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Christmas at the Coolidges

Once upon a time, Christmas trees were still called Christmas trees. There were no Black Friday sales, no “Jingle Bell Rock,” and certainly no lawsuits over the permissibility of public celebration of the birth of Christ.
Calvin Coolidge lo…

A Shadow of Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows understands one thing well: There are few joys as great in life as having a good enemy. Chess players know it well. The clock ticks. The sweat forms on the brow. The mind racks itself, drained and strained. Mano-…

Clooney’s Paradise Lost

The main character of the new movie The Descendants, played by George Clooney, is Matt King, but he isn’t very regal. He has quite the pedigree —descended from Hawaiian royalty and missionary bluebloods — but in sad reality he isn&rsq…

Coolidge on Giving Thanks

In our increasingly secular age, as we watch grown men play a boys’ game, as a certain parade sponsored by Macy’s commercializes our streets, and as we look forward to shaking off our tryptophan-induced slumber to wait in line for Black Fri…

Hoover’s Howlers

Leonardo DiCaprio, caked underneath layers of makeup, looks the part of the controversial FBI director in the new film J. Edgar. But looks — and great acting — can deceive when the story isn’t quite right.
In telling J. Edgar Hoover&r…

Chu Chooses Silence on China

Congresswoman Judy Chu arrived in China last week as a guest of the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs. Yet even as she castigates America for abuses of Chinese people who came here more than a century ago, she didn’t make a pe…

Uday’s Body Double, the Hero?

After eight years of focusing on the moral ambiguities of the Iraq occupation, Hollywood has finally offered up what might be the strongest possible apologetic for the war: an unflinching portrait of the murderous dynasty it deposed, with a focus on …