A note I made for this column:
Sitting in a bar. Watching television news. Guy next to me, guy with plaster dust on his boots, sees something about former President Jimmy Carter's habit of helping build houses for the poor.
"You know why Carter did that?" the guy says to me.
I brace myself. I brace myself when anyone says anything even ...Read more
This is becoming another summer that didn't quite happen. It follows the bum summer of 2020, which was canceled by COVID-19.
In the West this year, summer is literally going up in smoke. Wildfires from Southern California to Washington state are burning out of control and clouding skies as far away as New England. The West Coast is seeing ...Read more
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued more guidance, this time to put our masks back on indoors with potentially unvaccinated people because you might transmit the virus to them. And those unvaccinated people are the ones crowding the hospitals. They are a danger to themselves and others.
A very big part of me would like ...Read more
I’m literally old enough to remember when Republicans proudly branded themselves as the cop-loving guardians of “law and order.”
Richard Nixon won the presidency with that shtick in 1968, Donald Trump used it in 2016 (“I will restore law and order to our country”), and tried it again in 2020 (“I love law enforcement, I love the ...Read more
The Ku Klux Klan hung a wanted poster in Mississippi in the early 1960s, offering a reward for Bob Moses, an African American civil-rights worker -- dead or alive. Moses defied his would-be assassins, and went on to transform the South and the country as a whole with his brilliant work as a grassroots organizer, registering voters while training...Read more
WASHINGTON -- I don't need a hearing to tell me what happened on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol, which was stormed by an armed mob. But the nation needs a reckoning on that deadly day.
It was a moment history will never forget, a presidential attack on an equal branch of government, Congress. This I can tell you: It was not a drill, nor a ...Read more
Playing the billionaires' news game, mega-investor Warren Buffett once held a portfolio of 31 dailies and 49 weeklies, including such major city papers as the Buffalo News and the Omaha World Herald. He specialized in squeezing out competitors. His scheme was to create monopoly papers and then chop staff and news content, letting him glean ...Read more
It’s not that we forget.
But sooner or later, news becomes history, and the awful thing that happened loses its power to shock. You remember the emotions you felt, but you don’t re-experience them — not to any degree of sharpness or immediacy.
One day, that will happen to the events of Jan. 6. One day, as was the case with Dec. 7 and Nov...Read more
On July 4, 1997, Sen. John Glenn hosted a lunch for his staff in his hideaway office underneath the Capitol dome. Born in New Concord, Ohio, population 1,800, the plumber's son turned war hero turned astronaut Glenn felt America's birthday in his bones, and he was in good spirits.
At the time, Glenn was the ranking Democrat on a Republican-...Read more
In the summer, boys dress for the warm weather, but girls dress hardly at all. Most high school guys are in baggy shorts, while many of the girls are wearing shorts so short that parts of their rear end remain exposed. The "distressed" versions -- with rips and ragged hems -- are often called Daisy Dukes, after a sexy character who wore them in ...Read more
Billionaire space cowboys Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson have rightfully been taking some flack for sub-orbital jaunts earlier this month that garnered plenty of headlines but little in the way of actual scientific advancement, apart from trying to normalize the idea of routine spaceflight for exceptionally rich people.
With all the power of ...Read more
You’d think President Biden and the Democratic Party leadership would do everything in their power to stop Republicans from undermining democracy.
So far this year, the GOP has passed roughly 30 laws in states across the country that will make voting harder, especially in Black and Latino communities. With Donald Trump’s baseless claim that...Read more
She is 8 years old.
That’s ... what? About third grade? Too young for boyfriends. Too young for R-rated movies. Too young for algebra or a learner’s permit.
But she has already experienced her second shooting.
It happened a little over a week ago in Washington, D.C., outside of Nationals Park where a ballgame was in progress. But you may ...Read more
Historically, the United States and Cuba have shared, as former President William McKinley once said, "ties of singular intimacy"; ties ranging from amity and hardy alliance -- think World War II (Cuba declared war on Japan two days after Pearl Harbor) -- to spasms of deep hostility that peaked during the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and the ...Read more
It was the summer of 1984. I had never set foot on the University of Southern California campus. The joke among law professors was that if we dropped USC and just called it Gould School of Law -- which is the actual name -- we would have picked up a few points in the rankings.
My big "contribution" was to add language to the "stump speech" ...Read more
Concern-trolling over the dismal plight of women in Afghanistan is powerfully appealing to liberals who look for reasons for the United States to maintain a military presence there. If and when the Taliban return to power, the warmongers argue, the bad, old days of stonings, burqas and girls banned from school will come back -- and it'll be our ...Read more
Last week, a federal judge in Houston ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy was "illegal," which halted accepting incoming applications. I was in South Texas for my father-in-law's funeral when the news broke. His widow -- mi suegra -- is one of the strongest women I've ever met.
My mother-in-law Manuela was born on a ...Read more
I am an American male. I gauge my general health with these five simple comparisons.
No. 1: My buddy Stan. He's dead.
No. 2: Anyone I've seen recently who was using an oxygen tank.
No. 3: Three guys I know who are drinking themselves to death.
No. 4: That guy I saw in Walmart last week who musta weighed 400 pounds.
No. 5: Anyone I ever knew...Read more
Watching two billionaires blast off into space this month was both impressive and maddening. Impressive to see the perfect execution of Virgin Galactic’s mission to near-space, with founder Richard Branson on board. And even more impressive, just a few days later, to witness Blue Origin’s flawless leap into space, with founder Jeff Bezos, ...Read more
Many of us spent the pandemic months obsessing over how our mug looked on Zoom and other video-chatting services. Poor lighting was a torment, and the lack of sunshine and exercise produced what's been dubbed "lockdown face."
At in-person meetings, we see only the people we're talking to. Video calls -- be it via Zoom, Skype, Google Meet or ...Read more