CNN  — 

Do you wonder where the 2010s went? Us too.

Now here we are at the precipice of a new decade. But wait. Let’s pause a few minutes before we leap into 2020 and together take one last look back at the past 10 years—the political upheaval, the social earthquakes and their joys (and disappointments), the natural disasters and everyday triumphs of humanity. And the crazy cultural phenomena we knew you wanted to hear about, because who could look away? (“Left Shark”? “Game of Thrones”? )

You’ve lived through this surge of history and CNN Opinion was with you, publishing commentaries by interesting people to help answer the question: what exactly does this all mean?

CNN Opinion was born in the waning months of 2009 and turned 10 this year. Here’s a sampling of our most memorable pieces–so far. Take a look!

–Pat Wiedenkeller

Haiti’s people have strong will to rebuild

By Edwidge Danticat

“People are thinking ‘I may have lost a loved one, but also I may have lost my country.’ You feel so sad, terribly sad… The motto of Haiti is ‘L’union fait la force’: ‘in unity there is strength.’

In moments like this, you cling to that. You cling to everything. It makes me remember that this is a country that didn’t have a chance when it began, a nation of slaves becoming the world’s first black republic. You have to draw from this historical precedent and hope there will be a rebirth.”


My secret life under ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

By Joan E. Darrah

“I had pretended to be straight and played the games most gays in the military are all too familiar with – not daring to have a picture of Lynne on my desk, being reluctant to go out to dinner with her, telling her not to call me at work except in a real emergency, not going to church together, avoiding shopping for groceries together and generally staying out of sight of anyone I knew when we were together…But it was the events of September 11, 2001, that caused me to appreciate fully the true impact of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ on our lives.”


Tea Party leader: What we want

By Phillip Dennis

“Washington bureaucrats are simply incapable of efficiency. The Tea Party is determined to send new, fiscally responsible leaders to Washington to trim government fat – and not with scalpels, but with chainsaws.”


What ‘The Pill’ did

By Raquel Welch

“By the early 60’s The Pill had made it easier for a woman to delay having children until after she established herself in a career.

Another significant effect of The Pill on female sexual attitudes during the 60’s was, and still is: ‘Now we can have sex anytime we want, without the consequences. Hallelujah, let’s party!’

These days, nobody seems able to ‘keep it in their pants’ or honor a commitment, raising the question: Is marriage still a viable option?…”


Next time, woo young Obama supporters

By Erica Williams

“If the largest and most diverse generation in American history is so progressive, and members voted decisively Democratic, why the so-called ‘Republican tsunami?’

Because Obama himself wasn’t on the ticket.

The candidates who were running had the responsibility to engage and turn out young Obama voters – and apparently completely failed to do so…”


Hiker freed from Tehran prison: Time for U.S.-Iran ties

By Sarah Shourd

“When I was in Evin Prison in Tehran, a guard twice brought flowers to my cell…When I broke down and cried, she would hold me in her arms, look me in the eyes and say, ‘God willing, Sarah, it’s going to be OK.’

Since my release, many people have wondered why I have not been more condemning of the country that kept me in solitary confinement for 410 days. They have wanted to know why I speak with such conviction about the need for an improved Iranian-U.S. relationship and highlight my love for the Middle East and respect for Muslim culture.”

More takes from 2010:

Erika Christakis and Nicholas Christakis: Want to get your kids into college? Let them play.

Drew Westen: Why Obama won the health care battle.

Ariel Dorfman: Why trapped miners “unwilling to die in darkness.”

Ban high-capacity gun magazines like one used in Tucson

By Frank Lautenberg

“The sickening shooting spree in Tucson holds many lessons for our country, but the most important is this: It’s much too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on deadly weapons. We must change this.

A good start is by banning high-capacity gun magazines – which allow scores of bullets to be loaded at one time – such as the one used in the Tucson massacre that left six people dead and 14 others wounded, including my colleague, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.”


Can this royal marriage survive?

By Stephanie Coontz

“William and Kate kissed on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Heart-shaped balloons floated above the couple’s heads while Royal Air Force planes performed a flyover. And, of course, the bride looked stunning.

But now that the wedding is over, what are the prospects for the marriage?

