History repeats itself
June 30, 2020

Russia's reported bounties on American troops — and the idea that President Trump knew about them — is starting to ring some historical bells.

That's what some Democrats and liberals have started to suggest as more information corroborates reports that Russia offered the Taliban bounties for killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan, resulting in at least one death. They're calling for an investigation into the matter and, in some cases, comparing the bounties to the 2012 Benghazi attack that Republicans have been laser focused on for years now.

Trump claimed he "never got a briefing" regarding the bounties, but The New York Times has since reported that American officials gave Trump a written briefing on the subject in February. In response to that report, Brian Beutler, the editor-in-chief of the left-wing Crooked Media, called the Russian bounty report essentially Benghazi "but not fake."

Paul Begala, who was a top adviser to former president Bill Clinton, called out several Republican senators and asked if they'd have "even one investigation" of the Russian bounty reports, given that "there were eight separate investigations into Benghazi."

The Times also reported Tuesday that financial transactions between Russia and a Taliban account backed up the bounty evidence, prompting Julia Ioffe of GQ to suggest a nickname for the scandal: "Afghazi." Kathryn Krawczyk

July 14, 2017

There will be a couple of familiar faces competing in this year's Wimbledon singles' finals: Venus Williams and Roger Federer.

Federer will make his 11th appearance in the Wimbledon finals after besting Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic on Friday in straight sets, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4), 6-4. The eight-time Wimbledon champion from Switzerland will face Croatian Marin Cilic on Center Court on Sunday, after Cilic defeated American Sam Querrey earlier Friday to advance. Cilic has never made it this far at Wimbledon, having lost in the quarterfinals three years in a row; he has won only one major title in his career, the 2014 U.S. Open, which required him to defeat Federer in the semifinal round.

Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, meanwhile, secured her spot in the women's finals Thursday, needing only an hour and 13 minutes to oust the U.K.'s Johanna Konta. Williams will face 2015 Wimbledon runner-up Garbine Muguruza of Spain on Saturday on Center Court in the final; the two women have played each other four times on the WTA Tour, and Williams has lost only one of those matches. This match-up, however, will be Muguruza and William's first game on a grass court or in a Grand Slam tournament. Lucy Friedmann

June 1, 2016

While Donald Trump's behavior may seem unprecedented in the modern American political sphere, historian Tom Holland suggests this isn't the first time the world has seen a politician like Trump. Indeed, Holland told The Guardian that the presumptive GOP nominee has a lot in common with the infamous Roman emperor Caligula.

The emperor, whose name, The Guardian notes, is "synonymous with the worst excesses of absolute power," also had a fondness for "spectacle" and "humiliating people," Holland said. But perhaps the most notable parallel is how both Trump and Caligula capitalized on the masses' disdain for the elite. "What he did was to trample the dignity of the senatorial elite into the dirt and what he discovered in doing that was that the mass of the Roman people really enjoyed it," Holland said of Caligula. "Trump has said and done things that are utterly shocking by the standards of traditional political morality, but far from making him unpopular with the masses there is a sense in which he has become the toast of the people."

Read the rest over at The Guardian. Becca Stanek

March 12, 2015

Nazi Germany in 1938 annexed territory in Czechoslovakia as part of the Munich Agreement, only to have Hitler invade the rest of the country later on. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) thinks that what we're hearing now of the Obama administration's deal with Iran over the country's nuclear program is "echoes of history."

Cruz joined fellow Republican senators to sign a controversial letter to Iran warning Iranian leaders that any deal Obama makes with them will first have to be approved by Congress and may not last.

"I believe we are at a moment like Munich in 1938," Cruz said during an interview on The Hugh Hewitt Show. "And indeed," he added, "Prime Minister Netanyahu's address to Congress last week was Churchillian in its clarity and moral gravity." Teresa Mull

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