| May 18, 2013
| 9:01 AM
The public appetite for trivial distraction has always extended to our chief executives.
I remember the minor uproar when Lyndon Johnson lifted a beagle by the ears. There was extensive commentary on Richard Nixon's taste for cottage cheese and ketchup....
| May 13, 2013
| 10:22 AM
Loyal readers of this page are likely aware that we have not been great supporters of the tea party movement. Too often, we have found those anti-tax crusaders who call themselves tea party patriots are simply rebranded John Birch Society members of an...
| May 9, 2013
| 10:53 AM
When first proposed about a decade ago, it seemed like a promising means to revive the Chesapeake Bay's devastated oyster crop: Bring in Chinese oysters, which are impervious to the diseases killing the native stock and also grow faster. If successful,...
| Jun 21, 2013
| 6:00 AM
Commentator Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s recent column on the IRS scandal shows once again why he was twice defeated for governor of Maryland ("IRS scandal is worse than the others," June 16).
He begins his weekly tirade by referring to a "hot dog" as...
| Jun 21, 2013
| 12:45 PM
The NSA's claim about how surveillance programs have thwarted terrorists ("Programs disrupted 50 plots, NSA says," June 19) warrants further scrutiny as does the claim by Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger that the leaker did "tremendous damage."
On the matter of...
| Jun 17, 2013
| 8:15 AM
Just as they say that the poor are always with is, so it is with Richard Nixon, arguably the most tormented American president, who comes back to us in the new book "Ike and Dick" (appropriately subtitled "Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage").
| Jun 12, 2013
| 11:47 AM
For us aging Vietnam War protesters, the secret domestic surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden, a young former CIA contractor, is like a bad flashback.
In 1968, Lyndon Johnson demanded that something be done to curb the demonstrations that were...
| Apr 25, 2013
| 3:08 PM
Paul Dickson, a Garrett Park resident, loves the origins of words and is a compiler of word books and dictionaries.
So imagine my delight and pleasure when my friend, Mary Garson, who is also fascinated with etymology, gave me a copy of Dickson's...
| Oct 21, 2012
| 4:00 AM
It may be time to say farewell to affirmative action in higher education admissions and to the aspirations that went with it.
The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, a case challenging the sliver of...
| Oct 30, 2012
| 10:21 AM
Since World War II, Americans have tended to elect middle class presidents. With the exception of the two Bushes — the first of whom lost his second election, the second of whom "lost" his first — both parties succeeded by nominating...
| Jan 22, 2013
| 1:39 PM
A week after he won re-election, President Barack Obama said he was more than familiar with what the "literature" — the very use of the term cheered academics like me — says about re-elected presidents who over-reach during their second terms....
| Nov 8, 2012
Second terms have rarely been kind to American presidents.
Our last two-term leader, George W. Bush, ended his tenure with a financial crash so disastrous that his own party has tried to erase him from memory. Mr. Bush's predecessor, Bill Clinton, was...