There are a number of social signifiers that would seem to give it a pretty good shot. This is important, because over the ages the monarchy hasn’t been so successful at producing great marriages.”


Japan quake: it could have been even worse

By Leonardo Seeber

“As the shaking got louder, I was looking at the walls around us wobble and crackle and I became humbly appreciative of the rule-abiding mind-set projected by the thick columns of reinforced concrete.

Like Californians, the Japanese have been serious about earthquakes and it was now paying off. The statistics are clear. Even though the attention is riveted on the bad news of the tsunami devastating coastal towns…Considering the size of the phenomenon and of the city affected, Tokyo came through largely unscathed.”


Permissive parents: Curb your brats

LZ Granderson

“A young child slapping his or her parent’s hand away in defiance is not cute, it’s disrespectful. In my house, growing up, that would have earned much more than ‘the look’ from my mother.

If I sound a bit old-school, I am. If I’m coming across as a bit of an ogre, so be it. As a parent, I can empathize with how difficult raising children can be…But I don’t believe making a child’s wishes top priority is a demonstration of love. Nor do I believe that I, or the rest of the world, should act as surrogate parents for somebody’s bad-ass kids.

You wanted them, deal with them.”


I was wrong about same-sex marriage

By David Frum

“I find myself strangely untroubled by New York state’s vote to authorize same-sex marriage – a vote that probably signals that most of ‘blue’ states will follow within the next 10 years.

I don’t think I’m alone in my reaction either. Most conservatives have reacted with calm – if not outright approval – to New York’s dramatic decision. Why? The short answer is that the case against same-sex marriage has been tested against reality. The case has not passed its test.

Since 1997, same-sex marriage has evolved from talk to fact.”

More takes from 2011:

Ruben Navarrette: Sheriff Dupnik is right about Arizona.

Bill Frist: Why Americans should care about famine in Africa.

Arsalan Iftikhar: ‘Arab Spring’ becoming the Arab year?

Slurs won’t silence women

By Sandra Fluke

“Restricting access to such a basic health care service, which 99% of sexually experienced American women have used and 62% of American women are using right now, is out of touch with public sentiment…Attacking me and women who use contraception by calling us prostitutes and worse cannot silence us.”


Today, we are all American Sikhs

By Valarie Kaur

“Today, the day after the tragic shootings near Milwaukee, the fog will begin to lift. Just as after Columbine and Aurora, we will hear the names of the suspect and victims. We will learn more about the motive and imagine the nightmare that unfolded within those walls. …But that will not be enough today.

Today, we are called to do more. We are called to do the hard work of listening.”


Ambassador Stevens was a man who built bridges

By Judith Drotar

“It has been three days since Chris Stevens and three other Americans lost their lives in Benghazi, Libya…What really made Chris exceptional to me…was his ability to distance himself. Not the aloof kind of distancing that you might expect from someone in his position, but the kind where one puts emotion and ego aside in order to truly listen, to understand, and then to find a way to build bridges.”


My arrest at Occupy Wall Street

By Molly Crabapple

“Jail is waiting. Depressing waiting. Humiliating waiting. Pointless, tedious waiting in a crowded cage with dead roaches and no running water, where officers processing you through the system laugh at your discomfort and fear.”


Private space travel: A new era begins?

By Meg Urry

“People who have visited SpaceX say its employees are among the best and brightest and that they mean to change the world. This is just what NASA did in the 1960s when humans moved out of low Earth orbit and ventured to the moon.”


‘Zero Dark Thirty’: Did torture really net bin Laden?

By Peter Bergen

“The compelling story told in the film captures a lot that is true about the search for al Qaeda’s leader but also distorts the story in ways that could give its likely audience of millions of Americans the misleading picture that coercive interrogation techniques used by the CIA on al Qaeda detainees– such as waterboarding, physical abuse and sleep deprivation – were essential to finding bin Laden.”

More takes from 2012:

James Carville and Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza: GOP routed by reality

Ethan Zuckerman: Mourn, and take action on guns.

Pope Francis, humble, authentic and credible

By Christopher M Bellitto

“What Pope Francis seems to bring, at least at a first glance, is personal authenticity and credibility. Both are critical precursors to change. Many people want change, it is true, but any proposals that might or might not come won’t mean a thing unless a new spirit of credibility and trust flows down the Tiber throughout the planet’s oceans to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.”


