Thursday November 26, 2015
September 17th, 2015
Syria will be the biggest blot on the Obama presidency, a debacle of staggering proportions. For more than four years now, the war has festered. A country has been destroyed, 4 million Syrians are refugees, Islamic State has moved into the vacuum and President Bashar Assad still drops barrel bombs whose shrapnel and chlorine rip women and children to shreds.
It had to be a joke, a parody, I thought while reading of a new electronic gadget claiming to entice children to eat vegetables by rewarding them with video games. I've been taken in by less. But there was the Yumit being touted with a straight face on the website of the reputable Wired magazine.
The U.S. Surgeon General this week proposed a radical idea wrapped in a banal government document, a 72-page "call to action" with 359 tiny-font references: Americans, Vivek Murthy said, should walk more.
Is it just a date yet?
Do we say, "I have a dentist appointment on Sept. 11th" or "Let's get together for drinks on Friday; what is that, the 11th?" without flinching, blanching or taking a moment to grieve?
Why should the United States take in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees? Should we make policy on the basis of searing pictures? How much suffering is never photographed or televised and therefore ignored? And what is our obligation to strangers?
Humanitarians might view such questions as a form of heartlessness. Yet those who believe that we should take in many more of those fleeing violence and death need to take them seriously.
You'd never think it from the present chaos in American presidential politics, but over most of the last century, relative stability has been the byword. Of the 12 elected presidents who ran for a second term in that period, eight were given it by the voters.
About two years ago, Ezra Klein wrote in The Washington Post about University of Chicago social scientist Harold Pollack, who "managed to write down pretty much everything you need to know on a 4x6 index card" about investing.
I thought that approach was worthwhile for many reasons.
Has there ever been a university whose success was more dependent on football than Notre Dame?
Go back to the 1920s, when this middling Catholic school near South Bend, Indiana, was a household name because the radio networks all broadcast Notre Dame football games. Notre Dame football had Knute Rockne, the legendary coach, and Grantland Rice’s “Four Horsemen.”
Last week, Jeb(!) Bush came under fire from Donald Trump - generally a sign that you are doing something right.
In this case, the thing that Jeb! was doing right was answering a question in fluent Spanish. Trump didn't like it, just as Trump don't like it any time anyone speaks and Trump cannot understand (so, not in the third person and using words of more than one syllable).
Rick Perry — out!
The new glasses apparently didn’t do the trick.
The former governor of Texas threw in the towel Friday and the Republican race is now totally lacking in candidates who claimed to have shot a coyote while jogging.