Archive

Date

June 4th, 2014

On presidential firings

    President Obama's firing of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, transparently dressed up as a resignation under congressional pressure, seemed somehow out of character for a chief executive known for patience and dislike of wielding the knife.

    The retired Army general and Vietnam combat veteran had matched Obama's own style of cautious deliberation in coping with the VA scandal that left thousands of patients waiting interminable months for medical treatment, some even dying while they waited.

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Therapy Benefits Us All

    In 2008, I went to therapy. By then, I’d needed it for a long time. I had a terribly difficult, incurable condition — one I’d had for 28 years without treatment.

    My condition? Being human.

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There's a Kind of Hush

    Few people have fought as courageously for human rights as Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Prize-winning democracy advocate who stood up to the generals here in Myanmar.

    Suu Kyi should be one of the heroes of modern times. Instead, as her country imposes on the Rohingya Muslim minority an apartheid that would have made white supremacists in South Africa blush, she bites her tongue.

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Voting for Judges

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Walmart’s Top-to-Bottom Taxpayer Subsidies

    Low-income families weren’t the only ones hurt by cuts to food stamps last fall. Top Walmart executives also took a hit.

    The cutbacks ate into the discount giant’s sales because so many of its low-income customers rely on this public assistance program to help pay for their groceries. And that made it tough for the company’s top brass to meet their bonus targets.

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What about Alan Gross?

    The release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five Taliban detainees raises the question: What about Alan Gross, the State Department subcontractor who has languished nearly as long in a Cuban jail?

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What Greenwald Gets Wrong

    Earth to Glenn Greenwald: If you write a book slamming the New York Times, it's naive to expect favorable treatment in the New York Times Book Review. Been there, done that. Twice, as a matter of fact.

    On the first go-around, the NYTBR reviewer -- a Times alumnus -- described mine as a "nasty" book for hinting that name-brand journalists don't always deal off the top of the deck. No inaccuracies cited, only nastiness.

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Not Much to Lose in Move From Coal

    Barack Obama need not ask how well he's doing in coal country, because the answer is always the same: Not well.

    A cerebral black man never had much of a chance in poor, rural white Appalachia; let's be honest (though we don't have to like it). In 2012, Obama lost to Mitt Romney in West Virginia by a 27-point margin. So Obama had little to lose politically in proposing new rules to cut carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.

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The Mississippi paradox

    Can you hate the federal government but love the money it spends on you?

    The electoral earthquake that was Mississippi's Republican Senate primary has pushed this question to the forefront of American politics.

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June 1st

Where Do These People Come From?

    Growing up in the South I became quite familiar with various colloquial expressions to describe different situations. My mother often used one such in noting bizarre behavior: "It takes all kinds in this old world." That certainly covers the many human foibles of these days.

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