Walter E. Williams: New president could flout Constitution on trade deals

President-elect Donald Trump’s threats against American companies looking to relocate in foreign countries have won favorable review from many quarters.

Clarence Page: Politicians don’t make great art critics

Congress has a lot of touchy issues to deal with these days, including one that boils quite literally beneath their feet. A painting, titled Untitled ?1, by former Missouri high school student David Pulphus, has been on display in the busy underground walkway between the Cannon House Office Building and the Capitol since June 2016.

Leonard Pitts: News media must take moral stand on issues

“Five minutes for Hitler, five minutes for the Jews.” That, according to legend — and a Facebook page for alumni of the Miami Herald — was the routine response of an ’80s-era editor whenever some hapless reporter was working overly hard to bring “balance” to a story where none should exist, where the moral high ground was clearly held by one side or the other.

Steve Chapman: Runaway deficits likely not going
away for U.S.

Upon becoming House speaker in 1995, Newt Gingrich decided it was crucial to adopt a plan to eliminate the federal deficit. In a meeting of House Republicans, Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich balked: ‘‘Where is it in stone that we have to balance the budget in seven years?’’

Janice Heidlberger: We must value diversity, protect our weakest

This is an open letter to U.S. Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas. I wholeheartedly want my native state and country (Texas, USA) to remain strong. However, any system is only as strong as its weakest member and valuing diversity makes it stronger and healthier.

Linda Chavez: 2016 election weakens trust in America’s institutions

President-elect Donald Trump conceded recently that he thinks Russia was responsible for hacking the emails of the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign, though he couldn’t help but add the caveat that it ‘‘could have been others also.’’

Ross Ramsey: Straus breaking trend seen with predecessors

Joe Straus ought to be sweating right now. Elected on Tuesday to a fifth term as speaker of the Texas House, he ties the record set by Democrats Gib Lewis of Fort Worth and Pete Laney of Hale Center.

Jeff Miller: Football played key role in UNT’s integration

Abner Haynes and Leon King got out of their taxi in a gravel parking lot adjacent to the football practice field at North Texas State College, now the University of North Texas, on the first Saturday morning of September 1956. They were unsure what to expect.

Jonah Goldberg: Fixation on Twitter not best deal

The political class is still coming to grips with what appears to be Donald Trump’s novel management philosophy: Government by Twitter. Put aside the by-now-familiar weirdness of our president-elect’s gloating over Arnold Schwarzenegger’s poor Celebrity Apprentice ratings or swipes at Meryl Streep. Trump’s Twitter addiction poses heretofore unnoticed challenges for his administration.

Walter E. Williams: Solution to high crime rests with black people

The FBI reported the total number of homicides in 2015 was 15,696. Blacks were about 52 percent of homicide victims.

Froma Harrop: Obamacare repeal game a disgrace to Americans

The Republican majority in Congress has voted to kill the Affordable Care Act dozens of times. It’s done this knowing that President Obama would veto the bill, thus sparing members from the consequences.

Leonard Pitts: First lady gorgeous in more ways than one

Dear Michelle Obama: This is just a note to say that I think you’re gorgeous. I’ll thank you not to share that with your husband, given that I have no desire to open my door and find a predator drone waiting for me. Or, worse, an IRS auditor.

Linda Chavez: Will Trump listen when the chips are down?

In a matter of a couple of weeks, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in to office as the 45th president of the United States. But which Trump will occupy the Oval Office is an open question.

Kathleen Parker: If Obama is a Muslim, is Trump a Russian spy?

First, a history refresher: For the past nine years, a smattering of Americans, most recently led by our now president-elect, have insisted that Barack Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya.

Mary Sanchez: Obama could not heal America’s racial problems

With less than two weeks to go before Barack Obama vacates the White House, an apparently racially motivated crime has once again ignited debate about how race relations have changed under America’s first African-American president.

Doyle McManus: Trump has habits of showman, not manager

To outward appearances, Donald Trump’s transition has been humming steadily toward his inauguration on Jan. 20. The president-elect has named all but a few members of his prospective Cabinet, and some will begin confirmation hearings soon. Meanwhile, Trump Tower has issued a torrent of White House staff announcements, from a new chief of staff, Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus, to a reality TV star, Omarosa Manigault.

Steve Chapman: Repealing Obamacare
full of risks for the GOP

Much of politics is not about solving problems. It’s about decrying problems while blaming your opponents for causing them or for failing to solve them. The trick is to always evade responsibility. It’s like a game of hot potato. When the music stops, the winners are the ones holding nothing.

Trudy Rubin: Lessons from the Taiwan call

Last month I visited Taiwan, off the coast of China, to check out the repercussions of a historic phone call between Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and President-elect Donald Trump.

Clarence Page: Homicide epidemic in Chicago has been left to spread

Chicago, the nation’s third largest city, ends 2016 with the more homicides than the two larger cities — New York and Los Angeles — put together. Everyone is shocked but not everyone is surprised.

Jonah Goldberg: Assange a useful tool for the GOP

It is a natural human tendency to want all good things to go together and all bad things to go together. That’s why we don’t like hearing that Hitler built great roads and was kind to animals, or that Mahatma Gandhi could be petty and nasty. In other words, we hate hearing good things about our villains and bad things about our heroes.

Ross Ramsey: Expect some clouds in Texas budget forecast

Tuesday’s a big day: The circus better known as the Texas Legislature is coming back to Austin for its biennial 20-week session.

Brandon Rottinghaus: Legislature’s history continues to repeat itself

The meeting of the 85th Texas Legislature is nearly upon us.

Steve Chapman: Stronger economy may also destroy jobs in U.S.

