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This WSJ editorial offers a stinging substantive criticism of the Democrats’ unseriousness.

Early in their editorial, they write about Sen. Tim Kaine’s criticism of Mike Pompeo, saying “‘I don’t want a Secretary of State who is going to exacerbate the [sic] President Trump’s tendencies to oppose diplomacy,’ Democratic Senator Tim Kaine (D, VA) told CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday. He cited Mr. Pompeo’s opposition to Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Tehran and his support for ‘regime change,’ although moderator Margaret Brennan didn’t let him finish that thought. Mr. Kaine may recall that Donald Trump campaigned and won while opposing the Iran nuclear deal, and if Mr. Kaine is still sore about the outcome he should have told his running mate to campaign in Wisconsin.”

Later, they write “Democrats say they don’t trust Mr. Trump, but in denying him senior advisers they make it more likely he will govern by himself. Mark it down as one more example that hatred for Mr. Trump has caused many of his opponents to abandon rational judgment.”

The underlying truth is that Democrats don’t put the nation first. Their highest priority is to Resist! Senate Democrats are acting incredibly petty. This collage provides a wonderful comparison between Republicans and Democrats:

JFK, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Scoop Jackson and Hubert Humphrey wouldn’t recognize today’s Democratic Party. They wouldn’t be Republicans but they’d privately admit that they have more in common with Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio and Cory Gardner than they have with Chris Murphy, Cory Booker and Ed Markey.

Today’s Democratic Party doesn’t have much in common with the American people. The American people want serious, substantive people providing oversight over national security. Right now, Democrats (and Rand Paul and Jeff Flake) aren’t providing that.

Thursday afternoon, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp announced that she will vote to confirm Mike Pompeo as the next US Secretary of State.

According to the Washington Post’s reporting, “North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp on Thursday became the first Senate Democrat to announce she would support CIA director Mike Pompeo’s bid to become secretary of state, potentially clinching his bid, as long as no more Republicans refuse to vote for confirmation. Heitkamp’s announcement, in which she said that “Pompeo demonstrated … that he is committed to empowering the diplomats at the State Department,” will not make it any easier for Pompeo to secure the support of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before his bid heads to the floor. The panel is to vote on his nomination Monday, but with several committee Democrats and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) pledging to vote against Pompeo, his chances of securing the 21-member panel’s favorable recommendation are slim.”

One of the things from the article that’s troubling is where it reports “Pompeo … became CIA director last year with the support of 14 Senate Democrats; at least six of them, including the two who sit on the Foreign Relations Committee, have refused to back Pompeo as the nation’s top diplomat.”

While it’s likely that a couple more Democrats will vote in the affirmative to confirm Director Pompeo, it’s a sad day in the history of the Senate, especially for Democrats. First, playing games with our national security is disgraceful. Speaking of disgraceful, apparently, Sen. Heitkamp is apparently trying to have it both ways:

That wouldn’t be the first time she’s tried that tactic. Last September, Heitkamp hinted that she was interested in President Trump’s tax cuts. That’s why she got to fly with President Trump to a rally in North Dakota. Eventually, she voted against the tax cuts.

The Democrats who voted to confirm Pompeo as CIA Director but who won’t vote to confirm him as Secretary of State are playing political games. During Easter weekend, Pompeo took a trip to North Korea to meet with Kim Jung Un to start the process for President Trump’s meeting with the dictator. What excuse do Democrats have for not confirming Pompeo as America’s top diplomat? That he’s too accomplished at sensitive diplomacy? Would Democrats say that Pompeo finished too high in his class at West Point? That he finished too high in his class at Harvard Law School? (Pompeo finished first in his class in both instances.)

The truth is that Democrats are totally political creatures. Their special interests insist that Democrats resist, resist, resist at all costs. I wrote this post outlining the Democrats’ biggest problem:

I’d love questioning Sen. Manchin or Sen. Heitkamp why they voted against the tax cuts that’ve pushed the US economy into overdrive. That’s the opposite of patriotism. That’s the definition of partisanship.

If Democrats looked seriously at Mike Pompeo’s qualifications and accomplishments, they’d vote unanimously to confirm him. Instead, it’s likely that just 2-3 Democrats will vote to confirm him.

If Democrats cared more about their country than they care about playing politics, this nation wouldn’t be divided as it is. Finally, if Democrats put the people first, they wouldn’t have lost America’s heartland. The Democrats aren’t the profiles in courage that liberal icon JFK once famously wrote about. Instead, they’re a bunch of sniveling spoiled brats.

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Tuesday morning, the Center of Immigration Studies, aka CIS, held a panel discussion on the topic of refugee resettlement. The participating panelists were Don Barnett, a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies and widely published on refugee resettlement and asylum issues, Richard Thompson, the President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, and St. Cloud City Councilman Jeff Johnson.

