Topics and articles chosen with care. Linked articles in bold purple
◆ The big news, plus comments
- US cruise missile strike on Syria: successful, circumscribed, and widely approved, both in America and worldwide
- The limitation: it is a signal, not a strategy. Good strategic options simply aren’t available. The next moves are up to Russia and Iran, which are firmly committed to the Assad regime.
- Gorsuch approved for Supreme Court. WaPo says he could have an immediate impact, though he simply returns to the Court to its alignment before Justice Scalia died.
- The Post’s prominent editorial writer, Dana Milbank, calls Mitch McConnell “the man who broke America”; American voters said something different, according to multiple polls, indicating that Trump won significant votes for his promised appointments to the Court.
- Chuck Schumer and the Democrats’ decision to immolate themselves on this one was dumb, dumb, dumb; it shows that catering to your base and your donors is not always a good way to appeal to the wider public, something the Republicans have learned the hard way over many year
- Another terror attack in Europe, this one in Stockholm
- Europe’s experiment with large-scale Muslim integration and a laissez-faire attitude toward social integration, masquerading as “multiculturalism,” has failed in deadly ways . . . on the roads of Nice, the nightclubs of Paris, the bridges of London, and now the sidewalks of Stockholm. If mainstream politicians don’t address these legitimate public concerns, more extremist, racist parties will gain still more traction
- House Republicans leave town with healthcare still in the ICU
- There was so much news that Republicans did not have time to point at Susan Rice or Democrats to accuse Trump of colluding with the Russians. In fact, Trump and Putin seem to have unfriended each other, but, then, this was never about being Facebook buddies.
◆ Trump-Xi summit ends without public comment, but the US strike on Syria, conducted while Xi was visiting, was bound to resonate as Chinese leaders think about North Korea
Comment: For the Trump administration, the key goal is lowering the trade imbalance with China.
◆ Stockholm terror attack kills at least four, injures many more, some seriously. Another deadly, easy-to-execute attack using a truck or car
Reports from Stockholm say the whole city was immediately shut down to prevent possible follow-on attacks on roads, bridges, subways, airports. Some arrests have been made. (NYT story here.)
Comment: These deadly, improvised attacks against “soft targets” are ease to launch and, unfortunately, scores of radical Islamists are already in place, ready to launch them.
What must rattle the Swedes is that they have done nothing to provoke these attacks. Quite the contrary: they have appeased their deadly foes at every opportunity. Sweden contributes almost nothing to the global war against Islamic terror. Their foreign policy is consistently pro-Palestinian and virulently anti-Israeli. The country has taken in lots of Muslim immigrants, showered them with welfare benefits, and done nothing to shift them toward tolerant, Western attitudes.
If that is “Plan A,” then lots of Swedes must be wondering what “Plan B” looks like.
◆ Alabama’s Governor, Robert Bentley, a socially-conservative Republican, is ensnared in a nasty sex scandal, with allegations he used campaign funds and intimidation to hide it. Next up: possible impeachment.
Comment: Investigators quickly ruled out good looks or debonaire charm.
◆ Good News: California’s long “drought emergency” is over, thanks to heavy winter rain and snow NBC says groundwater levels are still below normal and that Gov. Jerry Brown is urging water conservation as a “way of life.”
◆ Today in Irony: Kentucky’s Coal Museum switches to solar energy to save on costs (Newser)