Democrats haven’t figured out a way to stop his forward momentum, even when they believe it’s taking the country over a cliff.


  • OPINION

    State of migrant camps should appall all

    You can espouse a border wall, family deportation and “zero tolerance,” as Trump does; that doesn’t excuse cruelty to children, whether by incompetence or design.


  • OPINION

    Make exit plan the priority in Afghanistan

    Tying a withdrawal to a successful political resolution paves the way for a stalled exit, given that prospects for actual, long-term peace in Afghanistan remain poor.


  • OPINION

    Acosta’s cowardice then should cost him now

    Acosta should step down from his Cabinet position for dereliction of duty in his prior role — and because he has the spine of a mollusk.


  • OPINION

    Dems must offer more than a return to Iran deal

    The Democrats’ stance is important because the U.S.-Iran standoff has now entered a dangerous phase of escalation and brinkmanship bargaining.


  • OPINION

    British diplomat gets run over by the Brexit bus

    The memos are shocking because they show the dysfunction and ineptitude at the heart of Britain’s own governing institutions.


  • OPINION

    American pride now a partisan issue?

    To the lengthy list of issues that divide Republicans from Democrats, add this seemingly nonpartisan question: How proud are you to be an American? We shall find out soon enough which appeal — pride-promotion or shame-elimination — carries the day politically.


  • OPINION

    Brexit botch reveals a Dis-United Kingdom

    In the children’s classic, Alice provides impressive examples of calm pragmatism. The British need those qualities now.


  • OPINION

    Saudi prince is our newest Saddam

    Like Saddam Hussein before him, Mohammed bin Salman has concluded that he is immune.


  • OPINION

    Tobacco product use threatens military readiness

    It’s never a good time to start using tobacco products and never too late to quit — your health, your performance, and your country depend on it.


  • OPINION

    Harris is probably sick of talking about health care

    One cannot unring a bell and California Sen. Kamala Harris cannot erase the fact that she has repeatedly said she wants to take from 217 million Americans something most of them like.


  • OPINION

    Yes to more legal immigrants – and the census citizenship question

    The immigration debate would go better if the focus could shift to legal, publicly recognized rights to citizenship, later to be declared openly in response to governmental inquiries.


  • OPINION

    After decade of repression, Uighur survival at stake

    The stepped-up repression is being carried out through a series of Chinese military, political, economic and surveillance programs that constitute the most comprehensive system of population control and oppression anywhere in the world today.


  • OPINION

    Herk’s Bible belongs on Remembrance Table

    There are countless tales of POWs whose strength through faith is what enabled them to persevere and endure the unimaginable.


  • OPINION

    Declaration of Independence’s mission grew over time

    The resonance of the Declaration of Independence might be in its universality, but its power derives from its ability to speak to changing circumstances.


  • OPINION

    There’s strength in choosing not to bomb

    Credibility is less a function of using force than of demonstrating prudence.

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