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There’s No Such Thing as ‘Honest Loyalty’

June 8, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The way James Comey describes it in his statement to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, you can easily imagine the movie. On January 27, Donald Trump invites Comey over for dinner. Expecting there will be others, Comey is unnerved when he realizes that he and the new president are dining alone. Worried that Trump is trying to “create some sort of patronage relationship,” Comey makes a point of saying that he will not be politically “reliable” but will always tell Trump the truth. Trump is not mollified. “I need loyalty. I expect loyalty,” he declares.” Comey says nothing and the conversation moves on. Read more…

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The Big Tent: What Camping Can Teach Us About Israelis And American Jews

June 7, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Every year for the past six, I’ve spent an early summer weekend camping with several dozen Jewish parents (mostly fathers) and their elementary school aged kids. We all live in the New York area, but roughly one-quarter grew up in Israel. The other three-quarters hail from the United States or other parts of the Diaspora. Read more…

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Why Trump Criticized a London Under Attack

June 4, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The narcissism generally comes first. Early Saturday evening, an hour after first retweeting a Drudge Report alert about the London terrorist attack, Donald Trump declared that, “We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!” In other words, London proves him right. Everything does. When Omar Mateen murdered 49 people at an Orlando nightclub last June, Trump tweeted, “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.” That same month, when The Wall Street Journal reported that NATO was considering creating a new intelligence coordinator to assist in the fight against terrorism, Trump—who wasn’t even yet the Republican presidential nominee—explained, “It’s all because of me.” Read more…

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Why Israel Should Embrace This ‘Palestinian Gandhi’ — Not Jail Him

May 28, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

President Trump’s recent trip to Israel did not matter. He wants to broker the “ultimate deal” — Israeli-Palestinian peace — and thinks the Saudis, who share Israel’s fear of Iran, can help. But the Saudis can’t make Palestinians endorse their own subjugation. Peace requires freedom for the millions currently living under Israeli control without citizenship, free movement, due process or the right to vote for the government that controls their lives. Read more…

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What Trump Reveals by Calling Terrorists ‘Losers’

May 24, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Donald Trump has coined a term to describe terrorists like those who murdered 22 people on Monday in Manchester: “Losers.” White House officials claim he came up with it on his own. Read more…

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Trump Turns Politically Correct in Saudi Arabia

May 21, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Donald Trump appears to have envisioned his speech on Sunday in Riyadh as an answer to Barack Obama’s 2009 address in Cairo. And reading the two side by side is illuminating. The speeches differ in many ways, but none more striking than this: Trump’s speech was far more politically correct.

Read more…

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Say It Ain’t So Joe!

May 19, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Many progressives will abhor the following statement, but so be it: There’s a lot I admire about former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman. And it’s precisely because of that admiration that I dearly hope he doesn’t accept the poisoned chalice that Donald Trump is reportedly considering offering him: Director of the FBI. Read more…

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Congressional Republicans Are Quietly Shifting on Trump

May 17, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Over the last 24 hours, journalists have hunted down Republican members of Congress in search of quotes that include words like “Watergate,” “impeachment,” and “obstruction of justice?” And they’ve elicited a few. Read more…

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American Institutions Strike Back

May 16, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The bad news is that Donald Trump is the most incompetent president in modern American history. The good news is that Donald Trump is the most incompetent president in modern American history.

He was too incompetent to understand his own health care bill, or accurately describe the direction in which the “armada” designed to intimidate North Korea was heading, or restrain himself from disclosing highly classified information to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. But he’s also too incompetent, it appears, to destroy liberal democracy. Read more…

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Braggart in Chief

May 15, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Why did Donald Trump last week reveal highly classified, potentially life-endangering, intelligence to Russia’s foreign minister? Because he wanted to impress him.

“In his conversations with the Russian officials,” reports Reuters, “Trump appeared to be boasting about his knowledge of the looming threats, telling them he was briefed on ‘great intel every day.’” Read more…