The Internet is a surveillance state

By Bruce Schneier

“Welcome to the end of private conversations…and welcome to a world where…everything else that you do or is done on a computer, is saved, correlated, studied, passed around from company to company without your knowledge or consent; and where the government accesses it at will without a warrant.

Welcome to an Internet without privacy, and we’ve ended up here with hardly a fight.”


My late wife’s spirit was with us in court

By Edith Windsor

“On Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments in my case challenging the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, widely known as DOMA. I was honored and humbled by the opportunity to have my case considered by our nation’s highest court…To be honest, I never could have imagined that this day would come – the day that I would be ‘out’ as an 83-year-old lesbian suing the federal government.

My late wife, Thea Spyer, was, and is, the love of my life.”


Men dither while women lead in the world

By Hanna Rosin

“This has not been a shining week for the patriarchy. The men in suits dither, posture, plan negotiation sessions and then cancel them, and employ copious military metaphors – ‘wage battle,’ ‘refuse to surrender’ – to no effect…Competence, meanwhile belongs to the women, particularly in the usually macho world of global finance. Over in Europe, Merkel was re-elected on the basis of her deft handling of the eurozone crisis, and in the United States, monetary policy was entrusted to (Janet) Yellen. Making the victory extra sweet for women, she was chosen instead of Lawrence Summers, who will forever be remembered for saying women aren’t that good at math.”


Learn Lincoln’s words by heart

By Ken Burns

“As you read this timeless piece of oratory, engage in a discussion with those around you on what these words mean to us today. Let us ask ourselves how it is these words have endured the test of time, especially in current times.”


Young men, get a ‘yes’ text before sex

By Roxanne Jones

“Never have sex with a girl unless she’s sent you a text that proves the sexual relationship is consensual beforehand… Crazy, I know, but I’ve actually been encouraging my son and his friends to use sexting – minus the lewd photos – to protect themselves from being wrongly accused of rape.”


For gays, progress stunning, fast

By Charles Kaiser

“As a gay man who came out the year after the Stonewall riots, I have witnessed more change than I had ever imagined would be possible in my own lifetime.”

More takes from 2013:

Douglas Rushkoff: Edward Snowden is a hero

Al Vivian: What if Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman were white?

Pepper Schwartz: Why does Huma Abedin put up with Weiner?

Julia Fine: Why Malala’s bravery inspires us

Adam Sobel: What we didn’t learn from Superstorm Sandy

How World War I gave us ‘cooties’

By Jonathan Lighter

“Though World War I, which began 100 years ago next month, devastated lives and landscapes, its effect on language was almost paradoxically positive. It spawned hundreds of new words and popularized scores of old ones. Many of them survive today – there are ‘cooties,’ ‘camouflage,’ ‘scrounge’ and ‘dud,’ for example – but many have lost their once-widely recognized associations with the war that was hoped would ‘end war.’

Total war, as the world twice found out in the past century, is a turbulent time. It is for language, too.”


The most trafficked mammal you’ve never heard of

By John Sutter

“The world finally is starting to wake up to the plight of the pangolin – an awesomely introverted, scale-covered mammal that’s capable off fending of lions but gets snatched right up by poachers…more than 1 million pangolins were poached in the last decade. That’s a staggering number – pangolins already were thought to be the most trafficked mammals in the world – and an important reminder that the world could lose these amazing little creatures if more isn’t done, immediately, to protect them.”


Robin Williams’ generous heart

By Gilbert Gottfried

“I was standing in the section right outside the restroom where the comics waited to be introduced onstage. All of a sudden, the club door opened and Robin popped in. The people in charge of the club said, ‘OK, we’re putting Robin on next.’ I couldn’t really argue with that; he was certainly a bigger name than I was. But to my amazement, Robin told them, ‘I have a bunch of people in the audience tonight, and I would really like to make sure they see Gilbert first.’”


