Isaac Newton's third law of motion states that for every action in nature, there is an equal and opposite reaction. It can operate in politics, too. For example, Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith recently wrote, "It is part of Trump's evil genius that he elevates himself by inducing his critics to behave like him."
Seventy-three years ago, Franklin D. Roosevelt, on his trip back from the Yalta conference with Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin, held his last meeting with foreign leaders, aboard the USS Quincy in the Suez Canal's Great Bitter Lake. One was with the desert warrior king, Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, who sailed in with seven live sheep and a tent to sleep in on deck.
As the likelihood that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia seems headed toward zero, the likelihood of proof of a different form of collusion seems headed upward toward certainty.
The Russia collusion charge had some initial credibility because of businessman Donald Trump's dealings in Russia and candidate Trump's off-putting praise of Vladimir Putin.
One hundred nineteen years ago, Speaker of the House Thomas B. Reed announced that he was, after 22 years of service, resigning from Congress. Reed had been one of the most effective speakers ever. Barbara Tuchman's account, in "The Proud Tower," of how he neutered the minority party has entranced readers for decades now. When Democrats tried to prevent the presence of a quorum by refusing to answer roll calls, he defeated their efforts by simply noting their presence from the chair.
"I am worried," writes Harvard geneticist David Reich in The New York Times, "that well-meaning people who deny the possibility of substantial biological differences among human populations are digging themselves into an indefensible position, one that will not survive the onslaught of science."
Some days, the Republican Party seems on the verge of splitting up. Its congressional majorities couldn't produce a health care bill and passed an omnibus spending bill its president regretted signing. Prominent never-Trumpers call for the creation of a new political party. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who carried seven counties outside his home state in the 2016 Republican primaries, hints at a 2020 independent candidacy.
Sometimes, for those of us who are constantly reading statistics and poll results, something that you didn't expect to see stands out -- a number that makes you think the future will not be what you have been expecting.
What if they held a special election and nobody won? That's more or less what happened in southwestern Pennsylvania, in the special election to fill the vacancy in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District.
Donald Trump's announcement that he is imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from other countries has aroused little enthusiasm and much criticism. It evidently prompted the resignation of Gary Cohn as head of his National Economic Council.
Not since James Monroe left the presidency in 1825, 48 years after he fought in the Battle of Princeton, has America had political leadership with careers running so far back in the past. Our current government leaders have political pedigrees going back to the 1970s.