August 25, 2010
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Whatever the outcome of these fire-hydrant gymnastics, a positive result (no U.S. military engagement and an enforceable chemical weapons agreement with Syria) likely will have been accidental. So be it and pass the champagne. But the larger lesson should not get lost in events: Never draw a line unless you are prepared to fight.
Whether one likes or dislikes Hillary, few dispute that she has matured in her public role. Her resume can be topped by few and the symbolic power of electing a woman president — especially this woman — can’t be overestimated.
When The Washington Post Writers Group came courting several years ago, inviting me to join the company’s syndicate, I remember well the pitch: We’re a family. By then I had been syndicated for more than a decade by the Tribune Co. and was struck yet again by the layers of irony implicit in the words such media organizations use to describe themselves. Syndicate. Family. Thank God no one kissed me.
For those whose immediate concerns are more secular than divine, the voting booth provides a parallel confessional. To forgive may be divine, but to reward obscene behavior is deviancy of a lower order.
A bullet through the heart of a murder trial. In the annals of murder trials, few testimonies can rival the impact of slain teenager Trayvon Martin's mother Sybrina Fulton: "I heard my son screaming.". She was referring to the voice on an audio recording of a 911 call that
WASHINGTON -- The trial of George Zimmerman, accused of fatally shooting Trayvon Martin, inevitably and quickly devolved into a contest of who is more racist -- the victim or the accused?. The question was inevitable because the prosecution is basing its case largely on the suggestion that Zimmerman profiled the
WASHINGTON -- 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.". She looked befuddled.. I continued: "To be
WASHINGTON -- News that women increasingly are the leading or sole breadwinners in the American family has resurrected the perennial question: Why do we need men?. Maureen Dowd attempted to answer this question with her 2005 book, "Are Men Necessary?" I responded three years later with "Save the Males
Women's reproductive rights have enjoyed a half-century or so of well-defined proponents and opponents, but the recently flourishing fertility industry, from egg harvesting to surrogacy, has produced fresh and surprising alliances among former foes.. Feminists, traditionalists, Catholics, evangelicals, ethicists and atheists
WASHINGTON -- They lost me at the word "women.". As so often happens with contemporary debate, arguments being proffered in support of allowing teenagers as young as 15 (and possibly younger) to buy the "morning-after pill" without adult supervision are false on their premise.. Here's an experiment to
In a reprieve from the horror of the most recent terrorist attack, the nation's attentions turned to the man who declared war on terrorism, George W. Bush.. During Thursday's dedication of his library at Southern Methodist University, nary a word was spoken about the most controversial aspect of his tenure
The striking juxtaposition of the preternaturally perfect Angelina Jolie, waifish and wispy in a ghostly gown, and the scrappy Pakistani schoolgirl Malala, her face cruelly misshapen by the effects of a Taliban bullet to the head, captures the confluence of feminine power assembled here to "lean on" the world to
No matter what Barack Obama does, he cannot escape the shadow of his former political opponent.
WASHINGTON -- Mariska Hargitay, better known as "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" Detective Olivia Benson, is the human intersection of life and art.. Precisely, the line between the fictional role she plays and the role she has carved out in real life is approximately a hair's breadth. The passion television
WASHINGTON -- The media love optics and no one understands this better than President Barack Obama.. Thus, he invited a gang of Republican senators to din-dins at the swank (and legendary) Jefferson Hotel, one of the city's more discreet (and expensive) gathering places.. Upon exiting, senators were greeted by
WASHINGTON -- 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.. Even today, there are far more questions than answers. Could Stevens have been saved? Was Washington
Combat not a good place to play politics. WASHINGTON -- Polling that shows Americans favor women in combat by 2-to-1 is evidence only of the power of misinformation.. And, yes, indoctrination.. Arguments favoring women in direct combat are perhaps well-intentioned, focusing on fairness, opportunity and pride in
NEW YORK -- To the world-weary, Lance Armstrong's confession to Oprah was just one more in a series.. The process of public contrition is by now yawningly familiar: Comfortably seated in front of cameras, the high priestess of the mea culpa faces the penitent.
