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24 February 2017 05:40 (South Africa)

US: The new Ringmaster for Trump’s Circus?

  • J Brooks Spector
    brooks spector 02 BW
    J Brooks Spector

    Spector settled in Johannesburg after a career as a US diplomat in Africa and East Asia. He has taught at the U. of the Witwatersrand, been a consultant for an international NGO, run a theatre, and been a commentator for South African and international print/broadcast/online media, in addition to writing for The Daily Maverick from day one. He says he learned everything he needs to know about politics from ‘Casablanca.’ Maybe he's cynical about some things, but a late Beethoven string quartet, John Coltrane’s music and a dish of Pad Thai will bring him close to tears.

Photo: A handout photo made available by by the Defense Video Imagery Distribution System (DVIDS) on 20 February 2017 shows Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, director, Army Capabilities Integration Center, deputy-commanding general, Futures, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, speaking to students, staff, and faculty during a visit to U.S. Naval War (NWC) College in Newport, R.I., USA, 22 March 2016. US President Donald J. Trump announced on 20 February 2017 Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster would serve as national security advisor. EPA/Chief Mass Communication Specialist James E. Foehl / HO Released by CDR Barbara Mertz, Public Affairs Officer, US Naval War College, (401)841-2220,
Photo: French riot police clashes with protesters during a demonstration to support Theo and against police violence in Paris, France, 18 February 2017. Theo, a young man, was hospitalised for an emergency surgery after he was allegedly sodomized with a truncheon during a police check on 02 February 2017. The incident sparked violent protests in the Paris suburb, one police officer is now charged with rape. EPA/ETIENNE LAURENT

Op-Ed: Liberté, égalité, brutalité? Police-community relations in France

By Carilee Osborne
Photo: Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and President Jacob Zuma during the SADC Organ Troika Meeting at Elephant Hills Hotel, Victoria Falls, ahead of the 34th Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Heads of State and Government Ordinary Summit on Economic Transformation. Zimbabwe . 16/08/2012. Siyabulela Duda (GCIS)

‘Hasty, irrational and unconstitutional’: High Court’s damning verdict on SA’s ICC withdrawal

By Simon Allison
Photo: Cardinal Burke at Saint Francies de Sales for Solemn Te Deum and Benediction (Photo by Phil Rousin via Flickr)

Op-Ed: Pope vs Conservatives – when the shepherd wears lace

By Russell Pollitt
Photo by Benjamin Disinger via Flickr.

Cyberspying: The Ghost in Your Machine

By Heidi Swart
Photo: US President Donald J. Trump signs H.J. Res. 38, disapproving the rule submitted by the US Department of the Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, February 16, 2017. The Department of Interior’s Stream Protection Rule, which was signed during the final month of the Obama administration, ‘addresses the impacts of surface coal mining operations on surface water, groundwater, and the productivity of mining operation sites’, according to the summary of the resolution. EPA/Ron Sachs / POOL

US: The unravelling of Trump, Ep 78

By J Brooks Spector
Swiss musher Ueli Gerber leads his six Samoyed dogs during the international dog sled races in the Bernese Oberland, Kandersteg, Switzerland, 18 February 2017. 

While you were sleeping: 20th February 2018

By John Stupart
A member of the Shwe Daung Circus performs during the opening show at People Park in Yangon, Myanmar, 14 February 2017. The Shwe Daung (Golden Peacock) Circus, led by Sarah Schwartz of Germany and Sergio Nguyen of France, has European, African and South American performers and was founded in 2016. 

While you were sleeping: 16th February 2017

By John Stupart
Photo: US President Donald J. Trump waves outside the entrance to the West Wing after seeing off Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (not pictured) following their meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 15 February 2017. This is the first official meeting of the two leaders since President Trump has taken office. EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

Trump, eugenics, and the historical precedent for his anti-Muslim travel ban

By Steven Robins
Photo: Tibet’s new representative in South Africa, Ngodup Dorjee, works out of a tiny office in Centurion. Picture: Haji Mohamed Dawjee

Long Wait for Freedom: Tibet still hopes for SA government’s support

By Rebecca Davis
Photo: US Army Lieutenant-General Michael Flynn looks at US President-elect Donald Trump as he talks with the media at Mar-a-Lago estate where Trump attends meetings, in Palm Beach, Florida, US, December 21, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

General Mayhem: Michael Flynn resigns in disgrace; the world scratches its collective head

By J Brooks Spector
Photo: Then Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates (L) and his wife Melinda (C) stand with Warren Buffett (R), the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, during a press conference where Buffett announced that he is donating $30 billion of his own wealth to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in New York on Monday 26 June 2006. EPA/JUSTIN LANE

Dear Warren, love, Bill: What billionaires talk about when they talk about the poor

By Simon Allison
Photo: National Security Advisor, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, speaks during a news briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 01 February 2017. EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

Trump's national security advisor Flynn resigns over Russia contacts

Photo: Steve Bannon (C), chief strategist for US President Donald Trump, listens during a session with US President Donald J. Trump meeting with county sheriffs during a listening session in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 07 February 2017.  EPA/ANDREW HARRER / POOL

