Opinion: Wall Street’s Moral Superiority
Private companies act quickly while Congress dithers

When Wall Street, Hollywood, cable news and even Silicon Valley are beating you by a mile on the road to dealing with questions of morality, respect and human decency, you can rest assured you’re doing it wrong.

Washington, you’re doing it wrong.

Opinion: Ethics Committee Investigation for Harassment Is Not ‘Zero Tolerance’
Referring sexual misconduct allegations to panel is as good as doing nothing

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi had a profoundly terrible appearance Sunday on “Meet the Press,” when, among other things, she defended Michigan Rep. John Conyers, the longest-serving Democrat in the House, in the face of multiple sexual harassment allegations against him from former female staffers.

First, Pelosi made a call for due process, which is always important, of course. But then she got into the weeds. “Just because someone is accused — and was it one accusation? Is it two?” she said to NBC’s Chuck Todd. “I think there has to be — John Conyers is an icon in our country. He has done a great deal to protect women.”

Opinion: Time to Investigate Members for Sexual Harassment
Congress needs to root out serial offenders

This is not a #MeToo column about sexual harassment on Capitol Hill. I worked in the Senate for nine years and never experienced anything other than professional conduct and opportunities for advancement in my own offices. I was once told my salary would be less than my male predecessor because I wasn’t “a powerful man,” but that’s another issue for another time, and a moment I wish I could go back to again and again, because I know now I could have argued for more and won.

This is a #GetReal column about sexual harassment on Capitol Hill, because now that the longtime problem of sexual harassment on the Hill has been acknowledged, even by members like Rep. Jackie Speier and Rep. Debbie Dingell, it’s hard to believe that the only solutions being proposed are mandatory sexual harassment training or legislation that continues to rely solely on the victims of harassment coming forward to address this embedded cultural disease.

Opinion: Now McConnell Believes the Women
Comments in response to allegations against Roy Moore

Senate Republicans are suddenly grossed out by their Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore and his conduct 30 years ago, when five women say he either sexually assaulted them, sexually harassed them, or simply tried to date them when he was a single deputy district attorney in his 30s and they were teenagers, one as young as 14 years old.

Moore has completely denied the accusations, but did allow in an interview with Sean Hannity that if he had ever dated a teenager when he was in his 30s, he would only have done it “with the permission of her mother.”

Opinion: Rand Paul and Our Own Worst Enemies
Nothing is more important than how we treat fellow Americans

It was shocking to read over the weekend that Republican Sen. Rand Paul had been attacked at home in Kentucky, and then to learn that he had been mowing his own lawn when his next-door neighbor blindsided him with so much “high velocity severe force,” according to his spokesman, that it may take the senator weeks or even months to recover.

We don’t know what kind of bad blood, if any, might have existed between the senator and his neighbor Rene Boucher. But we do know that if there’s any place a senator should be able to feel safe, it’s in his own yard. That the attack on Paul came from his own neighbor, from within his own community, is the most disconcerting of all because, by my count, it is part of a growing list of instances in which Americans are literally becoming our own worst enemies.

Opinion: All About the Lobby — Linking the Mueller Indictments to a Tax Overhaul
Desperate for a win, the GOP is not sweating the small — or big — stuff

There’s something ironic about President Donald Trump promising to “drain the swamp,” three of his campaign aides getting indicted, two of those aids facing federal charges related to their work as lobbyists for a foreign government, and Congress barreling ahead to pass tax reform all in the same week.

If the events seem unrelated, they’re really not, because the entire illegal scheme that special prosecutor Robert Muller described in the indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates on Monday had one ultimate goal — to influence members of Congress, in this case on matters related to the government of Ukraine.

Opinion: Avoiding Another ‘Brownbackistan’
Tax cuts in Kansas led to an economic train wreck

“Economic gold rush? Or fiscal wreck?” That was the question the Kansas City Star asked on May 23, 2012, the day after Gov. Sam Brownback signed a sweeping series of state tax cuts into law. Five years later, the Kansas tax cuts are looking a lot more train wreck than gold rush, with a $900 million deficit and Brownback’s fellow Republicans stepping in to reverse the cuts he pushed.

Kansas also offers an awfully timely cautionary tale for Washington lawmakers, who are hitting the gas on getting a tax reform package — any tax reform package — done by the end of the year in order to chalk at least one win on the board for 2017, but who don’t seem to be sweating the details just yet.

Opinion: The Women in Washington Staying for the Fight
Collins, Feinstein and Pelosi want to keep fighting for their causes

Sen. Bob Corker’s leaving the Senate, and who can blame him? At a certain point, life’s just too short to get called “Liddle Bob” on Twitter by anyone, especially by the president of the United States.

But even as Corker announced that he’d retire at the end of his term, two of the Tennessee Republican’s female colleagues decided last week they’re not going anywhere, at least not if they can help it. Both women said while they had considered leaving Washington, the job in the Capitol was too important to walk away from.

Opinion: Bob Corker and the Chairmen Who Hold Trump’s Fate in Their Hands
Alienating key GOP senators unwise for the president

We all know that Washington is about relationships. I’ve gotten some of my best scoops (so to to speak) at the dog park and met some of my best sources on “Wing Night” at the Capitol Lounge years ago. On Capitol Hill, good bills have died over years-long grudges, while mediocre bills have gotten by on, “Well, I just like the guy (or lady).”

With a huge legislative agenda to pass and a major international incident looming in North Korea, you’d think that President Donald Trump would be rallying his fellow Republicans to his side, especially the most senior leaders who could shepherd his agenda through the Hill. Instead, he has attacked, lied about, demeaned, ignored or otherwise alienated a host of GOP senators, including the ones crucial to his efforts to build a wall, pass tax reform, reform health care and, if it came to it, escape impeachment.

