Blog No. 139. The Border Wall: The Death of a Symbol?

Asked on April 21 by the Associated Press whether he would sign a bill without border funding, Trump replied: “I don’t know yet. People want the border wall. My base definitely wants the border wall. My base really wants it.” In what passes for good news, it now appears that a Continuing Resolution (CR), necessary[…]

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. 137 Gorsuch and Filibusters: Some Afterthoughts

On Monday, Judge Neil Gorsuch was sworn in at a White House ceremony and became Justice Gorsuch. As nearly everyone must know, that event was made possible only by a change in the Senate rules allowing the Republican majority to avoid a filibuster and to confirm Gorsuch by a simple majority vote. In the weeks[…]

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. 135. The GOP and Climate: Patches of Blue Sky?

Amid the Sturm und Drang of Washington these days, it is easy for positive developments to go largely unnoticed. That was the fate of the Republican Climate Resolution introduced by seventeen Republicans in the House last month. The resolution was hardly radical in its terms and should have attracted broader support without difficulty: Resolved, That[…]

Blog No. 134. Repeal and Replace: R.I.P. (Hello, Rescue and Repair and Goodbye, Freedom Caucus)

It is clear that “Repeal and Replace,” the Republican mantra for several years, is dead. And while there were several who bear responsibility for its demise, none was more prominent than the Freedom Caucus. has never been an admirer of the Freedom Caucus and, indeed, our preferred term has been the Oozlum Caucus, named[…]

Blog No. 133. The Committee, Trump and Comey: The Unasked Question, Other Puzzlements and Waiting For More Shoes To Drop

It was probably inevitable that the hearing before the House Intelligence Committee would leave many, indeed most, questions unanswered. Indeed, far too much time was taken up asking questions “for the record” that the interrogators knew would not be addressed in an open hearing. But the most curious aspect of the proceeding was a question[…]

Blog No. 132. The Trump Wiretapping Snarl(s).

On Monday March 20, FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers will testify before the House Intelligence Committee on the investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 election, including President Trump’s claim that he had been “wiretapped.” It promises be an interesting day and one that is not likely to bring much comfort[…]

Blog No. 131. The Healthcare Dilemmas

The healthcare bill drafted by House Republicans was finally unveiled and is now making its way through House committees at an accelerated pace. It is doing so without benefit of estimates from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office as to cost and the number of persons who will be covered. The White House has attempted to[…]

Blog No. 130 Donald Trump and the “So-Called Republicans”

America awoke this morning to yet another Twitter Storm from the Tweeter in Chief.  In this case, the subject was his claim that President Obama had tapped his phones. This is an explosive allegation about which we are certain to hear more and on which I will expect to comment further in a future blog. For the[…]