WASHINGTON — The beginning of the Supreme Court’s term this week includes momentous oral arguments on Tuesday in two cases that illustrate clashing theories about how statutes should be construed. If properly decided, the cases will nudge Congress to act like a legislative body.

LOS ANGELES — Once the 2020 presidential campaign leaves the early tests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, the political themes will be California themes, the issues will be California issues, and the values being debated will be California values.

On our way to play golf today, Charlie and I couldn’t think of the name of the movie star who had come up in our conversation. We could remember all the movies he was in, all his co-stars, all kinds of odd trivia about his life and times — everything but his name. That’s all right; sometime …

WASHINGTON — A word can be worth a thousand pictures. In the movie “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer,” the mild word “snip” describes what the camera, demonstrating the eloquence of reticence, does not show in gory detail: Kermit Gosnell’s use of scissors to cut the spin…

WASHINGTON — Until last week it seemed that the Division 1 college basketball industry could produce nothing more risible than its pieties about cherishing the amateurism of the “student-athletes” who generate, but get mere crumbs of, the industry’s billions. Last week, however, a New York j…

WASHINGTON — If Sen. Ben Sasse is right — he has not recently been wrong about anything important — the nation’s most-discussed political problem is entangled with the least-understood public health problem. The political problem is furious partisanship. The public health problem is loneline…

NORRIDGEWOCK, Maine — Could towns like this, a tiny crossroads of fewer than 1,300 households — now draped in brilliant autumn foliage colors, by Election Day perhaps resting quietly under a gentle dusting of snow — decide whether Democrats or Republicans rule the House? Or whether subpoena-…