Archive

Date

March 5th, 2015

The GOP's Assertive God Squad

    Another presidential campaign is taking shape, and potential Republican candidates are beginning to speak with extra care - and sometimes with censorious hellfire - about certain social issues. As ever, they're bowing to a bloc of voters described as Christian conservatives.

    But these voters are a minority of Christians. They're not such representative conservatives.

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Scientology's Chilling Effect

    When I was at Fortune magazine in the 1990s, one of my colleagues was a reporter named Richard Behar. He had a special lock on his door, and he wouldn't even let the janitor in to empty his wastebasket. He used a secret phone, which he kept hidden in a desk drawer, so that calls made to sources couldn't be traced back to him.

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Remote Alaskan village needs to be relocated due to climate change

    This tiny and isolated town of 400 cannot be reached by road. It lies on a fragile barrier island along the Chukchi Sea, 83 miles above the Arctic circle. And for generations, the Iñupiaq Eskimos of the region have hunted gigantic bowhead whales from camps atop the sea ice that stretches out from the town's icy shores.

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New Food Agency? Hold the Hysteria

    As things now stand, the U.S. Department of Agriculture oversees steaks, chicken thighs and eggs out of their shells. The Food and Drug Administration keeps an eye on salmon, apples and eggs in their shells.

    Fifteen government entities now supervise food safety, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (seafood).

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Just Wondering

    Throughout history Americans seem compelled to take out their frustrations, their disagreements, on the President but I wonder if any have been as berated, as denigrated as President Obama. There have even been outright lies about other Presidents but I don't believe that any have been the target that Obama has been.

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ISIS Heads to Rome

    The Italians got this one right. Last week, The Washington Post's Adam Taylor helpfully collected tweets that Italians put out after a murderous video issued by the Islamic State, or ISIS, warned: "Today we are south of Rome," one militant said. "We will conquer Rome with Allah's permission."

    As the hashtag #We_Are_Coming_O_Rome made the rounds in Italy, Rome residents rose to the challenge.

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Who decided Germany was Europe's boss?

    There are two main lines of analysis about Germany's role in the European Union. The first, favored by populist euro-skeptic politicians, is that Germany seeks to reverse the setbacks of the 20th century and rule Europe by other means. The second, popular with political commentators and other members of the European elite, is that German guilt over the setbacks of the 20th century inhibits it from exercising the leadership that the EU actually needs.

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The limits of wishful thinking in Obama's foreign-policy assurances

    Can President Barack Obama sell an Iran deal at home?

    If his negotiators strike an agreement next month, we already know that it will be far from ideal: Rather than eradicating Iran's nuclear-weapons potential, as once was hoped, a pact would seek to control Iran's activities for some limited number of years.

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The GOP's self-deception

    Republicans had better divert some of their campaign cash toward finding a cure for Obama Derangement Syndrome. If they don't, their nemesis will beat them in a third consecutive presidential contest -- without, of course, actually being on the ballot.

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Rebuilding crumbling infrastructure can't wait

    If Washington were a rational place, a major measure to rebuild roads, bridges, ports and airports would be a slam-dunk.

    Few doubt the need. The U.S. has underinvested in infrastructure: It was ranked 12th in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report for 2014-2015. Road repair needs are pervasive, a quarter of bridges require upgrades, the fast- rail system falls further behind other countries every year.

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