When Moscow tells us that their massive military maneuvers in Western Russia have nothing to do with what’s happening in Kiev it’s like the old Marx Brothers’ routine: Who are you going to believe, me (Moscow) or your own eyes?
After learning that the attic space at Gracie Mansion had once been occupied by Mayor Koch’s chef, Chirlane McCray, First Lady of New York City responded to the question of how the de Blasio’s might use it: “I can tell you with confidence, there will not be a servant living there.”
The Obama administration, in its first and second terms, has committed strategic mistakes in the Middle East which will undermine U.S. national and security interests for many years, even under subsequent administrations after 2016.
If signs went up saying “Jews only,” or “Whites only,” or “Christians only” anyplace on the planet, but particularly in Israel, there would be a righteously indignant outcry around the world, as there should be.
The New York City Council will not be marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade because gays can not wave the LGBT banner on this occasion. I’m curious about Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s decision to limit her outrage to the gay issue when she also might have insisted that marchers be allowed to wave banners about their support for abortion rights and universal insurance for birth control. As a New Yorker who is neither Irish nor Catholic, I wonder how the council which supposedly represents all New Yorkers became monolithically concerned about the feelings of the gay population, one which actually has its own designated parade. Of course, as Mayor de Blasio’s toady, Ms. Mark-Viverito made the ultimate obsequious choice, raising the ante one degree higher than her boss who declined to march himself but thought it was fine for city workers to march in uniform.
The Army stood at 570,000 men and women at the height of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Under President Obama, it has been preparing to reduce its numbers to 490,000 men and women. Hagel’s proposal would get that level down to between 440,000 and 450,000 active-duty personnel.
Based on a true story about an Indian soldier admitted to the Meninger Clinic after World War 11 for treatment of symptoms which we now call PTSD, ”Jimmy P” is an absorbing blend of psychotherapy and cultural anthropology. Jimmy’s malady has stumped the staff and an unusual man named George Devereux has been summoned from New York to treat him. The French actor Matthieu Amalric plays the expatriated European doctor with the same panache older viewers will associate with Paul Henreid; he is charming, innovative and though well versed in Freudian precepts, equally familiar with Indian tribal lore and customs. Through a relationship that borders as much on friendship as doctor/patient status, Devereux encourages Jimmy, persuasively embodied by Benicio del Toro, to strip away the layers of time and denial in order to confront his primal fears and learn to successfully manage them. Devereux is a brilliant and insightful man, reluctant to rely on pat categories and always ready to apply his knowledge of Indian culture to understand this specific patient and his background influences.
Just as Team Obama tries to make us feel all warm and fuzzy about relations with Iran due to perceived “progress” on the interim (but not nearly final) nuclear deal, Tehran goes and blows it with some, shall we say, “hateful” acts.
It’s welfare redux time. The Congressional Budget Office reported that the Obamacare will cost the country the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time jobs by 2024, as people choose not to work or work less in order to keep their Obamacare subsidy. Meanwhile, the Brookings Institution announced that Obamacare stands to shift wealth from the top 80 percent on America’s income ladder to the lowest fifth—a cash grab from most of the bottom half. President Obama and his congressional allies have sacrificed the work ethic and growth on the altar of the Democrats’ upstairs-downstairs coalition, with the emphasis on “downstairs.”
President Barack Obama sat down with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly before the Super Bowl, and when asked about something he said repeatedly—in various ways—during the 2008 campaign, Obama claimed he believes the opposite.
In a now widely reported private meeting with U.S. lawmakers at a Munich security conference last weekend, Secretary of State John Kerry told them the administration’s policies toward the bloody Syrian civil war weren’t cutting it.
So. The Democrats are in freefall. Their “landmark” legislation—Obamacare,—rammed through without a single Republican vote, is in collapse. The president has been exposed as a liar (see: “If you like your health plan, you can keep it. Period.”). His poll numbers are tanking, from job approval to competency to trustworthiness to personal likeability. The poll numbers for the Democrat party are in the gutter as well, with the Republican party now pulling ahead on the generic ballot. Democrats are fleeing the scene of their own accident, refusing to be seen with the president and distancing themselves from the wreck that is Obamacare.
