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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>This Weeks Conservative Focus &hellip; AG Sessions</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Krauthammer.gif\" style=\"width: 300px; height: 113px;\" /></p>\n<p>Transparency, thy name is Trump, Donald Trump. No filter, no governor, no editor lies between his impulses and his public actions. He tweets, therefore he is.<br />\n Ronald Reagan was so self-contained and impenetrable that his official biographer was practically driven mad trying to figure him out. Donald Trump is penetrable, hourly.<br />\n Never more so than during his ongoing war on his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions. Trump has been privately blaming Sessions for the Russia cloud. But rather than calling him in to either work it out or demand his resignation, Trump has engaged in a series of deliberate public humiliations.</p>\n<p> DAY BY DAY, he taunts Sessions, attacking him for everything from not firing the acting FBI director (which Trump could do himself in an instant) to not pursuing criminal charges against Hillary Clinton.<br />\n What makes the spectacle so excruciating is that the wounded Sessions plods on, refusing the obvious invitation to resign his dream job, the capstone of his career.<br />\n Trump relishes such a cat-and-mouse game and, by playing it so openly, reveals a deeply repellent vindictiveness in the service of a pathological need to display dominance.<br />\n Dominance is his game. Doesn&rsquo;t matter if you backed him, as did Chris Christie, cast out months ago. Or if you opposed him, as did Mitt Romney, before whom Trump ostentatiously dangled the State Department, only to snatch it away, leaving Romney looking the foolish supplicant.<br />\n Yet the Sessions affair is more than just a study in character. It carries political implications. It has caused the first crack in Trump&rsquo;s base. Not yet a split, mind you. The base is simply too solid for that. But amid his 35 to 40 percent core support, some are peeling off, both in Congress and in the pro-Trump commentariat.<br />\n The issue is less characterological than philosophical. As Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard put it, Sessions was the original Trumpist &mdash; before Trump. Sessions championed hard-line trade, law enforcement and immigration policy long before Trump rode these ideas to the White House.<br />\n For many conservatives, Sessions&rsquo; early endorsement of Trump served as an ideological touchstone. And Sessions has remained stalwart in carrying out Trumpist policies at Justice. That Trump could, out of personal pique, treat him so rudely now suggests to those conservatives how cynically expedient was Trump&rsquo;s adoption of Sessions&rsquo; ideas in the first place.</p>\n<p> BUT BEYOND character and beyond ideology lies the most appalling aspect of the Sessions affair &mdash; reviving the idea of prosecuting Clinton.<br />\n In the 2016 campaign, there was nothing more disturbing than crowds chanting &ldquo;lock her up,&rdquo; often encouraged by Trump and his surrogates. After the election, however, Trump reconsidered, saying he would not pursue Clinton who &ldquo;went through a lot and suffered greatly.&rdquo;<br />\n Now under siege, Trump has jettisoned magnanimity. Maybe she should be locked up after all.<br />\n This is pure misdirection. Even if every charge against Clinton were true and she got 20 years in the clink, it would change not one iota of the truth &mdash; or falsity &mdash; of the charges of collusion being made against the Trump campaign.<br />\n Moreover, in America we don&rsquo;t lock up political adversaries. They do that in Turkey. They do it (and worse) in Russia. Part of American greatness is that we don&rsquo;t criminalize our politics.<br />\n Last week, Trump spoke at the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier. Ford was no giant. Nor did he leave a great policy legacy. But he is justly revered for his decency and honor. His great gesture was pardoning Richard Nixon, an act for which he was excoriated at the time and which cost him the 1976 election.<br />\n It was an act of political self-sacrifice, done for precisely the right reason. Nixon might indeed have committed crimes. But the spectacle of an ex-president on trial and perhaps even in jail was something Ford would not allow the country to go through.<br />\n In doing so, he vindicated the very purpose of the presidential pardon. On its face, it&rsquo;s perverse. It allows one person to overturn equal justice. But the Founders understood that there are times, rare but vital, when social peace and national reconciliation require contravening ordinary justice. Ulysses S. Grant amnestied (technically: Paroled) Confederate soldiers and officers at Appomattox, even allowing them to keep a horse for the planting.