Benjamin Netanyahu met with Trump at the White House.
Some quick takes:
Mideast Peace Doesn’t Require 2-State Deal, Trump Says— Remember in “Mr. Mom” when Michael Keaton tries to impress Martin Mull by boasting that he’s rewiring his house himself, and Mull asks whether he’s doing everything as 220, and Keaton looks blank before saying, “220, 221, whatever it takes…?” I thought of that when I read Trump’s quote: “I’m looking at two-state and one-state.”
Labor nominee withdraws amid rising GOP concern — Apparently the standard is, if really bad stuff is said about you on “Oprah,” you’re toast. It’s good to know there IS a standard. I think maybe she needs to bring back the show, and help America vet these nominees.
Meet the WWII computer programmer whose name will replace white supremacist’s at Yale — All those words, when the headline could have said “Grace Hopper” and “John C. Calhoun.” (And “white supremacist?” Seems kind of anachronistic for Calhoun. Like saying Attila the Hun had self-esteem issues.) We know who those people are, right? I may have told this story before, but: My Dad was sent to take a course taught by Adm. Hopper back in the 1950s. He kept thinking, I’m a naval officer. Why do I need to know about computers? How will they ever affect my life?
Court deals blow to Trump, maintains freeze on travel ban — This is old now, but I missed it when I posted the Open Thread early yesterday. And it’s yuge. Yay, Constitution! The most telling fact in the case is that the administration has NO evidence that anyone from any of those countries posts a threat to the U.S. As Charles Krauthammer notes, “Not a single American has ever been killed in a terror attack in this country by a citizen from the notorious seven.” If you want to know just how unhinged Trump is from reality, you might start there.
As Trump Backs Off on Taiwan, China Gains Upper Hand — In other words, he lost face in China by going all in-your-face, then backing down to the default One-China policy. That’s another thing about Trump. Even when he does the consensus, conventional thing, he manages to do it in a context where the U.S. loses. What worries me is that if this story’s right, he may never walk back a confrontational position again.
Trump claims the media is covering up terrorist attacks — You know, I was going to make a joke about this, say something like, “You mean, like the Bowling Green Massacre?” Or say something pedantic such as “You mean media are, not media is.” But then I just got totally creeped out reading that the actual President of the United States told U.S. Central Command that the “dishonest press doesn’t want to report” on terrorist attacks, claiming that “they have their reasons.” We’re talking serious Looney Tunes, folks.
Yo, Mr. President: Commuting Manning’s sentence is a BFD — and not in a good way.
Have we done one of these this year? Well if we have, we haven’t done it enough:
President Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning’s Prison Sentence — Well, I suppose that’s all right. What would be outrageous and utterly unthinkable would be if he commuted the sentence of Bradley Manning, because that little slimeball betrayed his country big-time, and is lucky he wasn’t shot. Just to be clear about it. And let me say now that if the president is even thinking about dismissing charges against Edward Snowden, I may have to take back every good thing I’ve said about POTUS. That would be completely beyond the pale.
Dollar Tumbles on Trump Comments — Welcome to the big leagues, Mr. Trump. Well, I don’t exactly mean welcome. That’s just what the worldwise major-leaguers say to the bushers when they do something stupid, right? If only we could send him down to single-A ball soon after the season starts Friday.
British Leader Commits to a Clean Break From the E.U. — I’ve been seeing stories about this since early in the morning, starting with The Guardian, and I keep thinking, Isn’t this what we thought she’d say? Isn’t that what the referendum decided? I mean, I see that she says that in the future, British courts would hold sway, not E.U. courts. And I’m like, duh! They’re be NO point to a Brexit without that particular point of sovereignty. That’s minimal!
President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan pause for a moment of silence following a wreath laying at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 27, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
Sorry, I hadn’t posted the last day or two. I got a cold or something that hit me like a ton of bricks Christmas night, and just started feeling noticeably better today. Since I’m off from work this week, I’ve just been kicking back in sickbay mode.
… which in a way isn’t news, since it was a foregone conclusion. But it’s a tribute to the fact that we still live under a system of laws and not of men — innocent until proven guilty, etc. — which is reassuring in this post-election world in which so much that our Founders bequeathed us seems threatened.
