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Michael Gerson: Kavanaugh nomination now hangs by thinnest of strings

It is difficult to comment on an unfolding news story, but this one demands it. It is hard to write about someone you know and like, especially concerning matters of character. But sometimes there is little choice. In the case of Brett Kavanaugh vs. Christine Blasey Ford, the moral issues are not fuzzy or unclear. It is seriously wrong even for a teenager to force himself on a woman in a drunken stupor – if it happened. It is seriously wrong for a Supreme Court nominee to lie about his past failures – if he did. It is seriously wrong to make false, inflammatory accusations – if she has.

Phil Angelides: Wall Street never learned its lesson

Ten years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers brought the American economy to its knees, many are asking an obvious question: When will the next financial crisis hit? If one accepts the basic tenet developed by Harvard psychologist B.F. Skinner – that we learn from the consequences of our behavior – the answer is likely sooner rather than later. The great irony of the 2008 financial collapse is that Wall Street, whose reckless risk-taking drove the financial system over the precipice, suffered very few, if any, consequences for its actions. The crisis cost millions of people their jobs and their homes, devastated cities and towns across the nation and stripped away trillions of dollars in household wealth from the middle class. But the big banks barely skipped a beat, paying no real economic, legal or political price for their misconduct.

Molly Roberts: It’s finally Google’s day of reckoning

If you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re probably on the menu – and if you have a seat but don’t sit in it, you may be in just as much trouble. That’s the lesson Google may have learned when legislators, dissatisfied with the company’s offer to send its lawyer instead of a top executive to congressional hearings last week, theatrically answered by installing an empty chair instead. Google, which says Congress was content with executive-less testimony until the last minute, has had an unpleasant few weeks following a mostly pleasant two-decade relationship with Washington. Though the company was implicated in the Russian election interference operation as its cohorts were, it was social media sites such as Facebook that sweated most under an unwelcome spotlight in the popular narrative. Now, having missed its chance to sit, Google is standing center stage.

Trudy Rubin: Mideast peace ‘deal of century’ eludes Trump, 25 years after Oslo Accords

Twenty-five years ago this week I stood on the White House lawn and watched the famous handshake between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, as President Bill Clinton nudged them toward each other. The occasion was the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords, mapping a path to a two-state solution with Israel and Palestine living peacefully side-by-side. The Oslo process failed, with plenty of blame on both sides.

Kathleen Parker: Things left behind

When Florence finishes with us, human need necessarily will displace the longing for our lost things. But in their stead, we may rejoice in the beauty of the human spirit, which, ever resilient, will get back to the business of art in good time.

Max Boot: Protest is as American as football. Why doesn’t Trump get it?

The tang of fall is nearly in the air. The summer is all but over. Football season is here. Are you ready for some . . . culture war? This war may feel unending, but it only began a little more than two years ago. During a preseason game on Aug. 26, 2016, Colin Kaepernick, then the quarterback of my beloved San Francisco 49ers, refused to stand during the playing of the national anthem to protest police brutality against African-Americans. Soon the trend spread across the NFL.

Froma Harrop: The silly debate about socialism

A handful of lefty candidates are calling themselves socialists without a single radical socialistic item on their promise lists. They seem to have little idea of what socialism is. And most of the conservatives talking back to them don’t seem to know, either.

Clarence Page: Trump predicts violence from the left in November. That’s rich

Is he serious? Does President Donald Trump really think there will be “violence” from the left if Republicans lose control of Congress in the November midterms? Isn’t the whole point of winning an election to get what you want without turning to violence? Yet, “violence” was in Trump’s forecast in a closed-door meeting with evangelical leaders last week at the White House, according to audio obtained by NBC and the New York Times.