WASHINGTON -- In the category of stunning, heartening, woefully underreported good news: In 2000, an estimated 9.9 million children around the world died before age 5. In 2013, the figure was 6.3 million. That is 3.6 million fewer deaths, even as population increased by about 1 billion.
If you need proof that upward mobility in America is increasingly elusive, consider the prospect of a Hillary Clinton-Jeb Bush presidential race. A second President Clinton or a third President Bush would send the depressing message that Barack Obama's classic American Dream ascent was a fluke.
The just-ending 113th Congress was not, by most measures, productive. But its endgame was at least instructive.
What is it that makes the holiday movie classic "It's a Wonderful Life" feel so ancient? It's the relationships, but which ones?
Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat, could not be bullied by the dark CIA.
Critics and defenders of the harsh interrogation methods applied to captured terrorists can argue forever over whether those methods were "torture."
I'm paying up at this discount store, and the nice woman at the cash register asks me something like, "Do you want to support a program to help homeless teenagers get drug counseling?"
Mass protests have blocked highways, overtaken town squares and disrupted government buildings.
The medical community has been no match for the National Rifle Association for decades. By the time Congress leaves town for the holidays, we'll know if senators have shown an ounce of courage or if the NRA has bagged one more trophy. Either way, we won't get the high-stakes discussion we need about guns.
WASHINGTON -- A gaffe, under the oft-cited Michael Kinsley rule, is when somebody in Washington accidentally speaks the truth. But what happens when frankness leads you to say something so monumentally stupid -- the verbal equivalent of a pratfall, a face-plant into a mud pit -- that "gaffe" doesn't cover it?
Big city mayors have to stay as neutral as possible when asked about disputes between their citizens and the police. But New York Mayor Bill de Blasio found his voice in a profoundly moving way when he responded not as a mayor, but as a parent.
As "Wild" goes into wide release, a sacred Hollywood idea will be put to the test -- and, hopefully, it will flunk.
With the apparently imminent release of the Feinstein report on CIA interrogations of high-value terrorists a decade ago, let's consider the situation of intelligence personnel who have been involved, not in that program but in drone strikes against terrorists, conducted in a variety of countries around the world.
Few truly appreciate the enormous economic benefits the Affordable Care Act will deliver.
WASHINGTON -- The words, spoken about the Eric Garner travesty in New York, were righteous and powerful.
Interesting that the tech website CNET has started publishing an old-fashioned magazine -- you know, on paper, like Time and Life. To complete the retro circle, CNET's periodical is carrying print ads for Ford, Gillette and other brands already at home in the "Mad Men" era.
FISHTRAP HOLLOW -- I walked out to the little house in the yard that stores my books. From my personal library that techie friends keep telling me is silly and superfluous, I found with no trouble my battered old copy of "Of Mice and Men." Taped and raggedy and dog-eared, it feels in my hands like life.
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