Cool dinosaur and mammal tracks at NASA. Top photo from here.
The first thing Congress needs to do, when it can get away from the fever dreams of the worst of its members, is to reconstruct
the process for passing a budget before the end of the fiscal year.
Americans Are Rising to This Historic Moment. I’m not as convinced as Eliot Cohen, but I think there are positive signs.
Heather Cox Richardson on creeping authoritarianism.
Five Questions the Nunes Memo Better Answer. What is at stake – the grand bargain with the intelligence community. And why aren’t we hearing more from the intelligence community?
Is the Trump foreign policy great-power competition or America First? It depends on whom you ask.
Zeynep Tukfeci on the latest data privacy debacle. It’s not enough to ask individuals for their permission.
Leaks, feasts and sex parties: How ‘Fat Leonard’ infiltrated the Navy’s floating headquarters in Asia. There are simple ways to avoid this kind of corruption. We need to know why the Navy didn’t apply them.
Victor Cha: Giving North Korea a ‘bloody nose’ carries a huge risk to Americans. Cha was to be US ambassador to South Korea, but apparently the ideas expressed in this op-ed were felt to be disqualifying.
This is definitive, if you have friends who are still pushing the Sy Hersh narrative about nerve agents in Syria. It was the Syrian government who were responsible for the sarin attacks.
I drove up to Yellowstone last week and stayed at the Old Faithful Lodge. It was a great trip. Photo above.
Happy Independence Day!
Here’s an excellent essay from a historian I respect. It puts today’s troubles in a longer perspective of American history. 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
Remarks by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Advisor H. R. McMasters.
After the strikes, diplomacy is necessary – Anthony Blinken.
Striking at Assad carries opportunities and risks for Trump – David Sanger.
What effect will Trump’s airstrikes really have? – Daniel Byman.
Trump’s attack on Syria – the good, the bad, and the ugly – Ryan Evans.
The issues that make dealing with the mess in Syria so difficult – Robert Farley.
Explaining nerve agents – Dan Kaszeta. More about the institutional means necessary for them – Kelsey Atherton.
Transcript of Trump’s statement and video. I found Trump’s invocation of God, the word used three times in the speech, strange. He also asked us to pray for the souls of the dead and for God to bless the whole world. I’ve never been comfortable with presidents invoking God’s blessing on the United States, and this is more presumptuous, both to whatever God Trump believes in and to the beliefs of the rest of the world. Praying for the dead is a mostly Catholic practice, even narrower than asking for God’s blessing.
This is an oldie-but-goodie article on the idea that macho posturing in the international arena confers “credibility”, which serves to deter bad actors. It doesn’t.
Will add more articles below the jump as they appear.
If Assad has been hiding chemical weapons, we need to know. By the chief inspector for the 2014 removal of chemical weapons from Syria. Unfortunately, Russia is protecting Assad and is unlikely to agree. And yes, it’s likely Assad has been hiding nerve agents. Photo from that link. What can forensics tell us about the attacks? 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