James often acts without informing other party leaders, leaving them to find out about his latest cockamamie idea from the newspapers. Rather than working with the people chosen to assist with specific functions, it’s almost entirely lone wolf actions.
Always lurking right below the surface of these public and private fights are the people who are trying to use the party as their own personal kingmaker machine. They thought they had a pretty good thing going with a party machinery that could expel members deemed unruly, change rules on the fly to their own favor, and generally use lawfare to attain more power. Unfortunately for them, they’ve alienated enough people to no longer enjoy any kind of popular support.—Utah Politico Hub
Seagal, the martial artist turned washed-up action hero, was just the man to pull U.S.–Russia relations back from the brink, Putin said, according to four current and former U.S. officials. An American patriot through and through, Seagal truly knew Russia too: He was in touch with both his Russian roots — his grandmother was from Vladivostok — and with senior figures in the Russian political and security apparatus. Seagal and Putin had met in Moscow a few months earlier; the two men enjoyed a lunch at Novo-Ogarevo, then visited a martial arts complex. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters that the two men were longtime friends. That all made Seagal the ideal poster child for friendship between their nations, Putin told Obama, according to the U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly about diplomatic matters.
Obama was flabbergasted. “Our reaction was, ‘You’ve got to be kidding,’” a U.S. official who was present at the Lough Erne meeting told BuzzFeed News.—BuzzFeed