Bashing 'the other' is wrong, whoever does it

IT HAS become conventional wisdom of sorts to label US President Donald Trump as an American nationalist, to point to the public statements he made during the presidential election campaign and since his inauguration as president, and to accuse him of being xenophobic, nativist and racist.

From Tea Party to party of Big Government

AFTER the administration of then-president Barack Obama announced in early 2009 its plans to bail out certain home mortgage holders, CNBC reporter Rick Santelli blasted the bailouts on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and called for the creation of a new "tea party"...

Who loves and hates the FBI now?

ONCE upon a time in America, there was a political party that held with high esteem the nation's security institutions that were protecting the American people against adversaries at home and abroad: The US military, the country's police forces, the intelligence gathering agencies and the...

Trump's State of Union address scores one round for the 'normalisers'

SINCE Donald Trump and his family relocated from the Trump Tower in New York City to the White House in Washington, DC, two schools of thought seemed to have dominated the debate among members of the political class over the fate of his presidency.

Ending shutdown with hopes for bi-partisan deal

IN my neighbourhood, located in a Maryland suburban area that is adjunct to Washington, DC, they do take federal government shutdowns quite personally.

Will populist Trump re-emerge in 2018?

IMAGINE that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush had won the Republican presidential primaries and went on to beat his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in November 2016. And that we were marking the one-year anniversary of President Bush the Third this month.

A lone Wolff takes a bite of the US presidency

THE contrast between the economic and political mood could not have been more dramatic when one glanced at the front pages of American newspapers over the weekend. There were those upbeat headlines celebrating the country's robust economic recovery that was finally beginning to benefit the...

Containing Iran without boots on the ground

EMPLOYING historical analogies can be useful when we try to apply the lessons of an event that happened in the past to what seems to be its counterpart in the present. But seeking guidance from history can also create intellectual traps for policymakers and pundits when they misapply those...

A taxing debate and a vexing issue

DEPENDING on the views of the economic analyst whose newspaper column you have just read or that political pundit pontificating on television, you may conclude that the most significant overhaul of the US tax code which was approved by Congress last week would usher in an era of unprecedented...

Challenges ahead after Democrats' surprise win in Alabama

WHETHER the Republican or the Democratic candidate triumphed in the special Senate election in Alabama this week did not really matter since under either scenario, the Republicans would have lost and the Democrats would have won.

Trump and Jerusalem: much ado about nothing

ONCE again, the mainstream media have reacted with all-too-familiar hysteria to a political move by President Donald Trump, this time to his announcement last week that the United States was reversing 70 years of American policy by officially recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital and that...

The good and bad news for President Trump

IF politics were to be graded for their dramatic value, "zero" being like a really, really boring event and "10" akin to a catharsis in a Shakespearean tragedy, then the landmark tax overhaul bill that swept through the Senate a few minutes before 2 am last Saturday would...

So what about America's 'forgotten men and women'?

A YEAR after the 2016 presidential election, it has become clear to almost everyone why Donald Trump and not Hillary Clinton is now occupying the White House.

America's love-hate affair with a hashtag

DURING the late 1960s when I was in high-school (so now you can figure out my age), I took a summer job working with the CEO of a company, who before leaving office for the day had this habit of slapping his female secretary's backside...

The Middle East's new balance of power

SO like Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle, you had fallen asleep many years ago, say, in 1967 in the aftermath of that year's Middle Eastern War aka the Six-Day War and had woken up 50 years later, discovering to your surprise that Israel and Egypt, the two nations who had fought that...

White House still all at sea over China

IT'S not a secret that members of the Foreign Establishment in Washington cannot stand President Donald Trump...

Are Democrats getting their mojo back?

IT has been said that time flies when you are having a good time. It's not clear, however, whether that was the reason Americans had the strange sensation that Donald Trump's electoral triumph had occurred just a few days ago, when they marked this week the first anniversary of the 2016...

A bombshell that could rewrite the script

SO this was supposed to be one of US President Donald Trump's greatest political weeks. Congressional Republicans were scheduled to release what was described as a historic plan to overhaul the US tax code...

Republicans face rift within their party

IDEOLOGICAL divisions and political tensions are nothing new when it comes to the Republican Party since its founding in 1854 and after it first came to power in 1860, taking control of both houses of Congress with its candidate Abraham Lincoln elected as president.

When words of comfort reopen old wounds

LET us all agree on the following: Both White House Chief of Staff John F Kelly and Representative Frederica S Wilson are decent human beings who have devoted their lives to serving the American people.

Tempers, tension in the 'adult day care centre'

ALMOST every day I travel on the Red Line of the Washington Metro, the rapid transit system that connects Montgomery County, Maryland, including my neighbourhood of Chevy Chase, with Washington, DC.

Realpolitik lessons amid self-determination ideals

LET us imagine creating an Intelligent Agent (IA) which we feed all available information about the concept of self-determination that stipulates every group of people has the right to freely choose their sovereignty and political status. It would include the histories of all the national movements...

Same old tune in US gun control debate

IT has become a ritual of sorts. It starts with a horrific mass shooting. A lone gunman opens fire at innocent Americans, murdering schoolchildren, churchgoers, or just some people having fun.

The Disunited States of 'them' and 'us'

IT has been a familiar American political narrative: A progressive Democrat decides to run for political office in a rural district of a Midwestern or Southern state, where most of the voters are hardworking folk. Some of them have lost their jobs recently and those who haven't are struggling...

Nothing wrong in leaders' putting their nations first

IN reviewing a book or a film, some critics would explain to the readers that the novelist or the movie director has done a lousy job because he or she should have produced something else, like the kind of novel or film that the critic likes.