There’s an old Seinfeld episode where Jerry and Elaine are about to board a plane and the gate attendant tells them she can bump one of them into first class. Jerry immediately takes the offer, explaining to Elaine that he’s flown in first class before — she hasn’t — so he knows what he would be missing. Sure enough, Jerry spends the flight sipping champagne with a super-model while Elaine sits in a middle seat squeezed between two fat guys who fall asleep on her.
Domestic violence is a hot topic right now — a conversation being fueled by what we’ve witnessed inside a fancy hotel elevator and on the stage of the Miss America pageant.
Listening to the president’s address to the nation regarding the crisis with ISIS or ISIL if you prefer, I was struck by the lack of indignation in the president’s presentation. Where was the visible anger, the fist-pounding oratory that made it clear in no uncertain terms the nation would not tolerate this threat to our interests and, for that matter, humanity?
“You are guilty until you have proven yourself innocent. … That has worked well for us.”
In the late 1960s, U.S. Surgeon General William H. Stewart said it was “time to close the book on infectious diseases” and “declare the war against pestilence won.”
Before he goes to war, Barack Obama should go to Congress.
If Dan Snyder is so sure that the vast majority of Native Americans supports his use of a racial slur to name his football team, then I challenge him to visit the American Indian Society of Washington, D.C., and ask its members their opinions.
On Election Day, just seven weeks away, voters in many states will wait in seemingly endless lines. Others will have problems reaching their polling places or returning their absentee ballots.
Democrats curse their luck in 2014 — a midterm in a president’s (often) grim sixth year, with most of the competitive races taking place in states won easily by the last Republican presidential candidate. Low presidential approval ratings in states that Democrats need to win — President Obama is at around 38 percent in Iowa, a state he won in both 2008 and 2012 — are not leavening the mood.
Hours after a video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, punching his then fiancée (now wife) and dragging her limp body out of a casino elevator, hit the Internet, his NFL team tweeted that Rice’s contract had been terminated.
As Russian forces continue to make their presence felt in Ukraine, I think of the Czech student Jan Palach, who burned himself to death in a Prague square 45 years ago, a few months after Russian troops ended the 1968 “Prague Spring.”
Americans like to believe that our exceptional story was cooked up in the proverbial melting pot. And it’s true that we’ve broadly taken strength from our diversity. But the way we engage our differences has more recently begun to shift. We’re more tolerant today than we’ve ever been, but we’re also more likely to wall ourselves off from those who hold opposing points of view. As a result, the latitude to lead lives of our own choosing allows and sometimes compels us to narrow the horizons of our individual experience.
In Monrovia, the blue steel gates guarding JFK Medical Center’s Ebola ward separate two worlds, each hopeless. On one side, three Liberians lie huddled on the ground under a UNICEF shelter, waiting to get in. On the other side, a flatbed truck loaded with 10 bodies in white plastic bags waits to drive out.
Whether President Obama’s plan to combat the Islamic State actually degrades and destroys the organization may take years to determine, but the debate in the coming weeks over that policy will tell us whether America can have a public discussion about the use of military power during a time of high anxiety.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is entangled in three critical but faltering relationships with Hamas, the United States and Israel. How he reconciles them will determine whether Israelis and Palestinians resume talking or fighting in the months ahead.