• North Korea,  Trump

    “I want my people to do the same”

    I realize that Donald Trump’s unique diplomatic style involves heaping flattery on murderous dictatorial adversaries while dumping insults on long-time democratic allies. And I’m not going to make a big deal about Trump returning the salute of a North Korean general. Like Obama’s bow to the Saudi king, it was both cringe-worthy and relatively insignificant. But Geez– I can’t wait to see how Trump’s acolytes explain this: BREAKING: President Trump on North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un: “He speaks and his people sit up in attention. I want my people to do the same.” (My guess: “He was joking.”) I wonder how long before Trump insists that his lackeys follow…

  • North Korea,  Trump

    Post-Singapore mental exercise

    Imagine if President Bill Clinton had spoken about the absolute ruler of the world’s most repressive and criminal regime– a regime which outlaws all dissent, starves people as a means of control, incarcerates tens of thousands of people in brutal slave labor camps, earns hard currency through counterfeiting and illegal drug manufacturing and smuggling— in the most effusively flattering terms. It was an “honor” to meet Kim, Trump said. What surprised the American most about his counterpart? “Great personality and very smart—good combination,” he said. “I learned that he’s a very talented man. I also learned that he loves his country very much.” He added that Kim was “a worthy…

  • Stateside,  Trump

    Another time

    Remember when Howard Dean couldn't be president because he yelled — Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) May 31, 2018 Yup. This post of mine from way back then seems downright quaint.

  • Russia,  Trump


    Even if you’ve shrugged off evidence of Russian interference and hacking in the 2016 US Presidential election (as some of our readers have), you have to admit there is no other word for this. Russian hackers posed as ISIS to bully military spouses. Evil. https://t.co/NzrRPiFwkx — Josh Lawson (@josh_lawson) May 8, 2018 Our Tweeter-in-Chief finds plenty of time to comment on all manner of things that upset him. Will he spare a moment to express what I hope is his outrage about this?

  • Trump,  Ukraine

    Fearing loss of military aid, Ukraine cuts off cooperation with Mueller

    Now that Trump scandale du jour Doctorgate (remember Doctorgate, from earlier this week?) has been overtaken by Stormygate, there’s at least one serious and substantive report that has received relatively little attention. The New York Times reports that the government of Ukraine has stopped cooperating with the Mueller investigation of the Trump campaign’s connections with Russia. In the United States, Paul J. Manafort is facing prosecution on charges of money laundering and financial fraud stemming from his decade of work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. But in Ukraine, where officials are wary of offending President Trump, four meandering cases that involve Mr. Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman,…

  • Trump

    Why did Trump back off from Russian sanctions?

    I didn’t have much use for Nikki Haley as governor of South Carolina. The then-rising star of the Republican party made her hatred for trade unions plain. She redeemed herself somewhat when she advocated for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the state capitol after the murders of nine members of a historically black church in Charleston. I was skeptical when Donald Trump selected her as United Nations ambassador, but she has turned out to be one of his few decent appointments. She has been eloquent on behalf of Israel (earning the commendation of all 100 members of the US Senate). And she has not hesitated to denounce…

  • Syria,  Trump

    Trump calls out Putin. Now what?

    For those who don’t think I give credit where credit is due when it comes to Donald Trump: I want to acknowledge that after the Syrian regime’s latest horrific chemical weapons attack on civilians, he has finally tweeted something critical about Vladimir Putin. Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price… — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2018 Given Trump’s willingness to publicly humiliate his own attorney general, among countless others, his readiness to…

  • Russia,  Trump

    McCain shames Trump on congratulations to Putin

    After Donald Trump, Bibi Netanyahu and Jean-Claude Juncker offered cringe-inducing congratulations to Vladimir Putin on his “election” “victory,” it was good to see Senator John McCain cut through the crap. An American president does not lead the Free World by congratulating dictators on winning sham elections. And by doing so with Vladimir Putin, President Trump insulted every Russian citizen who was denied the right to vote in a free and fair election. https://t.co/lcQTBi7CA1 — John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) March 20, 2018 McCain may be dying of brain cancer, but that doesn’t keep him from being clear-headed about what Putin is up to. As he so often does, McCain puts Trump (and…

  • Trump

    Trump fires Tillerson

    So here’s where we are now. On Friday President Trump abruptly fired his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, forcing him to cut short a trip to Africa. Remarkable statement from State Department spokesman on Tillerson firing: pic.twitter.com/iBpLaK1tXw — Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 13, 2018 BREAKING: Officials: White House fires top Tillerson aide who contradicted account of secretary of state's dismissal. — The Associated Press (@AP) March 13, 2018 Although Tillerson and Trump publicly disagreed on many things, I found this particularly interesting: On the flight from Nigeria, Tillerson appeared to break with the White House in his assessment of the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He singled…

  • Trump

    Oh what a lovely trade war!

    After announcing plans to impose a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum, President Trump tweeted that “trade wars are good and easy to win.” I have protectionist sympathies and I believe manufacturing still matters. The decline of steel and aluminum manufacturing in the US has had a devastating effect on many communities– such as Ashtabula and Youngstown, Ohio. I’m not sure how good or winnable trade wars are, but there’s no doubt that countries which export steel to the US will retaliate in kind– making it harder to sell American-made products and agricultural goods to other countries. And US manufacturers which use…