Stories by Kathleen
Conservative organizations suddenly have found common cause with one of their favorite objects of contempt -- the Mainstream Media. In a twist of irony, the two groups have coalesced around a common enemy: the U.S. government.
In a reprieve from the horror of the most recent terrorist attack, the nation's attentions turned last week to the man who declared the war on terrorism, George W. Bush. During the April 25 dedication of his library at Southern Methodist University, nary a word was spoken about the most controversial aspect of his tenure, the Iraq invasion. All living presidents were in attendance and made only generic references to mistakes and regrets familiar to all. Of course, Bush famously acknowledges no mistakes or regrets, but rather bequeaths judgment to history.
The biggest obstacle to the Obama administration's push for tighter gun control may be its own best argument: Newtown. This is because nothing proposed in the gun control debates would have prevented the mass killing of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and everybody knows it. At best, tighter gun laws will make us feel better.
The media love optics and no one understands this better than President Obama. Thus, he invited a gang of Republican senators to din-dins at the swank (and legendary) Jefferson Hotel, one of the city's more discreet (and expensive) gathering places.
First they came for the drones.
We may never know exactly what happened in Benghazi the night Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed, but it's becoming increasingly clear that our response was short of optimum. Even today, there are far more questions than answers. Could Stevens have been saved? Was Washington doing all in its drone-loving power to intervene? And, finally, as now-retired Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fired back to congressional questioners during her recent appearance on Capitol Hill: What difference, at this point, does it make?
It must be true what they say about women -- that they are smarter, stronger, wiser and wilier than your average Joe.
The new year has begun with an avalanche of Republican retrospectives: What went wrong? What must the GOP do? I keep bumping into advice my father gave me a long time ago: "Learn Spanish. You will need it to survive in the world you will inherit."
As politicians compete to prove who loves the middle class more, they're missing the elephant and the donkey in the room. The middle class needs not just tax breaks and jobs but also marriage.
Americans are justified in feeling numbed by the car alarm of Washington, D.C., politics. Noisiest is the "fiscal cliff," which will be looming at least until Christmas or even New Year's. What do most Americans know about it? Not much except that Washington, D.C., as usual, isn't doing what's necessary to prevent it.
Four-year-old Abigael Evans spoke for millions when she sobbed, "I'm tired of Bronco Bamma and Mitt Romney." Her mother, who posted a video on YouTube of her crying daughter, consoled her, saying, "The election will be over soon, OK?"
Forget "horses and bayonets." The most important word uttered during the third presidential debate was "peace."
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Contrary to conventional wisdom that debates are rarely, if ever, game-changers, the first presidential debate was a demolition derby. And no amount of post-debate fact-checking, spinning or dances of one's choice (Barack Obama has cited Mitt Romney's tap-dancing and soft-shoe) is going to alter the impression of Romney's winning-ness.
One of the great fallacies of politics — and life — is that one must be liked to be effective. It helps, just as it helps to be attractive or athletic or kind.
TAMPA, Fla. -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is either the luckiest or unluckiest man in America. Every year about this time, he gets slammed with a potentially catastrophic natural disaster and has to miss all the fun.
The same week that President Obama's health regulations go into effect, forcing people of faith to violate their conscience or shut their doors, Mitt Romney was preaching the gospel of economic and religious freedom in Poland and Israel. By that juxtaposition, the contrast in presidential candidates could not be starker.
Few instances are more refreshing than the sound of a politician leaving office. This isn't because we want to see them go, necessarily (though this, too, can be delicious), but because they tend to speak truthfully upon their departure.
The Supreme Court ruling on health care reform was like Palm Sunday in reverse: First they crucified Chief Justice John Roberts, then, upon his ruling, they hauled out the palm fronds.
By now, most Americans have heard about the so-called Republican war on women, which has been framed as a battle waged by stodgy old white guys who want to deny women reproductive freedom. One can debate the validity of these claims, but for now, let's give equal time to the other war on women. This one is manned not by men but by a dwindling number of women whose understanding of equality is so narrowly defined that only a certain kind of woman can be recognized as having achieved anything.
All the world's a stage, all right, and never so much as when presidential politics are in play.
Novelist John Grisham could hardly spin a more provocative fiction: The president and his surrogates mount an aggressive campaign to intimidate the chief justice of the United States, implying ruin and ridicule should he fail to vote in a pivotal case according to the ruling political party's wishes.
