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WASHINGTON — President Trump's immigration policy has crossed the line from gratuitous cruelty to flat-out sadism. Perhaps he enjoys seeing innocent children warehoused in filth and squalor. Perhaps he thinks that's what America is all about. Is he right, Trump supporters? Is he right, Repub…

True, polls have very limited value at this stage of a presidential campaign. Yes, Democrats are far from choosing their nominee to oppose President Trump. Of course, a great deal can change between now and Election Day. Or maybe not.

President Donald Trump cannot want war with Iran. Such a war, no matter how long, would be fought in and around the Persian Gulf, through which a third of the world's seaborne oil travels. It could trigger a worldwide recession and imperil Trump's reelection.

WASHINGTON — That the Democrats' two evenings of dueling oratory snippets this week are called "debates" validates Finley Peter Dunne's prediction that "when we Americans are through with the English language, it will look as if it had been run over by a musical comedy." Already a linguistic…

A tiny French mountain village with a long name, L'Hospitalet-pres-l'Andorre, has lost half its population over three decades, according to the French newspaper Le Monde. Its name in English would be "The Hospital Near Andorra." (Andorra is a small principality shoehorned between France and Spain.)

This month, President Donald J. Trump — the great innovator, the great instigator, above all the great disrupter — conjured up a new tool of tumult: Take one highly incendiary issue and employ it as a battering ram to win concessions on an even more contentious matter.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has a big, bold, multitrillion-dollar plan for addressing climate change. So does her rival Joe Biden. Likewise former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke. And, of course, Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., whose entire campaign is structured around the climate crisis.

WASHINGTON — The Fourth of July celebration in Washington has long been a grand pageant of democracy, a family-friendly event that transcends ideology and partisanship. President Trump intends to turn it into a cult-of-personality political rally in honor of himself.

President Trump has declared victory in his confrontation with Mexico. After he threatened to impose crippling tariffs on $350 billion worth of goods Mexico exports annually to the U.S., that country's leaders agreed to measures aimed at impeding asylum-seekers from Central America that flow…

"History is repeating itself, and with a vengeance," John Dean told the judiciary committee, drawing a parallel between Watergate, which brought down Richard Nixon, and "Russiagate" which has bedeviled Donald Trump.But what strikes this veteran of Nixon's White House is not the similarities …

WASHINGTON — "It is a great advantage to a president," said the 30th of them, "and a major source of safety to the country, for him to know he is not a great man." Or, Calvin Coolidge would say today, a great woman.

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she believes President Trump "has been involved in a criminal cover-up." Too bad she's not in a position to do something about it.

WASHINGTON — In Alabama, where a new law denies abortion to women even in cases of incest or rape, a rapist may still pursue custody rights of a child conceived during his assault.

President Donald Trump's tweets often set off big gyrations in stock prices. Anyone who knows of the tweets in advance could make a fortune, though not legally.

WASHINGTON — Randolph Bourne (1886-1918) said, "War is the health of the state." James Madison said, "War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement," and the executive almost is the American state, Congress now being more theatrical than actual. Advocates of an ever-larger state,…

WASHINGTON — The abortion issue is more divisive than ever, thanks to extreme anti-abortion legislation recently passed in some states and, lately, to Democratic presidential candidates seemingly vying to be the most pro-choicest.

You may not be ready for next year’s elections, but in political time, they’re coming up fast. Even politicians who aren’t running for president are crafting their stump speeches. Which means that at some point you’re almost certain to hear someone announce, sternly, “I. Will. Not. Compromis…

In 2018, a record turnout of women, minorities and young added 40 House seats to Democratic ranks and made Nancy Pelosi speaker. This, we were told, is the new diversity coalition — women, people of color, millennials — that will take down The Donald in 2020. So, how has the Democratic field…

WASHINGTON — The earnest improvers at the College Board, which administers the SAT, should ponder Abraham Maslow's law of the instrument. In 1966, Maslow, a psychologist, said essentially this: If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. The College Board wants to…

WASHINGTON — If there was "great love all around" during President Trump's state visit to the United Kingdom, as he tweeted Monday, the participants royal and decidedly otherwise were deceptively discreet.

Gerrymandering has always been part of American politics. After all, the term was coined in 1812 after Massachusetts governor and Founding Father Elbridge Gerry endorsed a state senate district that resembled a salamander.