Based on the verified information presented during the discussion, it’s clear that the United States needs to rethink its refugee resettlement policies, not just for its own good but also for the good of the refugees. During the discussion, moderator Mark Krikorian said that the “point of refugee resettlement should be a last resort for people who literally cannot stay where they are for a second longer.” He then highlighted a report from “the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees”, which said that just “281 of the over 118,000 refugees, or 0.40 percent, the United Nations has dispatched to safe nations around the world, most to the United States, actually faced threats requiring their immediate removal. This emergency level applies to cases in which the immediacy of security and/or medical condition necessitates removal from the threatening conditions within a few days, if not within hours.”

Further, one of the other statistics presented during the event shows that it costs 12 times more to resettle refugees in the United States or other western nations than it costs to resettle refugees within the region of their birth. This information makes this propaganda video virtually irrelevant:

People need to start asking pro-refugee resettlement organizations whether it’s more important to import refugees into unfamiliar surroundings at high prices or whether it’s more important to resettle these refugees into regional camps in familiar territory at one-twelfth the cost. If the goal is to improve these refugees’ lives, then keeping them in familiar territory is imperative. If the goal is to use a federal government program to pay the salaries for Volag fat-cats, then we shouldn’t change anything.

UniteCloud has been a leading advocate for maintaining the status quo on resettlement policy. In this post, UniteCloud spends most of their bandwidth criticizing Jeff Johnson but they made some important admissions:

Much of Jeff’s focus has been on Lutheran Social Services, since they are the only refugee resettlement agency in Central MN. He claims that LSS has not been transparent enough and, to some extent, that has been true. Because of the combative nature of some of the attendees at their quarterly meeting, LSS has limited the meeting attendance to “invite only”.

LSS, aka Lutheran Social Services, hasn’t been transparent because they don’t want people to know how little they do to earn $1,000 per refugee resettled to the United States.

The truth is that LSS isn’t in the resettlement business to help refugees. They’re in it because it’s a lucrative business that pays the lucrative salaries of their leaders. There’s no proof that LSS works with these refugees to teach them about American culture or how to assimilate or, most importantly, access the American Dream. That isn’t compassion. That’s a racket.

It’s time to rethink US refugee resettlement. The goal should be to improve the refugees’ lives at the least expensive price. We’re failing on both counts right now.

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William Saletan is attempting to rewrite history. His latest column attempts to paint over President Obama’s history by saying that President Trump “rewards America’s enemies and punishes its friends.” No president rewarded its enemies more or punished America’s allies more than President Obama. Let’s remember the multiple times that President Obama attempted to punish Israel. Think of how, during the Arab Spring, he threw Egypt under the diplomatic bus. Think of the time early in his administration when he got rid of Winston Churchill’s bust from the Oval Office.

In terms of rewarding friends, President Trump is great at it. He’s the candidate that promised to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He’s the president that moved the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. To the Jewish people, there’s no quicker way to endear yourself to them than by doing that. There’s no greater ally to the United States than Israel. Especially considering where it’s located and its history, Israel hasn’t survive without help from the United States. Watch the effusive praise Israeli PM Netanyahu lavished on President Trump during their recent meeting:

On the premise that President Trump “rewards America’s enemies and punishes its friends,” Saletan wrote “On Monday, in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump took credit for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. ‘Many presidents’ had talked about doing that, said Trump, but ‘I was able to do it.’ He seemed unaware that this supposed feat was a concession to Netanyahu, which previous presidents had held back as a bargaining chip.”

Actually, President Trump did it for a reason that DC elites can’t grasp. President Trump did it because he’s into keeping promises. Here’s something else that Saletan doesn’t comprehend:

That’s how Trump sees the meeting with Kim. It’s not about confronting North Korea. It’s a chance to upstage previous presidents.

Bulletin to Saletan: yes, it’s about confronting Kim. In fact, it’s all about confronting Kim Jung-Un. Next, Saletan said:

Trump ridiculed the idea that “Obama could have done that.” Obama “would not have done it,” he jeered. “Neither would Bush, and neither would Clinton. And they had their shot, and all they did was nothing.”

I don’t see this as being a controversial statement. The history is clear. Clinton, Bush and Obama kicked the can down the road. Now that NoKo is on the verge of getting deliverable nuclear weapons, President Trump has determined that there isn’t any more road left to kick that can down. He’s decided, totally unlike Susan Rice, that North Korea can’t get a nuclear weapon.

Not only didn’t Saletan prove his statement correct. It’s that there’s abundant proof that he’s just plain wrong.

