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Kelly Jane Torrance

Politics

This is no time for Senate dallying over Mike Pompeo’s nomination

Angus King said today that he hasn’t made up his mind about President Donald Trump’s new pick for secretary of state, current CIA director Mike Pompeo. “I am legitimately undecided,” the Maine senator, who sits as an independent but caucuses with the Democrats, told CNN this morning. Kentucky Republican senator Rand Paul has declared he […]

By Kelly Jane Torrance

Politics

Mission accomplished? Easier said than done, Mr President

Donald Trump finally had something positive to say on Twitter. After nearly a week of dithering, the president made a decision and announced it, to a fair amount of surprise, on national television on Friday night: The United States, in concert with the United Kingdom and France, would launch targeted strikes on Syrian chemical weapons […]

By Kelly Jane Torrance

Politics

James Comey comes back to haunt Trump

President Donald Trump must have a lot on his mind as an eventful week—even by the new standard he’s created in Washington—comes to an end. He has now met the deadline he set himself on Monday, when he promised to make “major decisions” within 24 to 48 hours on Syria, after “Animal Assad,” as he […]

By Kelly Jane Torrance

Politics

The FBI raid on Michael Cohen was strange, but then Michael Cohen is strange

Almost from the moment Donald Trump was inaugurated the 45th president of the United States, his supporters have complained about the existence of a “deep state” within the bureaucracy that’s out to get him. There might be something to this, but not in the way its theorisers imagine. Civil servants have a lot more to […]

By Kelly Jane Torrance

Politics

Did John Kelly really think he could bring order to Trump’s chaotic White House?

Anyone who hadn’t heard about the Washington Post story on the increasing problems facing White House chief of staff John Kelly shortly after it was published Saturday evening certainly had by Sunday morning. That’s when America’s most-watched tweeter drew the world’s attention to it. “The Washington Post is far more fiction than fact. Story after […]

By Kelly Jane Torrance

Russia

Putin’s cronies take a hit from the US

“I’m afraid we no longer have oligarchs. That was a concept of the ’90s,” Russia’s deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich told Bloomberg TV earlier this year. The United States government disagrees, and one of its departments released a statement today with the stark headline “Treasury Designates Russian Oligarchs, Officials, and Entities in Response to Worldwide […]

By Kelly Jane Torrance

Politics

Does Melania’s cold shoulder explain Trump’s Twitter tantrums?

The First Lady has far more influence than her critics realise

By Kelly Jane Torrance

China

What are Kim Jong-un’s motives in meeting Xi?

Kim Jong-un surprised the world—once again—by making an unannounced trip to China earlier this week, and observers in the United States still haven’t come to any agreement on what it means. The North Korean leader traveled to Beijing by bulletproof train to meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping ahead of a planned meeting later this […]

By Kelly Jane Torrance

Politics

Trump’s new VA Secretary has worked for four successive presidents. The media doesn’t care

Context is everything. But if you’re a busy person trying to navigate the personal and professional traps of modern life – and aren’t we all? – you don’t always have time to read a lot on every topic. You rely on the media to tell you succinctly what you most need to know. But that […]

By Kelly Jane Torrance

Politics

Why isn’t Donald Trump tweeting about expelling Russian diplomats?

“President Trump ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian officials from the United States and ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle, the White House announced Monday” was how NPR started its report on the surprise story that started the week in Washington, and most outlets followed suit. In this way, the press emphasised […]

By Kelly Jane Torrance

Russia

John Dowd’s departure raises all kinds of questions

John Dowd, a personal attorney of Donald Trump, stepped down today from his role as head of the legal team representing the president in the special counsel’s investigation of possible collusion with Russia. The news came just as the House Intelligence Committee was set to vote on whether to release a report from Republicans in […]

By Kelly Jane Torrance

Mike Pompeo, Joe Lieberman and the new bipartisan consensus against Iran

Since Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last week, foreign policy talk in Washington has centered around the president’s nomination of a replacement—and how the Iran nuclear deal will fare under this new pair. Of course, CIA director Mike Pompeo might not even win confirmation to become secretary of state. The Republicans hold […]

By Kelly Jane Torrance

Politics

Tillerson shock? US Forces Korea officials knew about ‘Rexit’ last month

But they’ll miss the ‘improvisational jazz’ of the Tillerson-Trump partnership

By Kelly Jane Torrance

Art

The Stormy Daniels affair is a storm in a DDD cup

The story of the president and the porn star has been, in the last week, a fast-moving one

By Kelly Jane Torrance

Maybe Kim Jong-un really is a ‘smart cookie’

‘Politicians — one day you’re enemies, the next you’re shaking hands. That’s politicians.’ That bit of wisdom — and despite its folky tone, it contains a substantial insight — doesn’t come from a political strategist or sage. I heard it uttered last week by Sue, my guide on a tour of the demilitarised zone between […]

By Kelly Jane Torrance

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