During my school days, I used to enjoy taking standardized tests the way some people like doing crossword puzzles. To me, they were more rewarding than most of what went on at school. As an avid reader and an indifferent student, tests like the SAT were made for somebody like me — a bookworm…

Many pundits have this unfortunate habit of framing what they want as what the American people want. I've been guilty of this at times. After all, what is more gratifying than the idea that the American masses are marching behind your band?

OMAHA BEACH, Normandy — On a bluff above the sand and a half-mile from the ocean's edge at low tide, which was the condition when the first Allied soldiers left their landing craft, a round circle of concrete 5 feet in diameter provides a collar for a hole in the ground. On the morning of Ju…

CAMDEN, S.C. — Eulogies, it has always seemed to me, are best delivered while the subject is living and can enjoy hearing the best version of him- or herself.

WASHINGTON — Donald "Bone Spurs" Trump is in Britain, attempting to celebrate a special relationship forged in heroic military sacrifice. Donald "I Didn't Know That She Was Nasty" Trump is imposing his boorish presence on the royal family, including Prince Harry, whose bride he insulted. Don…

WASHINGTON — If congressional Democrats will temper their enthusiasm for impeachment with lucidity about the nation's needs and their political self-interest, they will understand the self-defeating nature of a foredoomed attempt to remove a president for aesthetic reasons. Such reasons are …

President Trump has escalated his war on facts and fact-finders. On issues ranging from climate change and missile testing to intelligence estimates and economic statistics, the Lord of the Lies consistently fabricates evidence to fit his own misshapen view of reality.

WASHINGTON — As the 2020 election gears up, it seems apparent that Mike Pence's days as vice president are numbered. Trump's preference is obvious: Kim Jong Un.

Lost for 17 days in a Hawaiian jungle, all alone in only a tank top and capri yoga pants, I'm not sure what I would do. Would I work past my fractured leg, blistered wounds and terror to survive? Would I eat mystery fruit and moths and sleep in the mud or a wild boar's den? Would I do the th…

NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio — not particularly popular, not particularly pleasant, not particularly accomplished — announced his presidential candidacy the other day. Nobody was excited, but then again nobody was surprised. After all, everybody else is running for president. Why shouldn't he?

WASHINGTON — The cascading effects of U.S. protectionism on U.S. producers and consumers constitute an ongoing tutorial about what Daniel Patrick Moynihan called "iatrogenic government." In medicine, an iatrogenic ailment is one inadvertently caused by a physician or medicine. Iatrogenic gov…

CHICAGO — Being a woman frequently means not having much of a voice. Using it to protest or advance policy can mean bearing one's soul, detailing one's most intimate moments or divulging the most terrifying, violent or shameful events of life.

WASHINGTON — George W. Bush once said that to get a message across you had to repeat it over and over, "to kind of catapult the propaganda." Donald Trump must have been paying attention.

After a stroke felled Woodrow Wilson during his national tour to save his League of Nations, an old rival, Sen. Albert Fall, went to the White House to tell the president, "I have been praying for you, Sir." To which Wilson is said to have replied, "Which way, Senator?"

I am lucky enough these days to be in regular touch with young people — students — who are interested in public service. I find hope in their quality, energy, and motivation, and they press me to think more deeply about what it takes to pursue a life in the public realm.

This Week's Circulars

Obituaries

84, of Attica, passed away on Tuesday, June 25, 2019. Visitation: Saturday, June 29th, from 11:00 a.m. until service time at 1:00 p.m. at Maus Funeral Home, Attica. Memorials to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Kathryn S. Parsons, 78, of Danville passed away at 8:42 a.m. Sunday, June 23, 2019, at home with her family by her side. Kathy was born in Danville on May 19, 1941, the second daughter of Alonzo Euel White and Inez Mildred (Owens) White. She married Kenneth L. Parsons on October 9, 1960. He …

OAKWOOD, Ill. - Jean Maloy, 87, of Oakwood, Ill., passed away at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 23, 2019, at OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center, Danville, Ill. Jean was born December 1, 1931, in Towanda, Ill., to Leo and Lottie Clark Abbott. She married John Maloy on September 29, 1954, at Central Christi…