Our Collective “Aleppo Moment”

The Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson may not know a thing about foreign policy, but he was able to coin a phrase that will likely live on long after his candidacy is forgotten. He said he was having an “Aleppo moment” when he was unable to supply a single name when MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked him to cite his favorite foreign leader. He was referring to the fact that he had memorably said, “What is Aleppo?” when asked what he would do about the crisis in Syria. It’s possible that the slight decline in his polling numbers since the first “Aleppo moment” (from getting 9 percent in the Real Clear Politics average of polls to his current figure of 7.2 percent) indicates that at least some voters think their president should be able to identify the locus of the world’s greatest current humanitarian disaster or the name of at least one world leader.

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Our Collective “Aleppo Moment”

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Originalism Goes to the Rodeo

Neil Gorsuch makes "originalism" accessible to the masses.

During his confirmation hearing yesterday, Judge Neil Gorsuch introduced the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to Mutton Busting, a rodeo event which the jurist described as follows:  “You take a poor little kid, you find a sheep, and you attach the one to the other and see how long they can hold on.” With his fourth day of hearings still ahead, Gorsuch may just as well have been describing the confirmation process itself.

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Sponsor a Sunni Militia? No Thanks.

The Sunni problem will only be made worse by patronizing Americans.

As representatives of 68 countries participating in the global coalition to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) meet in Washington, a number of plans will be on the table, and even more will be debated informally on the sidelines. As allied forces anticipate the liberation of Mosul, attention is increasingly focused on the next phase, both in Iraq and in Syria.