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Politics

Biden Stalked by Irony of His Age

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Some years ago, I worked out with Joe Biden. He lifted weights while I pedaled a stationary bike and I can report that the vice president of the United States, if he has kept up his exercise regimen, should be in splendid shape. Still, he is now 72, and if he runs for president, as he is now considering doing, he will be one of the oldest ...Read more

In Uber's Tracks

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Uber just ran over the mayor of New York. Bill de Blasio wanted to limit the company's expansion, citing traffic and complaints from the taxi industry, which is, as the saying goes, on the wrong side of history. Uber marshaled most of the world's lobbyists and consultants and, in the apt description of the online journal Capital "crushed the ...Read more

Is Scott Walker Ignorant By Choice?

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

I have a question for Scott Walker. At what point did he decide to be heterosexual? At what age did he decide that he would not be homosexual or, if he had the energy, bisexual? I know for myself that I am unaware of making such a decision and did not mark it down -- as I now would -- in my Google Calendar or Tweet it to much of America and the ...Read more

The Blunt Language of History

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Georgia seceded from the Union in January 1861, and spelled out the reasons with a statement that's 3,318 words long, including 35 references to "slave" and "slavery." Slavery is the reason Georgia left to join the Confederate States of America -- and the Georgians of that era made no bones about it. The statement is refreshingly -- and ...Read more

Sucked into the Benghazi Vortex

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Sometime soon, the House Select Committee on Benghazi will vote on whether to release the testimony of Sidney Blumenthal who, let us make no bones about it, is solemnly accused of being a friend of Hillary Clinton's.

Of that he is no doubt guilty, caught red-handed by his leaked emails to her, her responses to him, a vast public record, his ...Read more

The GOP's View From Under the Sand

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

If you're old enough to recall how the landslide election of Lyndon Johnson over the hapless Barry Goldwater supposedly spelled the end of the Republican Party, or how Ronald Reagan's election amounted to a revolution that put the Democratic party on the mat until -- more or less -- the end of time, then you will understand my caution in saying ...Read more

Uber Drivers as the Paperboys of Yore

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Before there was Uber, there was the Long Island Press. It was the local newspaper of my boyhood and I worked for it -- at least I thought I did. I was a paperboy, around 12 or so, and happy to emulate the paperboys of old, the Great Americans whose posters adorned the place where I picked up my papers. These included Dwight D. Eisenhower and ...Read more

Fight the Islamic State Now or Later

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

If you stare at the Islamic State areas of Iraq and Syria long enough -- a bit like Nietzsche's staring into the abyss -- it will not exactly stare back at you, but it will start to look a lot like Vietnam. The U.S. can either learn from that experience or get out now. President Obama, as is his custom, looks like he wants to do both.

The ...Read more

The Ugly Effort to Boycott Israel

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

The chief executive of Orange, the global telecom company based in France, says he is going to Israel, surely to apologize for recently saying that, if he could, he would end his company's relationship with its Israeli partner "tomorrow morning." The hitch is that he can't, since there is a contract, and now Stephane Richard says he doesn't want...Read more

Profiting From the Presidency

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Gerald Ford was very briefly vice president of the United States and, following the resignation of Richard Nixon, somewhat less briefly president of the United States. He was an affable fellow, strangely guileless, and yet a groundbreaker at what now gets little recognition. He was the first ex-president to sell the presidency.

Within a year of...Read more

Blanching Hitler

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

"I remember waking up," Adolf Hitler says. "I was lying on an area of undeveloped land, surrounded by terraces of houses." The year is 2011, somewhere in Berlin, and Hitler, uniformed as he was when he committed suicide, cannot account for how he got where he is. That's OK with him, because he can't really account for how he, impoverished and ...Read more

Are the Castros Willing to Confess?

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Who am I to tell the pope how to be, well ... the pope? But after President Raul Castro of Cuba, an observant communist for most of his life, said he was so impressed with Francis that he was considering returning to the Catholic Church, I would have liked for the pope to first have handed him a list of political prisoners, adding, "Free these ...Read more

First Lady's Critics Have Much to Learn

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Sometimes I think that Rush Limbaugh is the dumbest man in America. This happens whenever I take him at face value and forget that he is basically an entertainer with contempt for his audience. He will tell them anything. Last week, as if to validate my opinion of him, he went after Michelle Obama for playing the "race card" at the dedication of...Read more

A Return to Nixonland?

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Rick Perlstein prefaces his book "Nixonland" by noting that in 1964 Lyndon Johnson, the liberal Democrat, won one of the biggest landslides in American history. Eight years later, Richard Nixon, the conservative Republican, won a similar landslide. What had happened in the intervening years? Quite a bit, actually -- and some of it is happening ...Read more

If Trump Runs, Others Win

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Where's the Donald?

Where is Donald Trump? He has sort of hung around presidential candidate events and even launched a presidential exploratory committee, but when the media's lists of GOP contenders are printed, the name of Donald Trump is usually nowhere to be found. The man can't get no respect.

To show you what I mean, I have in my hand ...Read more

Criticism of Comey's Comments Misguided

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

In the category of "no good deed goes unpunished," we now have the speech of FBI Director James Comey at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. He said some remarkable things. The first is that he requires all his agents and analysts to visit the museum so that they can acquaint themselves with evil. The second is that he personally is so "haunted"...Read more

Being Hillary

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Ten days after I wrote a column in 2013 that was headlined "Just being Hillary Clinton isn't enough," I ran into her at a social event. She was on the way out and I was coming in and so we just chatted briefly. Referring to my column, she said, "Richard, I will have a message" and then quickly added, "If I run." Well, she's running, and ...Read more

Ol' Blue Eyes Still Sparkles

From the Left / Richard Cohen /

Frank Sinatra would have been 100 years old by the end of this year (Dec. 12) and already the commemorations have begun -- an exhibition at the New York Public Library, a two-part documentary on HBO and the reissuance of several books. The music endures, but so does the dirt.

Of the dirt, there is plenty. Sinatra was lousy to his first wife, ...Read more

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