President Trump is in Hanoi for his second summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. We need to be clear about who we are dealing with. He leads the most brutal regime on the face of the earth and has even had members of his family killed.
All past efforts with North Korea have gone nowhere. All of their promises have been empty. Just the fact that the two countries are talking is positive since it reduces the tension.
We can be cautiously optimistic but not expect too much. We want them to get rid of their nuclear weapons. If that happens, it will only be after a long, tortuous process. Some are trying to promote the idea that the summit will be a failure if denuclearization isn’t accomplished in one fell swoop. Early on there will be small concessions. They stopped testing weapons after the last summit.
The summit should be considered a success if the process continues to move forward. That’s all we can hope for.
For some, especially those on the Far Left, the only thing that matters is gaining power. The Constitution and our democratic ideals are seen as impediments not treasured values.
The latest idea is to pack the Supreme Court either through adding justices or imposing term limits. No presidential candidate has committed to the idea but New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg have expressed interest.
Too many on both extremes live in an echo chamber where they only hear themselves and those with similar views. If they had any sense of where ordinary Americans stand, they would keep these ideas to themselves. Franklin Roosevelt had one of the greatest landslide wins in our history in 1936 but the country turned against him when he tried to pack the court.
Republicans should rejoice every time one of these nutty ideas come along. If the Democratic nominee endorses them, it will cost them votes.
President Obama once promised to be a post-racial president. Then he and the Democrats decided that increasing the racial divide was good politics. Hillary Clinton focused her campaign attacking Trump and his “basket of deplorables” followers as being racist, sexist homophobes.
The drive continues to convince people that a MAGA cap and a white hood are the same. Many jumped on the bandwagon after actor Jussie Smollett reported he was the victim of a hate crime. Now that his story has fallen apart, they want to wait for the facts.
I think a lot of what the Democrat Socialists are talking about is nonsense. I will have to give them credit for discussing the issues rather than engaging in character assassination.
This is not limited to one party. President Trump has continued to attack those here illegally. There certainly are some criminals among them but the vast majority are people that are looking for a better life.
The 2020 campaign is already under way. Let’s hope that the candidates try to unite us, not divide us.
This week’s winner is Alexandria Occasio-Cortez. She cheered when Amazon announced they would not build a second headquarters in New York. This is the first time I have ever heard a politician be happy about lost jobs. Her reasoning seems to be that money given to Amazon should be spent elsewhere. She has an economics degree but doesn’t seem to have even a basic understanding of the subject. There is no pile of money sitting there waiting for Amazon. They were given a tax break. They would have still paid a lot of taxes. Now some other state will get them.
The damage she has done to New York goes well beyond the 25,000 lost jobs. This makes it less likely that other companies will invest in the state.
February 16 – State of Emergency
President Trump signed the funding bill that prevented a shutdown. He also declared a state of emergency. This step was presented as a last-ditch effort to fund the wall if Congress didn’t give him what he asked for. I think he intended to do it all along since he is seeking to free up is more than he asked Congress.
The National Emergencies Act of 1976 gives the president many special powers during a state of emergency. Among them are the powers to use funds dedicated for military construction for a different purpose. Fifty-one declarations have been made under the law while thirty-two are still in effect. Until now, all but one dealt with restrictions on foreign countries and citizens. President Obama issued one during a flu epidemic.
I believe he has set a dangerous precedent by using his powers as commander-in-chief to thwart the will of Congress. We can expect future Democratic president to take this step with climate change, gun violence and a host of other issues. Many who are cheering him claim to love the Constitution. They don’t mind an interference with the system of checks and balances as long as a Republican does it.
I also believe it is a political mistake. Like the shutdown, Trump’s action has nothing to do with the wall. He seems to have made a decision that his reelection should be based solely on this one issue. That’s what he did with the last election. As a result, Nancy Pelosi is back in power. One thing he has going for his is all the ridiculous things Democrats are doing.
Abraham Lincoln was born 209 years ago today in a tiny log cabin near Hodgenville, Kentucky. His story is one of the great American stories.
Life on the frontier was hard. His mother died when he was nine. Although he had very little formal education, he craved learning. He settled in New Salem, Illinois. He worked in a store and later bought one. It failed. In 1834 he won the election for a seat in the state legislature.
His life then took a major turn. John Stuart Todd, a Springfield lawyer and cousin of Mary’s, convinced him to become a lawyer. Once he received his license he moved to Springfield and became Todd’s partner. He served several terms in the legislature. At age thirty-six he won a term in the US House of Representatives. He only served for just two years. That was the last political office he held until assuming the presidency.
