This week brought two very different goodbyes. First, we said adios to 54 years of Cuban isolation policy, with President Obama lifting bans on travel and trade and resuming diplomatic relations. The other goodbye was to The Colbert Report. After nine years and 1,447 episodes, Stephen Colbert signed off in appropriate fashion, with Santa, a unicorn, Abe Lincoln, and a chess match with Death. Then, he was joined by dozens of former guests -- including Big Bird, Henry Kissinger, George Lucas, Katie Couric, James Franco, Cory Booker, Willie Nelson, and myself -- for a bittersweet version of "We'll Meet Again." After nearly a decade of Colbert, it's clear that what's truly special about him isn't his amazing wit, incredible timing, or even how staggeringly funny he is; it's his heart. Underneath his blowhard character, his humor consistently came from a place of compassion and truth (in the guise of truthiness) -- exactly what we need in these polarized times. Thankfully, we'll all be resuming ties with Colbert again soon.
A few hours ago I read about remarks made by a prominent individual on a much-celebrated TV show Sunday morning and I have been haunted by them ever since. The remarks concerned the torture report recently released to the American people by a committee of the United States Senate.
The current Ebola outbreak underscores that pathogens remain clear and present dangers to humanity, economic development, and national security in an interconnected 21st century world, and we must remain vigilant against them.
Today, as The Colbert Report airs its final episode, I'm looking back with gratitude on nine years of great television. I loved being on the show several times, discussing everything from my Greek accent to self-sabotage to the obnoxious roommate living in my head. Here are some of my favorite moments on The Colbert Report over the years.
This is about your right as an American to produce and consume political, artistic and social expression without governmental terrorism and censorship, in this case North Korea's. This includes your right to choose to see potentially dumb and distasteful films, as well your right not to see it.
Be shocked, be disgusted, be appalled, but don't be fooled. Mainstream coverage of U.S. torture in general, and of this new report in particular, rests on three false assumptions.
While filming a new movie in London, I learned that the sole shale gas well in the nation -- just a few hours north of me -- has triggered two earthquakes, suffered a "structural integrity failure," and risked poisoning water supplies.
As a historian of Cuba, as a Cuban-American, as an American citizen, I applaud President Obama's change of course on Cuba. Surprisingly, so do my 93 and 88-year old Republican parents in Miami.
By selling himself as someone who could get things done with Republicans, Obama gave them the power to make him a success or failure. Unsurprisingly, they chose the latter option. Is Hillary Clinton about to make the same mistake -- and will voters buy it if she does?
After the Sydney crisis, Australia and the world are mourning the loss of two lives: a mother of three and a beloved son. Iranians here in the diaspora mourn too, for the lives taken, and for the as-yet-unknown loss of momentum toward a harmonious peace and place in the world untainted by the actions of a few.
It's time to revisit the very real problem of how law enforcement agencies at all levels of government employ the power of asset forfeiture as a means of harming, and in many instances destroying, the livelihood of individuals and small businesses.
We have all lost in this fight. There are no winners, and with the announcement, pained feelings we have carried for five decades come to the surface.
For those who are serious about wanting to reduce the number of abortions in the United States, easy access to affordable and effective contraception, and ready advice about the proper use of contraception, is critical.
While technically we're still dealing with the hypothetical, the speculation-obsessed media doesn't seem all that bothered by the prospect either. That's what happens when we treat politicians like celebrities and exchange paychecks for access.
I was just a normal kid. I had 1,000 followers and I was the farthest thing from a role model and the person I consider myself to be today. From the bottom of my heart, I am truly sorry to each and every person I have ever offended.
When there is conflict in unstable nations, the tide comes in with the strength of a tsunami to drown out the precious advances that women have made in those countries.
By embracing the absurd and truly embodying it, Colbert has made politics and public policy uproariously funny, while providing much-needed bouts of sanity for devoted news junkies.
Today, President Barack Obama took bold action to put an end to this farce. Over half a century of a counterproductive sanctions and isolation policy is coming to an end. But Cuba is only one of many examples of domestic politics rendering American foreign policy dysfunctional.
When politicians start advancing laws that will actually help women -- not just co-opting the language -- then we can all celebrate and declare a real victory.
One man charged the terrorist. Tori Johnson was 34. He managed the Lindt Chocolate Café for two years. Employees and customers all said he was a good man, a kind man. He was also a gay man.
Rape culture is living in a society in which your story is dissected rather than heard; it's being told your inherent, God-given value begins to disintegrate once your story gets uncomfortable and its trajectory skewed.
Not only do we rank 26th in median wealth, we also are the most anti-employee country in the developed world. Actually, the two go together because rising inequality results from our pro-Wall Street and anti-worker policies.
Below are some of the top stories that made 2014 a watershed year in the fight to end America's longest failed war.
Sometimes, when I tell people that I am a feminist, they are a little confused about what, exactly, I mean.
The campaign finance deregulation policy rider to the spending legislation signed by the president is a final recognition by politicians of both parties that nothing will be done to prevent or even slow down the seemingly unstoppable march toward even more money in American politics.
Sure, by the numbers, assuming people are straight is a safe bet. Most people are. But assumptions are dangerous. This particular assumption implies to my son that there is something wrong him for being other than straight. And there's not. He should be exactly who he is.
As I prepare to retire from NRDC and hand the reins over to our incoming president Rhea Suh, I have been reflecting on how the climate movement can secure the solutions we need to protect future generations from harm. In my view, here are issues we need to keep in mind.
On the night that Yusuf Islam, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, kicked off his first American tour in 38 years, there were many of us at the show who were excited to hear the music but wondering aloud about the performer's politics.
This week, my husband and I will celebrate our 36th anniversary. Some years we've gotten dressed-up and gone out to dinner. Other years we've simply marked the day with a kiss. That's what marriage is: richer, poorer, good times and bad. Each year with its surprises and challenges, its hard fought lessons, its moments of sweetness.
To say that Black lives matter is not to say that other lives do not; indeed, it is quite the reverse -- it is to recognize that all lives do matter, and to acknowledge that African Americans are often targeted unfairly and that our society is not yet so advanced as to have become truly color blind.
No one has all the answers, so whatever a woman who has the BRCA mutation chooses to do requires courage and an element of faith. And a lot of love and support.