Victorino Matus

Victorino Matus is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard. With the magazine since 1996, he writes on a variety of subjects, including politics, Germany, military history, pop culture, and food and drink. His work has also appeared in Policy Review, National Review, Armed Forces Journal, the New York Post, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. He is currently working on a book, Vodka: An Illustrated History (Lyons Press, 2014). Matus is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Stories by Victorino Matus

The Heist of a Lifetime

07:40 PM, Jan 24, 2014
The one robbery where there should have been enough for everyone. Six million dollars in cash and jewels. And yet, within days of the robbery the dream score turned into a nightmare. What should have been the crew's happiest moment turned out to be the beginning of the end. —Nicholas Pileggi... Read more

Eastern Promises

08:45 PM, Jan 22, 2014
Now that the Grand Coalition has returned to power, will there be a thaw in German-Russian relations? The Social Democrats (SPD) have retaken the foreign ministry. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the foreign minister, gets along well with the Russians—he was once chief of staff to Gerhard Schröder, a... Read more

Kitchen Nightmare

08:15 PM, Jan 15, 2014
Today would not be a good day to hang out with Michel Richard. I've been around the award-winning French chef when something's not right—the vegetables in the soup aren't fully cooked, bread is being wasted, a waiter's shirt is verging on the untucked—it's not pleasant. Normally Richard is a... Read more

An 80-Year-Old Argument

08:10 PM, Nov 20, 2013
The battle over government's role in society has been raging for some time—culminating in today's clash over Obamacare. But for how long? In The New Deal & Modern Conservatism: A Defining Rivalry , Professor David Davenport, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Gordon Lloyd, a... Read more

Tanks for the Memories

08:34 PM, Nov 18, 2013
Over at Politico , Josh King reflects on the disastrous Michael Dukakis presidential campaign—specifically the moment the Massachusetts governor donned a helmet and rode around in an M1A1 Abrams, trying to resemble a muscular commander in chief. Except he didn't. "Why had an event that... Read more

The Little Engine That Barely Could

12:53 PM, Nov 12, 2013
Last Saturday marked the 24th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. At the International Spy Museum in downtown D.C., the day was commemorated by a parade of colorful Trabants, those wonderful symbols of East German innovation and efficiency—central planning at its best. First... Read more

A Spirited Fight

12:10 PM, Nov 11, 2013
By now we know that winning the war on terror requires a commitment to peace and stability in far-flung places—a component that goes hand-in-hand with military might. Of course this is easier said than done. Certainly there are a slew of organizations focused on relief efforts, but how many of... Read more

Zone Four

07:45 PM, Oct 21, 2013
The day had finally arrived—our children were embarking on their first flight. My wife and I figured that since we wouldn't have to be changing diapers in cramped quarters (our kids are five and three), the time was right. But I also presumed that since we had toddlers with us, the airline would... Read more

Shutdown Impacts NFL Player

06:07 PM, Oct 06, 2013
Aiming to be the next Chad Ochocinco, 49ers safety Donte Whitner announced he was legally changing his last name to Hitner. But according to ESPN's Adam Schefter , the paperwork cannot be completed because of the government shutdown. In fact, it may take a few weeks before the name change and... Read more

Searching for Joschka Fischer

12:05 PM, Oct 02, 2013
Lost in the shuffle of last week's German elections was the plight of the Green party. It was understandable, of course. Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats dominated. The Free Democrats fell out of the Bundestag. And the CDU is meeting with Green party officials to discuss a potential... Read more

The Missing Linke

11:28 AM, Sep 20, 2013
Frankfurt If you couldn't tell from all the red banners this was a far-left rally, you could probably tell by the smell. It was an earthy group consisting of various age groups and even more various hair dyes. They seem to like denim. And I think I've figured out how they managed to give... Read more

Isn't It Grand?

04:23 PM, Sep 22, 2013
Berlin The results of the German election are in and, as expected, the current coalition has come to an end. Although the CDU won a solid 42.3 percent, its junior partner, the FDP, dropped to 4.5 percent, below the threshold for representation in the Bundestag--the first time... Read more

Angie in the Haus

12:25 PM, Sep 22, 2013
Berlin By noon, Eastern Standard Time, everyone will know the results of the German elections. And the most likely outcome is a grand coalition between Angela Merkel's CDU and the Social Democrats.  The Alternative for Germany party is expected to garner enough votes to enter the... Read more

Germany's Alternative Ending

12:01 PM, Sep 21, 2013
Frankfurt "For the first time in this election I'm feeling nervous," one FDP member just confessed. And he should be. ZDF's final poll (Politbarometer) was released, and the race could not be tighter. At the moment, Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union is holding steady at 40... Read more

Beer and Loathing in Germany

12:25 PM, Sep 19, 2013
Wiesbaden, Germany In the late 18th century, the Germans built a casino in the town of Wiesbaden. It was the first of its kind. But considering the wealth of the surrounding area, it flourished. In fact, the casino is where Dostoyevsky lost a hefty amount and, according to town historian... Read more

German Election Coverage

07:40 PM, Sep 17, 2013
Beginning tomorrow and through Sunday I will be reporting on the German elections, aka Bundestagswahl 2013, from Frankfurt, Mainz, Wiesbaden, and Berlin, as part of a study group sponsored by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. The foundation is the nonprofit arm of the Free Democrat Party, the... Read more

Go Back to Russia!

