We may see magnification and misrepresentation of some things Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran’s chief of atomic energy, said.
What do interviews in the 1980s and 1990s with Donald Trump tell us about his attitudes toward Russia and nuclear weapons?
The interviews are oblivious to world events taking place at that time. They are basically gossip columns by Lois Romano and William E. Geist, 1984; Ron Rosenbaum, 1987; Mark Singer, 1997. Descriptions of Trump’s lavish quarters and sycophantic workers, his expensive clothes, and his ease in getting a table at a restaurant figure prominently in the introductory paragraphs. Read More
Watch what he does, not what he says: Trump’s words and budget for NATO.
Long read on phishing and faking emails. When emails are released, consider that some of them may be faked or modified.
What does Russia want? Basically, a sphere of control and for the West to come to its senses. Very much a case of two parties talking past each other.
The historic B-52 bomber no longer carries nuclear gravity bombs. Cruise missiles, yes. Photo from here. Read More
I’m annoyed by the New York Times hire of Bret Stephens, more annoyed by the defense that Times editors are mounting on Twitter. I’m annoyed that this has to be said again, but here we are, as Times editors tell us that any criticism is merely trying to silence a conservative voice. My objections have nothing to do with Stephens’s political views, except that it is clear that those views drive his views of climate change.
I was once a climate skeptic, with a great deal more basis than Stephens’s sense that life is uncertain and therefore we should eat dessert first. My skepticism arose BECAUSE I knew something about the climate models. Read More
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
The Women’s Marches on January 21 were the largest protests ever in the United States. Photo of the march in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Fidel Castro, who ruled through eleven American presidencies, is dead. The Miami Herald has the definitive (long) obituary. I think it’s a fair assessment; I recall Castro depicted in the United States as a freedom fighter against the landed overlords, and then his turn to Communism and the Soviet Union. As the obit says, we’ll never know if he was a communist all along. All that is vivid to me because my high school hosted a talk on Castro’s 1956 victory, one of my first understandings of international events. Read More
I read the transcript of the New York Times interview with Donald Trump yesterday. The day before, I had complained on Twitter that what I had seen in Maggie Haberman‘s live tweet of the interview suggested that nobody had tried to nail down Trump in any of his assertions or non-answers.
It’s taken my brain a full day to recover from that reading. I can see why interviewers might be thrown off in a real-life meeting with someone who talks and acts like this, added to the prestige of being President-elect. But it is their job. I’m an amateur at the reporting thing, but when I interview someone, heck, when I got together with a few people I know to plan out a panel talk recently, I take notes along about topics and questions that might be asked. There was little indication that the Times group had done any of that. Read More