WASHINGTON -- It’s a Watergate-era cliche that the cover-up is always worse than the crime. In the Mike Flynn affair, we have the first recorded instance of a cover-up in the absence of a crime.
Being covered up were the Dec. 29 phone calls between Flynn and the Russian ambassador to Washington. The presumed violation was Flynn ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Stupid but legal. Such is the Trump administration’s travel ban for people from seven Muslim countries. Of course, as with almost everything in American life, what should be a policy or even a moral issue becomes a legal one. The judicial challenge should have been given short shrift, since the presidential grant of authority to ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- There are many people to thank for the coming accession of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Donald Trump for winning the election. Hillary Clinton for losing it. Mitch McConnell for holding open the high court seat through 2016, resolute and immovable against furious (and hypocritical) opposition from Democrats and media. And, of...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The flurry of bold executive orders and of highly provocative Cabinet nominations (such as a secretary of education who actually believes in school choice) has been encouraging to conservative skeptics of Donald Trump. But it shouldn’t erase the troubling memory of one major element of Trump’s inaugural address.
The foreign ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama did not go out quietly. His unquiet final acts were, in part, overshadowed by a successor who refused to come in quietly and, in part, by Obama’s own endless, sentimental farewell tour. But there was nothing nostalgic or sentimental about Obama’s last acts. Two of them were simply shocking.
Perhaps we should have ...Read more
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WASHINGTON -- The shortest honeymoon on record is officially over. Normally, newly elected presidents enjoy a wave of goodwill that allows them to fly high at least through their first 100 days. Donald Trump has not yet been sworn in and the honeymoon has already come and gone.
Presidents-elect usually lie low during the interregnum. Trump ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- You can kick the can down the road, but when Kim Jong Un announces, as he did last Sunday, that “we have reached the final stage in preparations to test-launch an intercontinental ballistic rocket,” you are reaching the end of that road.
Since the early 1990s, we have offered every kind of inducement to get North Korea to give...Read more
“When the chips are down, I have Israel’s back.”
-- Barack Obama, AIPAC conference, March 4, 2012
WASHINGTON -- The audience -- overwhelmingly Jewish, passionately pro-Israel and supremely gullible -- applauded wildly. Four years later -- his last election behind him, with a month to go in office and with no need to fool Jew or ...Read more
Secret of the Warlock's CryptTom Hayes
Cryptic drawings, maps, strange symbols. This is what Mike Hilliard discovers as he investigates the long-dead millionaire Titus Morley. The strange symbols & drawings hover in Mike’s dreams as he rambles through the summer with Billy, a photography intern at the historical society where Mike��...
WASHINGTON -- The fall of Aleppo just weeks before Barack Obama leaves office is a fitting stamp on his Middle East policy of retreat and withdrawal. The pitiable pictures from the devastated city showed the true cost of Obama’s abdication. For which he seems to have few regrets, however. In his end-of-year news conference, Obama defended U.S....Read more
WASHINGTON -- Democrats spent the first two decades of the post-Cold War era rather relaxed about Russian provocations and revanchism. President Obama famously mocked Mitt Romney in 2012 for suggesting that Russia was our principal geopolitical adversary. Yet today the Dems are in high dudgeon over the closeness of secretary of state nominee, ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The most amusing part of the Trump transition has been watching its effortless confounding of the media, often in fewer than 140 characters. One morning, after a Fox News report on lefty nuttiness at some obscure New England college -- a flag burning that led a more-contemptible-than-usual campus administration to take down the ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Twenty-five years ago -- December 1991 -- communism died, the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union disappeared. It was the largest breakup of an empire in modern history and not a shot was fired. It was an event of biblical proportions that my generation thought it would never live to see. As Wordsworth famously rhapsodized (about ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- One of the more salutary outcomes of the recent election is that Democrats are finally beginning to question the wisdom of basing their fortunes on identity politics. Having counted on the allegiance of African-Americans, Hispanics, gays, unmarried women and the young -- and winning the popular vote all but once since 1992 --...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump won fair and square and, as Hillary Clinton said in her concession speech, is owed an open mind and a chance to lead. It is therefore incumbent upon conservatives (like me) who have been highly critical of Trump to think through how to make a success of the coming years of Republican rule.
It begins by ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Rule of thumb for a presidential campaign where the two candidates have the highest unfavorable ratings in the history of polling: If you're the center of attention, you're losing.
As Election Day approaches, Hillary Clinton cannot shake the spotlight. She is still ahead in the polls, but you know she's slipping when she shows up ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Last week, the U.N.'s premier cultural agency, UNESCO, approved a resolution viciously condemning Israel (referred to as "the Occupying Power") for various alleged trespasses and violations of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Except that the resolution never uses that term for Judaism's holiest shrine. It refers to and treats it as ...Read more