If. Two letters long, it is arguably the most fruitless word in the English language, an evocation of paths not taken, possibilities foreclosed, regrets stacked high -- and it lies like a pall of smoke over President Obama's Wednesday-night announcement that this country is returning to war, albeit with air strikes only, in a place we just left behind in 2011 after spending almost nine years, over a trillion dollars and 4,425 lives.
As of July 2014, Mississippi has the highest unemployment rate in the nation, 8 percent. I remember in the 90s when Mississippi's unemployment rate was two full percentage points better than the national average.
Now it can be told: Bill Clinton was a secret adviser to George W. Bush.
The video for the Bruce Springsteen song "Atlantic City" opens with a scene of the grand Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel imploding into a pile of dust. That was almost 40 years ago. The Traymore Hotel and other grand hotels were leveled in much the same spectacular fashion.
While we talk about democracy and equal rights, we seem increasingly to let both private and government decisions be determined by mob rule.
The horrifying footage of the second beheading of an American journalist by ISIS, this time freelancer Steven Joel Sotloff, a 31-year-old from Florida who loved journalism, has again placed the president, and world leaders, in a terrible position. To be clear, the White House is studying the video. To be clear, no one is holding out much hope.
Russia's ongoing dismemberment of Ukraine and the Islamic State's erasing of Middle Eastern borders have distracted attention from the harassment of U.S. Navy aircraft by Chinese fighter jets over the South China Sea.
Americans are in the dumps about their future. What does that have to do with legroom in economy class? Everything.
You've probably never heard of Claudette Colvin. And yet, had history twisted in a slightly different direction, she might loom as large in American memory as Rosa Parks does now while Parks herself would be a little-remembered seamstress.
Having once served a president, I don't begrudge any president a vacation.
ST. FRANCISVILLE, La. -- I've met some brave people in my life: survivors of war, politics, natural disasters -- and one heroic woman in the Mississippi Delta who lived most of her life in an iron lung. I'm not sure I've ever met anyone braver than the beautiful and elegant Anne Butler of this enchanting Louisiana river town.
A truism: Almost nobody looks good in his booking photo. That said, the 47th governor of Texas, one James Richard Perry, certainly gave it his best shot when he faced the camera at the Travis County Courthouse last week. The resultant image is ... not terrible. Perry is caught somewhere between a tight smile and an outright grimace, his mien taut with confidence and seriousness of purpose.
WASHINGTON -- Responding to the horrifying murder of photojournalist James Foley, Secretary of State John Kerry declared, "ISIL [the Islamic State] and the wickedness it represents must be destroyed." President Obama said, "people like this ultimately fail."
What next? That's what should concern us now.
Soon the cameras, protesters, gawkers and tweeters will depart Ferguson, Missouri, leaving the question: What will be left of this embattled city when the smoke clears?
The short answer is: everything. I'm not talking about the killing of Michael Brown. A tragedy, whatever the facts.
The story of a young man's speed-hiking the 2,663-mile Pacific Crest Trail has raised some environmentalist eyebrows, albeit only slightly. He was racing from California's border with Mexico to Washington state's with Canada.
I've observed many funerals over the last decade in Arlington National Cemetery's Section 60, where war dead from Iraq and Afghanistan are buried.
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