Archive of Articles in the "Foreign Policy" Category

Entangling Alliances

[ Posted Monday, January 24th, 2022 – 16:21 UTC ]

For the first time since the Cold War, the nightmare of direct military conflict between what used to be called either "great powers" or "superpowers" seems not to be such a remote possibility anymore. Russia and the United States are in a faceoff over Ukraine. China, meanwhile, is testing the defenses of Taiwan in an unprecedented way. So I thought today was a good day to review a little history.

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Friday Talking Points -- A Busy Week

[ Posted Friday, January 21st, 2022 – 17:37 UTC ]

It was an eventful week in Washington, with a holiday and an anniversary thrown in for good measure, so we're going to try to be a little more succinct in this week's rundown. Well... try to, at any rate.

The week began with Martin Luther King Junior Day, saw a historic (but failed) vote in the Senate on voting rights, contained a marathon of a presidential press conference, and marked the first year President Joe Biden has spent in office. Plus a whole lot of other notable developments along the way.

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Grading Biden's First Year

[ Posted Thursday, January 20th, 2022 – 16:53 UTC ]

One year ago today, Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States. His Inauguration was notable for a few reasons, first and foremost the fact that it happened only two weeks after the U.S. Capitol had been besieged and overrun by insurrectionists attempting to prevent Biden from ever taking office. So the entire Capitol complex was heavily locked down and defended for what is normally a positive and upbeat public ceremony. The other two notable reasons that stick in my mind were: Amanda Gorman absolutely stealing the show with her poem "The Hill We Climb," and Bernie Sanders providing the best photo op by sitting on a socially-distanced chair wearing adorable homemade mittens.

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Biden's Marathon Presser

[ Posted Wednesday, January 19th, 2022 – 17:41 UTC ]

I am writing this after watching a rather extraordinary press conference with President Joe Biden. It was extraordinary for two reasons, really -- it was only the second such press conference he's given on U.S. soil since becoming president, and it was monumentally long, clocking in at just under two hours. It was a true marathon of a presser, as Biden seemed almost reluctant to end it -- and at several times even kidded with the reporters that he could go for another two or three hours if they were up for it. Perhaps he was making up for the lack of regular press conferences in his first year by giving what amounted to a double press conference to begin his second?

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My 2021 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Thursday, December 23rd, 2021 – 19:12 UTC ]

Welcome back to the second part of our year-end awards column! If you missed it, please feel free to check out [Part 1], too.

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My 2021 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 17th, 2021 – 17:36 UTC ]

Welcome to the first installment of our year-end awards!

We do have to warn readers, right up front, that this is an insanely long article. If you're one of those "tl;dr" types of people, we would strongly advise you to go find a short listicle somewhere else, to read instead. Because this will be a marathon, not a sprint (as always).

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Schumer Should Up The Pressure On Manchin And Sinema

[ Posted Monday, November 29th, 2021 – 16:28 UTC ]

December is going to be one of those rare months when Congress actually has to get some things done. These days, nothing big happens in Congress without either a hard deadline or an overwhelming sense of political urgency to get something done fast. Both of these will hopefully be in play next month, on different pieces of legislation. And Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer could do one big thing to increase the urgency on one particular bill.

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Economic News To Be Thankful For

[ Posted Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 – 17:21 UTC ]

Good economic news keeps right on happening, even if this message isn't really reaching the public in a big way. The mainstream media, of course, bears a lot of responsibility for this, as they love to focus on anything going wrong rather than any good news, so stories about inflation (the price of gas, specifically) and supply-chain problems flood the airwaves while the steadily-improving unemployment situation gets maybe a one-day mention when new figures come out. But at heart, it is the Democratic Party's failure for not shifting the public conversation to positive news about the economy.

Today, new weekly unemployment numbers were released and America just had its best week in over 50 years. Let that sink in for a moment. Fewer people filed for unemployment last week than any other week since 1969. The last time we had such a good week, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison were all still alive. That is some spectacularly good economic news, because not only does it signify that we are now over the Delta wave of economic pandemic effects but that the economy is roaring back far stronger and faster than it did after the Great Recession. The overall (monthly) national unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent last month as well.

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From The Archives -- A Scary Hallowe'en Story

[ Posted Thursday, October 28th, 2021 – 17:13 UTC ]

I boarded the train in one of those Eastern European capitals that make you feel like you've stepped back about a century in time. The train car itself did nothing to dispel this notion, as the windows looked like they had last been cleaned promptly after World War I... and forgotten ever since. The upholstery on the seats was worn and threadbare, but when I sat down in one, I found that at least they were well-padded and comfortable. I settled in and looked around at my fellow travelers.

There were a few groups of people strung out throughout the train car, who all ignored me completely. They looked like tired commuters on their way home, and this proved to be the case, as they all got off at the first dozen or so stops on the outskirts of the city. I thought I would be alone for the rest of the journey, but at the last suburban stop a very old woman got on and sat down across from me. She looked a little spooky, with an eyepatch over one eye, and a bandanna tied over her hair. A mystical perfume which hinted at far-off bazaars wafted its way over to me. Her wizened visage examined me critically, and I was surprised to see a small smirk develop on her face as she did so.

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Celebrating A Decisive Franco-American Victory

[ Posted Tuesday, October 19th, 2021 – 15:02 UTC ]

Today marks the 240th anniversary of the United States of America taking its place at the world's table of nations. No, it's not the Fourth of July or even the ratification of the Constitution, but instead today is the day that British Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis surrendered his army at Yorktown, Virginia. This was the pivotal moment in the Revolutionary War when the British began negotiating with the United States instead of continuing the attempt to militarily crush the rebellion in the colonies. It was also the last significant battle fought in the American Revolution. Although the Treaty of Paris wasn't signed for two more years, this was really the point where we won the war, to put it another way. And that's certainly worth celebrating.

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