Dumbledore’s Army vs. Dumbbell’s Poor Army

*These images are property of the motion picture studio responsible for the related Harry Potter film and/or the intrepid media organisation covering the terrorist insurrection and capitol siege of Jan 6, 2021. ##

The Longest Monday

With all its cold, dark hours and lingering gloom at the start of the year, January might be called The Monday of Months. This year, many of our democratic traditions will be reflected in major events taking place during this long month of Mondays. The 117th U.S. Congress is sworn in today. A vote in … Continue reading The Longest Monday

Ridin with Biden!

Biden's election takes me back to Mexico City, March 2012. While I worked a presser at the Four Seasons with Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, my sons horsed around with the Veep at the U.S. Embassy. It was a long day. Those who attended the meet-and-greet arrived early, navigating Secret Service protocols and waiting … Continue reading Ridin with Biden!

Freedom! …and a Sammidge

The scene last weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina, a state that has recorded 15,000 COVID-19 cases and over 550 deaths. Armed protesters, organized on a Facebook group called Blue Igloo, paraded through downtown carrying shotguns, pistols, and a sweet AT-4 anti-tank rocket launcher. Thanks Facebook! When they got hungry, they marched into a Subway restaurant (remember former … Continue reading Freedom! …and a Sammidge

Lockdown Countdown

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last night announced a nationwide lockdown, freezing 1.3 billion citizens in place starting at midnight tonight (coinciding with Ugadi, the first day of the New Year on the Hindu calendar). What a relief! For weeks I’ve been grappling with the lack of an end to coronavirus anxiety. Now we know. … Continue reading Lockdown Countdown

The United States Department of State

Referred to as the State Department, State, and DOS, the U.S. Department of State has recently been called by an unfitting new label. I don’t care about the insult. Hearing it called “deep state department” glances off as a meaningless jab. I’ve long inured myself against the public bluster. What concerns me more is the … Continue reading The United States Department of State

Phenomenal Women

On International Women’s Day, I’m thinking about all the phenomenal women I admire around the world, including the nameless, faceless, toiling women who sow and reap the corn they’ll dry and grind into the flour they’ll pound and cook to feed their families in between their hours at the river beating clothes against the stones … Continue reading Phenomenal Women

Coronavirus: the Culprit

Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections was followed by an endless litany of contorted efforts to pin the hack elsewhere, including on the Democratic National Committee,  a 14-year-old hacker, and the Chinese government. Most consistent among the alleged offenders was an unnamed Jersey tuba-lard. “...It could be Russia. And it could be China. And … Continue reading Coronavirus: the Culprit

War Novels and the War on Terror

More than 16 years ago, standing beneath a massive banner, George W. Bush declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq: “Mission Accomplished.” What followed this publicity stunt—he arrived on an aircraft carrier off California's coast riding in a Navy jet—were years of insurgency and bloodshed in pursuit of a Dick Cheney figment: Saddam … Continue reading War Novels and the War on Terror

Poetic Feminist Rant

I talked with a group of poets yesterday. Poetry operates at a level beyond my ordinary grasp; often it reads like an excuse for lazy incoherence rather than stabs at truth. In yesterday’s case, the writers had forged their art around efforts to ensure equal rights and legal protections for women. The event rose above … Continue reading Poetic Feminist Rant