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Douglas Turner


WASHINGTON – Media allies of President Obama were quick to label his final State of the Union message to Congress an unqualified success, a stunner. Some friends called it a “valedictory” talk, or farewell speech.There is a grammatical cousin to “valedictory.” It is the word that describes the smartest kid in the class who gives a speech at graduation. He or she is called …

WASHINGTON – Only one Republican presidential hopeful who won the Iowa caucuses has gone on to become president. That was former California Gov. Ronald W. Reagan in 1980. It makes you wonder what all the fuss is about.Yet there are ingredients – including bushels of corn – that help make the Feb. 1 edition important.This contest may be the first one in which real estate de…

WASHINGTON – Here’s a globalist twist on consumerism in this new year. Our government can continue to collect information on all your telephone calls, but you, as an American, can no longer demand to know where your hamburger meat comes from.As a supposed reform, the National Security Agency now needs the permission of the telephone company to look at a suspicious call. Bu…

WASHINGTON – We’re approaching the sixth anniversary of President Obama’s rebuke of the Supreme Court over its 2010 decision to create a new personhood with rights of “free speech.”With justices sitting in front of him at a State of the Union address, Obama condemned their Citizens v. Federal Elections Commission decision. It said corporations are people and can spend unli…

WASHINGTON – Older people, maybe like Pope Francis, try to generalize about Christmas. It’s a mistake. The holiday is about the very young, and what they hope for.For our own kids, their earliest memories center on our big 120-year-old Victorian home on Busti Avenue in Buffalo, overlooking the Olmsted Park, the Niagara and old Fort Erie.They are building their own lives no…

WASHINGTON – Although coverage was buried by the screeching headlines about the upcoming 2016 campaign and terrorism, President Obama gave one of the greatest speeches of his presidency last week.The 150th anniversary of the nation’s passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, the one abolishing slavery, was the topic. Standing in the Capitol, Obama calmly traced ou…

WASHINGTON – The worlds of loyal, law-abiding gun owners and the college-bred elites who control the Democratic Party, university faculties and the mass media might as well be on different planets.One weapons keeper, let’s call him Jim, says he legally owns at least two semi-automatic military assault rifles, like the AR-15s used by two radicalized Muslims to murder 14 peo…

WASHINGTON – How refreshing it would be if our president and those campaigning to succeed him in 13 months would show some of the gentility and footwork of Canada’s new prime minister, Liberal Justin Trudeau.Only a few days ago, Trudeau visited Buckingham Palace in London to pay his respects to Queen Elizabeth II, offer her a bow from the shoulders and sit for a confidenti…

“Th’ whole world’s in a terrible state of chassis [crisis],” the drunk cried out from his spot on the floor in Sean O’Casey’s play, “Juno and the Paycock.”It is, indeed, in a terrible state. So what to do about it? With Christian scripture definitely out of fashion, we turn for advice to a poet, another Irishman, William Butler Yeats.The advice, so-called, on his tombstone…

WASHINGTON – Here’s an example of the way corporate Washington – meaning the White House, Congress, both parties and the lobbyist community – works for itself and not you: Rising prescription drug prices.Under the wandering eyes of what’s left of the federal rule-making agencies, prescription drug prices took a whopping 14 percent increase last year.By all published accoun…

WASHINGTON – Nothing in life moves in predictable straight lines, perhaps least of all in presidential politics. From the Republican presidential side, certainly the warnings the public received – including from this column – about the power of megadonations in the selection process have not worked out, so far.The serpent in the weeds was the 2010 Supreme Court ruling call…

WASHINGTON – The pivotal moments of last week’s Republican presidential debate began to mimic a scene from Warren Beatty’s black comedy, the 1988 movie “Bulworth.”Sen. Jay Billington Bulworth, a manic candidate for re-election, is mocking a “gotcha”-style question from one of the moderators of a TV debate.“C’mon, c’mon,” Bulworth demanded of the journalist, “we got three p…

WASHINGTON – “One more river to cross,” so the gospel song goes. And that is Hillary Rodham Clinton’s second, and probably last, appearance before the once-feared House Select Committee on Benghazi this Thursday.Who would have believed that it would be the committee, and not the former secretary of state, on the defensive? That’s mainly thanks to Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Cal…

WASHINGTON – Let’s agree right now that any argument you advance about gun control, even using “geometric logic” (see “The Caine Mutiny”), is going to be met with bloodcurdling rage from another quarter.No? Can’t agree even on that? OK. Let’s use some ancient political history, of 35 years vintage, to at least manage a foothold in the discussion. We elected then as preside…

WASHINGTON – All of us have experienced the heavy hand of the state coming down on us suddenly with nobody’s permission. In Buffalo, it was the government slicing Delaware Park and Humboldt Parkway in half with a truckway, a speedway.In Niagara County, it was the state grabbing all of the best Niagara River vistas for another express highway to nowhere.For Roman Catholics …