What Were We Thinking? Selected Schar School Op-Eds (November 2022)


From CNN:

The Midterm Wild Card That Could Give Democrats Some Hope

Normally, political parties neutralize such population shifts by accounting for them when they redraw electoral districts to their advantage every ten years. But the 2020 data that might have otherwise revealed this “blue flight” was collected before all this mobility took place. Partisan gerrymanderers, therefore, worked with outdated data to draw the maps in use for the 2022 elections.

—Justin Gest


From Politico Magazine:

New to Congress? Read This Before the Indoctrination Starts.

As members of the new freshman class, you now have a decision to make. You can either stick with your leaders and caucuses and become part of this gridlock and fantasy thinking, or you can refuse to participate in the blood feud and join with colleagues of both parties who possess the independence and courage to try to govern in a bipartisan manner.

—Steven Pearlstein


From Higher Ed Dive:

Ben Sasse Hit the Jackpot with His University of Florida Contract

There are three unusual perks that we have never seen in a public university president’s contract. While some presidential contracts provide for tuition waivers for a spouse and children, Sasse’s contract also includes these waivers for his parents and his grandchildren.

—Judith Wilde and Jim Finkelstein


From El Faro:

Clandestine Structures in Guatemala Consummate Witch Hunt Against Judge of ‘Death Squad Dossier’ Case

In their resolution, the appellate court judges unanimously agreed with the accused and ordered the judge to repeat the hearings, not only for Salán but all of the accused.

—Jo-Marie Burt, et al.


From the National Interest:

Will Iran Have Free Rein After Ukraine?

Similarly, the wealthy governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have sought to moderate Moscow’s support for Tehran through trade with and investment in Russia. 

—Mark N. Katz


From Homeland Security Today:

Turkey and U.S. Relations Are Under the Shadow of Terrorist Attacks Allegedly Linked to Kurdish Groups in Syria

However, we will never learn the real perpetrators of these attacks other than connecting the dots and seeing a suspicious picture.

—Mahmut Cengiz


From Cyber Security Intelligence:

It’s Well Past 230 for the U.S. Communications Decency Act

So, we’ve ended up with the mess we have today.  A wealthy beyond belief internet capable of shooting lies around the world at a moment’s notice. And the ability to multiply the lies through bots with an anonymity based on a system that has it built in; the owners paying lip service to public concern with “internal guidelines.” 

—Ronald Marks


From the Hill:

Partisan Redistricting Gave Republicans Control of the House. Will a Conservative Supreme Court Take That Advantage Back?

In the upcoming Moore v. Harper case, the Supreme Court will effectively be deciding between empowering state legislatures in state elections and protecting the gerrymandering advantage that delivered the narrow 2023 GOP House majority. It cannot do both.

—Jeremy Mayer


From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Trump, Abortion Fight Spell Disaster for Virginia Republicans

But nothing will command the political landscape throughout the commonwealth next year so much as abortion rights and the former president’s return to presidential campaigning.

—Mark J. Rozell


From the Hill:

Can a Traditional Democrat Prevail Amid Inflation?

Inflation is a uniquely destructive political event because the only policy proven to curb inflation is an economic slowdown, usually leading to a recession.

—Bill Schneider


From Eurasia Review:

Space Wars: How State Conflict Is Going Extra-Terrestrial—Analysis

Yet, the weaponization of outer space is ongoing. Countries around the world are making unprecedented commitments to civilian space exploration as well as its militarization. 

—Joanna Rozpedowski


From the National Interest:

A Proposal to End the Russo-Ukrainian War

What realistic terms could be reached for ending the conflict? However distasteful it may be to everyone involved, if neither side can defeat the other, then a negotiated settlement may only be reached if both sides make some concessions. In my view, the collective West should offer the following.

—Mark N. Katz


From the Diplomat:

South Asia Is Missing Out on the Clean Energy Transition

Countries in South Asia – constituting about 25 percent of the world’s population – must be technologically empowered in their fight against climate change.

—Muhammad Salar Khan, et al.


From Just Security:

America’s Autocratic Persian Gulf ‘Partners’ Are Actually Liabilities

American support for Middle East autocrats is objectionable from both moral and strategic perspectives. Washington’s Middle East partners are some of the worst human rights abusers in the world. 

—PhD candidate Jon Hoffman, et al.


From American City & County:

The Great Resignation in Tech: Can Great Apprenticeships Help?

By comparison, registered apprenticeships are high-quality work-based learning and post-secondary earn-and-learn models that meet national standards for registration with the Department of Labor. Unlike internships the bond between employer is stronger and retention can be expected. This is an excellent opportunity for state and local governments to seriously consider as they desperately need to hire new tech talent.

—Alan Shark


From Homeland Security Today:

Back to the Past: How Taliban Rule Has Wiped Out Afghanistan’s Gains and Provided a Haven for Terrorists

Many feared the worst, and the Taliban did not disappoint. It claimed to have reformed its ways but, with a long history of a radical religious ideology, sectarian politics, government corruption, and participation in proxy wars and armed insurgencies, skeptics were not convinced that the terrorist group had changed its ways. Their skepticism was justified.

—Mahmut Cengiz


From the Hill:

What Happened? Expectations, Polls, and the ‘Red Mirage’

Every election is a game of expectations. Voters make up their minds based, in part, on what they expect to happen. Politicians and pundits interpret the results by how closely they conform to what was expected.

—Bill Schneider


From the Washington Post:

Can the Fed Fight Inflation Without Triggering a Meltdown?

But what regulators have not done is actually step in and force the financial wiseguys — the hedge funds, the high frequency traders, the private credit funds, along with their pals on the prime brokerage desks of the major investment banks — to unwind their riskiest positions or shore them up with more of their own money.

—Steven Pearlstein


From American City & County:

In Machines Do We Trust?

Ironically of all the examples, voting machines have proven to be rather reliable due to the decentralized nature and limited role they play. Plus, there are so many checks and balances that are firmly in place coupled with a highly transparent system. But a skeptical public requires greater citizen outreach and education.

—Alan Shark


From the Hill:

2024 Frontrunner Tussle Gets Interesting

Which is exactly why Biden’s aides are concerned about Trump’s loss of status in the Republican Party. Biden will be 81 years old in 2024. DeSantis will be 46.

—Bill Schneider


From the Fordham Institute:

New York City Shortchanges Its Advanced Students

If the goal is to preserve truly rigorous schools that are designed to meet the needs of advanced and gifted students, then objective metrics must be reinstated. 

—David Armor, et al.