Hand-picked and farm-fresh–
⇒Linked articles in bold purple
◆ Trump’s initial Cabinet appointments tell me he intends to move swiftly to pass a far-reaching agenda and will work closely with a Republican House and Senate to do it.
Comment: Tom Price is an expert of health care and committed to dismantling Obamacare and replacing it with a market-oriented system. Betsy DeVos is an expert on charter schools and vouchers and will make big changes at the Department of Education. Elaine Chou has extensive experience in government and a background in infrastructure, which she will bring to the Department of Transportation.
The ties to Capitol Hill are strong, without the K-Street strings. Price has worked extremely closely with Paul Ryan, as has Chief of Staff, Reince Preibus. Chou, who was born in Taiwan and has helped manage her family’s transportation interests, was a long-serving Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush. She is married to Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell. Vice-President-elect Pence served in both the House and Senate before becoming Governor of Indiana.
These appointments suggest the Trump Administration will work closely with Ryan and McConnell to move a big agenda. They have majorities in both houses (but not a super-majority in the Senate), and have already passed a lot of Republican proposals that died on Pres. Obama’s desk. So, they won’t have to start from scratch.
◆ Paul Ryan lays out his top 4 priorities:
- Economic growth, beginning with deregulation
- Repealing and replacing Obamacare
- Tax Reform
- Security the border
He discussed those priorities in a Wisconsin radio interview and says he is in close touch daily with Pres.-elect Trump. (Talking Points Memo)
◆ UN Security Council to pass tighter sanctions on North Korea with China’s help. (Fox News)
Comment: China’s problem here is vexing. They do not want to break the vulnerable Kim regime, but they don’t want to see South Korea and Japan start arming themselves to cope with North Korea’s rising threat.
◆ Indonesia has always had a huge Muslim population but not a militant, extremist one. That’s changing, says Time Magazine, and the Chinese minority in the country are fearful.
◆ ISIS calls attacker at Ohio State a “soldier.” (New York Times) He appears to have been inspired online, rather than trained directly.
Comment: White House spokesman Josh Ernest was truly embarrassing as he tried to describe the attack without saying the word “Islam.” It was like the author who wrote an entire novel without using the letter “e.” Yes, you can do it. But why?
Seen any interesting news or commentary?
I welcome your suggestions. Charles (dot) Lipson at Gmail (dot) com