opinion

Opinion: Trump’s Political Retribution Threatens Palestinian Lives and Israeli Security
We can’t allow bruised egos to endanger our nation’s interests

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip carry bags of provisions after unloading them from a truck at an UNRWA distribution center in 2004. (Ahmad Khateib/Getty Images file photo)

The Trump administration’s decision to withhold funding from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, or UNRWA, abandons millions of vulnerable refugees, jeopardizes Israel’s security and undermines the credibility and interests of the United States in the Middle East.

Since 1949, UNRWA has provided health care, education, stable housing and other vital services to Palestinians displaced by conflict who live in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinian territories. While the United Nations, the European Union and other governmental and private-sector partners also fund UNRWA, the United States has historically been the largest single contributor.

Opinion: America Doesn’t Care How the Sausage Is Made
Both parties need to outline the outcomes of their policies first

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy at a news conference in March 2017. It was easy for Republicans to call for repealing the 2010 health care law, but defining its replacement and the outcomes it would deliver was harder, Winston writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Process rather than outcome has become the new definition of governing in D.C. and that’s not good for America.

The inside story of how a controversial bill is passed or a presidential decision is reached has historical value. But when day-to-day political discourse thrives on gossipy renditions of process as we see now rather than focusing on the outcomes these actions will deliver, a disillusioned electorate is the unfortunate consequence.

Opinion: The ‘Dreamer’ Fight Could End in One of Three Ways
Senate has launched debate, House soon to follow

Supporters of so-called Dreamers, immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children, protest outside the Capitol on Jan. 21. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It began more than 16 years ago with two senators, a Democrat and a Republican, offering heart-tugging stories about young constituents buffeted by immigration laws.

For Utah’s Orrin Hatch, it was the tale of a boy named Danny, who was brought to this country as a six-year-old by his mother who had crossed the border illegally. By the time Danny was 14, he was roaming the streets of Salt Lake City without supervision.

Opinion: The Russians — and the Midterms — Are Coming
U.S. elections are vulnerable, and that needs to change

A march near the Kremlin in 2015 honors Russian opposition leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin who was fatally shot shortly before a major opposition rally. Reps. Bennie Thompson and Robert A. Brady warn against Russian meddling in future U.S. elections. (Alexander Aksakov/Getty Images file photo)

In November 2016, 139 million Americans cast their votes in the wake of a massive Russian cyber-enabled operation to influence the outcome of the presidential election.

The Kremlin spread disinformation through hundreds of thousands of social media posts. Russian agents hacked U.S. political organizations and selectively exposed sensitive information. Russia targeted voting systems in at least 21 states, seeking to infiltrate the networks of voting equipment vendors, political parties and at least one local election board.

Opinion: Meet the Deficit Doves
Deficit hawks soar like a rock

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., once could be counted among the GOP’s deficit hawks. Has he become a different kind of bird? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Do you remember the deficit hawks of the last decade, that breed of budget cutter so single-minded and focused on reducing, rather than growing, government debts and deficits that you knew what they were going to say before they said it?

Military spending needed a pay-for. Medicare Part D? Too expensive. For every legislative idea their congressional colleagues cooked up to solve a problem, the deficit hawks rightly pointed out that spending money the country doesn’t have is itself a problem, especially without a plan to reduce spending in the out years.

Opinion: Give Trump His Parade — on One Condition
Remember the Cold War victory over the Soviet Union

A crowd of West German citizens gathers at the newly created opening in the Berlin Wall at Potsdamer Platz in 1989. (Courtesy The National Archives and Records Administration)

The torch has been passed on Broadway as Bernadette Peters recently replaced Bette Midler in “Hello, Dolly!” But one of the signature tunes from the revival has clearly touched Donald Trump’s soul.

Before the Parade Passes By” captures the longing to hear “the cymbals crash and the sparklers light the sky.” The lyrics by Jerry Herman end with the lines: “Give me an old trombone/Give me an old baton/Before the parade passes by.”

Opinion: Budget Deal Gives New Meaning to ‘March Madness’
Upcoming March deadlines point to a budget process in shambles

The Trump administration’s fiscal 2018 budget plan was effectively ignored by Congress, which adopted its own blueprint with the sole focus of getting a tax bill through, Hoagland writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Green shoots of bipartisanship are sprouting on Capitol Hill. A lengthy government shutdown or worse — a default on paying our debt — has been avoided with the two-year budget agreement.

Congress must now fill in the account-level details to fulfill the $1.2 trillion spending “agreement” before the current continuing resolution runs out on March 23. Combining this year’s final appropriation actions with the president’s March 5 deadline for the Deferred Arrivals for Childhood Arrivals program will give new meaning to “March Madness.”

Opinion: Acting on Opioids Is Easy. Recovery Is Hard
It’s time to save lives and take on the deadly opioid epidemic

Republicans and Democrats in Congress agree on the need to address the deadly opioid epidemic, Rep. Paul  D. Tonko, D-N.Y., writes. (John Moore/Getty Images file photo)

During his State of the Union Address last week, President Donald Trump repeated a promise that he has made many times: America is finally going to do something about its opioid epidemic. The issue could not be more pressing.

We are in the midst of a national public health crisis that cut short 64,000 lives in 2016 alone, a 21 percent increase in overdose deaths over the previous year. Given the devastating urgency of this issue, I want to believe that our president has not forgotten the tragedy of those lost and the pain of the loved ones they leave behind. But he has made similar promises in the past, nearly all of them abandoned and broken.

Opinion: When Americans Dream, Is This What They Have in Mind?
A land of opportunity — but not always equal opportunity

A dry-land farmer and his family on the Flathead Reservation near Niarada, Montana, in 1921. (U.S. National Archives)

The “American Dream” may be a problematic concept, but everyone in this country and around the world knows exactly what it means. And truth be told, everyone wants to believe it: If you are determined and work hard enough, smart enough and long enough, you can achieve anything in this land of unlimited opportunity.

Yes, the history of this country, from its founding on, has proved that the dream is not complete. Ask Native Americans, who have a more than convincing argument to counter the oft-told story of American goodness and greatness. Ask enslaved African-Americans and their ancestors who fought and died for rights enshrined in authentically American documents. Ask the Americans whose family members toiled in factories and on farms for little more than subsistence.

Opinion: How Does Trump Kill Time Before the Midterms? Treason Season
Not clapping tops the president’s list of un-American activites

If the president believes that failing to clap at the State of the Union is an offense worthy of Benedict Arnold — here, at left, in an engraving from 1874 — then we’re in for a wild year, Shapiro writes. (Courtesy the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)

Since the State of the Union address now feels as historically distant as the Second Punic War (the one with Hannibal and the elephants), it is a risky proposition to claim that any Donald Trump speech will be long remembered.

But Trump’s Monday tax-cut speech was among the most emblematic — and inadvertently memorable — of his presidency. Gone was Teleprompter Trump, an alien figure who, if you squint hard enough, might seem vaguely like a normal president.