The Trump administration is taking heat for striking a Syrian air base with Tomahawk missiles and hitting ISIS terrorists in Afghanistan with a MOAB, a conventional bomb so big that it has been dubbed the “Mother of All Bombs.” No doubt there are useful debates to be had about the pros and cons, both tactical and juridical. But one sure upside of these strikes is that they are a step toward restoring abroad the credibility of America as a power to be reckoned with. That’s big, in ways that go way beyond the immediate battlefields. In a world grown dramatically more
"Make America Great Again" is not a foreign policy. The US hasn´t had a coherent one since the collapse of the Soviet Union apparently put an end to the threat of international communism.
So, we apparently again become the world´s cop meting out unilateral "sentences" on our global beat as we see fit, so long as they are proportional, of course. Why? So we can plant fear in the other bad guys.
All news is good news, apparently — at least if you judge by the stock market. US economic growth is sluggish, consumer confidence is down and President Trump’s tax reform is stalled. And yet, the market isn’t spooked — it has climbed to historic highs. The question is why. After all, the warning signs aren’t imaginary. The slow uphill trudge of Trump’s health-care reform is holding up his tax cuts because his aides say he needs health-care budget savings to finance them.Many investors I speak to are particularly obsessed with slashing the corporate-tax rate from its current level of 35 percent — one
It often has been observed that philosophy really got going when people started thinking seriously about the distinction between appearance, on the one hand, and reality, on the other. Plato is full of meditations on this theme, from the stick that appears bent when half submerged in a bowl of water to the texture and real significance of our experience of the everyday world. The moral is: things are not always as they seem. Alas, it is one thing to enunciate that moral in the abstract, quite another to take account of its operation on the ground. Grigory Potemkin famously exploited our habit
How much do Democrats really want to defeat President Trump? There’s no doubt that Democrats want to watch TV programs that excoriate the president. They want to give money to candidates opposing him. They want to fantasize about frog-marching him straight from his impeachment proceedings to the nearest federal penitentiary. But do they want to do the one thing that would make it easier to win tough races in marginal areas, namely moderate on the cultural issue? Not so much. In retrospect, Jon Ossoff’s loss in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District was overdetermined. He didn’t live in the district. He had no record of
The hotly-anticipated Senate Republican health care bill came out on Thursday morning. The airwaves quickly filled up with predictable talking points from both sides. But once the dust settles, it will emerge that the Senate bill will have far-reaching effects on American health care: for the better.In March, when House Republicans published their bill to replace Obamacare—the American Health Care Act—I described it in Forbes this way: “GOP’s Obamacare Replacement Will Make Coverage Unaffordable For Millions—Otherwise, It’s Great.” I meant it. There were great things about the House bill, in particular its far-reaching reforms of the Medicaid program.
It’s an article of faith among progressives that they are intellectually and morally superior to conservatives and pretty much everyone else. In fact, the need to see themselves as a cut above mere mortals is far more important to them than any ideology, policy position, or set of objective facts. This is why Barack Obama was able, after being elected President, to reverse his position on the inclusion of an individual mandate in health care “reform” without losing a single supporter. And it is why Paul Krugman maintains a huge progressive readership despite his penchant for treating them like fools.
It is easy to forget that the credibility battle between President Trump and James Comey is just the latest round in Donald Trump’s long struggle to overwhelm, single-handedly at first, the entire national political power structure. No one who followed closely really believed that the war was over on election night. The Democrats contested some local results, very unsuccessfully, and then, in their stark disbelief, took out television advertisements reaching tens of millions of people to ask some of the 538 people elevated to the electoral college to break their pledges and vote for Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump.
