Elizabeth Holmes, A.O.C., and the Art of Owning It

What ever happened to the good old-fashioned art of Owning It?
Our culture is awash in people who get called out for their behavior and then retreat behind some victim-y excuse. If you’re going to go for it, go for it.
The ne plus ultra of this charade is Elizabeth Holmes, who is on trial for being a big fraud after she pretended to have invented a simpler, cheaper way to do blood tests with a finger prick.

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What Psychology Tells Us About Self-Awareness

One of the most unsettling findings of modern psychology is that we often don’t know why we do what we do. You can ask somebody: Why’d you choose that house? Or why’d you marry that person? Or why’d you go to graduate school? People will concoct some plausible story, but often they really have no idea why they chose what they did.
We have a conscious self, of course, the voice in our head, but this conscious self has little access to the parts of the brain that are the actual sources of judgment, problem-solving and emotion.

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Democrats Continue to Struggle With Men of Color

The big headline is that the California recall failed. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom gets to keep his job. He handily fought off the Republican challenge.
But there is a worrisome detail in the data, one that keeps showing up, one that Democrats would do well to deal with: Black and Latino men are not hewing as close to the party line as Black and Latina women.
There are, of course, issues with exit polls, and results often change as more votes are counted. But that said, the California exit polls do seem to reflect what polls have shown for some time now.

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Why Are We Still Going Great Guns?

Let’s take a look at how well Joe Biden is doing with his gun safety agenda.
We call this gun safety, people, because “gun control” makes a lot of politicians nervous. And really, what the heck? I’m going to go out on a limb and say that eliminating the sale of semiautomatic rifles would make the country more … gun safe.
Banning assault weapons was on Biden’s to-do list, along with universal background checks and a stronger, more forward-looking Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives under the leadership of David Chipman.

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Have We Reshaped Middle East Politics or Started to Mimic It?

On a 2005 trip to Iraq, I wrote a column about spending a night on the U.S.S. Chosin, which commanded the U.S. Navy task force off the coast of Iraq. There I interviewed Mustapha Ahansal, a Moroccan American sailor who acted as the Chosin’s Arabic translator when it stopped ships suspected of carrying pirates or other hostile actors.
“The first time I boarded a boat,” he told me, “we had six or seven people — one Hispanic, one Black person, a white person, maybe a woman in our unit. Their sailors said to me, ‘I thought all Americans were white.

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When Politics Isn’t About Principle

Something like this divide existed very early on, with conservatives like Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas expressing alarm about the outbreak while liberals decried the potential racism of a “Wuhan virus” panic. But by late spring of 2020, the entire dynamic was reversed: Liberals supported tough government interventions to fight the virus, the right was full of fierce libertarians, and so it has mostly remained.

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Writing for the Poor

One of my favorite aunts was desperately poor, like many people I knew in rural north Louisiana. I don’t know how much money she had or made. I only know the shadow of need that stalked her. She seemed, like many members of my family, one paycheck or severe injury away from insolvency.
She had been a fixture in my life since I was born. Sweet as pie, as we say in the South. A too-good woman whose generosity others — including her own family — took advantage of.
I visited her once when my children were young.

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What Comes After the 9/11 Era?

When I moved to Washington, D.C., in 2002 we all lived in 9/11’s shadow. We waited for bombs in the Metro, for more anthrax envelopes, for a sequel to the previous autumn’s terror. We watched planes headed for Reagan Airport fly low over the Potomac, always half-expecting them to veer.
Everything in my profession revolved around the War on Terror. And everyone I knew who was even the least bit conservative (a category that included many Democrats) was ready to invade Iraq — and probably Syria and Iran for good measure.

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Washington Manned Up and Let Us Down After 9/11

Yet many of my male colleagues did not see Powell’s case as limp and ginned up, simply an excuse to go kick some Arabs, any Arabs, so that they would never look at us cross-eyed again. The guys saw the case as strong. I asked a friend, a man who worked at another publication, about this macho invasion fever.
“Men love war,” he said, shrugging.
Unfortunately, the horrors this “shock and awe” crew unleashed did not shock the country enough to stamp out the mania of this self-defeating streak of hyper-masculinity.
After the respite of Barack Obama, Donald Trump became president.

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