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
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
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
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
WASHINGTON -- Under the dark gray cloud, amid the general gloom, allow me to offer a ray of sunshine. The last two months have brought a pleasant surprise: Turns out the much feared, much predicted withering of our democratic institutions has been grossly exaggerated. The system lives.
Let me explain. Donald Trump’s triumph last year was ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, but for governments it’s not that easy. Once something is given -- say, health insurance coverage to 20 million Americans -- you take it away at your peril. This is true for any government benefit, but especially for health care. There’s a reason not one Western democracy with some ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- When he was Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state, George Shultz was once asked about the CIA’s disavowal of involvement in a mysterious recent bombing in Lebanon. Replied Shultz: “If the CIA denies something, it’s denied.”
Has there ever been a more dry, more wry, more ironic verdict on the world of espionage? Within it, ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Among the many unintended legacies of Barack Obama, one has gone largely unnoticed: the emergence of a novel form of resistance to executive overreach, a check-and-balance improvised in reaction to his various presidential power grabs.
It’s the revolt of the state attorneys general, banding together to sue and curb the executive...Read more
You've Got MaleMonica Smith
You’ve Got Male, follows a young woman’s journey to put two failed marriages behind her and try one more time for love, through the help of online dating via HookUsUp.com. But it’s anything other than smooth sailing as one of her exes (bi-sexual Damon) returns, ...
WASHINGTON -- At the heart of Donald Trump’s foreign policy team lies a glaring contradiction. On the one hand, it is composed of men of experience, judgment and traditionalism. Meaning, they are all very much within the parameters of mainstream American internationalism as practiced since 1945. Practically every member of the team -- the ...Read more
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
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