In 2016, the Democratic Party lost the presidency to possibly the least popular candidate in American history. In recent years, Democrats have also lost the Senate and House to right-wing Republicans whose extremist agenda is far removed from where most Americans are politically. Republicans now control almost two-thirds of governor’s offices and have gained about 1,000 seats in state legislatures in the past nine years. In 24 states, Democrats have almost no political influence at all. If these results are not a clear manifestation of a failed political strategy, I don’t know what is. For the sake of our country and
Not that anyone noticed, but last week was "Infrastructure Week" in the Trump administration. And, while everyone fixated on James Comey, President Trump put forth a refreshingly new approach to fixing roads and bridges. Trump started the week by calling for Congress to privatize the nation´s air traffic control — a much needed reform, as we explained in this space recently — and finished it by promising to lift federal regulatory burdens blocking infrastructure projects. In between, the White House outlined his plan to live up to his campaign promise of spending $1 trillion on infrastructure. Trump´s budget had already included a proposal
Last week, while most of Washington obsessed over the self-serving cavils of a cashiered federal bureaucrat, Senate Republicans focused on a project much nearer to the hearts of the voters — repealing Obamacare. And the GOP made significant progress in that effort. The Senate parliamentarian ruled that repeal can be passed via reconciliation and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell fast-tracked the process by invoking “rule 14,” which permits the Senate to skip laborious committee hearings that Democrats planned to use for protracted grandstanding. Meanwhile, moderate Republicans are coming around on proposed changes to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion about which they had expressed
Kamala Harris insists she’s not thinking about running for president. But few got that impression after her high-octane performances in nationally televised congressional hearings this week. The first-term California senator often described as risk-averse and overly cautious appears to be eagerly shedding that profile and embracing a role as one of the Senate’s fiercest critics of the Trump administration. It’s enough to spark widespread speculation about her prospects for 2020. “The dominant trend in Democratic Party politics is fresh, new and interesting — that’s what people are looking for — not old, steady and establishment,’’ says Wade Randlett, a longtime Democratic fundraiser in
One day of huffing, another day of puffing, and we’re just about where we were. Half of us want Donald Trump’s presidency to succeed, whether we like everything about the Donald or not, and the other half regards him as the anti-Christ. James Comey’s big day before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee was treated in Washington as something of a national holiday, with everyone gathered around television sets in offices, bars and shops to watch the bombs fall, to watch Channel 4 mortar Channel 9. The president was expected to be in rags and tatters by the end of the day, but
President Donald Trump has lurched from self-created crisis to crisis, and his approval rating languishes in the latest polls between 35 percent and 40 percent, the lowest of any newly elected president since Gallup begin measuring it. On Thursday, former FBI Director James Comey will provide testimony before the Senate on the circumstances surrounding his firing and allegations Trump tried to pressure him to lay off the Russia investigation. That Comey testimony was released on Wednesday, and the markets seemed to take it in stride rather than reacting as if there were a "smoking gun." But ever since the former FBI director´s
California is restricting publicly funded travel to four more states because of recent laws that leaders here view as discriminatory against gay and transgender people. All totaled, California now bans most state-funded travel to eight states. The new additions to California’s restricted travel list are Texas, Alabama, Kentucky and South Dakota. They join Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee as states already subjected to the ban. California Attorney Xavier Becerra announced the new states at a Thursday press conference, where he was joined by representatives from ACLU Northern California and Equality California.