Of the seven news outlets I just glanced at, five led with it, including both British outlets I looked at:
In other South Carolina news, Steve Benjamin — of all people — had a meeting with Donald Trump. He says he thinks it went well. Sure — that’s what people say just before Trump gives them the Mitt Romney treatment…
How Moscow Aimed a Perfect Weapon at the U.S. Election — Wow. This currently leads the NYT site. It takes the story well beyond where The Washington Post had advanced it. This is a huge accusation — and an assertion that not only did Russia attempt to sabotage our election, they got it done. Heads up — Trump is really not going to like this one.
Trump chats with Taiwan — Remember how China was cheering for Trump to win the election? I wonder whether they’re kicking themselves now. Personally, I’m of two minds about this. On the one hand, it just isn’t done. Harrumph, etc. On the other, there might conceivably be an advantage to having a president dumb enough to do something like this, just as a way of provoking a conversation about the whole one-China diplomatic fiction. But don’t worry. I haven’t lost my mind. I’m not about to say, as Marc Thiessen did, that “Trump’s Taiwan call wasn’t a blunder. It was brilliant.” I think the truth is somewhere between that and “bottomless pig-ignorance.” I’m just not sure exactly where….
OK, since y’all didn’t want to talk about cosmic coincidences, before I leave the office, here are some other possible topics:
Trump, Putin agree on phone to improve relations, Kremlin says — Here we go with the bromance. Who do you think is going to get the upper hand in this negotiation — the ex-KGB man who’s been ruthless running the Once and Future Evil Empire, or the guy who was easily flattered when Putin gave him a backhanded compliment?
Schools chief should be a cabinet post, Haley urges lawmakers — Well, yeah… Something I’ve only been saying for what, 25 years now? Be nice if it actually happened. It’s ridiculous for the state’s largest executive function to be walled off from the state’s chief executive. Watch for Democrats to resist this, as always, since they continue to consider superintendent to be their best shot at a statewide position.
And what about the Democrats? — Now that they’ve gotten through the “It’s Her Turn” election, how will they get their stuff together? Some party is going to have to address the vast middle at some point. It’s insane to keep having elections driven by Trumps and Bernies…
Congratulate my advertisers — Excuse the commercial message, but I’m grateful for their custom, and happy for the ones who won. Micah Caskey won going away, Lila Anna Sauls was the biggest vote-getter in the Richland One School Board race, and Avni Gupta-Kagan is in a too-close-to-call contest for the second spot on that board. Only Frank Barron clearly lost, and he was up against insurmountable odds — running against a Republican incumbent in Lexington County.
And… that’s about it for now. Gotta go do some work. This should get y’all started… If that’s not enough, chew on this:
Intelligence community is already feeling a sense of dread — To quote further: “At some point today, a sober team of analysts will give the president-elect his first unfiltered look at the nation’s intelligence secrets.” Good thing he’s, you know, so discreet, and has such excellent judgment…
Oh, by the way, in case some of you are too young to get the headline: Possibly the biggest TV event of the 80’s was the film “The Day After,” which was about something all of us had tried not to think about during the Cold War — what the day after global thermonuclear war would look like. So of course, we all watched in morbid fascination.
Sorry I couldn’t post today. Busy in the morning and away from both laptop and iPad this afternoon (posting on a phone is possible, but tedious). Here you go:
HOW ABOUT THEM CUBBIES? — Sometimes, cliffhangers turn out right. Nothing against the Indians, but wow, what a great Game 7! I almost missed the end. I was so tired (after 7:30 a.m. speaking engagement), I turned it off when the rain delay started. Then I came back and turned it on. I sat down, saw the Cubs build a two-run lead, then saw the Indians score and turned it off again assuming it would be all night. Doused the lights, left the room, came back and turned it on just in time for the winning out. Wow!
Baseball ratings rise as NFL ratings fall — More good news for the country. I don’t know why, but it does seem like an outbreak of sanity, which flies in the face of what we’ve been seeing in the political sphere all year. Seriously, this is one of the most promising trends I’ve seen in this country in some time.
Haley to campaign with SC Senate candidate in vulnerable seat — I include this not because it’s remarkable in the grand scheme, but because this year, we’ve seen so little about politics on the state and local level. True, we don’t have many competitive races on the local level, thanks to the scandal of reapportionment, but it’s just sort of eerie…
The World Series — Yes! America got what it needed, at just the right moment! A seven-game Series! Featuring the Cubs and the Indians! I take great comfort from this…
And that’s about it. Perhaps you’re seeing something else that interest you…