WASHINGTON - I repeat: I'm not a global warming believer. I'm not a global warming denier. I've long believed that it cannot be good for humanity to be spewing tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. I also believe that those scientists who pretend to know exactly what this will cause in 20, 30 or 50 years are white-coated propagandists.
WASHINGTON - We've heard much about the Republican war on women. Exhaustingly.
Of all the time-honored failings for which we criticize sitting presidents - by "we" I mean pundits, academics and other members of the chattering phylum - two charges stand out: imperialism and shrinkage. Usually it's one or the other.
WASHINGTON - Republicans have excelled at concealing their brilliance in recent years and Democrats have exalted in their own good fortune.
SAN DIEGO - Justice Sonia Sotomayor has injudiciously reignited the conversation over words used in the immigration debate just when the prospects for immigration reform in Congress are holding on by a thread.
WASHINGTON - It is easy these days to imagine that one is living in a fairy tale, albeit a dreary one.
WASHINGTON - In the ongoing saga of the Affordable Care Act, oddly referred to by Democrats as the law of the land even as it is amended at will by presidential fiat, we are beginning to understand the extent of its war on jobs.
SAN DIEGO - Unlike the theme of the hit television show he helped create, the brouhaha involving Jerry Seinfeld and comedians of color is not about nothing.
Of course it's too early to talk about 2016. Now that we've gotten that out of the way ...
SAN DIEGO - "People don't care about politics."
"Job-lock!" It's only February, but it's already my favorite word - or phrase, I guess - of the year. (Who knows, by December it may be shortened to "joblock.")
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama gave a lovely speech at the recent National Prayer Breakfast - and one is reluctant to criticize.
WASHINGTON - Swedish researchers report that antioxidants make cancers worse in mice. It's already known that the antioxidant beta-carotene exacerbates lung cancers in humans. Not exactly what you'd expect given the extravagant - and incessant - claims you hear made about the miraculous effects of antioxidants.
On my wife's side, I have a very large family in Fairbanks, Alaska. Culturally, Fairbanks is a lot further from New York City (where I grew up) or Washington, D.C. (where I live now), than the several thousand miles on the map might suggest.
WASHINGTON - We have officially reached the take-a-step-back moment in the unfolding - or unraveling - of the Chris Christie alleged bridge/political retribution/Sandy funds political scandal.
SAN DIEGO - You have to be careful with flags. They're not just harmless pieces of cloth meant to inspire patriotism and national pride. Those seemingly innocent sheets of fabric can lead to all sorts of trouble.
WASHINGTON - Vladimir Putin is a lucky man. And he's got three more years of luck to come.
WASHINGTON - When the going gets tough, well, why not just make the going easier?
Things are moving far too fast in Kiev, Moscow and Crimea to write about events there. But the past isn't going anywhere. Though you wouldn't know that from the way the Obama administration talks about it.
WASHINGTON - In matters cultural, California has always been America's petri dish. Whatever happened in California usually infiltrated the rest of the country.
SAN DIEGO - Selma. Mexico City. Johannesburg. Tiananmen. Tehran. Kiev. Caracas.
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's new outreach initiative to help at-risk boys of color - "My Brother's Keeper" - is cause for cheer.
WASHINGTON - Henry Kissinger once pointed out that since Peter the Great, Russia had been expanding at the rate of one Belgium per year. All undone, of course, by the collapse of the Soviet Union, which Russian President Vladimir Putin called "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the (20th) century."
Down with stakeholders.
SAN DIEGO - U.S. officials want to extradite the notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who was captured last week by Mexican marines and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents.
SAN DIEGO - I keep waiting for just one prominent Republican elected official to condemn in the strongest possible language President Barack Obama's horrendous record of deporting illegal immigrants.
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