It’s still far too early to know whether North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un is willing to give up his nuclear weapons program in exchange for the US promising not to militarily attacking his nation. Further, it’s entirely proper to be skeptical that Un is finally making a good faith proposal. It isn’t like he hasn’t tried conning past US presidents.

Still, the fact that President Trump has announced that he’ll meet face-to-face with Un before the start of May is stunning news.

When South Korea’s national security director Chung Eui-yong walked out to a set of microphones at the White House at 6:00 pm CT Thursday night, “he said the two world leaders agreed to meet by May. Trump tweeted: ‘Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!’ U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., praised the president’s efforts to denuclearize North Korea, saying that it ‘gives us the best hope’ to ‘peacefully’ resolve escalating tensions.”

Among those expressing skepticism is “Evan S. Medeiros, a former adviser in the Obama administration.” Medeiros “warned that Kim ‘played’ South Korean President Moon Jae-in and ‘is now playing Trump.’ Medeiros added, ‘Kim will never give up his nukes.'”

It’s entirely possible that Un won’t give up his nuclear weapons program. Still, reports that North Korea is essentially bankrupt point to the fact that President Trump’s policies are working. Eui-yong told reporters after meeting with Trump at the White House that “North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests.” Further, “there was no insistence that the United States and South Korea suspend joint military exercises.”

Harry Kazianis is an expert on North Korea. In an interview with Tucker Carlson, he said something fascinating:

But there’s something that we’re missing. There’s a little bit of context. South Korea press about 2 weeks ago came out with some reports that were fascinating. They actually speculated that North Korea was actually on the verge of financial bankruptcy. By October, their foreign exchange reserves are probably going to be exhausted and their dollar reserves will be exhausted. That means that North Korea will essentially be bankrupt.

While there’s lots of justification for skepticism, there’s also ample information that justifies optimism. As Mr. Kazianis states in his interview, sometimes Hail Mary passes work. What do we have to lose?

While Democrats and Palestinians criticize President Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, other nations are announcing that they’re moving their embassies to Jerusalem.

First, “Guatemala courageously decided it would follow the United States’ lead and move its embassy to Jerusalem.” Next, “the Walla news [reported that] Romania and Slovakia are planning to make such a move. Paraguay and Togo are reportedly also considering such a move.”

This is a big deal politically in that Democrats have started criticizing President Trump’s decision. For instance, Bernie Sanders said “There’s a reason why all past US administrations have not made this move, and why leaders around the world have warned Trump against it: It would undermine the prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement and severely, perhaps irreparably, damage our ability to broker it.”

Dianne Feinstein’s letter said this:

The future of Jerusalem is an issue that should be decided by Israel and the Palestinians, not unilaterally by the United States.

That sentence was contained in this letter:

While Democrats criticized President Trump’s decision, world leaders sided with President Trump. That’s what leadership does. Leadership molds consensus. It doesn’t conform to consensus. President Obama led from behind. President Trump just leads. Period.

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This afternoon, President Trump officially announced “that America formally recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city.” Predictably, opponents raised concerns that this might derail the (mostly imaginary) peace talks.

For more than 20 years, the ‘international community’, another fictional creation, has insisted that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol would prevent a peace agreement. That’s another farce. The Palestinian Authority, aka the public version of Hamas, is the biggest impediment to Middle East peace. They’ve had the opportunity to establish a Jewish state multiple times. Each time, they’ve rejected the terms because they wouldn’t admit that Israel has a right to exist.

In his speech, President Trump said “I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today I am delivering. When I came into office I promised to look at the world’s challenges with open eyes and very fresh thinking. We have declined to acknowledge any Israeli capital, at all. But today we finally acknowledge the obvious, that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It is something that has to be done.”

This is long overdue. Here’s Prime Minister Netanyahu’s response to President Trump’s speech:

This article perfectly illustrates the foolishness of progressive foreign policy. As if we hadn’t gotten too much of that during the Obama administration, we’re getting another shot of it in this article.

In the article, it says “The move is also likely to isolate the U.S., cause confusion about its intentions, permit Iran to claim the high ground in any push to renegotiate, and provide both allies and adversaries with more evidence that the United States can’t be trusted.” Let’s start with that last statement about the US not being able to be trusted. What’s true is that the US can be trusted to correct its mistakes that left allies in the Middle East threatened by the developing Iranian hegemon.

There’s a reason why the nations refused to attend President Obama’s summit on the Middle East. Those nations flocked to President Trump’s summit, though. That leads to the refutation that not certifying the Iran deal again will “likely isolate the US.” Here’s a question the author might want to ask himself: how can a man who gets 50+ Middle East and southwest Asia and north African nations to attend his summit on Iran and its proxies be isolated? Does this look isolated?

