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‘The End of…’ Scenario


While the extremes of contemporary partisanship have grown, there is a curious area of political overlap in the age of Trump: Left and Right have embraced “the end of …” theme. Clearly there is justification for an outpouring of pessimism. President Trump has put enormous pressure on political allies to enhance their financial contribution to […]

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Abraham Lincoln, Studmuffin


Let’s be honest: the homeliest president was Abraham Lincoln. That lopsided face. Those ginormous ears. The perpetual bad hair. And it’s not just me. Men and women who saw Abraham Lincoln in the flesh did not pull their punches about his appearance. Five years into their marriage, Mary Todd Lincoln admitted her husband was “not […]

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Can We All Get Along?


Nobody ever called the late Rodney King a model citizen of Los Angeles. But he gave the world what was likely the most plaintive, plangent query of our time. He wanted to know, in the aftermath of the L.A. burning, “Can we all get along?” Can we hug rather than wallop each other and turn […]

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Obamacare Repeal: Conservatives Must Face Reality


Here’s something to consider if you’re a disgruntled conservative angry about the Senate’s Obamacare replacement bill: Susan B. Anthony was a vehement opponent of the 15th Amendment. That’s the amendment which reads, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any […]

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Reflections Upon a Rising Star


A flawed “pointillist picture” is how Michiko Kakutani described Rising Star, David J. Garrow’s massive (1,460 pages) new biography of Barack Obama, and she’s right. A barrage of minute details greets the reader, only the distinct dots aren’t permitted to arrange themselves into a picture. No sooner does an adumbration materialize than the author leaves […]

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Standing the Heat


Sunday. Wow. It is hot. I swam for a little while. Then off to lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel with my makeup artist, writing colleague, and dear friend, Renae. We talked about how and when being a parent in the U.S. middle class became torment. A parent is a chauffeur, body guard, tutor, mentor, […]

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Birth of a New Persian Empire


The United States is gradually being drawn into the war in Syria. That war began as a conflict in which we had no national security interest. That changed because two of our principal adversaries, Russia and Iran, took over that war, making the conflict much larger than just a civil war against the terrorist regime […]

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The American Presidency in Paralysis


(Warning: Spoiler at the end.) Is the next vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court sooner or later? Liberals despair. Trump’s “progressive” critics, long champions of a strong presidency, notably Barack Obama’s robust executive power, are abruptly born-again skeptics. What’s to worry? Trump’s Neil Gorsuch remains a constitutionalist who would challenge an imperial presidency. But Democrats […]

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With Two Tweets, Trump Settles Tape Question Raised in Earlier Tweet


Washington “I don’t know there was a game,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday in response to a question about President Donald Trump’s latest tweets, in which he denied taping former FBI chief James Comey. Actually, it is a game — a 41-day back-and-forth marathon called “snooker,” played not with cue […]

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Not All Americans Are Grieving for Otto Warmbier


“Send bombers, and turn North Korea into a parking lot.” That was my initial knee-jerk reaction when I heard that Otto Warmbier was dead. It was not the most Christian thought ever to flash through my heart and mind, and going to war against that pariah state would cause a world of hurt and a […]

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