Live in the White House, & c.
In a television broadcast of “Town Hall,” President Biden admitted that he had never been to the White House’s residence until he became president. As you know, this is despite being Vice President for eight years. He also said: Living in the White House is very different from living in the Vice President’s Spread. In the latter, there are plenty of rooms where you can go out and do something. But the White House is like a “golden cage.” Also, people are waiting for you at the White House. They give you a coat of your suit and so on. “I feel very self-conscious myself,” Biden said. “I don’t know you-everything, but I grew up in a way that you weren’t looking for someone waiting for you.” Being in the White House gives you a sense of history, Or I guess it should. “I’m not Abraham Lincoln,” Biden said. “I’m not Franklin Roosevelt. How do you deal with these issues?” The business of not being in the White House’s residence reminded George W. Bush — his first semester. At an early stage. In fact, the second week. The first movie he screened was Thirteen Days, when Kevin Costner flicked about the Cuban missile crisis. The new president invited members of the Kennedy family to watch a movie with him. So it was February 2001. As I remember, Ted Kennedy and some others haven’t been invited to dwelling since the assassination of JFK almost 40 years ago. The invitation was very, very bushy. Listen to Chris Matthews’ column. Call me traditional. But this is how the first family uses the country’s most important home. Matthews further said, this is the US government at its best. The Republican president pays homage to the Democratic family and in doing so builds goodwill on his legislative agenda. A pair of values and loyalty conservatives take advantage of the grandeur of the White House to build worker ties with the country’s most prominent liberals. (The last mention was to Ted.) Matthews continued to blame George W. Bush’s predecessor, Bill Clinton, for not having a sense of historical responsibility for the house. “He treated the White House as a funding casino,” Matthews said. And this was the end of his column. I remember sitting at dinner in the first week of 1993 with a young Clinton aide who laughed aloud at what her man defeated, senior George Bush. “He was asked what was the greatest benefit of becoming president,” she ridiculed. “And he said,’It’s an honor.'” She thought the old man’s feelings were beyond contempt. I believe that one of the first good things a young bush can do is get it back. Yes, it’s an honor. Very, very important. • When I was reading a little about life at the White House, I came across some amazing facts. Baron Trump was the first boy to live in the White House since John F. Kennedy Jr. more than 50 years ago. Lots of girls — but no boys. • Biden President Xi Jinping says in the following manner. “There is no democracy in his body-a small” d “-with bones, but he is wise and wise. ” Okay. • The Anchorage meeting between US and Chinese officials was “superbly tough,” said George F. Will. I agree. And let me check some comments. Prior to the meeting, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “Relationships with China are competitive when they should be, cooperative when possible, and hostile when they should be.” It was. I think of Buckley’s phrase: “well formulated.” Blinken went on to say, “And we are in a strong position to engage with China.” At Anchorage, Blinken’s counterpart, Wang Yi, said, “I don’t think the overwhelming majority of countries in the world will recognize the universal values advocated by the United States.” My main concerns are: Do the majority of Americans recognize those values? • Pause for language notes, as we do from time to time in this interesting column. Above, I said “do the majority” — do you prefer “do the majority”? In English, it’s either. • The headline reminded me of the Soviet Union: “After returning from the mainland, Hong Kong activist Andy Lee was secretly held at a mental hospital.” (Go here to read the article. Please.) Yes, that’s what they did in the Soviet Union. They detained opponents and critics in mental hospitals, usually tortured and sometimes died. CCP and CPSU are certainly cousins. • In 2015, I wrote an article, “Honorary Question: As the wolves go around, the Iraqis who helped us are seeking visas.” For the Atlantic Ocean, George Packer wrote an article called “Debt of Honor: The United States must take responsibility for Afghanistan, which lives in the hands of the United States with their trust.” We screwed in the Vietnamese. We screwed the Iraqi people. Screw in Afghanistan. As Bernard Lewis and many others have observed, becoming friends in the United States is very, very dangerous. Often more dangerous than an enemy. • Bill Brouder, the father of the Magnitsky Act, tweeted: Alexei Navalny went on a hunger strike to protest the sadistic refusal to take care of the back pain problem. Putin is trying to kill him in slow motion. I saw exactly the same thing as Sergei Magnitsky. Okay. • Last summer, a Russian agent poisoned Navalny with the military nerve agent Novichok. Eventually he was saved to a German hospital. Prior to that, he was treated in the emergency room in the Siberian city of Omsk. Recently, two directors of the hospital died suddenly — unexpectedly. Imagine one of Garry Kasparov’s favorite lines. “I believe in chance, but I also believe in the KGB.” • Did you see this headline in The Wall Street Journal? “Russia’s