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Kathleen Parker

Stories by Kathleen

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PARKER: 'Cracker' lacks evil history of the N-word

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

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PARKER: Is it possible to get a jury of peers?

WASHINGTON -- The headlines were immediate: All-women jury chosen for George Zimmerman's trial. What is the likelihood that you, a man, would face a jury of all women?

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PARKER: Googling ourselves to death

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

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PARKER: Making Mama happy makes everyone happy

NEW YORK -- It was never quite clear what feminizing the workplace would mean when women en masse invaded corporate America a generation ago.. Most of us donned our Mao suits, bow ties and sensible shoes and did our best to blend in. The

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PARKER: The new F-word: Father

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

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PARKER: Surrogacy exposed

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

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PARKER: Prude or prudent?

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

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PARKER: The Bush I knew

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

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PARKER: Behind every post-scandal comeback is a forgiving wife. Mark Sanford's in trouble

Mark Sanford, the former governor who disappeared for five days, allegedly to hike the Appalachian Trail only to find himself in the arms of his lover (now his fiancee), is discovering that not every kid gets a comeback.

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PARKER: Beauty and the beast

WASHINGTON -- The recent kerfuffle over a secret recording of Sen. Mitch McConnell's campaign strategy meeting, which focused on opposition research about a likely opponent, actress Ashley Judd, has divided observers into two groups.

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PARKER: Red carpet-bombing to save the girls

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

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PARKER: Hillary would have a good shot in 2016

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

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PARKER: Silent on rape no more

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

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PARKER: Optical illusions

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

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PARKER: Woodward and Sperling, press and president

WASHINGTON -- 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. This would be an oversight.

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KATHLEEN PARKER: Droning on about feelings

One does not have to be a flag-waving, uber-patriot to find this sort of mind-training repugnant, though watching clips of the USDA sessions might help one better understand the recent rush to collect ammunition.

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PARKER: Bowling for sanity

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- When President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union address that "This time is different," referring to his push for tighter gun laws, he wasn't just whistling Dixie.

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PARKER: The ghosts of Benghazi

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

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PARKER: Combat women and Congress' wimps

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

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PARKER: The sirens of the Pentagon

WASHINGTON -- 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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PARKER: Confident Obama no patsy now

WASHINGTON -- My inner Pollyanna was basking in blissfulness, rolling in the hay of righteous rhetoric, backstroking through the sunny sibilance of aspiration.. Drunk, apparently, on alliteration.. It was a perfect day. Cold but not freezing. Crowded but not crushing. A diverse people celebrating yet another historic day in the

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PARKER: Lance's perhaps-too-prideful confession

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.

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PARKER: Guns without roses

WASHINGTON -- 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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PARKER: El futuro habla espanol (The future speaks Spanish)

WASHINGTON -- The new year has begun with an avalanche of Republican retrospectives: What went wrong? What must the GOP do?. In attempting to navigate my own thoughts, I keep bumping into advice my father gave me a long time ago: "Learn Spanish. You will need it to survive in

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PARKER: Print's longtime passing

Print not dying, just passing to next life. HASHTAG, America -- It is comforting to think of death as a passing rather than an end. In that vein, I prefer to think of Steve Jobs' final words as editorial commentary: "Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.". If the Afterlife

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PARKER: Things that are just better left unsaid

Since my culpas are too vast for this tiny space, my predictions best in retrospect and my resolutions inevitably ignored, I thought I’d list a few resolutions for the rest of the world. These, too, are likely to be ignored, but I’ll feel better getting a few things off my chest.

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PARKER: Through a lens, lightly

WASHINGTON -- 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.. Such are the inevitable thoughts upon perusing Kitty Kelley's lovely new book -- yes, lovely --

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PARKER: The double-down president

WASHINGTON -- Americans are justified in feeling numbed by the car alarm of Washington politics.. Every now and then we get a reprieve from the noise. Something breaks through: a sex scandal, a gaffe, a surprise resignation. Already the words "Petraeus affair" have been supplanted by "DeMint's departure.". Sometimes

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PARKER: The fly sees all

WASHINGTON -- Much speculation has followed the private luncheon between President Obama and Mitt Romney, about which little is known.. Photographers captured grainy images of Romney arriving in a black SUV, from which he emerged unassisted and unguarded. Reporters received only the homophonically ironic luncheon menu in response to queries

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PARKER: Real Generals of Kabul

NEW ORLEANSIt is tempting, oh so tempting, to unleash the snark as the script unfolds: Real Housewives of Tampa. Or is it Real Generals of Kabul?. But recent events are too sad for snark. With so much at stake, schadenfreude has taken a vacation. Here is what we know:. Retired

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PARKER: Romney's not to blame; the party is

WASHINGTON -- The headline was inevitable: "What went wrong?". Seriously?.

