NEW ORLEANS -- A security guard and a lawyer walked into a bar. Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. It's bad, all right, but no joke. Everyone in this town, including two drinking buddies, was talking about the federal public corruption trial of former mayor Ray Nagin.
We've heard much about the Republican war on women. Exhaustingly. Lately, we've also heard about the war on men. The war on men-on-women-on-men . . . or something, as MSNBC's Alex Wagner described it recently, gained fresh traction with a controversial column by the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto about campus rape.
Kiev did not seem familiar when I visited a few years ago for the first and only time. Old and a little tired, but friendly. Reasonable. It wasn't scary and off-putting; it was bright and shiny. Red Square meets Beverly Hills, more mirrors than Las Vegas -- like the little bright pocket I found myself in when I visited Moscow a few days later.
This is not exactly a newsflash in my house, where, before he left for college, my son had to teach me how to turn on the TV. The thing is, I really don't want to watch the Olympics, even though I spent many of my happier childhood hours watching figure skating on the black-and-white.
The esteemed political writer Charlie Cook recently produced a column titled "Is Hillary Clinton Too Old to Run?" Despite couching his thoughts with a mention that if Clinton were to run, she would be the same age as Ronald Reagan when he was first elected president, 69, he did venture over the sexism line.
Republicans have excelled at concealing their brilliance in recent years, and Democrats have exulted in their good fortune.
Freshman Senator Ted Cruz says many things that need to be said and says them well. Moreover, some of these things are what many, if not most, Americans believe wholeheartedly.
A story that captivated New York City: A group of elderly Korean-Americans had been gathering at a McDonald's in Queens for conversation and fellowship. They'd sit there all day long, sometimes sharing a $1.39 package of fries. The hangout was so popular that friends from other neighborhoods would travel to join them.
WAVELAND -- I got to walk right past the shiny, new, Christmas-ornament-red hook and ladder truck at the fire department here to see one of my heroes, radio personality Felder Rushing. One recent Saturday morning he was speaking upstairs at the firehouse. I couldn't help but think about how many of the boys of my generation wanted to be firemen when they grew up. Never knew a single one who wanted to become "a gestalt gardener," which is how Felder describes himself.
"I hate that thug music." This, according to Rhonda Rouer's testimony last week, is what her fiancee, Michael Dunn, said when they pulled into a Jacksonville, Fla., gas station next to an SUV full of black kids who had the stereo up high, pumping some obnoxious, bass-heavy rap.
It is easy these days to imagine that one is living in a fairy tale, albeit a dreary one. In fairy tales, as in Washington, things are true that can't possibly be -- and what is not true can be defended by tilting the facts a certain way and catching the light just so.
Groundhog Day isn't just a movie. Here it is early 2014 -- still almost three years away from a new presidency -- but it's high time to mention that Hillary Clinton was a "ruthless" first lady.
Legislation is moving through the state Senate that will "cut wasteful spending while ensuring taxpayers can see what their government is doing," according to Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves.
When my kids were little, an older and more experienced mother told me that one key to raising kids safely is to limit the number of "nos" to what really matters and insist firmly on those. Motorcycles and heroin, she said, which seems like a pretty good list.
Maybe we should take up an offering. Obviously, the heirs of Martin Luther King Jr. are hard up for money. That must be why they keep selling off pieces of his legacy.
I was using the free White Pages website to try to find the ZIP code for a friend's address. An advertisement popped up, something called Instant Checkmate, which is not free.
We have officially reached the take-a-step-back moment in the unfolding -- or unraveling -- of the Chris Christie alleged bridge/political retribution/Sandy funds political scandal.
Rarely has a bad-news story offered so little real bad news. We refer to the Congressional Budget Office report that the Affordable Care Act may reduce the number of hours worked by the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time jobs.
It's an odd thing. Sometimes, when I speak before high school or college students, someone in the audience, knowing I began my professional life as a pop music critic, will ask what I think of music today.
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