Saturday September 05, 2015
March 5th, 2015
The most striking thing about interviewing Rula Ghani, the first lady of Afghanistan, may be that the interview is taking place at all.
Consider: Zeenat Karzai, the physician wife of former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, was rarely seen in public during her husband's decade-long tenure.
Chris Christie is political toast.
Another presidential campaign is taking shape, and potential Republican candidates are beginning to speak with extra care - and sometimes with censorious hellfire - about certain social issues. As ever, they're bowing to a bloc of voters described as Christian conservatives.
But these voters are a minority of Christians. They're not such representative conservatives.
When I was at Fortune magazine in the 1990s, one of my colleagues was a reporter named Richard Behar. He had a special lock on his door, and he wouldn't even let the janitor in to empty his wastebasket. He used a secret phone, which he kept hidden in a desk drawer, so that calls made to sources couldn't be traced back to him.
This tiny and isolated town of 400 cannot be reached by road. It lies on a fragile barrier island along the Chukchi Sea, 83 miles above the Arctic circle. And for generations, the Iñupiaq Eskimos of the region have hunted gigantic bowhead whales from camps atop the sea ice that stretches out from the town's icy shores.
As things now stand, the U.S. Department of Agriculture oversees steaks, chicken thighs and eggs out of their shells. The Food and Drug Administration keeps an eye on salmon, apples and eggs in their shells.
Fifteen government entities now supervise food safety, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (seafood).
Throughout history Americans seem compelled to take out their frustrations, their disagreements, on the President but I wonder if any have been as berated, as denigrated as President Obama. There have even been outright lies about other Presidents but I don't believe that any have been the target that Obama has been.
The Italians got this one right. Last week, The Washington Post's Adam Taylor helpfully collected tweets that Italians put out after a murderous video issued by the Islamic State, or ISIS, warned: "Today we are south of Rome," one militant said. "We will conquer Rome with Allah's permission."
As the hashtag #We_Are_Coming_O_Rome made the rounds in Italy, Rome residents rose to the challenge.
There are two main lines of analysis about Germany's role in the European Union. The first, favored by populist euro-skeptic politicians, is that Germany seeks to reverse the setbacks of the 20th century and rule Europe by other means. The second, popular with political commentators and other members of the European elite, is that German guilt over the setbacks of the 20th century inhibits it from exercising the leadership that the EU actually needs.
Can President Barack Obama sell an Iran deal at home?
If his negotiators strike an agreement next month, we already know that it will be far from ideal: Rather than eradicating Iran's nuclear-weapons potential, as once was hoped, a pact would seek to control Iran's activities for some limited number of years.