In the Arena

Learning That Works

My latest print piece–longer than a column this week–is about the revival of what used to be called vocational education, but is now called Career and Technical Education. It’s probably the best way to train young people for skilled jobs that actually exist, especially when done in partnership with local businesses–but more than that, …

Most Ridiculous Campaign Issue. Evah.

The estimable Elizabeth Warren is running for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts against the incumbent Scott Brown. It turns out that Warren used to list herself as “Native American” in law school directories when she was teaching at Georgetown, Penn and Harvard. This has now become a campaign issue, the implication being that Warren, who …

The Way Forward in Afghanistan

I wrote last week about the former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens and the excellent program he runs for returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans called The Mission Continues. Today, he has an op-ed in the New York Times that perfectly summarizes our priorities and mission in Afghanistan. I’d hope that President Obama read it on the long plane …

Republicans Against Markets

There was a time, about thirty years ago, when I worked as a freelance writer. The work was plentiful, but the peripherals were lousy–especially when it came to health insurance. I had to buy it on my own and it was expensive. That’s one of the reasons I was so enthused when Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation developed his …

Iran Progress=Bad News for Neocons

We should be very careful about predicting good news when it comes to negotiations with the Iranians. We’ve come close to making deals in the past–remember Ronald Reagan sending his national security adviser to Tehran with a cake and a Bible–and the Supreme Leader has always skittered away. And so I’m suspicious that the current

Britain Slumps

Word now comes that Great Britain has slipped back into recession after several years of David Cameron’s austerity experiment. It seems, yet again, that John Maynard Keynes has been proven right. Real Keynesianism–government deficit spending–is essential when economies go bottom up. This can mean more government programs or lower …

The Mission Continues

San Diego

You might ask yourself how a political columnist recovers from all the bile and poison accumulated during endless months of watching politicians run for President. And especially after the last six months. For me, therapy inevitably consists of writing about people and programs that make a difference, and policies that …

Idiot Watch

I was driving through Gila Bend, Arizona, yesterday–really–stopped in a truck stop and heard three middle-aged white guys talking about Ted Nugent. All three liked the fact that Nugent hated Barack Obama, but were concerned about the fact that Nugent had said that if the President is reelected, he–Nugent–would be dead or in jail in a …

Good News on Iran Nukes

The body language coming out of the first round of talks about Iran’s nuclear program is excellent. As David Ignatius writes today, we seem to be moving down a path toward a well-calibrated and sensible deal. And that should make everybody happy. But, of course, it won’t. The neoconservatives won’t like it, no matter what. They’ll say, …

The Afghanistan Attacks

I think Max Boot is on the right track, dismissing the coordinated Haqqani Taliban attacks in Kabul and elsewhere as no big deal–and while I’m sure Max sees this as a reason for staying the course in Afghanistan, I see it as the exact opposite: another good argument for speeding our withdrawal. Why? Three reasons:

A Choice, Not a Referendum

Bill Galston has a piece in The New Republic listing the reasons why Barack Obama is going to have a tough time winning reelection in November. He’s right about most of them, but wrong about the one at the very top–he buys into …

Santorum’s Honorable Campaign

One evening in Iowa last October, as autumn trudged toward winter, I watched Rick Santorum work a huge crowd of 7 civilians in the back room of a tavern, in a very small town. It was his final stop of the day, well past 9 p.m., but he answered every last question those people had and even asked a few himself. When it was over, he and I …

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