Brutal talk is exactly what North Korea needs to hear

August 12, 2017

(CNN)The North Korea crisis is deadly serious and President Donald Trump is pursuing a dangerous path, escalating tensions with his “fire and fury” and “locked and loaded” comments. His unpredictable behavior is being met with predictable criticism from the left. Over decades, as the Cold War came to a close in 1989 and North Korea lost the security and economic support of the Soviet Union, the Kim regime has been…

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Firing Mueller would be a catastrophic mistake

August 12, 2017

(CNN)On October 20, 1973, President Richard Nixon executed the infamous “Saturday Night Massacre” in which Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox was fired and the special prosecutor’s office was shut down. President Trump said Thursday that he hasn’t given any thought to firing Robert Mueller, who is leading the Russia investigation that Trump has described as a “witch hunt.” Join us on Twitter and Facebook A firing of Mueller should lead…

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‘Sex and the City’ star could run for NY governor

August 11, 2017

(CNN)“Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon appears to be considering a run for governor of New York. On the “Today” show on Tuesday, she said she was being encouraged to throw her hat in the ring, but declined to say whether she would do so. Nixon has been a longtime political advocate, particularly on education issues, and served on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s advisory board for the Mayor’s Fund…

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12 things Trump should know about North Korea

August 9, 2017

(CNN)The escalating verbal exchange between the erratic, unpredictable and verbally excessive North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un and the erratic, unpredictable and verbally excessive US President Donald Trump is bringing the Korean peninsula deeper into a crisis the Trump administration appears to have no real strategy to solve. But if the Trump administration wants to effectively mitigate the North Korean threat, they will need to understand 12 key points:…

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Congress’ message to Donald Trump is tough

July 29, 2017

(CNN)Even by the standards of Donald Trump’s presidency, this week has been extraordinarily chaotic and, more importantly, disastrous for the President’s agenda. Just hours before Senate Republicans failed to choke the life out of the health care program known as Obamacare — a top domestic priority for the administration — the entire Senate, Democrats and Republicans, voted on imposing new Russia sanctions, effectively tying the President’s hands on dealing with…

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Why I have high hopes for the Mooch

July 28, 2017

(CNN)With all the turmoil in the Trump administration — the President’s relentless torture of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson might be plotting his “Rexit,” an increasingly anorexic Obamacare repeal effort and so many leaks that Trump’s next appointment should be Plumber General — the resignation of Sean Spicer upon the appointment of Anthony Scaramucci might be the only ray of sunshine seeping in through…

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Trump’s transgender tweets are an affront to the all-volunteer military

July 27, 2017

(CNN)There is a lot to dislike about President Donald Trump’s decision this morning to reinstate the ban on transgender service. As long as they swear the oath to defend our ideas, meet the professional standards, complete the training and thereafter serve with honor, they have the privilege of defending our country. It’s led to a highly professional, well-led and motivated force that continues to be the world’s example of professionalism…

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‘A Better Deal’ is more of the same from Dems

July 26, 2017

(CNN)Democrats would like voters to believe the party’s slogan for its new economic agenda rolled out Monday, “A Better Deal,” describes a program aimed at fighting for regular people — even though it mostly rings like a sales pitch for a discounted item at a shopping mall. Worse, the specifics of the strategy are a path to more electoral failure, because “A Better Deal” embraces falsehoods about economic power while…

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I read about Bannon and Clinton so you don’t have to

July 22, 2017

(CNN)“Devil’s Bargain” — Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Joshua Green’s in-depth exploration of the mind and machinations of former Breitbart News boss and Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon — and “Shattered” — a painstaking account of Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful campaign by Jonathan Allen, also of Bloomberg, and Amie Parnes of The Hill — have both climbed the bestseller lists and monopolized the attention of the chattering classes since their releases. (“Shattered” was…

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To fix health care, look to state governors

July 20, 2017

(CNN)The recent collapse of Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare can be blamed on disagreements about policy more than anything else. But once the GOP captured control of the White House and both houses of Congress, it became clear that the devil really was in the details. Within their own ranks, Republicans remain divided on fundamental questions of policy — whether to change how Medicaid is financed, whether there…

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Who’s behind GOP’s stunning defeat on health care?

July 18, 2017

(CNN)Monday night, two Republican Senators — Mike Lee and Jerry Moran — announced that they would not vote to send the health care bill to the floor. The announcement marked a stunning defeat for a Republican Party that controls the White House and Congress and which has made this item the top priority for years. As the blame game now begins, everyone in Washington will be asking — who killed…

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Kid Rock, The Rock and our rocky future

July 16, 2017

(CNN)It looks like these days everyone with a Wikipedia entry or a star on the Walk of Fame is thinking of running for public office. Another Rock — former professional wrestler turned action star-hero “The Rock,” Dwayne Johnson — might be the person challenging President Donald Trump for re-election in 2020, assuming the President makes it that far. A campaign committee formally filed the papers to draft him for president….

