President Obama

A Plague: Contesting Syria, in Context

November 4, 2013




Context They are always there, sitting on both shoulders, sounding into your ears. On either side, they buzz insistently their ceaseless drone. Now, they speak of Syria, whisper and wheedle action or inaction as they wish. They have been singing their songs of superpower or imperial America since the end of World War II. In […]





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Why Obama Hearts Hagel

January 14, 2013




. This commentary first appeared in the Algemeiner on January 11.  The last time I wrote about President Obama’s then only rumored selection of Chuck Hagel I said two things I knew I would wish to revise. The first, rhetorically, was the question: “What was he thinking?” The second was a quotation from Gil Troy’s generally very good writing […]





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Niall Ferguson, (C)Rock Star

August 25, 2012




. Niall Ferguson’s cover story for Newsweek was a journalistic and intellectual fiasco, for him and for Newsweek and Daily Beast editor Tina Brown. It was a journalistic fiasco for read-the-multitude-of-responses-online-and-on-paper. Ferguson now has no credibility as an opining voice in the public square. His intellectual credibility, established as an academic historian and teacher, is […]





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An Historic Error

March 29, 2010




The Israeli settlements, on the West Bank and in Gaza, were an historic error the cost of which Israel is now paying. Many people in both public and private life feared this to be so when the Likud government began its aggressive settlement policy in the 1970s, and time has proven them right. Israel acknowledged […]





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Democrats Are Punks.

January 21, 2010




I’m not a fire breather. I’m really not. Really. I’m not. I thought Moveon.org had something to do with Monica Lewinsky getting over it already. The Daily Kos? Can I find that on the newsstands? (The what?) But Democrats are punks. Really. They are. In Politics and Shame I argued how the Democrats had voted […]





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Politics and Shame

January 11, 2010




In the concluding paragraph of The Open Mind IV: Riposte, I wrote, To comment generally, the record of the Left’s response to 9/11 and of supporting the Bush administration in its response to that attack – a record I have researched and inscribed– is embarrassing and often shameful. Many conservatives today speak and act no […]





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Obama in Oslo: Power without Empire

December 11, 2009




I go and use a presidential juggling analogy in Obama Abroad: Liberal, Moderate, Careful, and my psychoanalytical interlocutor ShrinkWrapped decides to employ a fungo hit to test my own coordination. I’m still developing my response to Principia Liberalis Interruptus, and he takes a whack at the Obama post, putting a second ball in the air. […]





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Obama Abroad: Liberal, Moderate, Careful

December 8, 2009




President Obama is being excoriated by some on the left for his Afghanistan escalation, and by some on the right too, though the right, after months of impatience with the kind of thoughtful policy making the Bush years trained it to abhor, is mostly happier about the decision. I’ve already written about both the decision […]





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The Tribal Nations Conference

November 10, 2009




Reports Indian Country Today, on November 5: “More than 400 members of federally recognized tribes gathered today at the Department of the Interior at a Tribal Nations Conference hosted by President Barack Obama, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Cabinet Members.” This was the largest gathering ever of Native leaders. In Salazar’s and Obama’s […]





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