The Good and “You’ve Got to Be Kidding” of John Bolton

Now that John Bolton is going to be Donald Trump's third national security adviser in a little over a year(!), it behooves us to consider what we might expect during Bolton's tenure. The position of national security adviser is exceptionally influential--especially given the recent tendency over the span of several administrations to concentrate significant amounts …

The Trump Administration Is More Incompetent than You Can Possibly Imagine, Even after Taking into Account the Fact that the Trump Administration Is More Incompetent than You Can Possibly Imagine

I suppose that it is a healthy sign for me that I continue to be amazed by the blundering, mistake-prone, disaster-inducing ways of the current administration; my constant state of disbelief and shock may indicate that my standards for competence, organization and professionalism have not been diminished. Then again, the fact that my standards--and those …

Donald Trump Is Not as Bad as We Thought He Would Be. He’s Worse. Far Worse.

Since Donald Trump's inauguration as president, the following has occurred in the United States of America: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington had to file a complaint "to notify the new president that he was officially in violation of his lease for the Trump International Hotel down the street from the White House. The lease that …

The Worst Possible Inaugural Address, By the Worst Possible President

Donald Trump is now the president of the United States, and on his very first day, with his very first speech, he has managed to redraw the picture of America to which we are used. Before Trump, we were accustomed to an America that engaged the world with confidence and strength. An America willing to …

So, Are the Koch Brothers Still Monumentally Evil?

Those who are on the port side of the partisan and ideological divide in America like to portray the Koch brothers as the source of everything bad that has ever happened to the planet, not to mention everything bad that is about to happen on the planet. This particular piece of overwrought nonsense should have been …

Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Insults the Very Nation She Wishes to Lead

The putative next president of the United States has been trying recently to seem more approachable, more warm, more friendly, more of a kind-of-person-you-and-I-would-want-to-have-a-beer-with kind of politician. Presumably, achieving all of this would cause the rest of us to want to give her the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But when one looks beyond the …

The Democratic Party’s Failure on Trade Policy

As anyone who follows the news is aware, Barack Obama's biggest legislative goal for his second term is to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. He may well get fast-track authority in order to push for passage of the agreement, and the agreement may yet pass. I hope that he does get fast-track authority, and …

Semi-Good News on Trade Policy

I am pleased to see that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Act has gotten a boost from the United States Senate with the Senate's decision to grant President Obama fast-track authority to negotiate a new trade deal. I wish that I could say that the vote was unanimous, but alas, it wasn't, thanks mainly to protectionist Democrats …

The Trade Policy Clown Show of 2015

Great nations are not normally in the habit of allowing childish temper tantrums to dictate economic policy. Great nations are even less inclined to sacrifice an excellent economic deal because of a temper tantrum. And yet, when we examine the frantic and immature back-and-forth regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership Act, we see that the United States--a …

So Much for Expecting Enlightenment on Trade Policy

I had harbored some hope that politicians would behave like adults when it came to addressing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. As noted in my previous post, the benefits of free trade are clear and overwhelming, the American public appears more ready to accept and support trade deals, and there is bipartisan cooperation between congressional Republicans …