Ronald Reagan’s Revenge (Can We shoot down North Korean Missiles?)

The Memorial Day weekend was marred by the news that North Korea fired off another missile and it had landed within a few meters of its intended target,  This was followed by more threats directed at the United States from its deranged dictator Kim Jong Un.

This followed two successful tests of medium to long-range missiles by the rogue state in as many weeks and a simultaneous launch of four missiles on March 6, three of which fell close to Japan, a nation we are bound to protect.

Such launches, and two nuclear tests since January 2016, have been conducted in defiance of U.S. pressure, U.N. resolutions and the threat of more sanctions, which amounted to little more than sending the rebellious, bellicose young leader to bed without dessert. Continue reading “Ronald Reagan’s Revenge (Can We shoot down North Korean Missiles?)”

Flynn’s Dismissal Highlights the Difference Between Obama and Trump

Donald Trump lost a valuable member of his team when Michael Flynn was forced to fall on his sword and resign as his national security advisor.  Flynn’s crime had nothing to do with the Russians, but his failure to tell the truth about his December conversation with Sergey Kislyak.

One can appreciate Flynn’s hesitancy to tell (then) Vice-president Elect Mike Pence that he had discussed the sanctions Obama had recently imposed on Russia with the Kremlin Ambassador.  It wasn’t illegal.  In fact, it was to be expected that Flynn would be laying the groundwork for what lies ahead.   However, in light of all the accusations about Russia’s attempt to skew our election in favor of Trump, Flynn probably wanted to avoid throwing unnecessary fuel on that media-fanned fire.

Does anyone remember that cosy little conversation Barack Obama had in March of 2012 with outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the global nuclear security summit in Seoul, South Korea?  Obama was caught on tape asking Medvedev to ask his successor, Vladimir Putin, to give hims “space” until after the November election when he would have more flexibility to deal with thorny issues like missile defense.   Continue reading “Flynn’s Dismissal Highlights the Difference Between Obama and Trump”

Report Card on President Trump’s First 12 Days

Hate him or love him, you must admit that President Trump has been working overtime to do the things he believes will make this country great again.   In his first 11 days,  he has signed more executive actions that any other president in modern history.  In addition, he rounded out his cabinet, held meetings with business and union leaders, spent hours in person or on the phone with world leaders and gave us a Supreme Court nominee.

President’s can’t make law.  Therefore, Trump will have to depend on Congress to see that his major policy proposals become reality.  However, presidents have wide discretion how our laws are implemented and many of his moves have already changed the status quo.

Some initial actions are perfunctory and done by every president.   Therefore, for this report card I am focusing only on those that have a direct bearing on policy.

Cabinet Picks —  Tells us a lot about how serious a president is about keeping his campaign promises.  Trump’s picks, unlike Obama’s policy wonks, have real world experience.  They have achieved tremendous success and are willing to give the agencies they run the benefit of that experience.  Others such as Jeff Sessions and Betsy DeVos have spent years working to advance the policies on which Trump campaigned.

Grade A+

Executive Order 13765  —   Minimizes the economic effects of Obamacare by directing federal agencies to give states, insurance companies and consumers the maximum amount of flexibility in complying with the law.  Trump is laying down a marker that he intends to see Obamacare repealed and replaced.

Grade A

Presidential Memorandum:  Withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership — Trump is making good on his promise to negotiate trade deals to make sure they are both fair and profitable.

Grade A

Presidential Memorandum:  Mexico City Policy — Trump not only reimplemented the policy put in place by President Reagan that prevents our tax money from going to overseas family planning agencies that perform abortions, he expanded it.

Grade A+

Presidential Memorandums on the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines — Ordered agencies involved to expedite these projects.  Also ordered the Department of Commerce to review ways to mandate the use of American-made steel in all pipeline projects in the U.S.

Grade A+

Executive Order 13766  — Expedited Environmental Reviews for Infrastructure Projects.  Remember all those “shovel-ready” jobs that Obama promised?  By the time they saw the light of day they were loaded down with millions of dollars of bureaucratic waste.

Grade A

Presidential Memorandum:  Streamlining Permitting and Reducing Regulatory Burdens for Domestic Manufacturing — The first step to bringing manufacturing back to the U.S.

Grade A+

Executive Order 13767:  Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements —

Build the wall and hire more border security officers.

