from David Rohde:

As Ukrainian forces advance, Putin plays a double game

By David Rohde
July 14, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives at the Planalto Palace before a meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in Brasilia, July 14, 2014. REUTERS/UESLEI MARCELINO

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives at the Planalto Palace before a meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in Brasilia, July 14, 2014.
REUTERS/UESLEI MARCELINO

from The Great Debate:

U.S. spying on Germany: Making enemies out of allies, and for what?

By David Wise
July 11, 2014

German Chancellor Merkel attends a session of Bundestag in Berlin

What were they thinking?

In the wake of last fall's revelation that the National Security Agency had wiretapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone, the report of U.S. intelligence’s involvement in two other likely cases of spying on Germany is mind-boggling.

from The Great Debate:

Obama’s immigration implosion

By Keith Koffler
July 9, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama pauses while speaking about the economy in Denver

President Barack Obama is self-righteously grumbling that, having been stymied by Republicans in Congress, he’ll enact immigration reform on his own by voice vote in the West Wing. That is, via executive decree -- his go-to method of governing given his crushing lack of success on Capitol Hill.

from The Great Debate:

One more reason the Democrats may be toast this fall

By Bill Schneider
July 3, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about immigration reform from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington

Democrats are apprehensive about this year's midterm elections.

They should be.

Every indicator points to Republican gains in Congress. Two reasons are well known: President Barack Obama's unpopularity and the historical record of midterm elections, when the president’s party almost always loses seats.

from The Great Debate:

To celebrate the Fourth of July, don’t go see this movie

July 2, 2014

Independence Day fireworks light the sky over the U.S. Capitol, Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial, in Washington

The week of July Fourth seems an odd time to release a film that questions the patriotism of the president of the United States, but that is precisely what right-wing idol Dinesh D’Souza sets out to do in his new film America: Imagine the World Without Her.

from The Great Debate:

Despite Scalia, Supreme Court sends Obama a progressive message

By William Yeomans
July 1, 2014

breyer-and-scalia-1024x707

In a decision widely perceived as a setback for President Barack Obama last week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the president’s recess appointment of three members of the National Labor Relations Board. Though the ruling could mean Obama never makes another recess appointment, the court’s reasoning is a substantial victory for progressives. It decisively rebuffs the wrongheaded, rigid brand of originalism that argues only the framers’ original intent is relevant in interpreting the Constitution -- which conservative justices have supported for decades.

from David Rohde:

Special Report: How Iraq’s Maliki defined limits of U.S. power

By Reuters Staff
June 30, 2014

BY WARREN STROBELMISSY RYAN, DAVID ROHDE AND NED PARKER

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki arrive to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, in this December 12, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST/FILES

U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki arrive to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, in this December 12, 2011 file photo.
REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST/FILES

from John Lloyd:

Are we at war? And why can’t we be sure anymore?

By John Lloyd
June 30, 2014

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron poses for group photograph taken with G8 leaders at the Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen

The question -- “Are we at war?” -- seems absurd. Surely, we would know it if we were. But maybe we’re in a new era -- and wars are creeping up on us.

from Nicholas Wapshott:

U.S. power: Waging cold wars without end

By Nicholas Wapshott
June 26, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses troops at Bagram Air Base in Kabul

Suddenly, it seems, the world is at war.

In Iraq, armed and angry militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are at the gates of Baghdad. In Pakistan, government forces are mounting a ferocious campaign against the Taliban in North Waziristan. In Syria, the civil war drags on. These are “hot wars” involving the clashing of troops and weapons. Having escaped such “hot” conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, these are the sort of war Americans have made it plain they are not prepared to fight.

from The Great Debate:

No matter what Putin says — Russian people have no appetite for war

By Matthew Rojansky and Kenneth Yalowitz
June 25, 2014

People attend a rally called "We are together" to support the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea to Russia in Red Square in central Moscow

Russia and the West are again at odds, eying each other with suspicion over Moscow's annexation of Crimea and support of armed separatists in Eastern Ukraine. Basic rules of the game for security, stability and prosperity in Europe and beyond are at stake. Some commentators are calling this a "new Cold War."