WASHINGTON — You never get a second chance to make a first impression. But at the end of this month, the new health care law will get a third chance to make a decent impression — finally.
WASHINGTON — I have no desire to smoke marijuana, partly because doing so might drive me back to the cigarette habit I broke two decades ago. I don’t want to be one of those “cool parents” who pretend to be as culturally advanced as their kids. In my case, that’s a ridiculous aspiration anyway.
WASHINGTON — “Has this been the worst year of your presidency?”
WASHINGTON — Christianity has often been used over the centuries to prop up the powerful. But from the beginning, the Christian message has been subversive of political systems, judgmental toward those at the top, and demanding of all who take it seriously.
WASHINGTON — “In the jewelry store, they lock the case when I walk in,” the young African-American man wrote. “In the shoe store, they help the white man who walks in after me. In the shopping mall they follow me. ... Black male: Guilty until proven innocent.”
WASHINGTON — In politics, we often skip past the simple questions. This is why inquiries about the fundamentals can sometimes catch everyone short.
WASHINGTON — You wanted Father Andrew Greeley as your friend and not your enemy. You got the sense he was born with his fists up and his loyalties fully formed. He was ready to do battle at the first signs of disrespect toward those he cared about.
WASHINGTON — President Obama got roughed up by the pundit class last week. The question is what lessons he draws from the going-over. Here's one he should take: The nation's political conversation has grown stale and many Americans have lost the sense of what he is doing to improve their lives.
WASHINGTON — The political response to the Boston Marathon bombings suggests that we live in an age of shrink-wrapped, prepackaged opinions.
WASHINGTON -- The National Rifle Association is facing attacks from Gun Owners of America for being too soft on gun control. This is like a double cheeseburger coming under severe criticism for lacking enough cholesterol.
WASHINGTON — What do the Roman Catholic Church and the American political system have in common? Both are divided into factions that neither trust nor understand each other, and both confront a crisis of governance.
WASHINGTON — America's Big Religious War ended on Friday. Or at least it ought to.
WASHINGTON — To be deemed a serious analyst at the moment seems to require a lot of hand-wringing and sneering over how awful Congress looked over the past few days as it rushed a fiscal cliff deal into law.
WASHINGTON — We should mourn, but we should be angry.
WASHINGTON — To say that the Belle Harbor neighborhood on New York City's Rockaway Peninsula was slammed by Hurricane Sandy understates the case. Like many other parts of the region, it has suffered the kind of devastation we usually associate with wars.
WASHINGTON — "Lead from behind" may be a sound bite the Obama administration regrets, but debating from behind is clearly something President Barack Obama is very good at. He got the first debate's wake-up call while Mitt Romney let the encounter in Denver mislead him into confusing petulanc…
WASHINGTON — If Paul Ryan were a liberal, conservatives would describe him as a creature of Washington who has spent virtually all of his professional life as a congressional aide, a staffer at an ideological think tank, and, finally, as a member of Congress. In the right's shorthand: He nev…
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court’s decision upholding the health care law is not only a huge victory for President Obama but also a moment of leadership for Chief Justice John Roberts. The court’s mixed verdict could create problems, notably in its weakening of the law’s Medicaid provisions in…
WASHINGTON — There is a healthy struggle brewing among the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops. A previously silent group, upset over conservative colleagues defining the church’s public posture and eagerly picking fights with President Barack Obama, has had enough.
WASHINGTON — Instead of fighting a phony mommy war over what Hilary Rosen said about Ann Romney, we should face the fact that most families these days cannot afford to have one parent stay home with the kids. This is not about “lifestyle” or “values.” This is an economic struggle highlightin…