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Articles by Section - Columnists


Questions of character

Beverly Gage, a Yale historian, was researching a biography of J. Edgar Hoover in the National Archives when she came across the infamous letter the FBI had written to Martin Luther King Jr., outlining in the crudest form his extramarital escapades and suggesting, King concluded, that he kill himself: "There is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is." King did nothing, but the FBI acted. It leaked its dirt to the press.

November 22, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


Thanks and giving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. A chance to be grateful instead of focusing on gift-giving and gift-receiving. Family, friends, bountiful feasts and football are at the forefront of our minds rather than cocktail parties and gifts. Think of it as a time to pause and give thanks before the whirlwind of December.

November 22, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


The audacity of arrogance

In the week following the shellacking of his party in the midterm elections, one might think that President Barack Obama would be conciliatory and humble. Instead, he has continued to be audacious - but with arrogance rather than hope.

November 15, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich-Cushman | Columnists


Politics from the bottom up drives reform

In the wake of the midterm elections, many are now speculating about what will happen to President Obama's health care law with a Republican Senate. However, all the partisan talk misses the point. In America, change does not come from politicians. It comes from the American people and the popular culture.

November 15, 2014 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Republican gains deep and wide

Little noticed by the Washington press corps is the extent of the Republican State legislative gains in Election 2014. A quick trip to the enormously informative Ballotpedia.org website provides the numbers that the DC reporters overlooked.

November 08, 2014 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Now, it's about governing not politics

Part of the allure and fascination of politics is that you don't know what's going to happen until election night is over and all the votes have been counted. It is real-life, high-stakes drama. In the 1970s, it was volunteers who would call in the vote tallies from the precincts. They would be written on the blackboard and the totals calculated as the votes were called in.

November 08, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Scholar-athlete charade

Last year's column "Dishonest Educators" (1/9/2013) reported on the largest school cheating scandal in U.S. history. In more than three-quarters of the 56 Atlanta schools investigated, teachers changed student answers on academic achievement tests. Cheating orders came directly from school administrators. The cheating was brazen. One teacher told a colleague, "I had to give your kids, or your students, the answers because they're dumb as hell." Atlanta's not alone. Teacher cheating has been discovered in other cities, such as Philadelphia, Houston, New York, Detroit, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Washington.

November 08, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


Peace before sunset

Last week a neighbor friend passed on to his own personal sunset.

November 08, 2014 | T. Pat Cavanaugh | Columnists


Cushman: Getting stuff done

Prognosticators are predicting a Republican takeover of the United States Senate, and a pickup of a few seats in the House of Representatives. Driven in large part by the unpopularity of President Barack Obama (latest Gallup poll 42 percent approve, 53 percent disapprove of Obama), this potential change in control provides both an opportunity and a risk for Republicans.

November 01, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Rasmussen: Election 2014 in context

Political pundits often miss the forest for the trees, and it's amazing how things look when you pause for a moment to look at the broader context of the 2014 midterm elections. The short-term discussion among political junkies is all about whether Republicans can win control of the Senate and just how many seats they will win.

November 01, 2014 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Williams: Africa, A Tragic Continent

Here's how my Aug. 11, 2003, column began: "Anyone who believes President Bush's Africa initiative, including sending U.S. troops to Liberia, will amount to more than a hill of beans is whistling Dixie. Maybe it's overly pessimistic, but most of Africa is a continent without much hope for its people." More than a decade has passed since that assessment, and little has changed to suggest a more optimistic outlook. Now Ebola threatens the very existence of the West African nations Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Moreover, the deadly disease is likely to spread to neighboring nations.

November 01, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


Yarbrough: A salute to one trying to make this a better world

A wise man once said that our only reason for occupying space on this earth is to leave things better than we found them. Unfortunately, not enough of us will. Len Pagano is an exception.

November 01, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Africa: A tragic continent

Here's how my Aug. 11, 2003, column began: "Anyone who believes President Bush's Africa initiative, including sending U.S. troops to Liberia, will amount to more than a hill of beans is whistling Dixie. Maybe it's overly pessimistic, but most of Africa is a continent without much hope for its people." More than a decade has passed since that assessment, and little has changed to suggest a more optimistic outlook. Now Ebola threatens the very existence of the West African nations Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Moreover, the deadly disease is likely to spread to neighboring nations.

October 27, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


The power of positive beliefs

My mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer in the mid-1970s, when I was in grammar school. Her goal, at that time, was to stay alive to see my older sister Kathy and me graduate from high school. She neither dwelled on the disease, nor on why she was stricken with it, but instead focused on getting rid of the cancer and living for her two daughters.

October 25, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich-Cushman | Columnists


Ben Bradlee was a leader and a friend

Ben Bradlee would not have liked me to say so, but he was the living refutation of the Declaration of Independence: All men are not created equal. Certainly, he was not. He was born rich and well-connected, a member of the WASP tribe that once ran much of America and nearly all of its prestigious institutions. He was compellingly handsome and so smart that no crossword puzzle could really challenge him. It's not that he didn't have a weakness. He did. He was a sucker for the underdog.

October 25, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Taking Exception to Exceptionalism

"American Exceptionalism" is a central theme for Mitt Romney and those who gathered this week at the Republican National Convention. For many conservatives, unwavering belief in the inherent goodness, unique character, and global superiority of the U.S. is a minimum requirement for admission to the circle of "real Americans." In their eyes, President Obama's willingness to apologize to other nations and peoples - more so than questions about his birthplace - makes him unworthy of citizenship in "Real America."

