Friday was a day of horror, Saturday a day of shock and Sunday a day of mourning. President Barack Obama hewed to that script when he showed up in Newtown and gave a stem-winder about God and our duty to our children without uttering the word ‘gun’ or stating exactly how he plans to lead Read More
By Nina Burleigh 12/11/12 7:08pm
Last week, a cadet publicly quit the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, citing forced prayer and churchgoing. Republican strategist Shirley Husar, in a debate on HuffPost Live, asserted that West Point is “a religious institute.”
Merry Christmas, Shirley, but West Point is not a religious institute—though that’s not for want of trying on the Christian right’s part. Read More
By Nina Burleigh 11/27/12 7:53pm
Besides being the month of Thanksgiving, November is the month of the Dead Kennedy. It’s a time of remembering a day of blood and brains on a pink dress in Dallas, a portal into a black hole in the last half-century’s history.
For those of us born in and after the 1960s, who can’t literally recall the day of the assassination, the real figure from November 1963 haunting our childhood imaginations was a boy, our age, standing in short pants and saluting his father’s coffin.
John Kennedy Jr., who would have turned 52 this week, was our Kennedy. The beautiful man known as John John, who grew up cavorting on the Cape and Skorpios with Jackie O, discoing in New York with Mick and Bianca and Andy, was a symbol of sex and privilege, his elitism so gracefully carried. Read More
By Nina Burleigh 11/19/12 6:51pm
Earlier this fall, two squads of pint-size players clashed in the crisp air at a peewee football field in Southbridge, Mass. The boys on one team were much larger than the others, and within six plays, three of the smaller boys had been carried off with head injuries, one with his eyes rolling back in their sockets.
By the end of the game, a 52-0 rout, five boys on the losing team were receiving emergency medical care for concussions. Read More
By Nina Burleigh 11/13/12 7:50pm
In beguiling Gen. David Petraeus, biographer Paula Broadwell joins a select group of ambitious female scribes who have run away—literally—with their subjects.
Ms. Broadwell seduced the exercise-mad general in Afghanistan when she proved she could match his six-minute miles. She sealed the deal with a finished piece of hagiography called—no snickering now—All In, which she then went on to flog in evening dresses that revealed biceps to rival Michelle Obama’s.
Ms. Broadwell is in hiding now, but she’s in good company.
Female scribes may be at a disadvantage when it comes to good assignments and pay, but they enjoy certain benefits vis-à-vis male egomaniacs. Read More
By Nina Burleigh 11/03/12 12:52pm
After the last big “Year of the Woman” in American politics – 1992 – galvanized by Anita Thomas publicly accusing Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, it looked like women were on the road to gender parity in public office.
Twenty years later, we’re still only 17 percent of officeholders, while women are still at least 50 percent of the population. Hello there, Taxation without Representation?
In this regard, the US is way behind other countries. Many nations, from Spain and France to Rwanda and even Iraq, have tried to fix the rigged system with political parity laws, requiring parties to run female candidates by quota, or even reserving legislative seats for women. But the Q-word freaks Americans out, and mandated parity would never fly in the Land of the Free.
Women only seem to be players in American politics because of the marquee females in politics – HRC, Palin, Condi, Pelosi – whose notoriety proves the rule, and provides, as Rutgers Center for Women in Politics Director Debbie Walsh put it, “a veneer of accomplishment.”
This year, however, a record 18 women are running for the U.S. Senate (12 D, 6 R) and 163 running for the House (116 D, 47 R). So in a few days, we will know whether 2012 goes down in history asboth the year of the War on Women and another “Year of the Woman” in American politics. Read More
By Nina Burleigh 10/30/12 9:57pm
“Wow. We live in a horror movie,” my husband opined one morning not long ago. He was reading an article about the melting of the Arctic tundra releasing massive bubbles of methane gas into the atmosphere, which in turn causes more melting, which in turn causes global warming, which in turn creates monster storms that threaten to end civilization as we know it.
I love scary movies, the creepier the better. But this Halloween season, they’re bleeding off the screen and into real life.
Can we please turn it off now?
Actually, no, we cannot.
A week ago, I was invited to the premiere of a deeply alarming documentary called Chasing Ice. It follows the work and adventures of a National Geographic photographer named James Balog in his endeavor to document, with time-lapse photography, the epic melting of the Arctic glaciers, a melting that is filling the world’s seas and atmosphere with water that has nowhere to go but onto land. Read More
By Nina Burleigh 10/22/12 12:46pm
The Bombshell loves O. Like so many other American women who helped elect him in ‘08, I adore that great, always-ticking political brain. I love his health care reform, his calm, cool and collected kill order for OBL. His barely clothed socialist tendencies drive me wild, too.
The trouble is, I’m not sure he really loves us—me and my sisters—back. Oh sure, we look pretty good about three months before an election. And yes, he’s put two women on the Supreme Court who will presumably help keep women’s basic rights intact for decades to come. But it really hurts to have to admit that, to him, women are tactical advantages, mere numbers and percentages in a demographic column. Read More
By Nina Burleigh 10/09/12 7:22pm
Ever since the Swedes gave Obama the Nobel Prize before he’d actually done anything, I’ve wondered what goes on behind the closed doors of the secret chambers where they bestow such honors.
And never more than now, with the MacArthur Foundation’s baffling decision to deem 43-year-old fiction writer Junot Díaz a “Genius” worthy of the Read More
By Nina Burleigh 10/03/12 12:46pm
Like the apocalypse, signs indicate that we might be reaching a critical turning point when it comes to our generation’s obsession with perfect mothering. It seems possible that we are even on the verge of a backlash that will celebrate mistakes in the care and feeding of little Max and Sophia.
I’ve been waiting for this shift, because, unlike many of my peers, I am convinced that my husband is at least as good as, if not better than, I am at caring for our two adorable (and well-behaved, thank you) children, Primo and Secunda. Read More