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How D'You Like These Apples? An Orchard in Massachusetts Signals America in Decline

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 14:19:45 EST

Each year, just before the Jewish New Year, I visit the same Central Massachusetts apple orchard to buy apples. It's a tradition in my family. It goes along with the practice of eating apples and honey on the holiday to symbolize hope for a sweet year ahead.The orchard is nearly 100 years old. Part of the charm, from my perspective, is that, other than the trunks of the apple trees being thicker than they used to be, not much has visibly changed about the place in the 40 or so years I've been...



Countdown for a Boom: Congress Has Ten Weeks To Pass Trump Tax Cuts

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 15:23:13 EST

Financial markets and most pundits are missing the new writing on the wall. For a variety of reasons surrounding shrewd moves by President Trump, the chances for significant tax cuts in the next ten weeks have risen sharply.Since the Charlottesville blow-up in mid August, when the president's fortunes were at low ebb and I'll repeat my view that there's not a white-supremacist, racist, hateful bone in Mr. Trump's body we've witnessed a dramatic executive turnaround. The President handled...



Trump Seeks Higher Ground As GOP Brass in Congress Loses the Balance of Power

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 12:41:03 EST

As usual with President Trump's more imaginative moves, the arrangement with the Democratic congressional leaders to defer the debt-ceiling issue for three months and pass hurricane relief at once was a more important step than it appears. The key element of it is that he has moved to higher and more defensible political ground.Since his inauguration, the president has been slugging it out with the Democratic congressional leadership, who promised and have delivered "scorched earth" and...



Squalid Attempt at Putsch Against President Trump Is Starting To Fall Apart

Wed, 6 Sep 2017 15:07:16 EST

The moment I have been awaiting with trembling and prayerful anticipation since the week of President Trump's inauguration is dawning: The hysterical assault by the press and Democrats is starting to crumble and fall apart. Like shrieking babies who eventually become so angry and exhausted they can't cry anymore, they have to pause since they no longer can maintain an ambiance of endless accusations.Until now, a new charge has arisen as each previous one faded. It was preemptive righteousness...



How Hewing to Principle Led Wall Street Journal To Its Greatest Scoops

Tue, 5 Sep 2017 11:33:17 EST

Talk about a newspaperman's sense of timing. President Trump has upended the Republican presidential calculus. He's sidelined at least for now many of the intellectuals who had held sway in the party since the rise of Ronald Reagan. He's launched an America First policy that rejects the instincts of the long-reigning neoconservatives. Even in victory the party is rethinking its core principles.What a moment for George Melloan's new book on the Wall Street Journal's editorial page. "Free...



Trump's Next Pardons: A Short List of Convicts Deserving To Be Cleared

Mon, 4 Sep 2017 10:49:31 EST

Reasonable people may differ on the wisdom of President Trump's pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Supporters may see Mr. Arpaio's case as an example of a deplorable trend: the criminalization of policy differences. The Arizona lawman got caught in a fight over immigration policy.The sheriff was faulted for trying to enforce the immigration rules that Congress failed to rewrite but the Obama administration didn't seem terribly keen on enforcing. If his office did disobey court orders along the way...



Turning Point Is Reached Between Trump and the GOP, As Democrats Press Scandal

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 21:28:58 EST

It is hard not to be a little morose when only phenomena of nature relieve the venomous atmosphere as political Washington prepares to return to the bitter tasks of government. The eclipse was a pleasant diversion, and Hurricane Harvey has filled the whole country with sympathy for the flooded Texans. There is also probably some unspoken relief that, unlike what happened in New Orleans twelve years ago, a quarter of Houston's police have not fled in stolen police cars, while the president...



Moving Pence to Senate Could Help Trump Rescue His Presidency

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 18:51:59 EST

Mike Pence for president, I say president of the United States Senate. It's just the assignment for a pickle like this, when President Trump isn't on speaking terms with his own party's leader in the upper house.Mr. Trump is understandably upset at the failure of the Senate to pass health-care and tax reforms. It's gotten so bad with Mitch McConnell, according to CNN, that the two Republican titans have been cussing each other.Privately, the New York Times claims, Mr. McConnell has even been...



With Madness in the Air Trump's Polls Edge Up, Showing an Isolated Press

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 10:38:24 EST

The whole world is astounded and distressed at the incivility of American public discourse. Not since Senator Joseph R. McCarthy accused President Dwight Eisenhower, former president Harry Truman, and the late president Franklin D. Roosevelt of being Communist sympathizers, and General George C. Marshall of being an outright Soviet agent these were in fact four of America's greatest leaders, in war and peace have American politics been so vituperatively nasty.In the Vietnam and Watergate...



Debacle at Charlottesville Brings Democratic Party Full Circle With Its Failure

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 19:45:17 EST

Almost everything about the Charlottesville riot was disgraceful except the conduct of the president. The move to take down the statue of General Robert E. Lee was nonsense. Lee has few rivals as the greatest general in American history (Grant, Sherman, MacArthur, and Eisenhower perhaps).Lee opposed the secession of Virginia from the Union but, as was common in the South then (and has not entirely died out in any region of the United States today),believed he owed his first loyalty to his state...