September 01, 2012 | Maurice Carter | Columnists


An opportunity denied

The phone rang the other night during dinner. We often have the news on, although that's not good for digestion. Our satellite service displays on the TV screen the entity and phone number that's calling.

August 30, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


My wisteria’s haircut

I gave my wisteria a haircut this weekend. I usually trim it about twice in the summer and then really cut it back in the fall when the leaves fall off. Every time I cut it in the summer, it gets really happy and grows at a greater speed and even flowers again.

August 28, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


Yarbrough : Skeeter Skates weighs in on Middle East situation

I was in the middle of preparing a PowerPoint presentation for you on why House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, needs a campaign war chest of $356,415.19 to run unopposed for re-election in his district. The neat part was going to be explaining the $1,000 campaign contribution from the American Kennel Club, located in New York. You will be interested to know The American Goat Association, located in Pipe Creek, Texas, did not contribute to Mr. Ralston. I think this proves beyond doubt why goats have so little influence under the Gold Dome. (When was the last ...

August 28, 2012 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Skeeter Skates weighs in on Middle East

I was in the middle of preparing a PowerPoint presentation for you on why House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, needs a campaign war chest of $356,415.19 to run unopposed for re-election in his district. The neat part was going to be explaining the $1,000 campaign contribution from the American Kennel Club, located in New York. You will be interested to know The American Goat Association, located in Pipe Creek, Texas, did not contribute to Mr. Ralston. I think this proves beyond doubt why goats have so little influence under the Gold Dome. (When was the last ...

August 28, 2012 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


My wisteria’s haircut

I gave my wisteria a haircut this weekend. I usually trim it about twice in the summer and then really cut it back in the fall when the leaves fall off. Every time I cut it in the summer, it gets really happy and grows at a greater speed and even flowers again.

The Chinese kind, which I have, is an invasive plant. It will take over the world. I have cut it out of my fig tree, which is at least 15 feet from the original plant, and from an azalea bed, which is more than 30 feet from ...

August 28, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


Why women matter this election

In politics, where there are more men than women in elected positions, it's easy to get the impression that men matter most. You see them on TV, see their pictures in the paper, hear them pontificating on the issues on TV and radio.

So it may surprise you to learn that women matter more than might be evident. Why? They outvote men.

August 25, 2012 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Romney, Obama both struggle to connect

When Republicans formally nominate Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan next week, the race against President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will be officially underway.

Yet, while the two teams represent different ideological views, different upbringings, different faith backgrounds and different experiences, neither of them has yet inspired any confidence among voters. Just 32 percent believe the economy will be stronger in a year if Obama is re-elected. Only 36 percent think it will be stronger if Romney wins.

August 25, 2012 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Better than a thousand hollow words

Is it me, or has the 2012 Presidential campaign been going since 1912? No doubt, Republicans began plotting to unseat Barack Obama on the morning of November 5, 2008.

That's politics. But, it's 71 long days yet to next national referendum on leadership, and we're just now reaching the nominating conventions. As if the rhetoric wasn't heated enough already.

August 25, 2012 | Maurice Carter | Columnists


Robinson: Policing pregnancies

The uninvited participation of a hurricane at next week's Republican convention would be superfluous. Buffeted by powerful internal winds, the party may be flooded with cash, but it's already kind of a debris-strewn mess.

Who would have imagined that Topic A, in the days before GOP delegates gather in Tampa, would be abortion? Certainly the thought never crossed the minds of the convention planners who intended this four-day infomercial to be a nonstop indictment of President Obama's performance on the economy. But the old line about the relationship between the political parties and their candidates - "Democrats fall ...

August 25, 2012 | Eugene Robinson | Columnists


Perugino: Consensus of future not divisive warfare

On Aug. 19, Maurice Carter wrote an article entitled "Drawing a new battle line" in which he accuses Paul Ryan of supporting only individualism and fighting against collectivism for the common good. Carter goes on to say that Paul Ryan blindly follows the philosophy of Ayn Rand to the exclusion of a focus on the welfare of the U.S.

This commentary is wrong on so many fronts that I must respond to Maurice's allegations for fear of some readers being falsely influenced by the incendiary writing.

August 25, 2012 | William Peruguino | Columnists


Morgan: Signs are all around us

It's something that happens all the time and to each of us. We've got a momentous decision to make, or even a small one, and the way isn't clear. There's as much to recommend one course of action as the other, but nevertheless, we've got to choose.. So what do most of us do? We start looking - praying - for a sign, some little nudge to go one way or the other.

August 23, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Let children learn from their failures

A coworker at The Covington News was a little puzzled about a project her son was assigned in preschool. She assisted as he completed the project. The key word there is assisted. When she and her son arrived at school with the project, she was chagrined to find that other parents had not only assisted, but had made great productions of their children's projects, and the children arrived with professional looking exhibits. She was proud that her son had done his own work but felt that she had somehow failed as a parent as her son's project didn ...

August 21, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


Ignoring the facts of Medicare

WASHINGTON - Republicans and Democrats are being equally nasty in their campaign rhetoric, but they're not being equally truthful. To cite one example, much of what the GOP is saying about Medicare simply isn't supported by the facts.

August 18, 2012 | Eugene Robinson | Columnists


County management taking liberties

The daily operations and management of our county are controlled by county regulations, procedures and codes as well as state laws and regulations. These rules and regulations are necessary to the responsible, fair and controlled management of our county. Of course, without the enforcement of these provisions there is anarchy and corruption. The duly elected officers who manage the county in various positions all take an oath of office, sworn to God, to uphold those governing regulations, codes and laws.

August 18, 2012 | William Peruguino | Columnists


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