Articles chosen with care. Comments welcomed. Linked articles in bold purple
◆ Memorial Day should be about more than bar-b-q and store-wide sales. It is a day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. May their memories forever be a blessing.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday declared a new chapter in U.S.-European relations after contentious meetings with President Trump last week, saying that Europe “really must take our fate into our own hands.”
It was the toughest review yet of Trump’s trip to Europe, which inflamed tensions rather than healed them after the U.S. president sparred with the leaders of Washington’s closest and oldest allies on trade, defense and climate change.
Merkel, Europe’s de facto leader, told a packed beer hall rally in Munich that the days when her continent could rely on others was “over to a certain extent. This is what I have experienced in the last few days.” –Washington Post
Comment: Merkel was grumpy about Trump publicly demanding NATO’s European partners pay their fair share. Germany has been a special target.
He also publicly criticized Merkel, repeatedly during the campaign, about her catastrophic decision to throw open German borders to huge numbers of unvetted refugees from the Middle East. Really bad idea, and he called her out on it.
And now she is grumpy and telling Europe to go it alone, or at least rely on itself (without the US) a lot more.
So, here’s are the two big problems.
First, there is no indication that Europeans actually want to pay for their own defense.
Second, this Europe-on-its-own would inevitably be led by its richest, most powerful state: Germany.
Europe’s experience with German leadership has not been a happy one. Nobody summarizes that experience better Norm Macdonald in these 90 seconds:
◆ Immigrant Rights groups are not happy with the head of Homeland Security. Not happy at all. (Washington Times)
Immigrant-rights groups were left steaming after Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly said most of the illegal immigrant children who streamed into the U.S. in recent years were “a huge scam,” abusing lax policies to gain a foothold here.
Mr. Kelly also said the families in Central America and here in the U.S. who orchestrated the dangerous journeys were guilty of “human trafficking” of their own children. . . .
He was tapping into a fierce debate between security advocates and immigrant-rights activists in recent years. –Washington Times
◆ North Korea tests yet another missile (New York Times)
The Pentagon is moving urgently to test a long-distance anti-missile system, one that has failed about half the time.
Comment: W Trump is still relying on China to put pressure on Pyongyang, but either Beijing is not doing enough or lacks the leverage.
The US is moving more naval assets to the region. I should also sanction any bank or other institution (most of them in China) that has anything to do with North Korea.
◆ Oil prices sinking again. Now below $50 (Bloomberg)
Bloomberg thinks the markets doubt OPEC cutbacks will stick.
Comment: Fracking costs are also coming down as technology improves.
Lower energy prices are like a tax cut for consumers.