US Politics

Sen. Hatch defends civility

Sen. Bernie Sanders has offended Sen. Orin hatch. In a tweet, Sen. Sanders charged that the Republican healthcare bill now going through Congress would, if passed, kill thousands of people. Sen. Hatch’s office counter-tweeted, “The brief time when we were ...

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“When the distinction between truth and lies disappears…”

The Trump presidency is ugly, destructive and dangerous in hundreds of large and small ways, so the president’s habitual, uninhibited mendacity might seem like just…well, whatever is the opposite of the icing on the cake (the turd on the top ...

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Short Takes

SURPRISE—No Tapes! Did anybody really believe that Trump had tapes of his conversations with Comey? What does surprise me is that all the commentators I’ve seen have expressed puzzlement at Trump’s motives for the ruse, speculating that he was trying ...

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Pragmatism and the Democratic Divide

The lead article in today’s NY Times reports on a “deepening divide” within the Democratic Party as the party’s base tilts towards the left. The 2016 election debacle and its catastrophic consequences have evoked a rising tide of activism aimed ...

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One for the Forces of Darkness

So, the struggle between the forces of darkness and the forces of…well, not exactly light, but relative sanity… continues in the Trump entourage.   Not long ago, the pundits were reporting on how Jared Kushner—a leader of the sane faction—had managed ...

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Dinner at the White House

Donald Trump and James Comey had dinner at the White House on January 27, just the two of them together. Quite an unusual tete a tete, wouldn’t you think—the President of the United States entertaining a lowly FBI Director at ...

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The Firing of Comey

Strictly speaking, Comey deserved to be fired. He deserved to be fired for the reasons laid out by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in his memo to his boss Jeff Sessions. Comey’s pronouncements about his investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails ...

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Trump the Revolutionary?

One of the front page commentaries in today’s NY Times “Sunday Review” proclaims a new, revolutionized Republican Party, thanks to Donald Trump. The party of Ronald Reagan is dead, the author, R.R. Reno, claims. Trump has overturned traditional Republican/conservative themes ...

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Ideology, Pragmatism and Bernie

It is commonplace in our political discourse to treat the words “ideological” and “pragmatic” as practically antonyms. According to the conventional wisdom, pragmatists understand that social and political change is usually gradual and incremental; they keenly appreciate the practical obstacles ...

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The Partisan Chasm

In these polarized times, people tend to avoid talking about politics at holiday family get-togethers. I don’t usually encounter that phenomenon: most of my holidays, it happens, are spent with friends and family whose views are predominantly progressive.  There are ...

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