August 15, 2011
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OPINION: We are all fluent in the language foretold by George Orwell
Effective leadership requires that one not only speak the truth but speak it with conviction and authentic passions natural to events. President Obama’s remarkable dispassion, punctuated occasionally by a brilliant smile that seems attached to a timer, has the effect of no affect whatsoever.
OPINION: The war on women is based on just one thing - - abortion rights.
Virginia voters who oppose Virginia Republican Barbara Comstock’s legislative record have a clear alternative. But if they cast their ballots for Democrat John Foust, they’ll be electing a man whose disrespect toward women and the single job only women can do — mothering — is at least as offensive as Rush Limbaugh’s name-calling of Sarah Fluke.
OPINION: One thing Eric Cantor did not have was a ground game
Two victories, assuming the second, hardly bestow bragging rights on the tea party. Nor, consequently, would they bolster the Democratic narrative that the tea party has conquered the GOP.
Everyone faces the ultimate deadline, soon or later
Though we mostly lost touch, there are no friends like those from the time when life seemed infinite and death was a poem.
OPINION: President Obama has defended his decision on precedent and principle
It is possible that some of the current criticism is tied to partisan pride as well as the opening of old wounds.
OPINION: Stricter school meal rules are impacting educational programs
The so-called federal Dumpster Derby program gets its name from students’ dislike for the new food choices, leading to much of the food being tossed rather thasn eaten.
OPINION: America expects its president to know what is going on, not learn it when they rest of us do
It may be that the programs the president should be on top of are too big and complex, but to admit that would be an admission by President Obama that his ideology is failing.
OPINION: Some now want provacative works of literature to come with warning labels
We might expect that professors, guided by their own educations, common sense and goodwill, might mention the potential to find some words or expressions disturbing. But requiring labels on books is the busywork of smallish minds, yet another numbing example of political correctness run amok and the infantilizing of education in the service of overreaching sensitivity.
OPINION: Fairness doesn’t always mean absolute equality
The targeting of Jill Abramson and Hillary Clinton — two powerful, accomplished women — may prove more predictive of the presidential election (assuming Clinton runs) than any other single factor.
OPINION: The words of one person are too often generalized to condemn a larger group
We should all be nervous about the instantaneous formation of social media mobs that attack a single individual whose comments, while contemptible, result in a virtual execution. Once the mob descends, no punishment short of absolute destruction seems sufficient. People may want justice but the mob wants blood.
OPINION: By not invading the rest of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin gets a pass — and keeps Crimea
To Putin’s mind, he has emerged from these “diplomatic negotiations” — translated in Russian to mean “I did it my way” — as a tough statesman, generous in his restraint yet just scary enough to hold the world’s attention.
OPINION: Stephen Colbert will take over The Late Show from David Letterman in 2015
By selecting Stephen Colbert as its marquee late-night talk host, CBS is not taking a swipe at the heartland of America, but bringing to the interview desk a comedian with a sharp wit who won’t be playing his “The Colbert Report” character.
OPINION: The Kochs may be tarred and feathered by liberals before the November elections
When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called the Kochs un-American, a powerful government official fired a shot across the bow of two private citizens who have acted within the law while contributing wealth to the economy through employment.
OPINION: Minimum wage efforts are designed to motivate the Democratic Party base
An increase in minimum wage is a decent idea, but only in times of economic stability.
OPINION: criticism of Michelle Obama has gotten downright ugly
Every first lady faces trials, and Hillary Clinton’s years in the White House were certainly no picnic. Even Laura Bush felt the sting now and then. But the harsh barrage against Mrs. Obama, often in the most personal terms, is in a class of its own.
OPINION: Kenneth Starr and Alan Dershowitz form odd couple partnership on religion issue
Witnessing Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and Baylor University President Kenneth Starr discuss and largely agree on religious liberty issues raised by the popularly known Hobby Lobby case was pleasantly jarring.
OPINION: The meeting between Pope Francis and President Obama holds great promise
Though Pope Francis may bless President Obama and beam that knowing smile, his prayer for humanity’s salvation has no political party affiliation.
OPINION: A new movie about Noah gets backlash from Muslims and Christians alike
“Noah” isn’t ,meant to be a sermon, call to prayer, encouragement for religious conversion or a disrespect of a prophet. It’s a big-budget movie made to entertain, inspire and be profitable.