A Warning From Orwell Is Echoed by Trump In War Over Monuments

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 20:42:54 EST

In the new Civil War, I'm with George as in George Washington. It's one thing to start dismantling monuments of Civil War generals. It would be another to go after the most famous founding father.Washington's name was raised Tuesday by President Trump. He wheeled on reporters and tried yet again to suggest an equivalence between the alt-right and alt-left at Charlottesville.Trump was getting his head handed to him when he noted that there were people there "to protest the taking down of...



Big Business Is Jumping In Where Congress Hesitates To Fix Health Care System

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 11:37:18 EST

Just because Congress can't fix health care doesn't mean it can't be done.That's the message from the Health Transformation Alliance, 41 big American companies that have banded together to try to save money and lives on their own, without waiting for Congress to pass a new law.The Alliance's chief executive, Robert Andrews, himself a former Democratic congressman from New Jersey, had a recent New York Times op-ed reporting on three steps being taken by the companies, which spend about $25...



Trump Could Scoop Congress By Indexing Cap-Gains Tax With One Stroke of the Pen

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 18:18:55 EST

Donald Trump's pledge to "Make America Great Again" requires nothing less than reigniting economic growth and prosperity. Wealth creation is essential. Yet as Congress pivots to tax reform which is crucial to the wealth creation that will put the nation back on the prosperous path the president can take matters into his own hands by issuing an executive order to index capital gains for inflation.President Trump's absolutely best economic policy so far has been his relentless rampage against...



A Bloodless Civil War Is Coming Into Focus With Attacks on Trump

Wed, 9 Aug 2017 13:42:20 EST

The battle lines have been so sharply drawn, in what is now a bloodless civil war for direction of U.S. public policy, that the two sides cannot really communicate with each other. There is a commendable candor in Kellyanne Conway's statement: "They hate us and we hate them."I don't hate the Never Trumpers. I know many of their principal and most articulate spokesmen who have defected from the conservative Republican ranks, and in many cases I have known them for a great many years. I could...



Trump, Despite Doubters, May Yet Rank for Credit For Stock Market Boom

Mon, 7 Aug 2017 14:21:17 EST

In an era of political polarization, here's one item that's rapidly emerging as a rare bipartisan consensus: President Trump doesn't deserve credit for the stock market boom since his election."Can we thank Trump for the stock market boom? Short answer, no," a scholar at the center-right American Enterprise Institute, Desmond Lachman, wrote in a piece published by Newsweek.The pollster to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and to President Obama, Joel Benenson, tweeted: "Truth about...



Valor of James McCloughan Brings Trump and Obama To a Moment of Unity

Wed, 2 Aug 2017 17:22:02 EST

Who would have thought that the unifying note in the Time of Trump would be Vietnam? Our country, after all, has been tearing itself apart over ObamaCare, tax policy, Russian meddling, immigration, climate change and the Middle East. Yet there was President Trump Monday, bestowing the Medal of Honor on a one-time Army medic who was advanced for our nation's highest award for valor by President Barack Obama. It seems the two presidents actually agree on something.



The White House Shakeup Affords Critics of Trump Chance for a Second Look

Tue, 1 Aug 2017 21:20:25 EST

The shakeup in the White House affords even some in the serried ranks of anti-Trump commentators the opportunity to take a somewhat more benign perspective. What the veteran and always fair and perceptive Brit Hume of Fox News calls "the floating crap game in the White House" has been instantly upgraded by the installation as chief of staff of General John Kelly and the rustication of the completely unfeasible Anthony Scaramucci as communications director.One of Donald Trump's strong points as...



Trump Is Likened to Carter, Which Could Turn Out To Have a Surprise Ending

Tue, 1 Aug 2017 03:53:10 EST

The specter of President Carter has suddenly emerged from the 1970s to haunt the Trump administration.A Wall Street Journal editorial warns Trump that "on present course his Presidency is careening toward a historic reputation where names like Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon reside."The New York Times, meanwhile, published an op-ed by Matthew Continetti extending the Trump-Carter comparison. "Neither president had much governing experience before assuming office," Mr. Continetti writes. "Like Mr...



If Scaramucci Is a 'Snake,' What Kind of Animal Is Editing the Times?

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 14:40:37 EST

The New York Times, which last year editorialized against voting for Donald Trump for president because he "has so coarsened our politics" that he would fail as an "example" for "our children," now offers in a single day one op-ed describing the president's new communications director as "a Wall Street snake" and another, from the Democratic Party's leader in the U.S. Senate, denouncing "vulture capitalists ... egregiously raising the price of lifesaving drugs without justification."Between...



A Choice Bit of Radio History Is Made by Forbes, Laffer With a Strategy for Trump

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 17:26:46 EST

A bit of radio history occurred last week when Steve Forbes and Art Laffer joined me on my syndicated radio show. It may have been the first time these supply-side-economics giants were ever together over the airwaves.Mr. Forbes is chairman of Forbes Media and twice ran brilliant issue-campaigns for president. Mr. Laffer, once a key advisor to President Reagan, is father to the ground-breaking Laffer curve, for which he deserved a Nobel prize. In our discussion, they didn't disappoint. (For a...