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Trump, Taiwan and the Weapons Deal

By Robert C. Koehler The president-elect stumbles over the protocols of geopolitics and war, tweeting all the way. It’s not just insane. It’s awkward. “Since 1979,” the Guardian points out, “the U.S. has acknowledged Beijing’s claim that Taiwan is part of China, with relations governed by the ‘One China’ set of protocols.” But here’s what […] more

Vote Recount vs. the Media Consensus

By Robert C. Koehler The impatience across much of the media is palpable. Recount? Oh groan. That’s not going to change the election results. The consensus “truth” writhing just below the surface of the mainstream, eyeball-rolling disapproval of Jill Stein’s call for and financing of a presidential vote recount in Wisconsin (and perhaps in Pennsylvania […] more

Bending the Arc

By Robert C. Koehler Maybe this much is true. Donald Trump, pseudo-president-elect, loser of the real election, charismatic stump-speech populist whose actual ability to govern may well be non-existent, has inflicted significant damage on America’s political infrastructure. This is scary, of course, but not necessarily a bad thing. I say this even, or especially, if […] more

Election Theft and Racist Elitism

By Robert C. Koehler “All great changes,” said Deepak Chopra, “are preceded by chaos.” That starts to get at it — how to understand, and start healing, the national wound inflicted on this country, and the world, by the 2016 presidential election. But I need to throw in a little John Oliver as well. “We […] more

A Nation Up for Grabs

By Robert C. Koehler And so we are a nation up for grabs. Racist populism trounces . . . uh, trumps . . . platitudes about America’s greatness. Hillary Clinton, though slightly ahead in the popular vote, is defeated in the Electoral College. Like it or not, change is not deferred. It’s here, in our […] more

Democracy and Our Vulnerable Future

By Robert C. Koehler It was a moment as tiny as marking a ballot — those two minutes of the second debate, when the presidential election hung suspended mid-diatribe and the candidates let go of their opponent’s flaws long enough to honor a bit of common humanity. No big deal. Yeah, I know. But as […] more

Budgeting the Good War, for 75 Years

By Robert C. Koehler World War II never quite ended — it morphed. Today we call it the status quo, or endless war, or we just don’t bother to notice it. Indeed, now more than ever we don’t notice it. It’s barely part of the 2016 election, even though we’re engaged in active conflict in […] more

Commander in Chief

By Robert Koehler Maybe it’s the phrase — “commander in chief” — that best captures the transcendent absurdity and unaddressed horrors of the 2016 election season and the business as usual that will follow. I don’t want to elect anyone commander in chief: not the xenophobic misogynist and egomaniac, not the Henry Kissinger acolyte and […] more

Nuclear Standoff

By Robert C. Koehler Values the size of Planet Earth are at stake, as the American presidential election grows ever smaller, ever pettier, ever more certain that rancor triumphs over relevance. Can you imagine, let us say, an issue the size of global nuclear disarmament emerging in this race, somewhere between the groper tapes and […] more

The Politics of Fear

By Robert C. Koehler “This politics of fear has actually delivered everything we were afraid of.” Well, OK, let’s think about these words of Jill Stein for a moment, as the 2016 presidential race enters, oh Lord, its final month — and the possibility still looms that this country could elect a hybrid of Benito […] more