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.
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is highly exercised about "inversion," the practice by which an American corporation acquires a foreign company and moves its headquarters out of the U.S. to benefit from lower tax rates abroad.
WASHINGTON - Baghdad called President Barack Obama's bluff and he came through. He had refused to provide air support to Iraqi government forces until the Iraqis got rid of their divisive sectarian prime minister.
Does the president think the world is a TV show?
I never liked it when George W. Bush used the term "evildoers" to describe al-Qaida and other terrorists. A lot of other people objected as well, but for different reasons.
"Great nations need organizing principles, and 'Don't do stupid stuff' is not an organizing principle." - Hillary Clinton, The Atlantic, Aug. 10
The hawks (including me) were wrong about a lot, but some got one thing right. It's going to be a long war.
SAN DIEGO - The National Association of Hispanic Journalists is getting good at producing embarrassing headlines.
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is impatient. Congress won't act on immigration, he says, and therefore he will. The White House is coy as to exactly what the president will do. But the leaks point to an executive order essentially legalizing an enormous new class of illegal immigrants, perhaps up to 5 million people.
World War I started one century ago. Wait! Don't stop reading.
About one month after getting approved as foster parents, my husband and I got our first placement.
WASHINGTON - John Kerry is upset by heavy criticism from Israelis - left, right and center - of his recent cease-fire diplomacy.
"Sorry to email you late on a Friday, but I need your urgent support," Nancy Pelosi wrote me.
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.
WASHINGTON - Post-election analysis falls somewhere between amusing and clueless.
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