A Trip to Israel

A week ago yesterday my wife Celia and I got back from a week’s stay in Israel.  It was a great trip. Israel is a wondrous country: for the antiquities it holds, for its uniqueness as host to some of ...

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J Edgar Hoover RIP (Not)

We’ve known for a long time what a twisted, dangerous character J Edgar was, but this is incredible.  The FBI building by act of Congress bears his name.  A change in that name is long overdue.     Somebody needs ...

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Kristof on Our Broken Politics

It’s a long flight back from Tel Aviv, so I decided to use some of my time to react to Nicholas Kristof’s most recent NY Times column, since it nicely illustrates some of what I was saying in my last ...

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The Radicals’ Big Win

So, the midterm elections were about as completely disastrous as could be. Progressives will try to spin the outcome with various reasonable arguments. The Republicans enjoyed significant cyclical advantages–the older and whiter midterm electorate, the traditional vulnerability of the party ...

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The Puzzle of Obama’s Unpopularity

President Obama’s popularity, measured in opinion poll approval ratings, has been sagging badly lately, to the considerable benefit of the Republicans’ election prospects this year. Democratic candidates are almost universally avoiding identification with the president and his policies; one Senate ...

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Hamas: An Added Note

A friend of mine has reacted to my post of 10/7 with the correct observation that there is, indeed, a basis for believing that Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of Israel—that objective is in Hamas’s charter.  I didn’t discuss ...

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Midterm Elections 2014

I don’t have any special insights to offer about the upcoming elections.  I see no basis, other than wishful thinking, to challenge the consensus of the prognosticators that the Republicans are likely to win control of the Senate.  That would ...

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What Does Hamas Want?

Once again I find myself taking issue with a generally admirable op-ed column by the NY Times’ Roger Cohen.   Lamenting the inability of many Israelis and other Jews to recognize the humanity of the Palestinians, Cohen mentions in passing that ...

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In contemplating evil, to understand is not to justify

How are we to make sense of a phenomenon like ISIL?  A group of human beings who engage in acts of unspeakable cruelty with no apparent compunctions whatsoever.    In a powerful column yesterday, the NY Times’ Roger Cohen argues that ...

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The Syrian Illusion

Once again I find myself in the unusual position of favorably citing the NY Times’ Ross Douthat.  In his column yesterday Douthat nicely debunked the plan, proposed by President Obama and now approved by Congress, to arm the so-called “moderate” ...

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