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Archive: Family

Tip To Candidates: Change Your Names

In politics, image trumps substance much of the time. Candidates will do virtually anything to adopt the image they believe voters want to see. So why don't more candidates change their names? When the candidates for governor in Virginia take the stage today for The Washington Post debate in Annandale, it'll be a Terry, a Brian and a Creigh vying to take on a Bob in the fall election. A nifty new NameMapper tool demonstrates that we've got just what you'd expect: A choice of guys whose names peaked in the 1950s and 60s and have sunk down toward...

By Marc Fisher | May 19, 2009; 08:26 AM ET | Comments (3)

Look Who's Partners On Gay Marriage

Lying on his cot in the Longworth House Office Building in the small of the night, Jason Chaffetz had a scary dream: The conservative Republican from Utah had beaten the odds, defeated an incumbent and made it to Washington, only to end up by some bizarre twist of events arm-in-arm with Marion Barry, the crack-smoking laughingstock former mayor of the District of Columbia. "Oh man, if I had run a campaign saying I'd be working closely with Marion Barry, I don't know that I would have been elected," Chaffetz says. The nightmare turns out to be reality: Chaffetz, once the...

By Marc Fisher | May 17, 2009; 09:11 AM ET | Comments (4)

Barry, Obama & The Winding Road To Gay Marriage

When the history of this country's journey toward acceptance of same-sex marriage is written, much will be made of the startling swiftness with which one state after another embraced gay marriage in a matter of a few months in 2008 and 2009. A huge shift in popular attitudes toward homosexuality has happened in what history will eventually see as a blink of an eye. But those same historians will find a dissonant note in this social revolution: What will they make of prominent leaders who rose to power as early advocates for gay rights, but then tempered their views...

By Marc Fisher | May 11, 2009; 08:25 AM ET | Comments (34)

Study: Md., Va. Prep Kids For Success. D.C. Doesn't.

Maryland is among the best places in the country in preparing children for success in school and beyond, according to a new study by Save the Children, the Washington-based non-profit. Maryland ranks eighth among all states and the District in measures such as parental encouragement, preschool participation and quality of home environment. Virginia landed 13th on the list and the District was way down at the bottom, at 42nd in the nation. Overall, the report paints a dismal picture of parenting and schooling in America. It finds that 68 percent of American fourth-graders are not reading at grade level--64...

By Marc Fisher | May 5, 2009; 07:48 AM ET | Comments (9)

Will Nats Make D.C. Divorce Rate Plummet?

The Washington Nationals are in contention to be the worst major league baseball team since the legendary 1962 New York Mets, but does the mere presence of a baseball franchise so powerfully change men's attitudes that it can substantially reduce a metropolitan area's divorce rate? Researchers at University of Denver and Texas A&M have published a study that says cities with Major League Baseball franchises boast divorce rates 28 percent lower than rates in other cities that don't yet have teams. In Denver, for example, the divorce rate fell by 20 percent between 1990--before the Colorado Rockies were created--and...

By Marc Fisher | April 28, 2009; 08:10 AM ET | Comments (5)

Couple's Nuptials a Hiatus From Life on the Streets

She had heard all the lines, knew all the games. So when Dante White's first words to Nhiahni Chestnut were "I want you to be my wife," his chances did not seem strong. "I said, 'You are really putting it out there,' " Nhiahni recalls. But her retort came with a smile. Something about Dante made his preposterous opening line seem not just plausible, but a downright heart-melter. Such are the mysteries of love: Come Saturday, Dante and Nhiahni will marry. People will journey from every corner of Washington to see them exchange vows -- wealthy Georgetowners and people who...

By Marc Fisher | April 26, 2009; 10:18 AM ET | Comments (3)

 

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