Wednesday November 26, 2014
May 12th, 2014
Why, many are asking, did it take the world so long to pay much attention to the kidnapping of more than 300 schoolgirls by Muslim fanatics in Nigeria?
For starters, the buck stops with President Goodluck Jonathan, among other Nigerian political leaders who clumsily tried to sweep the crisis under a rug.
Mary Willingham remembers the exact moment when she realized she had to go public. It was at the memorial service in the fall of 2012 for Bill Friday, the former president of the University of North Carolina. During his long career, Friday had championed the amateur ideal - the notion that college athletes needed also to be students, and that academics mattered as much as wins.
The outrageously bigoted remarks attributed to the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team mock the positive role black athletes have played in professional sports, even as those sports have served as an exit ramp from poverty.
Perhaps the most incredible of Clippers owner Donald Sterling's taped remarks came when his former girlfriend reminded him that he had a whole team made up of black players. His response was:
Monica Lewinsky says she would meet me for a drink.
In her new meditation in Vanity Fair, Monica mashes Hawthorne and Coleridge, proclaiming that she's ready to rip off her "scarlet-A albatross," "reimagine" her identity and reclaim her narrative.
Up to now, Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, has been playing a weak hand in Ukraine very well. I mean, how strong are you when your allies insist on wearing masks? But Putin thinks he knows his adversaries better than they know themselves. He thinks the Americans will never be serious about energy, that the Europeans will never be serious about sanctions, that the Ukrainian reformers will never be serious about governance, and that he can control the separatist forces he's unleashed in eastern Ukraine and dial them up or down as he pleases.
This summer, even drinking water may be hard to find in some central California towns. This region is in its third year of drought, among the worst in recorded history.
Yet agribusinesses are planting huge new groves of thirsty almond and pistachio trees. Bear in mind, these are permanent plantings. A quick crop such as alfalfa can be plowed under during a water crisis. Trees and vines, on the other hand, need years to mature. An acre could be a $3 million investment.
Democrats are cautiously optimistic they can hang on to the Senate this year. Surprisingly, this bright forecast is fueled by a sense they'll do better than expected in close contests in the Republican-dominated, Barack Obama-hating South.
Democrats, if you want to win in the fall, take some advice from Pharrell Williams: "Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth."
The Mountie-hat-wearing pop singer's infectious "Happy" should be the Democratic Party's theme song for the midterm election. Despite Republican claims to the contrary, things are definitely looking up. Democrats ought to be clicking their heels and spreading the good news.
Bungled executions by lethal injection are beginning to make firing squads look good. Seriously.
I did not always feel this way. I'm an opponent of the death penalty.
But with lethal-injection drugs in short supply and new questions being raised about their effectiveness, a seemingly humane form of execution is looking a lot less palatable than such old-fashioned methods as the rope or a team of sharpshooters.
The Great Recession leveled a blow to the middle and working classes from which they haven’t yet recovered.
Given that labor’s pay and prestige in America peaked in the 1960s, this isn’t exactly new. Still, it’s time that all our leaders took this challenge more seriously. After all, we don’t just have the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer anymore. The middle is collapsing.