Let's start with some good news:
Unless you've been holed up in a basement somewhere for the past few years -- if you seldom read a newspaper or watch a news broadcast on television -- you are aware of global warming and the catastrophic effects it could have upon our planet.
Even without knowing the intricate details of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), many have come across a teacher or two who says that their creativity and long-term effectiveness in the classroom has become limited since the implementation of NCLB. Consequently, it is honorable that the state of South Carolina has been motivated to submit a request for flexibility in NCLB requirements early next year and requests the input of the "community" of South Carolina.
Ah, a New Year.
(Columnist Kathleen Parker is on vacation. In her absence, Ruth Marcus, a columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group, is featured today.)
Only once since my foolish adolescence do I recall actually feeling fortunate to be a smoker, a truly insidious addiction that I have since kicked. It was the slightly chilly Washington evening on which I was joined during a smoke break at a friend's birthday party by Christopher Hitchens, one of the few people who can be called a journalist-intellectual without it sounding like a punch line.
Imagine a place where jobs are plentiful, and the housing market is thriving. A place where even low-playing service jobs come with signing bonuses and other benefits.
Last week, I named Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews as my 2011 Person of the Year. Inevitably, any thoughts of law enforcement bring me thoughts of crime. Sometimes reading crime reports can be the most enjoyable part of the day.
WASHINGTON -- The Republicans' final debate preceding the Iowa caucuses is suddenly uncompelling. There is nothing to do but write about Christopher Hitchens, whose death has made the world immeasurably less interesting.
Choosing a career in the media makes me a willing martyr. Although I am drawn to the glossy covers of magazines and daydream about seeing my 10-point byline in publications nationwide, making a living as a reporter means continuously living in my most vulnerable state.
A conservative Christian group has launched a boycott against "All-American Muslim." The TLC reality TV show about Muslim families in America fails to live down to the group's narrow-minded stereotypes. Their gripe, in my view, makes about as much sense as boycotting "The Cosby Show" because it doesn't mention black street gangs.
WASHINGTON -- Callista Gingrich has done something she might come to regret -- succumbed to the Twitter fairy and opened the door to unwelcome scrutiny.
WASHINGTON -- Oh, quelle gaffe.
If the Los Angeles Lakers need a shoulder to cry on after losing out on acquiring all-star guard Chris Paul, they may want to set up a long distance call with the Atlanta Hawks.
Renee Zellweger turned up last week looking nothing like ... well, nothing like Renee Zellwegger.
First off, let me wish one and all a happy, safe and fun Halloween. I hope it brings you all that you hope for. But, that's not my main topic this week.
WASHINGTON -- Monica Lewinsky is trying to make lemonade out of 16-year-old lemons. Good for her, and good, ultimately, for us.
July 27 marked the beginning of the most stressful week of my life. It began with the surprising news of my aunt's passing, and on top of having to deal with that, I also had to get through my last week of two summer classes and do work for two other classes that would end the following week.
Ben Bradlee became editor of The Washington Post the year I was born, 1965. He stepped down when I was 26, in 1991, the year after I moved to the Midlands of South Carolina.
A friend of mine, long embroiled in upsets, distractions, problems and tribulations, called one day to announce happily that she was learning to "let things roll right off my back."
Ebola is scary. It has scared the bejesus out of us here in South Carolina, nationally and literally all over the world.
The issue of road funding -- or, to put it slightly differently, the question of how South Carolina should fix its broken road system -- is now a constant topic in politics and the media. A fair number of state lawmakers have therefore begun to advocate what politicians always advocate when they don't want to make tough decisions about the budget: raising taxes, specifically the fuel tax.
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