McCarthy’s leadership strategy shows no sign of working

The Republican majority in the House isn’t even two months old, but it’s already clear that Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s attempt to mollify his party’s extremist faction risks hurting the country without guaranteeing the thing he wants most: to keep his job as House leader. There might not be immediate consequences to McCarthy’s maneuvers, but the Republican leader is on the path to a painful government shutdown before the year is through, and he may even be on his way to a disastrous debt default.

Commentary: Teenage mental health crisis: The kids are not OK

Recently, my suicidal 15-year-old grandson ingested and smoked a cocktail of several drugs. His loving parents found him nonresponsive, with a heart rate near 200 beats per minute. The emergency responders and doctors saved his life. Sadly, it was not his first attempt.

Editorial: McCarthy gave Capitol footage to Carlson. Real journalists must have access too

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is supposed to work for the American people first and his party second. Fox News conspiracy-monger Tucker Carlson isn’t supposed to be anywhere on that list. McCarthy’s outrageous decision to give Carlson exclusive access to thousands of hours of Capitol security camera data that is generally shielded for security reasons should settle once and for all any lingering doubts about the unique political cravenness of this so-called leader.

Editorial: When political interests dominate news coverage, it’s the public that suffers

A public radio reporter in West Virginia was sacked after she reported on the abuse of people with disabilities in state-run facilities. Her report posed a political embarrassment for West Virginia’s Republican governor, Jim Justice, whose former senior aide is now the top executive at West Virginia Public Broadcasting. That ex-aide wound up firing the reporter. For the news-consuming public, this case serves as a warning sign of the dangers when news organizations fall under the control of political actors.

Editorial: Tesla allegedly fires staffers for labor organizing

Elon Musk really likes bots — except, perhaps, when they’re cluttering Twitter. The also-CEO-of-Tesla likes them so much that he’s built “full self-driving” software that’s so unready for prime time, it just triggered the recall of 362,758 automobiles. (For the record, we love vehicle-assist safety technology keeping cars in their lane, avoiding collisions and so on, and we look forward to the time when true autopilot is a reality; that day, however, has not yet arrived.)

Commentary: The COVID ‘emergency’ is ending. Here’s who will be hurt most

In the State of the Union, President Joe Biden stated that “we have broken COVID’s grip on us.” Indeed, COVID-19 deaths are down about 75% since last year’s speech. Consistent with that progress, the Biden administration announced in January that it will end the public health emergency (and national emergency) declarations on May 11.

Editorial: The US must pass a law to prosecute crimes against humanity

At the annual Munich Security Conference on Saturday, Vice President Kamala Harris was direct, saying, “In the case of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, we have examined the evidence. We know the legal standards, and there is no doubt: These are crimes against humanity.” She spoke of “gruesome acts of murder, torture, rape, and deportation.”

Editorial: Florida takes a dangerous turn with permitless carry

After winning reelection in November with nearly 60% of the vote, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had political capital to spend on any number of priorities. Sadly, he’s settled on one of the most the ill-considered choices available: allowing the public to carry concealed firearms without a license.

VIEWPOINT 2: US should turn Ukraine war over to its European allies

Instead of a quick Russian victory, Russia’s second invasion of Ukraine seems to be settling into a drawn-out slugfest. After Ukrainian soldiers surprisingly thwarted Russia’s offensive on Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital city, the gleeful United States rallied NATO nations to provide the Ukrainians with tens of billions in weapons technology.

VIEWPOINT 1: How should we define this war?

War, it is rightly said, is the realm of uncertainty. This mantra is worth chanting on the looming first anniversary of Russia’s renewed invasion of Ukraine, on Feb. 24, 2022. The ways in which Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian army have defied predictions have been well cataloged, though perhaps not fully digested in some Western quarters. So, instead of imagining how and when the war will end, it is far better to ask the right questions than to guess at answers.

Commentary: Biden is ending COVID emergency declarations. But the health care worker crisis continues

The Biden administration recently announced that it will end the COVID-associated national and public health emergencies on May 11. That means stopping payments for COVID-19 tests and vaccines for some Americans depending on their insurance status, other people losing benefits such as Medicaid, and some hospitals receiving less funding — placing higher burdens on our already depleted health care workforce.

Editorial: Yes, Republicans have threatened Social Security. And they’re still doing it

It seems the hecklers at last week’s State of the Union speech owe President Joe Biden an apology. After some congressional Republicans tried to shout him down for saying some in the GOP want to cut Social Security and Medicare, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., stepped up to add his voice to the chorus alleging that Biden was lying — then promptly reiterated his call for a universal “sunset” on all federal programs every five years, which would apply to Social Security and Medicare. Oops.

Bill Dudley: Will the Fed go longer or higher? Maybe both

How will the US Federal Reserve wage its battle with inflation — by keeping interest rates elevated for longer, or by taking them even higher? Investors are fixated on this question, which has vast implications for bonds, stocks and the entire economy.