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How Trump’s ‘compliment’ to Brigitte Macron hurts America

July 15, 2017

(CNN)In a remarkably awkward farewell, President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron shook hands for 24 seconds before Trump left France Friday morning. But the way Trump bungled his arrival in the country yesterday was more troubling. “You’re in such good shape,” he said. “She’s in such good physical shape. Beautiful.” Women who are viewed as unattractive don’t fare well in America. A recent study found that, while the…

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Liu Xiaobo: His Name Will Be Remembered

July 14, 2017

(CNN)On Thursday, if a foreign reporter in a metropolitan Chinese city or a busy small town held up a microphone to ask a pedestrian about the death of Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese dissident who won the Nobel Peace Prize while imprisoned, I would not be shocked if the response was: “Who? I have never heard of him!” Liu will be remembered with an “empty chair” – a simple, blue upholstered…

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Donald Trump Jr. astonishes America

July 13, 2017

(CNN)Donald Trump Jr.’s decision to take a meeting with a Russian lawyer who had alleged ties to the Kremlin may be the most baffling move by a high-level political operative in recent memory. Second only to his apparent thinking that such a meeting would be a good decision. In short, the emails suggest he was prepared to meet with a potential agent of a hostile foreign government. And because he…

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Fifty years after the riots that shook America, has anything changed?

July 12, 2017

(CNN)On the hot summer night on of July 12, 1967, two white policemen in Newark, New Jersey, arrested an African-American cabdriver named John Smith for “tailgating” and driving in the wrong direction. The police also accused Smith of physical assault and using offensive language. Race relations had been growing more tense over the year as Newark Mayor Hugh Addonizio announced a series of decisions that had angered the African-American community….

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Trump’s voter commission safeguards our rights

July 8, 2017

(CNN)Despite his own reservations about Russian meddling in the 2016 election, President Donald Trump defied critics and pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin on the issue during their private meeting in Germany. Not surprisingly, Putin denied any meddling. Their 2-hour meeting may have ended, but the Russia probe is far from over. President Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is taking steps to uncover voting irregularities and make necessary changes….

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Putin set a trap and Trump fell into it

July 8, 2017

(CNN)The Russians just played the President. It was predictable. And he let it happen. To start with, Russia has been living with sanctions put in place more than three years ago because of their annexation of Crimea. Just yesterday, President Donald Trump questioned the validity of American intelligence on foreign soil and then questioned whether other countries or actors were involved in the hacking. But before that, H.R. McMaster, the…

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White House chief usher: equal parts ringmaster, palace guard, and consigliere

July 2, 2017

(CNN)Traditionally, the chief usher of the White House hasn’t been someone who comes and goes with each administration; it’s a position that endures. The White House chief usher as a fixture of the institution is as American as apple pie. First lady Melania Trump recently announced that Timothy Harleth, who worked at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, will be the next White House chief usher. He joins a select…

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Trump administration’s talk on human trafficking must be matched by deeds

July 1, 2017

(CNN)The United States has been the world leader in fighting human trafficking and modern slavery. But that leadership is now at risk. There is no middle ground in the struggle against slavery. American history commands commitment to slavery eradication. The US must be either freedom’s champion or slavery’s accomplice. Read: US lists China as among worst human trafficking offenders Trafficking survivor wants to end ‘The Game’ Fighting modern slavery on…

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Callan: The problem with Mika and Joe’s Trump allegation

July 1, 2017

(CNN)As most Americans begin a particularly lengthy Fourth of July holiday weekend, television screens, and virtually all the media are focused on the burning questions: “Did Mika really have a face-lift?” and “Did Trump really tweet that?” In Mika Brzezinski’s case, however,the answer is being seriously discussed as possibly having a bearing on whether the President of the United States has committed an act of possible criminal blackmail and/or extortion…

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McConnell’s test: Can he do more than obstruct?

June 27, 2017

(CNN)Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is facing a major test this week. Since revealing the details of the Republican health care plan, McConnell has watched as a number of important senators in his own party announced their concerns or opposition. Some, such as Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, have urged him to postpone the vote based on the assumption that, at this moment, it would not pass the upper chamber where…

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President Stephen Colbert in 2020?

June 26, 2017

(CNN)“Ladies and gentleman, please welcome the 46th President of the United States: Stephen T. Colbert.” Colbert’s remarks came Friday during an appearance on the Russian late night TV show, “Evening Urgant.” While being interviewed by the show’s host, Ivan Urgant, Colbert revealed that he had a big announcement. Then, with a straight face, Colbert declared, “I am here to announce that I am considering a run for president in 2020.”…

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No tapes? Trump has us through the looking glass

June 23, 2017

(CNN)As the Mad Hatter of the White House tweeted his response to Congress’s questions on Thursday about the existence of audiotapes related to James B. Comey’s firing as FBI director, he stayed true to character. “I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings,” President Trump announced. But he also added that “with all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I…

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Georgia 6th loss isn’t the death knell for Democrats

June 23, 2017

(CNN)The facile headlines the morning after the Georgia 6th donnybrook wrote themselves: Politics ain’t horseshoes. A loss is a loss and Democrats lost a race they had hoped to win Tuesday night. Republicans escaped a disaster that would have sent tremors through Capitol Hill. The shaky effort to scrap Obamacare escaped a potentially deadly setback, as a loss would have further shaken timorous Senate Republicans at a critical juncture.

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Rock band The Slants’ victory in court secures your rights

June 20, 2017

(CNN)In the 1971 free speech case, Cohen v. California, the Supreme Court said, “One man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric.” That rings very true today. Now, I get to say: “I told you so.” Join us on Twitter and Facebook Justice Kennedy summed it up perfectly: “By mandating positivity, the law here might silence dissent and distort the marketplace of ideas.” Today, because of a little-known band and a naughty word,…

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