Blog No. 144. Donald of Arabia

The defining impression of President Trump’s recent foreign tour was probably formed by his few days in Europe which clearly reflected mutual discomfort between Trump and leaders of our European allies. For his part, Trump berated the Europeans for failing to meet their commitments for increased defense spending and conspicuously failed to mention America’s commitment[…]

Blog No. 143. Notes from a Witch Hunt

Blog No. 142 suggested on Tuesday that talk of impeachment was premature and possibly counterproductive. At the same time, it cautioned that dramatic events might lie ahead and that Trump’s capacity for self-inflicted wounds should not be underestimated. No sooner had the blog been posted than dramatic events began to appear in astonishing succession. Indeed,[…]

Guest Blog. The Language of Donald Trump: “Evil Losers”

Donald Trump has been called many things, but linguistic stylist is not one of them. Indeed, a poverty of vocabulary is one of his hallmarks. In this guest blog my good friend, Suzanne Garment, reflects on Donald Trump’s curious addiction to “loser” as an epithet of choice. She writes in the tradition of William Safire,[…]

Blog No. 142. Impeachment in the Air?

Donald Trump figured out a way to get the story of the Comey firing out of the headlines. That troublesome story was pushed to one side by a report in the Washington Post on Monday, that in meeting last week with the Russian foreign minister and Russian ambassador, Trump had revealed highly classified intelligence. The[…]

Blog No. 141. The Comey Firing: Why Now? and What Now?

The firing of James Comey is the latest bizarre chapter in the brief history of the Trump administration. The move stunned both Democrats and Republicans, and even many who had been quite critical of Comey found it difficult to defend the timing and manner of his dismissal. It has created a controversy that may not[…]

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. 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[…]