When he’s not playing political strongman, Russian President Vladimir Putin likes to have some fun. There are lots of shots of him — often shirtless — atop a horse, tossing a judo opponent, even riding a great white shark … OK, well maybe that last one was Photoshopped.
So the Dalton School has decided that satire is not an acceptable form of comment in their rarified academic cloister. After getting some flak from students who watched “CSA: The Confederate State of America,” a pseudo-documentary of the U.S. had the south been victorious in the civil war - the administration immediately apologized for its insensitivity. Rather than using the opportunity to teach the unique, historic value of satire in the arts, the school chose to beg for mercy from the parents of those wounded students. How many of the parents and students have been to see “The Book of Mormon” and laughed comfortably through its skewering of Mormons? How many of the parents also went to see “The Producers,” making light of Hitler and the Nazis? Both of these plays were award-winning box-office mega-hits geared to the same demographic group that sends its children to New York’s elite private schools. Yet the doyens of our politically correct culture have deemed it ok to spoof certain topics but not others. Slavery is sacrosanct though genocide is not. Women and gays are; white men not. Palestinians and Muslims protected; Israelis and Jews - fair game.
Scientific integrity is the theme of the Greek tragedies that currently involve two of America’s most prestigious physicians. Both men worked for decades to reach the pinnacle of the medical profession; now both are brought low.
There are possibly no more discordant pairings in our national history than the numbers 9/11 with the words gift shop and cafe. Yet this is what the eminent directors of the 9/11 Memorial Museum have decided to create at the museum built below the main plaza. There will be an admission fee of $24 for everyone but relatives of the victims, with appropriate discounts for seniors and students. Assuming that the museum fulfills its stated function of offering a somber history lesson for America and other nations, why would we want to discourage attendance by charging for it? Why would we want to sully the point of this visit by hawking souvenirs and refreshments? At a museum that is partly equivalent to visiting a killing field, the proper emotions we should be summoning are sorrow, anger, reflection and mourning.
The recent flap over Lisa Bonchek Adams’ tweets about her cancer, and the bigger flap about the columns written by Bill Keller and his wife, Emma Gilbey Keller, are symptoms of another sickness: Our current mania to tell all, to all the world.
As Americans and humanity celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy of justice, equality and freedom, there are millions around the world who continue to suffer discrimination and oppression of the kind the African American pastor and leader struggled against until he paid the ultimate price for his engagement. MLK, Jr. led a tireless civil rights movement to end segregation and inequality—and to help his community and all citizens attain dignity under a one flag, one law for all. America has been identified for decades as the greatest liberal democracy in history and around the globe, in part, due to this man’s journey for public good. It has taken similar struggles by Americans from all races, ethnicities and religions—who from the founding fathers to modern times have made sacrifices in blood and treasure—to produce who we are as a nation, composed of both natives and emigres.
A miracle on the Nile has been accomplished this week. Tens of millions of Egyptian citizens from all walks of life, Muslims and Christians, conservatives and liberals, seculars and religious, young and old, and in some instances, healthy and sick, have come out to cast a vote in the referendum of the century: either to say yes to new moderate constitution, relatively democratic, or to say no and revert to an Islamist constitution adopted by the previous Muslim Brotherhood regime. Most likely, an overwhelming majority of voters will chose to move away from the 2012 Islamist regime of Mohammed Morsi and select a more liberating draft, one that reinforces fundamental rights to women and minorities. The referendum will seal a popular uprising that exploded almost a year ago, and culminated in two gigantic peaceful demonstrations last summer against the political oppression of the Ikhwan regime. In short, we are finally witnessing a real democratic revolution emerging in the largest Arab Muslim majority country in the world.
When President Obama proclaimed in the fall of 2012 during the presidential campaign that Al Qaeda was “on the run,” who knew he meant that Usama bin Laden’s acolytes were just hustling off to other places, including back to their old stomping grounds in Iraq.