WASHINGTON -- Scholars have already debated for decades, and will debate for centuries, the role U.S. policies -- military, diplomatic, economic -- played in bringing the Cold War to endgame and the Soviet Union to extinction. One milestone was Ronald Reagan's 1983 Strategic Defense Initiative proposal, a technological challenge that could not ...Read more
"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."
-- L.P. Hartley
WASHINGTON -- They do things differently in Portland, but not because it is a foreign country, although many Americans might wish it were: At this moment, it is one national embarrassment too many. Rather, the tumults in Portland, which is a petri dish of...Read more
"Science, like the Mississippi, begins in a tiny rivulet in the distant forest."
-- Abraham Flexner
WASHINGTON -- In 1933, when America's most famous immigrant settled in Princeton, New Jersey, Franklin Roosevelt tried to invite Albert Einstein to the White House. Abraham Flexner, the founding director of the Institute for Advanced Study that ...Read more
LOS ANGELES -- November's congressional elections will decide which party will control a narcoleptic institution that is uninterested in performing fundamental functions: Only 43 of the 535 House and Senate seats -- ten in the Senate, 33 in the House -- are occupied by legislators who were serving in 1996, the last time Congress obeyed the law ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- For three months in 1917, Leon Trotsky lived in the Bronx, just south of the congressional district where Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently defeated a 10-term incumbent in a Democratic primary. Because she calls herself a democratic socialist, the word "socialism" is thrilling progressives who hanker to storm the Bastille, if only ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- If you are not collateral damage in the escalating trade wars, the bulletins from the wars' multiplying fronts are hilarious reading. You are collateral damage only if you are a manufacturer, farmer or consumer, so relax and enjoy the following reports.
Whirlpool, which makes washing machines and demands for government protection,...Read more
WASHINGTON -- America's child president had a playdate with a KGB alumnus, who surely enjoyed providing daycare. It was a useful, because illuminating, event: Now we shall see how many Republicans retain a capacity for embarrassment.
Jeane Kirkpatrick, a Democrat closely associated with such Democratic national security stalwarts as Sen. Henry ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- It is a prudential axiom: If it isn't broken, don't fix it. This reflects the awareness that things can always be made worse, and the law of unintended consequences, which is that they often are larger than and contrary to intended ones. As baseball reaches the all-star break amid lamentations about several semi-broken aspects of ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The president, who might not be fully acquainted with the pertinent Supreme Court case law, says the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel was unconstitutional. The president's opinion, because it is his, is prima facie evidence for the opposite conclusion. It is, however, not sufficient evidence. Consider the debate ...Read more
"There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea."
-- Donald Trump, June 13, 2018
"North Korea is upgrading its nuclear research center at a rapid pace, new satellite imagery analysis suggests."
-- The Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2018
WASHINGTON -- As the president prepares, if this time he does prepare, for his second summit, note ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court is especially admirable when correcting especially deplorable prior decisions, as with the 1954 school desegregation decision rejecting a 1896 decision's "separate but equal" doctrine. It did so again last Wednesday, overturning a 41-year-old precedent inimical to the First Amendment.
Shortly before the court ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Timothy Carpenter's interest in smartphones has had two unintended consequences. It has drawn the Supreme Court deeper into ongoing debates about applying the Constitution's Fourth Amendment to uses of digital technologies that have swiftly -- the first iPhone was sold in 2007; today there are 396 million American cellphone service...Read more
WASHINGTON -- As many conservatives saw it, Justice Anthony Kennedy's 1988 ascent to the nation's highest bench was reason for only muted celebration, if any, because he settled into the seat that his nominator, President Ronald Reagan, had first tried to fill with the conservatives' favorite jurist, Robert Bork. Bork was rejected by the Senate ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Amid the carnage of Republican misrule in Washington, there is this glimmer of good news: The family-shredding policy along the southern border, the most telegenic recent example of misrule, clarified something. Occurring less than 140 days before elections that can reshape Congress, the policy has given independents and temperate ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- "This," exclaimed Margaret Thatcher, thumping Friedrich Hayek's 500-page tome "The Constitution of Liberty" on a table in front of some Conservative Party colleagues, "is what we believe." It also is what Bill Weld believes, which is why he aspires to be the Libertarian Party's 2020 presidential candidate.
The former twice-...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., wonders: "Is there any doubt that America would view a foreign nation firing missiles at targets on American soil as an act of war?" His question might be pertinent to why the Singapore summit happened, and what, if anything, was changed by it. The question certainly is relevant to constitutional government ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Karl Marx was no more mistaken than usual when he said that historic people and events appear twice, first as tragedy, then as farce. Today's advocates of a musty fragment of the 1970s, the Equal Rights Amendment, are demonstrating that something that begins as farce can reappear as tragedy, because abuse of the Constitution is ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Back when the Soviet Union had a first-rate nuclear arsenal but a ramshackle third-world economy that produced no consumer goods other than vodka and caviar that anyone elsewhere would buy, the nation was disparaged as "Upper Volta with rockets." Today the question is: Would North Korea like to become Upper Volta without rockets ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- "Loose lips sink ships" was a World War II slogan warning Americans against inadvertently disclosing important secrets, such as troop ships' sailing schedules. On Monday, the Supreme Court showed that loose lips can sink cases.
In Colorado in 2012, a Christian baker declined the request of a same-sex couple to decorate a cake for ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- Within 17 days in the autumn of 1975 -- first in Sacramento, then in San Francisco -- two separate handgun-wielding women attempted to assassinate the president. Had either succeeded, and each was close enough to have done so, the nation would have had a third president in 14 months, and a second consecutive one who had never been ...Read more