The Republican Debate

It is now a two-man race, with an asterisk. Everyone seems to agree that last night’s Republican debate devolved into a spitting contest between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. Those who live on Planet Earth will believe that Romney won the debate; those who live on Planet Tea Party will favor Perry, with a slight hitch–did he actually order …

Obama’s New Semester

The political year is sort of like the school year, only longer and more depressing. Both begin–after a summer recess–in September. Barack Obama will begin his new semester tonight, with his jobs speech. This is a curious …

Lessons of the Post-9/11 Military

Earlier this week, I attended the retirement ceremony of General David Petraeus at Fort Meyer. It was a landmark moment, the closing of a chapter–the decade after 9/11. I’ve written about the transformation of the U.S. Military at length, including a column about Petraeus’ intellectual impact on the Army and a cover story about how …

We Have Big Noses, Too

I interrupt my personal boycott of the artist formerly known as Glenn Beck because…I just can’t resist this. Here is what Beck said about his recent sojourns in the Holy Land:

“I love the Israelis, he said. “I love the Jewish people. But they drive me out of my mind when they talk over each other. They’re constantly talking!”


Spending Cuts Are Great When the Spending Is Stupid

There’s a tired fight raging in Washington between anti-government people who want spending cuts and pro-government people who don’t. Here’s a crazy thought: Maybe we should spend more on good things and less on dumb things. I’m in the pro-government camp, but I’d be thrilled to eliminate almost all of the $380 billion worth of …

Notes on an Elephant in Despair

O.K. The nonsense of the Iowa straw poll is behind us. We’ve had another GOP debate. We have one more candidate (Rick Perry) and one fewer (Tim Pawlenty). Here are some thoughts as the nomination contest gets going:


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