<br />\n In Trump World, the better angels are not in evidence.</p>\n<p> TO BE SURE, Trump is indeed examining the pardon power. For himself and his cronies.</p>\n<p> July 28, 2017</p>\n', created = 1575839602, expire = 1575926002, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:dedc79df5b38f31de61afe3ee380aad1' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>At Issue this week...&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; North Korea</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Krauthammer.gif\" /></p>\n<p>The crisis with North Korea may appear trumped up. It&rsquo;s not.<br />\n Given that Pyongyang has had nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles for more than a decade, why the panic now? Because North Korea is headed for a nuclear breakout. The regime has openly declared that it is racing to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach the United States &mdash; and thus destroy an American city at a Kim Jong-Un push of a button.<br />\n The North Koreans are not bluffing. They&rsquo;ve made significant progress with solid-fuel rockets, which are more quickly deployable and thus more easily hidden and less subject to detection and pre-emption.<br />\n &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />\n AT THE SAME time, Pyongyang has been steadily adding to its supply of nuclear weapons. Today it has an estimated 10 to 16. By 2020, it could very well have a hundred. (For context: the British are thought to have about 200.)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />\n Hence the crisis. We simply cannot concede to Kim Jong-Un the capacity to annihilate American cities.<br />\n Some will argue for deterrence. If it held off the Russians and the Chinese for all these years, why not the North Koreans? First, because deterrence, even with a rational adversary like the old Soviet Union, is never a sure thing. We came pretty close to nuclear war in October 1962.<br />\n And second, because North Korea&rsquo;s regime is bizarre in the extreme, a hermit kingdom run by a weird, utterly ruthless and highly erratic god-king. You can&rsquo;t count on Caligula. The regime is savage and cult-like; its people, robotic. Karen Elliott House once noted that while Saddam Hussein&rsquo;s Iraq was a prison, North Korea was an ant colony.<br />\n Ant colonies do not have good checks and balances.<br />\n If not deterrence, then prevention. But how? The best hope is for China to exercise its influence and induce North Korea to give up its programs.<br />\n For years, the Chinese made gestures, but never did anything remotely decisive. They have their reasons. It&rsquo;s not just that they fear a massive influx of refugees if the Kim regime disintegrates. It&rsquo;s also that Pyongyang is a perpetual thorn in the side of the Americans, whereas regime collapse brings South Korea (and thus America) right up to the Yalu River.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />\n So why would the Chinese do our bidding now?</p>\n<p> FOR A VARIETY of reasons.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />\n &mdash; They don&rsquo;t mind tension but they don&rsquo;t want war. And the risk of war is rising. They know that the ICBM threat is totally unacceptable to the Americans. And that the current administration appears particularly committed to enforcing this undeclared red line.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />\n &mdash; Chinese interests are being significantly damaged by the erection of regional missile defenses to counteract North Korea&rsquo;s nukes. South Korea is racing to install a THAAD anti-missile system. Japan may follow. THAAD&rsquo;s mission is to track and shoot down incoming rockets from North Korea but, like any missile shield, it necessarily reduces the power and penetration of the Chinese nuclear arsenal.<br />\n &mdash; For China to do nothing risks the return of the American tactical nukes in South Korea, withdrawn in 1991.<br />\n &mdash; If the crisis deepens, the possibility arises of South Korea and, most importantly, Japan going nuclear themselves. The latter is the ultimate Chinese nightmare.<br />\n These are major cards America can play. Our objective should be clear. At a minimum, a testing freeze. At the maximum, regime change.<br />\n Because Beijing has such a strong interest in the current regime, we could sweeten the latter offer by abjuring Korean reunification. This would not be Germany, where the communist state was absorbed into the West. We would accept an independent, but Finlandized, North.<br />\n During the Cold War, Finland was, by agreement, independent but always pro-Russian in foreign policy. Here we would guarantee that a new North Korea would be independent but always oriented toward China. For example, the new regime would forswear ever joining any hostile alliance.