OPINION: When going gets tough, make the test easier
The “tweaks” to the SAT are a shame because they rob educators of meausres that provide critical information on prospective college students.
OPINION: The Louisiana governor appears to be flexing his political muscles
Gov. Bobby Jindal is poised for a run at the White House as himself, not the coached, awkward politician who delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union address five years ago.
OPINION: After years of self-destruction, GOP lawmakers have stopped helping Democrats beat them
Republicans are staying away from divisive issues and concetrating on the narrative that President Obama and the Affordable Care Act are failures.
OPINION: In a word, Hillary Clinton officially has been memed
In the 1992 poll on which the headline labeling Hillary Clinton was based, what voters found as “slick” with Bill Clinton they found as “ruthless” with Hillary Clinton.
OPINION: The call for religious freedom in the world by President Obama apparently does not include the United States
Many who heard the president’s remarks said they would have been encouraged by them, if only his actions reflected what he said.
OPINION: Evidence is skimpy on the latest accusations against Gov. Chris Christie
Conservative wagons are circling the governor because they dislike the media more than a moderate Republican.
OPINION: The health risks of professional football are serious concerns
Anyone who has had a concussion knows it’s serious business. Successive concussions can have long-lasting effects leading to various mental disorders.
OPINION: The cost of college has skyrocketed at an even higher percentage than medical costs
One study indicates that many colleges and universities are depending on their reputation than their current perfomance.
OPINION: Republicans cannot seem to learn that it is how you say the message
In trying to dispel the notion of a Republican war on women, Mike Hukcabee’s choice of words clouds his message.
OPINION: The timing of Mayor Dawn Zimmers accusation is suspect
Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer waits until the bridge closing scandal before finding the “courage” to accuse Gov. Chris Christie of playing politics with Hurricane Sandy relief funds.
OPINION: Everybody these days is confessing to the pot-smoking days of their youth
The so-called War on Drugs hasn’t made a dent in the popularity of marijuana, which should be decriminalized, regulated and taxed.
OPINION: Republicans would be wise to meet Democrats in the middle on food assistance programs
With the tough economy, keeping nutrition aid and education in place is the right thing to do.
OPINION: The botched start of Obamacare brings un-glad tidings to all
Given the bumpy roll-out, broken promises and delays granted to businesses and insurance companies, the question is whether the Affordable Care Act can survive.
Most Americans of a certain age grew up hearing the adage: “Behind every great man is a great woman,” or some variation thereof.
Opinion column: Republicans and Democrats both want to control both houses of Congress in 2015.
Republicans have to determine which wing of the party will be in control if they hope to wrest the Senate from Democrats in the 2014 elections.
As I read Vlad’s op-ed in The New York Times, a Judy Collins tune kept replaying in my head: “Isn’t it rich? Isn’t it queer?”
When it comes to knock-knock jokes, it helps to be 5 years old: You can slap your head, roll your eyes, and run outside and play. In a courtroom where the defendant is charged with second-degree murder, a knock-knock joke has all the appeal of a bar of soap on the shower floor.
At a party a few years ago, a young reporter bounded over to my cluster of social nodders and, with the breathlessness of a born tweeter, chirped: “What’s the new hot thing?!” Without disturbing my mascara, I replied: “Anonymity.”
It was never quite clear what feminizing the workplace would mean when women en masse invaded corporate America a generation ago.
It’s good to know that the war on terror is finally over. It was all so ugly, what with the beheadings and bombings. Wait.
Enough with this “enough” business.
In a reprieve from the horror of the most recent terrorist attack, the nation’s attentions turned to the man who declared the war on terrorism, George W. Bush.
As the reporter said to the novelist: Why bother to make stuff up?
You know the feeling. You wake up filled with dread but, still groggy, you can’t put your finger on the reason. Possibilities flitter across the landscape of near-consciousness: An exam? A deadline? A speech? What day is it? Oh my God, Boston.
No matter what Barack Obama does, he cannot escape the shadow of his former political opponent.
The recent rape conviction of two teenagers, one of whom also distributed a photo and sent cruel text messages about their victim, has captured the “bystander effect” in graphic and nauseating detail.
Mariska Hargitay, better known as “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” Detective Olivia Benson, is the human intersection of life and art.
Excuse me while I roll my eyes over the latest "mommy war."
