Author: Admin

High explosives do not constitute a Syria policy

By MICHAEL GERSON “Mission Accomplished” may be the most famous presidential words never actually uttered by a president. I know because, as head of presidential speechwriting at the time, I didn’t write them. They were found on a banner, but never in a single draft of President George W. Bush’s 2003 remarks aboard the USS Lincoln. But now that this phrase has been tweeted and defended by President Trump, it is worth examining what he has accomplished by his missile strikes in Syria. High explosives do not constitute a Syria policy, which has been lacking across two administrations. So it might be more useful to ask a narrower question: What principle is America trying to enforce? Trump seems committed to the norm that chemical weapons attacks against civilians should bring kinetic consequences. That is superior to President Obama’s version, in which chemical attacks brought only unenforced threats. Trump’s carefully calibrated application of Tomahawks easily clears his predecessor’s bar, which was barely off the floor. Trump’s position, however, has its own share of inconsistencies. It prioritizes the lives of children killed by a nerve agent above the lives of children killed by a barrel bomb. Targeting civilians — through terror bombing, forced starvation, torture and the repeated use of chemical weapons — has been an essential element of Bashar Assad’s strategy in the Syrian civil war. His aim has not...

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Trump’s turnover is huge

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS Kathryn Dunn Tenpas has been keeping track of White House staff turnover since the late 1990s, but until President Donald Trump took the oath of office, the Brookings Institution senior fellow told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “no one’s ever cared about it.” Turnover in the Trump White House is, well, huge. The president loves to compare himself to his predecessor, and in this department, Trump exceeds President Barack Obama exponentially. In the first year of the Trump White House, turnover was more than triple that of Obama’s freshman year. Already Trump has burned through four communications directors—five if you count Sean Spicer twice for his stints doing double duty as press secretary/comms director—as well as hired three national security directors —Mike Flynn, H.R. McMaster and John Bolton—and two chiefs of staff. As a reality TV show host, Trump famously told contestants, “You’re fired.” Tenpas uses a different phrase to capture what it’s like to be canned from the Oval Office—RUP for “resigned under pressure.” “It’s rarely one thing,” Tenpas explained. Indeed, it’s a standard question when a cabinet member of staffer leaves as to whether the individual quit or was fired. For one thing, the process of being shown the door can take weeks, months even. It starts with a leak about the president’s dissatisfaction with an individual. Then come the denials, and even presidential...

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Oh, for the days of bipartisanship

Many Americans remember a more constructive engagement between members of Congress and may wish for similar relationships considering the great number of problems facing our nation’s present and future. Cooperation and  unity once characterized deliberations in Washington, D.C., but has now become one of the most destroyed hopes in modern American times. Meanwhile, what are the background trends in America now preventing such an accord? One trend reminds of a time when Republican lawmakers included left-of-center members while Democrats had its share of right-of-center members.  However, at present, each of our major parties couldn’t be further apart.  Interestingly, during the 50 years between 1930 and 1980, both parties were generally balanced by centrist views. In the last 40 years, the parties have steadily drifted from each other to become more and more ideologically pure. Not only have conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans almost disappeared but few if any centrists remain; hence, with each passing congressional session, the GOP has gone ever more right, the Democrats more left. Before 1980, it was difficult to predict from party affiliation whether this and that American held liberal or conservative views. The relationship between party and voter, however, has become close to totally predictable.  It’s argued that the differences have become more observable and the dislikes more apparent. Meanwhile, the Democrats, formerly more often from agrarian settings with its power base in the South, have in more...

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Juanita Simon

June 20, 1946 – April 8, 2018 Juanita Simon, of Tempe, Ariz., passed away April 8, 2018. She was born to Gilbert and Bernice Scott on June, 20, 1946, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She graduated from Woodburn High School and worked in communications for major airlines for more than 40 years. She had a daughter Denise (Ron) and son, Scott (Kim), along with four grandchildren, Maddie, Max, Abby and Kenedy. She enjoyed walking, church and spending time with her grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, niece and a brother. She is survived by two brothers,...

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Clifford Jackson (Jack) Crocker

April 18, 1945 – March 31, 2018 Clifford Jackson (Jack) Crocker was a man who loved classic cars, good music, family, animals, the lottery, and, of course, his home state of California. Being born in Monterey Park, Calif., Jack was loyal to his Southern California heritage and the vintage cars that embodied that area.  On April 18, 1945, his parents Violet and Samuel Crocker brought Jack into this world. He was drafted in the Army, and served his country during the Vietnam War, and received his GED after serving in the military. During his time in the service, he...

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