For all the hands shaken and hamburgers eaten, President Obama has never quite shaken his reputation for detachment. He is the "cool" president who doesn't lose his temper even when he should. He is the former constitutional law professor who is too "academic" for the Oval Office. He uses his brain when he should be relying more on other body parts: guts, heart, cojones. He surrounds himself with a small coterie of friends and lacks the common touch. All of this is nonsense, of course -- the kind of stuff that has made People magazine and Entertainment Tonight into reference guides even inside the Beltway. Our celebrity culture has turned us all into armchair therapists who put even our president on the couch to analyze his personality flaws. But when the label of "detached" acquires a political spin, it's no longer just nonsense. It becomes dangerous.
Is the conflict tearing this new nation apart actually a proxy fight between the world's two top economic and military powers? That's the way South Sudan's Information Minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, tells it.
The fight to renew unemployment insurance has always been about those who are most affected. This is about the forgotten Americans struggling just to make ends meet. We hear them, we stand with them, and we urge House Republicans to end their resistance to an extension.
Every 6-year-old in Gaza is now living through the third war in their life. Aside from the risks they face of being injured or killed, one cannot begin to fathom what this means for their long-term mental health and well-being.
Nothing should be off limits to discussion. No, let me amend that. If you think some things should be off limits, let's sit down together and discuss that proposition itself. Let's not just insult each other and cut off all discussion because we rationalists have somehow wandered into a land where emotion is king.
I once cared deeply about these things. But as I've gotten older and "wiser" (debatable), I've realized they just don't matter to me.
This week, working people made some hugely significant gains as the fruits sowed by organizing efforts, lawsuits, legislative action -- and above all, workers standing up for themselves despite tremendous risk -- began to be visible.
In lieu of building an actual time machine (I was always terrible at science), I've collected some 200 titles on the golden days of this movie mecca, from coffee table books to anthologies of costume design to memoirs of directors/producers/writers, to biographies and autobiographies.
All the chatter about disproportion in war, laced with macho innuendo about size, stature, relevance and subordination is of course a sideshow compared to the horrific slaughter and existential threat of the Gaza-Israel war.
America's federal budget deficits have actually shrunk by nearly $5 trillion since 2010. The CBO's projection for the budget deficit this year is smaller than it's been on average over the past 40 years. In short, the economic evidence is clear: This deficit is no longer an urgent issue. But there are, in fact, deficits that demand immediate attention.
The war will eventually come to an end. The question is, will the terms for ending the bloody conflict set the stage for the next round of hostilities, or will both sides shed their delusions, recognize each other and stop this vicious cycle of violence?
You've got to wonder what would motivate creatures from other worlds to suffer a journey of hundreds of trillions of miles to visit our planet? Why bother? I've been asked this question at least a half-dozen times by Hollywood writers, and the best answer I can muster is "I don't know."
I secretly (publicly) would love it if he would learn to love produce the way I do, the same way I know he wishes I would eat a steak. At this point, though, besides it having no appeal, I'm pretty sure my body would violently reject red meat, were I to eat it.
This August marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. That "Great War" was many things, but it was most certainly a war of machines, of dreadnought battleships and "Big Bertha" artillery, of newfangled airplanes and tortoise-like tanks.
If you want to avoid committing the faux pas of describing a colleague or an acquaintance as a friend, here are some rules for when it's fair game to use the term.
I understood Clevelanders who declared LeBron forever dead to them. Still, I have my own journey as a prodigal son who once had to leave Cleveland in order to grow up, only to later return so I could discover my real story.
The comma is such a little mark, but it can prompt big confusion -- and heated debate -- about its use.
When a source of inspiration and spiritual guidance for Catholics around the world is deemed "too liberal" by House Republicans, it's quite evident that Ted Cruz and Louie Gohmert are now the face of the GOP.
Regardless of their origin, all children have the same right to due process before the law. We should guarantee "equality under the law" not by lowering standards for more kids, but by raising standards for all kids.
Singer India Arie speaks about her relationship with Dr. Angelou, as well as her own journey, from anonymity to stardom, and how those elements intersect.
How could she, as his zealously anti-gay religious mentor and self-avowed "demon buster," possibly tolerate his "evolving" on something that is so fundamental to her belief system? But if it's truly the case that he's evolved, Tyree can let us all know that he completely disavows her radical views on homosexuality.
Counter insurgency has been at the heart of the "war on terror." It has failed -- in Iraq and in Afghanistan. The main reasons are readily identifiable. Some are generic; others specific to time and place.
The timing and blatant nature of the pecuniary partnership between America's leading academic child psychiatrist and a Fortune 500 mega-corporation left me feeling sad, angry and alone. Where were other doctors, patients, the public and the press? Why weren't they speaking out about this obvious conflict of interest?
The argument "But they use human shields!" has now become a hollow justification for innocent casualties and atrocities in warfare (instead of an explanation), and while many of us suspect that Hamas may be guilty of this, Israel's massive bombardments have now crossed some ethical line.
Deborah Solomon's biography is one of the biggest non-fiction literary snow jobs in the last 50 years -- it makes the James Frey memoir debacle look like child's play.
In the face of the ongoing aggression, the ensuing humanitarian crisis, and the political stalemate between Israel and Hamas, I have written this letter to my former congressional colleagues.
In the near future, Guantanamo will again force courts to confront important questions, from whether the U.S. can continue holding without charge individuals who do not present a significant security threat to determining the end of the war itself.
As hamstrung as Obama is by Congress, he needs to push much harder for a truly comprehensive executive branch plan of regulatory measures, executive orders, and agency-by-agency reviews. The place he needs to start is to put a stop to the Keystone pipeline foolishness once and for all.
The way James Brown saw it, the hardships in his life -- born in a shotgun shack in the woods, abandoned by his mother, spending days as a child picking cotton under the hot sun, troubles with the law, substance abuse issues, the betrayal of friends and business associates -- were not disadvantages, but rather, sacred consecrations.
This is a rare week indeed in Washington, since it is one of those weeks when Congress actually attempts to get something done. There's a reason for this, of course, and it is the usual one: they're about to take another jaw-droppingly extensive vacation.
The cycle is set so that even before this conflict, and the ones before it, started, both sides were almost guaranteed of victory on their own terms.