Archive

Date

January 8th, 2015

Four Questions for 2015

    Will President Barack Obama approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline?

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The Obama Recovery

    Suppose that for some reason you decided to start hitting yourself in the head, repeatedly, with a baseball bat. You'd feel pretty bad. Correspondingly, you'd probably feel a lot better if and when you finally stopped. What would that improvement in your condition tell you?

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The conscience of Mario Cuomo

    There will never be another politician like Mario Cuomo, a man shaped by a different age. Yet he taught lessons about racial reconciliation, the role of religion in politics, the purposes of politics itself and -- oddly for a politician -- humility that will always be fresh.

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January 1st

Permanent Armageddon

    Meg Greenfield, the late Washington Post editorial page editor, counseled against writing in "High C" all the time. By this she meant that an editorialist or columnist who expressed equally noisy levels of indignation about everything would lack credibility when something truly outrageous came along that merited a well-crafted high-pitched scream.

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U.S. torture was illegal, but nobody is likely to be punished

    In a rare case of editorial initiative, the New York Times editorial board has flatly called for an investigation of former Vice President Dick Cheney and other prominent George W. Bush administration figures involved in authorship of the so-called torture memos, which authorized use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" against suspected terrorists captured in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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The Fracking Boom is a Fracking Bubble

    Gas prices have plunged to the low $2 range—except in Pennsylvania.

    In Pennsylvania, the prices at the pump are in the mid-$2 range.

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A year that took the awe out of 'awesome'

    It was an "awesome" year. In my annual search for a word that pretty much describes the past year, I have found that almost everything, everywhere, was "awesome."

    I am using the A-word in the sense that I have heard my son's generation use it since he was in grade school in the 1990s.

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When Readers Do Get It

    Poetry is a window into the soul. And one lesson to me from the reaction to my "When Whites Just Don't Get It" series is that we need soul-searching about race in America. So I invited readers this month to submit poems about race.

    Thanks to everyone for sending in more than 300 poems, and I'm happy to turn this column over to you readers and your verse.

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Silicon Valley's Mirror Effect

    "If meritocracy exists anywhere on earth, it is in Silicon Valley," wrote David Sacks in an email to The Times' Jodi Kantor.

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Farewell to a year that had little to like

    I'm sorry to say that the going word on 2014 is that it was the worst possible year. If you had ordered the year from a catalogue, you would have sent it back with an angry note attached: "Just give me two 1929s, and stop delivery of 2015." It was awful. It was lousy. It stank.

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