The Buzz

Yale, Singapore and Free Speech

Next fall, Yale University is slated to open a college in Singapore in collaboration with the National University of Singapore (NUS). The joint venture has generated controversy since it was announced, but gained additional scrutiny after the Wall Street Journal reported recently that political protests and parties would not be permitted at Yale-NUS.

The Times Worries About Israel's Future

The New York Times displayed a noteworthy editorial Sunday lamenting the direction of Israeli politics under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom it called “a disappointing, risk-averse leader.” It noted Netanyahu’s broad coalition with the centrist Kadima Party under Shaul Mofaz, which showed promise of providing the two leaders with an “unprecedented authority to get things done.”

Legacies of the Lethal Presidency

Tom Junod’s much-discussed Esquire story, “The Lethal Presidency of Barack Obama,” is a must read. Framed as a long letter to President Obama, the piece examines the many challenges and contradictions involved in the “shadow wars” the Obama administration is conducting in Yemen and elsewhere. It focuses on the administration’s reliance on targeted killing via drone strikes and the centrality of these killings to its conduct of foreign policy.

The Silly Season of Politics

You know you are in the silly season of politics when a Mitt Romney goes to the NAACP convention, gets booed for vowing to repeal “Obamacare,” and the media, ignoring that he also got a standing ovation, go wild with speculation on whether the GOP presidential candidate actually wanted that to happen so he could cadge anti-black votes. 

Tony Blair's Failed Makeover

For a politician so successful on domestic matters, former British prime minister Tony Blair has proven remarkably inept on the international stage. There were those heady days of 2003 when he launched the invasion of Iraq alongside George W. Bush, but the British public's lack of support for the war eventually led Blair to leave office dogged by intense criticism of his decision to join the coalition.

Tracking the Imperial Presidency

Much has been written about the “imperial presidency,” and it’s instructive that nearly all political groups—liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, Tea Party types, occupy people—see imperial tendencies in their opponents. This means that we’re seeing a trend that transcends partisan politics. The presidency, it seems, is becoming less and less tethered to the checks and balances devised for it.