There are all sorts of possible reasons to admire Donald Trump, but none more imaginative than one offered by a fan attending his Pennsylvania rally before Tuesday’s congressional election. Trump’s planned meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, said retiree Paul Ambrose, was the product of his unflinching toughness.
Donald Trump loves the ceremonial parts of his job, and his trip to California to inspect prototypes for a border wall was pure theater. He got to project toughness, point to something tangible, make big promises and take credit — without actually accomplishing anything. He’s not a president; he’s a performance artist.
It’s not Richard Nixon’s opening to China. It’s not Neville Chamberlain’s journey to Munich. But President Donald Trump’s announcement that he’s willing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is one of those decisions that could produce important results, good or bad. The administration portrays this as a triumph for Trump’s tough approach, which has allegedly forced the enemy to the negotiating table.
The official White House justification is that slapping new duties on these foreign metals is essential for our national security. Steel and aluminum are needed for military hardware, it argues, and we don’t want to be dependent on our potential enemies or other unreliable nations to supply them.
At Wednesday’s CNN town hall on guns, a teacher from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School brought it up, asking an NRA official to define the “well regulated Militia” the amendment cites and to explain how the accused killer was part of it. Conservative New York Times columnist Bret Stephens called for repealing the amendment.
Under Pruitt, the agency’s funds would be cut by $2.5 billion, or 23 percent — a contrast from the roughly $300 billion in new spending in other areas that Congress and the president recently approved. Given that the president is content to allow the budget deficit to rise to $1 trillion, it’s hard to argue the federal government can’t afford to adequately fund the EPA. Pruitt and Trump just don’t want to.
Amid all the uncertainty about Donald Trump’s presidency, his admirers are sure of one thing: The economy is booming, and it’s because of him. We are riding a mighty wave of prosperity driven by his tax cuts, deregulation and business savvy. The enthusiasm is contagious. “I’ve really liked what he’s done for the economy,” marveled […]
Next month, thanks to the tax bill signed by Donald Trump, many Americans will see more money showing up in their paychecks. They should contain their enthusiasm. It won’t be long before his trade policy starts removing that money from their wallets. On Monday, the president imposed hefty tariffs — taxes, that is — on […]
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, acting out of an abundance of compassion, is doing a favor to people on Medicaid: forcing them to work or lose their coverage. “Human beings want to be treated with dignity and respect,” he says. “And we’re going to give them that opportunity.” Now all he has to do is stand back […]
In last Tuesday’s testimony by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, all the attention was on whether she had heard Donald Trump use a derogatory scatological phrase at a meeting with senators. Overlooked in the coverage was new evidence that when it comes to his favorite proposal, Trump is full of something. In reference to a […]
It’s rare to see bipartisan agreement on much of anything these days. But an array of Republican and Democratic governors of states on the East and West coasts have found common cause in telling the Trump administration: Take your offshore oil rigs and put them where the sun don’t shine.
For those who favor legalizing recreational and medical use of marijuana, there is plenty of bad news in Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to reverse the Justice Department’s previous hands-off policy toward state experimentation. He ordered federal prosecutors “to enforce the laws enacted by Congress.”
As protesters march in Iran, the U.S. government has emerged as a brave champion of human rights. “The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years,” noted Donald Trump on Twitter. Mike Pence saluted them for “rising up to demand freedom and opportunity” and endorsed their “unalienable right to chart their own future.”
The best thing to be said for 2017 is that it didn’t last forever. It’s gone, carrying a host of memories we’d like to forget — from white nationalists marching in Charlottesville to hurricanes devastating Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to a procession of accused sexual predators.
If a Martian arrived today, of course, she would deduce that in this country, betting on sports is not forbidden but mandatory. In practice, it’s as American as Dunkin’ Donuts. March Madness costs businesses an estimated $4 billion a year in lost productivity, and it’s not because employees waste time singing their fight songs.
If there is any single trait that defines Americans, it is optimism. We read our history as a journey upward, from the arrival of the first European settlers to the present. We operate with a collective sense that progress may sometimes be slow and arduous — but will be achieved.
Mitch McConnell thinks the tax bill passed by Congress will put a strong wind into his party’s sails. “If we can’t sell this to the American people, we ought to go into another line of work,” the Senate majority leader said Wednesday.
President Ronald Reagan is remembered for the big changes he helped bring about in our tax system — and for good reason. Under him, the top individual income tax rate plunged from 70 percent to 28 percent. On Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan celebrated the new Republican overhaul. It will take the top rate from 39.6 percent to 37 percent.
Given the improbable events of the past two years, it is almost impossible for anything to happen that would really surprise the American people. They could, however, wake up any morning to a horrific shock: mushroom clouds billowing on the Korean Peninsula.
In the physical world, Isaac Newton postulated, every action produces an equal and opposite reaction. In the world of politics and society, the same is true — except the reaction is sometimes more than equal. Barack Obama’s presidency proved it, and Donald Trump’s offers new confirmation.
Donald Trump knows the story of Winston Churchill, whose judgment was: “Chamberlain had the choice between war and shame. Now he has chosen shame — he’ll get war later.” A year later, he was proved right. But the lesson Trump learned from World War II is that aggression can pay off.
One night last month, a Border Patrol officer in southwest Texas was killed and his partner seriously hurt while on patrol near the Mexican border. What quickly emerged was a gruesome tale. The officers were “ambushed by a group of illegal aliens” who smashed their heads with rocks, according to the head of the union representing Border Patrol agents.
The list of men credibly accused of sexual assault or harassment has grown to the length of a Charles Dickens novel, and like a Dickens novel, it offers spectacularly instructive episodes. We are all learning more than we care to know about the nature of human beings and the functions of morality.
Roy Moore’s die-hard supporters have shown a vast capacity to accept his denials as a procession of women accuse him of sexual assault, fondling a 14-year-old and creeping out girls in malls. His evangelical followers are ready to believe him on that matter because they agree when he says that to be saved, we Americans must “turn from our wicked ways” and “come back to God.”
Every home should have some essential items around in case of a disaster or another emergency — including canned goods, bottled water, spare batteries and a first-aid kit. But in 2017, every American should also have at hand an answer to one question: What would you do if you had only half an hour to live?