Magic Beans

Well, the much hyped summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un is over.  The result?

Once again we see what happens when an amateur (Trump) faces a potential enemy. Said enemy, Kim, charmed Trump into saying terminally stupid things. Gratuitous things.

A brutal dictator, who even kills relatives when they get annoying,
is, according to Trump, “somebody that has a great feeling” for the people of North Korea. Right. Hate to see Kim when he doesn’t have that great feeling.  Here’s a pro tip:  never say gratuitously nice (or nasty) things which don’t forward your agenda.

Worse, Trump, the so-called master negotiator, got taken to the cleaners by Kim. In exchange for elevating Kim on the world stage and, verbally at least, agreeing to a long-demanded suspension of joint US-ROK military exercises, Trump got what, exactly? Some magic beans? Might as well have been, as Kim delivered nothing of substance, nothing focused on the ostensible purpose of the summit – to eliminate North Korea’s nuclear weapons or at least agree to a road map of how to get there.

Trump’s real problem is that he can not deal with anyone who is remotely critical. Regardless if they happen to be the prime minister of a close ally. But he’ll attempt to appease tyrants such as Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. Add Kim to that list.


A Very Trump Christmas

The Trumps have brought Christmas, i.e. a Mass for Christ, to the White House. And it is gorgeous. Cue the wails and lamentations of the Left.

Is it too much?  Too little?  Just right?   That is, is the White House over-decorated? Depends who you ask, but that’s a mere detail.  Nothing to do with emphasizing that the season is about the advent of our Savior which the very name “Christmas” should tell us.

No, Trump is not requiring non-believers to convert. He is merely showing that he and his family are Christians.  This must truly gall lefties who seek to impose their lack of faith in Christ on the rest of us.

Along came Jones?

The title is from a classic early rock and roll song by the Coasters.  Jones in this instance being Roy Moore’s Democrat opponent to serve the balance of Jeff Sessions’ term in the U.S Senate from Alabama.

As for Moore, I’ve thought (and written) that the allegations, even if unproven (or unprovable after four decades) create a miasma around the man. He stinks on ice.

That said, if he is elected, I’m reasonably certain he would vote as a conservative and would support pretty much the entire Trump agenda. As soon, of course, as we actually find out what that agenda might be beyond “I’m the Greatest! Me Me Me!”

Seriously, Moore would tend to vote with the Republican caucus, even if many of the holier-than-thou Republicans would rather he stayed at home. This is both a good and necessary thing.

On the other hand, if the Democrat Doug Jones should win, there’s the likelihood he would toe the Schumer-Pelosi party line. Also, he appears to be an abortion zealot, meaning he’d likely go along with killing a live-born, viable infant if that was the mother’s “choice.”  

Somewhat surprisingly despite all the accusations against Moore, recent polling shows that he is rising in the polls, and JMC Analytics reaches these conclusions:

(1) Roy Moore has regained his lead in the polls;

(2) Republicans have similarly regained the lead in the generic ballot test, and

(3) allegations of sexual misconduct against Roy Moore have not materially impacted the race.

My take?  Oftentimes you go to war with the army you have.  In this case, Roy Moore would at least tend to point his weapons away from his Republican comrades.  Tend to,  although it depends on how tied he might be to Steve Bannon, for whom Mitch McConnell somehow epitomizes Satan his very self.

Strange times, these.


Ten months into his term, no one should be surprised that Donald Trump is not “presidential.” His approach to the job seems to be binary. On the one hand, statesman-like, scripted speeches that (usually) say important, correct things. On the other hand, Trump’s tweets and off-the-cuff remarks that might be confused with those from a middle school brat.

One of the worst things Trump has done since his election? Punching down, e.g. his unnecessary spat with Jeff Flake and gratuitous personal insults of Bob Corker.  Was any thought given by Trump to the notion that he might need these two senators to pass legislation he campaigned on?  No; Trump’s lizard brain was in control.

True leaders don’t do this. They don’t need to. Trump, for some reason (I’ll pass on psychoanalysis here) clearly believes he needs to do this.  It’s beyond dumb, and is the best answer to Trump Acolytes who claim that the man is engaging in four-dimensional chess that we mere mortals are just too stupid to fathom.

Trump has gone out of his way to alienate those in Congress he needs to accomplish anything that depends on passing legislation. Which is to say the most important things he ran on (repeal-and-replace Obamacare, tax reform). 

As for the “great and beautiful wall,” that was and is nothing but boob bait.  If you doubt this, how to account for the dramatic reduction in illegal border crossings under Trump?  Even the New York Times, hardly a friendly news source for him, acknowledges this.  Having a wall on those parts of our southern border where one is feasible will help.  But is hardly the answer to our overall porous borders and lack of “extreme vetting” of people from various Third-World hellholes.

A president needs to learn when to engage and when to ignore and rise above the fray. And to keep doing the good things he’s been doing.  If Trump is capable of learning anything, this is one thing that would make the rest of his otherwise all-but-assured one term better.

Trump vs the Queen?

There is apparently a movement in Britain to prevent President Donald Trump (love that this name can give liberals the yips) from a state visit to Queen Elizabeth.  The libertarian-leaning folks at Spiked note “Better an elected president than an unelected monarch.”  Hear hear.  This is just so.

The sentiment in Britain among some, at least, is that The Donald just isn’t classy enough to break bread (or tea and crumpets) with Her Majesty. Those who think about such state meetings, as the folks at Spiked do, know better.

Yes, Donald Trump can be rude and crude. As they say, that’s not a bug, it’s a feature. In large part, it’s why we Yanks elected him: he is the very opposite of a polished mainstream politico. Does he know which fork to use for the oysters? Don’t know; don’t care.

Bigger question: will he learn the art of political leadership? Right now, he is clumsy, but with good intentions. My English cousins should not complain; Trump appears to be profoundly pro-Anglo.

Unlike his predecessor, who acted very much like a hostile colonial, resenting the fact that Britain used to own Kenya.

Small and Insecure?

There has been a lot of carping about President Trump’s visit to CIA Headquarters, and his apparent “Me, Me, Me” talk in front of the Agency’s Memorial Wall. For example, today’s Wall Street Journal lead editorial noted

Mr. Trump also couldn’t resist turning the event into an extended and self-centered riff about the size of his campaign rallies, the times he’s been on Time magazine’s cover and how the “dishonest” media misreported his inaugural crowds. He all but begged for the political approval of the career CIA employees by suggesting most there had voted for him.

Such defensiveness about his victory and media coverage makes Mr. Trump look small and insecure.

That was also my first assessment. But then, Trump did make the CIA HQ his first visit of a government agency. That’s got to count for something. Paul Mirengoff at Powerline captured it thusly:

From the CIA’s perspective, which is better: (1) a president who visits the CIA right after taking office and pledges to back the agency but, as is his wont, also strays off topic and talks too much about himself or (2) a president who doesn’t visit the Agency right after taking office and instead immediately starts a process for releasing terrorists, many of whom resumed their fight against America?

Indeed. Trump just gotta be Trump. He is insecure, and who in his place would not be? He catapulted into the most powerful job in the world, with zero relevant experience. He’s learning. The best news? Trump’s instincts are those of a patriot. And he is a very, very quick study.