When facts no longer matter

This is the editor’s letter in the current issue of The Week magazine. If there’s a word that defines the year 2018, says Dictionary​.com, it’s “misinformation.” An unintended consequence of the Information Age, misinformation — and its cousin, deliberate disinformation — is a rising flood tide of lies, delusions, and blind, adamant belief that imperils our ability to govern ourselves. The pollution pours in from Facebook and other social media, Russian troll farms, and a White House that denies that objective truth exists. Did Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman order the murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi? “Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t,” President Trump said, shrugging… Read More

Continue Reading

Jimmy Duncan, the hero America ignored

Many political junkies are convinced that President Trump’s grip on the GOP is so tight, his takeover of the party so complete, that he can banish any conservative lawmaker who dares oppose him. There is some truth to this — just look at Mark Sanford and Jeff Flake. But this dynamic was even more true in the early years of George W. Bush’s presidency, when any Republican who dared criticize the war effort was unceremoniously kicked to the curb. Anti-war Republicans of this era were maligned, primaried, and pushed to the furthest outskirts of conservative media for criticizing the Iraq War. Bush’s former speechwriter David Frum wrote in National Review… Read More

Continue Reading

Michael Cohen’s last con

On Wednesday afternoon, a federal judge in New York sentenced Michael Cohen to a mere three years in prison. For President Trump’s ex-lawyer, who was convicted of tax evasion and violating federal campaign finance law, this was not exactly welcome news. But it was probably the best he could have hoped for. He originally faced a 65-year prison term. Judge William H. Pauley III made a great show of being appalled by Cohen’s “veritable smorgasbord” of crimes “motivated by personal greed and ambition.” But the sentence he handed down seemed to take into account Cohen’s tortured claims of repentance: “Today is the day that I am getting my freedom back,”… Read More

Continue Reading

Trump discovers the real wall

On Tuesday, President Trump acknowledged, seemingly for the first time, the existence of some 580 miles of extant fencing along our southern border. These makeshift defenses, he added, have proven more than capable of holding back the non-existent foreign hordes intent upon carrying bubonic plague to various Houston-area Bed, Bath and Beyond locations. Despite the large Caravans that WERE forming and heading to our Country, people have not been able to get through our newly built Walls, makeshift Walls & Fences, or Border Patrol Officers & Military. They are now staying in Mexico or going back to their original countries……. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 11, 2018 …..Ice, Border… Read More

Continue Reading

The impossibility of bipartisan health-care compromise

If there’s one thing political centrists claim to value, it’s compromise. It’s “the way Washington is supposed to work,” writes Third Way’s Bill Schneider. “Centrists, or moderates, are really people who are willing to compromise,” The Moderate Voice’s Robert Levine tells Vice. What does this mean when it comes to health care and the developing lefty push for Medicare-for-all? The fresh new centrist health-care organization, the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future (PAHCF), says it is a “diverse, patient-focused coalition committed to pragmatic solutions to strengthen our nation’s health-care system.” In keeping with the moderate #brand, PAHCF may not support Medicare-for-all. But perhaps they might support a quarter-measure compromise, like… Read More

Continue Reading

What John Kelly personified

After almost nine months of speculation, President Trump on Saturday confirmed the rumors: Chief of Staff John Kelly will be leaving the White House at the end of the year. There’s really only one question worth asking about this: What kept Kelly on the job for so long? The answer is the same thing that brought him to the White House: chaos and inertia. A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away, which is to say, about last summer in Washington, D.C., Kelly was the chosen one who would bring balance to the White House. How did that work out? A few weeks into his tenure the… Read More

Continue Reading