He put politics on the back burner and focused on his law practice. He might have stayed out of politics if not for the Kansas-Nebraska Act introduced by his nemesis Stephen Douglas. That put the battle over slavery front and center. There was a huge political realignment and the Republican Party was formed. He became one of its leaders. He ran against Douglas for a senate seat in 1858. Their debates made him a national figure.
We all know the rest of the story. His life was full of failure with relatively few successes. Yet he became one of the greatest, if not the greatest president in our history.
His is a story worth remembering. Unfortunately, Congress thought a three-day weekend was more important and created President’s Day. We ought to pause for a moment and reflect on the life of this incredible man.
The New Green Deal talks about a nationwide network of bullet trains that would render air travel obsolete. They should have looked at California’s experience. The project is more than a decade behind schedule and many billions over budget.
California Governor Gavin Newsom pulled the plug on the San Francisco to Los Angeles portion of the track. He pledged to finish the track from Merced to Bakersfield.
Let’s hope this cools the desire for bullet trains.
Normally I only claim to be an expert on my own opinion. Today I will write about an area where I have some expertise. I used to work in the health insurance industry. Today I have no connections with the industry, personal or financial. It is not my intent to defend them. I’d just like to clear up some misunderstandings.
Only a small minority of people actually have private health insurance. You may have a card with an insurance company’s name on it. Unless you work for a small company, your employer pays the bills and hires the insurance company to manage the claims. Only individuals or small businesses actually buy health insurance.
Many say the reason health care costs so much is excess insurance company profit. Since so few people actually have health insurance, this isn’t the case. Companies that actually write insurance are happy if a penny or two of each premium dollar makes it to the bottom line.
Many are unhappy if their physician or hospital isn’t in the network. Health care costs would be much higher if it weren’t for discounts that have been negotiated.
The biggest area of controversy is treatments that are not covered. There is usually a good reason. Mental health inpatient coverage is often quite limited. This is because of past abuses. If a kid were acting up, they would put him in an institution. Suddenly they were “cured” once the insurance ran out. Experimental treatment is another example. A company should be held to account if they unfairly deny coverage.
The only real answer is to find ways to make health care less costly. Unfortunately, neither the Obama nor the Trump administration has done much about it.
We live in strange times. We have seen an egocentric billionaire reality star become President. Now we are experiencing something equally bizarre. Much of the Democratic Party is marching in lockstep with a 29-year-old former waitress.
Yesterday she provided more details on her Green New Deal. It is so wildly unpractical that someone suggested that it sounds like a satire written by Republicans.
Let me take just one example. The plan calls for the elimination of all fossil fuels in eleven years. There has been a push for renewable energy since the Carter administration forty years ago. So far it accounts for just 11% of our energy. The idea that we could go to 100% renewable energy in just over a decade just isn’t possible.
Her plan would make every train, ship, tractor and plane along with virtually every car and truck obsolete. Believing that we could recreate our entire transportation system using technology that hasn’t been developed is absolutely ridiculous.
Solar panels and windmills are great as long as the sun shines and the wind blows. Without fossil fuels as a backup, we would spend much of our time without power.
Imagine a military without planes, ships or tanks. I guess we are supposed to go to war using golf carts.
Democrats have made getting rid of President Trump their number one goal. They sure won’t get there with a candidate spouting this nonsense.
I’m sure nobody will be surprised at this week’s winner. It’s Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. He got the ball rolling by appearing to say that he is OK with letting unwanted babies die. What he actually meant to say is unclear.
That controversy was just the beginning. Someone was waiting for the right time to release a photo which purportedly showed him either in a KKK suit or in blackface. He admitted he was in the picture, then denied it. He also volunteered that he was once dressed as Michael Jackson for Halloween. I’m not sure that President Trump or Joe Biden could make so many major political mistakes in such a short time.
The real question is whether or not he should resign. We don’t even know for sure whether or not he was even in the picture. For the sake of argument, let’s assume he was. It is hard to fathom how a medical school graduate could have such unbelievably bad judgment. I don’t believe he should resign unless a long pattern of racism can be shown.
Some Democrats are being hypocrites. As recently as 2010, there was a member of the Senate, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who had once been a KKK member and organizer. Nobody said a word. Now they are willing to throw Northam under the bus to curry favor with the Far Left.
We should vigorously pursue those in politics who are guilty of serious wrongdoing. Saying or doing something stupid decades ago is not sufficient reason to force people out of office.