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About 50 fast food workers protest the nomination of former Hardees CEO Andrew Puzder to lead the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017, outside the current headquarters of the fast food chain in downtown St. Louis. Fast food workers claim Puzder is unfit for the position because of his policies toward employees as Hardees boss. (Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

Trump's missing free market warriors

Andy Puzder's withdrawal for consideration as Donald Trump's secretary of Labor might have been premature but for the easy surrender of the Republicans in the Senate to a left-wing slander campaign. Mr. Puzder's replacement, R. Alexander Acosta, is a labor lawyer without any real-life experience in hiring workers, but he looks confirmable. However, this leaves the new administration with almost no sound voices for free-market ideas.

"I think it's very, very unfair what's happened to Gen. Flynn, the way he was treated, and documents and papers that were illegally, I stress that, illegally leaked," President Trump told reporters on Wednesday. (Associated Press)

The swamp strikes back

Hercules cleaned the Augean Stables by diverting the course of two rivers through the gates to carry off the grunge and dreck. Donald Trump will need more than a river to collect the dreck as he drains the swamp that is Washington.

Then-President-elect Donald Trump walks Labor Secretary-designate Andy Puzder from Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J., in this Nov. 19, 2016, file photo. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Democrats finally get a scalp

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. And then try some more. The Democrats finally got a Cabinet scalp Wednesday, when Andrew Puzder withdrew his name from consideration as secretary of Labor. Democrats had earlier unsuccessfully targeted Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos for honorary termination with extreme prejudice, and missed.

Before the missiles whistle

The rogues are restless. The mischief of the bullies doesn't flag from one administration to the next. Projectiles light up the sky from remote launch pads in far-off places, and where there are missiles, there must be a reliable, extensive shield against them.

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, arrives for the President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe joint new conference in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) ** FILE **

Flynn's out, but the moles are not

Michael Flynn is gone as the president's official national security adviser, and now the important back story moves to the front. What is this curious episode really all about? Nothing is ever as it seems in Washington.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer wants more specifics about the philosophy of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. (Associated Press)

Searching for departed Democrats

Democrats have been meeting over the past few days at "retreats" near Washington to figure out what happened to them last November. They're trying to plot a strategy to destroy the president they despise and to overcome a ballot-box disaster that has left them with fewer officeholders, from top to bottom and across the 50 states, than they've had in a century.

Vice President Mike Pence administers the oath of office to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, accompanied by his wife Betty, Friday, Feb. 10, 2017,  in the in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

No retreat from Obamacare repeal

He's not an obstetrician, but Dr. Tom Price better know how to deliver. The Atlanta physician and member of Congress survived a bruising confirmation battle en route to a 52-47 party-line Senate confirmation to become the new secretary of Health and Human Services. He's the point man for the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, which was President Trump's most important domestic pledge to voters. Success or failure will determine soon whether the doctor -- and his boss in the Oval Office -- are heroes or goats. The clock is ticking.

President Donald Trump salutes back to a Marines honor guard member as he disembarks Marine One upon arrival at the White House in Washington, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, from a trip to Florida. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

No sanctuary for the money

Some of our big-city mayors are having a high old time on a play date, with demonstrations of piety and righteous indignation in a game of "you show me yours and I'll show you mine." They get to needle President Trump from a distance for his attempt to impose order on the rush of illegal immigrants into the United States.

President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn upon arrival at the White House in Washington, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017, from a trip to Florida. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Mischief by the 9th Circuit

President Trump suggested strongly at the end of a tumultuous week that he might not appeal the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding the trashing of his executive order limiting the admission of refugees from seven chaotic and terror-prone nations of the Middle East.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, center, holds a meeting with the heads of federal law enforcement components at the Department of Justice in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. FBI Director James Comey sits at left and Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente is at right. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)

The rant that failed

The Democrats in the U.S. Senate threw everything they could find at Jeff Sessions, including an occasional kitchen sink, but it was not enough. Rant as they might, the mild-mannered senator from Alabama, was nevertheless confirmed by a vote of 52 to 47. One Democrat, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, broke from the mob to vote to confirm him.

