Friday September 19, 2014
August 18th, 2014
Riots in Ferguson, Missouri, draw President Obama into a familiar, although unwritten part of his job description: a blend of national healer and scold-in-chief.
It's always risky for a president to get involved in local disputes. But everybody looks to this president when a local dispute disrupts what the Constitution calls the "domestic tranquility," especially when the dispute involves questions of race.
For most people, summer is a treasured time to cool your heels in a cottage by a lake or in a hammock in the backyard. It's not so simple for politicians. For them, deciding when and where to vacation can be perilous. Repair to a beach on the East Coast and you're an out-of-touch elitist; stay away too long and you'll be asked who's minding the store.
Picture the ad, either in the Democratic primaries or from a liberal independent candidate: Hillary Clinton - a pro-Wall Street buckraker, a foreign policy interventionist - championing George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq and looking like a lukewarm supporter of President Barack Obama.
Clinton's break last week with some of Obama's unpopular foreign policies, in an interview with my colleague Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic, is going to cause her political problems.
There's very little that the Chinese government likes less than the projection of U.S. military power. The reasons range widely - from a general distaste for the U.S. meddling outside its borders to Beijing's frequent support for autocratic regimes. China steadfastly opposed the idea of U.S. intervention in Syria, for instance, and in 2011, it refused to back military action in Libya (though it abstained from the Security Council vote to authorize strikes).
As the number of lives claimed by the Ebola epidemic in West Africa rises above 1,000, the rate of infection among women is outpacing that among men because women are the caregivers, nurses and cross-border traders, health officials report.
Outbreaks are thought to originate through contact with infected forest animals, often making men who hunt for bushmeat or handle the meat the first targets of infection.
According to much conventional wisdom, the flap over corporate "tax inversions" is just the latest evidence that the tax code needs a comprehensive overhaul like the one agreed to by congressional leaders and President Reagan in 1986.
"Did one look at what one saw or did one see what one looked at?"
- Hart Crane
This question seems especially striking in light of the struggles in Ferguson, Mo., and the response by members of the media and others. Three examples:
"Forgetting MLK's Message: Protesters in Missouri Turn To Violence" - FOX News chyron.
Americans, it must be admitted, are not always the most engaged people on world issues. It's a sad truth.
But the world, at this moment, is aflame, and more Americans must perk up and pay attention. Before we know it, we will have already been drawn into these conflicts.
When I first encountered Neil deGrasse Tyson, I thought, "What a nice man." He was on the TV screens at New York's Hayden Planetarium, where he's director, urging us to behold the wonder of -- to use the biblical term -- the heavens.
That impression only grew on seeing his television show, "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey." Here he bursts with elation over the great scientific breakthroughs, guiding us into the subject with the kindly enthusiasm of the gifted teacher.