National Voices

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  1. OTHER VIEWS: Settlement leaves big questions unanswered

    Friday, Aug 22 2014 11:00 PM

    The Justice Department's $16.7 billion settlement with Bank of America Corp. is a big win. Prosecutors deserve praise for extracting the largest civil settlement with a single entity in U.S. history, as well as for forcing the bank to admit to numerous shortcomings in creating, packaging and selling defective home loans. Yet the headline figure, impressive as it is, obscures important details, papers over the lack of criminal prosecutions and raises many questions.

    Here's the most pressing of those questions: What will happen to the money? The latest settlement brings to about $125 billion the penalties large banks have had to pay to resolve civil lawsuits by the U.S. related to the mortgage meltdown. No one seems to have the complete...

  2. ESTHER CEPEDA: Hitting the right note on gender and hiring

    In the 1970s and 1980s, symphony orchestras around the world began implementing a system of "blind" auditions -- performances given from behind a screen -- in order to diversify their ranks while ensuring that elite talent and meritocracy...

  3. MICHAEL GERSON: Again, there's no time to lead from behind

    Responding to the horrifying murder of photojournalist James Foley, Secretary of State John Kerry declared, "ISIL [the Islamic State] and the wickedness it represents must be destroyed." President Obama said, "people like this ultimately...

  4. OTHER VIEWS: Political spats do not belong in our courts

    Even in the no-holds-barred world of Texas politics, the indictment of Gov. Rick Perry last week was a low blow. A grand jury in Austin, a Democratic Party hotbed, indicted Perry, a Republican with presidential aspirations, on two felony...

  5. ESTHER CEPEDA: Demographic dilemma

    "War" is too strong a word to use in regard to race relations. Despite continuing income inequality or how often the justice system seems to lack fairness when applied to nonwhites, few Americans would say that whites are waging a war on...

  6. OTHER VIEWS: Pentagon still sells smokes, but how come?

    Even the most oblivious member of Congress knows that smoking is bad for you. As it turns out, it's even worse for you if you happen to be a soldier. So would Congress insist that the Pentagon sell cigarettes -- at a discount, no less?...

  7. MICHAEL GERSON: In Rand Paul's hands, this outreach is bogus

    Why should Republicans engage in outreach to African-Americans, even though the level of suspicion is so high and the yield in votes is likely to be so low? Even among some reform-oriented conservatives, what might be called the Kemp...

  8. OTHER VIEWS: Mr. Google goes to Washington

    Every president has his method of taming the leviathan of bureaucracy. Harry Truman tried vast reorganizations. Lyndon Johnson preferred cerebral task forces. Jimmy Carter tried feeding the beast, George W. Bush starving it. President...

  9. OTHER VIEWS: Why European nations are still in the doldrums

    Remember how Europe had defied all the doomsayers and staved off both the collapse of its single currency and a wider political crack-up? Well, it is becoming increasingly clear that stop-gap measures enacted by the European Central Bank...

  10. OTHER VIEWS: Gov. Brown, Dems and GOP agree on water

    A rare event played out in the Capitol on Wednesday night, and it's worthy of note. Gov. Jerry Brown achieved bipartisan agreement on that most contentious of issues: water. By votes of 37-0 in the Senate and 77-2 in the Assembly, the...

  11. CARL LEUBSDORF: Texas, NC push back on voter rights

    It's August, and most of the federal government is on vacation. Members of Congress are on their annual August state or district "work period," President Barack Obama is at Martha's Vineyard, and the Supreme Court is off until early...

  12. KELLI GOFF: Without Obama, Clinton could end up like Gore

    Although we're all still sort of pretending that it remains to be seen whether Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016, she recently gave the most definitive confirmation she has to date of her impending candidacy. No, she didn't...

  13. DANA MILBANK: From Section 60, a farewell to the general

    I've observed many funerals over the last decade in Arlington National Cemetery's Section 60, where war dead from Iraq and Afghanistan are buried. Last week I went for what, God willing, was the last. It was the burial of Harold Greene,...

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