WASHINGTON -- The main purpose of the modern political convention is to produce four days of televised propaganda. The subsidiary function, now that nominees are invariably chosen in advance, is structural: Unify the party before the final battle. In Cleveland, the Republicans achieved not unity, but only a rough facsimile.
The internal ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- "The most significant reinforcement of our collective defense any time since the Cold War," President Obama called it. A bit of an exaggeration, perhaps, but it was still an achievement: Last week's NATO summit in Warsaw ordered the deployment of troops to Eastern Europe, the alliance's most serious response yet to Russia's ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Why did he do it? FBI director James Comey spent 14 minutes laying out an unassailable case for prosecuting Hillary Clinton for the mishandling of classified material. Then at literally the last minute, he recommended against prosecution.
This is baffling. Under the statute (18 U.S.C. section 793(f)), it's a felony to mishandle ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Given their arrogance, pomposity and habitual absurdities, it is hard not to feel a certain satisfaction with the comeuppance that Brexit has delivered to the unaccountable European Union bureaucrats in Brussels.
Nonetheless, we would do well to refrain from smug condescension. Unity is not easy. What began in 1951 as a six-member...Read more
"I believe in an America always moving toward the future."
-- Hillary Clinton, June 21
WASHINGTON -- This was not the most important line in Clinton's Ohio economic policy speech, only the most amazing. Surely there cannot be a more vacuous, meaningless piece of political rhetoric. Every terrestrial entity from nematode to the United ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- When in his 1964 GOP acceptance speech Barry Goldwater declared that "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice," a reporter sitting near journalist/historian Theodore White famously exclaimed: "My God, he's going to run as Barry Goldwater!"
Six weeks into Donald Trump's general election campaign, Republicans are discovering ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The morning after, the nation awakes asking: What have we done?
Both parties seem intent on throwing the election away. The Democrats, running against a man with highest-ever negatives, are poised to nominate a candidate with the second-highest-ever negatives. Hillary Clinton started with every possible advantage -- money, ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Part of Bernie Sanders' charm is that for all of his arm-waving jeremiads, he appears unthreatening. He's the weird old uncle in the attic, Larry David's crazy Bernie. It's almost a matter of style. Who can be afraid of a candidate so irascible, grumpy, old-fashioned and unfashionable?
After all, he's not going to win the ...Read more
In the Shadows of the Oaks: An Urban TaleFrank Settineri
This is a love story between Sean, Landi and Brenda, the latter who were once best friends and now are indelible enemies.
As their relationships spin out of control the surrounding urban community races out of control, besieged by the murder of a black youth ...
WASHINGTON -- Among the abundant ironies of this election cycle, there is this: We are now in the eighth year of the most liberal administration since Lyndon Johnson's. The primary elections reveal a national mood of anxiety, apprehension and anger, in turn reflecting stagnation at home and failure abroad. Two-thirds of Americans think the ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- What lies behind Donald Trump's nomination victory? Received wisdom among conservatives is that he, the outsider, sensed, marshaled and came to represent a massive revolt of the Republican rank and file against the "establishment."
This is the narrative: GOP political leaders made promises of all kinds and received in return, ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Foreign policy does not determine American elections. Indeed, of all Western countries, we are the least interested in the subject. The reason is simple: We haven't had to be. Our instinctive isolationism derives from our geographic exceptionalism. As Bismarck once explained (it is said), the United States is the most fortunate of ...Read more
Sandra Collins (used to) fight the cellulite battle for as long as she can remember. The odd thing is she has always been fit and healthy, going to the gym for the last 10 years, lifting weights and following gym programs. However, her cellulite never seem to go away no matter what until she came across...
WASHINGTON -- We all have our ways of marking the seasons. I know it's spring when in early April I start my morning by skipping The Washington Post front page and going right to the sports section. It's not until I've fully savored the baseball box scores that I resignedly turn to politics.
My non-baseball friends are forever puzzled by my ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- How far they've come. And I'm not talking about the GOP, whose front-runner representing 37 percent of the Republican electorate has repudiated post-Reagan orthodoxy on trade, entitlement reform, limited government and Pax Americana (and possibly abortion, but who knows?). I'm talking about the Democrats.
The center-left, ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Yes, the big Wisconsin story is Ted Cruz's crushing 13-point victory. And yes, it greatly improves his chances of denying Donald Trump a first-ballot convention victory, which may turn out to be Trump's only path to the nomination.
Nonetheless, the most stunning result of Wisconsin is the solidity of Trump's core constituency. ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- After dozens of contests featuring cliffhangers, buzzer- beaters and a ton of flagrant fouls, we're down to the Final Four: Sanders, Clinton, Cruz and Trump. (If Kasich pulls a miracle, he'll get his own column.) The world wants to know: What are their foreign policies?
Herewith, four candidates and four schools: pacifist, ...Read more