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Two things that could hinder U.S. efforts to ‘destroy’ ISIS
An ISIS parade in the Kirkuk Province.
September 11th, 2014
05:54 PM ET

Two things that could hinder U.S. efforts to ‘destroy’ ISIS

By CNN’s Deena Zaru

The United States is relying on two key partners in the fight to destroy ISIS - the new Iraqi government and the moderate Syria opposition.

President Barack Obama announced in a speech Wednesday night a plan for U.S. airstrikes in Syria, as well as increased U.S. support for the Syrian opposition.

FULL POST


Filed under: Peanut Gallery • SOTU Extra • State of the Union
Pinning the blame on Nixon
August 8th, 2014
01:06 PM ET

Pinning the blame on Nixon

Forty years ago, Richard Nixon resigned the presidency in disgrace. That summer of 1974 brought not only the specter of impeachment hearings on Capitol Hill, but prompted entrepreneurs to produce a series of 'campaign-style' anti-Nixon buttons. Today they are prized by political memorabilia collectors - a souvenir from that summer of Watergate.


Filed under: Peanut Gallery • State of the Union
Home through the eyes of a Palestinian
July 13th, 2014
12:49 PM ET

Home through the eyes of a Palestinian

By CNN's Deena Zaru

Even before the deaths of the three Israeli settlers were confirmed, an Israeli military operation had begun in the West Bank. It was then, with a bookbag on my back and a rip in my jeans, that I crossed the Jordan River on a bus and arrived in Jericho after almost thirty six hours of travel.

It had been three years since I’d gone home and I couldn’t wait to see my grandparents, cousins and friends.

FULL POST


Filed under: Peanut Gallery • State of the Union
Will Washington’s glass ceiling finally break?
June 19th, 2014
06:55 PM ET

Will Washington’s glass ceiling finally break?

By CNN's Annesha Bhattacharya

While certainly more reminiscent of a political campaign than a book tour, Hillary Clinton's trip around the country has succeeded in not only selling more than 100,000 copies of her book "Hard Choices," which will debut at number one on the New York Times best seller list next Sunday, but also in highlighting the gender discrepancies in American politics today.

Gender inequality is nothing new to Washington. Since 1789, only 44 women have served in the United States Senate, 20 of whom are currently serving. Sixteen of these Senators are Democrats, while four are Republicans. Today, the House of Representatives is less than 20% female. Out of the 79 women who hold seats in the House, 60 are Democrat and 19 are Republican. FULL POST


Filed under: Peanut Gallery • State of the Union
Behind the scenes: Hillary Clinton's town hall
June 19th, 2014
06:48 PM ET

Behind the scenes: Hillary Clinton's town hall

By CNN's Kylie Mohr

I felt myself being watched.  Amidst the flurry of instructions from a producer, I peeked over my shoulder to see a mother and her two daughters openly staring at the cluster of people sporting CNN badges.  They were tourists in the Newseum, sporting comfortable shoes and wide eyes.  As a new intern at the CNN’s Washington DC Bureau, I know that look of awe well.  I know it’s on my face every day.

This week, CNN hosted a town hall broadcast with Hillary Clinton – part of the former Secretary of State’s book tour.   As an intern for CNN’s “State of the Union,” I was recruited to help with the grunt work.  Although I didn’t even make it inside the studio for the broadcast- not disappointed in the slightest, of course- I learned more from the outside, about what happens on the inside, than I thought.  When we learned the studio was full, the intern contingent quickly walked to the nearest restaurant, begged the manager to change the channel away from the World Cup, and promptly glued ourselves to the subtitles.  Undoubtedly, we looked a little crazy.  We just wanted to see our colleagues’ work behind the scenes pay off.

FULL POST


Filed under: Peanut Gallery • State of the Union
Memories that can't be erased
June 14th, 2014
09:05 PM ET

Memories that can't be erased

By CNN's Susan Garraty

He needed permission from his parents, and they would not give it to him. Always a distinguished scholar, he skipped a grade in elementary school so he turned seventeen his senior year of high school in 1942. For months he pestered his father and the answer was the same: wait and go to college – you’re too young.
FULL POST

Fifteen ways to slice the midterms
May 17th, 2014
04:01 PM ET

Fifteen ways to slice the midterms

By CNN's Rick DiBella

Through the cacophony of noise that is political analyses and reporting comes our effort to cut through it all with a User’s Guide to slice and dice the story lines (in no particular order) from now till November.

1)      Return of the Establishment. But will it mean GOP victories in the fall? The tea party’s candidates have failed to catch on in Kentucky, North Carolina and Mississippi, to name a few. Absent any one-time-witches in the field, there’s no guarantee that the tea party faithful will turn out in droves to push Sen. McConnell over the finish line.

2)      Where art thou independents? Are the disenfranchised conservatives or are they middle of the road voters who are thoroughly ticked-off at Washington? Either way; will they vote?

FULL POST


Filed under: Peanut Gallery • SOTU Extra • State of the Union
The politics of being a wedding guest
May 15th, 2014
06:21 PM ET

The politics of being a wedding guest

By Deena Zaru

Warm weather is here and with it come sundresses, barbecues, beach trips and of course, wedding season. As a woman in my 20’s, I’ve learned a lot about the expectations of womanhood from the politics of being a wedding guest.

I’ve noticed that at weddings, like in politics, barriers surrounding privacy and discretion go out the window and women are often expected to reveal their age, relationship status and plans for marriage and motherhood even when questioned by a stranger. Whether you consider yourself to be in the running for a spouse or not, if you dare show up to a wedding with a bare ring finger, you undergo a firing round of questions that allow your interrogator to classify you as a good catch, a bad catch or someone who has no desire to be caught at all.

FULL POST


Filed under: Peanut Gallery
Are corporations people?
March 25th, 2014
12:33 PM ET

Are corporations people?

By CNN's Deena Zaru

The oral arguments regarding Hobby Lobby vs. Sebelius commence in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. In this case the contraception coverage mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be debated, specifically as it applies to for-profit corporations.

The mandate requires businesses of a certain size to provide contraception coverage for their employees. Nearly 50 businesses, many of them Catholic, have sued, and some have protested the coverage of any form of birth control.

However, in the case currently before the Supreme Court, brought on by the Oklahoma-based arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., and an identical case brought on by Pennsylvania-based Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., only certain contraceptives are disputed.

FULL POST


Filed under: Obamacare • Peanut Gallery • Religion • SCOTUS • State of the Union
February 27th, 2014
03:35 PM ET

Washington "Scandal"-ized

By CNN's Deena Zaru

Reality is what you choose to show and not necessarily what is; public image is invaluable and what you say can and will be used against you not only in the court of law, but in the court of public opinion; and sometimes silence is more dangerous than anything you might say.

Welcome to Washington D.C. – where if the media and the public pay attention to you, chances are you are in need of an adviser, an image consultant – and in the midst of scandal – a cunning, capable and calculating crisis manager.

Enter Olivia Pope.

FULL POST

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