How Trump Might Use Russia to His Advantage


Assume for a moment that Donald Trump survives the Russia investigation.

Assume first that he doesn’t fire Robert Mueller. Assume then, as seems increasingly likely, that Mueller discovers a web of financial entanglements between Trump and Russia, that he can show how Russia thought they had leverage over Trump and used every weapon in their cyber arsenal to get him elected.

But also assume that Mueller was unable to find any smoking gun evidence that Trump, his family or his campaign coordinated with the Kremlin beyond the Donald Jr. meeting we now know took place.

Will this benefit or harm the President politically as he moves toward reelection in 2020?

Continue reading How Trump Might Use Russia to His Advantage

Will Pence pardon Trump?


Bullies like Trump are cowards at heart. However appealing he finds sliming his prosecutors like a stressed hagfish, the thought of running away to spend more time with his 9-iron might prove irresistible. Would Pence trade the Oval Office for Trump’s holding his resignation hostage to a pardon?
br> Continue reading Will Pence pardon Trump?

“Exit Tsar”


March 15 marks the 100th anniversary of the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.The milestone has attracted little notice. It is the opinion of most historians that Nicholas was a failure: feckless, dimwitted, reactionary—and henpecked to boot. But as Robert Massie makes clear in his admirable biography, Nicholas and Alexandra, the real Nicholas was more complex, more human and more interesting than the caricature.

Continue reading “Exit Tsar”

The Wisdom of Young Speechwriters


The problem with anyone young is that they have all sorts of positive qualities: energy, fresh thinking, ambition, confidence and so on. But they (necessarily) don’t have the experience that comes from knowing lots of things. From seeing how things play out over time. For grasping the deeper dynamics of any negotiation. From understanding relationships in all their baffling complexity. From grasping what the Serbs call duh situaciji – the spirit of the situation.

Continue reading The Wisdom of Young Speechwriters

Putin’s Great Patriotic War Commemoration Speech – Leaked?

Vladimir_Putin_beefcake-1My sources in the Kremlin have slipped me what appears to be a true copy of the English translation of the draft of the speech Vladimir Putin might give at the forthcoming commemoration parade in Moscow to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the ‘Great Patriotic War’
Continue reading Putin’s Great Patriotic War Commemoration Speech – Leaked?