When the going gets tough, well, why not just make the going easier?
This seems to be the conclusion of the College Board, which administers the dreaded SAT college entrance exam. Recently announced "improvements" to the test are designed, say board officials, to better gauge what students study and learn in high school. Shouldn't take too long.
President Obama's new outreach initiative to help at-risk boys of color -- "My Brother's Keeper" -- is cause for cheer.
It isn't that we haven't known for some time that minority boys are in trouble. Poor school performance, truancy, delinquency and, ultimately, high incarceration rates cannot be separated from the absence of fathers in many homes. Out-of-wedlock births are at 72 percent in the African American community and 53 percent among Latinos, compared with 29 percent among non-Hispanic whites.
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
Republicans have excelled at concealing their brilliance in recent years, and Democrats have exulted in their good fortune.
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.
Even I was willing to blame the president, or at least his namesake: Obamacare.
What other explanation was there for the fact that it was taking weeks to get a prescription filled, and I was suffering an acute flare-up of my rheumatoid arthritis?
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.
President Obama's imaginary son is back in town, and this time he can't play football.
Dad says so. And Mom probably would, too.
On this point, we three could smoke a peace pipe.
President Obama is correct in wanting to make higher education more affordable and accessible, but Americans would also be correct in wondering just what they're paying for.
We know what Mike Huckabee meant. Sort of. Kind of. But, really?
Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate, talk-show host and erstwhile Baptist preacher, was trying to demythologize the alleged GOP "war on women" so brilliantly defined by Democrats in 2012.
Everybody's doing it -- confessing their youthful, pot-smoking ways -- so here goes.
I don't remember.
Kidding, kidding. Anyone over 30 recognizes the old adage: If you remember the '60s, you weren't there. Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk.
As we evaluate the efficacy of the War on Poverty, a single, unquantifiable factor stubbornly demands attention: luck.
In the days since revelations surfaced about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's office orchestrating the now-infamous George Washington Bridge lane closings, I've had at least four different reactions.
In politics, it's all in how you say things.
George Orwell knew what he was talking about when he described political language as "designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."
If you happen to be one of those who enjoy politics as a blood sport, 2014's midterm election promises to be a carnival of gore.
And that's just in the Republican Party.
Democrats must be giddy.
America's capacity for optimism and hope has been boundless through much of our short history.
The tangible returns of hard work, the ordered liberty sustained through community consent and opportunity honed over time to apply equally to all men and women -- these were the currency of what we called the American Dream.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
And a penguin?
'Tis the season, and Nancy Pelosi has given the hands-down best gift to the American people -- her phrase "Embrace the suck."
Make a woman laugh, Marilyn Monroe supposedly said, and you can make her do anything.
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