March 26, 2019

The Case for Optimism About Trump

“Various commentators and publications (including some from have already declared Donald Trump the worst president in American history. This seems to me wrongheaded, and not just because I have certain misgivings about the very idea of presidential rankings. But I can say without hesitation that Trump is not only far from our worst president, but a much better one than both of his immediate predecessors.

This should not be such a hard argument to make. Iraq alone should and ultimately will seal George W. Bush’s reputation as one of the least qualified men ever to hold the title of commander-in-chief. Nice guy. Would love to catch a ball game with him or talk about painting at a Houston barbecue. Charismatic, too — but also pollyannish, a failson, and a poor judge of character. If only Jeb were less of a dork.

Barack Obama was, at least initially, a brilliant rhetorician. But his achievements in office were few. The Affordable Care Act was at best a stopgap and at worst a sop to insurance companies, whose stranglehold over the provision of medical care is now all but unbreakable. On the advice of Hillary Clinton, he overthrew Muammar Gaddafi, the mad eccentric who had ruled Libya for many years. The result is the migration crisis that has destroyed European social democracy. No president has done more to speed up the destruction of the post-war world order than Obama, albeit unwittingly. His only significant attempt at diplomacy, the nuclear deal made with Iran, was a meaningless formal exercise in making a deal for its own sake.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"THE CAPTURE of the last territory controlled by the Islamic State on Saturday was far from a final victory over the movement, as U.S. commanders and diplomats were careful to emphasize."

"How a Gay Teen, an Internet Nazi, and a Late-Night Rendezvous Turned to Tragedy. When self-loathing meets the new age of online extremism."

"Benjamin Netanyahu ignored the intelligence operations of Beijing and Moscow for too long. Now, the Israeli government is finally paying attention, but it could be too late."

"Former Nick Jr. kids are now reckoning with this all-grown-up intrepid explorer, whose obstacles are a lot bigger than Swiper the Fox. And that is a hard pill to swallow."

"At the end of last week, the three-month Treasury bills' yield rose above the yield for 10-year Treasuries for the first time since 2007, prompting warnings that the U.S. is headed for recession later this year or in early 2020."

"A team of researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology attempted to answer some questions about voting with the help of artificial intelligence (AI)."

"The experts I spoke with all said that the internet had changed the way conspiracies spread, but conspiracies, both dangerous and petty, have always been with us."

"Pop culture today is obsessed with the battle between good and evil. Traditional folktales never were. What changed?"

"Trustful parents allow their children as much freedom as reasonably possible to make their own decisions. They trust their children’s instincts, judgments, and ability to learn from mistakes."

"Arugulagate. In 2007, Barack Obama was in Iowa, speaking as a presidential hopeful to a group of farmers who were worried about the stagnation of their crop prices while America’s grocery bills continued to rise."

"To say that information exists in and of itself is akin to speaking of spin without the top, of ripples without water, of a dance without the dancer, or of the Cheshire Cat’s grin without the cat."

"Ted Cruz replaces the Democrats’ muddled manifesto with a clear and unequivocal exploration of the hatred of Jews and its particular evils."