Archive

Date

July 18th, 2014

Where's the Oval Avatar?

    The White House likes to use a phrase of tingling adventure to describe the president's recent penchant for wandering the country talking to people: "The bear is loose."

    There are three problems with this unbearable metaphor: Barack Obama is not in captivity, he's not a bear, and he's not loose. As Voltaire said of the Holy Roman Empire, it was "neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an empire."

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Cargill’s Integrity-Free Soybean Oil

    Can you have your hypocrisy and eat it, too?

    I don’t think so. But Cargill Inc. is doing its damndest to invalidate the old admonition that eating your cake today means not having it tomorrow.

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Leading Through Great Loss

    In the carnage of Gaza and the Middle East, the most unlikely people have stepped forward from their grief to offer moral leadership.

    The family of Naftali Fraenkel, a 16-year-old Jewish boy who was one of three kidnapped and murdered, said in a statement after the apparent revenge killing of a Palestinian boy: "There is no difference between Arab blood and Jewish blood. Murder is murder."

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Let's not rush to criminalize 'bad' parents

    Despite the growing consensus that mass incarceration is not the way to cure all social ills, there seems to be a new trend toward prosecuting parents who fall short of prevailing ideals.

    You don't have to be a parent, as I am, to understand the good intentions behind efforts to hold parents accountable for taking good care of their children. But we also have to ask what kind of care is best and whether the criminal justice system is always the best decider.

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Shortchanging Our National Treasures

    Fabulous vacations don’t come cheap. Hotels often run at least $100 a night, if not higher. Add in airfare, a rental car, and restaurant meals, and a family vacation becomes a privilege for those with the cash to afford them.

    What’s a more affordable option? Heading to a national park, state park, or national forest.

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The End of Pot Prohibition As We Know It

    How much longer will it take before the United States declares a truce in the Drug War?

    This latter-day prohibition is taking an immense toll. And the stakes ought to be low, given that most Americans don’t want anyone jailed for being caught with small amounts of pot.

    But it does require some courage to pipe up. So thank you, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, for joining the swelling chorus that wants to see marijuana legalized.

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When Academic Committees Play 'Police'

    If one believes even a significant fraction of the horror stories in the national news media, beastly male behavior has become almost epidemic on American college campuses. Tales of drunken sexual assaults and worse multiply from sea to shining sea.

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Worth More: One Man or an Entire City?

    A population of 100,000 is substantial. Five states don’t even have one metropolis that large. Some cities that size, like Fargo, North Dakota, are their state’s biggest. Others, like Lansing, Michigan, are state capitals.

    About 100,000 people live in Rochester, Minnesota, home of the Mayo Clinic. The same goes for Burbank, California and Springfield, Ohio.

    Most of America’s cities of 100,000 now share one uncomfortable reality.

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Pro-business populism?

    Here's the thing to watch in this year's campaign: Democrats are trying to be populists and pro-business moderates at the same time.

     The tea party's success in transforming the Republican Party is making this two-step possible as conservatism's increasingly ferocious opposition to government creates points of friction with both business and middle-class constituencies.

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Suing Obamacare Is Washington's Summer Rerun

    On television, summer reruns are becoming a thing of the past. Noting a jump in demand for fresh entertainment in the hot months, TV execs are responding with original programming.

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