Conflicting reports on whether a US carrier group steaming toward North Korea plans to intervene militarily if North Korea tests a nuclear weapon or a missile this weekend to celebrate the anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birth. Seems like a bad idea. More about North Korea’s strategy. China is calling for restraint. Read More
Quite an article on US cyber attacks on North Korean missile tests. A backgrounder on how David Sanger and Bill Broad got the story. Something like this is a lot of work. And dealing with it is even more work: Why the Trump administration isn’t ready. The difficult decisions and diplomacy ahead. Photo: CreditKorean Central News Agency, via Reuters Read More
It’s hard to know how to deal with every day’s tsunami of Trump news. On the one hand, much of it affects US foreign relations and some the nuclear part of that. On the other, the administration lies and backtracks so much that it’s tempting to blow off much of it. The sheer volume of leaks, much of it on gossipy trivia, is tempting as a focus. The leaks themselves, as well as much of their content, indicate that White House operations are chaotic, and the bureaucracy is mostly resisting the crazier demands. Steve Bannon is much too influential, and President Trump isn’t reading what he signs.
There are hundreds of articles that I might link by the standards I’ve used in the past. But I don’t have that kind of time, and neither do you. It’s not a bad idea to check the New York Times or the Washington Post daily; both are doing a good job of covering the chaos. (Yes, I would complain about their campaign coverage too, but there are too many other things to do now.) I’ll try to present articles that help with thinking out how to deal with a presidency gone wrong, and foreign policy news that may be getting lost in the furor. Maybe some fun, too. Read More
Donald Trump’s government is taking up all the oxygen in the news. In a way, rightly so. But we have to keep ourselves sane and focus on the issues we can do something about. So I am continuing to look at the Russian connections. I’ll post when I have something ready. In the meanwhile, with an apology for too much Trump, here are some links.
One more fact: My yarn store had some more-or-less pink yarn that will go into some people’s pussyhats. It was all they had, and they said that the distributor didn’t know when they’d have more pink. Good job, ladies! 👍 Read More
As I’ve noted before, Donald Trump’s strategy seems to be to keep enough balls in the air that we can’t keep track of any of them. And other sources are now lobbing some balls into the mix. These links don’t include much about the Trump – intelligence community – Russia dustup now occurring. I’ll try to address that separately (or at least present what I consider the better links). Here’s an FAQ for now. Read More
Donald Trump continues as a one-man DDOS attack on coherent thought. He has been tweeting at an elevated rate the past few days. I am trying to tune most of that out, but it does slow down my productivity. Since the guy is going to be President of the United States, it’s hard to ignore him. David Brooks captures the problem.
Everyday authoritarianism is boring and tolerable. This post, from a scholar of comparative politics, is consistent with what I have been told by people who lived in the Soviet Union. It’s why we need to be extra vigilant about trends and actions by Donald Trump and his government. More from Daniel Nexon. Read More
On the Donald Trump presidency and its effect on America: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says we need to speak clearly about the dangers. Similarly, Vann R. Newkirk II says we must confront racism.
Evan McMullin ran for president as an independent. Now, on Twitter and in the New York Times, he is warning about Trump’s autocratic tendencies.
The president alone can order a nuclear strike. Alex Wellerstein summarizes the procedure.
The Heritage Foundation recommends that Donald Trump withdraw from all nuclear treaties as president. Steven Pifer tells us why that’s a bad idea.
Meanwhile, in Russia. Putin and pseudoscience.
Fascinating long read on an Estonian dialect spoken in Latvia and the people who have researched it.
Issues in South Asia for the next president. (photo from here)
One of the points of competition during the Republican primaries was who could be most vehement in denouncing the nuclear agreement with Iran, the formal title of which is the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA). Donald Trump chose to focus on the negotiation aspect, supposedly one of his strong points. It was a bad deal; he would get a much better one, no specifics given. The negotiatiors used the wrong strategy. Presumably he expected something more like this: Read More