We shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for senators to scrap the filibuster

Boston Globe letter The Globe’s laudable condemnation of the US Senate filibuster concludes with a disappointing whimper of a suggestion that the rule be limited and a more laughable one that senators change their behavior (“Fixing the US Senate,” Editorial, March 25). The filibuster is not a provision of the Constitution but a rule of…

The House Intelligence Memo: Damning Details

There’s not much news in the House Intelligence Committee Majority Staff Memo on abuses by a few individuals at the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) in the use of FISA (Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act) to conduct surveillance on domestic political opponents. There is confirmation of the leaks that the discredited “Trump Dossier” a/k/a “Steele…

Trump and the “S—hole Countries”

A great Issue of the Day has become whether President Trump said “Shithole countries” in describing unappealing sources of immigration. Democrats and their media allies have engaged in much hand-wringing over the horror. It certainly sounds like something he would say, but his opponents in the Congress and the media have focused on it in…

The “Russian Collusion” Investigation Takes an Unexpected Bounce

If John LeCarre’s later novels seem to have taken a more polemic tone than his byzantine earlier tales of espionage and treachery, maybe it’s because writers of spy thrillers, like practitioners of political parody and satire, find themselves ever more unable to stay ahead of reality. The subject of Russian interference in the 2016 American…

Jared Kushner’s White House role is far from unusual

(Because of their publication schedule, this op-ed in today’s Cape Cod Times was written two weeks ago, pre-Comey, pre-Sessions and pre-Republican baseball shootout. Dealing with the subject of sputtering outrage at the time, it now seems like a artifact from another era.) Critics, including syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker in “Family politics: Why is Kushner a…

A Primer: the Election, the Russians, Spies & Leaks

A large group of Americans wants an investigation into how the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to steal the election. Another group wants an investigation into the Obama administration’s domestic spying on the Trump campaign and Transition Office and the leaks of classified material from intelligence agencies during the campaign and continuing. The first group…

Judge Gorsuch and the Filibuster

The Kabuki theatre that is a Senate confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice is approaching opening night. The principal actors have exchanged scripts but they already know their lines well, having played both parts before. Some bitterness remains from the last production which closed out of town when one set of actors refused to go…

Whither Trump? Priebus or Bannon?

In his first major decisions President-Elect Donald Trump named Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus as White House Chief of Staff and Stephen Bannon to be ”chief strategist and senior counsel.” The Trump transition staff was at some pains to say the two would be “equal partners” but the laws of political physics usually do not…

You can live with President Trump. Really.

Somebody was going to be mad after this election. We all thought it was going to be the frustrated people whose anger at the establishment of both parties fueled the rise of Donald Trump. Instead it is the establishment itself, the politicians of both parties, crony capitalists, media elites, politically correct faculty of our universities…

Debate Prep for the Voter

Presidential primaries and party nominating conventions are behind us. Even in this most unusual and tumultuous election, the next event remains, as it has for 40 years, the Presidential Debates. The first debate occurs in a week on Monday, September 26 at 9 PM. The announced debate format shows some promise of delivering a real…

“Bye, bye,” John McLaughlin

I hadn’t seen or thought of John McLaughlin for years until he died Tuesday morning. During the 80’s and 90’s he was a fixture of my weekly political TV diet. Someone must have kept watching in the meantime though as his show, The Mclaughlin Group, continued on the air until his death. He never missed…

Convention Drama At Last; Cruz’s Big Moment

Senator Ted Cruz addresses the Republican National Convention tonight. To secure his participation Donald Trump’s convention managers (if that’s what they can be called) had to agree to let him be the only speaker whose remarks have not been cleared in advance. So …. will he or won’t he? Cruz fancies himself the legatee of…