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Wednesday, December 07, 2016
Wednesday, November 30, 2016 3:18 PM
Now that the reality of Trump’s victory has sunk in, journalists divide into roughly two classes on how to handle a Trump presidency: (1) support him while encouraging him to compromise and pursue moderate policies, which . . .
  • Credible reports have surfaced — some from the UN inspection agency — of “small but significant” Iranian violations of the January nuclear deal, in the words of the New York Times November 9. Minor issues or not, the Obama administration ...
  • Donald Trump swore to “change” Washington but now is trying, chameleon-like, to blend into the mainstream by changing both his campaign pledges and his personality before taking office. Within days of his tainted victory . . .
  • The polls erred again, underestimating the heavy turnout of people who resented being left behind by a changing America. Trump won voters who did not tell the polls their true intentions. The upset was as startling as . . .
  • “Legitimacy” means a widespread feeling that the government’s rule is rightful, even if you dislike the party in power. Without legitimacy, countries fall apart, the fate of many developing lands, including Iraq and Afghanistan. Uncivil U.S. . . .
  • My first memory of an election is the 1948 Truman-Dewey contest. As a nine-year-old, I didn’t understand much about it, but I do recall the hatred directed at Henry Wallace, who had been FDR’s vice president but was . . .
  • Election polls bounce around faster than Maine weather forecasts. Professional surveys given the same week should not differ by five to ten percentage points from each other and from the previous week. The problem is . . .
  • We are approaching a decision point on Syria: to intervene or not? The media and many foreign-policy prophets, horrified at civilian deaths, demand humanitarian intervention and decry President Obama’s seeming paralysis. . . .
  • Is there any international agreement a President Trump would not tear up? Trump bases his campaign on hatred of foreign nations, competition and immigrants. Some call this isolationism, but it may be isolationism’s cousin . . .
  • America’s “pivot” to East Asia — never carried out because we’re stuck in the Middle East — just developed a surprise hole: the Philippines. Manila’s newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte wants America out while he purchases . . .
  • What, influence peddling in DC? I’m shocked, simply shocked! But Washington is all about connecting special pleaders to political figures. K Street firms thrive by selling connections. What Hillary did as secretary of state . . .
  • Where the heck did Donald Trump get his Russia policy from? It may not matter much, as by the time you read this he may have qualified or discarded it, as he does with most of his bold positions. But it’s a lesson and a caution . . .
  • Russian use of an Iranian airbase led some to see a Russia-Iran axis. They jumped the gun and surmised too much. In less than a week, Tehran, perhaps remembering that the constitution of the Islamic Republic . . .
  • To take a vacation from the Middle East, in honor of the Rio Olympics let us turn to Latin America, where I thought military coups were over. Maybe not. Praetorianism — a tendency for coups, named after Rome’s Praetorian Guard . . .
  • Coming up on the 70th anniversary of George F. Kennan’s famous “X” article, “The Sources of Soviet Conduct,” makes one wonder if a latter-day Kennan could articulate analyses and policies to guide us through our long . . .
  • Our endless, indecisive wars — 15 years in Afghanistan, 13 in Iraq — have led some to seek a middle ground between intervening too much and too little called “offshore balancing.” With ships on the water instead . . .
  • Russia has been using cyber-penetration (and money) to influence European elections for years, but this seems to be the first time they’ve tried it in a U.S. election. Leaking hacked emails of the Democratic National Committee . . .
  • As in 1968, fear of violence favors the law-and-order candidate, the Republican who will “make America safe again.” To fight violence, a first step is to unbundle terrorism from individual psychopathology. . . .
  • News focuses on Hillary Clinton’s “extremely careless” use of home, non-secure servers for classified State Department business. Unquestionably, she broke regulations with a cavalier attitude. But this distracts . . .
  • Admittedly, this column is purely speculative, but much about Donald Trump’s candidacy does not add up. The conventional explanations usually focus on his narcissism, an ego as big as Montana that . . .
  • As William Butler Yeats’s grim 1919 poem “Second Coming” keeps reminding us, things indeed fall apart. Britain’s referendum to leave the European Union heralds widening gyres and centers . . .