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Politics

What to do for little Charlie Gard

WASHINGTON -- One cannot imagine a more wrenching moral dilemma than the case of little Charlie Gard. He is a beautiful 11-month-old boy with an incurable genetic disease. It depletes his cells' energy-producing structures (the mitochondria), thereby progressively ravaging his organs. He cannot hear, he cannot see, he can barely open his eyes. ...Read more

Bungled collusion is still collusion

WASHINGTON -- The Russia scandal has entered a new phase and there's no going back.

For six months, the White House claimed that this scandal was nothing more than innuendo about Trump campaign collusion with Russia in meddling in the 2016 election. Innuendo for which no concrete evidence had been produced.

Yes, there were several meetings ...Read more

Why do they even play the game?

WASHINGTON -- In mathematics, when you're convinced of some eternal truth but can't quite prove it, you offer it as a hypothesis (with a portentous capital H) and invite the world, future generations if need be, to prove you right or wrong. Often, a cash prize is attached.

In that spirit, but without the cash, I offer the Krauthammer Conjecture...Read more

The great Muslim civil war -- and us

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. shoots down a Syrian fighter-bomber. Iran launches missiles into eastern Syria. Russia threatens to attack coalition aircraft west of the Euphrates. What is going on?

It might appear a mindless mess, but the outlines are clear. The great Muslim civil war, centered in Syria, is approaching its post-Islamic State phase. It'...Read more

You can't govern by id

WASHINGTON -- Having coined Bush Derangement Syndrome more than a decade ago, I feel authorized to weigh in on its most recent offshoot. What distinguishes Trump Derangement Syndrome is not just general hysteria about the subject, but additionally the inability to distinguish between legitimate policy differences on the one hand and signs of ...Read more

To die for Estonia?

WASHINGTON -- So what if, in his speech last week to NATO, Donald Trump didn't explicitly reaffirm the provision that an attack on one is an attack on all?

What's the big deal? Didn't he affirm a general commitment to NATO during his visit? Hadn't he earlier sent his vice president and secretaries of state and defense to pledge allegiance to ...Read more

Why Middle East peace starts in Saudi Arabia

"Whom the gods would destroy, they first tempt to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict."

-- Irving Kristol

WASHINGTON -- The quixotic American pursuit of Middle East peace is a perennial. It invariably fails, yet every administration feels compelled to give it a try. The Trump administration is no different.

It will fail as well. To be ...Read more

The guardrails can't contain Trump

WASHINGTON -- The pleasant surprise of the First 100 Days is over. The action was hectic, heated, often confused, but well within the bounds of normalcy. Policy (e.g., health care) was being hashed out, a Supreme Court nominee confirmed, foreign policy challenges (e.g. North Korea) addressed.

Donald Trump's character -- volatile, impulsive, ...Read more

A political ax murder

WASHINGTON -- It is implausible that FBI Director James Comey was fired in May 2017 for actions committed in July 2016 -- the rationale contained in the memo by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

It is implausible that Comey was fired by Donald Trump for having been too tough on Hillary Clinton, as when, at that July news conference, he ...Read more

Trump: 'normalized' but still scary

WASHINGTON -- With near unanimity, my never-Trump friends confess a sense of relief. It could have been worse. They thought it would be worse. A deep apprehension still endures but the international order remains intact, the republic still stands, and no "enemy of the people" has (yet) been arrested.

Admittedly, this is a low bar. And this is ...Read more

Populism on pause

WASHINGTON -- Yesterday’s conventional wisdom: A wave of insurgent populism is sweeping the West, threatening its foundational institutions -- the European Union, the Western alliance, even liberal democracy itself.

Today’s conventional wisdom (post-first-round French presidential election): The populist wave has crested, soon to abate.

...Read more

With North Korea, we do have cards to play

WASHINGTON -- The crisis with North Korea may appear trumped up. It’s not.

Given that Pyongyang has had nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles for more than a decade, why the panic now? Because North Korea is headed for a nuclear breakout. The regime has openly declared that it is racing to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile that ...Read more

The Great Reversal -- for Now

WASHINGTON -- The world is agog at Donald Trump’s head-snapping foreign policy reversal. He runs on a platform of America First. He renounces the role of world policeman. He excoriates parasitic foreigners that (I paraphrase) suck dry our precious bodily fluids -- and these are allies! On April 4, Trump declared: “I don’t want to be the ...Read more

Karma, Precedent and the Nuclear Option

WASHINGTON -- For euphemism, dissimulation and outright hypocrisy, there is nothing quite as entertaining as the periodic Senate dust-ups over Supreme Court appointments and the filibuster. The arguments for and against the filibuster are so well-known to both parties as to be practically memorized. Both nonetheless argue their case with great ...Read more

The Road to Single-Payer Health Care

WASHINGTON -- Repeal-and-replace (for Obamacare) is not quite dead. It has been declared so, but what that means is that, for now, the president has (apparently) washed his hands of it and the House Republicans appear unable to reconcile their differences.

Neither condition needs to be permanent. There are ideological differences between the ...Read more

 

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