Biography

Bill Press is host of the nationally-syndicated "Bill Press Show" on talk radio. His show is heard in all 50 states on Sirius Satellite ...

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Bill Press

Bill Press

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Time to bury the death penalty

July 2, 2015

For tradition, ritual, dignity and decorum, there's nothing like the United States Supreme Court. I attended the last non-argument session of the court this season, the first time I'd ever been in the building. And, believe me, it wasn't easy. I could walk into the Oval Office with less difficulty.

  • First, the flag; then, the guns

    June 25, 2015

    Who says things can't change in politics? We just learned, again, that they can -- and fast! Ten days ago, you couldn't find a politician in the South who had anything bad to say about the Confederate battle flag. Today, they're tripping all over themselves to get rid of it.

  • The classic Republican Party candidate

    June 18, 2015

    Yes, there is a God. I admit, I was starting to have my doubts. Until this week, when real estate mogul and ultimate self-promoter Donald Trump announced that this time around -- unlike in 1988, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012 -- he's not just teasing. This time he's running for president for real.

  • Pope: Climate change denial is immoral

    June 11, 2015

    It takes a big ego to run for president. How else could you keep a straight face while telling everybody: "I'm the best person in the entire country to be the next president of the United States?"

  • The Edward Snowden Freedom Act

    June 4, 2015

    Given the partisan gridlock in Washington these days, it's unusual to see members of Congress agree on anything, even a motion to adjourn. But this week Republicans and Democrats not only came together on a piece of legislation, they passed a historic bill to limit the domestic spying powers of the National Security Administration.

  • A conservative Republican that Democrats can love

    May 28, 2015

    Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I have a man crush on Rand Paul.

  • The second Cuban revolution

    May 21, 2015

    HAVANA, Cuba -- If you want to see the face of the new Cuba, talk to Niuris Higuiera, co-owner and chef of Havana's Paladar Atelier (paladar's the name Cubans use for privately-owned restaurants).

  • How not to win friends and influence people

    May 14, 2015

    Sitting across the table in my radio studio, California Congressman John Garamendi grabbed his head in disbelief when I asked him about the Trans-Pacific Partnership: "What's the president doing?" It's the same reaction I've received from many Democratic members of Congress over the last few weeks.

  • Can a Huckabee change its spots?

    May 7, 2015

    Pastor Mike Huckabee knows his Scripture. So no doubt he's familiar with Jeremiah 13:23: "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil." Huckabee should think of that as he tries to sell himself as a conservative after governing as a moderate, if not a liberal.

  • Clinton cash: No smoking gun

    April 30, 2015

    Her enemies finally found it. Forget Benghazi, emails, Vince Foster, or Whitewater. This is the scandal that will bring Hillary down. And you have to admit, it does sound pretty sleazy when you first hear about ... "Clinton Cash!"

  • Democrats in 2016: Why not Joe?

    April 23, 2015

    Admittedly, it's early. But it's still amusing to see the difference between how Republicans and Democrats are lining up for 2016. No fewer than 19 -- count 'em: 19! -- Republican self-declared candidates showed up in New Hampshire last week to strut their stuff. They'd no sooner left the Granite State than Hillary Clinton showed up -- as the lone Democratic candidate. There's the difference: Republicans have too many candidates and Democrats have too few.

  • Marco Rubio: New face -- with old ideas

    April 16, 2015

    You must admit, it is amusing. One of the biggest complaints we've heard from Republicans about Barack Obama is: Boy, were we wrong to elect a first-term senator as president. We'll never make that mistake again!

  • McDonald's pay raise: Where's the beef?

    April 9, 2015

    No doubt, you were as impressed as I was to learn that McDonald's had voluntarily adopted a pay raise for employees in its fast-food restaurants. Hey, they're not so bad after all, I naively thought. What an enlightened company. What generous and compassionate leadership. And what fools we all were.

  • Hatred in the name of God

    April 3, 2015

    From the beginning of recorded history, religious zealots have performed all kinds of atrocities -- from genocide to pure bigotry -- in the name of God. And the shocking fact is, they're still at it. Today, Islamic extremists in the Middle East behead captives in the name of Mohammed. Today, Christian extremists in the United States deny service to gay and lesbian Americans in the name of Jesus, just like they once used the Bible to justify slavery and segregation.

  • Hatred in the name of God

    April 2, 2015

    From the beginning of recorded history, religious zealots have performed all kinds of atrocities -- from genocide to pure bigotry -- in the name of God. And the shocking fact is, they're still at it. Today, Islamic extremists in the Middle East behead captives in the name of Mohammed. Today, Christian extremists in the United States deny service to gay and lesbian Americans in the name of Jesus, just like they once used the Bible to justify slavery and segregation.

  • Like a race riot with your coffee?

    March 19, 2015

    This quote, often attributed to Abraham Lincoln, says it best: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." That's especially true if you're the CEO of a big business.

  • GOP letter to Iran: Why not call it treason?

