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Whose Toes Are Those?

Whose Toes Are Those?

By Jabari Asim
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When Common Sense Is Unconstitutional

As much as I abhor the possible real-word impact of the Supreme Court’s Second Amendment ruling, I fear that it’s probably right.

Posted on Jun 26, 2008 READ MORE


Playing Through the Pain

I, for one, am relieved that Tiger Woods decided to devote his unimaginable focus and determination to golfing excellence and not to, say, world conquest. We’d all be living in Tigerland by now.

Posted on Jun 19, 2008 READ MORE


The Essential Tim Russert

He knew he was a big deal—he had a healthy ego and an accurate sense of his accomplishments. But I’m confident that he would be stunned at the magnitude of the reaction to his death, especially among people who never met him.

Posted on Jun 16, 2008 READ MORE


One for the Constitution

It shouldn’t be necessary for the Supreme Court to tell the president that he can’t have individuals taken into custody, spirited to a remote prison camp and held indefinitely, with no legal right to argue that they’ve been unjustly imprisoned—not even on grounds of mistaken identity.

Posted on Jun 12, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary’s Graceful Exit

Clinton’s speech Saturday conceding the Democratic presidential nomination to Barack Obama couldn’t have been classier—and couldn’t have been more auspicious for the party’s chances of capturing the White House in November.

Posted on Jun 9, 2008 READ MORE


From Slavery to Obama

There will be plenty of time to chart Barack Obama’s attempt to navigate a course between the exigencies of the old politics and the promise of the new, between yesterday and tomorrow, youth and experience, black and white. For now, take a moment to consider the mind-bending improbability of what just happened.

Posted on Jun 5, 2008 READ MORE


Campaign Soundtrack

Crank up your iPods, everyone. Herewith, a musical guide to the endgame of the epic contest for the Democratic nomination.

Posted on Jun 2, 2008 READ MORE


The Disintegration of Hillary Clinton

If this campaign goes on much longer, what will be left of Hillary Clinton?

Posted on May 28, 2008 READ MORE


America’s Insane Cuba Policy

Other than providing Fidel Castro with a convenient antagonist to help him whip up nationalist fervor—and thus prolong his rule—the U.S. trade embargo and other sanctions have accomplished precisely nothing.

Posted on May 26, 2008 READ MORE


Blind, Endless Movement

Clinton wants only one thing—the presidency—and she wants it now, not later. If success means using the Florida and Michigan “issue” to tie the party in knots until the convention, so be it.

Posted on May 22, 2008 READ MORE


Pacifying Dr. King

The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts has rejected a statue intended to stand at the memorial of Martin Luther King. The members expected a more passive depiction. Clearly the commission has some brushing up to do on American history.

Posted on May 19, 2008 READ MORE


I’m From the Government and I’m Here to Help

The Reagan era in American politics is about to end, and we have George W. Bush to thank for its demise.

Posted on May 15, 2008 READ MORE


A Slap in the Face

Hillary Clinton has campaigned as if the Democratic nomination were hers by divine right. That’s why she is falling short—and that’s why she should be persuaded to quit now, before her majestic sense of entitlement splits the party along racial lines.

Posted on May 8, 2008 READ MORE


The End of ‘American Idol’?

That might be going too far for a show that still averages 28.7 million viewers, but ratings are down. In part, the cause is the presence of an even more exciting reality show on television, and it’s not even really a show.

Posted on May 6, 2008 READ MORE


The Power of a Stupid Idea

There’s something maddening about this presidential campaign. It has become irrelevant whether anything the candidates say actually makes sense. Case in point: cutting the gas tax.

Posted on May 2, 2008 READ MORE


I’ve Had It With Rev. Wright

The media tour he’s conducting is doing a disservice that goes beyond any impact it might have on Obama’s presidential campaign.

Posted on Apr 28, 2008 READ MORE


Make It Stop

Who picked this movie? A few months ago, the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination looked as if it would be the feel-good political campaign of the decade, if not the century. Instead, we’re having to endure an endless loop of “Alien vs. Predator.”

Posted on Apr 24, 2008 READ MORE


For the GOP, a Tough Sell

How on earth is the Republican Party going to sell John McCain? Once the Democrats stop doing the job, I mean.

