Next move in America’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign: Stress North Korean atrocities and China’s shameful role

By Anne Pierce Faced with the rapid progress of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs – along with escalating provocations – President Trump’s foreign policy team has engaged in an intensive effort to put “maximum pressure” on the regime and its enablers. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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The pain in Spain’s not easy to explain

By John Moody As spoiled millionaire athletes continue to split America into quibbling camps, Spain is going to find out this weekend whether it can remain one country, and if Europe can truly be one united continent. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Trump’s Disgraceful Puerto Rico Attack

By Daniel Larison

Trump’s attack on San Juan’s Mayor Cruz this morning included a broader insult to people in Puerto Rico:

At 7:09 a.m., Trump wrote: “The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump.”

Seven minutes later, he wrote: “…Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They….”

“…want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort [bold mine-DL]. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.”

Attacking a local official who is pleading for help in the middle of a major disaster would be a cruel and politically inept thing to do in any case, but Trump manages to make it worse by casting blame on the overall local response in the wake of what is generally acknowledged to be the worst disaster in Puerto Rico’s history. He accuses leaders in Puerto Rico and the population more generally of wanting “everything to be done for them” because one of their politicians criticized the federal government for an inadequate response to the disaster. That’s a contemptible response to legitimate criticism, and a disgraceful way to treat Americans who are going through one of the biggest disasters on record. Trump cannot excuse the lacking federal response by pointing to the scale of the disaster and then fault local officials for not doing enough, and it is obnoxious to suggest that the “community effort” has been insufficient when this is a disaster that he very publicly neglected for most of the last week.

To put the damage the hurricane did in perspective, Solomon Hsiang and Trevor Houser compared Maria with other intense storms and found this:

Hurricane Maria was an absolute monster. By our calculation, the average exposure in Puerto Rico was winds of 123 miles per hour. Normally, only small areas get slammed, and indeed some locations suffered through Category 5 winds of 158 m.p.h. But what stands out about Maria is that if you were anywhere in Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, you would have been experiencing something that felt like passing through a strong Category 3 hurricane. There was nowhere to hide.

Scouring an entire territory the way Maria did is not normal. Of the more than 13,000 cyclone events around the world since 1950 (an event is one hurricane or typhoon hitting one country), only five topped Maria in their overall average intensity [bold mine-DL], according to data gathered for a 2014 study one of us did with Amir Jina of the University of Chicago.

They go on to note that “no Atlantic hurricane was a disaster as epic as Maria slamming into Puerto Rico.” The devastation wrought in Puerto Rico isn’t just unprecedented for the island, but in the last sixty-plus years of records there is no other comparably intense storm in this part of the world. Trump should stop berating …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Trump’s Bungled Response to Puerto Rico’s Disaster

By Daniel Larison

The Post reports on the days that Trump and his top officials wasted in the wake of Hurricane Maria:

But then for four days after that — as storm-ravaged Puerto Rico struggled for food and water amid the darkness of power outages — Trump and his top aides effectively went dark themselves.

Trump jetted to New Jersey that Thursday night to spend a long weekend at his private golf club there, save for a quick trip to Alabama for a political rally. Neither Trump nor any of his senior White House aides said a word publicly about the unfolding crisis.

Trump did hold a meeting at his golf club that Friday with half a dozen Cabinet officials — including acting Homeland Security secretary Elaine Duke, who oversees disaster response — but the gathering was to discuss his new travel ban, not the hurricane [bold mine-DL]. Duke and Trump spoke briefly about Puerto Rico but did not talk again until Tuesday, an administration official said.

The White House’s response to the crisis in Puerto Rico is widely perceived as being too slow and unacceptably negligent of the needs of the people suffering in the aftermath of the hurricane. This report supports that impression, and shows that the president and top administration officials were to a large extent simply ignoring the dire situation on the island. If Trump was keen not to be seen repeating Bush’s Katrina errors following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, there was none of the same urgency or interest on display in the first week after Maria. Trump wasn’t just failing to address the crisis publicly, but was paying scant attention to it for days on end while he feuded with football players and instituted his ridiculous travel ban. The fact that a policy as absurd as the travel ban apparently took precedence over managing the response to a major disaster affecting millions of Americans may be the most damning detail in the entire story. Faced with one of the largest disasters in U.S. history, Trump was preoccupied with a piece of security theater instead of the security and well-being of millions of citizens in desperate straits. So much for putting Americans first. Fortunately, it seems that the sustained criticism of the White House’s lacking response has jolted them into taking the crisis more seriously, but the president and his officials still frittered away the better part of a week when they should have been intensely focused on increasing and improving the federal government’s response.

…read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Will Trump be re-elected?

By Jonathan Adelman With the November 2020 Presidential election over three years away, it may seem strange to be discussing the prospects for President Trump to be re-elected. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Paris Ben Op Diary, Day Two

By Rod Dreher

Greetings from a Starbucks on the Boulevard St-Michel. Starbucks is where they have big-ass cups of actually tasty coffee (French coffee is pretty bad), and free wi-fi. So here I am for a moment, updating the blog before running off to a liturgy at a Russian Orthodox church. Above, Self and my French co-conspirators Yrieix Denis (left) and Nick Thibault-Trewby, after a hard day of press interviews and prepping for a week’s worth of conferences here in Paris. Yrieix and I are drinking Muscadet and waiting for our oysters. Which arrived shortly thereafter, with little sausages:

Those were Black Pearls, and transportingly delicious.

I don’t mean to give the impression that I’m doing nothing but eating here. I had several good interviews yesterday, and will be talking to Le Figaro and Le Monde on Monday. So the Ben Op is getting traction here in France. I’m meeting some young, energetic, and engaged orthodox Catholics (two of them are in the photo above). I’m also hearing depressing stories about how hard it is for young people to find jobs in France, and to start businesses. I’ll report back more after today, if I can find a wi-fi connection.

One thing that always comes up: French fear that I’m calling for Christian separationism. I didn’t anticipate that they would view the Ben Op in light of the Muslim situation here. Many feel that to endorse strong Christian community would be implicitly to endorse the same with Muslims. I’ll have to think about this. Again … more later.

…read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Mr. Trump, don’t just address the symptoms. Cure the ‘swamp disease’

By Ned Ryun Now that HHS Secretary Tom Price has resigned over his abuse of chartered flights and the taxpayers who funded them, it’s helpful both to have some perspective and to see this as a microcosm of why the 2016 election happened. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Keith Ablow: Is new technology fueling new levels of conflict?

By Keith Ablow McLuhan, who died in 1980, had no idea that new technologies, like the internet and its children, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google, would represent an exponential threat of the same kind. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Instead of taking a knee in protest, take two knees in prayer

By Rick Lynch I am absolutely amazed at the amount of attention we have devoted to NFL players “taking a knee” in protest during the playing of our national anthem. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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The Week’s Most Interesting Reads

By Daniel Larison

Trump goes rogue on Iran. Nick Wadhams reports on administration officials’ basic ignorance about what the nuclear deal with Iran is supposed to do.

The muddled travel ban. Paul Pillar criticizes the latest version of the administration’s travel ban.

Not everyone in Kurdistan is cheering the independence referendum. Campbell MacDiarmid reports on opposition to the referendum among the Arabs and Turkmen of Kirkuk and the danger of violence occurring there.

Iran and the Kurds: what the referendum means for Tehran. Ariane Tabatabai explains why Iran is so opposed to the Kurdish independence referendum.

…read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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