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. 155. Trump and the Democrats (and a brief au revoir)

The deal that Trump suddenly struck with Democratic leaders Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi is at once promising and perilous. It is promising in that it avoided, at least for the time being, the twin disasters of a government default (failure to increase the debt ceiling) and a government shutdown (failure to approve[…]

Blog No. 153 Trump Makes a Movie

Following the misadventures of our president is something like watching a bad movie in which you know that there is going to be an awful ending but you don’t know just when it will come or exactly what it will be. In watching such a movie, however, one generally has the comfort of knowing that,[…]

Blog No. 152. Contortions: Charlottesville, Trump and the Republicans

Donald Trump’s responses to the ugly events in Charlottesville demonstrated once again his glaring deficiencies in character, temperament and competence. As summarized in Lawfare: Commentators are debating whether he is revealing himself as sympathetic to the white nationalist program, fearful of alienating that constituency, or just unable to respond to criticism in any way other[…]

Blog No. 150. The Best of Times and the Worst of Times

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it[…]

Blog No. 148. The Incredible Shrinking Travel Ban Has Shrunk Again (But Don’t Let Granny On That Plane Just Yet)

On June 26, the Supreme Court announced its decision in two cases involving the Trump travel ban. The decision was issued per curiam (not signed by any individual justice) and was accompanied by an opinion signed by three justices, concurring in part and dissenting in part. The President greeted the decision with an exultant tweet:[…]

Blog No. 146. Trump and the Potemkin Agenda

Donald Trump’s affinity for things Russian is well known and, it now appears, extends well beyond his admiration for Vladimir Putin and his cronies. Indeed, Trump has taken his current political approach from a Russian strategy employed in 18th century. During the reign of Catherine II, legend has it, the Governor of Crimea, Grigory Potemkin[…]

Special Bulletin: TRUMP RESIGNS!!

On June 1, Donald Trump announced that, by his withdrawal from the Paris Accord, he was resigning as Leader of the Free World. At the same time, Trump indicated that, pending the conclusion of investigations in Congress and by the Special Counsel, he will retain his position as President of the United States. The designation[…]

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[…]