Mike Lofgren

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018
The Bad Ideas-Industrial Complex
One of the integral components of Beltway ecology, along with the Pentagon, intelligence spooks, contractors, and lobbyists, is the think tank. Whether it’s called a foundation, an institute or a trust, it’s not only as important as the other big players, it synergizes with them and cements their...
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Tuesday, November 27, 2018
'In Front of Your Nose'—A Sequel to Orwell in the Trump Era
In 1946, George Orwell wrote a piece about the unfortunate human habit of failing or refusing to see what plainly lay before one’s face. Whether through conscious mendacity, or intellectual laziness, or the universal tendency to euphemism, or because facing the truth would be too personally...
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Thursday, September 13, 2018
Nazis May Be Bad, But Tax Cuts Are Awesome!
In the wake of Bob Woodward’s latest bombshell book and the publication of an anonymous op-ed by a purported senior member of the Trump administration claiming to be resisting the president’s agenda, the press and the blogosphere have erupted in one of America’s periodic moral fits about civic duty...
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Donald Trump and Nikki Haley (Michael Candelori via Shutterstock) Views
Wednesday, September 05, 2018
Neoconservative Comeback? They Never Left
Just as with entomology or botany, foreign policy analysis is largely an exercise in taxonomy: is some politician a realist or an idealist, a liberal internationalist or a national-interest proponent, an interventionist or an isolationist? Although thinking in categorical terms is a convenient way...
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Thursday, August 09, 2018
A Buckeye’s Lament: What Has Happened to Ohio and the Midwest?
By now, you’ve almost certainly seen the photo taken at a Trump political rally in central Ohio, my native state. It has sparked a lot of comment , the substance of which suggests that even for journalists and pundits, it is no longer easy to sustain the firewall between judgments about Donald...
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"For Republican pols, Trump is merely the cost of doing business." (Photo: Mark Humphrey/AP) Views
Thursday, August 02, 2018
C’mon, Just Say It!
According to an Annenberg survey, only a quarter of Americans can correctly name the three branches of the federal government . Is that sad fact, like the weather, something that just happens, beyond anyone’s control? Or does something make Americans resistant to the most elementary information?...
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If we are going to play the correlation game, we can find dozens of correlates if we try hard enough: how about the higher incidence of opioid use in counties that Trump carried? (Photo: Notions Capital/Flickr/cc) Views
Friday, July 13, 2018
How Academic and Media Excuse-Making Normalizes the Abnormal
Ever since the 2016 election we all know that economic distress and anxiety out in the Great American Heartland caused white working people to vote for Donald Trump. How do we know that? The media have told us so repeatedly, from corporate NBC to the wonkish FiveThirtyEight . There has been some...
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Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Pity the Right-Winger: He Gets No Respect!
One of the signature stereotypes of present-day political controversy is the privileged and coddled Social Justice Warrior, usually resident on a university campus, who lives to take offense at the unfairness of life. Unlike hardworking, uncomplaining, and morally grounded Real Americans, the...
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Tuesday, July 11, 2017
The Trump Era: No One Can Stay Above the Fray
"Shape without form, shade without color, paralyzed force, gesture without motion." — T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men (1925) It has been six years since I last saw Capitol Hill and the Republican Party in the rearview mirror. Ever since, I have been relentlessly critical of the GOP because, as nearly as...
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Wednesday, May 03, 2017
‘I, for One, Welcome Our New Insect Overlords!’ How the Chattering Class Bully-Worships Trump
In his review of Bertrand Russell’s Power: A New Social Analysis , George Orwell wrote the following: “Bully-worship, under various disguises, has become a universal religion… ” Orwell may have exaggerated, but there is some truth in what he said. These days, in Washington as in Hollywood, the...
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