Author: John Foster
John Foster is a librarian, writer, and musician based in Cleveland, Ohio. When not writing or attending shows, he can usually be found cursing at his television during Arsenal matches.

The 18th Century French scholar Fontenelle is credited with noting that, “from the sublime to the ridiculous is only one step, from raillery to insult there is even less”.  One might be tempted to take this as a motto for the United States in the early 21st Century, were it not for the fact the instances of sublimity are in very short supply. (More…)

It came out last week that Mr. Trump had, via a lawyer, paid something like $130,000 in hush money to a porn star with whom he had had an assignation. Worse yet said the pearl-clutching pundits of the major media outlets, the incident in question had occurred only four months after his wife had given birth to their child. (More…)

The first thing worth noting about Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff’s recently released airing of the Trump Administration’s dirty laundry, is that there is very little in it that was not either generally known or strongly suspected. (More…)

One hears a lot of talk these days about the existential threat to Republican Party posed by Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Roy Moore and a host of other figures who, in another political season, would have been considered well beyond the lunatic fringe. But claims about the imminent demise of the Republicans are, to say the least, overblown. (More…)

The American public sphere has spent the last couple of weeks transfixed by the special election in Alabama being held to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. In the current climate, pretty much every election that happens, from local dog catcher on up the line, is characterized in the media as a referendum on Trumpism. (More…)

The Irish are no more given to myth making than anyone else, but having been on the losing end of a lot of things over the course of the last six centuries, it’s hardly surprising that myth and legends have come to play an outsized role in the Irish political imaginary. (More…)

There is something to be said for relatability in a politician. Even Franklin Roosevelt, whose background was as firmly patrician as that of any US president, managed through the medium of fireside chats delivered over the radio to convince Americans the he understood their situation and cared about their fate. (More…)

It is now nearly ten months since Donald Trump took up the reins of power in Washington. It is fair to say that this has been the oddest, and perhaps the most disturbing period since Watergate. Mr. Trump and his associates have been busy philosophizing with hammers, speaking as if they were making the word of their agenda flesh, but governing with a mixture of bluster and indecision. (More…)

It will be a couple of weeks before you read this, but I was reminded this morning that today (October 7th) is the one year anniversary of the coming to light of Mr. Trump’s Discourse on the Proper Wooing and Treatment of Women, so eloquently delivered to Billy Bush of Access Hollywood. (More…)

Nothing so perfectly illustrates the singular position of the United States among industrialized democracies as the propensity of its citizens to shoot each other in groups four or more. (More…)

Out of respect for the editors of this fine publication, I will resist the temptation to make some joke about spending a relaxing morning sipping fine Namibian #covfefe. The Internet has been ablaze with humor on this theme, but at this point it is a matter of liberals (mostly) laughing to keep from crying. (More…)

It is hard to get away from the impression that we are epigones. This is not, or not merely, the case due to the carnage wrought by Mr. Trump and his various protégés on the none too august institutions of American liberal democracy. (More…)