WASHINGTON -- There are so many appalling aspects to the Trayvon Martin case that it's hard to find a permanent home for outrage.. Most appalling, obviously, is the fatal shooting of an unarmed 17-year-old who was targeted by a 28-year-old volunteer neighborhood watchman. George Zimmerman thought
"Anybody but Mitt" has become a familiar mantra throughout the Republican primary campaign. It is also weird and self-defeating.
Celebrating another taboo 'F'-word: failure. WASHINGTONBy the time Steve Jobs' Wikipedia page had been adjusted to past tense, eulogists had added a footnote to his biography of success. Failure.Jobs, though wildly successful, also failed often and badly. Therein, we note posthumously, lies perhaps the larger lesson of his life
Most would agree that one would have to stoop pretty low to question the story of a man's mother's death.
WASHINGTON — Most would agree that one would have to stoop pretty low to question the story of a man's mother's death.
Sitting under the lush palms and blue skies of the richest Americans’ favorite resort — during off-season when the rich wouldn’t be caught dead here, I hastily add — I naturally couldn’t wait to watch Mitt Romney's PowerPoint presentation on health care.
NEW YORK — So why do Republicans hate art, the elderly and children?
While sorting through the perennial lip-pursing tempest about a certain word in Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” — the “N-word,” as we now say it — I turned for inspiration to the master himself.
NEW YORK — In 1991, the world divided itself in two camps: those who believed Anita Hill and those who didn’t. I fell somewhere in the middle: She may have told the truth, but so what?
Fair is foul, and foul is fair. There’s something witchy in the air.
NEW YORK — If you haven’t been humming tunes from “Les Miserables,” you haven’t seen “Inside Job,” the new documentary about how our economic crisis evolved.
The suicide of an 18-year-old Rutgers University student following an unimaginable invasion of his privacy has launched an overdue examination of casual — and possibly criminal — disregard for others’ personal space.
NEW YORK — After living in New York City for a few weeks, I’ve reached a few conclusions about the great political divide in America.
Of course I knew it all along. President Barack Obama is a Kenyan anti-colonialist and that’s why he doesn’t get us. He’s a ticked-off African.
August finally redeemed itself from shark-jumping hysteria with an original, spontaneous, transcendent event — the accidental intersection of one Antoine Dodson, his sister, her would-be rapist, and some musical magicians who tapped into that uniquely American reservoir of salvation — irreverence.
As I was perusing headlines that seem seldom to change -- mosque, immigration, sacred ground, 9/11, more mosque -- an unlikely trio intruded upon my malaise: Paul Newman, Rodney King and John Lennon.
As I was perusing headlines that seem seldom to change — mosque, immigration, sacred ground, 9/11, more mosque — an unlikely trio intruded upon my malaise: Paul Newman, Rodney King and John Lennon.
NEW YORK — It is hard to imagine that anything has gone unsaid about the so-called ground zero mosque, but we seem to be missing an important point.
President Barack Obama claims to have kept his campaign promise to cease American combat operations — though not U.S. troop presence — in Iraq by the end of this month. But it’s not about his keeping promises about a war and an objective he never supported. It’s about whether the mission has been a success. And the answer to that question is: we don’t know yet.
We’ve heard much these past few years about “small town values,” most recently iterated and personified by Sarah Palin.
When people think of New Orleans, most think of jazz, hurricane cocktails, Katrina — and now the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The current Journolist controversy that has the blogosphere heaving sparks, and Washington even more self-absorbed than usual, is weak tea — a tempest in Barbie’s teacup.
It is often said that there are no new stories, just different ways of telling the same ones. Familiar plots persist through literature: man versus nature, “rags to riches,” the hero quest, and so on.
Fifty years ago today, a novel hit America’s bookshelves that changed the way millions thought about race and the inexplicable South.
Each time another report surfaces about the decline of newspapers, I feel like a death row inmate counting the warden's footsteps.
As if President Barack Obama didn't have enough on his plate with health care and Afghanistan, he's now faced with the problem that can't be solved: Women.
In an act of merciful sanity, the Obama administration has made good on its promise to stop interfering with states that allow the medical use of marijuana. Clink-clink, hear-hear, salud, cheers, et cetera, et cetera.