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In Barack Obama’s second term, with his legislative agenda dead in a Republican-controlled Congress, the president turned to executive unilateralism on an innovative scale. On climate regulati…

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When she released her proposed state budget for the two years beginning in July, Gov. Kate Brown didn’t include any additional money for higher education — but she did express a hope that legi…

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Florida has been forever changed by the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. In the 12 months since 17 people were killed by a troubled former student firing a semi-au…

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You could always slight the very rich by calling them moneybags, robber barons, fat cats or plutocrats. Billionaire was a neutral word, grounded in math: Such a person could spend $10 million …

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It was Valentine’s Day that got me thinking about love poems. Everywhere I looked there were hearts and flowers, teddy bears and chocolate-dipped strawberries. Sweet stuff for young lovers.

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The first major policy intervention from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the noted social-media personality and future dictator-for-life of the Americas (I believe she’s also a congresswoman of some…

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In 1961, America faced what conservatives considered a mortal threat: calls for a national health insurance program covering senior citizens. In an attempt to avert this awful fate, the Americ…

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In a sense it’s not surprising that a renewed debate about abortion would begin in New York state, which passed a law last week — since imitated, to more controversy, by Virginia Democrats — r…

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Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant, has insisted in recent years that it operates within the bounds of local and international laws and norms. When a former employee filed a legal claim allegin…

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Around the end of each year major dictionaries declare their “word of the year.” Last year, for instance, the most looked-up word at Merriam-Webster.com was “justice.” Well, even though it’s e…

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I went into journalism to cover politics, but now I find myself in national marriage therapy. Covering American life is like covering one of those traumatizing Eugene O’Neill plays about a fam…

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The rise of Sen. Kamala Harris was made possible by her ability to navigate between the poles of politics. She was elected San Francisco district attorney by unseating an incumbent to her left…

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Engraved on the chunk of Formica pinned to her blue smock was the word “Delphine.” She was one of a dozen clerks handling the Saturday crush in a grocery store with aisles wide enough to accom…

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It’s an easy thing (a time-honored tradition, in fact) to bad-mouth the Oregon Legislature, which opened its 2019 session yesterday and is scheduled to meet in Salem until the end of June.

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The divided government of 2019 is a mirror image of the divided government of 2011. Back then, Democrats controlled the White House and Senate, while Republicans had recently taken control of …

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Within living memory, political polarization had at least something to do with issues, but in the age of social media, it’s almost entirely about social type. It’s about finding and spreading …

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To honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I wanted to share a few thoughts on why I believe he’s been immortalized into statues, parks, street names, community centers, and e…

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“Drain the swamp!” was one of those memorable Donald Trump campaign promises that remains unfulfilled, much like “Mexico will pay for the wall!” and “Repeal and replace Obamacare!” with “somet…

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A few years ago, when I was teaching at Yale, I made an announcement to my class. I said that I was going to have to cancel office hours that day because I was dealing with some personal issue…

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For the first time in my memory, I had a sunburn in December. Before further questions are raised concerning my veracity or the issue of climate change, I need to offer an explanation. My wife…

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In August 1990, George H.W. Bush met Margaret Thatcher in Aspen right after Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. The pair resolved not to allow Iraq’s “naked aggression” to stand, and it did n…

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“In the current environment, the American people have to know that there are places in the government where the rule of law, not politics, holds sway,” William P. Barr said on Tuesday. “The De…

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Within the space of 25 years, a company that began life selling niche second-hand books from a garage in Seattle has become the world’s most valuable business. Amazon was worth $797 billion wh…

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Because I live in Northern California, where this sort of thing is required by local ordinance, I spent New Year’s Day at a meditation center, surrounded by hundreds of wealthy, well-meaning, …

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Suddenly economic populism is all the rage. In his now famous monologue on Fox News, Tucker Carlson argued that American elites are using ruthless market forces to enrich themselves and immise…

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A gadfly is a persistent irritating critic, a provocative stimulus, a goad, a blighter, a pesterer and resident irritant. Or, as Robb Corbett, Pendleton’s city manager once said, “Tom, you’re …

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ON THE ISRAEL-LEBANON BORDER — Other than the Korean Peninsula’s DMZ, there’s probably no border in the world as fraught with the potential for sudden violence as this one, known locally as th…

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In October 1939, as Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin were plunging the world into war, an American educational reformer named Abraham Flexner published an essay in Harper’s Magazine under the marv…

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In this dark time of the year, usually a pretty slow period for politics, I like to write a column cataloging my errors of analysis and prognostication from the previous 365 days (or sometimes…