<br />\n There are deals to be made. They may have to be underpinned by demonstrations of American resolve. A pre-emptive attack on North Korea&rsquo;s nuclear facilities and missile sites would be too dangerous, as it would almost surely precipitate an invasion of South Korea with untold millions of casualties. We might, however, try to shoot down a North Korean missile in mid-flight to demonstrate both our capacity to defend ourselves and the futility of a North Korean missile force that can be neutralized technologically.<br />\n &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />\n THE KOREA crisis is real and growing. But we are not helpless. We have choices. We have assets. It&rsquo;s time to deploy them.</p>\n<p> April 21, 2017</p>\n', created = 1575839602, expire = 1575926002, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:6b59c4812ff1623259636f3782f80841' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>NORTH KOREA: April 21, 2017</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Krauthammer.gif\" /></p>\n<p>The crisis with North Korea may appear trumped up. It&rsquo;s not.<br />\n Given that Pyongyang has had nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles for more than a decade, why the panic now? Because North Korea is headed for a nuclear breakout. The regime has openly declared that it is racing to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach the United States &mdash; and thus destroy an American city at a Kim Jong Un push of a button.<br />\n The North Koreans are not bluffing. They&rsquo;ve made significant progress with solid-fuel rockets, which are more quickly deployable and thus more easily hidden and less subject to detection and pre-emption.<br />\n &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />\n AT THE SAME time, Pyongyang has been steadily adding to its supply of nuclear weapons. Today it has an estimated 10 to 16. By 2020, it could very well have a hundred. (For context: the British are thought to have about 200.)&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />\n Hence the crisis. We simply cannot concede to Kim Jong Un the capacity to annihilate American cities.<br />\n Some will argue for deterrence. If it held off the Russians and the Chinese for all these years, why not the North Koreans? First, because deterrence, even with a rational adversary like the old Soviet Union, is never a sure thing. We came pretty close to nuclear war in October 1962.<br />\n And second, because North Korea&rsquo;s regime is bizarre in the extreme, a hermit kingdom run by a weird, utterly ruthless and highly erratic god-king. You can&rsquo;t count on Caligula. The regime is savage and cult-like; its people, robotic. Karen Elliott House once noted that while Saddam Hussein&rsquo;s Iraq was a prison, North Korea was an ant colony.<br />\n Ant colonies do not have good checks and balances.<br />\n If not deterrence, then prevention. But how? The best hope is for China to exercise its influence and induce North Korea to give up its programs.<br />\n For years, the Chinese made gestures, but never did anything remotely decisive. They have their reasons. It&rsquo;s not just that they fear a massive influx of refugees if the Kim regime disintegrates. It&rsquo;s also that Pyongyang is a perpetual thorn in the side of the Americans, whereas regime collapse brings South Korea (and thus America) right up to the Yalu River.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />\n So why would the Chinese do our bidding now?</p>\n<p> FOR A VARIETY of reasons.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />\n &mdash; They don&rsquo;t mind tension but they don&rsquo;t want war. And the risk of war is rising. They know that the ICBM threat is totally unacceptable to the Americans. And that the current administration appears particularly committed to enforcing this undeclared red line.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />\n &mdash; Chinese interests are being significantly damaged by the erection of regional missile defenses to counteract North Korea&rsquo;s nukes. South Korea is racing to install a THAAD anti-missile system. Japan may follow. THAAD&rsquo;s mission is to track and shoot down incoming rockets from North Korea but, like any missile shield, it necessarily reduces the power and penetration of the Chinese nuclear arsenal.<br />\n &mdash; For China to do nothing risks the return of the American tactical nukes in South Korea, withdrawn in 1991.<br />\n &mdash; If the crisis deepens, the possibility arises of South Korea and, most importantly, Japan going nuclear themselves. The latter is the ultimate Chinese nightmare.<br />\n These are major cards America can play. Our objective should be clear. At a minimum, a testing freeze. At the maximum, regime change.<br />\n Because Beijing has such a strong interest in the current regime, we could sweeten the latter offer by abjuring Korean reunification. This would not be Germany, where the communist state was absorbed into the West. We would accept an independent, but Finlandized, North.