Russia

Hillary’s whiny Yale commencement speech

Featured image I’ve heard my share of commencement speeches both live and via C-SPAN. Typically, speakers offer words of encouragement and advice to graduates. Rags to riches stories aren’t commonly told these days, but commencement speakers often recount tales of achievement against the odds, sometimes by the speaker, sometimes not. I once heard a commencement speech devoted to heaping praise on the college president (Jim Kim of Dartmouth). That was an outlier, »

Perspectives on an “outing”

Featured image Glenn Greenwald, a leftist, offers his perspective on the man the FBI selected to spy on the Trump campaign and on the brouhaha surrounding his “outing.” First, Greenwald says that this man, now a professor, was responsible for spying on the Carter administration on behalf of Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign in 1980. He did this, by running a scheme whereby CIA operatives passed classified information about Carter’s foreign policy to »

We’re from the FBI and we’re here to help you, Mr. Trump

Featured image Asha Rangappa, a former FBI agent, argues that the FBI didn’t spy on the Trump campaign (or use an informant, as she delicately puts it) to go after Donald Trump. Rather, it did so to protect him. Rangappa argues that the FBI should have investigated alleged Russian infiltration of the Trump campaign aggressively and directly, given the gravity of this threat. However, she continues, it elected to investigate quietly through »

Jazzing up the FBI spying-on-Trump scandal

Featured image The FBI and its friends in the mainstream media want to make the Bureau’s spying on the Trump campaign seem as dry, innocuous, and non-cloak-and-dagger as possible under the circumstances. An elderly professor contacted three Trump advisers — Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and Sam Clovis. He met with Page at least several times and maintained an email correspondence with him. He met with Clovis once for coffee. He met several »

Richard Pipes, RIP

Featured image Sad news today of the passing of Richard Pipes, the great scholar of Soviet affairs and many other subjects. He was the author of many fine books, including especially his large book The Russian Revolution, which is one of the very best accounts of that crucial event. I only met the great professor once or twice very casually, in a large group at some Washington or New York dinner that »

The Trump Tower meeting cut down to size

Featured image Remember all the excitement after it was revealed that Donald Trump Jr. and a few others in the Trump campaign met with that Russian lawyer at Trump Tower? The mainstream media treated this news as if it were a tipping point in the search for collusion between Team Trump and the Russian government. The notion was always absurd. News flash: A presidential campaign, when offered dirt on the opponent, will »

NBC News swings, hits self

Featured image What is it with NBC News? If you thought they’d hit rock bottom, you may have to revisit the question with a look at national reporter Heidi Przybyla’s piece on the Gatestone Institute last month: “John Bolton presided over anti-Muslim think tank.” This is an old-fashioned hit piece. The headline reveals the true object of the hit. John Bolton drives the left absolutely nuts. He has their number and he »

Waiting for a miracle

Featured image Nadezhda Mandelstam was the widow of the Russian poet Osip Mandelstam and author of the astounding memoir Hope Against Hope, originally published in 1970. It is still in print after all these years and well summarized here. Osip was first arrested and taken into custody in 1934 for having written an unpublished poem critical of Stalin. Later deposited in the Stalinist “sewage disposal system” (as Solzhenitsyn called it), Osip died »

Michael Anton speaks

Featured image Michael Anton is the author of the famous “The Flight 93 Election” article, a powerful statement of the case for supporting Donald Trump’s candidacy. Until recently, he served as deputy assistant to the president for strategic communications on the National Security Council. When Gen. McMaster was replaced as NSC head, Anton left the White House to return to teaching and commentating. “The Flight 93 Election” piece appeared in “American Greatness.” »

Putin Funds America’s Environmental Movement

Featured image With all the attention being paid to Russian “collusion” these days, it is remarkable that there has been so much focus on Facebook ads while far more serious meddling by Vladimir Putin goes mostly unremarked. In particular, Russia’s subsidizing of U.S. environmental groups, specifically those who oppose development of U.S. energy resources by blocking fracking and pipelines, has long been known but is too often forgotten. That’s why this video »

Notes on the Syrian strike

Featured image President Obama drew his infamous “red line” (“red line for us”) against the use of chemical weapons by the the Syrian regime on August 20, 2012. It proved to be something of a Chamberlainite red line “for our time.” The Syrian regime employed chemical weapons against civilians in Ghouta one year later, in August 2013. In the event, President Obama revealed his “red line” to be imaginary. He invited Vladimir »

Can Russia “play” Trump?

Featured image Today, President Trump tweeted: “Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all. . . .” I think Trump is reacting to criticism that by threatening an attack on Syria he tipped of the Syrians and the Russians, in contradiction to his oft-repeated argument that we should leave our adversaries guessing. In his tweet, Trump seems to be saying »

In Twitter Diplomacy, China Is Up, Russia Is Down

Featured image Yesterday the financial markets soared in response to a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xi’s speech was conciliatory, and suggested that, far from igniting a trade war, President Trump’s proposed punitive tariffs have brought about important and positive changes in our economic relationship with China, including, among other things, lower tariffs on American automobiles and better protection for American intellectual property. Time will tell how this plays out, but »

Do the Cohen searches open the door for Jeff Sessions?

Featured image To obtain clarity on the raid of Michael Cohen’s home, office, and hotel room plus the seizure of attorney-client material, I turned to this article by Andy McCarthy. As usual, Andy delivers plenty of clarity. I recommend reading his entire article. I want to make just one point. Andy writes: There had to have been [Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney’s Office]–Main Justice consultations [about the raid] because Justice »

Trump to impose more sanctions on Russia

Featured image The United States is expected to impose additional sanctions against Russia by the end of this week, the Washington Post reports. The sanctions will target oligarchs with ties to Vladimir Putin. It’s not clear how many Russians will be punished, but at least half a dozen are expected to be. These sanctions aren’t earth-shaking, but they come on top of other strong actions Trump has taken against Russia. As the »

The unfunniest comedy

Featured image The Death of Stalin is probably playing at a theater somewhere near you. I can’t remember a more widely praised comedy/satire (trailer below). Everyone loves it, including John Podhoretz, my favorite movie critic. Unlike most of the critics, however, John writes with a reservation: “I can’t praise The Death of Stalin highly enough . . . except that it gets really boring after a while.” I found that to be perfectly accurate. »

The Bolton factor

Featured image The appointment of John Bolton as President Trump’s National Security Advisor has induced another round of hysteria among the Democrats and their media adjunct. He is the man, if there is one, who can help the president achieve his objectives with North Korea, Iran, and elsewhere around the world. See, for example, my daughter Eliana’s Politico piece on Bolton’s bureaucratic skills. Bolton is a man of the Churchillian persuasion. For »