Trump Admninistration

Urgent: Trump’s “Read My Lips” Moment

Featured image Few of Donald Trump’s campaign promises were as clear and emphatic as his pledge to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, which I have often called the Kellogg-Briand Pact of climate diplomacy, arising from—to borrow Churchill’s great phrase about the disarmament fetish of the 1930s—the “prolonged and solemn farce” of the UN climate change circus. But there is widespread reporting that the Trump White House is going »

Trump has a good week; Chuck Todd calls him “flip flopper”

Featured image Driving to a baseball game today, I caught the first few minutes of “Meet the Press.” Chuck Todd was trying to make the case that President Trump is a serial flip-flopper. He cited three examples. None was compelling. Two of them involved a shift in labeling. During the presidential campaign, Trump labeled NATO “obsolete” and China a “currency manipulator.” Now he says NATO isn’t obsolete and China isn’t a currency »

Message in the MOAB

Featured image Last week President Trump authorized a limited missile strike against the Syrian regime for its use of chemical weapons against civilians. I explicated what I thought was “the message in the missiles” (I stretched to find 10 messages). Yesterday the United States dropped the “mother of all bombs” — the most powerful conventional bomb in the American arsenal — on an Islamic State cave complex in Afghanistan on Thursday. The »

Sean Spicer’s honest mistake

Featured image White House press secretary Sean Spicer is under intense fire for saying during a press conference, in the context of condemning Bashar al-Assad, that Adolf Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.” Hitler does not appear ever to have authorized the use of chemical weapons on the battle field. However, he authorized mass killing through the use of chemicals at concentration camps. Spicer has apologized profusely for his statement. »

What is the Trump administration’s domestic policy?

Featured image Rich Lowry, whom I quoted here on the meaning of Steve Bannon’s apparent fall from grace, offers more on the subject. In a piece for Politico, he writes: No one can know for sure how this ends. Perhaps it’s all papered over, or maybe Bannon keeps his head down to fight another day. But it’s hard to see how Kushner doesn’t prevail in one form or other, together with the »

Steve Bannon’s ouster would be a blow to conservatives

Featured image President Trump has reinforced speculation that Steve Bannon may be on his way out as a member of the White House inner circle. He did so in an interview with Michael Goodwin of the New York Post. Goodwin reports: When I asked the president Tuesday afternoon if he still has confidence in Bannon, who took over the campaign in mid-August, I did not get a definitive yes. “I like Steve, »

Report: Democratic Leakers Have Been Identified

Featured image If this Fox News report is correct, Rep. Devin Nunes is way ahead of the Democrats, and has known since January the identity of the Obama holdovers who illegally leaked the names of Trump associates to the press: The U.S. intelligence official who “unmasked,” or exposed, the names of multiple private citizens affiliated with the Trump team is someone “very well known, very high up, very senior in the intelligence »

Trump Administration Is Quietly Doing Good Things

Featured image Pretty much everyone on the right has praised President Trump’s appointments, and what we have seen of his spending proposals looks good, too. Here in Minnesota, we are seeing a good example of the difference between the Trump administration and the Hillary administration we avoided. The subject is light rail transit. Briefly, the powers that be have been trying to jam light rail transit down our throats for years. The »

A Times source outs herself [updated]

Featured image Evelyn Farkas is the former Obama administration deputy secretary of defense — and now an MSNBC analyst. Appearing on air among her friends at MSNBC yesterday, she all but outed herself as a key source for the seminal New York Times story on the Obama administration’s efforts to subvert the incoming Trump administration. The March 1 Times story ran under the headline “Obama administration rushed to preserve intelligence of Russian »

Are There Still Trump Cards to Play?

Featured image Liberals are gloating that the defeat of the American Health Care Act means that Trump’s presidency is over. “The stunning collapse of the Republican health-care bill now imperils the rest of President Trump’s ambitious congressional agenda,” the Washington Post says this morning. It was surely a blunder to unveil a hastily-prepared health care bill that the Republican leadership thought could be simply rammed through, and this raises questions about whether »

Perception is reality. . .

Featured image for a few weeks. Then, something happens and perception changes. I agree with John that the failure of the House to pass Obamacare replacement legislation this week doesn’t necessarily mean GOP House members won’t be able to pass important legislation on other fronts. Health care legislation represents a special challenge because it is so complex, because the stakes are so high, and because Obamacare screwed things up so badly. However, »

Yesterday’s Intelligence Committee Hearing Was a Bust

Featured image Countless news stories have been written about yesterday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing featuring FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers, many of them breathless. If you scanned the headlines, you would think that the hearing produced some significant revelations. After laboriously reading the entire transcript while on vacation, my conclusion is that the hearing generated nothing of interest. The Washington Post’s account is typical. The headline is: “FBI »

Judge Chuang : social justice warrior and servant of the Democrats

Featured image The first adverse ruling on President Trump’s second immigration/travel order came from a district court in Hawaii. That state is considered by many to be most liberal in the U.S. However, I doubt it’s more liberal than my home town, Bethesda, Maryland. Bethesda is the suburb of choice for young leftists with families who come to the Washington, D.C. area in the hope of promoting “social justice,” or at least »

Ryan Zinke: Another Great Trump Appointment

Featured image The day’s news is mostly pretty grim, so here is a feel-good story from Independent Journal Review. An IJR reporter spent Tuesday with newly-appointed Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. Washington was mostly shut down on Tuesday after a minor snowfall, but that didn’t stop Secretary Zinke. Among other things, he helped shovel the steps of the Lincoln Memorial: Zinke, a former Navy Seal, didn’t find a few inches of »

Sec. Mattis drops Anne Patterson

Featured image We wrote here (per Eliana Johnson) about White House pushback against the selection of Anne Patterson for the position of undersecretary of defense for policy. As ambassador to Egypt in the Obama administration, Patterson strongly backed Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government. I’m happy to report (per the Washington Post) that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has withdrawn Patterson as his choice for the Pentagon policy post. Mattis did so »

The Press Is Hurting Trump

Featured image Or, some would say, Trump is hurting himself. Either way, there are troubling indications that President Trump is losing his battle with the Democratic Party press. See, specifically, Rasmussen Reports’ polling. I don’t know whether Rasmussen is any more “right” than other pollsters, but it follows a consistent protocol and publishes a three-day rolling average of likely voters, which I think makes it a valuable barometer of trends. And the »

Trump team is slow to fill key positions

Featured image John Fund reports that the vast majority of sub-Cabinet slots that require Senate confirmation are vacant because of what Fund calls “a personnel crisis in the Trump White House.” [President] Trump has named only 20 sub-Cabinet-level positions, including two who withdrew — a list that includes nominees for ambassadorships, counsel positions, and commissioners, according to a tracker from the Washington Post and Partnership for Public Service. CNN reports that “Trump »