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James Varney

James Varney

James Varney is a national correspondent for The Washington Times. A graduate of Wesleyan and the Columbia Journalism School, he spent decades with The Times-Picayune, including a 5-year stint as the paper's Latin America correspondent and two embedded tours with the Army and the Marines in Iraq in 2003. He was a member of the New Orleans-based reporting team that won two Pulitzer Prizes for Hurricane Katrina coverage in 2006. In sports, he covered both LSU's national championship in 2007 and the Saints victory in Super Bowl XLIV. He can be reached at

Articles by James Varney

Reminders of Hurricane Michael's fury are everywhere at Tyndall Air Force Base. (Associated Press/File)

Tyndall’s Hurricane Michael recovery an Air Force slog

To bring a new and improved Tyndall to life would cost at least $4.25 billion, Pentagon officials say, and that money isn't close to being available. Air Force officials are looking to reduce the costs and size of the base. Published June 2, 2019

The logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

China, Iran push bogus stories to spread discord

Partisans may squabble over what impact Russian meddling had on the 2016 U.S. presidential election, but scholars are convinced other foreign actors are meddling, too. Published May 27, 2019

In this photo taken May 17, 2017, President Donald Trump waves after giving the commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) ** FILE **

Donald Trump, Cabinet shunned at college graduations

President Trump and his Cabinet are speaking rarely at this year's college graduations, even as the annually lopsided measure of liberal versus conservative commencement speakers seems more balanced than usual. Published May 21, 2019

FILE - In this Monday, June 26, 2017 file photo, Austin, Texas Mayor Steve Adler, center, stands with San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, left, as he speaks to protesters at a rally in San Antonio outside of the Federal Courthouse to oppose a new Texas "sanctuary cities" bill that aligns with the president's tougher stance on illegal immigration. The census, undertaken every 10 years, uses the number of total residents _ not citizens _ to allot seats in the U.S. House of Representatives to each state. "If we don't count all the people who live in our city _ all the residents we have _ it could mean that our community doesn't get our fair share of moneys or aid,” says Adler. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Chick-fil-A center of Ron Nirenberg San Antonio mayor race

San Antonio's Chick-fil-A fans will get a chance to strike back at the polls Saturday when the mayor who led a successful effort to ban the popular restaurant from the city's chief airport is up for reelection. Published May 1, 2019

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders discusses voting rights for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev during a CNN town hall, April 22, 2019. (Image: CNN screenshot)

CNN town halls turn into ratings catastrophe

CNN is on a town hall tear, offering viewers session after session with the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, topped off with a town hall assembly line Monday night that saw five would-be presidents featured in a prime-time row. Published April 23, 2019

In Janus v. AFSCME, the Supreme Court decided last year that government workers can't be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining. (Associated Press/File)

Lawyers challenge bar dues on political grounds

Lawyers across the country are challenging the dues they pay to their state bar associations, saying they're being forced to subsidize organizations that they fundamentally disagree with politically. Published April 21, 2019

The burnt ruins of the Greater Union Baptist Church, one of three that recently burned down in St. Landry Parish, are seen in Opelousas, La., Wednesday, April 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) **FILE**

Louisiana’s St. Landry Parish galvanized after fires at historically black churches

With a sheriff's deputy's son behind bars accused of arson, worshippers at three charred, historically black churches in St. Landry Parish might be expected to have a bitter Holy Week. In fact, they have not. If anything, the alleged arsons have strengthened the community, generating an outpouring of support locally and across the nation: An online campaign was closing in on $2 million in pledges for repairs on Thursday. Published April 18, 2019

The Empire Beauty School, a for-profit college, is seen Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in Portland, Maine.  (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) **FILE**

Tax dollars driving up costs of college education

From seminaries to beauty schools, taxpayers are financing the schooling of millions of students, and the flood of public dollars is driving up the cost of education, critics charge. Published April 2, 2019

The Agriculture Department predicts a 10 percent uptick from last year in farm profit to $69.4 billion, according to the agency's first forecast for 2019. (Associated Press/File)

Farm subsidies, prices temper Trump trade tariffs

The outlook may be improving for America's farmers, whose famous resilience has been tested by President Trump's trade policies as well as by lower prices driven by several years of bountiful harvests. Published March 31, 2019

In this photo taken Wednesday, March 22, 2017, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., gives reporters an update about the ongoing Russia investigation adding that President Donald Trump's campaign communications may have been "monitored" during the transition period as part of an "incidental collection," on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ** FILE **

Devin Nunes sues Twitter over conservative ‘shadow bans’

Republican Rep. Devin Nunes accused Twitter in a lawsuit Monday of censoring him and other conservatives during the 2018 elections, as the social media giant admitted it goofed in blocking the content of a conservative commentator last week. Published March 18, 2019