WASHINGTON - By early 2011, writes former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, he had concluded that President Barack Obama "doesn't believe in his own (Afghanistan) strategy, and doesn't consider the war to be his."
SAN DIEGO - It's with a chuckle that Marilinda Garcia recalls the day that her critics demanded to see her papers.
What a bizarre spectacle. Assuming he did not lie during his marathon news conference last week, the feeding frenzy surrounding New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will be remembered as one of those incredibly odd moments of elite journalistic hysteria that are difficult to explain to people who weren't there or didn't get it.
WASHINGTON - As we evaluate the efficacy of the War on Poverty, a single, unquantifiable factor stubbornly demands attention: luck.
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.
Is Hillary Rodham Clinton a McDonald's Big Mac or a Chipotle burrito bowl? A can of Bud or a bottle of Blue Moon? J.C. Penney or J. Crew?"
Republicans seem ceaselessly enamored of litmus tests, but the newest one - Do you believe President Barack Obama loves America? - makes birthers seem witty.
I've been radicalized. By Harry Reid and Barack Obama. Goodbye moderation and sweet reason. No more clinging to constitutional and procedural restraint. It's time to go nuclear.
"Could this argument be any dumber?"
Channel-surfing the nightly cable news, one is reminded that certitude is the enemy of sanity.
I once asked my late father if he had any experiences with anti-Semitism. There weren't many. Although that was probably in part because of his scoring methodology. The Irish kids who beat up the Jewish kids in his Bronx neighborhood didn't do so because they were anti-Semitic, but because "they had to fight somebody," as my dad put it. Today, such behavior would probably be called a hate crime.
There's a very 2001 feel to President Barack Obama's request for authorization to use military force and the nauseating sense that we'll be at war indefinitely.
As soon as the news broke Tuesday evening, anyone near a TV, radio or computer heard that three Muslim students were murdered near the University of North Carolina.
His secretary of defense says "the world is exploding all over." His attorney general says that the threat of terror "keeps me up at night."
By now everyone knows about his transgressions. If even only some of the reports are true, Brian Williams is a serial embellisher, a self-aggrandizing fabulist.
I knew foster parents were badly needed in Hall County when my husband and I signed up.
Everyone has an idea of what the role of parent means.
About one month after getting approved as foster parents, my husband and I got our first placement.
It's 5:30 a.m. on a Saturday, and my husband taps me.
We got the call at 3 p.m. on a Monday. Two little ones needed a home.
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