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There's a moment in the movie "First Man" about Neil Armstrong that we keep thinking of as the jubilee of Apollo 11 is being celebrated throughout the Milky Way. It's the confrontation over a crisis in the flight of Gemini 8, when Armstrong's wife rejects NASA's reassurance that it has everything under control. "No you don't ." she retorts. "You're a bunch of boys making models out of balsa wood. You don't have anything under control."
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The death of Justice John Paul Stevens offers a moment to reflect on one of our favorite facts about the sages who sit on our highest tribunal. It has to do with the limits on the ability of our presidents and senators to foresee how judges are going to rule once they gain a lifetime mandate at the apex of our judiciary. For the most liberal justice of our recent era turns out to have been a Republican. We know, we know, he wasn't named for his partisanship. The Times stressed this point i...
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As we settle into high summer and the period of maximum difficulty in finding anything to fill in hours of television news, especially 24/7 news television, two well-established political trends are emerging in this preelectoral period: The president's opponents continue to dig themselves into foxholes that they will not be able to escape, and the president's tactical victories continue to be compromised by his verbal sloppiness. In completely nonpartisan terms, both phenomena are disappointi...
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Something is missing, it strikes us, from Alan Blinder's sally against Judy Shelton, the woman President Trump is preparing to nominate for a governorship of the Federal Reserve. Mr. Blinder, who was made vice chairman of our central bank by President Clinton, says that Ms. Shelton is part of a "new tactic" in President Trump's war on the Fed. "The idea," he avers in a column in the Wall Street Journal, "is to undermine the chairman and make the job harder." Mr. Blinder certainly spe...
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A point has yet to be made about the four American socialist Democratic congresswomen whom President Trump is advising to go back to the places they came from. It's not just that three of them were born in America. It's that while Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Omar Ilhan, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley may change America, the likelihood is that America will change them even more. And it has a way of changing all of us for the better. It's not that we agree with the Squad's socialist sentime...
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The latest scoop on the Federal Reserve is what a unifying figure President Trump turns out to be. He wants our central bank to hold down interest rates, and look who's with him: the Fed chairman, Jerome Powell, who is now signalling rate cuts; Mr. Trump's latest candidate for a Fed governorship, Judy Shelton; the Financial Times, albeit wishy-washally; the increasingly Trumpist New York Times; and drum roll its Nobel laureate, Paul Krugman.
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Vice President Biden's promise to resume the Obama administration's appeasement of the theocratic dictators of Iran is a shocking marker. It is the headline news in the foreign policy platform Mr. Biden just outlined a speech at New York University. It comes from the politician said to be the most centrist figure in the Democratic scrum. So it will reinforce President Trump's credibility in the coming campaign.
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Fans of landscape and seascape painting are in for an extra treat if they're headed this summer to Maine. The wonderfully windowed Greenhut Gallery in Portland has just put up a solo show of the latest masterpieces from Joel Babb. It's a particularly choice exhibition called "To the Green Woods and Crystal Waters." We stopped by a week after we'd gone up with Mr. Babb onto the flanks of Mount Washington to try to capture on canvas the emanations, shadows, and penumbras of Mounts A...
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The long nightmare of Britain's relations with the European Union, the greatest failing of British government since the American Revolution, is finally coming to a climax. The flamboyant former mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is almost certain to be the next leader of the British Conservative Party and prime minister. The crisis began when former prime minister David Cameron promised "full-on treaty change" and came back from Brussels with less than Neville Chamberlain brought back from Muni...
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As Britain's relations with the European Union finally come to a climax, the United States can be grateful, once again, that contrary to the preferred outcome of most makers of American foreign policy, the U.S. national interest will be well served, by a lucky bounce. The United Kingdom is the fifth-largest economy in the world, and probably the fourth or fifth military power, and because of its immense contribution to Western civilization, it is one of the world's most respected nationalitie...

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