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Patrick Hruby

Patrick Hruby was a writer for The Washington Times.

Articles by Patrick Hruby

Political online ads go viral, but are they viable?

Once upon a time, political ads were simple, falling into two cliched categories: warm 'n' fuzzy soft-focus personal appeals and scathing critiques of rival candidates, rife with unflattering photographs and exploding hydrogen bombs. No longer. Published February 8, 2012

**FILE** This undated photo shows guests at an launch party at the Gallery Bar in New York. (Associated Press)

Estranged bedfellows: Liberals, conservatives also split on sex, romance

If you've ever wondered whether America's near-tribal political polarization extends to romance — whether an Ann Coulter-Keith Olbermann wedding would, in fact, be weirder than a Herman Cain campaign advertisement — social science at long last has provided a tentative answer. Yes. And duh! Published February 6, 2012

A screen capture of a video of Newt Gingrich and Hillary Rodham Clinton attending a 2005 policy forum is seen here. The video was uploaded to YouTube by Andrew Kaczynski.

Flip-flop cop: Young video researcher keeping GOP candidates honest

Picture this: Newt Gingrich discussing national health care, arguing for wealth redistribution and an individual insurance mandate, all while sitting next to Hillary Clinton, the whole discussion caught on videotape. A sneaky, fact-fudging attack ad, unleashed by a rival presidential contender or enemy super PAC? Not exactly. Published January 30, 2012

Six slogans for Obama re-election campaign

Four years after the triumph of "Hope," "Change" and "Yes, we can!" President Obama reportedly is looking for a 2012 re-election slogan. Luckily, we're here to help. Published January 18, 2012

Oil and coffee "are two dark, black liquids that run this country," says Robert Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University. The standard 16-ounce cup of Starbucks coffee contains 330 mg of caffeine — the equivalent of three No-Doz pills. (Associated Press)

American caffeine addiction races full speed ahead

From the 24-ounce Cafe Americano to the 64-ounce Mountain Dew Double Gulp, from ubiquitous coffee shops to the widespread use of the prescription drug Ritalin (read: legal speed) as a campus study aid, we are one nation under a buzz, indivisible from our next fix, with 5-Hour Energy shots and caffeine-spiked chewing gum for all. Published January 17, 2012

President Obama holds hands with his daughters Malia (left) and Sasha as they leave Sea Life Park, a marine wildlife park, with family friends on Dec. 27 in Waimanalo, Hawaii. (Associated Press)

Top 5 ‘let them eat cake’ moments of the Obama White House

President Obama and his wife, Michelle, have prompted complaints for hosting a lavish, unpublicized "Alice in Wonderland" White House Halloween party in 2009 featuring director Tim Burton and actor Johnny Depp, all while the country struggled with high unemployment and the lingering economic fallout of the Great Recession. This isn't the fist time the Obamas have drawn such scrutiny. Herein, the first couple's top "Let Them Eat Cake" moments. Published January 10, 2012

Newt Gingrich's girth surely could be a target in the race to be the Republican presidential nominee. Will it cost him? "Study after study after study shows the same thing. Weight bias is a highly prevalent form of discrimination, more common than other forms that have protection within our laws," says Yale University's Rebecca Puhl (Associated Press)

Will anti-fat bias affect the 2012 election?

As if Newt Gingrich doesn't have enough problems after his disappointing fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses under a barrage of blistering attack ads, here's one more to consider: his weight. Published January 4, 2012

T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times

Documentary explores unsolved case of Israeli attache’s death

On a summer night nearly four decades ago, Israeli military attache Joseph Alon was shot five times in the driveway of his Chevy Chase home, and one of the bullets pierced his heart. For his family, the hole remains. Published December 6, 2011

The Kennedy Center Dis-Honors

A wise man — possibly the Apostle Paul, probably Osgood Fielding III from "Some Like It Hot" — once noted, "Nobody's perfect." In the cases of Neil Diamond, Meryl Streep and the rest of this year's Kennedy Center honorees, that maxim is worth remembering. Otherwise, their formidably accomplished, mostly spotless resumes would be unbearable. With that in mind, we present our first-ever Kennedy Center Dis-Honors, kidding only because we love. Published December 1, 2011

Norquist takes unorthodox path to find his comedy

OK, Washington joke: Grover Norquist walks into his downtown office. There's a bronze bust of Ronald Reagan, a towering stack of books, and on the windowsill of the nation's most powerful anti-tax activist rests an oversized front page from the Onion, a satirical newspaper. Published November 29, 2011

Coolidge High School varsity football coach Natalie Randolph is in her second year of coaching and some of the novelty of a woman heading a boys football team has worn off. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Coolidge’s Natalie Randolph is in charge on, off the field

A year and a half after garnering national attention by becoming one of a handful of women to become a high school football head coach, Natalie Randolph has guided the Coolidge Colts to an 8-2 record and a berth in today's D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association championship game — the "Turkey Bowl." Published November 23, 2011

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a parliamentary dinner in Canberra, Australia, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Alan Porritt, Pool)

Red, white and goo: Has America gone soft?

Has America gone soft? Seen our once formidable, can-do economic, cultural and geopolitical six-pack abs devolve into a can't-be-bothered muffin top of belt-buckle-busting, Snuggie-swaddled goo? Published November 16, 2011

While all three comics in Laughter Against the Machine — from left, Janine Brito, Nato Green and W. Kamau Bell — are "lefty, progressive people," their self-professed goal is to provoke (read: offend) audience members of every political persuasion. (Photo courtesy Laughter Against the Machine)

Can the political left laugh at itself?

Political humor trio Laughter Against the Machine is on a coast-to-coast tour they dub a "comedic peacekeeping mission to the most polarized quagmires" in the country. They'll be at the D.C. Arts Center on Thursday night. Published November 9, 2011

National Museum of Health and Medicine photographs
From top: A cross-section of a city dweller's lungs from the 1950s that is black and red from the air pollution of the era, a human hairball removed from the stomach of a 12-year-old girl who ate her own hair, and a 40-pound scrotum distended by elephantiasis are among the exhibits in "Visibly Human: Health and Disease in the Human Body" at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring.

At Museum of Health and Medicine, gross anatomy prompts shock and awe

When confronted by a 40-pound amputated human scrotum - diseased and distended, roughly the size of a well-fed lapdog, sporting the cracked, leathery texture of an old, weathered football, preserved under glass for easy viewing - many words come to mind. Published October 27, 2011

Occupy Wall Street protester Ashlie Lauren Smith, a music student from Cincinnati, screams about the $90,000 she owes in student loans at a Times Square rally on Saturday. The protests in New York and other cities have been a source of new material for comedians and satirists. (Associated Press)

Satirists mock Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street has yet to force compliance with its "demands" — but by one indicator of contemporary cultural relevance, the nascent movement already has made an impact: People are making fun of it. Published October 14, 2011

** FILE ** Martin Luther King Jr. (Associated Press)

Will Obama soar or bore on Sunday’s King dedication?

Almost 50 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and gave arguably the most powerful American political speech of the 20th century: "I Have a Dream." An impassioned call for racial equality. A soaring vision of social unity. A moral and stylistic tour de force, rife with literary and biblical references, delivered in the urgent, gripping cadence of a Baptist sermon, a 17-minute oratorical masterpiece that remains stirring and resonant to this day. Published October 13, 2011