Posted on Apr 21, 2008 READ MORE


Substance for Those Who Were Patient

Once the meaningless inquisition about loose semantics and questionable acquaintances was done, Wednesday night’s debate between Obama and Clinton got interesting.

Posted on Apr 17, 2008 READ MORE


Just a Regular Gal

Hillary “Shot-and-a-Beer” Clinton has given us the perfect illustration of what’s so insane about American politics: the philosophical dictum that could be summed up (with apologies to Descartes) as “I seem, therefore I am.”

Posted on Apr 14, 2008 READ MORE


Bush?s Parallel Universe

No, it’s not your imagination: The “debate” about Iraq, and I use the word loosely, becomes ever more surreal as the occupation drags on.

Posted on Apr 10, 2008 READ MORE


Two Black Americas

Much has changed in the years since Martin Luther King Jr.‘s death, and yet many black Americans struggle now more than ever. We must acknowledge progress if we are to take up the work that is left incomplete.

Posted on Apr 3, 2008 READ MORE


Consider Iraq Defined

Quite a “defining moment” in Iraq, wasn’t it? At this rate, John McCain is going to be proved right: The war will last a century.

Posted on Mar 31, 2008 READ MORE


Guilty by Observation

Talk about not being able to catch a break. To pummel a boxing metaphor, it was Barack Obama who got tagged with a roundhouse right, flush on the chin—but it was Hillary Clinton, from early indications, who ended up nursing a sore jaw and wondering what it was that hit her.

Posted on Mar 27, 2008 READ MORE


The Next 4,000

Four thousand. When U.S. military deaths in Iraq hit a round number, as happened Sunday, there’s usually a week or so of intense focus on the war—its bogus rationale, its nebulous aims, its awful consequences for the families of the dead. Not likely this time, though.

Posted on Mar 24, 2008 READ MORE


Obama Walks the Minefield

Barack Obama tells the columnist why he chose to ignore the collective political wisdom and confront the issue of race head-on. Having survived the encounter, his speech on the subject could change the way Americans understand one another.

Posted on Mar 19, 2008 READ MORE


The Race to Captain a Sinking Ship

The Democratic presidential candidates squabble over real or imagined racial sensitivities, the Republican presidential candidate stages photo opportunities with the troops in Iraq, and meanwhile the financial system is coming apart at the seams.

Posted on Mar 18, 2008 READ MORE


A Royal Blunder

It was Prince Harry’s dream to fight in a war, and the British press, normally cutthroat, agreed to let him live it. How sweet. If only it didn’t violate the obligations of journalists to their readers.

Posted on Mar 3, 2008 READ MORE


A Kind Word for the Media

If you’re among those who believe the news media have focused too much on the presidential horse race and the personalities of the candidates—and not enough on vital issues of state—let me submit that you’re wrong.

Posted on Feb 28, 2008 READ MORE


On Geraldo and ‘Black Geniuses’

How weird is this presidential election? So weird that I’m about to give a nod of appreciation (of sorts) to Geraldo Rivera, of all people—and also to, gulp, Fox News.

Posted on Feb 25, 2008 READ MORE


A Fair Question

Humor me while we conduct a little thought experiment. Imagine that Barack Obama lost 10 states in a row.

Posted on Feb 22, 2008 READ MORE


McCain’s Losing Message

John McCain has the advantage of getting to run right away. Too bad he’s campaigning on failed policies and bad ideas.

Posted on Feb 19, 2008 READ MORE


Clintons vs. the Media

Are the news media being beastly to Hillary Clinton? Are political reporters and commentators—as Bill Clinton suggested but didn’t quite come out and say in a radio interview Tuesday—basically in the tank for Barack Obama?

Posted on Feb 15, 2008 READ MORE


There’s a Republican Under My Bed

It is insane to waste time and energy worrying that somewhere, doubtless in a high-tech subterranean lair, Republican masterminds are cackling over their diabolical plot: The use of reverse psychology to lure unsuspecting Democrats into nominating Barack Obama, an innocent lamb who will be chewed up by the attack machine in the fall. Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Posted on Feb 11, 2008 READ MORE


Tortured Semantics

The campaign for the White House is great fun, but it can also be a distraction. While the leading contenders to replace Bush continue to duke it out, the president and his lieutenants are still trying to justify torture in the name of protecting this once great democracy.