<br />\n During the Cold War, Finland was, by agreement, independent but always pro-Russian in foreign policy. Here we would guarantee that a new North Korea would be independent but always oriented toward China. For example, the new regime would forswear ever joining any hostile alliance.<br />\n There are deals to be made. They may have to be underpinned by demonstrations of American resolve. A pre-emptive attack on North Korea&rsquo;s nuclear facilities and missile sites would be too dangerous, as it would almost surely precipitate an invasion of South Korea with untold millions of casualties. We might, however, try to shoot down a North Korean missile in mid-flight to demonstrate both our capacity to defend ourselves and the futility of a North Korean missile force that can be neutralized technologically.<br />\n &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />\n THE KOREA crisis is real and growing. But we are not helpless. We have choices. We have assets. It&rsquo;s time to deploy them.</p>\n', created = 1575839602, expire = 1575926002, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:5711734a707508feacf63f514e7b7a07' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>This Weeks Conservative Focus &hellip; Trump Presidency</p>\n<p>The world is agog at Donald Trump&rsquo;s head-snapping foreign policy reversal. He runs on a platform of America First. He renounces the role of world policeman. He excoriates parasitic foreigners that (I paraphrase) suck dry our precious bodily fluids &mdash; and these are allies! On April 4, Trump declared: &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t want to be the president of the world. I&rsquo;m the president of the United States. And from now on, it&rsquo;s going to be America First.&rdquo;<br />\n A week earlier, both his secretary of state and U.N. ambassador had said that the regime of Bashar Assad is a reality and that changing it is no longer an American priority.</p>\n<p> THEN LAST week, Assad drops chemical weapons on rebel-held territory and Trump launches 59 Tomahawk missiles into Syria. &nbsp;<br />\n This was, in part, an emotional reaction to images of children dying of sarin poisoning. And, in part, seizing the opportunity to redeem Barack Obama&rsquo;s unenforced red line on chemical weapons.<br />\n Whatever the reason, moral or strategic, Trump acted. And effectively reset his entire foreign policy.<br />\n True, in and of itself, the raid will not decisively alter the course of Syria&rsquo;s civil war. Assad and his Iranian, Russian and Hezbollah co-combatants still have the upper hand &mdash; but no longer a free hand. After six years of U.S. passivity, there are limits now and America will enforce them.<br />\n Nor was the raid the beginning of a campaign for regime change. It was, however, a reassertion of an American stake in both the conduct and the outcome of the war. America&rsquo;s abdication is over. Be warned.<br />\n Moreover, the very swiftness of the response carried a message to the wider world. Obama is gone. No more elaborate forensic investigations. No agonized presidential handwringing over the moral dilemmas of a fallen world. It took Obama 10 months to decide what to do in Afghanistan. It took Trump 63 hours to make Assad pay for his chemical-weapons duplicity.<br />\n America demonstrated its capacity for swift, decisive action. And in defense, mind you, of an abstract international norm &mdash; a rationale that dramatically overrides the constraints of America First.<br />\n Trump&rsquo;s inaugural address had boldly rejected the 70-year American consensus to bear the burdens of world leadership. Less than three months later, the Syrian raid abruptly changed that course with a renewed interventionism &mdash; not, to be sure, in the service of a crusade for democracy, but in the service of concrete strategic objectives, broadly defined and extending far beyond our shores.</p>\n<p> TO THE North Pacific, for example. The Syria strike sent a message to both China and North Korea that Trump&rsquo;s threats of unilateral action against Pyongyang&rsquo;s nukes and missiles are serious. A pre-emptive strike against those facilities is still unlikely but today conceivable. Even more conceivable &mdash; perhaps even probable &mdash; is a shoot-down of a North Korean missile in flight.<br />\n The message to Russia was equally clear. Don&rsquo;t push too far in Syria and, by extension, in Europe. We&rsquo;re not seeking a fight, but you don&rsquo;t set the rules. Syria shared the Sharyat base with Russian troops. Russian barracks were left untouched, but we were clearly not deterred by their proximity.<br />\n The larger lesson is this: In the end, national interest prevails. Populist isolationism sounds great, rouses crowds and may even win elections. But contra White House adviser Steve Bannon, it&rsquo;s not a governing foreign policy for the United States.