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If it’s news to you that social climbers see buying their children’s way into fancy, name-brand colleges as the functional equivalent of wearing Rolex watches or driving Maseratis, then I don’t know where to start.

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Whatever anyone says about Beto O’Rourke in the coming months, no one will ever accuse him of lacking enthusiasm.

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No child’s first choice of a Christmas present would be “1001 SAT Words” and underwear. But that’s what I got the year I was 10. My parents came to the U.S. as Korean War refugees, and the gifts represented what they considered most important: education and primary needs.

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A long-standing principle of Anglo-American law is that a defendant shouldn’t be held criminally responsible for his behavior if mental illness made it impossible for him to tell right from wrong. Yet the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hold that the Constitution requires that defendants …

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The U.S. National Security Agency has reportedly mothballed a domestic spying program the NSA and its allies in Congress fought vigorously to retain just a few years ago.

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My alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin, has an unseemly connection to the recent admissions scandal. A tennis coach was fired after he allegedly accepted $100,000 to facilitate the admission of a non-tennis-playing but well-connected student. The coach is pleading not guilty.

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He said he wasn’t running for president, no way, forget it, and now he is, meaning that Beto O’Rourke can probably change his mind on issues too. That would be good because he wants 15 judges on the Supreme Court for the sake of diversity — or maybe just to be on the goofy side of history.

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There’s a famous scene in “Casablanca” where the corrupt police chief played by Claude Rains shuts down Humphrey Bogart’s casino.

When I receive my property tax bill each December, I focus first on how much the bottom line increased from the previous year. Next, I look at the percentage increase in each of the taxing jurisdictions and compare that to the increase in the cost of living.

The Republican Party that can’t get out of it’s own way is alive and unwell. The party that threw away winnable Senate seats by nominating people such as Todd Akin (Missouri, 2012) and Christine O’Donnell (Delaware, 2010) and couldn’t prevent the nomination of a reality television star for t…

WASHINGTON — In April 2018, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand urged Senate leaders to pass her bipartisan Congressional Harassment Reform Act. “Congress has a sexual harassment problem — and isn’t taking it seriously,” Gillibrand wrote in Fortune magazine. “If we can’t clean up our own act, how can an…

WASHINGTON — Please, Tom Steyer, stop spending all that money on impeachment ads. If you want to run spots against President Trump, target his shameful 2020 budget.

Why do Republicans stick with Donald Trump? It’s a question I’m asked again and again by Democrats, “Never Trumpers” and journalists.

The rhetoric of American exceptionalism usually makes me a little uncomfortable. Bragging is unseemly, and generally boasters have trouble getting along with others. President Ronald Reagan called America a “shining city upon a hill,” but a cynic might note that there are other cities on oth…

The headline of Mark Zuckerberg’s 3,200-word blog post Wednesday — “A Privacy-Focused Vision for Social Networking” — might lead you to believe that the Facebook chief executive had decided to stop making bank off the reams of personal information extracted from the social media network’s users.

The numbers are sobering. The federal government reported Tuesday that immigration agents apprehended 76,000 people — most of them families or unaccompanied minors — at the U.S.-Mexico border in February, twice the level of the previous year and the highest for February in 11 years. The incr…

Anybody who predicts how the Trump administration will come to an end is begging to have his soothsayer’s license revoked. “Surprisingly” is as far as I’m willing to go. NPR ran a story the other day about a 93-year-old World War II veteran whose dying words were “(Expletive), I’m not going …

WASHINGTON — In February 2016, while Donald Trump was busy sweeping the Republican presidential field, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, led a group of conservatives in launching the Article 1 Project (or A1P) — an initiative urging members of Congress to reassert their powers under Article 1 of the Co…

WASHINGTON — A central challenge of the Trump era is how to deal urgently with the president’s transgressions while also taking steps to prevent politicians from abusing power in the future.

If U.S. companies needed more evidence that scrutiny of wages is intensifying, they heard it last week in Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony to Congress.

You’re in the shower. The phone rings. Your husband is out of town and you’ve been waiting for his call. You push through the curtain, your hair full of shampoo, you grab the phone and blurt out, “Hello?”

As a County Board supervisor, I am writing to agree with assistant editor Liam Marlaire’s editorial last Sunday regarding the county needing to “take a hard look at efficiencies,” though not for the reasons the author might think. I believe the single biggest waste of spending in our — or an…

The two things I wished for as I awoke to last Sunday’s blizzard were that the power didn’t go out and that my beleaguered snowblower would start yet again.

WASHINGTON — Michael Cohen was supposed to provide “bombshell” testimony against President Trump. Well, the bombshell didn’t explode.

Normally, presidents who are in trouble exploit historic foreign policy moments to associate themselves with the majesty of their office and demonstrate their seriousness of purpose.

Donald Trump has thrown himself around the world stage in impulsive and often embarrassing fashion. He has frayed the trust of U.S. allies while being solicitous to thuggish regimes.

The Academy Awards was Sunday, so perhaps it’s fitting that last week’s biggest story was an actor’s excellent performance — in an accused hoax.

Judging from the dire warnings emanating from Republicans, the Cold War didn’t end when the Berlin Wall fell. Boy, will historians be surprised.

America has survived many national emergencies. Presidents have dealt with innumerable crises. Being forced to sign a compromise-laden spending bill doesn’t qualify.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has done it again — disappointed conservatives, that is. On Thursday night, Roberts joined the Supreme Court’s Democratic appointees in blocking enforcement of a Louisiana abortion law.

Whenever I encounter words like “boomer,” “Gen Xer” and “millennial” used to explain political behavior, it’s normally my practice to quit reading. Cant invariably follows. As anybody old enough to remember the Kennedy assassinations and the Vietnam War understands, so-called “boomers” have …

Unless you’re Dudley Do-Right, or maybe special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, the Questionnaire for National Security Positions should terrify you.

I imagine a lot of people read the Jan. 22 Leader-Telegram Page 1 report about a proposed $2.4 million public-private project to upgrade the football field and track at Memorial High School as a “good news” story.

At the Leader-Telegram, we like to celebrate with those who make a positive difference in our organization and community. This week we had a lot to celebrate because of the dedicated employees and independent contractors who manufactured and delivered the vast majority of our newspapers in a…

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s “big, beautiful wall” was never a serious policy proposal. It was a symbol to reassure his supporters that he would keep the sorts of people they don’t like out of the country. It was also a memory device designed by his advisers to remind Trump to talk about i…

The recent consultant’s report questioning the wisdom of the Menomonie Street location for UW-Claire’s major events center leaves city leaders with a lot to digest.

News: A majority of Eau Claire County voters favored legalizing marijuana in an advisory referendum on Nov. 6. Shortly thereafter, the City Council lowered the local fine for pot possession to $1.

In mid-November, a photo circulated showing a group of nearly 60 boys last spring at Baraboo High School giving what appeared to be a Nazi salute. On Nov. 19, I gave a talk at the school. What follows is adapted from those remarks.

“Imagine all the people, sharing all the world.”

As a former health education instructor with over 30 years of experience, I have done extensive work with alcohol and drug prevention since the late 1970s.

There was a single big item on the agenda when U.S. bishops convened in Baltimore last week: how to confront the child sex abuse scandals that perennially soil the church.