Archive

July 23rd, 2015

Another civil rights struggle in the Carolinas

    For all the understandable attention devoted to removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House, a civil rights struggle with far more practical consequences is playing out one state away.

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La Dolce Donald Trump

    In Rome about a dozen years ago, I had a long dinner with Donald Trump.

    Only his name was Silvio Berlusconi.

    Aren’t they essentially the same man? The same myth?

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Hi-Ho, Lone Ranger

    In the midst of Iran mania, the president got tossed a question about Bill Cosby.

    Would he revoke the Presidential Medal of Freedom given to a comedian who has been accused of subverting the free will of dozens of women, and counting?

    It was a riveting moment.

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Heritage and Healing

    Unhappy small towns are all alike — claustrophobic, gossipy, dying. The elderly live away their days in a haze of 1950s nostalgia and Fox News-induced paranoia. The cops harass the young, while the meth lab at the edge of town produces poison for those not clever enough to leave.

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Bill and Melinda Gates’ Pillow Talk

    What do Bill and Melinda Gates argue about?

    Not whose turn it is to wash the dishes or take out the garbage, it seems, but headier stuff. The prospects for eradicating polio. The utility of empowering women. The best ways to save lives.

    Oh, and maybe how much to acknowledge to a prying columnist that they sometimes do argue.

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The Door to Iran Opens

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel calls it a “historic mistake” that permits Iran “a sure path to nuclear weapons.” A minister in his government, unable to resist outrageous hyperbole, calls it “one of the darkest days in world history.” Jeb Bush, doing the tired Chamberlain-Obama number, dismisses it as “appeasement.”

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Scott Walker shouldn't crown himself too soon

    The latest entry into the mob of 2016 Republican presidential candidates, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, is said to be his own political consultant, having spent much of his life running for one office or another, starting in high school.

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Obama's Nixonian strategy

    Whether or not President Barack Obama has negotiated a realistic, enforceable deal to prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb, he has assured his place in history as author of the most dramatic departure in U.S. foreign policy since Richard Nixon's visit to China in 1972.

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How to lose an appendix in 10 easy steps

    I always suspected that the appendix was up to no good. As far as I had learned in anatomy, it was a little bag full of danger and bacteria that you carried around in your gut at all times. The 2011 Merck Manual Home Health Handbook stated, "The appendix is a small finger-shaped tube projecting from the large intestine near the point where it joins the small intestine. The appendix may have some immune function, but it is not an essential organ."

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Give Planned Parenthood a hand, not a lashing

    Planned Parenthood has become one of the most attacked groups in America.

    Daily protests, funding threats and "sting" videos featuring hired actors are the norm. Shootings, bombings, arson and chemical-weapon attacks are less frequent but still occur against the group, which has been operating since 1916 and which a Republican president - Richard Nixon, no less - funded in 1970.

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