So goes the political dance in America between reality and rhetoric. However, most Americans see past the rhetoric. They understand the reality that the Middle East is a mess and that American military action is not going to do much.
Mali offers a perfect convergence of conditions that enables al Qaeda to fund, train and prosecute terrorist operations -- but it also offers the West an opportunity to apply a more efficient and less divisive approach in tackling the global war on terror.
Today's Cuba lacks long-standing allies that can help it develop in the post-Fidel era. The release of American political prisoners such as Alan Gross could lead to increased dialogue and trade with potential friends.
Bush never treated his base as contemptuously as Obama deals with liberals. He responded to tax cut criticism by dismissing his critics as sanctimonious and fixated on purist policymaking. This unproductive response is part of a trend.