Ever since attending “An Evening with Chris Botti” at the Pablo Center at the Confluence last month to kick off the Eau Claire Jazz Festival, I’ve been struggling to describe what I and about 800 others witnessed.

One of the first things aspiring reporters learn in journalism class is to answer the “five W’s and an H” in every story they write. That stands for “who, what, when, where, why and how.” It’s a handy formula that applies to everything from traffic accidents to government meetings to sportin…

I was visiting my snowbird father near Tampa, Fla., about four years ago when we took a side trip while driving near his residence.

If you didn’t know Joe Biden was of Irish descent, you might think he was French, or Italian. The man exudes personal warmth. He touches people, leans in close, pats their shoulders, whispers in their ears and plants unsolicited kisses. Upon women, that is.

Here come two Democrats vying for the Oval Office: Joe Biden, who has been getting headlines for the kind tradition of hugging women; and Sen. Kamala Harris, who has been getting relatively few, smaller headlines for ruining lives. Biden, kind of a centrist, could be in deep trouble while Ha…

The Trump administration is right about one thing: The U.S. immigration system is broken, and the surge of desperate migrant families from Central America arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border threatens to overwhelm the resources the government has deployed there.

Every child knows if he is attacked by a bully in a schoolyard it helps to have buddies alongside him. All the more so for nation states: Military allies make attacks less likely and alliances of democracies strengthen their hands against despots.

Between his exclamations of “total exoneration,” President Trump has spent much time recently stirring the pot about Obamacare. Here, for example, is a recent tweet: “The Republican Party will become the Party of Great Health care! ObamaCare is a disaster, far too expensive and deductibility…

Not long ago, we were talking about living to 120. Remember? Science and medicine were advancing so rapidly, we figured to double the life expectancy of our grandparents. What would we do with all those extra years?

“Money isn’t everything,” a friend once told me, “but it beats the heck out of whatever is in second place.”

Some new faces are coming to the Leader-Telegram, and some familiar ones are making a return.

WASHINGTON — Fortunately for the republic, President Trump and his minions can’t even do an end-zone dance right. And their celebration, by the way, is wildly premature.

Many Trump opponents were shocked and disappointed by Trump-Russia special counsel Robert Mueller’s conclusion that “the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Some appa…

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.

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

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.

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 …

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.

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.

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.

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.