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Howard Fineman
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Howard Fineman is editorial director of the Huffington Post Media Group.

Entries by Howard Fineman

The Rise Of Corruptionism

(90) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 7:30 AM

SIEM REAP, Cambodia –- In a courtyard of Angkor Wat, the famous 12th century Hindu/Buddhist temple here, a policeman approached me as I was taking pictures of an ornate spire.

What had I done? Was I someplace I wasn’t supposed to be? Was I photographing something I wasn’t supposed to...

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Obama The Pacific Islander Looks To The Ocean Of The 21st Century

(81) Comments | Posted April 13, 2014 | 6:00 AM

SINGAPORE -- If you look at President Barack Obama from the perspective of this wealthy island city-state, you appreciate his demographic breakthrough.

He's not just the first African-American president. He's the first Pacific Islander president of the U.S. In fact, he's the first islander to lead a global power since...

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Asia Has 'Pivoted' -- To Itself

(20) Comments | Posted April 10, 2014 | 12:29 PM

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam -- When President Barack Obama heads to Asia later this month, he's not scheduled to visit Vietnam. But the investors in the Rex Hotel here, who want America to do more business in Vietnam, will watch for signs that his much-advertised "pivot to Asia" is...

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Bill Gates Isn't Worried Because Progress 'Doesn't Depend On Washington'

(48) Comments | Posted March 13, 2014 | 12:05 AM

WASHINGTON -- The skies were cloudy, gunmetal gray. It was drizzling just enough to make you annoyed at the lack of an umbrella.

Politically, everything in the nation’s capital was just as gloomy. Everyone from the president to congressional backbenchers had abysmal job approval ratings. Everyone complained about “gridlock,” but...

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Mitch & Rand 'Not A Bromance,' But A Shotgun Marriage Built To Last

(25) Comments | Posted March 6, 2014 | 6:32 PM

WASHINGTON -- Jesse Benton was delighted with his handiwork. “Thought it went well,” he told me after the Thursday show he had choreographed for Mitch McConnell.

A former top campaign aide to both ex-Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Benton is now in charge of...

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Ukraine Crisis Has Been Hiding In Plain Sight

(117) Comments | Posted March 2, 2014 | 7:04 PM

Oddly enough, I know Ukraine. Or as much as one can know the country from spending time traveling there, long ago as a post-graduate student and in recent years as a tourist and writer. Part of my family was from a Ukrainian town, which I have visited.

Amid the standoff...

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Alison Lundergan Grimes Looks Like The Real Thing To Hopeful Democrats

(114) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 1:06 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A jam-packed and almost giddy Democratic crowd at a fundraising event here is the latest sign that the Senate race in Kentucky is for real -- and that 35-year-old Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes has a surprisingly good shot at unseating the five-term Republican incumbent, Sen. Mitch McConnell....

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The Big Dog's Kentucky Game Plan

(168) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 6:36 AM

LOUISVILLE -- As far as most Kentucky Democrats are concerned, the head of the national Democratic Party isn’t President Barack Obama, though they like him enough.

It's Bill Clinton, the former president from Arkansas who is locally (and often nationally) known fondly as “The Big Dog.” He's not running...

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U.S. Plans To Inch Up Role In Syria

(432) Comments | Posted February 21, 2014 | 6:58 AM

WASHINGTON -– Kiev is burning, but Damascus, Homs and Aleppo are dying.

There’s little the U.S. can do about Ukraine -- it’s literally Russia’s backyard. But the Obama administration is working quietly on a plan to inch up America’s role in dealing with the disaster that is Syria.

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Political Read: I Wanted to Be Paul

(17) Comments | Posted February 8, 2014 | 12:50 PM

WASHINGTON -- This is a good a time to thank The Beatles. They got me through high school by popularizing the idea of teen rock bands.

It was all part of growing up in the 60s.

We were the first generation to see ourselves in real time, on camera,...

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Obama's Big-Time Small Ball

(2988) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 10:46 PM

WASHINGTON –- The polls say that President Barack Obama is at a low point, but you couldn’t tell it from the tour de force of his State of the Union speech.

He was standing at the podium, but seemed to have a spring in his...

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A New Gilded Age Threatens The State Of Our Union

(1189) Comments | Posted January 23, 2014 | 8:38 AM

WASHINGTON -- The numbers are shocking -- assuming that we still have the capacity for shock -- and they will form the backdrop for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech on Tuesday.

The president will declare himself a foe of “income inequality,” with good reason: As a nation,...

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Two Different Chris Christies Showed Up To Give Key Speech

(51) Comments | Posted January 14, 2014 | 4:47 PM

WASHINGTON -- Two Chris Christies gave the State of the State address on Tuesday.

The first overflowed with weasel words, the very image of an evasive pol trying to tiptoe past a scandal about his staff’s bullying tactics. The second was an earnest, average-guy practitioner of bipartisan governing:...

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Chris Christie Is No Nixon, And That's Not Necessarily A Compliment

(64) Comments | Posted January 9, 2014 | 4:06 PM

NEW YORK -- The meme of the moment is that “Bridgegate” has turned Gov. Chris Christie into the New Jersey equivalent of Richard Nixon.

On one level, it is an insult to Christie. After all, the Republican governor directly, repeatedly and vehemently professed his innocence in...

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Unemployed Americans Are Freezing In The Vortex Of Washington Politics

(56) Comments | Posted January 8, 2014 | 12:34 PM

WASHINGTON -- To save on heating costs, Katherine Hackett of Moodus, Conn., sets her thermostat at 58 degrees and wears a hat and coat in the house. The mother of two military veterans, one who served in Afghanistan, she scrimps on food week by week.

Hackett was in the East...

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This Pope Disrupts Old Ways With Social Media Savvy (Or Habemus Twitter!)

(80) Comments | Posted December 31, 2013 | 4:01 PM

ROME -- On the cusp of the New Year 2014, I went to St. Peter’s Square to see and hear perhaps the only person in the world -- not counting Justin Bieber, Rihanna or the boys in One Direction -- able to draw an eager outdoor crowd of 100,000 on...

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We Broke Iraq And We're Still Paying For The Damage

(269) Comments | Posted December 17, 2013 | 7:03 AM

WASHINGTON -- In 2002, during the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Secretary of State Colin Powell issued a warning to President George W. Bush about launching a war there. “Once you break it," he said, “you’re going to own it.”

Powell was right.

We broke Iraq...

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'Humbler' Obama Recalls Example Set By Mandela

(61) Comments | Posted December 5, 2013 | 6:00 PM

WASHINGTON -- In mid-afternoon, a somber, reflective Barack Obama sat on a stage here with MSNBC's Chris Matthews, talking about the limits of the presidency as he struggles to “push the boulder up the hill.” Two hours later, Obama was back in the White House, praising the memory of a...

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Meet Patrick Soon-Shiong, The LA Billionaire Reinventing Your Health Care

(2513) Comments | Posted December 1, 2013 | 10:01 PM

SANTA MONICA, Calif. –- You have been diagnosed with lung cancer.

There is a bewildering array of drugs, and combinations of drugs, that may shrink the tumor and prolong your life. Or they could make matters worse and give you terrible side effects.

In the past, this decision was...

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Dick Cheney Thrust Into 'King Lear'

(117) Comments | Posted November 18, 2013 | 5:43 PM

WASHINGTON -- Political dramas in the nation's capital usually partake more of "Scandal" or "Saturday Night Live" than of Shakespeare, but we may need the Bard's unrivaled eye for profound family discord to tell the full story of the Cheneys right now.

There are more than a few similarities between...

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