To the world beyond the Beltway, it might not mean much that Bob Woodward of the famed Watergate duo went public with his recent White House run-in.
First they came for the drones. No, not the unmanned kind that kill strangers from a safe distance but the sort who sit in meeting rooms and repeat slogans until they absorb the proper way of thinking. The killers, figuratively speaking, are the diversity trainers who numb the human mind with slogans and rote instruction on emotional correctness.
When President Obama said in his State of the Union address that “This time is different,” referring to his push for tighter gun-control laws, he wasn’t just whistling Dixie.
We may never know exactly what happened in Benghazi the night Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that our response was short of optimum.
Imagine living under a military dictatorship where free speech is punishable by incarceration, torture or worse. Imagine sitting in an 8-by-8-foot cell alone for 11 years with nothing but a small water jug, a “sink” for waste, and a 15-minute daily break for a cold bath in a communal tub. rker.
More than perhaps anyone else in America, David Blankenhorn personifies the struggle so many have experienced over same-sex marriage.
It must be true what they say about women — that they are smarter, stronger, wiser and wilier than your average Joe.
To the world-weary, Lance Armstrong’s confession to Oprah was just one more in a series.
Unlike many who recently have joined the debate about gun rights, I have a long history with guns, which I proffer only in the interest of pre-empting the "elitist, liberal, swine, prostitute, blahblahblah" charge.
To be deemed a serious analyst at the moment seems to require a lot of hand-wringing and sneering over how awful Congress looked over the last few days as it rushed a fiscal cliff deal into law.
‘Tis the season when columnists write mea culpas, make predictions and list their resolutions.
In today’s world of social media, where everyone’s every little thing is on display, it is sometimes difficult to recall a time when exhibitionism wasn’t ubiquitous and was, in fact, not admired.
As politicians compete to prove who loves the middle class more, they’re missing the elephant and the donkey in the room.
A variety of insults have been deployed in opposition to Susan Rice's likely nomination for secretary of state: She is not qualified; she's too aggressive; she "misled" the public following the lethal attack on the American consulate in Libya.
Much speculation has followed the private luncheon between President Obama and Mitt Romney, about which little is known.
No matter which man you preferred, there is something unsatisfactory about the end of this race.
With just days to go, this is the un-callable election.
Oh, to be 12 again, the better to enjoy the presidential debates.
Contrary to conventional wisdom that debates are rarely, if ever, game-changers, the first presidential debate was a demolition derby.
I've written variations of this column a couple of times during the past 20 years, but certain occasions bear revisiting -- and surely the disappearance of a friend is one.
They came, they were adored, they conquered. I'm talking about the media -- and especially MSNBC, whose presence and influence in Charlotte were nearly as grand as the president's. They came, they were adored, they conquered.
By now most sentient Americans have heard about the war on women. That is, the so-called Republican war on women, which has been framed as a battle waged by stodgy old white guys who want to deny women reproductive freedom.
All the world's a stage, all right, and never so much as when presidential politics are in play.
The past several days of Newark Mayor Cory Booker's life have been painfully amusing to watch.
Novelist John Grisham could hardly spin a more provocative fiction: The president and his surrogates mount an aggressive campaign to intimidate the chief justice of the United States, implying ruin and ridicule should he fail to vote in a pivotal case according to the ruling political party's wishes.
What a difference four years make.
This past week’s news cycle has produced two narratives: One, Barack Obama is an evolutionary,
News that Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng and his family might be allowed to leave China for a university fellowship in the U.S. brought relief not only to Chen, but also to dissidents around the world.
Either President Obama has wings of Kevlar -- or he has the most incompetent scheduling staff in White House history.
I think it is fair to say that the shark has been permanently displaced by the dog.
For reasons that don't interest me much, "girl fights" have always had a particular tug on our imaginations.
All it takes is one little twit. Or a tweet, as the case may be -- not that the two are mutually exclusive.
There are so many appalling aspects to the Trayvon Martin case that it's hard to find a permanent home for outrage.
As the sun rises and dabs Caesars Palace with morning rouge, irony struts down the strip of casinos, shops and nightclubs.
What's in a name? Most of us, perhaps regrettably, do not get to select our own names and are saddled with our parents' projections of what we might be. It is entertaining to consider what name we might select for ourselves and what that name might suggest about us. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum recently got this chance when they selected their Secret Service code names.
