Tag: Bush, George W

Mysterious Explosion and Fire Damage Iranian Nuclear Enrichment Facility

A fire ripped through a building at Iran’s main nuclear-fuel production site early Thursday, causing extensive damage to what appeared to be a factory where the country has boasted of producing a new generation of centrifuges. The United States has repeatedly warned that such machinery could speed Tehran’s path to building nuclear weapons. The Atomic […]

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2004: ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ and a Country at War With Itself

The last time the country was at war with itself, Michael Moore made a movie people were mad at, too. It opened at the end of June, 16 years ago. The parent-company that released it didn’t even want to. But after weeks of controversy, the Palme d’Or at Cannes and a very good trailer, Moore’s […]

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How the Trump Campaign Is Drawing Obama Out of Retirement

Just after Donald J. Trump was elected president, Barack Obama slumped in his chair in the Oval Office and addressed an aide standing near a conspicuously placed bowl of apples, emblem of a healthy-snacking policy soon to be swept aside, along with so much else. “I am so done with all of this,” Mr. Obama […]

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Biden Still Wants to Close Guantánamo Prison

This article was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. President Barack Obama vowed to close it, and failed. President Trump vowed to load it up with more “bad dudes,” and has not. Now Joseph R. Biden Jr. is saying that if elected president, he would support shutting down the military prison […]

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On North Korea and Iran, Bolton Blames ‘the Split Between Trump and Trump’

President Trump knew exactly what he was getting when he hired John Bolton in the spring of 2018 to be his national security adviser: An uber-hawk who made no secret of his belief that Iran and North Korea could be driven over the brink by extreme sanctions, and who told the president that attacking nuclear […]

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Joe Biden Needs to Learn an Urgent Lesson From the 2004 Election

We know that a bad economy tends to hurt the electoral prospects of incumbent presidential candidates. But what about a crisis of national security or American safety? Although the coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented in most ways, as is the Trump presidency itself, there may be historical lessons from other situations. I’m thinking of one in […]

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Why Does Trump Lie?

The lies and obfuscations pile up. No, it wasn’t tear gas used to clear Lafayette Park for President Trump’s Bible-waving photo-op last Monday night, Attorney General William Barr said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. Rather it was “pepper balls,” he said. “Pepper spray is not a chemical irritant. It’s not chemical.” Wrong, according […]

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Despite Big Promises, U.S. Has Delivered Limited Aid in Global Virus Response

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has lauded itself as leading the world in confronting the coronavirus. But it has so far failed to spend more than 75 percent of the American humanitarian aid that Congress provided three months ago to help overseas victims of the virus. In two spending bills in March, lawmakers approved $1.59 […]

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Vote for Trump? These Republican Leaders Aren’t on the Bandwagon.

WASHINGTON — It was one thing in 2016 for top Republicans to take a stand against Donald J. Trump for president: He wasn’t likely to win anyway, the thinking went, and there was no ongoing conservative governing agenda that would be endangered. The 2020 campaign is different: Opposing the sitting president of your own party […]

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Trump and the Military: A Mutual Embrace Might Dissolve on America’s Streets

WASHINGTON — For the first three years of President Trump’s time in office, his blunt-force view of the military was confined to threatening American adversaries: “fire and fury” if North Korea challenged American troops. A warning that he would “shoot down and destroy” Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf. Billions spent to rejuvenate a nuclear […]

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Past Presidents Faced Police Brutality and Protests. They Handled It Differently.

It is a bleak reality of American history that each of the past four presidents faced the same crisis President Trump is facing now: The police just killed or seriously injured a black man, and the city where it happened is reeling with grief and rage. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” Mr. Trump […]

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Does a Crisis Spur Political Unity? Not This Pandemic

It was not so long ago that the conventional wisdom in Washington was that a genuine crisis like the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks had the power to cool partisan hostilities, pulling elected officials together to present a united front to a stricken nation. In a pandemic that has now claimed more than 100,000 lives, that […]

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The Supreme Court, the Electoral College and the Real Vote Suppression Threat

Amid all the well-justified worry during this troubled election season about vote suppression, the most direct threat to having every vote count has been hiding in plain sight: “faithless electors” who might cast their Electoral College votes according to their own preferences rather than for the choice of their states’ voters. Eight such votes were […]

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George W. Bush Calls for End to Pandemic Partisanship

WASHINGTON — Former President George W. Bush called on Americans on Saturday to put aside partisan differences, heed the guidance of medical professionals and show empathy for those stricken by the coronavirus and the resulting economic devastation. In a three-minute video message, Mr. Bush, who rarely speaks out on current events, struck a tone of […]

