Saturday December 20, 2014
June 18th, 2014
On Monday, Howard Schultz, chief executive of Starbucks, unveiled his company's newest - and possibly most important - perquisite for its employees: a free college education. He announced this new program on a stage in The Times Center in Manhattan, alongside his partner in the new venture, Michael Crow of Arizona State University.
Several times in recent weeks I've found myself in conversations with liberals who shake their heads sadly and express their disappointment with President Barack Obama. Why? I suspect that they're being influenced, often without realizing it, by the prevailing media narrative.
The can of worms that George W. Bush cracked open in Iraq in 2003, which Barack Obama tried to close and essentially gave up on by the end of 2011, is now spilling over into a major Middle East catastrophe.
For an increasing number of Americans, the tenor of politics has reached a near-religious pitch, in which people on opposing ends of the ideological scale take on theological properties: good or evil, angels or demons, here to either save our way of life or destroy it.
"Congressional Democrats were ecstatic," The New York Times reported the morning after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's unexpected trouncing in his Republican primary. "An informal dinner party at the Georgetown apartment of Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader, turned into a celebration."
Elections matter. House Republican Leader Eric Cantor's stunning reelection defeat probably scuttles any hope for an immigration overhaul this year, given how much Cantor was pummeled with that hot-potato issue by his victorious rival.
No one wrote about blondes like Raymond Chandler.
"There is the small cute blonde who cheeps and twitters and the big statuesque blonde who straight-arms you with an ice-blue glare," he wrote in "The Long Goodbye." "There is the blonde who gives you the up-from-under look and smells lovely and shimmers and hangs on your arm and is always very, very tired when you take her home."
The debacle in Iraq isn't President Barack Obama's fault. It's not the Republicans' fault. Both bear some responsibility, but, overwhelmingly, it's the fault of the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki.
Some on the left suggest that President George W. Bush is at fault because he invaded Iraq in the first place. Sen. John McCain argues that the White House bears such responsibility that Obama should replace his national security team.
The Yale applicant had terrific test scores. She had fantastic grades. As one of Yale's admissions officers, Michael Motto, leafed through her application, he found himself more and more impressed.
The disintegration of Iraq and Syria is upending an order that has defined the Middle East for a century. It is a huge event, and we as a country need to think very carefully about how to respond. Having just returned from Iraq two weeks ago, my own thinking is guided by five principles, and the first is that, in Iraq today, my enemy's enemy is my enemy. Other than the Kurds, we have no friends in this fight. Neither Sunni nor Shiite leaders spearheading the war in Iraq today share our values.