Trump and Putin: Some 1980s Background

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

Links – June 3, 2017

Every Russia story Donald Trump said was a hoax by Democrats: A timeline.

Watch what he does, not what he says: Trump’s words and budget for NATO.

A devastating portrait of Donald Trump.

Everyone at Vladimir Putin’s table at that RT dinner with Michael Flynn and Jill Stein, identified.

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

How I Learned To Love Climate Modeling

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

The New York Times Interviews Donald Trump

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

More Election Commentary

More links to what I consider good commentary on the election.

Mourning Trump and the America we could have been. I would say we still can be, but it will take a lot more work than I anticipated.

What now? What may happen and suggestions for our responses.

What Europe needs to hear from Trump. I have this schizophrenic feeling, between two worlds, when I read something like this that assumes (because it must in order to make its own kind of sense) that Trump is a normal candidate, will be a normal president. He has nothing prepared that can respond to these very reasonable and normal expectations.

What Vladimir Putin wants to hear from Trump. Charles Pierce says that we should be hearing about Trump’s Russian connections, but of course we know we won’t. Crazy idea: If something truly disqualifying about them were found before the Electoral College meets on December 19, they could vote Trump out. I tweeted links to what I collected on those connections this morning. Haven’t seen much new since I collected most of it in July.

China warns Trump against abandoning climate change deal.

A view from India: The end of America’s soft power?

The real reason Donald Trump got elected? We have a white extremism problem.

Neil Buchanan on the media’s role in electing Donald Trump.

An open letter to my former colleagues in the US government’s civil, foreign, intelligence, and military services. By Richard Nephew, one of the negotiators of the Iran nuclear deal.