Joan Rivers gave misfit girls permission to dream

By Judy Gold

“This tiny little loud-mouthed Jewish woman was my hero. When Joan Rivers walked through the curtain on ‘The Tonight Show,’ nobody in my house was allowed to utter a sound. Her gait was full of pep and purpose and her voice unmatched. Her first appearance was in 1965, when I was 3. Johnny Carson called her over to the couch and whispered, ‘You’re going to be a star.’ She looked behind her to see if he was talking to someone else.”


My right to death with dignity at 29

By Brittany Maynard

“I would not tell anyone else that he or she should choose death with dignity. My question is: Who has the right to tell me that I don’t deserve this choice? That I deserve to suffer for weeks or months in tremendous amounts of physical and emotional pain? Why should anyone have the right to make that choice for me?”


Ferguson verdict is complicated for me

By Safiya Jafari Simmons

“I’m raising a black boy to be a black man. So, the grand jury’s decision seems to double down on a pattern in this country of killing black boys without care or consequences… But it was also my reality when as we sped home to relieve our sitter one night, my husband and I were pulled over by a police officer on a dark, wooded parkway in Virginia. And I watched my husband, an officer for nearly 10 years, immediately turn off the car, turn on all the interior lights, place the keys on the dashboard and put his hands on the steering wheel.”


More takes from 2014:

Les Abend: Pilot: How mechanical problem could have downed Flight 370

Gloria Borger: Midterms: How Obama and the Democrats lost

Marco Rubio: Stop ISIS terrorists now, before it’s too late

Laurie Garrett: Why Ebola epidemic is spinning out of control

Lorena Rojas and the power of telenovelas

By Sandra Guzman

“Perhaps the most delightful difference between American soaps and Spanish novelas is not just how over the top, fashionable and gorgeous the stars are; it is also that when they end after several months, evil is taken out, good always wins, and there is, for the most part, a happy ending. A refreshing way to live in a country where people want to deport you and your family!”


It’s time for a medical marijuana revolution

By Sanjay Gupta

“I see it in the op-ed pages of the newspapers, and on the state ballots in nearly half the country. I see it in politicians who once preferred to play it safe with this explosive issue but are now willing to stake their political futures on it. I see the revolution in the eyes of sterling scientists, previously reluctant to dip a toe into this heavily stigmatized world, who are diving in head first. I see it in the new surgeon general who cites data showing just how helpful it can be.I see a revolution in the attitudes of everyday Americans. For the first time a majority, 53%, favor its legalization, with 77% supporting it for medical purposes.”


Leave Left Shark alone

By SE Cupp

“As the world now knows, the star of the Super Bowl was not Tom Brady or Russell Wilson. It wasn’t Katy Perry or Missy Elliot. It was the Left Shark. His onstage dance during the halftime show has earned him global acclaim and, I must say, some unfair scrutiny for his seeming missteps.”


Why are we really interested in Caitlyn Jenner?

By Peggy Drexler

“What Jenner has done – both on a personal and a public level – is no small feat. She used her access to the media to bring attention to a community that has fought hard for many years to have its stories heard, without being sensationalized. In that way, she has brought important attention to an often-marginalized and misunderstood community, while also being true to herself. But let’s also be honest: Are we praising her for her courage to be her? Are we praising her bravery as a human – or as a celebrity? Or are we, well, sensationalizing?”


Drowned toddler’s image stops us in our tracks

By Ruth Ben-Ghiat

“He is one of 12 refugees who drowned while trying to reach the Greek island of Kos – a Syrian, according to the governor’s office in Turkey’s Mugla province. The photo has gone viral, often accompanied by a Turkish hashtag that translates, in English, as ‘flotsam of humanity.’ The provocative phrase – flotsam being stuff, in the plural, that washes up after a shipwreck – is meant to denounce a politics of neglect by European governments that insults migrants’ and refugees’ dignity.

Why was this photograph selected to spark action, and why has it struck a chord in a way others have not?”

More takes from 2015:

Mel Robbins: Why blue/black/white/gold dress went viral

Eboni S. Nelson: Don’t let Charleston shooting divide us

Charlie Hebdo attacks: We walked united, but solace was short-lived

By Agnes Poirier

“Later in the day, when the names of the murdered started filtering out, scenes in the street took another intensity. This became personal.

