Can AI Really Help Solve the Problem of Overclassification?
Plus: Five Ways to Help Ukraine Win
Recently in The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: Ditching CPAC.
JVL: Jeb! Loves! DeSantis! 🔐 and Technology Abhors a Mystery.
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
GABRIEL SCHOENFELD: Can AI Really Help Solve the Problem of Overclassification?
What should we do about excessive governmental secrecy? The quantity of documents bearing a classified stamp is staggering, a number probably in the billions, with the U.S. government adding 50 million to the pile every year. President Joe Biden, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former President Donald Trump, have all been caught—the latter in his own very special way—in the coils of our plainly broken system of controlling classified information. With rampant overclassification widely acknowledged, and equally rampant leaking of some of our country’s most precious secrets, clearly reform is order. In what direction should we proceed?
One set of answers comes in a new book by Matthew Connelly, a professor of international relations at Columbia University and principal investigator at something called the “History Lab.”
Scott Adams has the right to carry on about white victimhood, and newspapers have the free speech right to drop him. Plus, after the Ohio train wreck, is Biden — with his global leadership — showing shades of Bush 41? Will Saletan is back with Charlie Sykes for Charlie and Will Monday.
Voters that we talk to are iffy about Biden running for re-election given his age, but Republicans may have even larger challenges. Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs joins Sarah to talk Joe Biden, the Democratic base, and the bright future of the Democratic bench.
Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice. Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
DANIEL FATA: Five Ways to Help Ukraine Win.
Last week, in advance of the anniversary of Russia’s horrific invasion of Ukraine, as Russian forces appear fitfully to be launching a new offensive, President Biden for the first time visited Ukraine, walking with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky through Kyiv. Following on his pledge in his State of the Union address to support Ukraine for “as long as it takes,” Biden’s visit was a dramatic signal of resolve—but it hasn’t finally resolved the tensions and contradictions within his administration.
Just days after Biden made his pledge before both chambers of Congress, the American people, and the world, an anonymous administration official told the Washington Post that “‘as long as it takes’ pertains to the amount of conflict,” not “to the amount of assistance,” and that “we will continue to try to impress upon them that we can’t do anything and everything forever.”
Happy Monday! It’s a big week for us, as Principles First has its annual conference here in town. The Bulwark is co-sponsoring the conference, and a bunch of us will be there. I will be there Saturday, say hello!
It’s wild to think back to 2019 when I was interviewing Heath Mayo on Skype as his Schlapp-critical Twitter thread gave way to this wonderful conference. (Buy a ticket if you haven’t!)
While Principles First won’t get as many attendees as CPAC will, that’s changing. From a bunch of people at a bar, meeting Twitter pals IRL (as the kids say) for the first time, to having a top-notch roster of speakers and a very nice venue. Come on: two former GOP governors and a sitting governor? From a humble origin to this in a few years is nothing short of impressive.
CPAC on the other hand, is… not doing so hot. The allegations plaguing Matt Schlapp have led to a Fox News blackout. And big names—Mike Pence and Ron DeSantis—aren’t going. But Kari Lake and Steve Bannon are. As Charles Krauthammer observed: decline is a choice.
I won’t be giving CPAC extensive coverage, but stay tuned to this space for some updates from that shrinking circus.
The kids are alright… Will Leitch spent a couple days at a super ritzy school in Buffalo, and his conclusion is heartening: “Everything I thought about the kids was wrong. What I was struck by, after two days of talking and listening to teenagers, is how much weight we have put on their shoulders, how much they’ve already had to endure, how many of our problems they’re going to have to solve—and how they’re very much up to the challenge.”
The war on woke… Is meaningless. And Republicans like it that way.
In the “free state of Florida…” Ron DeSantis is trying to destroy protections for the press.
The secret weapons of Ukraine… Take a trip through the hodgepodge work of volunteers helping Ukraine defend their homeland from the Russkies.
The Russia-Ukraine war… An oral history of us watching it begin from abroad.
Speaking of oral histories… I couldn’t pass up this one on the great Joey Votto in The Athletic. Rob Manfred seems intent on ruining baseball—have you watched Spring Training? It’s disgusting.—but at least we have Votto and his hijinx until Manfred kills it dead.
Why Fox lied… To the viewers it “respects.” Must read David French at the NYT.
Jim Jordan’s stunt fails… He went to the border to highlight all of the border crossings, but… nobody showed. Mission accomplished?
While we’re talking about immigration… This NYT deep dive on the exploitation of unaccompanied children and their lives is worth all the time it takes to read.
Meanwhile, in Maryland… The state party keeps stepping on rakes. When your kooky failed Lt. Gov. candidate calls you out, you should accept you have a problem.
War of the little papers… In NYC, a handful of small papers are fighting for local readers. It’s great for consumers. One paper, though, has been taken over by an eccentric woman with a passion for Lyndon LaRouche-style content.
AMLO’s elf… You can’t make this sort of stuff up.
You’re not going to believe this… But George Santos made his way into a Siena poll. And he somehow has 17% of respondents approving of his, uh, work. Here is your daily moment of Santos Zen.
That’s it for me. Tech support questions? Email email@example.com. Questions for me? Respond to this message.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.