In the wake of "Slutgate," the operative argument seems to have devolved into a barnyard taunt: "My pig isn't as bad as your pig."
Let me be blunt: If Republicans nominate Rick Santorum, they will lose.
Mitt Romney's recent losses to Rick Santorum in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota revealed a truism that Romney might want to study -- but not too much!
A Friday New York Times story that essentially indicted and convicted a 22-year-old star football player on an alleged sexual assault charge by an anonymous accuser should have begun as follows: "We know absolutely nothing about this rumor except what six people told us anonymously about this guy who they say sexually assaulted this girl. We don't know who she is or what she said, or really anything, but here's HIS name and what 'they' say about him."
My recent column about Michelle Obama, which I wrote to counter the negative responses to Jodi Kantor’s new book, “The Obamas,” apparently has been misinterpreted by some.
I can’t speak for Michelle Obama, but call me an angry white woman. If the first lady isn’t angry, she certainly has every right to be.
Sometimes people need to be fired and sometimes they shouldn’t be hired at all. That’s reality. The further, obvious reality is that several of those who do not deserve to have the jobs they seek are running for president of the United States.
Iowa front-runners Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have a little problem. Both are too nice to be mean to each other.
Callista Gingrich has done something she might come to regret — succumbed to the Twitter fairy and opened the door to unwelcome scrutiny.
The Republicans’ final debate preceding the Iowa caucuses is suddenly uncompelling. There is nothing to do but write about Christopher Hitchens, whose death has made the world immeasurably less interesting.
"Anybody but Mitt" has become a familiar mantra throughout the Republican primary campaign. It is also weird and self-defeating.
Things sure do change fast around here. One week it’s Rick Perry, the next it’s Herman Cain. Now it’s ... Newt Gingrich?
When the Democratic National Committee circulates an ad attacking Mitt Romney even before the Iowa caucuses — and long before his presidential nomination is clear — one can be fairly certain that Romney is considered the greatest threat to a second Obama term.
Which brings us finally to Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney, one of whom will be the nominee and very possibly the next president. Although both candidates have perfect hair, the nominee will not be a woman.
The headline on Democratic strategist Paul Begala’s recent Newsweek essay dodged subtlety: “The Stupid Party.”
Humility is a tough trait to communicate in a presidential campaign that requires confident self-promotion, though it is often apparent in Romney’s debate face. He looks at others respectfully when they are speaking and his expression portrays patience and even a hopefulness that they will do well. Romney isn’t shy in reminding voters of his own accomplishments, but there are stories out there that tell another side to his character. Here’s one related to me recently by someone close to the campaign:
Herman Cain's craggy-faced Chief of Staff Mark Block took a drag off a cigarette, blew smoke at the camera and sent the political class into coughing fits.
Davi may not have the world on a string, but he may be on to something. In the wee small hours of the morning, nice ’n’ easy, Congress could take a trip to the moon on gossamer wings. This would be too marvelous for words.
The operative maxim in cable television can be summed up as follows: Is it good teevee?
This country has transcended much that was hideous and painful in the course of our evolution. It would be a shame to turn back now.
By the time Steve Jobs' Wikipedia page had been adjusted to past tense, eulogists had added a footnote to his biography of success. Failure.
Rather than worrying about whether Mormons worship the right God in the right way, Republicans should insist that only Mormons run for president.
Obama, Hitler and Hank Williams Jr. is not a group I’d have ever considered weaving together in one column. But then, who could have thought that the world would become so idiotic?
Unless you are an NPR loyalist, you may have missed a political drama unfolding far beneath the radar of human consciousness having to do with -- OK, open your eyes -- table saw safety.
I stayed up late Wednesday night in hopes that the U.S. Supreme Court would call off the execution of Troy Davis. Instead, at 11:08 p.m., he was pronounced dead.
The legacy of 9/11 can't be fully measured even now, but perhaps the most damaging aspect can be found in our national discourse.
What if the president gave a major speech and no one heard it?
Americans are a fickle lot. They create celebrities out of those they adore, and then hate them for acting like celebrities.
Public profanity is nothing new, of course, but it inarguably has gotten worse.
The latest trend in the media world is "trending." That is, monitoring what people are buzzing about and directing coverage accordingly.- Kathleen Parker, syndicated columnist