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“Time-travel with me back to 2016. Fears were rampant that Donald Trump would not be able to handle an international crisis, that he would react either recklessly or timidly and thereby hurt U.S. security. We’re going through a period of intense global pressure right now, and so far he has proved up to the task.
Take Iran’s recent provocations. U.S. sanctions have started to bite, so the mullahs are saber rattling. But neither threats to ramp up their nuclear program nor credible intelligence that they intended to attack U.S. interests have provoked the president. Instead, the administration is prudently responding via diplomacy (witness Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent unscheduled trip to Baghdad) and by sending a carrier battle group to the Arabian Sea. People might disagree with some of President Trump’s Middle East policy decisions, such as his decision to rescind the Obama administration’s deal with Iran (I think it was the right call because the deal merely subsidized a multiyear delay in Iran’s nuclear weapons program rather than remove that threat entirely), but since then, Trump has conducted measured, thoughtful action.
Ditto with respect to the Venezuelan crisis. Fears were rampant when the United States and its allies recognized interim president Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate ruler that a cowboy invasion was right around the corner. Instead, we have seen the opposite. The application of sanctions and the slow isolation of Venezuela’s government and leadership haven’t toppled the dictator Nicolás Maduro yet. But neither has Trump given in to the temptation to either reverse course or recklessly attack. Again, one can disagree with the strategy but there is no quibbling with the tactics.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"The results were surprising. The center-right coalition, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, remained in power against the opposition Labor party, which had led in every poll for years."
"Anger seldom works against Trump; he owns the currency and can always issue more of it. In addressing the rogue President directly, or speaking about him in the third person, Pelosi usually adopts a tone that is more sorrowful than angry..."
"I am Mizrahi, as are the majority of Jews in Israel today. We are of Middle Eastern and North African descent. Only about 30% of Israeli Jews are Ashkenazi, or the descendants of European Jews."
"Kids are exposed to plenty of controversial social issues on a daily basis. And if parents don’t want their kids to watch “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” they can turn off the TV."
"Are public-school teachers really underpaid? It’s a claim often made during teacher pay disputes, but the same data and statistical methods that produce the “teacher salary gap” lead to some ridiculous conclusions..."
"Tech companies are getting into the business of making cities. We need to stop Silicon Valley social engineering before things get even worse."
"Having a Library or Cafe Down the Block Could Change Your Life: Living close to public amenities—from parks to grocery stores—increases trust, decreases loneliness, and restores faith in local government."
"“What name . . . shall we give to the darkness of hell...?” The question of how we can name a place such as this is at the center of scholar Scott G. Bruce’s new anthology The Penguin Book of Hell."
"She had all six of her kids — ages 5, 4, 2 (twins) and 10 months (also twins!) in her 10-seater van. To get the kids a quick snack, Curry parked in front of the Cobbler’s Café."
"Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said they grew up typically eating dinner at a kitchen table, but a little less than half said they do so now when eating at home."
"If you tied a rope tight around the Earth’s equator and then added a single yard of slack, would the extra material make any noticeable difference to someone standing on the ground?"
"While American Jewish women face attacks on our freedom and rising anti-Semitism, abortion opponents are appropriating Jewish history in order to push an agenda that hurts women."