Archive

Date

April 2nd, 2014

Virtual reality meets cold, hard cash ($2 billion of it)

    Congratulations, Oculus! The virtual reality company managed to get itself purchased by Facebook before producing the first consumer version of its product.

    "I'm impressed; usually forms of media have to come into existence first before they are taken over and ruined by ad companies. This may be a new record," one person commented online about the deal.

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Republican Senate could circumvent Obama vetoes

    If Republicans take control of the U.S. Senate in this year's elections, it will be, as Vice President Joe Biden might put it more graphically, a big deal.

    Last week, elections handicapper Nate Silver gave a 60 percent probability that the Republicans would gain at least the half-dozen seats required for a majority. This wasn't news to top party strategists. But it produced a palpable panic among Democrats along Pennsylvania Avenue, from the White House to Capitol Hill.

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The budgetary fix we're in

    The capital's dysfunction has its unfortunate exceptions. Gridlock yields to interests powerful enough to trump habits of obstruction. The result is compromise of a peculiarly distasteful variety -- bipartisanship in the form of can-kicking, budgetary obfuscation and unaffordable generosity to those with the best-connected lobbyists.

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The limits of power in the Nuclear Age

    Two current news stories underscore how the world of power politics has changed since the darkest days of the Cold War, when the threat of nuclear Armageddon hung over the globe.

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TV Secrets vs. Washington Leaks

    For almost a year, the people of the critically-acclaimed and popular CBS drama, “The Good Wife,” kept a secret, one so powerful that viewers were shocked by the abruptness of what happened on screen, March 23.

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'Uncoupling' words from harsh reality

    "Conscious uncoupling." Is that even a thing?

    The odd coupling of those two words has put an unusual bright spotlight on the announcement that Oscar-winning actor Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband, Chris Martin of the rock band Coldplay, are pulling the plug on their marriage.

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March 26th

Fred Phelps, the face of hate, advanced the cause of love

    Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church died Wednesday.

    Who will picket the funeral of the man who picketed so many?

    Let's hope no one.

    First because there probably won't be a funeral to picket and second because, well, we're better than that.

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Everything you know about social mobility is wrong

    Gregory Clark's startling new book, "The Son Also Rises," asks you to rethink everything you thought you knew about social mobility. His research, if it's correct, isn't good news. It says that socio-economic status is mostly a matter of nature not nurture, and suggests that trying to help the disadvantaged move up won't make much difference.

    These findings defy the prevailing consensus, and one wants them to be wrong. But what if they're not?

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Geraldine Ferraro's lasting legacy

    On Friday, the Showtime cable- television channel will air "Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way," a documentary about her 1984 race for vice president. Although she was defeated, it was a seminal moment in politics that was validated by the subsequent extraordinary leap in the number of female officeholders.

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Has Putin lost Ukraine?

    There is a grim logic to the shotgun referendum in Crimea that leads toward an expansion of Russia's land grab into eastern and southern Ukraine.

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