America’s Democracy Hypocrisy

In late February, Venezuela’s government began accepting presidential candidate registrations and announced a snap legislative election for April. The country’s opposition denounces the process as a sham and Maduro as a dictator, both of which may be true. Oddly, a third voice – the US government – also weighed in. Per US state media outlet … Continue reading “America’s Democracy Hypocrisy”

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Russiagate

“An epidemic terror seized upon the nations,” wrote Charles Mackay in his 1841 masterpiece, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. “It was a crime imputed with so much ease, and repelled with so much difficulty, that the powerful, whenever they wanted to ruin the weak, and could fix no other imputation upon them, … Continue reading “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Russiagate”

Veterans in Politics: It’s Not About Honor

The Atlantic’s Ronald Brownstein reports that a new political organization, With Honor, “has launched a major effort to elect to the House more recent military veterans who commit to working across party lines. … a bipartisan core of House Members who are inclined to seek common ground, whatever their personal views.” The idea that veterans … Continue reading “Veterans in Politics: It’s Not About Honor”

US Foreign Aid: Bad for America, Bad for the World

Ahead of a vote in the United Nations’ General Assembly on a resolution condemning US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, president Donald Trump and UN ambassador Nikki Haley threatened states voting for the resolution with the loss of US financial aid. “We’re watching those votes” said Trump. “Let them vote against us, we’ll save … Continue reading “US Foreign Aid: Bad for America, Bad for the World”

Trump’s ‘National Security Strategy’ Is the Opposite of National Security

The Goldwater-Nichols Act requires the president to submit a “National Security Strategy” report each year. Every president since Ronald Reagan has failed to comply with the law in one or more years of his administration, but on December 17 Donald Trump issued his report. Unfortunately, Trump’s offering is of a piece with his prior displays … Continue reading “Trump’s ‘National Security Strategy’ Is the Opposite of National Security”

Here Comes the Next ‘Defense’ Shakedown

“Today with the signing of this defense bill,” US president Donald Trump said as he affixed his signature to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act on December 12, “we accelerate the process of fully restoring America’s military might.” Is Trump truly under the mistaken impression that US military might is ailing? Or is he mindlessly … Continue reading “Here Comes the Next ‘Defense’ Shakedown”

Finally, Evidence of Russian Election Meddling … Oh, Wait

On December 1, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to two counts of lying to the FBI about conversations he had with Sergey I. Kislyak, then Russia’s ambassador to the United States. The charges, and Flynn’s plea, were part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of “Russian meddling” in the 2016 US presidential … Continue reading “Finally, Evidence of Russian Election Meddling … Oh, Wait”

How To Stop a Rogue President From Ordering a Nuclear First Strike

On November 15, US Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and US Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) introduced one of the shortest bills in the histories of their two parliamentary bodies. Shorn of the obligatory “be it enacted, blah, blah, blah” boilerplate, the bill’s content comes to 14 words: “It is the policy of the United States to … Continue reading “How To Stop a Rogue President From Ordering a Nuclear First Strike”

Veterans Day: ‘Appropriate Homage’

In 1926, a concurrent resolution of the US Congress held it “fitting that the recurring anniversary of [the armistice which brought World War One to an end] should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations …” In 1938, Congress enshrined November 11 … Continue reading “Veterans Day: ‘Appropriate Homage’”

WikiLeaks: Hostile Is as Hostile Does

“It is the sense of Congress,” according to the annual Intelligence Authorization Act now working its way through the US Senate, “that WikiLeaks and the senior leadership of WikiLeaks resemble a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors and should be treated as such a service by the United States.” US Senator Ron … Continue reading “WikiLeaks: Hostile Is as Hostile Does”