ZipDialog Roundup for Sunday, October 1

Articles chosen with care. Your comments welcomed.
Linked articles in bold purple

Trump says his own Sec. of State is wasting his time trying to talk with North Korea (New York Times)

Trump added a personal insult to the North Korean leader, calling him “Little Rocket Man.”

The NYT says the President “seemed to undercut” Tillerson.

Comment: There are four possibilities.

First, personal pique: always insults adversaries. Not at all helpful here. Could prompt irrational action by Kim.

Second, it could be “good cop, bad cop.” Quite likely.

Third, Tillerson is sending a message to Pyongyang, while Trump is sending one to Beijing. Virtually certain.

Finally, it is possible that Trump thinks, “We will ultimately have to use force here. If so, it is far better if Kim does something that China (and other international actors) consider so provocative that the US must respond. Let’s see if I can goad him into that since it will build international support for something we will have to do anyway.”

In any case, this situation is lethally dangerous. That’s been true for some time. Trump’s strategy depends on keeping the heat up, not turning it down. That’s the only way to get China to act.

Trump Administration slashing red tape that slows business growth (Fox News)

Big rollout of the PR side of this on Monday.

Trump has directed federal agencies to lower the overall cost of their regulations during fiscal 2018, the Washington Times reported. Specific dollar figures were not available.

But Neomi Rao, administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, told the Times that new rules enacted by the Trump administration have so far saved U.S. businesses some $300 million in annualized costs.

By contrast, Rao said the Obama administration saddled businesses with $80 billion in costs over eight years.

Comment: Really important initiative, vastly underreported because there are no visuals and MSM does not like Trump. When they do report on regulations, they emphasize harm to individuals.

◆ The pain in Spain lies mainly in . . . Barcelona: Clashes and chaos as Madrid steps in to forcibly prevent Catalonia’s vote to become independent (New York Times)

Catalonia’s defiant attempt to stage an independence referendum descended into chaos on Sunday, with hundreds injured in clashes with police in one of the most serious tests of Spain’s democracy since the end of the Franco dictatorship in the 1970s.

National police officers in riot gear deployed in thick phalanxes as they fanned out across Catalonia, the restive northeastern region of Spain, to shut down polling stations and seize ballot boxes. –New York Times

BBC story here.

Comment: The fallout from the attempted vote and the violence will be serious and ongoing, with ramifications for separatist movements across Europe.

◆ Today in Islamic Terror: Marseilles train station

Chicago Tribune headline: Man kills 2 with knife at French station, yells ‘Allahu Akbar’

Associated Press headline for the same story: Fatal attack disrupts Marseille train travel

Comments:

  • The Tribune actually uses the AP story and gives it the correct and informative headline. Kudos.
  • The AP doesn’t just bury the lede. It deliberately makes the headline less informative, presumably for PC reasons

The Tribune website does not give my attention to the story. It treats it as a minor one. That’s not necessarily wrong. In fact, it tells you that lethal attacks in European public spaces where the Islamist killer yells his religious motivation are now so common that they receive only modest attention unless the death toll is high.

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