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 - 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.
WASHINGTON - It is easy these days to imagine that one is living in a fairy tale, albeit a dreary one.
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 - When the topic is immigration reform, liberals and Democrats always manage to disappoint.
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's imaginary son is back in town and this time he can't play football.
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.
We know Barack Obama is good at least one thing: getting Barack Obama elected president of the United States. How good he is at being president of the United States is a subject of considerable debate.
WASHINGTON - Memo to the GOP: You had a great night on Tuesday. But remember, you didn't win it. The Democrats lost it.
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