Most illegal immigrants who pay taxes have stolen someone else’s legal identity, and the IRS doesn’t do a very good job of letting those American citizens and legal immigrants know they’re being impersonated, the tax agency’s inspector general said in a new report released Thursday. The theft creates major problems for the American citizens and legal foreign workers whose identities are stolen, and who have to deal with explaining money they never earned. But the IRS only manages to identify half of the potentially 1.4 million people likely affected by the fraud in 2015, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax
In a year that he would like to forget, which included his acrimonious divorce to Amber Heard, Johnny Depp appeared at a Q&A at the new Cinemageddon stage at Glastonbury. Introducing his 2004 film The Libertine, about a 17th-century poet who notoriously drank himself to an early death, the 54-year-old chose to discuss American politics. "I think [Donald] Trump needs help," he said. "There are a lot of dark places he could go." He added: "I´m not insinuating anything - by the way this will be in the press and it will be horrible - but when was the last
[…] John Anzalone, Ossoff’s pollster, said the Democrat’s campaign succeeded in turning out its voters — but they were swamped by Republicans who came out in numbers that ended up dwarfing previous high-profile special elections (link) That’s a very interesting admission/statement for a Politico article. That’s also an example of what happens when President Trump’s ‘Monster Vote‘ turns out. (Politico) Jon Ossoff was on a trajectory to defeat Karen Handel narrowly, poised to deliver a humiliating blow to the White House in a race billed as a referendum of Donald Trump’s early months in office. Then the Republican voters in
The deadly collision between a U.S. destroyer and a container ship June 17 took place while the freighter was on autopilot, according to Navy officials. The Philippines-flagged cargo ship ACX Crystal was under control of a computerized navigation system that was steering and guiding the container vessel, according to officials familiar with preliminary results of an ongoing Navy investigation. Investigators so far found no evidence the collision was deliberate. Nevertheless, an accident during computerized navigation raises the possibility the container ship´s computer system could have been hacked and the ship deliberately steered into the USS Fitzgerald, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer. A more
President Obama has been out of office only a few months. But he might have both a street and an L.A. freeway named after him soon. Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson has proposed renaming Rodeo Road in southwest L.A. “Obama Boulevard” in honor of the president. Wesson noted that Obama held a campaign rally at Rancho Cienega Park on Rodeo Road when running for president and that the area already has streets named after presidents (Washington, Jefferson, Adams). In May, a plan to name a stretch of the 134 Freeway after Obama moved forward with approval from the
MSNBC “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski compared President Donald Trump’s administration to North Korea Friday, saying “It does feel like a developing dictatorship.” “I will say you can do some work reading history and reading books about how dictatorship happen. The development of very negative forces taking over and what you are seeing is either this happening right now, or someone who’s not well. Very few options,” Brzezinski continued. Co-host Joe Scarborough tried to lighten to mood during the segment, saying, “I think it’s actually more like Hogan’s Heroes if anything else.” Brzezinski she quietly rebuked Trump once more saying
Many Americans have become accustomed to President Trump’s lies. But as regular as they have become, the country should not allow itself to become numb to them. So we have catalogued nearly every outright lie he has told publicly since taking the oath of office. “I wasn´t a fan of Iraq. I didn´t want to go into Iraq.” (He was for an invasion before he was against it.)Jan. 21 “A reporter for Time magazine — and I have been on their cover 14 or 15 times. I think
Eaarly last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides. Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race. But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee,
ST. LOUIS - The insurance company for the city of Ferguson, Missouri, paid $1.5 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Michael Brown´s parents, the city attorney said Friday. Attorney Apollo Carey disclosed the amount in an email in response to an open records request. The settlement of the federal lawsuit was announced Tuesday, but financial details were not initially released. Carey declined further comment on the settlement. A phone message seeking comment from the attorney for the family, Anthony Gray, was not immediately returned. Brown, 18, was black and unarmed when he was fatally shot by white officer Darren Wilson
The televised White House news briefing, after emerging as a can’t-miss ritual of the early days of the Trump administration, has in recent weeks become shorter, less informative and less accessible, with some of the briefings declared off-limits to live broadcasting. The White House Correspondents’ Association is not pleased. “We believe strongly that Americans should be able to watch and listen to senior government officials face questions from an independent news media,” the group’s president, Jeff Mason of Reuters, wrote in a note to members on Friday. Mr. Mason met on Thursday with Sean Spicer, the White House press
Former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton came out swinging in a tweet Friday, saying if Senate Republicans pass their current healthcare bill, they will become the “death party.” Clinton’s post referenced an article from the Center for American Progress, an independent nonpartisan policy institute, which cited Harvard researchers as saying “the Senate bill could result in 18,000 to 28,000 deaths in 2026.” (Snip) The tweet from Clinton follows an earlier tweet urging her supporters to "speak out against" the bill.