Columns

White House answers online petitions, ducks tax return issue

WASHINGTON (AP) — After more than a year of silence, the Trump administration is beginning to address a backlog of petitions signed by Americans on the White House website. But the White House is ducking a high-profile petition calling on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns. ...

Poll: People feel better about economy, not country

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chester Trahan’s grandchildren are working, so he’s feeling better about the economy these days. But his view of the country’s overall direction is pretty grim, darkened by what he sees as a surge in racism and violence fueled by President Donald Trump. “He ...

Interest groups press case at Trump’s properties

WASHINGTON (AP) — Payday lenders got regulators to rethink rules on how closely to vet borrowers. E-cigarette makers got a delay in federal oversight of many vaping products. Candy makers praised a decision to hold off on more stringent labeling standards. And title insurers declared ...

With case on union fees, the court has a chance to correct

WASHINGTON — Overturning mistaken decisions is an occasional duty of the Supreme Court, whose noblest achievement was the protracted, piecemeal repudiation, with Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and subsequent decisions, of its 1896 ruling that segregated “separate but equal” public ...

Warning signs ignored again

Reaction to the latest school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead and many more wounded begins at the wrong end. It’s not about passing more gun laws, which people intent on breaking existing laws will not obey; rather it is about heeding warning signs and doing something ...

White House: New policy won’t affect Trump’s son-in-law

WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s a week of reckoning for White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and dozens of other officials who have been working without permanent security clearances for the better part of a year. Those who have been operating with interim access to top secret information ...

Students may be solution

WASHINGTON — It was a profoundly poignant image: Thirty to 40 teens huddled together in a small dark room, their downturned faces illuminated by cellphones as they learned about an active shooter prowling their school. Via news apps, these survivors of Wednesday’s murderous rampage at a ...

The war that never ends

There is a war that has lasted longer than the one in Afghanistan. It is the so-called “war on poverty,” launched by President Lyndon Johnson during his State of the Union address on Jan. 8, 1964. While the poverty rate dropped from 17.3 percent to 11.1 percent in the ensuing decade, it ...

Romney, favored in Senate bid, could take outsized role in office

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney’s extensive resume has many Republicans looking to him to take on a role in the Senate as a political and moral counterweight to a president many in the GOP see as divisive and undignified. First he has to get elected. The 2012 GOP nominee for president ...

Failure to avert school shooting adds to pressure on FBI

WASHINGTON (AP) — The revelation that the FBI botched a potentially life-saving tip on the Florida school shooting suspect is a devastating blow to America's top law enforcement agency at a time when it is already under extraordinary political pressure. Even before the startling ...

Lots of talk, little action in Congress after shootings

WASHINGTON (AP) — For a brief moment after the Las Vegas massacre last fall, Republicans and Democrats in Congress talked about taking a rare step to tighten the nation’s gun laws. Four months later, the only gun legislation that has moved in the House or Senate instead eases restrictions ...

GOP women chafe at mixed signals on abuse charges

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump White House’s handling of abuse charges against men in its midst is frustrating prominent Republican women as the party’s yearslong struggle to attract female voters stretches into the 2018 midterm elections. “It’s the mixed signals. They’ve just got to ...

A nation drowning in debt

In “Hamlet,” Shakespeare pens one of the most familiar lines — and best advice — ever written. Before Laertes leaves for Paris, his father, Polonius, tells him: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be...” We have ignored that advice for far too long, which is why the U.S. national ...

High-spending budget reverses GOP stance

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s own budget director says if he were still a member of Congress he probably wouldn’t vote for the very budget plan he hawked Tuesday before the Senate Budget Committee. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told the panel that ...

Governing with the enemy

WASHINGTON — When White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigned Wednesday amid allegations that he abused his two ex-wives and a former girlfriend, he parted the curtains on a Trumpian-scale personnel and security disaster. Bottom line: You don’t keep people in the White House who’ve ...

Highlights of Trump’s budget

WASHINGTON (AP) — Highlights from President Donald Trump's budget for fiscal year 2019, released Monday. ——— DEFENSE Trump's budget for 2019 shows the administration's concern about the threat from North Korea and its missile program. The Pentagon is proposing to spend hundreds ...

Trump support vital as Congress debates immigration

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate will open up a rare, open-ended debate on immigration and the fate of the “Dreamer” immigrants today. But the most influential voice in the conversation may be on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue. If the aim is to pass a legislative solution soon, ...

Trump defends former aide accused of domestic abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Friday defended former aide Rob Porter, wishing him well in his future endeavors without any mention of the two ex-wives who have accused Porter of physical and emotional abuse. Trump’s comments set off a firestorm at a time of national ...

As Trump suggests, time is now for prison reform

It didn’t seem to fit in President Trump’s State of the Union address, perhaps something tossed in at the last minute, like a garnish. But there it was: “As America regains its strength, opportunity must be extended to all citizens. That is why this year we will embark on reforming our ...

Flake unsure about Senate immigration deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican lawmaker who’s been a leading advocate of a bipartisan immigration deal is guarded about whether the Senate can approve a compromise on the politically electric issue, days before the chamber is expected to begin a debate that looms as an unpredictable ...