Picking Supreme Court justices: the lost lesson

Here’s a good story that should have had a sequel. About 100 days after he suddenly found himself president of the United States, Harry S Truman had to fill his first vacancy on the Supreme Court. In 1945, the Court was composed of seven Democratic appointees and one Republican. Himself a Democrat, Truman naturally wanted […]

Federal government falters; Maine recovers

There’s bad news and good news about the political understandings that make our system of government work. The biggest piece of bad news has been the shutdown of much of the federal government because of a battle over President Trump’s proposal to build the Wall. While there’s more than enough finger pointing about responsibility for […]

Failure of ‘The Art of the Deal’: the Wall, Brexit

President Trump and British Prime Minister May have something in common.  They consider themselves adept at what Trump has famously called “the art of the deal.” Relying on their self-confidence, each has made a promise they could not keep.  They lacked the skill to pull off promises that were, in fact, impossible to keep.  They […]

Trump creates damaging uncertainty

The biggest problem facing the U.S. is not immigration, health care or a trade war. It is uncertainty. The inability of business leaders, pension fund managers, foreign government heads, Congress and individuals to count on usual practices and policies has created deep worries. The stock market is not a reliable measure of all these concerns, […]