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Archive for the category “United States”

The Problem Is Facebook, Not Cambridge Analytica

Facebook is being hammered for allowing the data firm Cambridge Analytica to acquire 50 million user profiles in the U.S., which it may or may not have used 1  to help the Trump campaign. But the outrage misses the target: There’s nothing Cambridge Analytica could have done that Facebook itself doesn’t offer political clients.

Read Here – BloombergView

Also read: Where Is Mark Zuckerberg?


Where Is Barack Obama?

At a moment when many of his former voters believe that America is facing a genuine democratic crisis, former President Barack Obama has been largely silent about what is happening in American politics. Other than a handful of appearances—an interview with David Letterman in a new Netflix show, or an oral history project at MIT—he insists on following protocol and tradition for former presidents, resisting the temptation to jump back into the political fray.

Read Here – The Atlantic

Trump’s Opening To North Korea Is No Surprise

Let’s face it: Trump likes strongmen. He likes Putin, Erdoğan, Duterte and Xi. It’s the namby-pamby Western leaders, especially the women like Merkel and May, whom he views with disdain. From this perspective, Kim is the big kahuna, the ultimate catch. A good relationship with him might even pave the road to Stockholm, where Trump could receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Read Here – The National Interest

Trump’s Troubling Nuclear Plan

Like President Donald Trump, the Pentagon’s new nuclear policy document sees a dark and threatening world. It argues that potential U.S. adversaries such as China, North Korea, and Russia are rapidly improving their nuclear capabilities and gaining an edge over the United States. But rather than laying out a plan to halt this slide into a more dangerous world and working to decrease reliance on nuclear weapons, the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) hastens its rise by accepting the reasoning of U.S. adversaries and affirmatively embracing nuclear competition.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

Trump Wants Little To Do With His Own Foreign Policy

It has become abundantly clear that President Trump does not buy his own administration’s strategic shift toward great power competition. Compare the new strategic doctrine to three of President Trump’s recent speeches—one that launched the National Security Strategy, his address to the World Economic Forum in Davos, and yesterday’s State of the Union. In each, there was at most a single, obligatory, passing reference to rivals like Russia and China, with little elaboration.

Read Here – The Atlantic


President Trump’s First Year, In 14 Metrics

Like any president, Trump is taking credit for good economic news. He’s highlighted rising stocks and falling unemployment. But Trump also, famously, regards trade deficits as a sign of economic weakness. And for people who worry about the fact that the U.S. buys more stuff from other countries than it sells them, the news has not been so good.

Read Here – Bloomberg

When The Soviet Union Paid Pepsi In Warships

In April 9, 1990, American newspapers reported on an unusual deal. Pepsi had come to a three billion dollar agreement with the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union had long traded Stolichnaya vodka in return for Pepsi concentrate. But this time, Pepsi got 10 Soviet ships. This wasn’t the first time that Pepsi sold soft drinks in return for a flotilla. The previous year, the company even received warships. This situation—a soft drink conglomerate briefly owning a fairly large navy—was the unusual result of an unusual situation: a communist government buying a product of capitalism from the country it considered its greatest rival.

Read Here – Atlas Obscura

Five Decades Of White Backlash

Many of the major policies created to end the era of de jure white supremacy and address King’s campaigns against segregation and for voting rights have become entrenched in law, bureaucracy, and the courts. Overt racism and bigotry have acquired the stink of faux pas, integrated spaces persist in some places, and there’s even been a black president. But in this Pax Americana, the seed of resistance to those ideas and policies that King championed also germinated across generations. Now that the man who made his name flouting the spirit of King is president, the tree has borne its most ripe fruit.

Read Here – The Atlantic

Meet the Mild-Mannered Spy Who Made Himself The ‘American James Bond’

The legend of Lawrence of Arabia was concocted single-handedly by the American impresario Lowell Thomas, who in 1919 premiered a lecture and slide show on Col. T.E. Lawrence’s exploits that played to packed houses in New York and London and beyond. The legend of Edward Lansdale — the former ad man-turned-CIA officer who became known as the “American James Bond” and the “T.E. Lawrence of Asia” — had more authors, but perhaps the most important (and inadvertent) was the eminent English writer Graham Greene.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

Mapping A World From Hell

The Costs of War Project identifies no less than 76 countries, 39% of those on the planet, as involved in that global conflict.  That means places like Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya where U.S. drone or other air strikes are the norm and U.S. ground troops (often Special Operations forces) have been either directly or indirectly engaged in combat.  It also means countries where U.S. advisers are training local militaries or even militias in counter-terror tactics and those with bases crucial to this expanding set of conflicts.  As the map makes clear, these categories often overlap.

Read Here –

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