In South Africa, people who speak Afrikaans use the word ‘‘robot’’ to mean the same thing it means in English. But it is also the word for ‘‘traffic light.’’ Why? Before automated signals, motorists on busy streets were directed by police officers standing on platforms. Those cops were automated out of a job.

Jonah Goldberg: President going out in a blaze of self-interest

Of all Barack Obama’s costumes, the most ill-fitting is that of the hawk. The guise doesn’t work for all sorts of ideological and historical reasons. Plus there’s the fact that he’s rushing to put on the outfit as he’s heading out the door.

Clarence Page: Battles over Obama’s legacy kick into gear

As President Barack Obama’s two terms near an end and we talk of his legacy, we cannot ignore the grand come-together vision of unity he expressed in his 2004 debut on the national stage — and wonder what happened to it.

Walter E. Williams: Liberals in U.S. battle against life’s reality

We will never understand liberals and progressives until we recognize that they often see reality as a social construct subject to being challenged and changed.

Froma Harrop: Bear envy: Why can’t we hibernate, too?

It’s ‘‘lights out’’ for bears in North America. They’re fat. They’re happy. Wake them when the weather gets better. Humans struggling for a respectable eight hours of sleep may look upon the genus Ursus with envy and ask, ‘‘Why can’t we pass out for a few dark months?’’

Kathleen Parker: ’16 election releases malevolent spirit on U.S.

CHARLESTON, S.C. — As usual, the time around the year’s end brings reflections and ruminations on what was and what is to be. This time around, however, it feels as though an era is coming to an end.

Mary Sanchez: Rockettes right to balk at dancing for Trump

Guessing how many Radio City Rockettes will show for the Trump inauguration will be something of a parlor game in the coming weeks.

Trudy Rubin: Trump tweets will only stir pot with China

Two things became clear on a nine-day trip to China, as I traveled from smoggy Beijing to glitzy Shanghai, from high-tech Shenzhen to reinvent-yourself Guangzhou in China’s southern rust belt.

Clarence Page: Bizarre political year offers quotable quotes

Our long wait is over. The time has come to honor the most quotable quotes, in my opinion, from a bizarre political year that many wish we could forget.

Doyle McManus: President-elect embraces drive-by foreign policy

“We must as a nation be more unpredictable,” Donald Trump said during the presidential campaign. “We have to be unpredictable!”

Steve Chapman: We should try to make abortion unnecessary

In the presidential campaign, no issue separated Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton more starkly than abortion.

Other Voices: Time to restore Mission Control

One Sunday night in July a generation ago, the whole world was watching Houston.

Jonah Goldberg: Does a ‘Never Trumper’ need to be forgiven?

“I forgive you.” I’ve lost count of how many people have told me that since Election Day.

Froma Harrop: Cocktail culture, meditation by other means

Stressed Americans seeking calm through decluttering and meditation might add a third activity: the cocktail hour.

Ross Ramsey: Rising property values don’t lower school taxes

When your property values rise, your school property tax rates are supposed to fall, right? That might be how you want it to work, but it’s not the way school finance works in Texas.

Linda Chavez: Obstacles to peace must be cleared

Shortly after Benjamin Netanyahu won his bid for re-election as prime minister of Israel in March 2015, I wrote a column describing President Barack Obama as being ‘‘on track to go down as more hostile toward Israel than any president in the past 68 years.’’

Bill Press: Wrong to peddle access to first family

Tacky. There’s no other word to describe it. Tacky. That adjective best sums up the self-serving behavior exhibited by almost the entire Trump family so far — father, daughter, and both sons — all busy finding ever more creative ways to sell themselves off to the highest bidder.

Trudy Rubin: China tries to understand the new U.S.

SHANGHAI — China’s financial capital is known for its glamorous riverfront. The neon-lit skyscrapers of the Pudong district are on one side and the beloved Bund, or embankment walkway, on the other, fronted by historic colonial-era bank buildings that now host high-end restaurants.

Walter Williams: Many factors have impact on wealth across world

Thomas Sowell has just published a revised and enlarged edition of his classic Wealth, Poverty and Politics.

Froma Harrop: Trump’s favorite targets are Republicans

Donald Trump has inspired so much fear among his Republican comrades that he no longer has to issue harsh tweets when they misbehave. They do it themselves.

Mary Sanchez: Why do some hate crimes fail to resonate?

The December day began like any other. Will Corporon awoke to the noisy bustle of his life, five children and loving wife. He headed out, a normal day in the life of a hardworking American father.

Jonah Goldberg: No rigid set of principles for Trump presidency

It’s one of the greatest examples of “careful what you wish for” in political history: President Obama is going to be replaced by the kind of Republican he’s always said he wanted.

Steve Chapman: Around the world, tyrants ascendant

John McCain is fond of saying, ‘‘It’s always darkest just before it goes totally black.’’ According to a February report by Amnesty International, human rights ‘‘reached a nadir’’ in 2015.

Doyle McManus: Give Trump a chance

President-elect Donald Trump is being normalized before our eyes. Recently, the electoral college cast its votes in the customary way; despite pleas and demonstrations, only two Republican electors rebelled.

Robert B. Reich: Trump has many reasons to continue rallies

Donald Trump has just finished the last of his nine post-election “thank-you tour” rallies. Why did he do them? And why is he planning further rallies after he becomes president?

Linda Chavez: We live in a state of permanent warfare

The vicious attack on a Christmas market in Berlin last week reminds us that terrorism has become a fact of life in our world.

Other Voices: Develop campaign to curb road rage

This nonsense must stop. A Little Rock, Arkansas, woman who was taking her two grandchildren on a weekend shopping spree is now mourning the loss of a 3-year-old-grandson, the victim of yet another fatal road-rage shooting.

Kathleen Parker: Congrats on winning, Mr. Trump

Dear Mr. Trump, You won. Welcome to hell.