This isn’t reassuring:

The 2015 deal lifted sanctions against Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear program. Iran’s compliance is being monitored by the United Nations, which has declared that the Islamic Republic is sticking by the letter of its obligations.

Getting the UN’s word that Iran is living up to any agreement is like getting an arsonist’s word that he won’t play with matches anymore. In other words, it’s worthless. As for the limits, they’re temporary. President Trump is attempting to renegotiate more permanent limits, something the Obama administration didn’t even attempt to do.

Iran still is developing a missile program and actively opposing U.S. policy in Syria, Iraq and plenty of other places. Trump, who has called the agreement “embarrassing” and much worse, can’t really declare that Iran is violating its terms. Instead, he’s likely to say Iran is not following its spirit, or that the deal is no longer in the U.S. national interest. The idea seems to be that decertifying will increase pressure on Iran to behave.

The point the Trump administration made last week is that the agreement was so limited in scope as to make it worthless. Getting Iran to limit some of its terrorist-supporting actions isn’t securing our nation or our allies.

The Obama-Kerry foreign policy was built on the premise that appeasement works. It doesn’t. That’s why it’s important for the US to reassert its leadership in the Middle East.

After ISIS’s rise, President Obama was forced to take action against his will. He really didn’t want to send troops back into Iraq. Initially, the Obama administration announced airstrikes. Predictably, they didn’t have much of an effect. Now that President Trump has increased pressure on ISIS, ISIS is getting exposed as being terrible fighters. This article highlights how ISIS has crumbled.

The article starts by saying “The Islamic State group once drew recruits from near and far with promises of paradise but now bodies of jihadists lie in mass graves or at the mercy of wild dogs as its “caliphate” collapses. Flies buzz around human remains poking through the dusty earth in the Iraqi town of Dhuluiyah, 90 kilometres (55 miles) north of Baghdad, at a hastily-dug pit containing the bodies of dozens of IS fighters killed in 2015. They should have ended up in the stomachs of stray dogs,” local police officer Mohammed al-Juburi told AFP. ‘We buried them here not out of love but because we wanted to avoid diseases.'”

Farmer Shalan al-Juburi is quoted as saying “We buried them with bulldozers. Even in the ground they are still mired in their own filth. They said that they would go to paradise to enjoy the gardens of delights, but this is how they ended up.”

But as Iraqi forces in Anbar now look to oust the jihadists from their final footholds, operation commander Mahmoud al-Fellahi insisted any jihadists killed will end up in mass graves. A similar fate befell IS members in the city of Mosul, the group’s largest urban stronghold in Iraq that it lost in July. There, a senior Iraqi commander told AFP, authorities used earthmoving equipment “to bury the jihadists after we collected information on their identities and nationalities”.

During President Bush’s surge, he benefitted from the Anbar Awakening. Once the people saw that they had a reliable military partner, the people started helping al-Qa’ida strongholds. It didn’t take long to defeat al-Qa’ida.

Unfortunately, thanks to President Obama’s politicization of US foreign policy, the US quickly lost the ground it had gained during the Bush administration. Now that we’ve got a legitimate commander-in-chief again, the tide quickly turned. This video offers a nice summarization:

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., addressed an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council, saying that the time for half-measures is over. This morning, Ambassador Haley “asked the body’s Security Council to impose the strongest possible sanctions against North Korea in response to the rogue nation’s most recent nuclear test”, adding that “the time for half measures … is over.” Later in her statement, Haley said “We cannot kick this can down the road any longer. There is no more road left.”

Ambassador Haley also said “North Korea is a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success,” later adding that “North Korea is begging for war.” Others on the Security Council will undoubtedly suggest that the U.S. return to the negotiating table. That’s foolish. As Ambassador Haley noted in her statement, we’ve been negotiating with them for 25 years. That hasn’t produced lasting peace. It’s given us nuclear proliferation to a rogue nation that’s threatening its neighbors and the U.S. with nuclear weapons.

Watching Ambassador Haley’s entire statement is enlightening:

Since then-President-Elect Trump picked her to be his ambassador to the U.N., it’s been clear that she’s an international rock star, stating U.S. positions clearly, powerfully and firmly. There’s no mistaking what her positions are. There’s no doubting that she isn’t into pussyfooting around.

I’d slightly modify Teddy Roosevelt’s saying to “Speak softly and carry a big stick” to fit Ambassador Haley’s style, which I’d describe as ‘Speak confidently and carry a big stick.’ I don’t like the thought of war. When a dictator starts aiming nuclear weapons at our closest allies and at us, though, it’s time to show everyone who the world’s only superpower is and that we won’t hesitate in defending ourselves. In a match of push-comes-to-shove, the U.S. arsenal is full of shove.

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