FRONT ROYAL, Va. -- It must have been a harried parent trying to cope while youngsters protested a long drive who invented that car game where you try to spot license plates from all the 50 states. In this the season of school tour groups and cherry blossoms, it's almost too easy.
Twenty years ago today a bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City and took 168 human lives. Nineteen of those lives belonged to children. Maybe it takes you by surprise that it has been so long. Maybe you wonder where the time went. And maybe you remember...
Americans, perhaps more than anyone, worship the future and resent the past. This is never truer than during a political season. It doesn't matter whether the past (meaning all of four years ago) trumps the present or whether the future carries a whiff of embers and smoke. We gallop into tomorrow like a dog who mastered the screen-door latch and find little worthy of regard in yesterday.
At the Summit of the Americas where he met with Raul Castro, the 83-year-old younger brother of Fidel, President Obama provided an insight into where he is taking us, and why: "The United States will not be imprisoned by the past -- we're looking to the future. I'm not interested in having battles that frankly started before I was born."
The Republican rout in the Battle of Indianapolis provides us with a snapshot of the correlation of forces in the culture wars.
"Pat, sometimes it seems like our friends want me to go over the cliff with flags flying," President Reagan once told me. Today, it is "Bibi" Netanyahu and the neocons howling "kill the deal" and "bomb Iran" who are shoving the Republican Party toward the cliff. The question, which may decide 2016, may be framed thus: Should a Republican Congress meticulously point out the flaws and risks of this nuclear deal with Iran and, if the Iranians do cheat or attempt a breakout, be rewarded for their skepticism and statesmanship?
Let's start on an upbeat. Next to what we had before, Obamacare has been a spectacular success. The Affordable Care Act has brought medical security to millions of previously uninsured Americans and has helped slow the rise in health care spending.
University of Mississippi Chancellor Dan Jones' announcement Thursday that he could not accept the offer of the state's Institutions of Higher Learning board for a limited contract without the possibility of further renewal was one side of a ragged and jarring conclusion in a two-way broken relationship that stirred widespread strong reactions.
The new tell-all, "The Residence," featuring intimate anecdotes collected from past and current White House staff members, is absolutely delicious -- and utterly lacking in nutritious content.
The argument is over and conservatives have lost. Some of them just don't know it yet.
Give McComb School District Superintendent Dr. Cederick Ellis an "A" for enthusiasm, and if the district's innovative school at Summit works as he envisions it, give him an "A" there too.
Twenty-seven cents. That's what a newspaper in Canada has decided to charge per story for viewers who visit its digital edition and scroll around for news and information.
I never quite understood what "nursing" really meant until the past six months, when the supposed superstar doctor, who operated on me in Phoenix (One of the smartest male doctors I know told me she was the best, a woman, how wonderful; beware of gender bias.), made a mess of my intestines, leaving me rather critically ill with peritonitis and unbearable pain while she went to Maui.
A voracious and eclectic reader, President Nixon instructed me to send him every few weeks 10 articles he would not normally see that were on interesting or important issues.
The pilot who crashed the Germanwings plane, taking 150 lives, was too ill to work, according to doctors' notes found at his home.
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