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KATHLEEN PARKER: Stephen Colbert no threat to the heartland

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.

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KATHLEEN PARKER: Democrats demonize Koch brothers

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.

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KATHLEEN PARKER: Democrats are acting desperately

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.

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KATHLEEN PARKER: Lighten up on the first lady

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.

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KATHLEEN PARKER: A matter of principle

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.

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KATHLEEN PARKER: Salvation doesnt have political leaning

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.

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KATHLEEN PARKER: Noah's arc of triumph

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.

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KATHLEEN PARKER: New SAT don’t care for no fancy words

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.

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KATHLEEN PARKER: Bubba Bobby Jindal waves political war flag

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.

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KATHLEEN PARKER: The Party of No now the Party of Yes We Can

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.

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KATHLEEN PARKER: Breaking News — Woman charged as being ruthless

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.

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KATHLEEN PARKER: Practice what you preach, Mr. President

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.

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KATHLEEN PARKER: Keep calm and gossip on

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.

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KATHLEEN PARKER: The hard knocks of pro football

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.

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KATHLEEN PARKER: Are college students getting what they pay for?

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.

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KATHLEEN PARKER: Uncle Sugar goes to town

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.

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KATHLEEN PARKER: Hoboken mayor stokes scandal fire under Gov. Chris Christie

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.

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KATHLEEN PARKER: Another marijuana confessional

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.

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KATHLEEN PARKER: White House has a mess to clean up

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.

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PARKER: Behind every great woman

Most Americans of a certain age grew up hearing the adage: “Behind every great man is a great woman,” or some variation thereof.

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KATHLEEN PARKER: Cruz may talk GOP out of victories

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.

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PARKER: KGB colonel outmaneuvers community organizer

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?”

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Everybody’s a comedian these days

Opinion Column

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.

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Googling ourselves to death

Opinion Column

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.”

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Tweaking real life to meet the fantasy

Opinion Column

It was never quite clear what feminizing the workplace would mean when women en masse invaded corporate America a generation ago.

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Obama drones on about the end of war

Opinion Column

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.

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Do you think you’re (fill in the blank) enough?

Opinion Column

Enough with this “enough” business.

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The Bush I knew is a kind man with a gentle heart

Opinion Column

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.

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The governor, the soul mate and ... The End

Opinion Column

As the reporter said to the novelist: Why bother to make stuff up?

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Fear comes back again the day after tragedy

Opinion Column

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.

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Dissecting Hillary Clinton shows positive traits

Opinion Column

No matter what Barack Obama does, he cannot escape the shadow of his former political opponent.

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Little empathy is left in our American youth

Opinion Column

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.

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Hargitay remains silent on rape no more

Opinion Column

Mariska Hargitay, better known as “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” Detective Olivia Benson, is the human intersection of life and art.

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Yahoo's in the crossfire

Opinion Column

Excuse me while I roll my eyes over the latest "mommy war."

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The White House shows contempt for dissent

Opinion Column

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.

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Droning on about feelings

Opinion Column

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.

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Bowling for sanity a popular sport

Opinion Column

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.

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What did take place in Benghazi and why?

Opinion Column

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.

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Four ladies from Burma

Opinion Column

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.

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From I don't to I do

Opinion Column

More than perhaps anyone else in America, David Blankenhorn personifies the struggle so many have experienced over same-sex marriage.

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The sirens of the Pentagon are blaring loudly

It must be true what they say about women — that they are smarter, stronger, wiser and wilier than your average Joe.

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Lance Armstrong’s fallen as far as he can

To the world-weary, Lance Armstrong’s confession to Oprah was just one more in a series.

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Guns without roses

Opinion Column

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.

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Plots and clots cause hysteria

Opinion Column

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.

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Some things are better left unsaid

‘Tis the season when columnists write mea culpas, make predictions and list their resolutions.

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Life through a lens, lightly

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.

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Un-hitching the middle class

Opinion Column

As politicians compete to prove who loves the middle class more, they’re missing the elephant and the donkey in the room.

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The initiation of Susan Rice

Opinion column

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.

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The fly sees all at Obama, Romney power luncheon

Much speculation has followed the private luncheon between President Obama and Mitt Romney, about which little is known.

