President Barack Obama has launched a new initiative to get American schools to teach computer science. Appearing at a Newark, New Jersey, middle school, the president suggested that students, especially girls and minorities, should learn "not just how to use a smartphone but to create the apps for a smartphone."
Rush Limbaugh is a savvy guy who thinks Republican leaders are wrong to shun the idea of another government shutdown. Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," he argued that the only important poll is the one held on Election Day. "(The GOP) won a landslide election 10 months after that so-called shutdown. ... The essence of a poll is an election, and I've got two of them. And we would have won in 2012 if 4 million Republicans hadn't stayed home."
During the 2012 campaign, President Obama often resorted to his favorite substitute for thinking: ridicule. Before enthusiastic audiences (who were assured his re-election would spell a thriving economy and a revived middle class), the president would mock Republicans by suggesting that "they have the same prescription they've had for the past 30 years. ... Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning."
The Islamic State beheaded another American this week. The Obama administration's response revealed its stubborn determination to deny reality.
Americans of most political persuasions tend to view the United Nations as corrupt and morally inverted. An organization supposedly dedicated to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights regularly overlooks abuses by the world's worst actors (Cuba, North Korea, China, just to name three) while expending vast quantities of outrage at the efforts of one tiny democracy, Israel, to defend itself.
A prayer has been answered -- not for a massive Republican victory at the polls, though that, too. No, I'm thinking of the perennial prayer of losers: "Oh Lord, let my enemies go too far."
When I fretted to my friend and colleague Jay Nordlinger that Republicans may learn the wrong lessons from success in 2014, he noted sagely that he prefers to wait until the results are in before drawing any lessons. While that ought to have stayed my hand, I think some contours are discernible, and so I plunge in!
The median American household saw its net worth decline by 36 percent during the Great Recession. That is a hard reality. A Republican held the White House when the crash hit, and voters, in no mood to be charitable, blamed the GOP. Besides, Democrats were ready with an explanation that slid right into an existing groove of American thinking: The financial crisis was caused by Republicans going easy on their big banker friends.
"Oh, it's a shame when you have a wan, diffident, professorial president with no foreign policy other than 'don't do stupid things.'" So griped President Obama to a select (and loose-lipped) group of dinner guests the other night.
NBC's Chuck Todd got a good deal of attention for warning that "(Obama's) on the precipice of doing Jimmy Carter-like damage to the Democratic brand on foreign policy."