The appointment of Ron Klain as Ebola czar — commanding no immediate respect from either the military or the public health community — reveals a disposition. The White House believes it has a management and communications challenge. But the problem is far larger — the inability (so far) to get ahead of the crisis in West Africa with decisive action.
Ballot initiatives aimed at protecting bears and wolves from hounding, trapping and other inhumane hunting practices are up for a vote in two states, Maine and Michigan. Oh, be still thy twitching trigger finger. This isn’t an anti-hunting column; it’s a pro-humanity column.
Many of us around the country have had about enough of the intense political divisiveness showing up in campaign ads. But our angst apparently is nothing compared with the frustration being felt in the nation’s capital on both sides of the political aisle. There, members of the defense establishment believe the partisan divide is actually undermining our national security.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden assured the nation the CDC would stop the Ebola epidemic “in its tracts.” Yet nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, who developed Ebola, were not even among the 48 contacts that the CDC was initially following.
Leon Panetta is trying to nudge President Barack Obama to adopt a more engaged style of governing; he rightly believes this is the only way Obama can break through the paralysis in Washington and exert more forceful foreign policy leadership in the future.
Can government learn from its mistakes? And will it be allowed to? The goal is to strengthen the current disease response and be better prepared for the next one. Somehow, even during a politically charged season, our Ebola debate must be an exercise in learning lessons.
One ill-chosen word — or, worse, failure to answer a reporter’s question — and the candidate is suddenly redrawn into a caricature he doesn’t recognize. Just ask Kentucky Democrat and U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, who, upon dodging a question about whether she voted for Obama, is sitting atop a mountain of media pain.
Police in Ferguson, Mo., violated the rights of protesters demonstrating against the shooting death of Michael Brown. U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry struck down an ad hoc rule under which cops had said people could not stand still while peacefully protesting.
During the 1944 Warsaw uprising, Stalin ordered the advancing Red Army to stop at the outskirts of the city while the Nazis, for 63 days, annihilated the non-Communist Polish partisans. Only then did Stalin take Warsaw. No one can match Stalin for merciless cynicism, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey is offering a determined echo by ordering Turkish tanks massed on the Syrian border, within sight of the besieged Syrian town of Kobane, to sit and do nothing.
In news that must have left my friends at the New York Post — never mind the gang at “The Daily Show” — with a renewed confidence that ours is a just and beneficent God, the White House has been caught covering up a scandal involving a Cartagena hooker.
If Obama wanted to restore faith in government, he would have pushed for mercilessly firing bad government workers and ending stupid government programs. And while he paid a little lip service to such things, his priorities were all in the other direction.
Let’s ponder why Sean Groubert, a white South Carolina state trooper, shot an unarmed black man last month at a gas station. The incident has received less notice than did the shooting of Michael Brown, probably because the victim, 35-year-old Levar Jones, survived. But it deserves attention because it promises to enlighten us in ways the Brown killing did not.
Ginn Academy resembles no urban public school I’ve ever visited: all male, dress shirt and tie, the Socratic method employed in classrooms. School spirit seems imported from the prep school; discipline from the playing field; aspiration from the church pew. Students file into their weekly assembly to the hymn “You’re Just Right for a Miracle.”
Let’s be clear. The war on women is based on just one thing — abortion rights. While it is true that access to abortion has been restricted in several states owing to Republican efforts, it is not true that women as a whole care only or mostly about abortion.
U.S. strategy will not destroy the Islamic State. It’s more containment-plus: Expel the Islamic State from Iraq, contain it in Syria. Because you can’t win from the air. In Iraq, we have potential ground allies. In Syria, we don’t.
American history, properly understood, is a story about the summit we sometimes reach and the sewer we too often tread, about the work of resolving the tension between America’s dream and its reality. Such complexity tends to frighten and confuse small-minded people who think you can’t love your country and question it, too.
Wealth, along with its close companion, comfort, can warp your vision when it comes to assessing certain threats. Last month, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that climate change is “the biggest challenge of all that we face right now.” Meanwhile, TV show host Bill Maher dramatically pooh-poohed the idea that ISIS poses any kind of threat to the United States.