    March 12, 2015

    What's the punishment for treason? Life in prison without parole? Death by hanging? Maybe 47 Republican senators should have thought of that before signing an open letter to the leadership of Iran.

  • Trouble(at)clintonemail.com

    March 5, 2015

    It's one of the most popular comic strips of all time: "Peanuts" by Charles M. Schulz. But it wasn't all about Charlie Brown. There were Lucy, Snoopy, Violet, and, my favorite, Pig-Pen -- the little boy who couldn't stay clean. He was always surrounded by a cloud of dust and dirt. He couldn't walk through a snowstorm without getting dirty.

  • Breaking news: Bill O'Reilly's a liar

    February 26, 2015

    It's a dangerous time to be on television. Big-time TV stars are keeling over, left and right. First, NBC's Brian Williams, caught in a lie. And now Fox News' Bill O'Reilly. With one big difference: Nobody suspected Williams was a liar; everybody knew O'Reilly was.

  • Would you want a college drop-out in the White House?

    February 19, 2015

    OK, here goes. I've no doubt that this column will probably generate more hate mail than any other I've written, much of it from my own friends. Maybe even my wife. But I'll say it right up front: I would not vote for any candidate for president, Democrat or Republican, who did not have a college degree.

  • Brian, we hardly knew ya

    February 12, 2015

    It's sad to see a good man fall from grace. Nobody rejoices in seeing NBC anchor Brian Williams suspended for six months without pay. But nobody doubts he deserves the punishment, either. The best anchor on television, hands down, Williams nevertheless committed the one unpardonable sin: He told a big, fat lie about himself on the "Nightly News" -- and thus violated the sacred trust we place in network news anchors. So now he's out of a job, with no guarantee of coming back. The "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams" is now simply the "NBC Nightly News." Overnight, the highest-rated anchor on television no longer exists.

  • Can't we all just follow the science?

    February 5, 2015

    Politics is a funny business. And totally unpredictable. Just when it looks like some politician is riding high, you never know what unexpected event might trip them up. Look at Chris Christie and Rand Paul. They were riding high on their way to 2016 this week, when they both came down with a bad case of measles.

  • Netanyahu joins Republican Party

    January 29, 2015

    It should never cease to amaze us when smart people do dumb things. But one of the dumbest we've seen in a long time is Speaker John Boehner's inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a Joint Session of Congress and publicly disagree with President Obama on Iran. It was dumb of Boehner to extend the invitation, and even dumber for Netanyahu to accept.

  • Obama establishes middle-class agenda for 2016

    January 22, 2015

    Poor President Obama. Did you catch his State of the Union address? How embarrassing. Somebody forgot to tell him he's a lame duck.

  • Getting down to (chocolate-covered) business

    January 15, 2015

    One thing for sure: You can take Mitch McConnell and John Boehner at their word. They told the American people: You put us in charge of Congress and we'll get Congress back to work. And, by golly, they meant it! They've only been in session one week, but this week all Republican members of the House and Senate piled on buses for an intense, three-day, working session -- at Hershey Amusement Park!

  • Don't despair on political prospects for 2015 -- yet!

    January 8, 2015

    "As a Democrat, you must be so depressed starting off this new year with Republicans in control of both houses of Congress." With those words, legendary San Francisco talk show host Ronn Owens greeted me when I sat down for an interview this week during his annual visit to Washington.

  • Hollywood flunks the screen test

    December 25, 2014

    The plot was so bizarre it was hard to believe: The government of North Korea, offended by an adolescent comedy that jokes about assassinating Kim Jong-un, warns Americans not to go see the movie because they might blow up any theatre that screens it.

  • Obama's bold new policy on Cuba

    December 18, 2014

    It takes a lot to shake the jaded White House press corps. So when I walked into the briefing room last Thursday and a reporter friend greeted me with "Wow, this is a legacy day," when another reporter observed that Obama was ending his sixth year with a "thunderclap," and when Press Secretary Josh Earnest began his briefing by noting what a "historic day" it was at the White House, you knew something really big was up.

  • Who will be held responsible for torture?

    December 11, 2014

    We've never seen anything like it. Reporters almost ran out of adjectives for the kinds of torture carried out by the CIA, as described in the Senate Intelligence Committee report released this week. Their actions were called disgusting, degrading, despicable, sick, satanic, hedonistic, horrific, evil, sadistic and sadomasochist -- all of which applied. And that was just for starters.

  • Black men: Beware of police officers

    December 4, 2014

    It's one of the best-known lines of any English-language poet -- Robert Burns' reflection on the upper-class church lady who doesn't realize there's a louse crawling around on her bonnet. "O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us, To see oursels as ithers see us!"

  • Justices try to sabotage Obamacare

    November 27, 2014

    Haven't heard much about Obamacare lately? There's a good reason for that. Because most of the news about Obamacare is good news, and Republicans don't want to talk about good news. Neither do the media.

  • A lot of good news mixed in with the bad

    November 13, 2014

    For Democrats, looking for any good news out of the midterm election results is like the ghoulish old joke: "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?" But, believe it or not, shining among the rubble are a few nuggets of good news -- mainly at the state, not federal, level.

