“Overt defiance of presidential authority by the president’s own appointees – now that’s a constitutional crisis.”

David Frum, in response to this NYT op-ed: Impeachment is a constitutional mechanism. The Twenty-Fifth Amendment is a constitutional mechanism. Mass resignations followed by voluntary testimony to congressional committees are a constitutional mechanism. Overt defiance of presidential authority by the president’s own appointees – now that’s a constitutional crisis. If the president’s closest advisers believe […]

“Like Trump, Meciar first rose to power by sidelining rivals in his own party and staging a flurry of media stunts that left his opponents paralyzed and divided.”

Dalibor Rohac: To any fair-minded observer, President Trump’s authoritarian instincts, Twitter outbursts and divisive rhetoric should be greatly concerning. Americans might take comfort in the fact that the United States is not the first country to elect and live under such a leader. I would know. Two and a half years after the fall of […]

“You know what uranium is, right? This thing called nuclear weapons like lots of things are done with uranium including some bad things.”

Well.. a press conference for the ages from the orange one today. I won with news conferences and probably speeches. I certainly didn’t win by people listening to you people. That’s for sure. But I’m having a good time. Tomorrow, they will say, “Donald Trump rants and raves at the press.” I’m not ranting and […]

“A constant supply of news that make us afraid with little to instill trust in one another and in our institutions has always been the best press demagogues can hope for.”

Max Roser: The story that we tell about ourselves is the most important story of all. Journalists and intellectuals who almost exclusively focus on what goes wrong risks us losing our faith in one another, and that faith is the essential foundation without which our ideal of a free and democratic society is impossible. A […]

“The post-Communist economic dream has disappointed many.”

Alena Krempaska: It might seem that Central Europe, once home to Nazis and Stalinists, is slipping back into totalitarianism. It’s not that simple. People are not voting for the far right because of their fascism. They vote for these parties because they are looking for an alternative to a mainstream that has failed them. Twenty-seven […]

“Stacked up, the Stasi’s complete files reached 125 miles. They weighed fifty tons per mile; in total, 62,500 tons.”

Tina Rosenberg: The Stasi complex on Normannenstrasse in the Lichtenberg district consisted of 41 brown concrete buildings. In addition, the Stasi possessed 1,181 safe houses, 305 vacation homes, 98 sports facilities, and 18,000 apartments for meetings with spies. The Stasi had a budget of 4 billion East German marks. It had 97,000 full-time employees—after the […]

“The current system of airport security all over the world represents an overreaction to the September 11, 2001, hijackings.”

Robert J. Gordon: The current system of airport security all over the world represents an overreaction to the September 11, 2001, hijackings. There was only one weakness in the U.S. airline security system on September 11, and this was that the cockpit doors were flimsy. Within days, they were replaced by completely secure doors that […]

“The eurozone is economically moribund, persists with policies that have demonstrably failed, is indifferent to democracy, is run by and for a small, self-perpetuating elite, and is slowing dying.”

Larry Elliott: The euro brought to fruition the idea of ever-closer union, a plan that dates back to the early 1950s. Lots of things considered good ideas back then are no longer considered quite so clever: system-built high-rise flats as the answer to slum housing; nuclear power to meet energy needs. Put ever-closer union in […]

“Donald J. Trump’s vision for the future of our nation is as deeply disturbing as it is profoundly un-American.”

Boston Globe editorial board: Donald J. Trump’s vision for the future of our nation is as deeply disturbing as it is profoundly un-American. It is easy to find historical antecedents. The rise of demagogic strongmen is an all too common phenomenon on our small planet. And what marks each of those dark episodes is a […]