The inevitable nuclear war?

We don’t do enough thinking about catastrophe, so let’s pause to note that everything on our national political stage — tax reform, immigration, health care, the Mueller investigation — and in our private lives, for that matter, occurs against two apocalyptic backdrops: climate change and nuclear war.

Falsehoods fly freely in Trump’s America

WASHINGTON — This is the autopsy of a lie. On the night of Nov. 18, Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez was found dying on the side of an interstate in West Texas. There were immediate signs it had been an accident. Martinez’s partner, Stephen Garland (who suffered a head injury and doesn’t recall the incident), had radioed for help, saying he thought he ran into a culvert.

Trump does not equal patriotism; questioning him is not treason

The world’s great dictatorships share a common trait: the leadership’s demand for unwavering loyalty from the governed. Even among supposed democracies such as Turkey and Egypt, anyone who dares to “insult” the nation by questioning the ruler’s decisions can land in prison — or worse.

Play ball, with informed intelligence

WASHINGTON — Even if, inexplicably, you occasionally think about things other than major league baseball, consider this: Why are many premier free agents, particularly sluggers and starting pitchers, unsigned even while we are hearing the loveliest four words, “Pitchers and catchers report”? The Major League Baseball Players Association angrily says some teams are more interested in economizing than in winning. The real explanation is that teams are intelligently aligning their behavior with changing information.

Will Mick Mulvaney be the end of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as we know it?

White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney once likened government regulations to a “slow cancer,” an attitude he shares with many in the Trump administration. So it’s hardly surprising that, in his new part-time role as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Mulvaney would waste little time pulling back on the agency’s rules and its authority. It’s yet another reminder, as if any more were necessary, that elections have consequences.