  • Don't hold your breath for Mitch McConnell

    November 6, 2014

    In what will no doubt be remembered as the understatement of the century so far, President Obama confessed at his news conference the day after the midterm elections: "There's no doubt that Republicans had a good night."

  • Smile! Things are not as bad as they seem

    October 30, 2014

    It's the strangest out-of-body experience I ever had. About 10 years ago, while browsing in a San Francisco bookstore, I picked up a book of quotations. Routinely turning to the index, I was startled to find a quote -- from me! "Things aren't as bad as they seem," I had supposedly said at one time, "they're worse."

  • Cowardly Democratic Senate candidates

    October 23, 2014

    Maybe you had the same reaction. I've been around politics for 30 years, but I don't remember seeing anything as dumb as Kentucky Democrat Alison Grimes' refusal to say whether or not she voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.

  • Do you trust your government on Ebola?

    October 16, 2014

    As I write this column, two health care workers in Dallas have come down with Ebola after treating Thomas Eric Duncan, who traveled from West Africa and died from the disease. By the time you read it, there will most likely be more cases.

  • Panetta bites hand that fed him

    October 9, 2014

    Four of the best years of my life were spent working for California's Jerry Brown, during his first turn as governor. Among my most vivid memories of those days were private sessions, usually late at night, where a few of us staffers would engage with the governor in a lively discussion about certain policies or people. At almost every meeting, after making some especially candid comment, Gov. Brown would suddenly point his finger at one of us and warn: "And don't put that in your book!"

  • Eric Holder: Mixed legacy at best

    October 2, 2014

    He's not exactly stepping aside quietly. Reaction to Eric Holder's resignation ranged from hagiographic to diabolical. Civil rights leaders praised him as the strongest attorney general since Bobby Kennedy. Fox News derided him as the nation's all-time worst attorney general, who left behind a "trail of scandals." Maybe we could all agree that Holder's legacy lies somewhere in between.

  • Note to Secret Service -- lock the White House door

    September 25, 2014

    As anyone who's ever tried knows, the White House is one of the most difficult buildings in the world to get into. Take it from me. I go there almost every day for the daily White House press briefings. You have to go through several layers of security to get onto the grounds, before getting into the building itself.

  • NFL makes Congress look good

    September 18, 2014

    No wonder members of Congress are walking around with big smiles on their faces these days. They're used to being the most disgraced people in the country. But now there's one group that has an even worse reputation: the NFL.

  • No new war without congressional approval

    September 11, 2014

    How does a war-weary president convince a war-weary nation to start another war? In a prime-time address to the nation on Wednesday evening, President Obama tried.

  • No rush to war in Syria

    September 4, 2014

    Give President Obama credit for one thing. He's accomplished something nobody else could do. In a city long frozen in partisan gridlock, he's done the impossible. He's succeeded in getting Democrats and Republicans to agree on something. Unfortunately for him, what they all agree on is that he's too weak in his response to the growing threat of ISIS.

  • Mitch McConnell's bromance with the Koch brothers

    August 28, 2014

    Control of the U.S. Senate is the most important prize at stake in this year's mid-term elections. There are 36 Senate seats up for election -- 21 are held by Democrats, 15 by Republicans.

  • Shock and awe in Ferguson

    August 21, 2014

    For those of us who lived through the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, and for all of us who remember the Trayvon Martin murder, just two years ago, events surrounding the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown look all too familiar. As Yogi Berra would put it, it's "deja vu, all over again."

  • Executive orders? Obama has no choice

    August 7, 2014

    Congress has fled Washington for a five-week summer recess, but don't fret about all of the serious problems left unresolved in their absence. It won't make any difference. Under Speaker John Boehner, members of the 113th Congress accomplish as much out of town as in town. Which is absolutely nothing.

  • Republicans can't stop talking about impeaching Obama

    July 31, 2014

    When Republicans in Congress complained about his relentless attacks on their record, reporters dubbed President Truman "Give 'em Hell Harry." To which Truman fired back: "I never gave anybody hell! I just told the truth and they thought it was hell!"

  • GOP ignores lessons of 1994

    July 24, 2014

    President John F. Kennedy was fond of quoting the philosopher George Santayana: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Indeed, Santayana's advice makes so much sense you'd think nobody could ever ignore it. Yet that's exactly what Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) doing today by refusing to allow a vote on immigration reform.

  • Why doesn't Dick Cheney just shut up?

    July 17, 2014

    Among former presidents, there's an unwritten rule: Once you leave the game, you don't stand on the sidelines and criticize the man who took your place. You never heard George H.W. Bush attack Bill Clinton. Never heard Clinton slamming George W. Bush. And, to his credit, you haven't heard a peep from George W. Bush ever since he went back to Dallas.

  • GOP now embraces frivolous lawsuits

    July 10, 2014

    We all mourn the death of former Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker, a great senator and statesman. And, no doubt, before his passing, Howard Baker mourned the death of the Republican Party he once knew and led so well. It ain't the same party anymore.