Posted on Feb 8, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary’s Baggage

When you Google the phrase “unconstitutional third term,” you get references to a rogue’s gallery of strongman leaders—Vladimir Putin, Alberto Fujimori, Olusegun Obasanjo, Islam Karimov, Hugo Chavez—who in recent years at least have flirted with the idea of holding on to power beyond statutory limits. Now the name Bill Clinton pops up, too.

Posted on Feb 4, 2008 READ MORE


The Ups and Downs of Electability

Now that the presidential field has been winnowed to four—barring a miraculous return by one of the contestants recently voted off the island—the new national pastime is gaming the electability factor.

Posted on Jan 31, 2008 READ MORE


Cards From a Worn-Out Deck

Playing the race card against Barack Obama didn’t work out quite the way Bill Clinton had hoped. Neither did a reported last-minute personal appeal to keep Ted Kennedy, venerable guardian of the Camelot flame, from joining the Obama crusade. The question now is whether the Clintons understand how the country they seek to lead—and, regrettably, I do mean “they”—has changed.

Posted on Jan 28, 2008 READ MORE


What’s Gotten Into Bill?

Six months ago, Bill Clinton seemed to be settling comfortably into roles befitting a silver-maned former president: statesman, philanthropist, philosopher-king. Now he has put all that high-mindedness on hold—maybe it was never such a great fit, after all—to costar in his wife Hillary’s campaign as a coldblooded political hit man.

Posted on Jan 22, 2008 READ MORE


Playing the Race Card Against Obama

It turns out that Toni Morrison’s famous line about Bill Clinton as “our first black president” was just a bon mot. If the Clintons took it as a sign of African-Americans’ unconditional fealty, they were mistaken.

Posted on Jan 15, 2008 READ MORE


Outside the Echo Chamber

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: People in Washington really should get out more.

Posted on Jan 3, 2008 READ MORE


Edwards’ Closing Argument

If you had seen the candidate perform Saturday at the public library in Washington, Iowa, you’d understand how he made all that money as a trial lawyer.

Posted on Jan 1, 2008 READ MORE


Which Clinton for President?

Hillary Clinton tells audiences that having lived in the White House for eight eventful years, she’s eager to take charge as president on “day one.” Apparently, though, so is Bill.

Posted on Dec 20, 2007 READ MORE


Take Me Out to the BALCO

On April 2, 2002, the Los Angeles Dodgers played a home game against the San Francisco Giants, raising the question: If both pitcher and batter are artificially enhanced, does that level the playing field?

Posted on Dec 18, 2007 READ MORE


Huckabee Doesn’t Cut It

Is the thought of him as president just vaguely scary? Or have we learned enough about the man that we should be hair-on-fire alarmed at the prospect, still pretty remote, that he could actually win?

Posted on Dec 13, 2007 READ MORE


Disappointment Doesn’t Have to Be Normal

Is it foolish to think that a nation stained by centuries of slavery and racism is prepared to elect a black president? Rarely phrased so bluntly, that’s the central question posed by Barack Obama’s candidacy—especially for many African-American voters, whose doubts are informed by having seen many an oasis turn out to be a mirage.

Posted on Dec 11, 2007 READ MORE


The United States of Hypochondria

We Americans like to think of ourselves as strong, rugged and supremely confident. So why do we find ourselves hunkered behind walls, popping pills to stave off diseases we might never contract and eyeing the rest of the world with suspicion that borders on the pathological?

Posted on Dec 4, 2007 READ MORE


When Did the Victim Become the Murderer?

Why do you suppose so many people were so quick to blame Sean Taylor for his own murder? Relax, that’s a rhetorical question.

Posted on Nov 30, 2007 READ MORE


Obama Taps the ‘Oprah Effect’

The conventional wisdom says that celebrity endorsements don’t mean much in politics. But the conventional wisdom also says that enormously long, difficult novels published more than a century ago don’t suddenly become best-sellers today.

Posted on Nov 26, 2007 READ MORE


Land of Broken Dreams

We think of the United States as a land of unlimited possibility, not so much a classless society, but as a place where class is mutable—a place where brains, energy and ambition are what counts, not the circumstances of one’s birth. But three important new studies suggest that Horatio Alger doesn’t live here anymore.

Posted on Nov 22, 2007 READ MORE


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