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426 posts
  • Opinion
  • The Swamp
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). (Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press)

Jim Jordan needs a journalism lesson.

The Republican congressman from Ohio and Freedom Caucus founder is embroiled in an ongoing sex abuse scandal. A number of college athletes at Ohio State University have come forward to accuse Jordan of ignoring their reports of sexual abuse when he was an assistant coach for the wrestling team. Jordan has repeatedly denied all of it.

On Wednesday, he expressed his displeasure with the lamestream fake news media's favorite last-ditch gotcha tactic: reporting.

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  • Trump
  • Opinion
 Dwight Hammond arrives at the Burns Municipal Airport in Burns, Ore., on Wednesday.
Dwight Hammond arrives at the Burns Municipal Airport in Burns, Ore., on Wednesday. (Beth Nakamura / Associated Press)

President Trump has made it clear that he relishes the exercise of the pardon power — one of the few realms in which he can act without worrying about interference by “so-called judges.”

Trump also has left no doubt that the quality of mercy in this administration droppeth disproportionately on recipients likely to be popular with his base.

Recipients of presidential clemency have included “Sheriff Joe” Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz.;  conservative polemicist Dinesh D’Souza; and Kristian Saucier, a Navy sailor who served a year in prison for taking photographs of classified areas inside a submarine. Saucier had argued that his acts were no worse than Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server as secretary of State.

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  • Opinion
  • Guns and Ammo
  • The Swamp
Seth Rich's mother, Mary Rich, in 2016. His parents eventually sued Fox News over a retracted story about their son's killing.
Seth Rich's mother, Mary Rich, in 2016. His parents eventually sued Fox News over a retracted story about their son's killing. (Washington Post)

Two years ago this week, Seth Rich was on the phone with his girlfriend as he walked home from a bar in the early morning hours. His girlfriend heard other voices on Rich's end. Then the call abruptly ended.

The 27-year-old Democratic National Committee staffer was shot and killed in his Washington, D.C., neighborhood that morning. Local police investigated and determined it was a robbery gone wrong, possibly connected to a string of recent street robberies in the area.

But that's not the story some conservatives like to tell. According to stories breathlessly reported by a wide range of right-leaning sites, Rich was a deep-state whistleblower who leaked thousands of DNC emails to WikiLeaks, then found himself in the crosshairs of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

  • Trump
  • Opinion
  • Rule of Law
President Trump with Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his family at the White House on Monday.
President Trump with Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his family at the White House on Monday. (Jabin Botsford / Washington Post)

Whatever you think of Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court nominee — brilliant jurist, threat to Roe vs. Wade, spawn of the Federalist Society — you can be sure of this: He’s a great dad and a great coach.

So says Julie O’Brien of Chevy Chase, Md., in an opinion piece in the Washington Post.

She writes:

  • Opinion
  • We're All Doomed
A passenger jet passes in front of a full moon as it takes off from Gatwick airport outside London.
A passenger jet passes in front of a full moon as it takes off from Gatwick airport outside London. (Daniel Berehulak)

For those space-geek billionaires who’ve already run through the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog of ways to spend on your girlfriend — matching Rolls-Royce limited edition Dawns, for example — here’s a novel way to impress: Propose to her on a round-the-moon flight. 

A French company that specializes in marriage proposals in Paris (mais bien sur!) has, apparently, extended its turf to the moon, offering a $145 million voyage to the moon to propose. That includes a launch from Cape Canaveral, a cozy autonomous capsule ride for two toward the lunar surface, and, at just the right moment, the romantic crooning of Frank Sinatra on “Fly Me to the Moon.” Cameras positioned around the capsule will snap photos and save the happy couple from having to selfie themselves as he puts a ring on it. 

Landing on the mood is not included. About 125 miles is as close as you’d get.

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  • Opinion
  • The Golden State
Film star Tab Hunter, shown in a shot from the documentary movie "Tab Hunter Confidential," died Sunday.
Film star Tab Hunter, shown in a shot from the documentary movie "Tab Hunter Confidential," died Sunday. (The Film Collaborative)

Tuesday’s obituaries of Tab Hunter, a blue-eyed Hollywood heartthrob from the 1950s, conjured a glamorous old movie colony world — but one full of secrets.

Fame, stardom, natty white tennis sweaters, enormous estates and passionate romances were all part of the story, but there were also hidden lives for the industry’s gay men and women, impromptu raids by the LAPD vice squad at bars and houses throughout Los Angeles, vicious scandal sheets that could ruin careers.

This was written about mostly between the lines if you read the Los Angeles Times in those days, or it was ignored altogether.

  • Trump
  • Opinion
  • Rule of Law
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), left, Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Vice President Mike Pence at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), left, Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Vice President Mike Pence at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday. (Chip Somodevilla / EPA-Shutterstock)

Now that President Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, we in the punditocracy will be poring through the many decisions he has published for portents about how he might act on the nation’s highest court. 

Here’s one tidbit worth savoring from Kavanaugh in 2011:

“Under the Constitution, the President may decline to enforce a statute that regulates private individuals when the President deems the statute unconstitutional, even if a court has held or would hold the statute constitutional.”

  • Opinion
  • Plastic Trash
A plastic straw in a Starbucks drink
A plastic straw in a Starbucks drink (Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

Starbucks jumped on the anti-plastic straw bandwagon Monday, announcing that it would eliminate all plastic drinking straws from its 28,000 outlets by 2020. 

Don’t get too excited. All the cool kids are doing it. At some point last year, the ubiquitous tubes were suddenly transformed in the public imagination from innocuous beverage-delivery tools into Ocean Menace That Kills Sea Turtles and Must Be Stopped.

The speed of the straw takedown was stunning considering how long it took (is still taking) for California to phase out the much-larger environmental devil of plastic bags. And though I want to provide positive reinforcement when such an influential brand (and huge source of plastic trash) takes the lead to reduce a billion pieces of single-use plastic every year… I can’t quite work up any praise.

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U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, on Capitol Hill.
U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, on Capitol Hill. (Carolyn Kaster)

The heat on powerful Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) isn’t dying down. Several more former Ohio State wrestlers accused him over the weekend of lying about his knowledge of sexual abuses allegedly committed by former team Dr. Richard Strauss while Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach at the school.

Jordan has repeatedly dismissed the allegations against him, suggesting he knew nothing about the alleged abuse and that “the timing is suspect” in the wake of his high-profile confrontation with Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein.

Yes, because the first thing on alleged sexual abuse survivors’ minds as they fight for justice is how to make Jordan look bad after a showboating face-to-face with Rod Rosenstein, of all people. Decades of trauma saved up to score a political point on an issue totally unrelated to their case. 

  • Opinion
  • Rule of Law
Justice William Brennan's appointment was seen as a gesture by President Eisenhower to Catholic voters.
Justice William Brennan's appointment was seen as a gesture by President Eisenhower to Catholic voters. (Knight-Ridder Tribune)

Three of the four judges on President Trump’s supposed short list to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy are Catholics. But who’s counting?

I am.  As a Supreme Court buff and a student of American history, I find it interesting that Judges Thomas Hardiman, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett are all members of the church.  (The fourth finalist, Judge Raymond M. Kethledge, is an evangelical Protestant.)

Kennedy is also a Catholic, but if Trump nominated one of Kennedy’s co-religionists, it wouldn’t be to perpetuate a token “Catholic seat.” Even if Kennedy were replaced by a non-Catholic, there would still be either four or five Catholics on the court, depending on how you categorize Justice Neil Gorsuch. (He was raised as a Catholic but reportedly attends an Episcopal church with his wife who was raised in the Church of England.) The other three justices are Jewish.