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Douglas Turner


Columns

WASHINGTON – How can we be blamed for feeling cynical or politically helpless in view of President Donald Trump's repeated assaults on democracy, the plain truth and the rule of law, the emergence of brownshirt-style gangs at his rallies and Fox News' betrayal of the most fundamental rules of journalism? A number of readers have written to me that a new kind of fear and…

Columns

WASHINGTON – After decades of rapacious wars prompted by Germany, the North American Treaty Organization backed by the U.S. has brought 70 years of peace, freedom and prosperity to Europe. Those decades of stability are too much to bear to President Donald Trump. As World War II ended, much of Germany was seen as a deeply sick society, bred on envy, hero worship and mus…

Columns

WASHINGTON – The recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling outlawing compulsory union dues paid by public agency employees is a two-edged sword, particularly for the governing and the governed in New York State. No state in America has a higher share of dues-paying public employees than New York – 67.4 percent. As a result, the court ruling exempting these men and women from …

Columns

WASHINGTON – Is it premature to talk about fascism: that deadly brew of mutual self-righteousness become hatred, the concentration of wealth and political power, official arrogance and secrecy and militarism? Many of these ingredients seem to be crawling up out of their manholes. Last Thursday, President Trump sent up the white flag – for now. He suffered a humiliati…

Columns

WASHINGTON — O Canada. It is hard to explain to anybody down here how why the remarks that President Trump and his aides made about Canada sting so deeply and so frighteningly. Maybe the fact my mother was a Canadian citizen, as were my maternal grandparents, might help. Perhaps the fact that my own family lived for years within easy sight of the Old Fort Erie explains …

Columns

WASHINGTON – Rudy Giuliani has become a rocket that keeps on sputtering – now on a worldwide trajectory. In Israel last week, the former mayor of New York questioned the morals of Stormy Daniels, President Trump’s putative porn star girlfriend of 2006. Back home in New York, Giuliani claimed to know the heart and mind of the president’s wife, the reclusive Melania Trump…

Columns

WASHINGTON — Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., is an optimist. Flake, a vocal critic of President Trump for more than a year, told Harvard Law School graduates the other day that President Donald Trump's behavior "may have hit bottom." "Our presidency has been debased by a figure who seemingly has a bottomless appetite for destruction and division ... We may have hit bottom,…

Columns

In the days during and just after World War II, important things were done on a handshake. For example, people thought for years that the old West Side Rowing Club near the foot of West Ferry Street was a private club. One day, I ordered a strange visitor out of the club’s bathroom. Overhearing, a coach came flying out his locker and gave me the dressing down of my life…

Columns

WASHINGTON – Like spasms, more destructive tweets erupted at the White House this week. One of the worst will be soon forgotten, if it has not been already. That is the one in which President Trump threatened to yank the White House credentials of reporters whose organizations reported unfavorably about the Trump administration. Trump said in the tweet that unfavorable …

WASHINGTON – The Gallup poll has recently released a bi-, or tri- furcated survey which appears to show that Americans are not responding to this recent burst of prosperity by going on a mad spending spree – the way their governments have. Not yet at least. That's very good, because some experts are warning that we may be facing a financial crisis. No one is using that …

Columns

WASHINGTON — Paul Ryan, the spineless, now lame-duck, speaker of the House, says he wants to spend more time with his wife and three children in Wisconsin. Ryan is worried about them, the Republican indicated. OK. My late wife and I raised three children who produced 10 grandchildren in all. I am worried about their physical welfare. You should worry about your kids, to…

Columns

WASHINGTON - A long time ago, a Republican sage from the upstate village of Alexander, Rep. Barber B. Conable, told me the "genius" of the founders of our republic was to create a government that made it difficult to do anything radical. Conable was of another day: A Marine veteran of the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, a legal scholar, reformer, who was able to lead…

Columns

WASHINGTON  – It's become ever more hazardous to write anything positive about President Trump because every time he appears to do something constructive, Trump takes a step – or two – back. The president did something highly constructive when he announced well-merited taxes on imported steel and aluminum. The howls of protest from the Establishment were predictable, co…

Columns

WASHINGTON — The phrase "rope-a-dope" comes to mind when watching President Trump deal with the youngsters' crusade against lethal firearms and the eternal controversy on DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The term was invented by a sportswriter about 40 years ago to explain how boxer Mohammed Ali defeated a bigger and stronger and seemingly tougher George…

Columns

WASHINGTON — It is now a ritual, and uniquely American. Its predictability is almost like the Catholic Mass, and many of the old mainline Protestant services. First, the introit: Republican Gov. Rick Scott, in a meticulously starched shirt leading the press conference. Closely followed by Parkland, Florida's prevailing top cop, Sheriff Scott Israel in aviator sunglasses…