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Trump’s first six months as president have been a disaster

  On Thursday of this week, Donald Trump will reach the half-year point of his presidency — and his record thus far has been nothing to brag about. The Donald’s standing in the polls tell the story: No previous president has had lower approval numbers at this juncture. One hardly knows where to begin itemizing Trump’s failures and missteps. The available choices are numerous. But I would start with his peculiar love affair with Russia and Vladimir Putin. Indeed, the Russian thing still has the potential to undo the...

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Does your support for an idea fade if the wrong person backs it?

  If Donald Trump ever comes up with a really good idea, I’m going to go out of my way to support it. I don’t want to be accused of suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. Allow me to explain: Four  years ago, a Washington Post/ABC poll conducted before President Obama unveiled a gun-control agenda showed Republicans overwhelmingly supporting — or no worse than evenly divided — on four central Obama proposals. But when a subsequent WaPo/ABC poll asked for reaction to Obama’s proposals — without specifying the...

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Which president was more apologetic about America?

  Some right-winger whose name I didn’t catch was on television the other night holding forth on the durable Republican theory that Barack Obama spent much of his tenure as president “apologizing for America.” He said Ronald Reagan would never had done such a thing. The guy was wrong, of course, on both counts. The false characterization of Obama always apologizing for America was popularized by Mitt Romney when he ran for president in 2012, but it didn’t do him much good. And the suggestion that Reagan was such...

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Who is the most stupid member of Congress?

  Of course, the answer to the question in the headline above does not come easily. There are lots of dimwits in Congress, and there always has been. It’s hard to say which of them has been the dumbest. But I became convinced years ago that Sen. James Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican and perhaps the leading global-warming skeptic in all of Washington, ranks among the most thick-headed lawmakers we’ve ever had.. Do you remember the so-called Climategate scandal of 2009? Most people have long since forgotten it, but it was a big...

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What will global-warming deniers say about this?

One of the advantages of believing in the scientific consensus regarding global warming and climate change is that you’re easily and often amused by the silly arguments advanced by folks who say the consensus is wrong. Take, for example, the big news reported just hours ago in The New York Times: A chunk of floating ice that weighs more than a trillion metric tons broke away from the Antarctic Peninsula, producing one of the largest icebergs ever recorded and providing a glimpse of how the Antarctic ice sheet might ultimately start to...

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Term limits are an undemocratic (small “d”) idea

Ordinarily, we hear a lot of buzz about term limits mainly in election years. But I’ve noticed that the idea is gaining considerable circulation these days, though the next time we vote is not until next year. Whatever. I can argue against this nonsense on any day of any year. Term limits are a terrible idea. Even Ronald Reagan, the patron saint of modern Republican conservatism, said so. In his presidential farewell address in 1989, Reagan rightly argued that term limits are “a preemption… of the people’s right to vote for...

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