Archive

Date

February 5th, 2015

Netanyahu takes center stage in Boehner's latest folly

    Not since Gen. Douglas MacArthur was called on to address Congress after being fired by President Harry Truman in 1951 has such an invitation to an outsider caused such a stir as House Speaker John Boehner's welcome mat to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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Mitt Quits. Again. Probably.

    Mitt Romney is out! And we hardly had time to adjust to the idea that he was in.

    "I've decided it is best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee," Romney said in one of the least-private conference calls in the history of communication.

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Drone speaks: White House visit justified; 'Sniper' is just 'pro-human propaganda'

    It seems like everyone who is anyone has already weighed in on "American Sniper." John McCain. Michael Moore. Seth Rogen. No one asked them to, but that did not stop them. I was fortunate enough to interview a drone to hear its thoughts. (I've been getting a lot of non-human blog contributors lately!)

    Washington Post: Drone, thank you for joining me.

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The Internet of Every Damn Thing

    Federal Trade Commission head Edith Ramirez put the matter plainly: "If I'm wearing a fitness band that tracks how many calories I consume, I wouldn't want to share that data with an insurance company."

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President Obama's third rail: 529 plans

    Under fire from Republicans and even House Democratic leaders, the White House withdrew this week its plan to end the tax-free status of the college savings accounts known as 529 plans. It's the first political debacle of 2015 for President Obama on the domestic-policy front - but a part of me almost admires him for trying this particular gambit.

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For the Patriots, without apology

    I never knew how much fun it was to be loyal to a hated outlaw sports team until the whole world came down on my dear New England Patriots.

    Having rooted over the years for Boston teams that many felt sorry for -- God help us -- and found psychologically interesting, it was a rush to hear MSNBC's Joe Scarborough the other morning describe my Patriots as a "ruthless killing machine." Wow!

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Europe's Greek Test

    In the five years (!) that have passed since the euro crisis began, clear thinking has been in notably short supply. But that fuzziness must now end. Recent events in Greece pose a fundamental challenge for Europe: Can it get past the myths and the moralizing, and deal with reality in a way that respects the Continent's core values? If not, the whole European project - the attempt to build peace and democracy through shared prosperity - will suffer a terrible, perhaps mortal blow.

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Word Games

    The brilliant actor Benedict Cumberbatch is in hot water for getting his words wrong. Appearing on Tavis Smiley's show, the Oscar-nominated star of "The Imitation Game" took a strong stand in favor of  greater diversity in Hollywood.

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The Debt: Mission Unaccomplished

    Oh, the debt. Yawn. How passe. How 2009.

    Once, President Obama held a summit on fiscal responsibility (2009). Once, he gave an entire speech devoted to the subject (2011). Once, his State of the Union addresses (2010, 2011, 2013) were studded with double-digit references to the problem of sky-high deficits and lingering mountains of debt.

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The Days of Wine and Droning

    The case of the intoxicated government worker who flew a drone onto the White House lawn launched a million jokes. Although none was actually better than the straight-faced headline in The New York Times: "White House Drone Crash Described as a U.S. Worker's Drunken Lark."

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