US Press: pick of the papers

The ten must-read opinion pieces from today's US papers.

1. Which candidate should answer that 3am phone call? (Washington Post)

During the 2008 campaign, Hillary Clinton famously asked whether Obama was ready for the 3am phone call about a foreign crisis. Kim's death reminds us that it's always 3am somewhere in the world, writes Eugene Robinson.

2. Obama's foreign-policy strategy must confront new dangers (Omaha World Herald)

David Ignatius on what's next for Obama.

3. What a couple of grandpas learned at Occupy Detroit (Detroit Free Press)

Robert Deneweth and Ronald Aronson went to Grand Circus Park last month before Occupy Detroit moved out of its encampment; they reflect on what they discovered.

4. Blaming the Jews - Again (The Weekly Standard)

Elliott Abrams on Thomas Friedman, Joe Klein and anti-Semitism.

5. GOP candidates: Bashing judges, threatening democracy (Los Angeles Times)

Americans should flatly reject rhetoric by Republican presidential candidates and remember that an independent judiciary enforcing the Constitution is crucial to our democracy, according to Erwin Chemerinsky.

6. Higher education should not lose in budget game again (St. Louis Today)

Despite lofty rhetoric from governors and lawmakers about how education is vital to economic development, Missouri remains near the bottom, as this Editorial shows.

7. Instead of just taxing the rich, put cap on income inequality (New York Times)

As 1-per centers themselves, Ian Ayres and Aaron S. Edlin call on Congress, for the sake of democracy, to end the continued erosion of economic equality in our nation.

8. Protecting liberty means knowing your Bill of Rights (Washington Examiner)

Janine Turner on the the 220th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights.

9. Barack Obama at a crossroads (again) (Politico)

Stand up to House Republicans - or cave under pressure rather than risk an unwanted outcome? Carrue Budoff Brown and Glenn Thrush examine the crossroads Obama finds himself at.

10. US mail is slow and getting slower (The Plain Dealer)

It's time to end the post office's monopoly on letter delivery, writes James Bovard.

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Britain is running out of allies as it squares up to Russia

For whatever reason, Donald Trump is going to be no friend of an anti-Russia foreign policy.

The row over Donald Trump and that dossier rumbles on.

Nothing puts legs on a story like a domestic angle, and that the retired spy who compiled the file is a one of our own has excited Britain’s headline writers. The man in question, Christopher Steele, has gone to ground having told his neighbour to look after his cats before vanishing.

Although the dossier contains known errors, Steele is regarded in the intelligence community as a serious operator not known for passing on unsubstantiated rumours, which is one reason why American intelligence is investigating the claims.

“Britain's role in Trump dossier” is the Telegraph’s splash, “The ‘credible’ ex-MI6 man behind Trump Russia report” is the Guardian’s angle, “British spy in hiding” is the i’s splash.

But it’s not only British headline writers who are exercised by Mr Steele; the Russian government is too. “MI6 officers are never ex,” the Russian Embassy tweeted, accusing the UK of “briefing both ways - against Russia and US President”. “Kremlin blames Britain for Trump sex storm” is the Mail’s splash.

Elsewhere, Crispin Blunt, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, warns that relations between the United Kingdom and Russia are as “bad as they can get” in peacetime.

Though much of the coverage of the Trump dossier has focused on the eyecatching claims about whether or not the President-Elect was caught in a Russian honeytrap, the important thing, as I said yesterday, is that the man who is seven days from becoming President of the United States, whether through inclination or intimidation, is not going to be a reliable friend of the United Kingdom against Russia.

Though Emanuel Macron might just sneak into the second round of the French presidency, it still looks likely that the final choice for French voters will be an all-Russia affair, between Francois Fillon and Marine Le Pen.

For one reason or another, Britain’s stand against Russia looks likely to be very lonely indeed.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.