The news that Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng and his family might be allowed to leave China for a university fellowship in the United States brought relief not only to Chen but also to dissidents around the world.
I think it is fair to say that the shark has been permanently displaced by the dog. When scriptwriters have run out of mustard, the show hasn’t “jumped the shark,” as we’ve been saying since the Fonz literally jumped a shark while water-skiing. These days, the political show has eaten the dog.
All it takes is one little twit. Or a tweet, as the case may be -- not that the two are mutually exclusive. In fact, very likely the person who recently started a rumor about South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was trying to create that idiot’s delight -- “buzz” -- for his blog. Or whatever little virtual temple he had erected to himself.
By now you’ve heard it plenty: The Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare,” is like the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This creative bit of dot-connecting began with President Obama, and has been perpetuated by countless talk-show hosts and their guests. By implication, to oppose Obamacare is tantamount to opposing civil rights, which, roughly translated in this country, means being racist.
Introducing her husband on Super Tuesday night, Ann Romney said women this election season are interested in jobs, the economy and the debt. Translation: So could we shut up already about contraception?
Let me be blunt: If Republicans nominate Rick Santorum, they will lose. The prospect of four more years of Barack Obama holds some appeal for many Americans, but probably not for most Republicans. It may give doubters among them some comfort, however, to know that Obama and Santorum share the same prayer: that Santorum be the Republican nominee.
Mitt Romney’s recent losses to Rick Santorum in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota revealed a truism that Romney might want to study -- but not too much. Parting with one’s dreams isn’t only sweet sorrow, it also can be liberating. Beneath the sorrow and alongside the liberation, one finds not only peace, but often oneself.
When a friend was writing a novel, he was concerned that his protagonist was too perfect. People can’t identify with perfection, he said. For the character to be sympathetic, he needs to have a flaw. He needs an injury or a wound of some sort so that people can identify with and care about him. “Why don’t you give him a limp?” I suggested, thinking of my own bum leg from a long-ago car accident. And thus, the character, an otherwise near-perfect man -- good-looking, smart and talented -- began to walk with a slight pause in his gait. To the reader, it was love at first limp.
One thing we’ve learned since the Republican primary season began: There’s an awful lot of pious baloney out there. The vast majority of it is on the plate of the man who coined the phrase — Newt Gingrich. Not that he’s dining alone. Gingrich first tossed the holy lunchmeat on the counter during one of the New Hampshire debates after Mitt Romney tried to aver that he never set out to be a career politician. He was a businessman first, he said, who found his way to politics. Gingrich, who has declared war on Romney, all but called the former Massachusetts governor a liar, and not for the first time. Fast-forward a few days, and Romney’s rivals have seized the baloney and slathered it with holy hoo-hah.
The great thing about Iowa is that Tuesday’s big event doesn’t really matter. Placing in Iowa might land one a talk show (see Mike Huckabee), but the preferences of a handful of Americans belonging to a committed, ideological subset of a committed, ideological party do not a national trend suggest. The presumptive candidate proceeds apace. Which raises the question none too soon: Whom will Mitt Romney select as his running mate?
Callista Gingrich has done something she might come to regret — succumbed to the Twitter fairy and opened the door to unwelcome scrutiny.
One week it’s Rick Perry, the next it’s Herman Cain. Now it’s … Newt Gingrich?
The headline on Democratic strategist Paul Begala’s recent Newsweek essay dodged subtlety: “The Stupid Party.”
If you were Herman Cain, what would you do? Undoubtedly countless men have pondered this question the past several days. The query got trickier when feminist attorney Gloria Allred presented a fourth woman — in person — to recount an alleged sexual transgression by the former pizza executive.
The call by some members of the black media for African-Americans to support President Obama in racial solidarity is a terrible idea. Just as terrible as women supporting women only because of their sex, or any other group viewing the world solely through the narrow prism of their own experience. If pursued and played by Obama, it will be the worst thing not only for his re-election campaign but also for the country. How did this come about?
Americans are a fickle lot. They create celebrities out of those they adore, and then hate them for acting like celebrities. Thus, we want our politicians to be a celebrity; we just don’t want them to act like one. And what does acting like a celebrity mean, anyway?