<br />\n Bannon may have written the come-home-America inaugural address. But it was the old hands, Trump&rsquo;s traditionally internationalist foreign policy team led by Defense Secretary James Mattis and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who rewrote the script with the Syria strike.<br />\n Assad violated the international taboo on chemical weapons. Who would enforce it, if not us? Candidate Trump would have replied: None of our business. President Trump brought out the Tomahawks.<br />\n His foreign policy has gone from mere homeland protection to defending certain interests, values and strategic assets abroad. These endure over time. Hence the fundamental continuity of our post-World War II engagement abroad.<br />\n With apologies to Lord Palmerston, we don&rsquo;t have permanent enthusiasms, but we do have permanent interests. And they have a way of asserting themselves. Which is why Bannonism is in eclipse.<br />\n This is not to say that things could not change tomorrow. We&rsquo;ve just witnessed one about-face. With a president who counts unpredictability as a virtue, he could well reverse course again.</p>\n<p> FOR NOW, however, the traditionalists are in the saddle. U.S. policy has been normalized. The world is on notice: Eight years of sleepwalking is over. America is back.</p>\n<p> April 14, 2017</p>\n', created = 1575839602, expire = 1575926002, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:33cb534ed395181a1c983b5f1a23b918' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>HEALTH CARE: March 31, 2017</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Krauthammer.gif\" /></p>\n<p>Repeal-and-replace (for Obamacare) is not quite dead. It has been declared so, but what that means is that, for now, the president has (apparently) washed his hands of it and the House Republicans appear unable to reconcile their differences.<br />\n Neither condition needs to be permanent. There are ideological differences between the various GOP factions, but what&rsquo;s overlooked is the role that procedure played in producing the deadlock. And procedure can easily be changed.</p>\n<p> THE HOUSE leadership crafted a bill that would meet the delicate requirements of &ldquo;reconciliation&rdquo; in order to create a (more achievable) threshold of 51 rather than 60 votes in the Senate. But this meant that some of the more attractive, market-oriented reforms had to be left out, relegated to a future measure (a so-called phase-three bill) that might never actually arrive.<br />\n Yet the more stripped-down proposal died anyway. So why not go for the gold next time? Pass a bill that incorporates phase-three reforms and send it on to the Senate.<br />\n September might be the time for resurrecting repeal-and-replace. That&rsquo;s when insurers recalibrate premiums for the coming year, precipitating our annual bout of Obamacare sticker shock. By then, even more insurers will be dropping out of the exchanges, further reducing choice and service. These should help dissipate the pre-emptive nostalgia for Obamacare that emerged during the current debate.<br />\n At which point, the House leadership should present a repeal-and-replace that includes such phase-three provisions as tort reform and permitting the buying of insurance across state lines, both of which would significantly lower costs.<br />\n Even more significant would be stripping out the heavy-handed Obamacare coverage mandate that dictates what specific medical benefits must be included in every insurance policy in the country, regardless of the purchaser&rsquo;s desires or needs.<br />\n Best to mandate nothing. Let the customer decide. A 60-year-old couple doesn&rsquo;t need maternity coverage. Why should they be forced to pay for it? And I don&rsquo;t know about you, but I don&rsquo;t need lactation services.<br />\n This would satisfy the House Freedom Caucus&rsquo; correct insistence on dismantling Obamacare&rsquo;s stifling regulatory straitjacket &mdash; without scaring off moderates who should understand that no one is being denied &ldquo;essential health benefits.&rdquo; Rather, no one is being required to buy what the Jonathan Grubers of the world have decided everyone must have. &nbsp;</p>\n<p> IT IS TRUE that even if this revised repeal-and-replace passes the House, it might die by filibuster in the Senate. In which case, let the Senate Democrats explain themselves and suffer the consequences. Perhaps, however, such a bill might engender debate and revision &mdash; and come back to the House for an old-fashioned House-Senate conference and a possible compromise. This in and of itself would constitute major progress.