The Obama administration is warning that it could take additional steps against Russia, and it looks like it will have an unusual ally: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
The Virginia Republican, a frequent critic of the president, said Tuesday that he’s asked committees to “examine additional steps that can be taken to impose greater costs on Russia.”
Cantor’s comment follows heightened tensions between the two countries, as Russian President Vladimir Putin, ignoring direct warnings from U.S. and EU officials, signed a treaty to make Crimea part of Russia.
The administration announced sanctions against seven Russian officials Monday, a move Cantor said that he backs. But he added that the “list must be dramatically expanded to exert real pressure.”
And White House spokesman Jay Carney warned Tuesday that more steps could be coming.
“You have seen some designations already, and there are more to come,” Carney said. “I wouldn’t, if I were you, invest in Russian equities right now unless you were going short.”
Cantor didn’t specify what action committee members could take, but he said Russia’s membership in the G-8 should be revoked, the United States should consider providing military support to the Ukraine, and the U.S. should work with NATO to “reassure other countries threatened by Russia.”
The House passed a resolution last week condemning Russia for its incursion into Crimea and backing a push to send international monitors to the region. It also backed giving $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine, but the Senate is pushing to include International Monetary Fund reforms — which House Republicans have balked at.
Cantor also pressed for a boost in natural-gas exports to Ukraine. Republicans in both chambers have argued that this could help lessen that country’s dependence on Russia.
And though Secretary of State John Kerry last week defended the “reset” of the U.S.-Russian relationship under the president, Cantor said that a reassessment of “our entire strategy” is needed, adding that he looks “forward to working with President Obama and his administration to confront the brazen challenge to international security posed by President Putin’s aggression.”
What We're Following See More »
Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:
- Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
- Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
- They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
- One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”
Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”
At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”