Saturday November 01, 2014
July 20th, 2014
On the day that saw the double whammy of the downing of a Malaysian Airlines over Ukraine and the Israeli invasion of Gaza, President Obama seemed at first conspicuously unengaged for a man customarily regarded as the leader of the "free world."
He had started the day in Delaware making a pitch for more bridge and other infrastructure repair, and then went blithely on to New York for more political fund-raising.
Before she was allowed to register and vote for the first time in Franklin County, North Carolina, Rosanell Eaton had to read the entire preamble to the U.S. Constitution out loud in front of three men in the county courthouse.
Among former presidents, there's an unwritten rule: Once you leave the game, you don't stand on the sidelines and criticize the man who took your place. You never heard George H.W. Bush attack Bill Clinton. Never heard Clinton slamming George W. Bush. And, to his credit, you haven't heard a peep from George W. Bush ever since he went back to Dallas.
The first step toward recovery is admitting that you have a problem. That goes for political movements as well as individuals. So I have some advice for so-called reform conservatives trying to rebuild the intellectual vitality of the right: You need to start by facing up to the fact that your movement is in the grip of some uncontrollable urges. In particular, it's addicted to inflation - not the thing itself, but the claim that runaway inflation is either happening or about to happen.
Kalydeco is truly a wonder drug.
Developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, it is the first drug that attacks not just the symptoms but the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis, a genetic lung disease that usually kills victims by the time they reach their 40s. It doesn't work for every sufferer of the disease but rather for a small subset - probably around 2,000 people - who have a specific genetic mutation that the drug targets. But for those it helps, it is life-changing.
The thing about him is, he just keeps going.
At 67, he continues to be, as Anna Quindlen once wrote, like one of those inflatable toys with sand weighting the bottom - you knock him over and he pops back up.
As Hillary stumbles and President Obama slumps, Bill Clinton keeps getting more popular.
With Israeli troops again invading Gaza and the death toll rising, some of the rhetoric from partisans on each side is oddly parallel. Maybe it's time to correct a few common misconceptions among the salvos flying back and forth.
- This is a struggle between good and evil, right and wrong. We can't relax, can't compromise, and we had no choice but to act.
From Ukraine to the Middle East, some bad actors - Hamas, Vladimir Putin and Israeli settlers to name but a few - are trying to bury the future with the past and divide people. Instead of focusing on them even more, I prefer to write about a company that is burying the past with the future, and actually bringing strangers together.
Tragedies concentrate the mind.
American politics was trundling along on its usual unserious and trivial trajectory when news of the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine shook the world. Suddenly, the stakes in public life and foreign policy were very high.
How many Americans know how health reform is going? For that matter, how many people in the news media are following the positive developments?
I suspect that the answer to the first question is "Not many," while the answer to the second is "Possibly even fewer," for reasons I'll get to later. And if I'm right, it's a remarkable thing - an immense policy success is improving the lives of millions of Americans, but it's largely slipping under the radar.