Nikki Haley continues to demonstrate that her current position is where she was destined to fully blossom as a beacon of world-affairs clarity:
Justice Department officials plan to issue new guidance on protections for transgender students that will effectively reverse Obama-era recommendations and ensure those issues are decided at the state level going forward.
"That's an issue that the Department of Justice the Department of Education are addressing, and I think there will be further guidance coming from [Justice Department] in particular, with respect to not just the executive order but the case that's in front of the Supreme Court," White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday. The Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments late next month on a case involving a transgender teen from Virginia who sued the local school board for the right to use the men's bathroom on campus despite being born a female. The debate over transgender "bathroom bills" gained increasing attention late last year after the Obama administration sent guidance to public schools saying they should allow transgender students to use whichever bathroom matches their gender identity. "The president has maintained for a long time that this is a state's right issue and not one for the federal government," Spicer said when asked for Trump's position on the hot-button issue. "So while there will be further guidance coming out this, I think that all you need to do is look at what the president's view has been for a long time."
Today is the National Guard's deadline for the Dakota Pipeline protesters to clear out. The response: protestors torching their campsites. Lots of pics at the Daily Mail link, including a dismaying shot of an expanse of debris over the rolling countryside.U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley ripped into the international body's "anti-Israel bias" last week, specifically denouncing the U.N. Security Council for criticizing the Jewish state while ignoring security threats in the Middle East."It is the U.N.'s anti-Israel bias that is long overdue for change," Haley said Thursday after her first Security Council meeting, which she described as "a bit strange." The meeting focused on Israel, Haley said, rather than on issues like Iran funding terrorists and how to defeat the Islamic State.Haley reaffirmed the United States' support for the Jewish state and said Washington would not "turn a blind eye" to the U.N.'s "anti-Israel bias.""I'm here to emphasize the United States is determined to stand up to the U.N.'s anti-Israel bias," Haley said before singling out Security Council resolutions focused on Israel as "outrageously biased.""The double standards are breathtaking," Haley said. She then described how the Security Council blocked a statement condemning a terrorist attack in Israel during which terrorists shot and stabbed innocent people."That's downright shameful," she said of the council's inaction."The Security Council would not hesitate to condemn an attack like that in any other country," Haley said, "but not for Israel."
Malaysia's list of suspects in the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's estranged half-brother, continues to grow. So far, the Malaysian government is stopping short of a flat-out accusation of a plot by the Kim regime.
And bear in mind that a significant missile test occurred around the same time as the elder Kim's death:
On February 12, the day before Brother Nam's demise, Dictator Un put on another display. His regime launched a new missile, the Pukgukson-2 (Polaris-2). The technical specifics make this very bad news. Solid fuel propels the missile, which means it can be launched on short notice. A tracked transporter erector-launcher (TEL) fired the missile. This means the new missile is mobile. North Korea has few paved roads; a tracked TEL isn't road bound.
Moreover, it was cold-launched -- expelled from the TEL before main booster ignition. That indicates a submarine can fire the Polaris-2.
The Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA) said the technical advances mean Kim Jong Un now possesses a highly capable ballistic missile.Great Daily Wire post by the indispensable Ben Shapiro on how the theory held by some on the Left that Squirrel-Hair is playing 4-D chess is implausible:
Is it possible that Trump is simply doing some good things and some bad things, and that he's saying silly things because that's what he does? Is it at all plausible that Trump is the president, not Steve Bannon or Kellyanne Conway or chief of staff Reince Priebus or anybody else, and that because Trump's an amateur at government he's unsure which way to step? Could it be that Trump isn't playing 4-D chess, that he's just a Wookie threatening to upend the board and rip his opponents' arms out of their sockets? He has been known to do that.
All of this is to say, let's all take a deep breath.
Here's the thing: Trump may not have a plan. He probably doesn't. Those around him probably have their own plans, but they're not the president. But you know who did have a plan? The people who constructed our constitutional system, placed checks and balances in that system and ensured that no one person could wield all power in American government. That means that even the presidency that begins most chaotically can find its sea legs, and even the presidencies that remain chaotic can't do too much damage.
So let's not panic. Everything's not chaos, even if it feels like it.
Love those survey-of-the-current-landscape pieces with the optimistic endings.