SAN DIEGO - Americans are so accustomed to conservatives imploding over the immigration issue that it's a refreshing change to see liberals struggle with it as well.
WASHINGTON - For decades, the American Studies Association has labored in well-deserved obscurity. No longer. It's now made a name for itself by voting to boycott Israeli universities, accusing them of denying academic and human rights to Palestinians.
WASHINGTON - In the days since revelations surfaced about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's office orchestrating the now-infamous George Washington Bridge lane closings, I've had at least four different reactions.
"In America," Oscar Wilde quipped, "the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience." And they often do it in the pages of Rolling Stone.
WASHINGTON - First order of business for the returning Congress: The No Bailout for Insurance Companies Act of 2014.
WASHINGTON - If you happen to be one of those who enjoy politics as a blood sport, 2014's midterm election promises to be a carnival of gore.
On Jan. 1, the Centennial State (it hasn't yet changed its nickname to "The Rocky Mountain High State") became the first place in the country to legalize marijuana sales for recreational purposes.
The Beltway consensus seems to be that 2013 was a bad year for the same reason nearly every other recent year was bad: polarization and partisanship. Personally, I can think of plenty of more important things to worry about than partisanship. Democracy is about disagreements, and partisanship is often a sign of healthy disagreement.
WASHINGTON - America's capacity for optimism and hope has been boundless through much of our short history.
SAN DIEGO - What Americans really need to kick off the new year is a dramatic improvement in our relations with India. In a world where it sometimes seems that the United States doesn't have many friends and allies, that south Asian country has become both. Most notably, since the attacks Sept. 11, 2001, India has been a partner in fighting the war on terror.
WASHINGTON - The year-end review required of all columnists inevitably brings us to the mailbag and a few clarifications.
SAN DIEGO - Given what he does for a living, it is no surprise that Rick Najera's memoir about being a Latino breaking down barriers in Hollywood reads like a good movie.
WASHINGTON - The lie of the year, according to Politifact, is "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it." But the story of the year is a nation waking up to just how radical Obamacare is - which is why it required such outright deception to get it passed in the first place.
So rednecks need to be politically correct now?
When will the insurers revolt?
WASHINGTON - In his Islamic State speech, President Barack Obama said many of the right things. Most importantly, he finally got the mission right: degrade and destroy the enemy.
"I should have anticipated the optics," President Barack Obama said by way of acknowledging that golfing right after making a statement about the beheading of James Foley looked bad. "Part of this job is also the theater of it," he said. "It's not something that always comes naturally to me. But it matters."
WASHINGTON - At his first press briefing after the beheading of American James Foley, President Barack Obama stunned the assembled when he admitted that he had no strategy in Syria for confronting the Islamic State. Yet it was not nearly the most egregious, or consequential, thing he said.
Several recent events in North Georgia involving government transparency - or the lack thereof - prompted friends and colleagues in other parts of the country to ask whether I am living in some 18th century time warp, as they frequently perceive this portion of the country, where absolutists reign with absolute disregard for their subjects.
On the Internet, you're never really alone. Name any fad, any cause, any hobby or passion - Shaker furniture? Dungeons and Dragons, Bolivian tree frogs? - and you're only a few clicks away from someone who shares your obsession.
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