<br />\n That&rsquo;s procedure. It&rsquo;s fixable. But there is an ideological consideration that could ultimately determine the fate of any Obamacare replacement. Obamacare may turn out to be unworkable, indeed doomed, but it is having a profound effect on the zeitgeist: It is universalizing the idea of universal coverage.<br />\n Acceptance of its major premise &mdash; that no one be denied health care &mdash; is more widespread than ever. Even House Speaker Paul Ryan avers that &ldquo;our goal is to give every American access to quality, affordable health care,&rdquo; making universality an essential premise of his own reform. And look at how sensitive and defensive Republicans have been about the possibility of people losing coverage in any Obamacare repeal.<br />\n A broad national consensus is developing that health care is indeed a right. This is historically new. And it carries immense implications for the future. It suggests that we may be heading inexorably to a government-run, single-payer system. It&rsquo;s what Barack Obama once admitted he would have preferred but didn&rsquo;t think the country was ready for. It may be ready now.<br />\n As Obamacare continues to unravel, it won&rsquo;t take much for Democrats to abandon that Rube Goldberg wreckage and go for the simplicity and the universality of Medicare-for-all. Republicans will have one last chance to try to convince the country to remain with a market-based system, preferably one encompassing all the provisions that, for procedural reasons, had been left out of their latest proposal.<br />\n Don&rsquo;t be surprised, however, if, in the end, single-payer wins out. Indeed, I wouldn&rsquo;t be terribly surprised if Donald Trump, reading the zeitgeist, pulls the greatest 180 since Disraeli dished the Whigs in 1867 (by radically expanding the franchise) and joins the single-payer side.</p>\n<p> TALK ABOUT disruption? About kicking over the furniture? That would be an American Krakatoa.</p>\n', created = 1575839602, expire = 1575926002, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:8c43cf791246ef8544e24a8e5606afbb' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>DEMOCRACY: March 24, 2017</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Krauthammer.gif\" /></p>\n<p>Under the dark gray cloud, amid the general gloom, allow me to offer a ray of sunshine. The last two months have brought a pleasant surprise: Turns out the much feared, much predicted withering of our democratic institutions has been grossly exaggerated. The system lives.<br />\n Let me explain. Donald Trump&rsquo;s triumph last year was based on a frontal attack on the Washington &ldquo;establishment,&rdquo; that all-powerful, all-seeing, supremely cynical, bipartisan &ldquo;cartel&rdquo; (as Ted Cruz would have it) that allegedly runs everything. Yet the establishment proved to be Potemkin empty. In 2016, it folded pitifully, surrendering with barely a fight to a lightweight outsider.</p>\n<p> AT WHICH point, fear of the vaunted behemoth turned to contempt for its now-exposed lassitude and decadence. Compounding the confusion were Trump&rsquo;s intimations of authoritarianism. He declared &ldquo;I alone can fix it&rdquo; and &ldquo;I am your voice,&rdquo; the classic tropes of the demagogue. He unabashedly expressed admiration for strongmen (most notably, Vladimir Putin).<br />\n Trump had just cut through the grandees like a hot knife through butter. Who would now prevent him from trampling, caudillo-like, over a Washington grown weak and decadent? A Washington, moreover, that had declined markedly in public esteem, as confidence in our traditional institutions &mdash; from the political parties to Congress &mdash; fell to new lows.<br />\n The strongman cometh, it was feared. Who and what would stop him?</p>\n<p> TWO MONTHS into the Trumpian era, we have our answer. Our checks and balances have turned out to be quite vibrant. Consider:<br />\n 1. The courts.<br />\n Trump rolls out not one but two immigration bans, and is stopped dead in his tracks by the courts. However you feel about the merits of the policy itself (in my view, execrable and useless but legal) or the merits of the constitutional reasoning of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (embarrassingly weak, transparently political), the fact remains: The president proposed and the courts disposed.<br />\n Trump&rsquo;s pushback? A plaintive tweet or two complaining about the judges &mdash; that his own Supreme Court nominee denounced (if obliquely) as &ldquo;disheartening&rdquo; and &ldquo;demoralizing.&rdquo;<br />\n 2. The states.<br />\n Federalism lives. The first immigration challenge to Trump was brought by the attorneys general of two states (Washington and Minnesota) picking up on a trend begun during the Barack Obama years when state attorneys general banded together to kill his immigration overreach and the more egregious trespasses of his Environmental Protection Agency.<br />\n And beyond working through the courts, state governors &mdash; Republicans, no less &mdash; have been exerting pressure on members of Congress to oppose a Republican president&rsquo;s signature health care reform. Institutional exigency still trumps party loyalty.<br />\n 3. Congress.<br />\n The Republican-controlled Congress (House and Senate) is putting up epic resistance to a Republican administration&rsquo;s health care reform. True, that&rsquo;s because of ideological and tactical disagreements rather than any particular desire to hem in Trump. But it does demonstrate that Congress is no rubber stamp.<br />\n And its independence extends beyond the perennially divisive health care conundrums. Trump&rsquo;s budget, for example, was instantly declared dead on arrival in Congress, as it almost invariably is regardless of which party is in power.<br />\n 4. The media.<br />\n Trump is right. It is the opposition party. Indeed, furiously so, often indulging in appalling overkill. It&rsquo;s sometimes embarrassing to read the front pages of the major newspapers, festooned as they are with anti-Trump editorializing masquerading as news.<br />\n Nonetheless, if you take the view from 30,000 feet, better this than a press acquiescing on bended knee, where it spent most of the Obama years in a slavish Pravda-like thrall. Every democracy needs an opposition press. We darn well have one now.<br />\n Taken together &mdash; and suspending judgment on which side is right on any particular issue &mdash; it is deeply encouraging that the sinews of institutional resistance to a potentially threatening executive remain quite resilient.<br />\n Madison&rsquo;s genius was to understand that the best bulwark against tyranny was not virtue &mdash; virtue helps, but should never be relied upon &mdash; but ambition counteracting ambition, faction counteracting faction.<br />\n You see it even in the confirmation process for Neil Gorsuch, Trump&rsquo;s supremely qualified and measured Supreme Court nominee. He&rsquo;s a slam dunk, yet some factions have scraped together a campaign to block him. Their ads are plaintive and pathetic. Yet I find them warmly reassuring. What a country &mdash; where even the vacuous have a voice.</p>\n<p> THE ANTI-TRUMP opposition flatters itself as &ldquo;the resistance.&rdquo; As if this is Vichy France. It&rsquo;s not. It&rsquo;s 21st-century America. And the good news is that the checks and balances are working just fine.</p>\n', created = 1575839602, expire = 1575926002, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:58b80b90c8444b75b584512a4212863f' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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Charles Krauthammer

08/02/2017 - 8:59am
This Weeks Conservative Focus … AG Sessions Transparency, thy name is Trump, Donald Trump. No filter, no governor, no editor lies between his impulses and his public actions. He tweets, therefore he is. Ronald Reagan was so self-contained and impenetrable that his official biographer was practically driven mad trying to figure him out. Donald Trump is penetrable, hourly. Never more so...
04/26/2017 - 11:26am
At Issue this week...    North Korea The crisis with North Korea may appear trumped up. It’s not. Given that Pyongyang has had nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles for more than a decade, why the panic now? Because North Korea is headed for a nuclear breakout. The regime has openly declared that it is racing to develop an...
04/23/2017 - 9:19pm
NORTH KOREA: April 21, 2017 The crisis with North Korea may appear trumped up. It’s not. Given that Pyongyang has had nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles for more than a decade, why the panic now? Because North Korea is headed for a nuclear breakout. The regime has openly declared that it is racing to develop an intercontinental...
04/19/2017 - 8:33am
This Weeks Conservative Focus … Trump Presidency The world is agog at Donald Trump’s head-snapping foreign policy reversal. He runs on a platform of America First. He renounces the role of world policeman. He excoriates parasitic foreigners that (I paraphrase) suck dry our precious bodily fluids — and these are allies! On April...
04/01/2017 - 1:15pm
HEALTH CARE: March 31, 2017 Repeal-and-replace (for Obamacare) is not quite dead. It has been declared so, but what that means is that, for now, the president has (apparently) washed his hands of it and the House Republicans appear unable to reconcile their differences. Neither condition needs to be permanent. There are ideological differences...
03/25/2017 - 1:43pm
DEMOCRACY: March 24, 2017 Under the dark gray cloud, amid the general gloom, allow me to offer a ray of sunshine. The last two months have brought a pleasant surprise: Turns out the much feared, much predicted withering of our democratic institutions has been grossly exaggerated. The system lives. Let me explain. Donald Trump’s triumph...
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