Wanhua Chemical, a $10 billion chemical company controlled by the Chinese government, now has an avenue to influence American elections. On Monday, Wanhua joined the American Chemistry Council, a lobby organization for chemical manufacturers that is unusually aggressive in intervening in U.S. politics. The ACC is a prominent recipient of so-called dark money - that is, unlimited amounts of cash from corporations or individuals the origins of which are only disclosed to the IRS, not the public. During the 2012, 2014, and 2016 election cycles, the ACC took this dark money and spent over $40 million of it on contributions to super PACs, lobbying, and direct expenditures. (Additional money flowed directly to candidates via the ACC's political action committee.)
Playboy magazine, now a relic in the legacy of its founder, Hugh Hefner, was not so long ago the sex educator of the young men of America. So pervasive was its influence that someone joked that "a generation of men, having learned about the female body from Playboy's famous centerfolds, are astonished on their wedding nights to discover that their wives don't come with staples in their navels."
Observers are buzzing about a series of events in the last 60 days in the case of Michael Flynn, the Trump national security adviser who on Dec. 1 pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI in the Trump-Russia investigation. The new developments might add up to very little or they might be significant. In any event, they are raising eyebrows.
The resignation of White House staff secretary Rob Porter is a big scandal because Democrats and their news media are pumping it up to distract the public from the truly enormous scandal of the Obama administration's apparent illegal spying on the Trump campaign and its apparent scuttling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. There is some reason to expect that this strategy - like many another Democrat attack on Trump - is going to blow up in the attackers' faces.
'America first does not mean America alone," President Trump declared last month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. This sudden burst of pragmatism from an avowed nationalist showed what a difference a year can make.
Over the last year, the most common rebuttal to my intermittent coverage of campus culture has been: Why does it matter? These are students, after all. They'll grow up once they leave their cloistered, neo-Marxist safe spaces.
Timing is everything, especially in investigations. Fox News' Jake Gibson reported overnight that newly released texts between FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page indicated that then-President Barack Obama wanted to be informed about all of the activity in their investigation. But which investigation, and when, matters: