OPINION: Obama's priorities lie elsewhere -- climate change and closing Gitmo
Barack Obama, titular head of the free world, has responded to Paris with weariness and annoyance. His news conference in Turkey was marked by a stunning tone of passivity, detachment and lassitude, compounded by impatience and irritability at the very suggestion that his Syria strategy might be failing.
At a certain point, you have to realize you can’t hit a fastball. House Republicans don’t quite get that they are hopeless at oversight hearings. They keep losing.
OPINION: Putin outmaneuveres Obama
Why is Putin moving so quickly and so brazenly? Because he’s got only 16 more months to push on the open door that is Obama.
OPINION: Democrats lashed to Clinton
Unless she’s indicted, Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination.
OPINION: Middle Eastern Christians diminishing
Christianity, whose presence in the Middle East predates Islam’s by 600 years, is about to be cleansed from the Middle East. Egyptian Copts may have found some respite under Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, but after their persecution under the previous Muslim Brotherhood government, they know how precarious their existence in 90 percent Muslim Egypt remains.
Who would have imagined we would be giving up the conventional arms and ballistic missile embargoes on Iran? In nuclear negotiations?
OPINION: New Horizons arrival at Pluto marvel of space travel
Amid the vandalizing of Palmyra, the imminent extinction of the northern white rhino, the disarray threatening Europe’s most ambitious attempt ever at peaceful unification — amid plague and pestilence and, by God, in the middle of Shark Week — where can humanity turn for uplift?
OPINION: The increasingly crowded field separated by category
With 10 already in the race for the Republican presidential nomination and another six likely to jump in, it’s difficult for a voter to keep the cast straight.
OPINION: Some modern practices as unthinkable as those in past
Some things are unnecessary. Caging beautiful creatures. Displaying them for spectacle. It’s good that these are being rethought.
Hillary is a stationary target. You know what you’re getting. She has her weaknesses: She’s not a great campaigner, she has that unshakable inauthenticity problem and, regarding the quality most important to getting elected, she is barely, in the merciless phrase of candidate Obama in 2008, “likable enough.”
OPINION: The inspection promises are a farce
Iran’s entire nuclear infrastructure is kept intact, just frozen or repurposed for the length of the deal (about a decade).
Peace awaits three things. Eventual Palestinian acceptance of a Jewish state. A Palestinian leader willing to sign a deal based on that premise. A modicum of regional stability that allows Israel to risk the potentially fatal withdrawals such a deal would entail.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress was notable in two respects. Queen Esther got her first standing O in 2,500 years. And President Obama came up empty in his campaign to pre-emptively undermine Netanyahu before the Israeli prime minister could present his case on the Iran negotiations.
Filibuster abolition is more than a one-shot proposition. It would radically change the next two years. It would give Republicans full control of the Congress and allow swift passage of a GOP agenda.
Russia pushes deep into eastern Ukraine. The Islamic State burns to death a Jordanian pilot. Iran extends its hegemony over four Arab capitals — Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and now Sanaa. And America watches.
OPINION: Iran’s march toward conventional domination of the Arab world has been largely overlooked
While Iran’s march toward a nuclear bomb has provoked a major clash between the White House and Congress, Iran’s march toward conventional domination of the Arab world has been largely overlooked. In Washington, that is. The Arabs have noticed. And the pro-American ones, the Gulf Arabs in particular, are deeply worried.
My view is that police-state control of every aspect of Cuban life is so thoroughly perfected that outside influences, whether confrontational or cooperative, only minimally affect the country’s domestic trajectory.
The media are so enamored of the continuing (and largely contrived) story about the great Republican civil war that they fail to appreciate that the real internecine fight is being waged on the other side of the aisle.
Tuesday’s victory was big. But it did nothing more than level the playing field and give you a shot. Take it.
With events in the saddle and a sense of disorder growing — the summer border crisis, Ferguson, the rise of the Islamic State, Ebola — the nation expects from the White House not miracles but competence. At a minimum, mere presence. An observer presidency with its bewildered-bystander pose only adds to the unease.
Unnervingly, the U.S. public health services remain steps behind the Ebola virus. Contact tracing is what we do, Centers for Disease Control Director Tom Frieden assured the nation. It will stop the epidemic “in its tracks.” And yet nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, who developed Ebola, were not even among the 48 contacts that the CDC was initially following.
Guerrilla war is a test of wills. Obama’s actual objectives — rollback in Iraq, containment in Syria — are not unreasonable. But they require commitment and determination.
Memo to the GOP: Win the Senate, then enact an agenda and dare the president to veto it. Show the country what you stand for. Then take it to the nation in 2016.
OPINION: Turns out the Islamic State’s best recruiting tool is indeed savagery — its own
As for the short run, the Islamic State knows it will be pounded from the air. But it deems that price worth paying, given its gains in propaganda and prestige — translated into renown and recruiting — from these public executions.
