Thursday December 18, 2014
May 26th, 2014
Some people have such a radical vitality, such an electric consciousness, such a lifelong love affair with the world that when they stop breathing, it's like a wind dying, like the waning and disappearing of a light.
And the world feels duller and dumber and more lackluster without them.
Tay Thi Nguyen is one of the mightiest people I've met, at 94 pounds. She has a towering presence, at a bit more than 5 feet tall. She is so strong that she probably could bench press 25 pounds.
Memorial Day is a peculiarly appropriate holiday for our times. Its origins lie in the Civil War, which resulted from the failure of a deeply polarized political system to settle the question of slavery.
When Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., remarked last week that some of the opposition to President Obama's Affordable Care Act is "maybe he's of the wrong color," he was just saying out loud what many people believe. And no, he wasn't calling Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., a "racist."
What's happening in the Republican primaries is less a defeat for the tea party than a surrender by the GOP establishment, which is winning key races by accepting the tea party's radical anti-government philosophy.
I knew before arriving that Netflix's "House of Cards" was an unexpected hit here. Still, it took the ripped-from-the-airwaves coincidence of five members of the Chinese military indicted on charges of cyber espionage to grasp more fully the allure of this American political drama for Chinese citizens and leaders alike.
A plague of heroin addiction is upon us. Another plague. Heroin was the crisis that prompted Richard Nixon to launch the war on drugs in 1971.
Time marched on. Cocaine and then crack cocaine and then methamphetamine overtook heroin as the drugs of the moment. Now heroin is back -- and badder than ever.
Here's a novel idea. Since president of the United States is not only the most important job in this country, but also the most powerful on the planet, doesn't it make sense to require an IQ test before anybody can run for that office? Of course, it does. And Marco Rubio should be the first.
Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush, the didactic-meets-dynastic duo, spoke last week at a Manhattan Institute gathering, providing a Mayberry-like prescription for combating poverty in this country: all it takes is more friendship and traditional marriage.
Ryan said: "The best way to turn from a vicious cycle of despair and learned helplessness to a virtuous cycle of hope and flourishing is by embracing the attributes of friendship, accountability and love."
By any normal standard, economic policy since the onset of the financial crisis has been a dismal failure. It's true that we avoided a full replay of the Great Depression. But employment has taken more than six years to claw its way back to pre-crisis levels - years when we should have been adding millions of jobs just to keep up with a rising population. Long-term unemployment is still almost three times as high as it was in 2007; young people, often burdened by college debt, face a highly uncertain future.