Republican Gadflies

Karl Rove talked about health care coverage prospects in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, and that triggered a thought in my pea brain.

Senator Tom Cotton (R, AR) has announced that the House plan on offer, a plan designed to be passable through reconciliation, with later phases of repeal and replace for completing the task, is dead on arrival, and the House shoe start over and produce a more comprehensive plan in this first phase.  But Cotton has chosen to not offer a plan of his own, or outline what a plan acceptable to him would look like other than to address taxes and to more fully repeal right damn now Obamacare, or even to offer the tactics he’d use to get the new plan—which could not be done through reconciliation—past a Progressive-Democrat filibuster.

Well, It’s About Time, Ollie

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has spoken up in a way contrary to his predecessors regarding our policy—our very attitude—toward northern Korea.

Let me be very clear: the policy of strategic patience has ended[.]

That’s not just on Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, though.  Our various administrations have tried for 20 years, or more, the idea of talking, cajoling, bribing (to the tune of $1.35 billion in “aid”) northern Korea’s various Kim dictators.  Baby Kim, in glad response, has only accelerated his drive for sticking nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles (he already has the warheads and the missiles).

Partial Immigration Moratorium

The irrationality of some Federal District judges is being made palpable by their rulings against the latest Executive Order involving a temporary moratorium on folks from six terrorist- and terrorism-supporting countries.  Here’s one example, from US District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii:

The illogic of the Government’s contentions is palpable.  The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed.

Yet he chose not to explain his own logic, nor did he deign explain the limiting principle he holds underlying this claim.  Indeed, he explicitly refused to explain himself:

New PRC Policy

Robert Blackwill, writing for The National Interest, has suggested we need one.  He’s not far wrong, because as he puts it,

there is no real prospect of building fundamental trust, a peaceful coexistence and mutual understanding, a strategic partnership or a new type of major country relations between the United States and China.

The core of his new policy is this:

  • revitalizing the US economy to nurture those disruptive innovations that bestow on the United States asymmetric economic advantages over others
  • substantially increasing the defense budget and consequently shifting US defense resources to Asia

The Trump Tax Leak

Host Rachel Maddow said the two-page summary of Trump’s federal return for that year was first obtained by journalist David Cay Johnston, who gave MSNBC a first look at the documents.

It is unclear who leaked them. Johnston, with the website DCReport.org, said only that he found the documents “in the mail.”

If you believe that the leaked return just sort of showed up like that, maybe you’ll believe that I have some beachfront property north of Santa Fe to sell you.

Dismembering Government?

If the advance word leaks about President Donald Trump’s upcoming budget proposal can be believed, it would appear that his swamp-draining and Government downsizing are about to get start.  And “news” outlets like CNN are getting their panties bunched over the prospect.  This is from this outlet’s piece, tellingly headlined Trump’s plan to dismember government:

It would codify an assault on regulatory regimes over the environment, business and education bequeathed by former President Barack Obama, and attempt to halt decades of steadily growing government reach.

And this:

Irony Meter

Mine is pegged.  I’m not so sure about the protestors’.

Recall that the claimed purpose of the Dakota Pipeline protests by the Standing Rock Sioux and their supporters was their alleged concern that the pipeline or future leaks from it would pollute the Cannonball River and Lake Oahe, the tribe’s water source, and damage the Sioux’ sacred grounds.

Clean-up crews are racing to clear acres of debris at the largest Dakota Access protest camp before the spring thaw turns the snowy, trash-covered plains into an environmental disaster area.

Distrust of the CIA

President Donald Trump has given the Central Intelligence Agency secret new authority to conduct drone strikes against suspected terrorists, US officials said, changing the Obama administration’s policy of limiting the spy agency’s paramilitary role and reopening a turf war between the agency and the Pentagon.

This is an odd way to show distrust of the CIA.  Maybe Trump’s war against the CIA is more NLMSM fake news.

Multitasking

Whatever happened to it?

I’m reading between the lines on a Wall Street Journal op-ed from the weekend.

While the press corps chases accusations of Russian-Trump election collusion and illegal Obama Administration wiretaps, few noticed the Pentagon’s first public confirmation last week that the Kremlin is violating the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).

The specific problem that seems to have escaped NLMSM notice is this:

Not Just for Northern Korea

Arthur Herman, a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute wrote of an interesting idea over the weekend in The Wall Street Journal.  The title of his article explains the idea: There’s a Way to Stop a North Korean Missile Attack.

He wrote about a means of implementing a boost-phase missile defense system.  The advantages of intercepting a ballistic missile during its boost phase—the phase immediately after missile launch—are several

  • the missile’s first stage, its booster, is the hottest of them all, and so the easiest to detect
  • the missile is moving at its slowest speed, especially compared to the missile warhead’s reentry speed, which is enormous