The Rise of the PRC

Graham Allison, Director of the Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, had some thoughts in The Boston Globe.  Here’s one that’s not in the usual political or military race discussion.

In STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)…[the PRC] annually graduates four times as many students as the United States (1.3 million vs 300,000).

A better measure would compare the quality of those graduates and their programs so as to arrive at similarly qualified graduates.

I’m Looking Forward

…to Carter Page’s testimony—in whatever venue.

Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page has asked House lawmakers to let him testify in an open session to offer his side in the ongoing probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 race….

Page made his offer in a long letter to Congressmen Adam Schiff (D, CA) and Michael Conaway (R, TX), Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence  and acting lead on the committee’s investigation into Russian interference in our 2016 elections in place of the committee chairman Devin Nunes (R,CA), respectively.

So far, he’s received no response.

Trump Gifted Francis

During his visit to the Vatican, President Donald Trump gave gifts to Pope Francis, a normal exchange of gifts between heads of state.

Trump gifted Pope Francis a first-edition set of writings from Martin Luther King, Jr. The White House said the set includes the five books King wrote in his lifetime. Each one is custom-bound and the books are in a custom display case. It also included a piece of granite from the Martin Luther King, Jr, Memorial in Washington.

Mike Flynn Demurs

Regarding ex-NSA chief Lt Gen Michael Flynn’s (USA, Ret) refusal to “cooperate with” Congress’ subpoena to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and to provide subpoenaed documents to it: he says he’ll invoke his 5th Amendment right not to testify against himself.

It’s certainly his right to invoke his right not to testify against himself, and no conclusion regarding his guilt or innocence of any crime can be drawn from that.  Nor should one be.

Not Entirely

Jay Solomon, commenting in The Wall Street Journal on the recently concluded re-election of Hassan Rouhani as Iran’s president, has missed the mark.

The landslide re-election of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatens to put the Trump administration on a collision course with Europe over future policy toward Tehran.

No, what it does do is “threaten” to put Europe on a collision course with the Trump administration over future policy regarding Iran.  This is because Europe, more importantly, has missed the mark:

European officials hailed the news of Mr Rouhani’s win as heralding a more moderate path for Iran over the next four years.

The PRC and Northern Korea

Harry Kazianis tried to explain, in his Real Clear World piece, why the People’s Republic of China “won’t solve” the northern Korea crisis for us.  It’s complicated for the PRC, he said.

He [Kazianis’ carefully unidentified “Chinese scholar” and “retired official of the People’s Liberation Army”] pressed his case, noting, “look at this problem from where I sit in Beijing. I see a world of trouble when it comes to North Korea. I see war. I see death. I see superpower showdowns. We must all agree we don’t want this. Yes, nuclear weapons are bad, but North Korea could create far more trouble than you realize, and China would have to deal with most of it.”

Handling Classified

FBI Director James Comey had this about Huma Abedin and her role in the ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) classified email scandal:

Somehow, her [Clinton’s] emails were being forwarded to Anthony Weiner, including classified information.  His then-spouse, Huma Abedin, appears to have had a regular practice of forwarding emails to him for him to print out for her, so she could deliver them to the secretary of state.

Comey justified his lack of action with this:

We didn’t have any indication that she had a sense of what she was doing was in violation of the law[.]

EU and Brexit

The European Union is either demonstrating its lack of understanding of a main motivator for the people of Great Britain’s decision to quit the EU, or it’s intent on making the departure onerous pour encourager les autres, or some combination of the two.  Michel Barnier, the EU’s “Brexit negotiator,” has laid out the terms of his initial position.

One such term is

ensuring that EU citizens in the UK keep their welfare benefits and residency rights for their lifetimes.

Never mind that EU citizens drawing welfare benefits should have those benefits paid for by the EU or those citizens’ home country—which do not today pay the generous rates that the British government does.

The Apocalypse is Upon Us

Or so Lauren Collins would have us believe in her fearful piece in the New Yorker, titled The Future of Europe Hinges on a Face-Off in France about this weekend’s money round of the Presidential election in France.

After all, this election is a referendum between a globalist economy and a globalist identity (Macron) and a nationalist economy and a nationalist identity (LePen).  That does sound apocalyptic, but really, it’s more apocryphal.

EU Bad Faith

The European Union now says that any trade deal discussions with Great Britain must come after the terms of Great Britain’s going out from the EU have been agreed.  Fair enough; it’s tough to negotiate a trade deal before the nature of the relationship between the two has been identified.

But now there’s this, too.

…EU courts must continue to have a role in Britain after Britain’s exit from the bloc.

And

They [the EU leadership] emphasize the importance of ensuring no hard border is re-established between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and even touch on issues like the future legal status of Gibraltar….