Archive

October 23rd, 2015

The blame lies with the terrorists

    Is Jeb Bush justified in claiming his brother "kept us safe" from terrorism? Obviously not.

    Let me be clear: It is grotesquely wrong to suggest that George W. Bush is in any way to blame for the 9/11 attacks. That odious distinction belongs to Osama bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the 19 evil young men, most of them Saudi nationals, who hijacked airplanes, turned them into missiles and killed 3,000 Americans.

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As in 'The Martian,' NASA should boldly go to China

    When Matt Damon is rescued from Mars in this fall's sci-fi blockbuster, "The Martian," an assist from the Chinese space program is critical to getting the American home. The plot twist is heart-warming -- not to mention about as far-fetched as a large-scale manned Mars mission.

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The tuition debate

    One of the things that the Bern and the Hill agree on is that the government should do more to help Americans access life's necessities. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton both support, for instance, putting tuition at public colleges and universities on the taxpayers', rather than students', dime.

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Costly quest to fix failing schools

    When Dale Russakoff began writing about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's $100 million gift to help fix the failing schools in Newark, N.J., she assumed she would end up telling an uplifting story of transformational change.

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Football and Gaming, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

    They worship at the high altar of football. They're everywhere. I don't give a fig about football, but the cult surrounds me. In the offseason, the devotees were stomping the floor over Tom Brady and a football's air pressure. They demanded to know my opinion on the matter. That I had none amazed them.

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Try not to be blinded by big, scary numbers

    Today I am going to indulge in a pet peeve of mine, one that I hope you will find helpful. It's about a bias called denominator blindness and it is the scourge of anyone who has even the most rudimentary understanding of mathematics in the real world.

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The Road From Benghazi, Lined With Bad Intentions

    When Americans are killed in a terror attack, there’s a natural, righteous need to find out what went wrong. And the trick is to do it in a way that doesn’t debase the human loss with a nasty political scrum.

    For the right way, you can look at the 9/11 commission.

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Can Ted Cruz defy his party and win anyway?

    George W. Bush reportedly took a shot at Ted Cruz in a closed-door fundraiser Sunday, telling donors, "I just don't like that guy." He didn't express strong feelings against his brother's other primary opponents, including Donald Trump. Perhaps it was just campaign-strategy talk, but don't you think he meant it?

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Clean fleece, dirty planet

    It's getting cold. Time to break out the fleece. Warm and light, it even comes in a nice shade of green: a lot of the material used to make fleece comes from recycled plastic bottles -- better in your sweater than in a landfill.

    Green that is, until you run it through the washing machine. That's when thousands of plastic microfibers get flushed into the sewer system and on to some stream, lake, river and ocean.

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How drug laws spur violence

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