WASHINGTON - For all the gnashing of teeth over the lack of comity and civility in Washington, the real problem is not etiquette but the breakdown of constitutional norms.
WASHINGTON - If you peruse the news on any given day, the farm bill/food stamp debate produces two general impressions: Republicans are heartless turkey thieves; Democrats are spendthrift welfare caterers.
"I'm not a particularly ideological person," President Barack Obama told an audience of donors in Seattle last weekend. He added (in Reuters' words) that "pragmatism was necessary to advance the values that were important to him."
WASHINGTON - For children, Christmastime may be the favorite holiday, even if their families don't celebrate the birth of Christ. The twinkling lights and aura of magic that suddenly transfigure the most plebian edifices are nearly as seductive as a round-trip ticket to Never-Never Land.
In Britain to promote her film "The Butler," Oprah Winfrey gave an interview to the BBC last week. Not surprisingly, she promoted her movie about race relations in the White House with comments about race relations and the White House.
WASHINGTON - By now, most of the world has digested the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination, and millennials can sigh relief that another such re-examination is at least 10 years away.
WASHINGTON - A president desperate to change the subject and a secretary of state desperate to make a name for himself are reportedly on the verge of an "interim" nuclear agreement with Iran. France called it a "sucker's deal."
WASHINGTON - Meet simile and sui generis.
WASHINGTON - Let's recap: If you like your insurance policy, you can keep it. No, wait. If you liked your policy, it was probably worthless anyway. Scratch that.
"Even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got." - Bill Clinton, Nov. 12
Watching Barack President Obama's press conference Thursday, I almost started humming the old ditty the "Farmer in the Dell" because all I could think was: "The cheese stands alone."
WASHINGTON - In spite of everything - the GOP's internal scrimmages, the government shutdown, the party's transparent attempts to derail Obamacare - Republicans keep getting second chances.
"Obama to campaign to ensure health law's success" - The New York Times, Nov. 4
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is no lip-biting, tear-streaking, chin-trembling apologist.
We cannot get past it, we Americans. Not a half century later. Maybe not even ever.
Historic. Such is the ubiquitous description of the climate agreement recently announced in Beijing between Barack Obama and Xi Jinping in which China promised for the first time to cap carbon emissions.
The European Space Agency's Rosetta project accomplished one of the most impressive scientific feats in our lifetime. It essentially moved a clunky machine from one speeding bullet onto another, by remote control, from 310 million miles away. It's hoped this achievement will help usher in a new era of space exploration by teaching us how to exploit the raw materials swirling around the solar system. Also, it was really cool.
News that Pope Francis will visit the U.S. next year for the triennial World Meeting of Families brings elation to Catholics, excitement to pope watchers - and perhaps a little chagrin to some who too soon interpreted Francis' broad compassion as a precursor to doctrinal changes related to marriage.
It's not exactly the Ems Dispatch (the diplomatic cable Bismarck doctored to provoke the 1870 Franco-Prussian War). But what the just-resurfaced Gruber Confession lacks in world-historical consequence, it makes up for in world-class cynicism.
In the old Soviet Union, Kremlinologists would read the state party newspaper Pravda not so much for the news it contained, but to glean what the commissars wanted readers to believe the commissars were thinking.
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