Archive

Date

July 23rd, 2015

The Kasich-Walker debate

    Republicans won't win the presidency in 2016 without making inroads in the Midwest. Happily for the GOP, two Midwestern governors are running for their party's nomination.

    Both won re-election in 2014. The one from the state with more electoral votes won with 64 percent of the vote with wide appeal to Democrats and independents. The one from the smaller state got just 52 percent of the vote after a divisive campaign.

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Ted Cruz's backers have money to burn the GOP

    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, sure has a lot of money. Cruz's presidential campaign raised $14.3 million in its first quarter. In addition, a network of super-PACs allied with Cruz raised $38 million. That makes $52 million in a matter of months. To put that in context, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum dogged Mitt Romney in the 2012 Republican primaries, lasting all the way until April, on about $20 million less than Team Cruz has already collected.  

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Obama's second-term pursuit of peace

    In a world scarred by war and threats of still more of it, Barack Obama clings in the final quarter of his presidency to the hope that his lasting legacy will be as a peacemaker.

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Kick the 'new Jim Crow' out the door

    As President Obama talked to reporters after becoming the first American president to visit a federal prison, his thoughts appeared to flash back to "the Choom Gang."

    That was the nickname of the pot-smoking crew to which the future president belonged in his Honolulu high school days, according to Obama biographer David Maraniss. "Choom" was Hawaii teen slang for marijuana smoking.

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Another civil rights struggle in the Carolinas

    For all the understandable attention devoted to removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House, a civil rights struggle with far more practical consequences is playing out one state away.

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La Dolce Donald Trump

    In Rome about a dozen years ago, I had a long dinner with Donald Trump.

    Only his name was Silvio Berlusconi.

    Aren’t they essentially the same man? The same myth?

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Hi-Ho, Lone Ranger

    In the midst of Iran mania, the president got tossed a question about Bill Cosby.

    Would he revoke the Presidential Medal of Freedom given to a comedian who has been accused of subverting the free will of dozens of women, and counting?

    It was a riveting moment.

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Heritage and Healing

    Unhappy small towns are all alike — claustrophobic, gossipy, dying. The elderly live away their days in a haze of 1950s nostalgia and Fox News-induced paranoia. The cops harass the young, while the meth lab at the edge of town produces poison for those not clever enough to leave.

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Bill and Melinda Gates’ Pillow Talk

    What do Bill and Melinda Gates argue about?

    Not whose turn it is to wash the dishes or take out the garbage, it seems, but headier stuff. The prospects for eradicating polio. The utility of empowering women. The best ways to save lives.

    Oh, and maybe how much to acknowledge to a prying columnist that they sometimes do argue.

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The Door to Iran Opens

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel calls it a “historic mistake” that permits Iran “a sure path to nuclear weapons.” A minister in his government, unable to resist outrageous hyperbole, calls it “one of the darkest days in world history.” Jeb Bush, doing the tired Chamberlain-Obama number, dismisses it as “appeasement.”

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