Analysis: SA needs to talk about the Islamic State’s real dangers, Trump’s extreme positions be damned

By Jasmine Opperman
Photo: National Security Adviser Michael Flynn (C) and Senior Counselor to the President Steve Bannon (R), sit nearby as US President Donald J. Trump (L) speaks on the phone with Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull in the Oval Office in Washington, DC, USA, 28 January 2017. The call was one of five calls with foreign leaders scheduled for 28 January. EPA/PETE MAROVICH / POOL

On the ropes again: Trump’s three weeks of chaos

By J Brooks Spector
Photo: A man walks in front of a huge banner with picture of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reading on ‘One nation, One flag, One homeland, One state’, in Istanbul, Turkey, 27 January 2017. Turkey’s parliament on 21 January approved a reform of the constitution to change the country’s parliamentarian system of governance into a presidential one, which the opposition denounced as giving more power to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. A referendum on the amendments is expected to be held in April. EPA/SEDAT SUNA

ISS Today: Sailing from Byzantium – Turkey’s venture into Africa

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady kisses the Vince Lombardi trophy during the victory parade through the streets of Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 07 February 2017. The New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, on 05 February 2017.

While you were sleeping: 9th February 2017

By John Stupart
Photo: US President Donald J. Trump (R) speaks at a meeting with executives and union representatives from the Harley Davidson company at the White House in Washington, DC., USA, 02 February 2017. EPA/WIN MCNAMEE / POOL (AFP OUT)

Analyse This (if you can): DJ Trump on the couch

By J Brooks Spector
Photo: (Left) Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland March 15, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque; (Right) President Jacob Zuma (Greg Nicolson)

Op-Ed: Proposed amendments to Hate Speech Bill could limit accountability and stifle critical discourse

By David Reiersgord
Photo: Joel Pollak interviewed by Brian Stelter on Reliable Sources, 29 January 2017. (A framegrab from CNN)

In Trump He Trusts: Meet the man who could be the next US ambassador to South Africa

By Rebecca Davis
Lady Gaga performs during the Half-time Show of Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, US, 5 February 2017. The AFC Champion Patriots played the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons in the National Football League's annual championship game.

While you were sleeping: 6th February 2017

By John Stupart
Photo: An Iraqi family from Woodbridge, Virginia, welcomes their grandmother at Dulles International Airport in Sterling, Virginia, USA, 05 February 2017. The grandmother, who holds a US green-card, was visiting her daughter who had given birth in Iraq but could not return to the US due to a travel ban in place after US President Trump signed an executive order. A federal judge on 03 February issued a temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of US President Trump’s executive order from 27 January that banned people from seven mainly Muslim countries from entering the United States. EPA/Astrid Riecken

US: Donald Trump’s Judgment Daze

By J Brooks Spector
US President Donald J. Trump signs the first of three Executive Orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 23 January 2017. Standing behind the President, from left to right: US Vice President Mike Pence; White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus; Peter Navarro, Director of the National Trade Council; Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President; Steven Miller, Senior Advisor to the President; unknown; and Steve Bannon, White House Chief Strategist. EPA/Ron Sachs / POOL

The Trumpian Gauleiters

By J Brooks Spector
Photo: A photograph made available on 29 July 2016 shows Zimbabwe Pastor Evan Mawarire from the #ThisFlag social movement in Harare, Zimbabwe, 25 June 2016. EPA/AARON UFUMEL

Breaking: Pastor Evan Mawarire detained for questioning on arrival in Harare

By Simon Allison
Photo: Morocco's King Mohammed VI attends the victory ceremony after Bayern's victory in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup 2013 between Raja Casablanca and FC Bayern Munich in Marrakech, Morocco, 21 December 2013. EPA/DAVID EBENER

Op-Ed: Morocco wrong-foots its African critics

Photo: US President Donald J. Trump speaks before signing an executive order, while surrounded by small business leaders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 30 January 2017. Trump said the executive order will ‘dramatically’ reduce regulations on small businesses. EPA/ANDREW HARRER / POOL

Analysis: What a friend extremists have in fundamentalist democracy

By Jasmine Opperman
Photo:  People listen during an interfaith rally to show support for the Muslim and immigrant communities in New York, New York, USA, 27 January 2017. The rally was organized in response to proposed actions by President Donald Trump. EPA/JUSTIN LANE

Snapshot: Hate melts in the frozen streets of Manhattan

Photo by Ben Fruen via Flickr.

Op-Ed: Is our privacy all but gone?

By Dale T. McKinley
Photo: US President Donald J. Trump waves as he walks across the South Lawn of the White House after arriving on Marine One, in Washington, DC, USA, 26 January 2017. Trump returned from Philadelphia, where he attended the House and Senate Leadership Retreat. EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

Trump & Troublesome Terms: Executive Orders, Emoluments Clause, Disability Clause

By J Brooks Spector
Photo: A file picture dated 24 May 2016 shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a press conference at the end of the World Humanitarian Summit at Istanbul congress center in Istanbul, Turkey. EPA/SEDAT SUNA

Sultan of Zing: Erdogan’s power trip makes African pit stop

By Ranjeni Munusamy