Every French citizen felt as if they had lost a member of their family. I saw many tear-stricken faces that day, and for many days after. Among the 12 people killed at the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, five were among France’s most cherished cartoonists…The killers knew how deep this would hurt.”


Prince – The man I knew

By Van Jones

“I lost my good friend Prince on Thursday. There will be much talk about the art that he created. There will be much speculation about why he left us so soon.

But right now, I just want to share eight things that people in the media – and even his most dedicated fans – may not know about him. Prince had a secret talent that few knew about…”


Why Trump is the next Walter White

By Julian Zelizer

“Trump is the real life incarnation of the characters we love to watch in fictional shows. He perfected this character – the boss who ‘tells it like it is, whose tactics make us cringe but whose results keep us hooked on what happens next – on his reality shows ‘The Apprentice’ and ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’ He fired and insulted people with an unsympathetic directness and dynamic charisma that fit into this antihero mold. We loved him not because we liked him, but we wanted to see how far he would go to get the job done.”


When Orlando shooting brings terror, guns to my backyard

By Mark O’Mara

“There is simply no rational reason to believe that we have to supply citizens with assault weapons. Any paranoid belief that such weaponry would be necessary in a government-induced Armageddon simply pales in comparison to the undeniable reality of what we might do – are doing – to each other with such weapons.”


For girls, a heartbreaking loss – and an opportunity

By Michelle Obama

“Raphina wakes up early each morning, cooks for her family, cares for her younger siblings, and goes to work at a local market – all before she even gets to school. But she still attends class each day, working especially hard in science and math so she can fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse…we know that when we give these girls the chance to learn, they will seize it. They’ll walk for miles each day to school. They’ll study for hours every night by candlelight, determined to learn as much as they possibly can.

We also know that educating girls doesn’t just transform their life prospects – it transforms the prospects of their families, communities, and nations as well.”


America will take the giant leap to Mars

By Barack Obama

“Someday, I hope to hoist my own grandchildren onto my shoulders. We’ll still look to the stars in wonder, as humans have since the beginning of time. But instead of eagerly awaiting the return of our intrepid explorers, we’ll know that because of the choices we make now, they’ve gone to space not just to visit, but to stay – and in doing so, to make our lives better here on Earth.”


Trump’s shocking victory: what it means

By Tara Setmayer

“The Republican nominee just pulled off one of the greatest upsets in political history to take back the White House. He managed to flip Rust Belt blue states red and in doing so, helped the GOP retain its majorities in Congress. As a Republican, I should be overjoyed. But as an American first, my heart is heavy. Why? Because that nominee, now President-elect, is Donald Trump.”

Obama’s final report card: Did he live up to his promise?

By Sabrina Corlette

“Reforming health care became not just a priority but an economic imperative. Obama put his presidency on the line to achieve it. When, in the midst of an exhausting and politically divisive legislative debate, senior advisors urged the President to cut a deal and walk away, he refused. Ultimately, he signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, now called ‘Obamacare,’ into law on March 23, 2010. It was, by any measure, an historic accomplishment.”


I woke up this morning as an alternative fact

By David Axelrod

“Trump’s warmth to right-wing populist movements in Europe and hostility to trade and global institutions are wholly consistent with the worldview of Bannon’s Breitbart, which recently opened bureaus in France and Germany in advance of elections there.

Ten days in, this much is clear: Steve Bannon is playing a role in national security and foreign policy for which there is no precedent. And for better or worse, he already is making an impact.”


On this Remembrance Day, I hear terrible echoes of the past

By George Takei

“I was just a child of 5 when soldiers marched up our driveway in a Los Angeles residential neighborhood, bayonets in hand, and pounded on our front door, ordering us out. We were permitted only what we could carry, no bedding, no pets.

I remember my mother’s tears as she and our father gathered us up, with our precious few belongings in hand…That was in 1942. Earlier that year, on February 19, 75 years ago yesterday, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order, No. 9066, which set the internment into motion.”


Science made America great

By Bill Nye

“The US has become the most powerful nation on Earth and among the greatest in history, because it has long respected and promoted science. Countless policies, from military deployments to regulations that control the formula of a shampoo, are based on science.”


