Low Point With Russia, Fearless Girl
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Vol. 6, No.95
Foreign Relations: After meeting with his Russian counterpart and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, “The current state of US Russian relations is at a low point.”
The US has confronted Russia about its potential knowledge or complicity in the nerve gas attack carried out by the Syrian air force. President Trump said yesterday, “I would like to think that they didn’t know, but certainly they could have, they were there.”
The administration is now looking to Russia for help in ending the reign of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, and Russia isn’t jumping to do it. Assad allows Russia to keep its only deep water Mediterranean naval base in Syria.
On the North Korean front, President Trump and Chinese President Xi said they had a “productive” telephone conversation about dealing with the Hermit Kingdom’s military restiveness. There’s suspicion that the North is about to test a nuclear bomb.
Trump has sent a naval task force to the Korean peninsula, but President Xi is reported to have told Trump that the matter is better solved through “peaceful” means. The Chinese are considering cutting off oil sold to North Korea while ceasing to buy North Korea’s coal.
Trump promises to sort it all out. He said yesterday, “The world is a mess, but I think by the time we finish I think it’s going to be a lot better place to live.”
Kremlinology: President Trump’s right wing strategist Steve Bannon may be on the ropes. After Bannon was demoted from the National Security Council, Trump gave an interview to the NY Post saying, “I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late.” That’s the kind of thing Trump says when he’s denying responsibility for his hires. The president told the Wall Street Journal that Bannon is merely “a guy who works for me.”
Steve, crawl under your desk.
Flipflop: Among the many campaign promises and campaign statements on which he’s reversed himself, Trump has now found a friend in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. “I said it was obsolete. It’s no longer obsolete.”
Nation: Two wildlife conservation groups have sued to stop a Federal Wildlife Service plan to trap and shoot as many as 120 cougars and bears in Colorado in order to boost the population of mule deer favored by hunters. The Wildlife Service plans to kill 45 mountain lions and 75 bears. Matthew Bishop, a lawyer for the Western Environmental Law Center, said, “The idea of using U.S. taxpayer money to kill native wildlife on public lands is outrageous.” — Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is pressuring the Cleveland Indians to get rid of their funny-faced Indian logo known as Chief Wahoo. The baseball team has used various versions of the chief since 1947. — In full damage control mode, United Airlines has offered a refund to every passenger on the plane from which one man was violently removed, and promised that the police will never again be called to remove a passenger wo’s done nothing wrong.
Gotta Have Art: The sculptor who created Wall Street’s famous “Charging Bull” is complaining that the placement of the statue “Fearless Girl” facing the bull changes his original message of “freedom in the world, peace, strength, power and love.” He says the little bronze girl standing defiantly with her hands on her hips changes the message of the bull to something threatening, which he had never intended.
Fearless Girl was a temporary installation for International Women’s Day, but now she’s facing off with the bull through next February.