In this Feb. 1, 2017 photo, Anjali Lama, a transgender model from Nepal, holds a scarf up with another model as they wait to walk the ramp during Lakme Fashion week in Mumbai, India. Growing up as the fifth son in a poor farming family in rural Nepal the dream to be a fashion model came late in life. First came a long, painful struggle to accept that he felt deeply female. It was a chance encounter with a group of transgender women that turned Lama's life around by putting her in touch with the Blue Diamond Society, an advocacy group for Nepal's LGBT community. In 2005 she came out to her friends and family as a transgender woman. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Aborted bliss in the boudoir

The lot of a transgendered wife is not always a happy one, no matter how many genders and marriages she terminates with extreme prejudice. A cheatin' heart can hurt in the unlikeliest places.

FILE - In this Nov. 19, 2016 file photo, then-President-elect Donald Trump walks Labor Secretary-designate Andrew Puzder from Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J. Puzder has proposed avoiding conflicts of interest by resigning as CEO of his fast food empire, selling off hundreds of holdings and recusing himself from government decisions in which he has a financial interest, according to his ethics filings with the government. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Plugging the terror gaps

President Trump hit the courthouse wall trying to prevent immigrants from seven terror-exporting nations from entering the United States until they can be properly vetted. This enables radical Islamic saboteurs to sneak past inefficient U.S. screening procedures like wolves among innocent sheep. Until the president's new vetting plans are in place, Congress must seek alternative measures to expel bad actors once discovered. Republican congressmen, fortunately, are working on it.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos smiles while greeting employees after addressing the department staff at the Department of Education on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017 in Washington. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

Betsy DeVos laughs last

Betsy DeVos was what bomber pilots call "a target of opportunity," selected not from a carefully compiled list of strategic targets, but a target that a pilot with a few bombs left over from the day's work is free to drop if he sees something inviting. Chuck Schumer, comfortable in his safe place, knew he had to blow up somebody. His friends on the left were thirsty for scalps and blood.

This image released by the Sundance Institute shows Al Gore, second left, in a scene from "An Inconvenient Sequel" a film by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk. The film is an official selection of the Documentary Premieres program at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. (Sundance Institute via AP)

An inconvenient stretcher

Bold predictions have a way of disappointing. Al Gore, whose extreme forecasts of climate catastrophe have yet to prove out, should take note. Blunders in the digital age are difficult to erase. That moving finger writes in permanent ink.

Illustration on Trump's beginnings on Obamacare repeal by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Repeal and replace

Whether campaigning for Congress or actually being in control, Republicans have a tradition of overpromising and underdelivering. Expected now to deliver on their promise, made in loud and brave voice, to repeal and replace Obamacare, some of the Republicans seem determined to live up to the reputation made over the decades.

President Donald Trump, center, waves to military service members after arriving on Air Force One at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., on Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. (Octavio Jones/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

Resisting the 'resistance'

The drums of conflict grow louder by the day. Never-Trump demonstrators and their rioting factions are mustering their forces to mortally wound Donald Trump's presidency before it gains further momentum. The battle is broader than opposition to an unconventional chief executive.

President Donald Trump salutes a Marines honor guard as he disembarks from Marine One upon arrival at the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, from a trip to Florida. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

A time to chill

The spirit of Rodney Dangerfield no longer stands alone. The comedian who complained that "I don't get no respect" now speaks for just about everybody. In modern America, "nobody gets no respect."

In this June 25, 2016, file photo, Cub Scouts watch a race during the Second Annual World Championship Pinewood Derby in New York's Times Square.  The Boy Scouts of America announced Monday, June 25, 2016, that it will allow transgender children who identify as boys to enroll in its boys only programs. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

More nibbling at the Scout oath

The assault on everything normal continues. The Boy Scouts of America abandoned the Scout Oath three years ago, which obliged a Scout to "keep myself morally pure," and opened its troops to boys who identify with the homosexual persuasion. Two years later it invited gay Scoutmasters to mentor the boys.

FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2016 file photo, then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures as he talks with Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, left, during a campaign stop at Milwaukee County War Memorial Center in Milwaukee. Clarke has risen to the national political spotlight with a brash, unapologetic personality reminiscent of President Donald Trump. But while some Republicans swoon over his prospects for higher office, the tough-talking, cowboy-hat wearing lawman remains one of the most polarizing figures in Wisconsin politics. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Uncle Sap no longer lives here

President Trump's ordering of certain mild sanctions against Iran and its friends only stings. Nobody feels much actual pain. But it sends a message to Iran that its testing of ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear weapon violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the agreement it signed with the United States and other nations of the West.

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