Single, childless and nearing 40, I saw one real option

By Sarah Lenti

“I am a single mother by choice. Yet I was raised in a Christian, conservative home, where I grew up believing in the traditional family unit. And I was taught that there was an order to achieving it. First, fall in love. Second, marry a man. Third, start a family.

Now in my fifth decade, only one has proven true for me – and it isn’t the first.”


What the white supremacist view of history leaves out

By Jane Carr

“What angers me most about the white supremacists who came to Charlottesville isn’t just their views or their hate. It is their apparent rejection of anything complicated; their lazy belief that history is a zero-sum game with easy equivalences. They believe that if we acknowledge – by removing or contextualizing them – that many Confederate monuments were not attempts to record history as it happened but a direct effort to marginalize people of color to shape a whiter future, then we deny where they came from. They appear to think that if the world says Black Lives Matter, then white lives must matter less.”


We could have made Weinstein powerless

By Jessica Barth

“In my own experiences with sexual harassment and assault, I have been made to feel as if I had to compromise my own convictions for the advancement of my career. I was made to believe that my talent and experience should take a back seat to my physical appearance. I was manipulated into believing I had ‘asked for it.’ And I was made to feel that if I spoke out or fought back, the repercussions would make me regret it.”


One thing Mike Pence and I agreed on

By Adam Schiff

“Promoting and protecting a free press is a value shared across the aisle. In 2006, I founded the Congressional Caucus for Freedom of the Press with my then-colleague, Vice President Mike Pence. We created the caucus to inform our colleagues in Congress about the centrality of press freedom to human rights and economic development, and to exert pressure on countries that put journalists on trial, or worse, for the crime of telling the truth.”


I have no fear, so ‘Access Hollywood’ tape will never define me

By Ariane Zucker

“People ask me whether I need or want an individual apology from either now-President Trump or Billy Bush. Well, apologizing to me would be the appropriate thing to do. Am I losing sleep over it waiting for one? Absolutely not.

I refuse to let a situation such as this one take away my emotional power.”

More takes from 2017:

Dean Obeidallah: Donald Trump’s most bone-chilling tweet

Brooke Baldwin: Speaking like this to women in 2017? No way

Actor: I’m a DACA recipient. Please don’t deport me

By Bambadjan Bamba

“DACA was a dream come true. As an actor, it gave me the confidence to book more work and speak my mind a little louder without fear that my status would be used against me. But most importantly, it gave me some peace of mind that I wasn’t going to get separated from my family…I know the only real long-term solution is a legislative one.”


I went from foster care to the Olympics

By Simone Biles

“Although I was young when my foster care ordeal began, I remember how it felt to be passed off and overlooked. Like nobody knew me or wanted to know me. Like my talents didn’t count, and my voice didn’t matter.

Finding a family made me feel like I mattered. Finding a passion, something I loved and was really good at, made me feel like I mattered. Representing my country and being part of such an amazing Olympic team matters, as does being a role model for those looking to fulfill their own dreams.”


Parkland student: My generation won’t stand for this

By Cameron Kasky

“The truth is that the politicians on both sides of the aisle are to blame. The Republicans, generally speaking, take large donations from the NRA and are therefore beholden to their cruel agenda. And the Democrats lack the organization and the votes to do anything about it.”


Why Hawaii’s volcano is in danger of going ballistic

By Einat Lev

“This event – beautiful, destructive, frightening – also presents a moment for all of us to appreciate the immense power of the forces that never cease shaping our planet. We are reminded by Kilauea to stay humble in the face of nature. And for volcanologists, the eruption is an opportunity to share with the public what we know about how these massive, intricate systems work.”


Biracial, American and now a Duchess: Meghan leaves mark on monarchy

By Isha Sesay

“The Duchess of Sussex chose to make her wedding day a moment where the world tuned in and were made to think about racial equality and gender equality. She made a decision to send the world a message.”


We’re not heroes. But we do our best to get it right

By Gene Seymour

“I didn’t know journalists Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara and Wendi Winters. But I feel safe in saying they carried roughly similar expectations with them Thursday into the newsroom of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. What they couldn’t have expected was that they wouldn’t leave the building alive.

This is, finally, what’s so infuriating and chilling about what happened in Annapolis on Thursday: that simply carrying out one’s obligation to tell the truth can get one murdered.”