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Amid a Rising Death Toll, Trump Leaves the Grieving to Others

WASHINGTON — One morning this week, President Trump called food sector executives. That afternoon, he met with corporate leaders at the White House. The day before, he paraded small-business owners in the East Room, and the day before that, he showcased executives from retail giants like Walgreens and Walmart in the Rose Garden. As he […]

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Trump’s Contempt for the Ex-Presidents Is Costing Us Right Now

About a year ago, in an interview in the Oval Office, I asked President Trump if his years behind the storied Resolute desk had made him empathize with his predecessors. In the very room where most of them had called on one another in times of crisis for years —  and well before the novel […]

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Trump Turns Shared American Experiences Into Us vs. Them

WASHINGTON — Last weekend, an anniversary of the kind that would have once united the country in reflection — the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, 25 years ago — passed without much in the way of comment. As the days inside pile up, our usual approach to a national […]

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Social Distancing for Coronavirus Has a History

WASHINGTON — Fourteen years ago, two federal government doctors, Richard Hatchett and Carter Mecher, met with a colleague at a burger joint in suburban Washington for a final review of a proposal they knew would be treated like a piñata: telling Americans to stay home from work and school the next time the country was […]

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Paul O’Neill, Treasury Secretary Who Clashed With Bush, Dies at 84

Paul H. O’Neill had just presided over a celebrated revival of the aluminum giant Alcoa and was about to begin his retirement in late 2000 with a long drive across the back roads of America in a new Bentley Flying Spur. Then came calls from Vice President-elect Dick Cheney asking him to become secretary of […]

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The 9/11 Trial: Why Is It Taking So Long?

This article was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. WASHINGTON — Next year is the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackings that killed 2,976 people in New York, at the Pentagon and in a Pennsylvania field. For much of those two decades, the United States has been holding five […]

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The Growing Culture of Secrecy at Guantánamo Bay

This article was produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — During a court session this year in the case of the men accused plotting Sept. 11, defense lawyers spotted something curious: Prosecutors were huddled around a wireless silver tablet computer. When confronted about it, the judge made a […]

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Who Will Win the Fight for a Post-Coronavirus America?

The scramble has already begun. The possibilities for change, for the better or the worse, for a more egalitarian or more authoritarian society, burst out of the gate like racehorses at times like these. Progressive and conservative politicians are pitching proposals to radically alter American society, to redistribute wealth, to change the rules, to redefine […]

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What if We Just Counted Up All the Votes for President and Saw Who Won?

If you were designing a system to elect the political leader of a major constitutional republic in 2020, how would you do it? The answer is easy, or at least it should be: by a national popular vote — a system in which all votes count the same and the winner is the candidate who […]

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Don’t Let Trump Pay Back Evangelicals Like This

Many Americans know by now that when Christian nationalists talk about “religious freedom” they are really asking for the privilege to impose their religion on other people. What Americans may not yet understand is that they are also demanding money from taxpayers to do so. Long before Donald Trump hitched his political fortunes to the […]

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The Great Biden Consolidation

Eleven days and an eternity in political time ago, I offered some advice for Democrats seeking to stop Bernie Sanders, drawn from the failed experience of #NeverTrump. Losing candidates need to drop out, I suggested, unconventional alliances need to be considered and hanging around hoping for a brokered convention is a fool’s game if you’re […]

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A Trump Plan Breaks a Great Deal for Ranchers and Park Lovers

The Trump administration has struck another blow to common-sense management of public lands in the West. Virtually all the spectacular country neighboring the Escalante River in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah will be reopened to cattle grazing, thanks to a new plan for managing the monument released by the Interior Department last month. […]

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Is Texas Big Enough for Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders?

There are a lot of things I thought I would never see happen in Texas politics. Just to pick a few across a vast and varied spectrum: Ann Richards’s election to the governorship in 1990 seemed miraculous — a sign that Texas had turned a corner and was finally heading in a progressive direction. Of […]

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A War Without Winners Winds Down

The deal the Trump administration signed with the Taliban on Saturday is a ticket out of Afghanistan for American troops who’ve been there far too long. It is a quiet end to a conflict that began with vibrant clarity, if not strategic vision, and descended into bloody ambiguity. The Afghan government was not involved in […]

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After 18 Years, Is This Afghan Peace, or Just a Way Out?

President Trump has left no doubt that his first priority in Afghanistan is a peace treaty that would enable him to claim that he is fulfilling his vow to withdraw American troops. But a parade of his former national security aides say he is far less interested in an actual Afghan peace. And that creates […]

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