From around the blogosphere:
It’s going to be a busy few years. It used to be that I could cover at least two days (48 hours) of blog posts in any given Round-up. Now, I’m lucky if I can get beyond 8 hours without swimming in a sea of news items. Prepare ye for the onslaught!
First: think what you want about deflate-y Tom Brady and pouty Bill Belichick, but that was an amazing fourth quarter! And did I miss it? Where were the funny dorito ads this year? Or funny ads period??! Also, Lady Gaga. The Atlantic
Let’s start with the non-US stuff.
The old adage goes: if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, chances are it is a duck! With regard to Russian “re-imperialization”, perhaps it would be more appropriate to say: if it ‘baa-s’ like a sheep with fangs, chances are it is not some mutant ovine species but actually a wolf. Wait, does that even make sense?? But you know what I mean, right?? RealClearWorld
When it comes to Trump joining Russia against ISIS, some experts say: easier said than done. Also: potentially disastrous. Politico
China is doing their best Mary Poppins impression and thinking spoon-full-of-sugar thoughts with regard to Trump and trade. The Diplomat
Speaking of China, Mad Dog Mattis so far is towing the line regarding the South China Sea, though with this administration, that doesn’t necessarily mean much. The Diplomat
Meanwhile, Erdogan seems to be hedging with regard to what Trump is going to do in the Middle East, which is why – many say – he hasn’t jumped on the immigration-ban-is-bad bandwagon… Still, this strategy might come back to bite him in the proverbial a**. Al-Monitor
As far as the VISA/immigration ban goes, the controversy doesn’t appear to be abating. A letter signed by very prominent former State Department officials, including Kerry and Albright, voices concern that the ban is actually endangering America, not securing it. Word. Politico
The Economist has an even more depressing take – that the Trump Administration is actually pretty gleeful about the disorder and division their ban has caused.
Perhaps even more disconcerting, many people approve of re-whiting America. Slate
These are indeed strange times. When dems and Lefties rally around one of George W. Bush’s prominent neo-cons – now being vetted for Deputy Secretary of State - as a lifeline to diplomacy and, you know, the anti-apocolypse, well… what’s up is down, and what’s down is clearly sideways. Politico
And the Iran hawks rejoice: ‘America First’ seems to also mean: ‘let’s start a pissing match with one of the few stable countries left in the South Asia/Middle East region.’ The Week
The strangeness continues: One of our strongest global allies is now warning the rest of Europe to gird its loins in preparation for the danger that is Trump-era America. Der Spiegel
In this era of ‘alternative facts’ and ‘fake news’ the skill to determine what is valuable and news-worthy seems more important than ever. I’m kinda glad my father (a 25-year+ veteran of the NYT) is not here anymore to witness the demise of ‘all the news that’s fit to print’… Salon
One thing is clear, any news organiztion that deigns to print negative press about Trump is totally fake – at least according to the President. Did someone forget to pack his ‘big boy’ pants for the White House?? Politico
And what about fear? Oh yeah, that’s alive and well too. Though I disagree that it wasn’t as prevalent before Trump. Fear is like Linus’s baby blanket – multi-purpose and always at hand. New Republic
Finally, protests continue, which has led a number of scholars to take a closer look at who, what, where, when and why people protest. The Monkey Cage shows that those out on the streets are likely real voters and not some amalgam of rioters and anarchists… or other of Trump’s boogeymen. This post argues that such protests are likely to continue. And this post breaks
down the Women’s March by a number of different matrices. Sociological Images
SNL continues to deliver: