Russia

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 »

The problem with Trump’s call to Putin

Featured image I’m less concerned that President Trump called Vladimir Putin and congratulated him on his election than I am about Trump’s defense of that decision. If Trump was going to call Putin, I think it made sense to congratulate him. Otherwise, the call could be seen as a gratuitous insult. Should he have made the call? I think the strong presumption should be against calling and congratulating an antagonist of America »

Trump hasn’t drained his own swamp

Featured image Today, the Washington Post reported that President Trump ignored the advice of his national security advisers when he congratulated Russian President Vladi­mir Putin on his reelection. According to the Post, there was a section in Trump’s briefing materials that said, in all-capital letters, “DO NOT CONGRATULATE.” There are three elements to this story: Trump ignoring his advisers, Trump congratulating Putin, and at least one of his advisers leaking the story »

Soccer will bring England to Russia [with correction]

Featured image Arsenal, that venerable London soccer team, has advanced to the quarterfinals of the Europa League championship. The Europa League is the second-tier European club competition, behind the Champions League. For almost two decades, Arsenal played in the Champions League every season. However, with the club in modest decline, this is its second consecutive season in Europa. [Correction, its first] Winning the Europa League would do more than add another trophy »

Are you sure Alger done it this way?

Featured image The Mueller project continues on its inevitable path, yet every day the synthetic Trump-Russia collusion scandal appears more absurd. It appears more absurd every day not only because of the absence of evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, but also because of the actions undertaken by the administration adverse to Russian national interests. The Frankenstein monster nevertheless lumbers on. Yesterday the Trump administration designated five Russian entities and 19 Russian individuals under »

What is to be done?

Featured image Russia’s attempted murder of former Russian spy Serge Skripal and his daughter Yulia on British soil is an act of war, isn’t it? Austin Bay takes up the question here. I take it that if it’s not, it may be close enough for government work. Someone remind me. What did President Obama do about Iran’s attempted assassination of the Saudi ambassador to the United States in Washington, DC. Whatever it »

Trump’s 2013 letter to Putin

Featured image A front-page story in the Washington Post informs us that, in 2013, Donald Trump wrote a note to Vladimir Putin inviting him to attend the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. As the Post puts it, “Donald Trump was so eager to have Vladi­mir Putin attend the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow that he wrote a personal letter to the Russian president inviting him to the event, according to multiple »

New York Times and Washington Post have helped promote Russia, for a price

Featured image Facebook has come under heavy fire from the New York Times and the Washington Post for uncritically spreading Russian misinformation. But Lee Smith makes a strong case that the Times and the Post are guilty of the same offense on a larger scale. These organs spread Russian propaganda via “Russia Beyond the Headlines,” a multi-page full-color broadsheet laid out just like a newspaper and distributed for newspapers like the Times »

How Russia Tried to Block US Energy Production

Featured image Russia’s supposed “meddling” in the 2016 election has been an endless topic of news coverage, but for some reason our press has shown little interest in other instances of Russian meddling–the nuclear freeze movement of the 1980s, for example, or more recently, Russia’s effort to discredit fracking and rouse popular opposition to pipeline construction. Last Thursday, the Majority Staff of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, »

CNN Isn’t Giving Up On Collusion

Featured image We wrote here about Anastasia Vashukevich, an Instagram model/sex coach who ran afoul of the authorities in Bangkok. Vashukevich was arrested for “giving sex lessons to Russian tourists” without a permit and was interviewed by the Associated Press while on board a police van taking her to a jail. Seriously. Like the rest of us, Vashukevich would rather be on the outside of a Bangkok jail looking in, than on »

Russia sees Trump as “lost cause”

Featured image That’s what the Washington Post is reporting: “The Russians have gotten past the phase where they thought with President Trump they would be able to move the relationship in a different direction,” said Thomas Graham, senior director for Russia on the George W. Bush National Security Council staff and now managing director at Kissinger Associates Inc. “This is qualitatively worse than any post-Cold War period,” Graham said. Andrew Weiss, who »

“Jailed Instagram model wants to trade secrets for freedom”

Featured image For the Associated Press, any excuse to smear President Trump is a good one. Thus this story, which no doubt will appear in hundreds of newspapers tomorrow. I assume this “news” story wasn’t intended as a joke, but it definitely contains humorous elements: A Belarusian woman jailed in Thailand for offering sex lessons without a work permit… “Offering sex lessons without a work permit”? Several jokes come to mind, but »

Collusion? I’m With Her!

Featured image This cartoon by Michael Ramirez is admirably even-handed, but since there is no evidence of collusion between Russians and the Trump campaign, and we know the Hillary campaign colluded with Russians through Fusion GPS to produce fake opposition research on Trump, the most apt apparel here is the Hillary shirt. Which is so beautiful I’m surprised no one had already thought of it. Click to enlarge: »

Russian bots were a non-factor in 2016

Featured image Michael Moore’s appearance at an anti-Trump rally organized by Russian meddlers illustrates how inconsequential Russian meddling, at least in the form discussed in the recent Mueller indictment, was. Sure, Moore would not have attended this particular rally absent Russian meddling because, absent such meddling, the rally apparently would not have occurred. But did Russia influence Moore’s view of Trump? Of course not. Did Russia influence Moore’s willingness to express his »

Once upon a time in America, Part Two

Featured image The Washington Post takes up the same theme raised by Charles Lane on Fox News — President Trump’s tendency to compare himself favorably to Barack Obama. Post reporters Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker cite the same statement Lane did — Trump’s claim that “I have been much tougher on Russia than Obama, just look at the facts.” Like Lane, Rucker and Parker choose their words carefully when they contend that »