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Saturday, July 4, 2020
  • Self-isolating encourages you to read those big, serious books you always meant to but hadn’t the time for. Now you do. From yard sales, eBay and your own shelves, you pick well-regarded works a few years old and see how ...
  • There is little, alas, the United States can do to stop China from throttling Hong Kong. Beijing never intended to keep its pledge that the 1997 hand-back would allow Hong Kong autonomy for 50 years. At the present rate, it could be ...
  • This pandemic — expect one every few years — is accelerating America’s transformation. Trends that had been under way for years now pop up. Some changes will pass, but many will remain. The post-coronavirus world will likely be ...
  • Sound policy choices need hard, factual evidence. But the constantly changing coronavirus pandemic evades reliable quantified data. Every number comes with a question mark, one so big it blots out the number. Take a basic ...
  • Steve Bannon, once described as “Trump’s brain,” might be chuckling that the ongoing retreat of federal power pursues his aim to “deconstruct the administrative state.” Bannon, now 66, has flitted through several jobs, wives and ...
  • The ravages of COVID-19 and our tardy and shambolic responses suggest the United States will not soon recover its world-leadership role. Who will follow a country with a vacuum at the top? Federal power has shrunk back to the ...
  • The coronavirus outbreak offers several lessons, but for me the biggest is the stubborn human inability to handle change. Few persons are rational and flexible; we like familiar frames, usages and convictions. Thinking tends to ...
  • I’m a registered Democrat and mostly vote that way, albeit often without much enthusiasm. But we need a calm, functioning Republican Party to question infeasible progressive proposals and chart new, rational ones. Once Trump’s ...
  • I have seen the future — and it scares me. We face sharp, disorienting changes in at least three areas: cyber, coronavirus and climate. Until jolted, however, we drift along in denial and complacency. The three-C jolts have ...
  • Several American scholars and journalists predict that looming crises in China could change or even collapse the regime. We might call them “China pessimists.” Others, “China optimists,” argue that China’s Communist rulers have ...
  • How did Ukraine come to obsess us? Looking at our politics and media, one might think we had few other overseas concerns. Impeachment has fixated absurdly on Ukraine when there are bigger, worse presidential abuses ...
  • The killing of General Suleimani and Iran’s downing of a Ukrainian jetliner made both sides blink, pulling them back from the brink of war and giving diplomacy a fleeting chance. A proxy bombing next week, however, could renew ...
  • In May 1967, I left the U.S. Information Agency in Washington, where I had been learning Vietnamese, and went to the Associated Press in New York. The editors there, many experienced in the Middle East, sensed tensions building ...
  • The networks’ gavel-to-gavel coverage of every fuming, repetitive speech — on the theory that they were all “historic” — bored rather than informed. Many switched off. The Republicans have a point in claiming that President ...
  • Putin took what he wanted from Ukraine and is keeping it. No one tries to dislodge him. Lost among the impeachable aspects of Trump’s Ukraine plots is the fact that Putin — now twenty years in power — has won in Ukraine. Trump will ...
  • What the French call “professional deformation” means that immersion in the usages and habits of one’s career warps individuals. The well-learned procedures of one profession may be dysfunctional in another. It sounds ...
  • Worldwide, people are fuming. Almost as if copying playbooks from neighboring countries, crowds defy authority and denounce established elites. The protesters include citizens from most social categories, even the well-off....
  • Isolationism is back. The White House figures that few voters care about Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds or foreign policy in general. Trump beams that he is fulfilling his promise to get us out of endless Mideast wars. Democratic “debaters” ...
  • Impeaching President Trump is all well and good. He brought it on himself with his repeated extralegal arrogance. But Trump’s departure, either by impeachment or election, will leave us snarling face-to-face with Russia and China....
  • An odd appearance on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show foreshadowed the current clash between a whistleblower and the White House. It suggests the so-called “deep state” much abused by President Trump is striking back....
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