The State of the Union: What to Expect Next From President Trump and the 115th Congress

Two weeks ago, in his first State of the Union and his second address to a joint session of Congress, President Donald Trump spoke about what his Administration had accomplished in the eleven months since his first address and set forth his vision for what he expects to accomplish this year. Here at Squire Patton Boggs we decided to take a closer look at the President’s message and provide that analysis to our clients, and our partners here at Meridian as a member of the Meridian Corporate Council. In our analysis, we provided an overview of the coming weeks...

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The Romanian Blouse and the Many Forms of Cultural Diplomacy

Cultural diplomacy takes many shapes and forms. The forms and ornaments found on Romanian folk blouses, called “ia” (pronounced E – A), are just the latest and probably most unusual manifestation of what cultural diplomacy can be. Unbeknown to most, the Romanian blouse is truly an universal cultural icon. Worn by celebrities, part of cultural revolutions such as the hippie movement in the 60s, loved by famous fashion designers from around the world, and an inspiration for famous artists or movie characters, the Romanian Blouses trace their origins back to the ancient civilizations found along the Danube river thousands of years ago. They preserved a part of the language of...

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Perception Is Power: Why Russia Is Missing Out at the G7

Russia was arguably the least popular world power in 2014. According to new data from the Gallup World Poll, Russian leadership has a median international approval rating of 22 percent and a 36 percent disapproval rating, the highest of any country. This is cannot be a surprise following the annexation of Crimea, covert intervention in Eastern Ukraine, and assassination of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. As a direct result of international disapproval, Russia’s membership in the G8 was suspended in March 2014, further isolating the country during a time of economic hardship. Negative perceptions of Russian leadership are immediately affecting...

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