I urge everyone to read this horrifying account of how the Obama administration learned of Russian active measures that were designed to disrupt the 2016 presidential election and to throw the election to Donald Trump, whom the Russians have long seen as far friendlier to their interests and designs. I won’t excerpt anything from the story; just read it all, and be prepared to be deeply angry. A combination of fear, excessive confidence in Hillary Clinton’s electoral appeal and an inability to confront Republicans at the state and national level who are equally complicit in having ensured that Russian interference in…
On the evening of March 15, I finally got a chance to see the Chicago production of Hamilton. It was everything that I hoped that it would be, but of course, there is much more to say about this extraordinary production. So, I aim to say it here and now.
I have been thinking a lot about Donald Trump and the lives and other things that may or may not matter to him. After much deliberation, I think I have divined a certain set of criteria with which we may determine which lives and things do and do not matter.
Today, Monday, January 30, 2017, has seen yet more insanity perpetrated on the country by the Trump administration, which continues to be determined to prove itself the worst thing to have ever happened to American politics.
And yes, I mean every word in the title of this blog post. Here is why.
When my father was a very little boy–I don’t remember how little, but I believe that his age was in the single digits–his parents decided to host some friends at their home in Tehran. My paternal grandfather, took the opportunity, during the gathering, to tell all of his friends about his very clever eldest son, and invited his friends to ask my father questions to test his intelligence and knowledge. They did so, and my father showed himself to be unusually bright for his age in answering the questions posed to him.
I look forward to the time when we will have a Republican president, and anything resembling the politicization of intelligence will be vigorously denounced by just about every media outlet in existence. But for now, we do not have a Republican president, so we have to be content with the Daily Beast’s denunciation of the politicization of intelligence:
Let’s be abundantly clear about something. Jonathan Pollard is a traitor to the United States of America, and should spend the rest of his life paying for his crimes. He inflicted catastrophic damage on American national security, he betrayed the trust of those who thought well of him and gave him access to sensitive intelligence, and if he is at all remorseful about his actions, I have yet to hear of it. And even if I do hear about it, I’ll have no reason whatsoever to believe it.
My desperate attempt to convince myself that the nuclear deal with Iran is a good one is–I am sorry to report–in the process of failing miserably. I wish that I could report otherwise, but alas, those accursed facts keep getting in the way, and keep me from liking this deal. Oh, don’t think that I will give up on my effort to feel optimistic that the nuclear agreement with Iran is a triumph of American diplomacy. I am not a quitter, after all. But stubborn as I am, and as much as I would like to persevere in my effort…
Count me as a supporter of Japan’s decision to cast aside pacifism and to become the military counterweight to China that the United States needs and wants it to be, as well as becoming a country that can provide for its own defense needs without excessive reliance on the United States. To be sure, I don’t want Japan to use this moment to sweep war crimes under the rugs (as it is wont to do much too often, alas), but I do happen to believe that Japan can both become a serious and responsible military power, and at the same…