Triangle Offense

On a recent edition of "Inside the NBA," TNT's long-running studio show, Charles Barkley badly mangled a word's pronunciation. Barkley is one of the show's co-hosts, and is very comfortable on television to boot, so he continued speaking without much of a pause. Ernie Johnson, the show's moderator, patiently waited for him to finish his point, then immediately began chiding him for the mistake.

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If there's one thing that can unite members of Congress across party lines, it's their privileges. Responding to the FBI's recent raid of Democrat William Jefferson's congressional offices, Republican Speaker Dennis Hastert and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi issued a joint statement condemning this "violation of the constitutional principle of separation of powers, the speech or debate clause of the Constitution, and the practice of the last 219 years." They demanded the immediate return of all materials seized and a commitment to keep their contents secret.

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Base Running

Rick Santorum has enough trouble in his reelection race. The incumbent GOP senator has trailed his opponent, Pennsylvania State Treasurer Bob Casey, by double digits almost since Casey declared his candidacy. Santorum's campaign has been mired in questions about why Pennsylvanians pay to homeschool his six children in Virginia and about his involvement with the now-infamous K Street Project. Even Republicans have privately started to refer to Santorum's campaign as a lost cause and are lobbying party leaders to shift money to more promising contests.

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Net Neuter

Love affairs between the press corps and flacks are highly unusual, but they do happen. And, for years, Mike McCurry has been deeply involved in one. In January 1995, when Bill Clinton appointed the former State Department spokesman to press secretary, one of the White House's most high-profile (and high-pressure) positions, The Washington Post celebrated the arrival of "a jolly fellow" who had won "high marks from…the media." The New York Times looked forward to the "equanimity and wit" that McCurry would bring to the White House briefing room.

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MSM S&M

Was Stephen Colbert funny? No, he was not being funny. He was being ironic, satirical, brutal. Don't you get it? These issues are just too painful for humor. Since Colbert's 20-minute routine at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner two weeks ago, the question has been asked and answered thus in the blogosphere, that underground realm of steaming resentment not exactly famous for the refinement of its irony, where the president is the "chimp," Laura is "his bitch wife," and the press is "the MSM." It is time—it is always time—for some literary criticism.

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Dominating the eastern entrance to Boston's Roxbury Community College, and wedged between the college's red brick administration office and sports complex, is a nearly completed $22 million Islamic cultural center and mosque. In 2003 the city of Boston, through its development arm, the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), agreed to transfer the ownership of this 1.9 acre parcel of city land to the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB).

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It's 11:20 p.m., and agent Jack Bauer has had a very long day. In the morning, he worked to rescue the secretary of defense and his daughter (who also happens to be Bauer's girlfriend) from a terrorist kidnapping and Web- telecast execution. The afternoon was mostly spent unraveling a plot to melt down all of the nation's 104 nuclear reactors simultaneously.

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The Trial

Khartoum, Sudan--I am a human rights advocate in a country where human rights are in short supply. Several years ago, though I am also an engineer, I co-founded a volunteer group called the Sudan Social Development Organization, which monitors atrocities by my government, including those committed in Darfur. Naturally, this line of work lands me in trouble with some regularity. Actually, "trouble" is a euphemism. Not long ago, I was detained without access to legal counsel. Thanks to international pressure, I was released without having to stand trial.

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Words Fail

A 30-year-old woman squats on the sand outside her tent in eastern Chad's Touloum refugee camp as she tells me about her escape from Darfur. Her family, members of the Zaghawa ethnic group, had been farmers near the town of Kutum in Northern Darfur. She describes how, before fleeing to this desolate place, Sudanese soldiers and Janjaweed militias killed her husband and son, then burned her village. She recounts how she fled with other survivors, and how, during her escape, she became separated from three young boys with whom she was traveling.

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For Suad Abdalaziz, prospects are bleak. A Zaghawa from the Tawilla area of Northern Darfur, Suad was raped repeatedly by three Janjaweed militiamen in February 2004. The Janjaweed were ferociously active that month in the Tawilla region; in a single assault, led by the notorious Musa Hilal, they burned to the ground more than 30 villages, killing more than 200 people and raping more than 200 girls and women--some by up to 14 assailants and in front of their fathers, who were later killed.

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