Archive

Date

April 6th, 2014

Court ruling may boost influence of political parties

    Like an optimist looking through a pile of manure in hope of finding a pony, if one examines the latest Supreme Court decision on campaign finance law, one positive outcome comes into view: It will give a helping hand to our struggling two-party system.

    The McCutcheon decision lifted the limit on what the parties can raise and contribute to their candidates, a small step toward putting them back in the ball game, while regrettably further enhancing fat-cat donors' domination of the playing field.

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Michael Lewis' Crusade

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Russia will regret lies in Ukraine; just ask U.S.

    The change in European perceptions of Russia caused by its annexation of Crimea feels familiar: It reminds me of what happened to views of the United States after its decision to invade Iraq.

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The Best Government Money Can Buy

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Bring Me My Dragons!

    I'd been hoping to get the flu.

    I hadn't had it in years, and there were so many TV series I'd never seen - "The Wire," "Breaking Bad," "House of Cards," "True Detective" - that required an extended convalescence.

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Her First, and Last, Book

    Two years ago, Marina Keegan's life brimmed with promise. She was graduating with high honors from Yale University, already a precocious writer about to take up a job at The New Yorker.

    She had a play that was about to be produced. She had sparked a national conversation about whether graduates should seek meaning or money.

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Late-night TV seems to be a man's world

    Dave Letterman is retiring from "The Late Show," leaving the chair vacant.

    Wouldn't it be neat to put a woman in that chair?

    No.

    First off, women are not funny.

    Occasionally, they are indignant. But that is as far as it goes. If you really want laughs, have the vengeful spirit of Christopher Hitchens take over hosting duties. That man knew comedy.

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Sheldon: Iran's Best Friend

       It occurred to me the other day that the zealously pro-Israel billionaire Sheldon Adelson and Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, actually have one big thing in common. They are both trying to destroy Israel. Adelson is doing it by loving Israel to death and Khamenei by hating Israel to death. And now even Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey inadvertently got drawn into this craziness.

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The New Gay Orthodoxy

    To appreciate how rapidly the ground has shifted, go back just two short years, to April 2012. President Barack Obama didn't support marriage equality, not formally. Neither did Hillary Clinton. And few people were denouncing them as bigots whose positions rendered them too divisive, offensive and regressive to lead.

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Memo to GOP: Poverty isn't just about race

    Why does so much of our talk about race and poverty leave us Americans spinning our wheels? One big reason is etiquette. What is said often matters less than who says it.

    An illustrative example of this paralyzing paradox recently was exposed, appropriately enough, by a comedian -- Bill Maher's guests on his HBO "Real Time" show.

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