What was the Islamic State thinking? We know it is sophisticated in its use of modern media. But what was the logic of propagating to the world videos of its beheadings of two Americans (and subsequently a Briton) — sure to inflame public opinion?
In his Islamic State speech, President Obama said many of the right things. Most importantly, he finally got the mission right: degrade and destroy the enemy. This alone will probably get him a bump in the polls, which have dropped to historic lows. But his strategic problem remains: the disconnect between (proclaimed) ends and means.
Leave it to Barack Obama’s own former secretary of state to acknowledge the fatal flaw of his foreign policy: a total absence of strategic thinking.
President Obama is impatient. Congress won’t act on immigration, he says, and therefore he will. The White House is coy as to exactly what the president will do. But the leaks point to an executive order essentially legalizing an enormous new class of illegal immigrants, perhaps up to 5 million people.
The president’s demeanor is worrying a lot of people. From the immigration crisis on the Mexican border to the Islamic State rising in Mesopotamia, Barack Obama seems totally detached. When he does interrupt his endless rounds of golf, fundraising and photo ops, it’s for some affectless, mechanical, almost forced public statement.
It happens that I support immigration reform. I support amnesty. I have since 2006. But only after we secure the border.
Yes, it is true that there was no al-Qaeda in Iraq when George W. Bush took office. But it is equally true that there was essentially no al-Qaeda in Iraq remaining when Barack Obama took office.
I suspect what makes revenge so satisfying in both literature and sport is that, while the real thing can turn rather ugly, revenge thusly mediated can be experienced not just vicariously but schematically.
On Wednesday, it finally happened — the pivot to Asia. No, not the United States. It was Russia that turned East. In Shanghai, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a spectacular energy deal— $400 billion of Siberian natural gas to be exported to China over 30 years.
Mass schoolgirl kidnapping in Nigeria — to tweet or not to tweet? Is hashtagging one’s indignation about some outrage abroad an exercise in moral narcissism or a worthy new way of standing up to bad guys?
The Democrats are portraying the not-yet-even constituted House Select Committee on Benghazi as nothing but a partisan exercise.
Two-thirds of the court has just said to the nation: For those of you who wish to continue to judge by race, we’ll keep making Jesuitical distinctions to keep the discrimination from getting too obvious or outrageous.
The debate over campaign contributions is never-ending for a simple reason: Both sides of the argument have merit.
Two months ago, a petition bearing more than 110,000 signatures was delivered to The Washington Post demanding a ban on any article questioning global warming. The petition arrived the day before publication of my column, which consisted of precisely that heresy.
The Obama administration keeps trying to restore funding for UNESCO, which in 2011 defied the U.S. in recognizing Palestine. What kind of signal is this to the rest of the world?
Obama’s dismissal of Russia as a regional power makes his own leadership of the one superpower all the more embarrassing. For seven decades since the Japanese surrender, our role under 11 presidents had been as offshore balancer protecting smaller allies from potential regional hegemons.
As we speak, Putin is deciding whether to go beyond Crimea and take eastern Ukraine. Show him some seriousness, Mr. President.
Whether anything Obama says or does would stop anyone remains questionable. But surely the West has more financial clout than Russia’s kleptocratic extraction economy that exports little but oil, gas and vodka.
Last Friday, Obama ostentatiously visited drought-stricken California. Surprise! He blamed climate change. Here even The New York Times gagged, pointing out that far from being supported by the evidence, “the most recent computer projections suggest that as the world warms, California should get wetter, not drier, in the winter.”
This is not to indict, but simply to advocate for caution grounded in humility. It’s not surprising that myths about the workings of the fabulously complex U.S. health care system continue to tantalize — and confound — policymakers.
Fixated as we Americans are on Canada’s three most attention-getting exports — polar vortexes, Alberta clippers and the antics of Toronto’s addled mayor — we’ve somewhat overlooked a major feature of Canada’s current relations with the United States: extreme annoyance.
The persistence of anti-Semitism, that most ancient of poisons, is one of history’s great mysteries. Even the shame of the Holocaust proved no antidote. It provided but a temporary respite. Anti-Semitism is back. Alas, a new generation must learn to confront it.
Who can argue with no bailout? Let the Senate Democrats decide — support the bailout and lose the Senate. Or oppose the bailout and bury Obamacare.
The lie of the year, according to Politifact, is “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” But the story of the year is a nation waking up to just how radical Obamacare is — which is why it required such outright deception to get it passed in the first place.
How to sum up our diplomancy? Three crises, one president, many bewildered friends.
At rallies, Obama routinely says he has important things to do and he’s not going to wait for Congress. Well, amending a statute after it’s been duly enacted is something a president may not do without Congress. It’s a gross violation of his Article II duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.