Common Ground with
Bob Beckel & Cal Thomas

imageCal Thomas is a conservative columnist. Bob Beckel is a liberal Democratic strategist. But as longtime friends, they can often find common ground on issues that lawmakers in Washington cannot.

Our Final Column

Common Ground: It's time to say goodbye
We hope we have inspired a way to reach political common ground.

Today: Our last column

Sick of Words, We Want Action!

Americans want less politically correct rhetoric and more action.

Today: Terrorism

BOB: The terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif., which killed 14 and wounded 21, is the deadliest of its kind on U.S. soil since 9/11. Coming on the heels of the Paris attack, which killed at least 120, a state of fear has taken hold across America. Putting fear into people is the principal goal of terrorists, and they have been successful. The question is, where do we go from here?

The Only Thing We Have To Fear....

Only unified security strategy will protect U.S. against Islamist threat.

Today: Paris attacks

CAL: A Washington Post-ABC News poll found that “83% of registered voters say they believe a terrorist attack in the United States resulting in large casualties is likely in the near future.” The Democratic mayor of Roanoke, Va., David Bowers, equated the threat posed by a large influx of Syrian refugees to the period during World War II when President Franklin Roosevelt established internment camps for loyal Japanese Americans because of a fearful public.

Fighting Back Against Drugs

Help addicts recover with honesty, empathy and bipartisan action.

Today: Drug addiction

BOB: There is a drug epidemic in America that has been growing for years. Although the news media have paid attention to this crisis, as usual the politicians until recently ignored the problem or were not aware of it. At the center of this epidemic are powerful pain medications, especially Percocet, OxyContin and a return of heroin in epic amounts. The two are connected. In the past several years, the number of prescriptions for opioid pain medications has reached an all time high. These medicines not only work, the effect is also very similar to heroin. They are expensive and horribly addicting. When users can’t afford opioids, they turn to heroin.

Can Jeb Rise?

Bush must attack Trump and appeal to voter frustration in debate.

Today: Jeb Bush

BOB: There have been two big surprises in this year’s Republican nomination battle: Donald Trump and the failure of Jeb Bush to get any traction among voters. In Bush’s defense, 2016 is the wrong year for an establishment favorite to do well with a Republican voting base that is solidly anti-Washington. But it’s not only the atmosphere and timing that is Bush’s problem. It’s Bush himself. He does not campaign well, debate well or connect well. Other than that …

The First Democrat Debate

Clinton flips, Sanders rises, while O'Malley fights to be relevant.

Today: First DNC debate

CAL: In our last column, we wrote about John Boehner’s resignation as speaker of the House. Some are using the word “chaos” to describe what followed because of the surprise withdrawal of California Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s bid to succeed Boehner. But Democrats aren’t exactly a model of unity. Your party’s first presidential debate comes as Hillary Clinton’s support among Democratic voters has fallen from 51% to 41% in a week, according to a Reuters/Ipsos Poll. Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is surging in his poll numbers and the size of his crowds. I’d say Democrats have some chaos of their own.

After Boehner, What?

Renewed unity unlikely for divided GOP caucus that speaker failed to lead.

Today: Boehner resigns

BOB: Speaker John Boehner shocked Washington, including me, when he announced his departure from Congress at the end of October. Boehner has had a tumultuous five years, mostly wrestling with his own deeply divided Republican caucus. The failure of Tea Party conservatives and establishment Republicans to agree on much of anything made him feel he has had enough.

GOP Debate Round 2

Republican candidates can — and must — deflate mogul in upcoming debate.

Today: GOP debate No. 2

CAL: Donald Trump is beginning to resemble one of those 1950s science fiction monsters. The more he is attacked, the more he grows and the bigger threat he becomes. Wednesday’s debaters had better have a good strategy for dealing with him.

BOB: The other candidates cannot afford to let Trump take all the oxygen out of the room. It’s time to take the debate to Trump and force him to defend his positions. Jeb Bush, Ben Carson and Bobby Jindal finally went after Trump with his own medicine. Thin-skinned Trump doesn’t do well on defense.

Don't Run, Joe

Biden should retire, not run

Today: Democratic race
CAL: August is traditionally a quiet political month. Politicians are on vacation, and people are paying attention to other things. This August has been one of the most incredible political summer months I’ve seen in years, topped-off by news that Vice President Biden is considering candidacy for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. He’s tried and failed twice. Should he run, will it be different this time?

Cuba Libre?

Resuming ties will bring political and social benefits to both nations.

Today: U.S. flag over Cuba
BOB: The United States and Cuba recently reopened their embassies in both countries that had been shuttered for 54 years. It’s about time. Yes, the Castro regime has been a human rights menace, but remember that Washington briefly recognized it after it overthrew the corrupt government of President Fulgencio Batista in 1959. Previous efforts to oust Castro failed, including the disastrous 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion and numerous attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro. It is long past time to try a different approach.

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