I was Anthony Bourdain’s ‘censor’ at CNN

By Marianna Spicer Joslyn

“Like his viewers, I fell in love with Tony. He was a brilliant writer and storyteller, and you saw his toughness and sensed his vulnerability.”


What Kate Spade modeled for young women – and their moms

By Hilary George-Parkin

“There’s a reason Kate Spade’s work appealed just as much to a generation of 12-year-old girls as it did to their moms. At its core, it made the case that femininity, creativity and a sense of playfulness weren’t qualities you needed to give up or hide away in order to be taken seriously in the world – that, in fact, they should be celebrated. It was an idealistic notion, but the woman at the helm, who built what would become a multibillion-dollar brand on boxy handbags and polka-dot prints, was all the proof we needed.”


I have ALS and Trump is selling out people like me to make the rich even richer

By Ady Barkan

“In 2016, I was diagnosed with the life-threatening disease ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). The news shook me and my family to our core. You never think something like this can happen to you, but I remain hopeful because I am fighting for a cause that is bigger than me. And thanks to the Affordable Care Act, and the Medicaid expansion that came with it, I haven’t gone bankrupt as I fight to stay alive.

But Republicans continue to chip away at these hard-won, life-saving gains.”


Pray that you don’t win the billion-dollar lottery

By Kate Maltby

“It’s sad but true: The best answer given to a fantasy wealth questionnaire in popular culture isn’t the hedonism of ‘Heathers,’ but the vow of Ross Geller in ‘Friends’ as he snatches a lottery ticket from his friends in season 9: ‘I’m going to put it all into a very low-yield bond!’”

More takes from 2018:

Paul Begala: Sean Hannity is a welfare queen

Alyssa Milano: I don’t have equal rights under the Constitution – yet

Jennifer Taub: Brett Kavanaugh and I have a lot in common

Sam Kiley: The unintended consequences of killing Jamal Khashoggi

Something is terribly wrong with Trump

By Michael D’Antonio

“Let’s pause for a moment and consider that President Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mick Mulvaney had to say on national TV that his boss is ‘not a white supremacist’ and one of Trump’s senior advisers, Kellyanne Conway, had to push back against her own husband’s questioning of Trump’s mental state.

Over the weekend, as Trump ranted on Twitter, George Conway, who is a prominent conservative lawyer, posted the psychiatric definition of narcissistic personality disorder and asked all Americans to think about Trump’s ‘mental condition and psychological state.’ “

Know who’s not surprised by Aunt Becky’s rule-breaking? Every teacher

By Gerry Brooks

“The nation is in an uproar about the latest college admissions scandal. Some wealthy parents flagrantly broke the rules and the law, and spent a ton of money, to make sure their children got into elite schools. The scandal even blew up more than usual because it ensnared the actors Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. No one could believe our beloved Aunt Becky from “Full House” would do such a thing.

Do you know who isn’t surprised by the situation? Every educator in America. This thing occurs all the time, in every school. Maybe not at the same scale, with the same amounts of cash, but bad parental behavior and entitlement are old news.”

Mueller’s report looks bad for Obama

By Scott Jennings

“The partisan warfare over the Mueller report will rage, but one thing cannot be denied: Former President Barack Obama looks just plain bad. On his watch, the Russians meddled in our democracy while his administration did nothing about it. The Mueller report flatly states that Russia began interfering in American democracy in 2014. Over the next couple of years, the effort blossomed into a robust attempt to interfere in our 2016 presidential election.”


Joe Biden is normal – and that sounds really good to me

By Ana Navarro

“I have to believe Joe Biden running for president is about more than ego or lifelong ambition. There has got to be something more – a cause greater than self – driving a 76-year-old man, who will already go down in the annals of American history, who is liked and respected the world over, to throw himself into the gauntlet that is a presidential race.

Some will say his time has passed. He is too old. Well folks, let me state the obvious. Everything in life is relative. Donald Trump ain’t exactly the picture of youth and vigor. Neither is Bernie Sanders. Joe Biden has run in presidential campaigns, depending on how you’re counting, three or four times. He knows the physical toll it takes and he appears ready for it.”


