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Archive of Articles in the "Foreign Policy" Category

Senate Parliamentarian Rejects Immigration Reform In Reconciliation Bill

[ Posted Monday, September 20th, 2021 – 16:17 UTC ]

Last night the Senate parliamentarian released the first in a series of opinions about the Democratic efforts to draft an enormous budget reconciliation bill. She said that, in her opinion, legalizing millions of undocumented immigrants should be seen as a policy proposal, not a budget proposal. If Democrats follow her advice, they'll have to remove the path to citizenship from the reconciliation bill. This would be a major blow to immigration reform, although not entirely unexpected.

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From The Archives -- Royal Pain

[ Posted Friday, September 17th, 2021 – 16:15 UTC ]

[The Scene: A warm Philadelphia evening, 226 years ago. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention -- after a long and miserably-hot day of respectful debate (and quite a lot of just plain bickering) over the text of Article I, Section 10 of the proposed draft of the new United States Constitution -- take up the final item on the agenda. We join the Founding Fathers as they (somewhat-wearily) begin discussion of the final subject of the day. Since the debate was conducted behind closed doors, this re-creation uses no names for the participants, to protect their anonymity.]

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Friday Talking Points -- Supreme Court Shows Its True Colors

[ Posted Friday, September 3rd, 2021 – 16:47 UTC ]

This week began with conservatives and liberals upset because the women of Afghanistan will now lose their freedoms under a tyrannical extremist government. It ended with liberals upset that the women of Texas have now lost freedoms under a tyrannical extremist government. Conservatives were notably silent, which is understandable since they were the ones instituting this unconstitutional denial of rights from the women of the Lone Star State.

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Forever And A Day

[ Posted Tuesday, August 31st, 2021 – 16:00 UTC ]

President Joe Biden announced to the American people today: "The war in Afghanistan is now over." As he put it: "I was not going to extend this Forever War." One day after the last military plane carried the last soldiers, the commanding general, and the U.S. ambassador out of the country, Biden took the occasion to not only proclaim the war over but also to defend his handling of the end of it.

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Friday Talking Points -- A Grim Week

[ Posted Friday, August 27th, 2021 – 17:09 UTC ]

This was never going to be a good week for President Joe Biden. The ongoing crisis in Afghanistan pretty much guaranteed that. But although the week started out with signs of optimism -- more and more people being airlifted out of Kabul, to top 100,000 by week's end -- it ended in disaster. A suicide bomber exploded his vest right at the gate to the airport, which killed at least 13 American servicemembers and over 100 Afghans (as of this writing the official death toll for Afghans had hit 169). So while this week could have been perhaps tense but slightly optimistic, by week's end that was no longer possible. It was disastrous; there's just no other way to put it. One grim way to measure it is Biden has now made his first addition to the number he always carries around with him in his jacket pocket -- the number of fallen U.S. servicemembers from both Iraq and Afghanistan.

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A Summer Grammatical Interlude

[ Posted Thursday, August 26th, 2021 – 17:06 UTC ]

Today we are going to set aside politics and Washington and all the rest of what I normally write about and instead do some pedantic navel-gazing. Yes, it is the dog days of summer, the tail end of the Silly Season, and so I felt it was time to do a column on grammar and style preferences.

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Afghanistan Airlift Continues Apace, But Will It Be Enough?

[ Posted Wednesday, August 25th, 2021 – 16:33 UTC ]

When future historians look back on President Joe Biden's legacy, one major part of it will be the end he has brought to American troops fighting in Afghanistan. Exactly how these future historians will deem it is still uncertain, at this point. It could go down as an absolute fiasco -- a textbook example of "how not to end a war." But if the rest of the airlift goes as smoothly as it seems to be running now, perhaps history's judges will be a little kinder to Biden. Again, this is still very much up in the air.

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Friday Talking Points -- War's End

[ Posted Friday, August 20th, 2021 – 16:00 UTC ]

This has been a rather historic week, so we are dispensing with our regular format to spend our entire column discussing the withdrawal of United States military forces from Afghanistan, and the emergency airlift operation now being undertaken to get every American and every interpreter and translator and other Afghan ally of ours out as well.

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The End Of The Forever War

[ Posted Monday, August 16th, 2021 – 16:47 UTC ]

So ends America's longest war. The forever war in Afghanistan is entering its final moments, at least for us. It is an ugly and chaotic picture. Just last week the U.S. government was saying that Kabul might -- just might mind you -- be overrun by the Taliban in roughly 90 days. The reality was closer to 90 hours. That is either a monumental failure of intelligence or was an enormous lie told to the American people. I strongly suspect it was the first of those, since the speed of it all seems to have caught everyone -- up to and including the decision-makers in the Pentagon and White House -- by complete surprise.

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Friday Talking Points -- A Pandemic Of The Unvaccinated

[ Posted Friday, August 6th, 2021 – 16:11 UTC ]

President Joe Biden gave a speech this week on where the country stands with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a timely thing to do, since with the Delta mutation so ascendant, we've now entered a fourth wave which has already grown bigger than the first two waves (but, thankfully, not yet bigger than the third). Right now, 100,000 people are getting sick each day -- which is up from just 12,000-per-day a few short weeks ago. The good news is that fewer people are dying than when the third wave surpassed the 100,000-infections-per-day mark, because now over 70 percent of all American adults have gotten at least their first vaccine shot. But what's changing now is that vaccinated Americans have pretty much lost all tolerance for the unvaccinated among us. When the graph lines were all heading downwards and restrictions easing, it wasn't that big a deal. With them skyrocketing back up again, it is. And businesses and governments and the vaccinated population are at the end of their rope when it comes to making allowances for the anti-vaxxers.

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