Saturday September 20, 2014
April 6th, 2014
The change in European perceptions of Russia caused by its annexation of Crimea feels familiar: It reminds me of what happened to views of the United States after its decision to invade Iraq.
I'd been hoping to get the flu.
I hadn't had it in years, and there were so many TV series I'd never seen - "The Wire," "Breaking Bad," "House of Cards," "True Detective" - that required an extended convalescence.
Two years ago, Marina Keegan's life brimmed with promise. She was graduating with high honors from Yale University, already a precocious writer about to take up a job at The New Yorker.
She had a play that was about to be produced. She had sparked a national conversation about whether graduates should seek meaning or money.
Dave Letterman is retiring from "The Late Show," leaving the chair vacant.
Wouldn't it be neat to put a woman in that chair?
First off, women are not funny.
Occasionally, they are indignant. But that is as far as it goes. If you really want laughs, have the vengeful spirit of Christopher Hitchens take over hosting duties. That man knew comedy.
It occurred to me the other day that the zealously pro-Israel billionaire Sheldon Adelson and Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, actually have one big thing in common. They are both trying to destroy Israel. Adelson is doing it by loving Israel to death and Khamenei by hating Israel to death. And now even Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey inadvertently got drawn into this craziness.
To appreciate how rapidly the ground has shifted, go back just two short years, to April 2012. President Barack Obama didn't support marriage equality, not formally. Neither did Hillary Clinton. And few people were denouncing them as bigots whose positions rendered them too divisive, offensive and regressive to lead.
Why does so much of our talk about race and poverty leave us Americans spinning our wheels? One big reason is etiquette. What is said often matters less than who says it.
An illustrative example of this paralyzing paradox recently was exposed, appropriately enough, by a comedian -- Bill Maher's guests on his HBO "Real Time" show.
There is more than one way to demolish a wall, physical or legal. Go at it with a bulldozer, or weaken its foundations and await the collapse.
When it comes to undermining the structure of modern campaign finance law, Chief Justice John Roberts has done it both ways.
The 2010 ruling in Citizens United, which Roberts joined, was a judicial bulldozer, willy-nilly toppling precedents that had restricted corporate spending on elections.