03:45 PM, Aug 21, 2013
To counter the persecution of gays in Russia, some in the West have been calling for a boycott of Russian vodka—the idea being that if things don't improve, we ought to hit 'em where it hurts. After all, Russians drink and make a lot of vodka and there was a time (in the mid-19th century) when... Read more

We Know What's Good for You

04:15 PM, Aug 19, 2013
Michelle Obama is on the cover of this week's Parade magazine. The profile by Maggie Murphy and Lynn Sherr was hard-hitting: "Posing in the formal Green Room, she appears both relaxed and invigorated, embracing the undefined (and undefinable) roles of Spouse in Chief, Role Model in Chief, and... Read more

James Gandolfini, 1961-2013

09:25 PM, Jun 20, 2013
It is said that when jazz legend Charlie "Bird" Parker died, the coroner guessed he was in his 50s. Parker was, in fact, 34 years old. Likewise, many of us might have been surprised to learn that actor James Gandolfini , who died suddenly on Wednesday night, was a mere 51. This means that when... Read more

Ready for Battle

06:00 PM, Jun 13, 2013
The military historian Victor Davis Hanson was in Washington, D.C., to promote his latest book, The Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost—From Ancient Greece to Iraq . Considering what is transpiring overseas, the timing couldn't be better. (It also makes for... Read more

'Mad Men' Recap

05:05 PM, May 20, 2013
Normally I blog about each week's Mad Men episode here . I avoid Slate and Esquire and everywhere else that offers analysis and simply try to reflect on the more interesting aspects of the show. Then I'll go over to the other sites and realize I know nothing. I am reminded of Gene... Read more

Jersey Stories

04:35 PM, May 07, 2013
I once suggested the Garden State be renamed the Diner State—New Jersey has more of them supposedly per capita than any other state in the union. They all seem to be open 24 hours and offer the kinds of food I love, especially around 2 a.m., such as a Western omelet, corned beef hash and eggs,... Read more

In Memoriam

06:05 PM, Apr 22, 2013
"Embrace the slime!" That was how my "oyster mentor" taught me to appreciate those fine bivalves. "Swish it around, taste the brine." Prior to our dinner at the Oceanaire Seafood Room, I tended to gulp down oysters doused in shrimp cocktail sauce, which was not the ideal way to eat something... Read more

Scorsese on Film

05:30 PM, Apr 02, 2013
Last night at the Kennedy Center concert hall, Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese delivered the 2013 National Endowment for the Humanities Jefferson Lecture. He spoke of the importance of preserving film and lamented the studios' fixation with box office grosses. The end of celluloid... Read more

Hungry Like the Wolff

05:50 PM, Mar 12, 2013
Perhaps by the end of the day Michael Wolff will tell us it was all a joke, like Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal." And that he couldn't have possibly been serious when he wrote in British GQ , "You likely wouldn't have sex with someone who took you to the wrong restaurant (or at least... Read more

Last Chef Standing

01:19 PM, Mar 01, 2013
(SPOILER ALERT) The season finale of Top Chef didn't involve iditarods, tonging for oysters, or a roller derby. Instead, finalists Brooke Williamson and Kristen Kish, with the help of eliminated competitors, cranked out their own menus for the judges and a select group of guests—including... Read more

All About Craft

11:10 PM, Feb 21, 2013
The first part of the Top Chef season finale involved the finalists creating a three-course menu and serving it up at head judge Tom Colicchio's flagship Craft in Los Angeles. This in itself was daunting. The contestants were awed by the sparkling kitchen and array of fresh ingredients at... Read more

Bringing Home the Bacon

08:15 PM, Feb 14, 2013
And then there were three. (SPOILER ALERT) But at the moment we only know two of this season's Top Chef finalists, Brooke Williamson and Sheldon Simeon. The third is the winner of Last Chance Kitchen , which will either be Kristen Kish or Lizzie Binder. But it won't be Oklahoma chef Josh... Read more

Electric Slide

05:05 PM, Feb 12, 2013
In this morning's Washington Post , columnist and former New Republic editor Charles Lane writes that the Obama administration has not only fallen short in its quest for electric car domination—the quest has actually ended in decisive failure. Lane explains, Americans bought just... Read more

Galley Slaves

02:18 PM, Feb 09, 2013
As I mentioned elsewhere , it was rather fitting that during the week I was away on THE WEEKLY STANDARD cruise, the Top Chef episode I missed happened to take place on a cruise ship. The kitchen quarters are cramped and the contestants had to figure out how to use the various serving vessels... Read more