Why ‘Game of Thrones’ denied us a fairytale ending

By Aaron Freedman

“In a largely botched final season, ‘Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss may have salvaged their legacy by doing one thing right – pushing one message that an American audience desperately needs to hear. That message? Don’t ever trust politicians who promise ‘humanitarian intervention.”


China is not the source of our economic woes—corporate greed is

By Jeffrey Sachs

“China is being made a scapegoat for rising inequality in the United States. While US trade relations with China have been mutually beneficial over the years, some US workers have been left behind, notably Midwestern factory workers facing competition due to rising productivity and comparatively low (though rising) labor costs in China. Instead of blaming China for this normal phenomenon of market competition, we should be taxing the soaring corporate profits of our own multinational corporations and using the revenues to help working-class households, rebuild crumbling infrastructure, promote new job skills and invest in cutting-edge science and technology.”


Plus-size mannequins reveal our warped perception of ‘normal’

By Holly Thomas

“The prevailing image of the thin runner, gym bunny, athlete, only reinforces all the stereotypes which say that thin is healthy, fat is not, and exacerbates the likelihood that fat people are dissuaded from participating in health-enhancing activities.”


The God of love had a really bad week

By Diana Butler Bass

“Not all Christians support Donald Trump. The president remains wildly unpopular among Christians who are persons of color. A majority of white Christians continue to approve of him. Of white Christians, according to Pew, evangelical support for Trump hovers around 70%; white mainline Christians are split with 48% approval; and around 44% of white Roman Catholics support him…White Christianity right now is a dumpster of discord; internecine warfare has not been this bad since the 1920s when controversy ripped American churches apart on whether human beings evolved from monkeys. In the last three years, Donald Trump has replaced Charles Darwin as troublemaker-in-chief in many white American churches.”


Everything depends on what we do now

By Emma Thompson

“We have weaponized our planet. All over the world life forms are experiencing weather that attack rather than sustains. Unseasonal heat that kills, rain that instead of sweetening, inundates and destroys, hurricanes that devastate. This is climate change. We are in it. It is all around us and set to get worse.”


In the mafia, there is a name for what Pence and Barr did

By Elie Honig

“As a federal organized crime prosecutor, I learned that the mafia uses a practice known as ‘kicking up’ or ‘paying tribute’ to the boss. Essentially, all members of a mafia family must make sure that some of their earnings end up in the boss’ pocket. From the member’s point of view, ‘kicking up’ is a way to show respect, curry favor, and reinforce the hierarchical power structure. From the boss’s point of view, it’s a way to get rich. The ‘kicking up’ model works well for the mafia, and now a political version of it seems to be catching on within the Trump administration.”


Trump may have just committed an impeachable offense that’s worse than the Ukraine one

By Frida Ghitis

“At any other time in history, one single sentence from Thursday morning, one call for China to investigate a President’s political opponent, would become the biggest story of the month, a threat to a presidency.

This time, the biggest story of a head-spinning month is impossible to declare. But his presidency, yes, is under threat by the President’s own words and actions. Americans are outraged, and he has no inoculation against impeachment.”


Elijah Cummings was a man of dignity and discipline

By Jesse Jackson

“Elijah Cummings was one of the most powerful men in America. He handled the gavel, that power, with dignity, discipline and grace. His adversaries were never his enemies. And all who worked with him, whatever their political persuasion, found him to be tough, smart, honest, honorable and fair. Even as he was assailed by the most powerful man in the world, he never ceded his personal dignity, nor that of the constituents that he represented, by responding in kind. In so doing, he lifted his community and elevated our nation.”


Welcome to the Fractured States of America

By Yaffa Fredrick

“Many parents no longer want their children marrying people from a different political party — 35% of Republicans and 45% of Democrats, to be precise. Workers, like Richard, feel politics simply has no place in the office. And Americans at large dread the idea of Thanksgiving dinners with family members who might bring up President Donald Trump. Some on the right are even concerned we are on the verge of a new Civil War.”


The one question to ask yourself about impeachment

By John Avlon

“It’s the question that all members of Congress should ask themselves as they cast their vote. And it’s the question citizens should keep in mind to cut through the furious spin cycle: Do you think American presidents should ask foreign powers to investigate domestic political rivals?”