At a time when the leader of North Korea is widely accused of ordering the murder of his half-brother, it is understandable that some in the Trump administration might want to keep their distance. But the decision announced a few days ago to cancel planned unofficial Track 1.5 talks in New York with the Pyongyang regime was a mistake. As someone who has participated in both formal Six Party negotiations and Track 1.5 talks, I can attest to the value of candid discussions with North Korea.
Western political and media elites reacted with horror to President Trump’s repeated statements that NATO is “obsolete” during the 2016 electoral campaign. They have also reacted with skepticism to more recent efforts by senior administration officials to affirm the U.S. commitment to NATO while pressing America’s allies to do more for their own defense.
For at least 85 years Americans have seen recurring outbursts of a Grand Idea. Let’s call it “tax and distribute.”
It was the greatest Oscar moment since they gave the golden statue to Al Gore, the Greatest Ham of All Time. (Idle thought: Should they change the name of the cold-cut company to “Gore’s Head?”) The irony of that wondrous occasion had been made even more delicious by the title of his mock-u-mentary: “An Inconvenient Truth.” But Sunday night’s epic snafu topped even that, the botched Best Picture Award quickly blamed on an accounting firm that had somehow misunderstood the import of “May I have the envelope please?”
I didn’t watch the Academy Awards, but I sure enjoyed them — via Twitter. The collection of world-famous and super-rich liberals and leftists had one job, and they failed. The spectacular screwup of announcing the wrong winner for Best Picture wasn’t even the issue, or about one person making a mistake. Mistakes are made all the time.
Guess who’s not coming to dinner, and probably a good thing, too. Neither Donald Trump nor the not so loyal opposition can be trusted to sup together without sharp elbows, sneers and insults. Before the second bottle of wine is uncorked, the hard rolls (and most years the rolls are really hard) would be flying across the tables.
President Trump is off to the rockiest start of any modern president. He faces remarkably well-organized opposition from liberal activists, who refuse to accept the outcome of the election, but his biggest problems are bad management, staffing and questionable strategic decisions at the White House.
Sometimes the obvious just needs to be said. Official Washington is bellyaching about the cost of President Trump’s “wall,” intended to protect the Southwest border. Some put the cost at more than $20 billion. So be it. Beyond contraband and illegal immigrants coming north, something goes south: cash. Simply put, these illicit proceeds, counted in the tens of billions, would easily pay for the wall — time to say so.
He might not be a household name in America — at least, not yet. But throughout the Middle East, Qassem Suleymani makes the righteous and the innocent tremble.
New traffic fatality data shows that U.S. motor-vehicle deaths increased by 6 percent last year.
Living in a free society brings benefits, but also responsibilities. One of the most important is keeping an eye on government. You never know when lawmakers will try to do something bad — or something that seems good initially, then goes spectacularly wrong.
This year Beijing will stand in solidarity with Taiwan and commemorate the 70th anniversary of the “228 Massacre.” On Feb. 28, 1947 Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang (KMT) security forces stopped Lin Jiang-mai, a Taiwanese widow, for illegal cigarette sales. The KMT officers confiscated Mrs. Lin’s cash and wares. They struck her on the head repeatedly for resisting.
Most Republican health care proposals include Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). People like them because they reward healthy lifestyle choices and careful, cost-conscious use of health care resources. When we are advised we need to get a MRI, we ask “when?” and “where?” but hardly ever, “what does it cost?”
Stop me if you’ve heard this story before. Governors and state legislators are pleading poverty again and they are demanding tax hikes of every imaginable kind. More than half the states are facing big deficits this year and they are mostly blue states like California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois and New York and Oregon. (See chart.) These are the highest tax states with some of the deepest pools of red ink. There’s got to be a message here.
The United States needs a grand strategy to guide its foreign policy. The Trump Doctrine should announce boldly that America is back in the world leadership business and that it stands resolutely for peace. America should call out countries that threaten world peace and form military alliances with their neighbors to confront them.