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Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the right mouthpiece for a truth-twisting president

Sarah Huckabee Sanders does not look like the kind of woman Donald Trump would choose as his chief spokesperson. Much like Roger Ailes when he was stocking the Fox News lineup with blond Barbie dolls in short, tight skirts, the president has generally exhibited a preference for sleek beauties with...

Scariest thing on this Halloween is the demise of fact-based reality

If you are a person who likes being frightened by the prospect of a zombie apocalypse, then Halloween is the holiday for you. Have fun being scared. But, if you truly are convinced that a zombie apocalypse could be a real thing, then we all have a problem. A sane society depends on most people...

Steve Bannon battles Republican leaders for the soul of their party

Republicans control the White House and Congress, plus the majority of state legislatures and governorships, yet the GOP may be on the edge of implosion. Every time a political party takes a shellacking in a big election, pundits wonder if the losers can ever recover. Since the extinction of the...

Trump or Pence? Either way, the Koch brothers have won

The Democrats’ favorite party game these days is guessing whether they would be better off politically with a full four years of Donald Trump in the White House or with some kind of political upheaval that would produce a President Mike Pence. It’s the old quandary of dealing with the devil they...

#MeToo: Real men stand with women as allies against harassment

Sexually aggressive creeps like Harvey Weinstein, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly and — yes — Donald Trump seem to think harassing women to the point of unwelcome groping or worse is a male prerogative. It’s just boys being boys and men being men the way nature intended. Maybe they are right if we believe...

Grifter Trump sells tax cuts for the rich as a great deal for workers

Donald Trump is a salesman who has never let truth get in the way of peddling a product. As president, he tried unsuccessfully to sell various schemes to repeal and replace Obamacare by using the same technique he used to sell the bogus curriculum of Trump University: make outlandish claims of...

Gettysburg: Where white armies battled over the fate of black lives

In the middle of a pool game in the back room of the Flying Bull tavern, my new friend, Jarrod Stout, pulled me aside. He wanted to make sure I had his back if things got rough. As soon as he’d come into the bar he had gotten glaring looks from some of the white patrons, and now a grim-faced guy...

Uncovering the untold history of civil rights at a martyred zealot's farm

At this small town at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, there is a history that is well-known and a history that has been hidden. The familiar history is the story of militant abolitionist John Brown, who on the night of Oct. 16, 1859, came with a party of 22 raiders to seize...

Confederate monuments are tributes to a whitewashed history

RICHMOND, Va. — Monument Avenue is a broad boulevard that stretches through some of the finer real estate in this city. At several intersections, the streets carve central squares and circles and at the center of those stand monuments to the venerated heroes of the Confederacy, monuments that some...

The legacy of slavery is not gone with the wind

I was shuffling along a path beside the James River in the hot Southern sun, tied loosely by a rope to 17 other people while an actor dressed as an 18th century slave overseer paced beside us screaming demeaning, racist epithets. The thought crossed my mind that this was the height of white privilege:...

Zuckerberg faces up to facts about Russia; Trump clings to his delusions

You have got to give Mark Zuckerberg credit for maintaining his boyish faith in the benevolent influence of technology, even in the face of so much evidence to the contrary. Since founding Facebook as a callow student at Harvard, Zuckerberg has insisted that walls of privacy and gatekeepers of...

Pugnacious Trump should be in a wrestling ring, not the White House

Donald Trump missed his calling. He should have had a career in professional wrestling. The macho theatrics, loud boasts, crude threats and puerile insults that are the mainstay of the silly sport are his specialty. Instead, he is president of the United States (or, at least, he plays a president...

Atlas shrugs, as do libertarians when it comes to working Americans

“Who is John Galt?” That is the mystery that drives Ayn Rand’s turgid libertarian manifesto, “Atlas Shrugged.” And it is the spirit of Galt that drives the modern Republican Party. The fictional Galt is a brilliant, highly successful entrepreneur who leads a revolt of the underappreciated and overtaxed...

Liberals, get ready to freak out: Trump could be a two-term president

Donald Trump could become a two-term president. His path to re-election is not very hard to see. Start with the fact that political math is not especially complex. In all but the most unusual presidential elections, there is little doubt about how 80% of the electorate will vote. Around 40% will...

'Hamilton' gets past race by imagining Founding Fathers with black and brown faces

Imagine if Vice President Mike Pence killed President Obama’s first Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, in a gunfight. Even in the current craziness of American politics, that would be unthinkable, right? But something similar and equally startling actually happened when the United States...

Will humans wreck life on Earth before escaping to Mars and Saturn’s moons?

On Friday morning, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena will watch their Cassini spacecraft take a suicide dive into Saturn’s atmosphere, thus ending two decades of spectacular exploration of the giant planet and its multiple moons. Cassini is about to run out of fuel and, though...

Climate deniers play politics with looming natural disasters

When the intensifying effect of climate change was brought into the news coverage of Hurricane Harvey, some conservatives objected. They said it was horrid that the “liberal media” was politicizing a disaster that had upended so many people’s lives. Now, the same complaints will probably be raised...

America cannot afford to lose 800,000 young 'Dreamers'

Imagine if agents of the federal government showed up at your door and said you had to leave your friends, your family, your job and your country and move to whatever place your ancestors came from. In my case, if that ancestor were the most recent, I would be heading for Norway, the country from...

Trump’s words reveal his favorite subject is himself

Donald Trump clearly knows how to communicate with his ardent followers, but in every other way, he is a weirdly awkward speaker. His speech at the Boy Scout Jamboree was a political rant infused with towel-snapping locker room banter that got him in hot water with Scout leaders and parents. After...

Worldly politics, not heavenly powers, inspire evangelicals to stick with Trump

My own journey of faith began in the Free Methodist Church when I was a kid, and it has left me with a warm place in my heart for evangelical Christians. It is due to those sympathetic feelings that I am particularly disturbed that such a high number of evangelicals have hitched their hopes to...

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