Could Trump Try a Reverse Nixon Strategy With Russia and China?

Several articles have been published since the 2016 election raising the possibility that President Trump could try warming U.S. relations with Russia to counter a rising and increasingly assertive China. Such “triangular diplomacy” to pit Moscow against Beijing does sound like innovative strategic maneuvering that could prove groundbreaking. But it won’t work in practice.

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Our New Afghanistan Strategy Must Get Tough on Pakistan

Yesterday the Pentagon presented its recommendations to the White House for how to defeat ISIS. It is likely that the military campaign that will follow President Trump’s final decision will look a good deal like President Obama’s, albeit with looser restrictions, and possibly a dimmer view towards Iranian influence in Iraq. Meanwhile, the Pentagon, the State Department, and the National Security Council are all hard at work formulating a new approach in Afghanistan. They must resist the temptation to recommend a “more-of-the-same-but-with-a-freer-hand” approach to the president.

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Best. Oscars. Ever. (Updated!)

Random thoughts, in no particular order:

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The Best Decade in Filmmaking History (Plus: New Podcast!)

In this week’s episode of The Substandard, JVL, Vic, and I discuss the Oscars! Not what’s going to happen this year, really—La La Land is going to win best picture, director, and actress; the only real drama revolves around Casey Affleck and Denzel Washington duking it out for best actor—but what’s happened in past years. JVL chose the five worst winners of all time, Vic picked the five best, and I picked the five worst omissions. It was a lot of fun to record and I think you’ll really enjoy it too. Subscribe! Leave a review.

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Are You Ready For the Coming Chafee Moment?

Regular Beacon readers will remember that my first full-time writing job at this publication was Chafee correspondent during the last election. It was very short-lived, alas. On October 23, scarcely a week after his breakout, “I’ve never had a scandal” performance at the first Democratic presidential debate, he stunned the world by announcing to those of …

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President Trump: Build Up That Death Star!

Big news people: We are almost definitely still alone not alone! According to the Science™:

Life may have evolved on at least three planets in a newly discovered solar system just 39 light years from Earth, NASA has announced.

Astronomers have detected no less than seven Earth-sized worlds orbiting a cool dwarf star known as TRAPPIST-1.

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Young People Should Buy Cheap Couches

As someone who has a.) bought a couch and b.) shopped at West Elm, but c.) never bought a couch from West Elm, I found this piece on the shoddiness of the West Elm couch “Peggy” to be rather entertaining. Entertaining and informative! Because people are ginormous spendthrifts, apparently.

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John Wick Podcast! John Wick Podcast!

John Wick Podcast

Well, impending heart attack. If we keep shoving fried-chicken-covered tacos down Vic’s gullet, he’s not going to be with us much longer. Subscribe! Leave a review! Every time you leave a review, Donald Trump promises to do a 77-minute press conference. You don’t … hate the press, do you?

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This photographer is selling images to restore the House of Stuart to the British Throne

Matthew Walther is an associate editor, roving correspondent, and photographer for the Washington Free Beacon. Inspired by the recent efforts of the Noor Images collective, he has decided to raise money for a cause very close to his heart: the restoration of Franz, Duke of Bavaria and heir-general to His Majesty James II and VII, …

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IMPORTANT: Why Does Winston Call John Wick ‘Jonathan’?

John Wick

Some modest spoilers for John Wick and John Wick 2 below.

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Emily Ratajkowski, Heroine

Emily Ratajkowski’s status as an American treasure was cemented last night when she sat next to a #FakeNews reporter from the failing New York Times. Sat next to a journalist from the NYT last night who told me “Melania is a hooker.” Whatever your politics it’s crucial to call this out for — Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) …

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You People Are Idiots

I made the mistake of defending Donald Trump from charges of fascism on Twitter this weekend:

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CNN Discovers New English Word: ‘Whom’s’

Continuing what has been a scoop-filled banner year for the Atlanta-based media company’s ‘Money’ vertical, reporters at CNN discovered a new word Friday: “whom’s.” It was in the course of their research into the background of Andrew Puzder, the former CEO of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants and President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the …

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Confessions of a Casual Gamer

So, on Wednesday evening, I finished Resident Evil VII: Biohazard. Or possibly “Resident Evil VII: Biohazard”; I don’t know what the preferred style on video game titles is, and I refuse to look it up. Because I don’t review them. Because I only very rarely play them.

I am a casual gamer. This is my confession.

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