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PARKER: Poll dancing

WASHINGTON -- With just days to go, this is the un-callable election. Between daily tracking polls, punditry, Intrade gambles, Nate Silver predictions, RealClearPolitics averages -- and hurricanes -- heads are spinning with anticipation and angst.

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PARKER: Big bird, BS and birth control

WASHINGTON -- We shouldn't be talking about this silliness -- Big Bird, "B.S.er," or a girl's "first time.". We should be talking about The Issues, we keep telling ourselves. But in the waning days of the presidential campaign, these are the issues -- binders full of cultural issues that continue to divide us and by which Barack Obama hopes to win re-election.

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PARKER: Exhausting the insignificant

WASHINGTON -- Oh, to be 12 again, the better to enjoy the presidential debates.. Or rather, the better to appreciate the Twitterverse, where America's obsessive-compulsive, attention-deficit population holds the zeitgeist hostage with tweets and memes that infantilize political discourse and reduce the few remaining adults to impolitic fantasy

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PARKER: Smile when you say that

WASHINGTON -- After two debates, one presidential and one vice presidential, we can fairly conclude that Obama and Biden are happy warriors.. They just smile and smile and smile.. Whereas President Obama's smile during his debate with Mitt Romney seemed to be an afterthought, proffered as recompense to relieve the

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PARKER: KO'd in Denver

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

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PARKER: A life well lived

TAMPA, Fla. -- I had hoped he would wait until I got here, but he was in a rush to go. "I'm dead," he said a couple of days before he was. "I died yesterday," he said a few minutes later.

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PARKER: All roads lead to Rome

The period of the American Revolution coincided with publication of Edward Gibbon's "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" (1776), and ever since we've been vigilant for signs that the U.S. was following in Rome's footsteps.

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PARKER: Boring-white-guy derangement syndrome

WASHINGTON -- With Mitt Romney's announcement that Paul Ryan will be his running mate, we finally can extricate ourselves from one of the sillier debates and put to rest the narrative of the benighted "boring white guy (BWG)."

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PARKER: The Bain of truth

WASHINGTON -- When it comes to over-the-top politics, the Obama campaign has set a new standard with recent attempts to paint Mitt Romney as a felon. This clever and utterly false allegation was advanced more than once by Stephanie Cutter, President Obama's deputy campaign manager.

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PARKER: Trolling for boos

While grudgingly giving Romney credit for showing up to speak to the NAACP, commentators and politicos on the left have joined the birthers in being just plain weird.

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PARKER: Words vs. deeds

CAMDEN -- South Carolina politics never fails to amuse -- and bemuse.

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KATHLEEN PARKER: The man who didn't want to be president

To say that they don't make them like George Washington anymore is to insult understatement. But those who admire him have a duty, especially now, to remember him before he is forgotten by younger generations who, through no fault of their own, have no sense of him today.

PARKER: Horse sense

WASHINGTON -- The punch line is at least as old as the eldest baby boomer: "I didn't get a pony." Here's Jerry Seinfeld: "I hated those kids (who had ponies). In fact, I hate anyone that ever had a pony when they were growing up."

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PARKER: The banality of Watergate

"Watergate" has been irrevocably tattooed on the national psyche, the story so familiar that only the very young need a primer.

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PARKER: Nobody likes a loser

For the past year, we've been relentlessly reminded that Republicans didn't especially love their front-running presidential candidate. Now it appears Obama is getting a taste of Romney's stew.

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PARKER: Cory Booker's Bain

Tell the truth and beware the consequences.

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PARKER: Evolution of a narrative

WASHINGTON -- This past week's news cycle has produced two narratives:. One, Barack Obama is an evolutionary, 21st-century hero who supports equality for all. Two, Mitt Romney is a gay-bashing bully mired in the previous century, who also supports a war on women and, oh yeah, hates dogs.

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PARKER: A little lesson on obesity

WASHINGTON -- Close your eyes and picture 110 million obese people waddling around America's sidewalks. Such is the scenario suggested by a new study projecting that 42 percent of American adults will be obese by 2030. That's 32 million more than today.

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PARKER: Slow jamming the presidency

WASHINGTON -- It was fun. It was odd. It was just a little bit ... unseemly. Doubtless you've heard plenty by now of President Obama's slow jam.