Archive

Date

January 1st, 2015

Queen Elizabeth should yield, but not to Charles

    Queen Elizabeth II's annual Christmas day speech, when the British monarch treats her subjects to a recap of the year almost ended and her aspirations for the one coming, could be more gripping than usual this year.

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Obama's 'Fourth Quarter' Off To An Interesting Start

    President Obama's strongest detractors have never decided if he's a tyrant or a weakling. Right up to the 2014 midterm elections, Republicans scorned his fecklessness and inability to lead.

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North Korea, Sony and good taste

    President Obama certainly was right to step in as a defender of freedom of the press in America by criticizing Sony Entertainment's decision to withdraw from theaters its comic movie featuring an assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. After first blaming theater owners who said they were acting out fear for the safety of attendees, Sony tried to recover by saying it would release the film to a limited number of theaters.

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An Atheist's Christmas Dream

    I've spent much of my life trying to ignore Christmas. As a secular Jew, an atheist and a progressive, my reasons are common. It's a commercial, obnoxious, even dreaded holiday. But it's not changing anytime soon and we should make the best of it. (Hanukkah, I might note, is no better, although it gives us an excuse to eat latkes.)

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A scandal in our prisons

    Neli Latson has a music player. Also, he can order snacks from the canteen, and leave his cell for several hours a day.

    This is good news, or what passes for it, in the life of Reginald Latson, a 23-year-old with autism and an IQ of 69 who goes by the nickname of Neli. It is good news because, for more than a year, he has been held in solitary confinement in a Virginia prison.

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Wrongly pointing fingers

    It is absurd to have to say this, but New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, activist Al Sharpton and President Obama are in no way responsible for the coldblooded assassination of two police officers in Brooklyn on Saturday. Nor do the tens of thousands of Americans who have demonstrated against police brutality in recent weeks bear any measure of blame.

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Will This Year Be Different?

    We embrace each January 1 with open arms, joyful faces and loud proclamations of a new beginning. No doubt, it is in good faith but as President Obama said in regards to the Cuban situation, if it hasn't worked in 50 years it is time for a change. May 2015 be that year of change.

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Why Obama was smiling before his holiday break

    The headline out of Friday's news conference was that the president was happy. Barack Obama's post-midterm-election scowl was gone, replaced by the wide smile that once charmed the country. Emerging from his bunker, he blithely engaged reporters(all of them women), calling out a "bless you," when he heard a sneeze.

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Unzipping the Elizabeth Warren Package

    They like her style. Many liberals adore Elizabeth Warren's populist passion for denouncing predatory conduct by Wall Street -- and her linking it to growing income inequality.

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The Pope, Beyoncé and Me

    There was a Christmas Eve a little more than a decade ago when I did something that was, for me, rare, at least on a holiday typically spent in full-party mode, with booze, food, family and friends. I went to church.

    No one had died. No one was getting married or baptized. This visit was entirely volitional - and, I told myself, ornamental, which was true to a point.

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