Hand-picked and farm-fresh–
⇒Linked articles in bold purple
Comment: His position is a hot seat and will be difficult for him to manage politically. The difficulty, fundamentally, is that Trump’s spending and tax-cutting plans and his refusal to tackle entitlements are very different from the Tea Party’s and the House Freedom Caucus. Mulvaney will not only have to reconcile those vast differences, he will have to convince some of his former colleagues in the House–or be read out of their church.
◆ Alexander Acosta, nominated as Labor Sec. He is an experienced lawyer, who served in several positions in GW Bush administration, including National Labor Relations Board, and is chairman of a Hispanic community bank in Florida (Fox)
Comment: Presumably better vetted than Andrew Puzder, who withdrew his nomination, and should be a straightforward approval. That won’t stop Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats from slow-walking it. Vetting is fine. Slow walking is just gamesmanship.
◆ US Sec. of State Rex Tillerson meets his Russian counterpart. So far, no real news about what has become an increasingly conflictual relationship (New York Times)
◆ US Sec. of Defense reassures NATO that it will not cozy up to Russia No closer military ties between US-Russia, Mattis says (New York Times)
Comment: David Friedman has supported settlements so he is reviled by the left. The Democrats will focus on Trump’s “abandonment of the two-state solution.” But that’s misleading. What Trump really did was say, correctly, the parties themselves have to strike a mutually-acceptable deal. We (the US) won’t constrain that. Smart, as a negotiating tactic.
Of course, there will be no agreement because
- The Palestinians do not have stable governance
- One of their territories is rules by corrupt terrorists, the other by dead-ender terrorists, part of a larger Muslim Brotherhood movement, bent on overthrowing regimes across the Arab-Muslim world; and
- The Palestinian people have not even begun to discuss the nature of the compromises that would be essential in a peace treaty. The Israelis did discuss those issues and were ready for compromise during the Clinton Administration.
They have now given up on that possibility and are reluctantly moving forward to preserve their security without much cooperation from the Palestinians.