Archive - Feb 13, 2014

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The Propaganda Olympics

    For Vladimir Putin, the winter Olympics is not about sports or international camaraderie. It’s a carefully orchestrated propaganda opportunity to try to showcase the nation’s athletes and show the world a Russia that, even with its great culture and arts, may exist only in the imaginations of those who believe in restoring the country’s previous grandeur.

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Delusions of Failure

    The Republican response to the State of the Union address was delivered by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. - and it was remarkable for its lack of content. A bit of uplifting personal biography, a check list of good things her party wants to happen with no hint of how it plans to make them happen.

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'Wacko Birds' cloud Republicans' election euphoria

    Some Republicans envisioned a successful rope-a-dope strategy for this year's elections: Don't make mistakes, and let the Democrats stew in the juices of Obamacare and a strapped middle class.

    That take-no-risks approach is unraveling. Congressional Republicans are offering proposals on major matters, and the party's right wing - whose members Senator John McCain called "wacko birds" - is omnipresent in Washington and across the U.S.

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'Yes, we can'? Maybe not so much

    My fellow Americans, the state of the Barack Obama presidency is ... cautious? Defiant? Constrained? Humbled?

    How about all of the above?

    Compared to last year's State of the Union address, President Obama lowered his expectations this year. I'm sure he was thinking of the meager fruits of last year's address. The Washington Post's fact-checkers awarded him only five "wins" out of 24 proposals they checked.

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GOP Giving Up Tea?

    The botched rollout of the health care law has called forth some good news: Republicans are so confident they can ride anti-Obamacare sentiment to electoral victory that they're growing ever-more impatient with the tea party's fanaticism. Immigration reform may be the result.

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Love, Death, and Sochi

    There are few moments sweeter, more humbling or more thrilling than telling someone you love how you feel.

    As soon as Roger Mbede did that, he was damned.

    This happened in Cameroon, which, like many African countries, treats homosexuality as if it were a curse, a scourge. He lost sight of that and made the mistake of sending several text messages that were too candid, too trusting.

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The Gun Report, 1 Year Later

    It has been a year since my assistant, Jennifer Mascia, and I started publishing The Gun Report, an effort to use my blog to aggregate daily gun violence in America. Our methodology is pretty simple: We do a Google News search each weekday morning for the previous day's shootings and then list them. Most days, we have been finding between 20 and 30 shootings; on Mondays, when we also add the weekend's violence, the number is usually well over 100.

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Will Christie go after his opponents personally?

    The start of any week in Washington is as unpredictable as a Super Bowl. Before Sunday night's game, everyone thought the Broncos and Seahawks would have a close one, and by the third quarter the Seahawks had so dominated the action, it became necessary to thumb through the rule book to see if pro football had a mercy rule. Traffic from Fort Lee, N.J., is more free-flowing than the Broncos offense. Who knows where the week will end up, but here are three questions worth noodling as it starts:

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Cutting the cord a cable-TV industry myth

    It is tempting to think that the declining number of subscribers at the United States's biggest cable- television companies is a symptom of the industry's malaise as it slowly slides into obsolescence. Don't buy it. The losses are accounted for in the gains by smaller and nimbler rivals.

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High School Maniacal

    High school never ends.

    Chris Christie has given us proof of that, as though we needed it.

    Still, anyone who clings to high school the way the 51-year-old governor of New Jersey does makes me nervous.

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