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Fat lady’s aria opening act for new show

No matter which man you preferred, there is something unsatisfactory about the end of this race.

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A new kind of poll dancing

Opinion Column

With just days to go, this is the un-callable election.

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Critics busy exhausting the insignificant slip-ups

Oh, to be 12 again, the better to enjoy the presidential debates.

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Obama gets knocked out in Denver debate

Contrary to conventional wisdom that debates are rarely, if ever, game-changers, the first presidential debate was a demolition derby.

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Once upon a disappearance

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.

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Now introducing President MSNBC

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.

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The other war on women rages on

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.

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Sharing the stage helpful to president

All the world's a stage, all right, and never so much as when presidential politics are in play.

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Cory Booker's problem teaches lesson

The past several days of Newark Mayor Cory Booker's life have been painfully amusing to watch.

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Justice Roberts unfairly under fire

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.

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Faux-raging for a story continues

What a difference four years make.

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Campaigns push real issues aside

This past week’s news cycle has produced two narratives: One, Barack Obama is an evolutionary,

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America right to protest others' plight

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.

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Obama situation recalls story of Icarus

Either President Obama has wings of Kevlar -- or he has the most incompetent scheduling staff in White House history.

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American politics gone to the dogs

I think it is fair to say that the shark has been permanently displaced by the dog.

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Political 'girl fight' akin to playground tiff

For reasons that don't interest me much, "girl fights" have always had a particular tug on our imaginations.

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Whispering campaigns

All it takes is one little twit. Or a tweet, as the case may be -- not that the two are mutually exclusive.

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Martin case filled with appalling facts

There are so many appalling aspects to the Trayvon Martin case that it's hard to find a permanent home for outrage.

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Moderation is good, moderately speaking

As the sun rises and dabs Caesars Palace with morning rouge, irony struts down the strip of casinos, shops and nightclubs.

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Name reflects self image and perception

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.

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No excuse for inappropriate language

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."

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Obama's getting his way out of GOP

Let me be blunt: If Republicans nominate Rick Santorum, they will lose.

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Underneath it all, Romney cares

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!

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Football player unjustly condemned

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."

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The cruel gaze of inspection stings

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.

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Women should be angry at insulters

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.

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Some more qualified than others

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.

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Nice guys clashing, but Romney best bet

Iowa front-runners Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have a little problem. Both are too nice to be mean to each other.

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Temptation of Callista Gingrich revealing

Callista Gingrich has done something she might come to regret — succumbed to the Twitter fairy and opened the door to unwelcome scrutiny.

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Hitchens made an incredible impact

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.

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The GOP must have a death wish

"Anybody but Mitt" has become a familiar mantra throughout the Republican primary campaign. It is also weird and self-defeating.

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Who ends up winning GOP nod unclear

Things sure do change fast around here. One week it’s Rick Perry, the next it’s Herman Cain. Now it’s ... Newt Gingrich?

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Romney thoughtful about flip-flopping

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.

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Career advice for would-be presidents

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.

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Ignorance is not always bliss

The headline on Democratic strategist Paul Begala’s recent Newsweek essay dodged subtlety: “The Stupid Party.”

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Romney uniquely kind in political world

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:

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Cain's ad a lucky strike for 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.

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What the world needs now is music

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.

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Earning least contempt key to nomination

The operative maxim in cable television can be summed up as follows: Is it good teevee?

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Vote for policies, not race or gender

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.

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Failure teaches us more than success

By the time Steve Jobs' Wikipedia page had been adjusted to past tense, eulogists had added a footnote to his biography of success. Failure.

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It’s a presidential, not ideological, race

Rather than worrying about whether Mormons worship the right God in the right way, Republicans should insist that only Mormons run for president.

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Obama, Hitler, Hank Williams Jr. tie odd

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?

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Saving the world one finger at a time

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.

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Countdown to death riles emotions

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.

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Leaving behind a legacy of hysteria

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.

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Who put the president on hold?

What if the president gave a major speech and no one heard it?

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U.S. politicians becoming celebrities

Americans are a fickle lot. They create celebrities out of those they adore, and then hate them for acting like celebrities.

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What's wrong with these bleeping people?

Public profanity is nothing new, of course, but it inarguably has gotten worse.

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Is it time to 'untrend' Sarah Palin?

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

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