Grade A+

Executive Order 13768: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior — Cuts off federal funds to Sanctuary Cities and gives immigrations officers the authority to deport any noncitizen judged to be a threat to pubic safety.

Grade A+

Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States  —  Immediate travel ban for the seven countries judged to be most dangerous for 90 days until we can reform the vetting process. Despite what you may have heard, the threat from refugees is real.  Since September 11, 2001, at least 40 people admitted to the U.S. as refugees have been implicated in terrorism. http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/08/10/jeff-sessions-highlights-20-vetted-terrorist-refugees-obama-ramps-admissions-terror-hot-spots/ Trump was criticized for not giving our security agencies time to thoroughly brief all those involved with implementing this order.  However, this would have leaked and given those intent on doing us harm an opportunity to sneak in before the ban.  There was no perfect way to do this without inconveniencing the people affected by the ban.

Grade B

National Security Presidential Memorandum 1: Rebuilding the U.S. Armed Forces —Pentagon and Office of Management and Budget are to come up with a plan to bolster the military, examine our nuclear arsenal and missile-defense capabilities.

Grade A

National Security Presidential Memorandum 3 — Plan to Defeat ISIS to be delivered in 30 days

Grade A

Executive Order:  Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs —  Requires agencies to rescind two regulations for every new one.  Total cost of all new regulations for 2017, including those repealed, to be 0.

Grade A+

The Nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court —  Another campaign promise delivered.  He picked this nominee from the list he presented to the voters which he compiled with the help of the Federalist Society.  Indications are that Judge Gorsuch is a strict constructionist in the mold of Antonin Scalia but only time will tell.

Grade Incomplete

What will Transgenders in the Military Cost America?

There are many ways to take down this powerful country:

  • Pack the Supreme Court with ideologues who ignore the Constitution
  • Dumb down public education
  • Increase the size and scope of government
  • Put more people on the public dole
  • Put the government in charge of healthcare
  • Over regulate and over tax businesses and corporations driving them offshore or out of business
  • Demonize the productive members of society
  • Refuse an international leadership role
  • Go back on your word to foreign leaders
  • Strengthen the country out to destroy us
  • Weaken the military

Most of these things did not begin with Barack Obama, but there is little doubt that he has picked up the pace.  However, two events making the headlines this week should be enough to shake us awake from our political slumber: His bargain with Iran, which has empowered our sworn enemy and accelerated the arms race, and his decision on transgenders and the military. Continue reading “What will Transgenders in the Military Cost America?”

Americans trapped in Yemen, Obama Does Nothing

The U.S. is no longer a world power to be respected by our friends and feared by by our enemies.  It is not that we don’t have the might to protect our borders or the ability to defend our allies and our interests abroad, its that we no longer have the will.

As the world watches in disbelief, we appear too weak to rescue our citizens trapped in Yemen, a war-torn country we abandoned shortly after Obama held it up as a counter terrorism success story.   Continue reading “Americans trapped in Yemen, Obama Does Nothing”

Republicans Confront the Big Bad (Iranian) Wolf

Fairy tales are simple lessons for children of good versus evil.  The villain is easy to spot.  Often it’s a big bad wolf.

This week, frustrated Republicans, anxious to prove they are in control of Congress, penned a fairy tale of a letter and sent it to one of the world’s big bad wolves, the country of Iran.  Ostensively, the purpose of the letter was to put Iran’s leaders on notice that any deal they sign with President Barack Obama could expire the day he leaves office.  The real purpose  of the letter was to make us believe they are doing something.

It would be laughable if it were not so pathetic.   Continue reading “Republicans Confront the Big Bad (Iranian) Wolf”

The Border Crises in the U.S. and Israel

The border crises in the U.S. and Israel are not that complicated.  Draw on your parenting experience and follow me.

You have two siblings who are fighting.  The younger one is injured and comes running to you for help.  You punish the older child, but despite all your efforts at peace making, this scenario is repeated again and again until you finally discover that the younger one is the real aggressor.  He picks on his peaceful, larger brother until the older boy can stand it no longer and finally retaliates in an attempt to put an end to the conflict.  The younger brother’s reward is seeing his older brother punished.  And, yes, it is worth the occasional bloody nose.

The problem is solved when the younger one is finally held accountable and punished for his misdeeds.   Continue reading “The Border Crises in the U.S. and Israel”