Norway Gets It

Norway is asking us to double the number of troops we have stationed there and to move them closer to its border with Russia.  It’s a pittance—700 Marines vs the 330 we have there now—but we need to work with Norway very seriously to figure out how to do this.

Norway said the invitation was about NATO training and improving winter fighting capability.

“Allies get better at training together,” Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen told reporters.

Yewbetcha.  And joint training is especially important in the face of demonstrated Russian aggression and its stationing of nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad.

What Hath Socialism Wrought

This image, from a Deutsche Welle article on Venezuela’s inflation rate—which last month reached 24,571% year-on-year—says it all.

The word drawn on the 100 bolivar note (and yes, it’s a real note, and it’s actually that big) translates to “hungry.”  In the context, it means more broadly, “a widespread, intense, and prolonged shortage of staple foods that a population suffers.”

Hungry indeed, too.  A bit over two pounds of meat cost about 2 million bolivars (or did once, daily inflation is running at 2.4%), or €16.9 or $20, against a surgeon’s monthly salary of not even 6 million bolivars.  Meat, not steak in particular.  That’s some expensive hamburger or shank cut.

NLMSM and a Summit

I watched CNN‘s coverage of the President Donald Trump-Baby Kim summit, following which they signed a document wherein they agreed on four steps to carry out on the path forward, including Baby Kim’s commitment to denuclearize “the Korean Peninsula.”  That last, especially, is a Big Deal, albeit hard details like on what schedule and what Baby Kim wants in return are yet to be discussed and agreed.

It’s Time

…for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to go.  He

threatened to “subpoena” emails, phone records and other documents from lawmakers and staff on a Republican-led House committee during a tense meeting earlier this year [January], according to emails reviewed by Fox News documenting the encounter and reflecting what aides described as a “personal attack.”

In a notification to the House Office of General Counsel about the incident, the House Intelligence Committee’s then-Senior Counsel for Counterterrorism Kash Patel (now the Committee’s National Security Advisor) wrote

Taxpayer Money

This is how the citizens of Missouri are seeing their tax money being used, this time by the University of Missouri.  You remember the U of M, the place where a professor demanded students attack a student reporter because he was covering a student protest.  The place where little discipline was applied to the students who answered the professor’s call. The place where the president and chancellor were forced to resign because they weren’t coddling the snowflakes enough.

What a Difference a Moment Makes

Recall the image from the G-7 that’s gone viral:

Then there’s this one, taken in the same time frame, via Matt Dawson (@SaintRPh):

Prime Minister Shinzō Abe is absent in the second picture, so it’s not within a second of the first, but the other major players are present on the left, just as they are in the prior image.

The NLMSM has spiked that second image, which casts a different light entirely on the meeting at which the imagery was taken, and Google and Bing appear to have suppressed it, as well, in their image libraries. This is to be expected, but it’s “sobering and somewhat depressing” to see Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, via her Instagram account, pull such a stunt as this.

Jumped the Shark?

In most venues, receiving stolen material is a felony.  Only precious journalists get a pass on that crime.

Yet self-styled media critic Howard Kurtz is worried that that pass might be getting a second look—however tenuously—from the recent arrest of James Wolfe, now ex-Director of Security for the staff of the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, pursuant to which New York Times reporter Ali Watkins’ email and phone (and Twitter?) records were seized.  (Kurtz also is downplaying the importance of Wolfe, too, referring to him as a “veteran Senate Intelligence Committee staffer.”)

Gauntlet Thrown Down

The members of the Group of Seven, just met in Canada last week, were invited to form a tariff-free trade zone by President Donald Trump.

no tariffs, no barriers…and no subsidies.

International trade doesn’t get much freer than that.

Will anyone in the G-7 have the courage to take Trump up on his offer—or to call his bluff, if that’s what they think it is?

Anyone?  Beuller?

Another Obamacare Episode

The Justice Department has declined to defend Obamacare in the suit against it brought by a large number of States in the aftermath of Congress’ repeal of the Individual Mandate penalty tax.  Recall that Chief Justice John Roberts rewrote the law in 2012 to recreate the penalty as a tax in order to preserve the IM as constitutional, and thereby to preserve all of Obamacare as constitutional because of the inseverability of all parts of the law.

With the repeal of the IM’s…tax…that inseverability should doom the rest of Obamacare.

As a result of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision not to defend the law,

What Hurts

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas thinks President Donald Trump is “consciously accepting” that things like our withdrawal from Iran’s nuclear weapons deal is hurting our allies in Europe and the Middle East.  Deutsche Welle cited him as saying that

We cannot look away.  He knows that what he is doing is of direct detriment to Europe.

No, what is acting to the direct detriment of Europe (and to our Middle East allies and friends) is Europe’s insistence on preserving a nuclear weapons deal that allows Iran to obtain nuclear weapons.  The extent to which European nations are consciously accepting of this destructive deal is the extent to which we have to act unilaterally.