Hand-picked and farm-fresh–
⇒Linked articles in bold purple
◆ Trump rejects Tillerson’s choice for No. 2 at State, Elliott Abrams Tillerson wanted Abrams, an experienced strategist who had served in the Reagan Administration and in a more senior position under George W. Bush. Abrams had attracted opposition from both left (predictably) and some on the right for too close to neoconservatives and interventionists. (New York Times)
Mr. Trump had a productive meeting with Mr. Abrams on Tuesday, according to a White House official and a person close to Mr. Abrams. But after it took place, Mr. Trump learned of Mr. Abrams’s pointed criticisms of the president when he was running for president, the administration official said. Among those criticisms was a column headlined “When You Can’t Stand Your Candidate,” which appeared in May 2016 in The Weekly Standard. –New York Times
Comment: Trump’s decision appears to be based on personal pique and disloyalty, not policy issues, but we will learn more over the next few days.
The Washington Teacher’s Union organized a gathering outside of the school, but were not among the protesters who blocked her. –WJLA
She eventually made it into the school.
Comment: The Teacher’s Union peaceful protests are fully protected by the First Amendment. They are fine, whether you agree with their viewpoint or not. By contrast, the others, who tried to block DeVos entry and enter her car, deserve full-throated condemnation.
◆ Trump has very positive meeting with Japanese PM Abe, says US committed to defense of Japan (Reuters via CNBC) The US defense commitment represents a significant change from Trump’s rhetoric as a candidate
At the same time, Pres. Trump had a positive phone call with China’s leader, Xi, reaffirming Washington’s traditional “one-China” policy.
Comment: These are significant, positive steps to stabilize both deterrence (protecting Japan) and diplomacy (discussions with China).
◆ Michael Barone is worried–and for good reason–that liberals are not condemning street violence in the US
The response of liberal politicians? So far as I know, there has been almost none. At the Powerline blog John Hinderaker links to a Grabien video showing Democratic politicians and celebrities making statements that some may take as endorsements of violence, such as Sen. Tim Kaine’s urging followers to “fight in the streets.” I suspect he would claim that he was speaking metaphorically and only urging peaceful protest. But it would be nice if he could find time to condemn the violence we have seen at Berkeley — and which is increasingly unsurprising on our college and university campuses, which have become the part of our society most hostile to free speech. —Michael Barone on Berkeley riots in the Washington Examiner
Comment: My answer to Barone’s question: Liberal politicians probably do care, but they care more about their political standing. That means they do not want to alienate the highly-mobilized left, much of which supports the violence or is simply too cowardly to speak out again it.
Comment: Ford is buying the expertise of Argo AI’s founders and their robotics expertise. Ford has already made considerable progress on its “virtual driver system”