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Politics

In the Belly of the Beast: An Israeli Hero Goes to Harvard

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

"If you're not a socialist before you're 25," goes the expression, "you've got no heart. And if you're a socialist after 25, you've got no head." Retired Israeli Air Force Gen. Amos Yadlin wryly recalls the line in his office at Harvard University's Kennedy School, where he is wrapping up a semester as a senior fellow. Once an ace fighter ...Read more

White Knight: The Producer Who Brought 'The Music Man' to Life

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

In his memoir "But He Doesn't Know the Territory," theatrical journeyman Meredith Willson recalls the eight long years he spent writing his homage to early 20th century life in the small-town Iowa of his youth. There were 30 revisions. There were 40 songs. And there were endless efforts to interest someone, anyone, in taking his play about the...Read more

Honoring Albright: Making Certain the Ukrainians Win

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

At Madeleine Albright's funeral last week, former President Bill Clinton recalled one of his last conversations with the former secretary of state. A refugee first from the Nazis and then from Soviet tyranny who arrived on America's shores as an 11-year-old, Albright was a forceful advocate for the defense of democracy at home and freedom ...Read more

Two Steps Backward: Discrimination against Asian Americans Spikes, and Spikes Again

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

When newly elected Boston Mayor Michelle Wu announced last December that those entering certain indoor spaces would have to show that they had been vaccinated against COVID-19, there were some who believed it was simply outrageous for the mayor of Boston to try to protect Bostonians from a demonstrably deadly, highly transmissible virus. And ...Read more

On the Edge: Democracy in the Balance, Here and Elsewhere

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

With heartbreaking videos of mass graves filled with Ukrainian victims of Russian genocide, civilians mowed down by sadistic Russian soldiers and apartment buildings pulverized by Russian missiles, there hasn't been much occasion for mirth. But you can count on Trump World to provide some comic relief.

Turns out North Carolina election ...Read more

High Achievers: America's Diplomats Do Us Proud on Ukraine

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

The best line about low expectations for diplomacy belonged to Adlai Stevenson, President John F. Kennedy's ambassador to the United Nations. Diplomacy and the reproductive lives of elephants, Stevenson observed, have this in common: there's a great deal of commotion, all of it occurring at very high levels, and then you have to wait two years...Read more

Heroes And Crooks: Ukraine Teaches Americans A Thing or Two and More

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's rebuff of the suggestion that he be evacuated from his besieged city of Kyiv is already immortal, and rightly so. "I need ammunition, not a ride," he snapped, even as the Russian army was poised to decimate Ukraine's capital and annihilate its residents, including him.

These words take their place ...Read more

With Malice Toward Some: Violent, Frontal or Merely Sly, The Assaults on Jewry Keep Coming

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

Of the world's 7.8 billion inhabitants, barely 15 million are Jewish, a minuscule percentage. Yet there seems no limit either to the volume or the variety of malice that the Jewish people are required to fend off. Some of it is violent, some of it frontal, and some of it merely sly. Over the past several generations the malice has manifested ...Read more

Ukrainian Takeaway: A Strong National Defense and American Leadership Are as Needed as Ever

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

The first month of Russia's barbaric campaign to conquer Ukraine and the Ukrainians' inspiring resistance has reminded Americans of a fact that has gotten obscured in recent years: It's crucial that the United States maintain an overwhelmingly strong national defense and stay prepared to lead on the world stage.

The proposition that America ...Read more

Bad Bet: Putin Confronts an America That Has Edged Closer Together

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

President Joe Biden is fond of saying "it's never been a good bet to bet against America," and even those of us who thank the good Lord he's president have rolled our eyes at this old chestnut. It sounds like sweet, outdated wishful thinking, naive cheerleading with a twist of fuddy-duddyitis.

But given the bipartisan support for the Biden ...Read more

Patriotic Interlude: In a Rare Moment of Consensus, the GOP Gathers 'Round the Flag

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

There was good news at last week's State of the Union: Only two Republican congressmen interrupted the president of the United States when he was speaking about his son's death from cancer in order to scream insults at him. It was difficult to know whether the GOP's Lunatic Caucus has shrunk or if it was simply that, at a time when democracy ...Read more

Tools: Putin's Useful Idiots Find a New Way to Degrade Democracy

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

The term "fifth column," coined during the fascist attacks on democracy in the last century, has historically denoted groups and individuals who seek to subvert their nation, generally in order to aid an enemy government. The phrase usually describes those who operate clandestinely to undermine national solidarity, frequently by spouting the ...Read more

Testing, Testing: Putin Bets the West Will Wobble

From the Left / Jeff Robbins /

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been feeling his oats in recent years, and with reason. Asked in 2012 what would lead him to use military force to stop Syria's regime from slaughtering Syrians, President Barack Obama replied that using chemical weapons would constitute a "red line." When Syria murdered hundreds of its civilians with ...Read more

 

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Mike Peters Jack Ohman David M. Hitch Joey Weatherford Clay Bennett Al Goodwyn