PASS CHRISTIAN -- This is Christmas week. And as Irving Berlin wrote: The orange and the palm trees sway. Cat Island looks so close across the sparkling Mississippi Sound, I could touch it with a feather duster. Live oaks remain green and disguise the season.
Smoke and fire, sirens blaring, horns honking, a sudden hail of bullets. This is what passes for the American dialogue on race and justice. It's hidden until it explodes.
The movie "The Imitation Game" has revived deserved interest in Alan Turing.
While most citizens were distracted by the holidays, the enlarged Republican majority in Congress was laying golden pavers for its magical kingdom.
They like her style. Many liberals adore Elizabeth Warren's populist passion for denouncing predatory conduct by Wall Street -- and her linking it to growing income inequality.
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, the Republican Party's point man on Cuba, seemed to be struggling to contain his fury as he responded to President Obama's move Wednesday to normalize relations with the Cold War foe. The Cuban-American legislator, addressing a roomful of reporters and photographers in the Capitol, chopped the air with his right hand, fired off terse answers to questions and, frequently raising his voice, spat insults at the Obama administration:
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.
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