Blog No. 157. Congressional Republicans: In Search of a Brain, a Heart and Courage

Collectively, Congressional Republicans resemble nothing so much as a composite character from the Wizard of Oz. In that tale, it will be recalled, the  Scarecrow wants a brain, the Tin Woodman wants a heart, and the Cowardly Lion wants courage. Too often, Republicans in the House and Senate appear to be lacking in all three[…]

Blog No. 156. North Korea: Diplomacy from the Tweetster in Chief

The deteriorating course of relations between North Korea and the United States over the past several months brings to mind William F. Buckley’s famous description of National Review: “It stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge[…]

Blog No. 151. North Korea and The Guns of August

Jack Kennedy read Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August, and it reportedly influenced his navigation through the Cuban Missile Crisis. The book describes in gripping detail how the world blundered into the cataclysm of World War I, a development that none of the parties had wanted and the kind of outcome that Kennedy was determined[…]

Blog No. 140 North Korea: As the Drums of War Continue To Beat, Silence On Capitol Hill

On Monday, President Trump said that he would be willing to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un “under the right circumstances,” adding the somewhat bizarre comment that he would be “honored” to do so. What he meant by that pronouncement was anyone’s guess and it may be assumed that considerable guessing is going on[…]

Blog No. 138 The Menace and Puzzle of North Korea

When President  Trump met with President Obama after the election, Obama reportedly advised him that the most difficult challenge of his presidency would be dealing with the threat posed by North Korea. There is every reason to believe that Obama’s advice was sound, but it is less clear how fully Trump has absorbed the complexity[…]

Blog No. 136. Missiles on Syria: What Now?

As a fairly relentless critic of President Trump, it comes as something of a relief to have an occasion on which one can offer at least qualified support for our President. Support for the Syrian missile attack is warranted because the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Air Force had created a situation that[…]

Blog No. 110. The “A Words” of the 2016 Election Campaign: Aleppo and Afghanistan

In attempting to chronicle the antics of the 2016 election over the last few months, we have sometimes tried to inject some humor. Today we turn to two subjects that leave little room for humor: Aleppo and Afghanistan.  We term them the “A words” of the campaign because, despite their importance, they are words that never seem to cross the lips of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, and coverage in the media is spasmodic. Hence we thought it worthwhile to remind readers of what the candidates are so determined to ignore. […]

Blog No. 96. Brussels and Raqqa: A Tale of Two Cities

The terrorist attack in Brussels exposed the inadequacy of the Belgian security forces, the need for much better sharing of intelligence among European countries, and the unique challenges that confront cities with neighborhoods of densely concentrated Muslim populations. Sponsorship of yet another attack by ISIS also underscored the fact that its threat extends far outside the Middle East. […]

Special Bulletin. Veterans and In Vitro Fertilization

A report on the PBS NewsHour this week brought to our attention an issue that we had previously overlooked. The report, which can be viewed here, concerned the inability of the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) to pay for in vitro fertilization (IVF) for veterans who have suffered wounds that make it impossible for them to conceive children any other way. […]

Blog No. 84 After Paris, What Now?

We continue to promise to provide a critique of the fourth Republican Debate and what it portends for the progress of the campaign. Before getting to that, however, we felt a need to comment on the responses of Democrats, Republicans and the President to the Paris outrage. […]