Introducing Steven Yates, just named head of Radio Free Asia, the most important public diplomacy tool that the US has in China. He seems none too keen on our next president
Also not too fond of the next Vice President
Also, his grasp on recent history is...slim
RFA also broadcasts in North Korea, Burma, in languages ranging from Mandarin and Cantonese to Uighur. It's journalists are incredibly brave people who take risks to tell the truth. Think about what it means for them to be led by someone like this.

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More from @anneapplebaum

18 Dec
topics Republican politicians should avoid, lest they be accused of hypocrisy:

professional qualifications of the First Lady

business links of presidential children

appropriate background of cabinet members

politeness of language used by staffers
size of deficits

use of presidential decrees

use of subsidies to placate supporters (farmers harmed by bad Chinese trade deals, for example)
"He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone"
Read 4 tweets
18 Dec
Time for Christmas shopping 2020! So many good books were published this year, despite everything. Everyone should read Putin's People by @CatherineBelton, on the deep roots of Russia's current ruling class. I reviewed it for @TheAtlantic here:…
I also loved The Fifth Sun, by Camilla Townsend, which won the Cundill Prize. You think you know who the Aztecs are... but you don't. You think you know about the Conquest of Mexico...but you don't.…
Really unexpected pleasure for me was Roderick Beaton's Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation, the history of the contemporary *idea* of Greece. There are lots of parallels to the modern history of other countries, you will be surprised…
Read 10 tweets
12 Dec
On a different subject: we just watched Russia With Love, and as the credits rolled, I realized that the great Lotte Lenya played one of the bad guys. Weimar seems multiple eras away from James Bond/the 1960s, and yet one lifetime encompassed both.
Here she is singing Mack the Knife, the song Kurt Weill wrote for her
And here is Louis Armstrong singing Mack the Knife, with a shout-out to Lotte Lenya
Read 4 tweets
29 Nov
Nobody wants to use the language needed to describe this kind of behavior, which belongs to the vocabulary of mental illness…
Also, there is something deeply wrong with many of the people who are attracted to the soon-to-be-ex-president. Look at Powell.….
Read 4 tweets
25 Nov
Under cover of the pandemic, while the outside world as distracted, the Venezuelan government is carrying out an evil act: It is seeking to destroy a pair of charities. One of them, Alimenta La Solidaridad, feeds more than 25,000 children every day...
The other, Caracas Mi Convive, fights against violence. I wrote about them both earlier this year:…
Both were founded by Roberto Patino, who tells me that his parents' home has been raided by one of the many Venezuelan police forces. The bank accounts of the organizations have been frozen.
Read 6 tweets
25 Nov
Poland and Hungary are threatening to veto the EU budget because they don't want to be forced to adhere to the "rule of law." If the EU caves in to the blackmail, the results may be dramatic. In Poland, the consequences of a politicized legal system are already with us...
A few weeks ago, police detained (and handcuffed) a prominent Polish lawyer, Roman Giertych. They searched his house - looking, he has said, not for documents to do with his "case", but for evidence he had been gathering about government corruption.…
A few days later, however, a court refused to uphold the detention. The judge said he didn't see that a crime had been committed. An appeals court came to the same conclusion. Restrictions on Giertych - he had been suspended from the practice of law - and others were removed.
Read 7 tweets

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