Topics and articles chosen with care. Linked articles in bold purple
◆ US-Russia: “Candid discussions,” as the diplomats say. The rest of us say: “frosty”
- Sec. of State Tillerson and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, hold a chilly press conference.
- Pres. Trump shrewdly holds a press conference with NATO head at the same time
NYT headline: U.S. Takes Sharper Tone on Russia’s Role in Syria
President Trump and Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson sought on Wednesday to isolate President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia for backing the Syrian government in the wake of its lethal chemical weapons attack on civilians, and worked to build international pressure on Moscow to change course.
In Washington, Moscow and New York, the Trump administration publicly chastised Mr. Putin but privately worked to hash out increasingly bitter differences with him. At the same time, Mr. Trump embraced NATO — a military alliance he had previously derided as obsolete — as an effective and vital force for peace and security in a region where Russia has been an aggressive actor. –New York Times
Comment: Right now, the issue is Syria, but tomorrow it could be Ukraine or the Baltics. There is a full plate of differences and, despite Russia’s high hopes that Trump would be a friendly patsy, he has been tougher than Obama (though not necessarily tougher than Hillary would have been). As Tillerson say today, relations are at a low point, and that’s a dangerous thing when both are bristling with nuclear weapons.
◆ Melania Trump, defamed by British tabloid, takes them to the cleaners. The UK’s Daily Mail pays her big money and issues an apology.Here’s what a fair headline looks like: Melania Trump wins damages from Daily Mail over ‘escort’ allegation (BBC)
Now, watch here’s the Washington Post‘s effort to deny Melania won: Melania Trump settles lawsuits with Daily Mail.
That headline actively avoids giving readers the story, which they could have done by using the words: “Melania Trump triumphs in lawsuit with Daily Mail”
◆ Today in WTF: Cursing banned at Philadelphia construction site
The site is at Temple University, where students apparently need a lot of protection. (Fox News)
Comment: Of course, they mostly need protection getting back and forth to school in that neighborhood. But I digress. Philadelphia is actually best known as the city that actually booed Santa Claus. (True.)
◆ CNN doubles down on its attack angle: Trump’s people colluded with Russia.
Today’s CNN headline: “The Russia story just keeps getting worse for President Trump” (CNN)
Comment: I watched some of Don Lemon’s show tonight. He had on several guests, but it was a charade.
The network plans to continue until an airplane is lost at sea. That always struck me as odd because airports are the main venue for CNN.
◆ Two men from Zion, Illinois, charged with giving support to terrorist Islamic State. (Chicago Tribune)
Comment: Odd choice for Zionists.
◆ Three Steps to Making Solar Power More Efficient (Edgy Labs) Two banal, one wrong.
- Put solar power into the grid instead of storing it
- Improve the cells’ efficiency
- Create practical infrastructure for solar
Comment: The last two qualify as “well, d’uh.”
And the first one seems wrong. We do want to put it into the grid, of course, but it is intermittent so we need better storage.
What’s right about the article is that solar installation costs are falling and greater use would reduce pollution.