Opinion: More Shootings, No Difference
Expect no more from Congress than thoughts, prayers, and wait until it happens again

The numbers behind Sunday night’s shooting in Las Vegas tell the story: 58 people are dead. More than 500 are injured. The gunman, whom his brother described as a wealthy retiree who routinely sent cookies to his mother, had at least 10 rifles in the hotel room from where he conducted the massacre.

But the chances of Congress addressing mass shootings in America: Zero. There are very few certainties in Washington, but this is one of them.

Opinion: Amid the Alabama Mess, a Reason for Optimism
Gov. Kay Ivey provides an example of politics done right

It’s no secret Alabama politicians have been giving Chicago pols a run for their money when it comes to corruption lately.

The state’s most recent governor, Republican Robert Bentley, resigned in April as he faced possible impeachment related to campaign spending and a sex scandal.

Opinion: Strange Times for Mitch McConnell in the Alabama Senate Race
A Moore victory could be a big headache for the Senate majority leader

When President Donald Trump tapped Sen. Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general last year, the last thing on anyone’s mind was what would happen to the Alabama Senate seat that Sessions would leave behind. With a Republican governor in a reliably Republican state, the assumption was that the governor would appoint a safe placeholder for the seat, who would then easily get elected to finish out Sessions’ term in the next election.

But fast forward nine months, and the Alabama governor who appointed that placeholder has resigned in disgrace. The placeholder, Sen. “Big” Luther Strange, finished second in the GOP primary to former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has been removed from the bench twice.

Opinion: How Donald Trump Made Congress Great Again
It may help the country — if not the president

If you were a member of Congress, especially a Republican member of Congress, you could be forgiven for having at least some contempt for President Donald Trump.

He’s used the GOP-led Congress as a punching bag and a scapegoat. He demands absolute loyalty from Republican members, but abandoned them last week the moment he saw an opening to strike a deal to raise the debt ceiling with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Opinion: Trump Giving Ryan and McConnell the Power on DACA
Why Congress needs to act on immigration

If President Donald Trump and the Republican leadership were a married couple, we would refer to August as “The Estrangement.”

After months of bashing House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and “the Republicans” on Twitter, things got so bad between Trump and McConnell last month that they went for weeks without talking. On a phone call just before things got really bad, Trump was reportedly yammering to McConnell when the majority leader fell so silent, the president had to ask, “Are you there, Mitch?”

Opinion: Texas Is Doing Its Part — Now It’s Congress’ Turn
Politics should be put aside after Hurricane Harvey

The month of August 2017 will not be remembered in many people’s minds as a great one for the United States. We edged too close to conflict with a madman in North Korea. Marches over monuments in Virginia devolved into murder. Ugly debates about what America used to be made too many people ask themselves what this country has become.

It’s hard to believe, then, that a devastating hurricane at the end of the month, a once-in-a-generation catastrophe in Texas, could be a catalyst to remind us who we are and what America remains today, but it has. The images coming out of Hurricane Harvey’s path have been heartbreaking and inspiring — every day Americans have transformed themselves into helpers and heroes, rescuing strangers stranded in the rushing, suffocating floods.

Opinion: Don’t Worry Jeff Flake — Trump Won’t Hurt Your Chances
GOP voters don’t seem to care whom president thinks they should vote for

It can’t feel good for Arizona Republican Jeff Flake to be attacked and maligned, especially when the senator is up for re-election and when the attacker is Donald Trump, the president from his own party who has gone out of his way to tell his 36 million Twitter followers that he thinks Flake is a “flake.”

At his rally in Phoenix on Tuesday night, Trump, without referring to Flake by name, said the senator was “weak on borders, weak on crime,” adding that “nobody knows who the hell he is.”

Opinion: ‘Medicare for All’ Is the New ‘Repeal and Replace’
Why Democrats may be in danger of repeating the GOP’s mistake

Even before the horrible events in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, President Donald Trump was having a bad August.

He had already single-handedly escalated tensions with North Korea to the point that a nuclear strike suddenly seemed like a possibility for the first time in many Americans’ lifetimes.

Opinion: Why HELP Could Be on the Way for Obamacare Recipients
Hopeful signs of bipartisan consensus on fixing health care markets

Sen. Lamar Alexander had barely announced his plans to hold hearings next month on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on stabilizing the insurance markets for Obamacare when the idea started getting panned.

Keep in mind there are no specific hearings scheduled yet, no witnesses, no bill written, and few parameters of what is on or off the table. Alexander, the committee chairman, has only said that he wants a final product to be “small, bipartisan, and balanced,” but he hasn’t said what that means, other than flexibility for states and short-term triage for the exchanges.

Opinion: Forget the Moderates, Only the Die-Hards Can Get Health Care Back on Track
Kennedy and Hatch a great example of working across the aisle

If the failure of health care reform taught us anything last week, it’s that somebody somewhere in Washington is going to have to start compromising if anything is ever going to get done.

But if you’re thinking a successful compromise is going to come from moderates like Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, or Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., think again. Although those senators’ roles will be important, all of the moderates from both parties together still don’t have enough votes to pass legislation.

Opinion: Lessons in Loyalty From John McCain and That Other Guy
For Trump, loyalty is a one-way street

Washington has always been driven by loyalties. Staffers are expected to be loyal to their bosses. Their bosses are expected to be loyal to their districts and states. And the president, as the chief executive, is expected to be loyal to the country above all else.

But expectations in D.C. are rarely realities and in Donald Trump’s worldview, loyalty is a special brand of currency.