disinformation campaign aims to undermine confidence in Pfizer and other Covid-19 vaccines, US officials say.” Yes, of course. What a sick mo, IMO. (Visit here for journal articles.) • “So you know Vladimir Putin,” George Stephanopoulos told President Biden. “Do you think he’s a murderer?” “Hmm, that’s right,” Biden replied. This was in stark contrast to Biden’s predecessor. To refresh your memory: When Donald Trump was first asked about Putin and the murder, he said, “Well, I think our country is also doing a lot of murders.” It was. When asked about it elsewhere, he said, “What do you think our country is so innocent?” In the good old days, conservatives called this “moral equivalence.” In response to Biden’s comments, Putin remembered his ambassador and he challenged Biden to debate. Many Democrats (note the small “d”) said Putin should discuss his political opponents in Russia rather than imprison them. At Fox and elsewhere, Putin was screaming to clean Biden’s watches and others. Did you see Adam Kinzinger’s comments? As you know, he is a rebellious Republican (and former Air Force pilot) from Illinois. Russia is not our ally. Putin is a murderer. He is a tyrant who targets freedom lovers and their elections. He helped Assad kill more than 50,000 children in Syria and torture activists in Belarus. He is confused and acts unpunished around the world. I always support America. Kinzinger speaks like a Republican from the good old days. He should be in a museum or something. • I would like to quote Aaron Ben Mayer. He is a veteran international affairs expert born in Baghdad. In 2019, I did a podcast with him and wrote about it in a blog post. The other day he tweeted. The 10-year-old civil war in Syria went far beyond the tragic and massive devastation. Innocent children, women and men should not die of hunger as their only crime. They were born in the wrong place and at the wrong time. Okay. In my experience, no one says a mouse about Syrians (except Syrians). No one wants to hear about it. People will also get tired of Uighurs. I have been looking at and writing about human rights fashion for a long time. I have the taste of this month. Then people lose their taste for it. Do you remember Darfur? Massacre in western Sudan? There are still terrible crimes in Darfur, but the world is on the move. For years I tried to get the Uighur people interested — people tended to giggle the name. Now people try to give me a lecture on that subject. Typical. Human rights issues are like hemlines. In other words, interest goes up and down. • Well, brighten me — with a gun problem? Okay. Michael Che had some funny lines (and some serious lines) at Saturday Night Live. His co-anchor of the “Weekend Update” sketch, Colin Jost, was talking about gun crime and gun control. Choi said, “I just bought a gun last summer when all the white kids started talking about getting rid of the police.” • I’m taking off my hat for the current issue of City Journal. This is the blueprint for the resurrection of New York City. The world is hungry for ideas. There are many things about “dunk” and slam dunk (“owning” and “drinking tears”). When it comes to ideas (good, honest and effective ideas), we are hungry. So hurray for CJ. • The Masters are approaching. And lately, I have a memory. In 2008, I attended an event at the “Golf House,” known as the United States Golf Association Museum. Arnold Palmer was one of the guests of the starry sky — the most starry sky — and he held a small press conference. Someone asked him about Tiger and his future: record books, etc. “As long as you stay healthy, the sky is the limit,” Palmer said. Then, as I remember, he talked about some of his own injuries. “‘As long as he’s healthy’? Well, this is the golf we’re talking about, not soccer or basketball.” Of course, Arnold was right. • Two years ago, I went to see Charles Hill at Yale University. We did a podcast together, which I wrote here. (Posts lead you to the podcast.) Hill was a great scholar of international affairs, a great diplomat, a great teacher, and a “magnificent strategist.” He now died at the age of 84. Let me give you another link. Thanks to Eric Edelman for him. Edelman is also a prominent US diplomat and scholar. Before going to Yale, I said to Charlie Hill, “Do you want to do a podcast?” “Of course,” he said. “What is a podcast?” I was very happy to know him a little and respond to him. Not only did he know the world, he also knew America. And if our salt loses its taste, we are cooked. Not all diplomatic skills and military power in the world can compensate for internal corruption. • Do you have music? Here we review music recordings for piano and orchestra by Chopin (Sure), Limski-Korsakov (what?), And Corngold (what?). I’ll also tell you an interesting story given to me by a friend of a musicologist. I associate that story with William Shatner of Star Trek — you’ll see. • A little word? Critics commented on my article, “You lost me in …” This phrase grew like a weed. It’s everywhere and takes over the lawn. You want to say, “You lost me because you lost me.” • I don’t know if you tried it, but Pepsi has released a Pepsi version for Easter. Like a chick (marshmallow). On the other hand, I think this signals the end time. On the other hand, I think it is “Yankee’s ingenuity.” Thank you for congratulating my friends and joining me. see you soon. If you would like to receive Impromptus by email (link to new column), please contact jnordlinger @ nationalreview.com.