“Inaction” is not “malfunction”


I remain a part of the dissenting minority who argue that our system isn’t broken. Action on a number of thorny issues — ranging from immigration to education reform — is stymied because of big disagreements on what should be done. Our experience with the Affordable Care Act illustrates the peril of making big changes in the absence of substantial majority support.

Continue reading “Inaction” is not “malfunction”

Our Moment in Cuba?

Last month I had the privilege of joining a study tour to Cuba with former members of Congress — sponsored by the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (FMC). We met with government and Communist Party officials, members of the National Assembly and Foreign Ministry, artists, scholars, academics, economists, entrepreneurs, even cigar workers. Cubans feel genuine optimism that the recent normalization of relations with the United States may usher in a new era of cooperation. Continue reading Our Moment in Cuba?

It’s a MAD, MAD, MAD World

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 3.36.22 PMWay back during the Cold War, the U.S. and Soviet Union were locked in a tense face-off for decades.  Both sides had huge arsenals of thermonuclear devices.  But there was a doctrine of military strategy called Mutually Assured Destruction, or MAD, that kept the missiles in their silos.  It became a foundation in the national security policies of both great powers that the use of high-yield weapons of mass destruction by either side would bring about immediate and total retaliation by the other side and cause the complete annihilation of both.  Continue reading It’s a MAD, MAD, MAD World

Brat — The protesting Protestant?

dave brat There’s an early Philip Roth story about a bunch of Jewish kids in Hebrew school trying to figure out whether Jesus lived or not.

“The Catholics,” Itzie Lieberman says, “they believe in Jesus Christ, that he’s God.”

Lieberman, Roth adds, “used ‘the Catholics’ in its broadest sense — to include the Protestants.”

I confess, when I was a kid in a largely Jewish town, I was similarly confused. I think I have it straight, now. But I was confused again this week, reading about Dave Brat’s surprising primary election win over Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)… Continue reading Brat — The protesting Protestant?