If you're having trouble following all of the twists and turns in the saga relating to the availability of what is commonly referred to as the "morning-after pill," you're not alone.
I'm from Boston. Over the years, I lived in two apartments within a stone's throw of Monday's bombings. Over the years, I stood and cheered marathon runners countless times.
I happened to be sitting in the Fox News bureau between "hits" on Tuesday morning, when the news broke about the stabbing at Lone Star College in Houston. Watching it unfold in real time, I couldn't help but think (as I'm sure all of us did) about the Newtown, Conn., massacre and the families flying to Washington and the fear that the parents of the Texas college students must be feeling.
Two guys are at a conference, looking bored. On stage, there's been talk about "dongles," which, if you aren't aware, are devices you plug in to laptops to get connectivity. Bigger ones are supposedly more powerful. Can you guess the joke? (Hint: about whether size matters.)
Michael Vick was all set to do a book tour to promote himself as a new and improved role model when things got ugly. "Despite warnings of planned protests, Vick had hoped to continue with the appearances as planned, bringing his story of redemption and second chance to major markets," his publisher, aptly named Worthy Publishing, said in a statement.
Inside the Beltway, everybody's talking about sequestration -- and not only about whether it will happen (various supposed "high-level" sources say they are not optimistic that it will be avoided) and what it will mean, but also -- it being the Beltway -- which side of the aisle will pay the price.
"You've got African Americans; you've got Hispanics; you've got a bag full of money. Does that tell you -- a light bulb doesn't go off in your head and say, 'This is a drug deal'?"
Sam Ponder, an assistant U.S. attorney in Texas, said that -- and successfully convinced a jury to reject the defense that Bongani Charles Calhoun did not realize the road trip he went on involved buying drugs.
This year, for the State of the Union address, Democrats and Republicans (those who can find "dates," anyway) will be sitting together. It is supposed to be a signal to the nation of bipartisanship -- at least the kind that allows people from opposite parties, as we used to do decades ago, to put their differences aside at the end of the day.
While all the figures aren't in and almost certainly never will be, the Center for Responsive Politics has estimated that roughly $6 billion was spent on the 2012 election, including $2 billion on the presidential contest and something on the order of $4 billion on congressional and state races. This gives us, I suppose, the best government money can buy -- which is certainly not the best we could have.
It was in 1981 that the United States Supreme Court, in a decision I still have trouble explaining to my students when I teach it, held that it was constitutional for the Selective Service, acting under the authority of Congress and the president, to require all men -- but not women -- between the ages of 18 and 25 to register for a potential draft.
It is hard to remember how much better things are in America today than they were four years ago when Barack Obama took the oath of office for the first time.
In the days before the re-inauguration of President Obama, there have been the usual curtain raisers, with the usual suspects screaming from their respective corners about the usual stuff.
And then there have been interviews with "real" people.
Years ago, when the candidate I was working for rejected my advice, I made the mistake of going back to the headquarters and telling my loyal staff (who together had formulated the rejected proposal) that our recommendation had been declined. I did my best, I told them, but I just couldn't make the sale.
At the very beginning of Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty," the audience is told that the movie they are about to see is "based on firsthand accounts of actual events." Then we hear tapes, terrifying if familiar, of those final calls being made by those trapped on 9/11.
Then comes the torture.
In the wake of the Newtown, Conn., tragedy, every politician who has me on their email list -- and there are many, on both sides of the aisle -- has been filling my inbox. All of the messages begin with the requisite expression of shock and horror, the business of sending out our hearts and prayers to those who mourn. Then the gun control advocates insist that now is the time for congressional action, and the opponents caution that no legislation is going to stop people (not guns) from killing.
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