The lead article in today’s American Greatness makes the case that the US needs a fifth service branch, a “Space Corps,” co-equal with the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. Its mission would be to establish US preeminence in the realm of space. That is critical to the US having an effective defense against devastating missile attacks from its several enemies. Instead, US lawmakers have deliberately crippled US defense capabilities — even against North Korea — by building land-based systems using kinetic warheads. Questions are now being raised as to whether the US-supplied Patriot missile defense system actually shot down the missile Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthis fired at Riyadh on November 4th. And US military leaders are protesting that President Trump’s campaign promises to launch the “largest defense spending spree since the administration of Ronald Reagan…remains little more than a mirage,” Politico reports.
A new phase in the celebrity sex scandals
The flood of celebrity sexual scandals, which so far has featured professionally dominant men molesting women who come into their power has now moved into a new phase: the professionally powerful male homosexual who molests boys or young men. The first to fall in this new phase of the celebrity scandals is Metropolitan opera conductor James Levine. The New York Times has the lurid details. Admittedly the Levine scandal was prefigured by homosexual molestation scandals by clerics in the Catholic Church. But now that the Levine scandal has set the tone, expect more celebrity homosexual scandals to surface, especially from the musical, dance, and theatrical arts.
Flynn tripped up on the defunct Logan Act?
Former federal attorney Andrew McCarthy’s latest legal analysis of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation has Mueller moving for an obstruction of justice charge directed against President Trump. McCarthy explains that while not judicable, it could become the basis of an impeachment of the President by Congress, especially if the House turns Democratic in 2018. Flynn, McCarthy points out, may have lied to the FBI when there was no need to do so, fearing he might be prosecuted under the 1798 Logan Act, long since a dead letter.
Byron York explains how Democrats and their press have been making much ado about the Trump team between the election and inauguration violating the Logan Act by conducting foreign negotiations that undercut the Obama administration. But this is takes a lot of chutzpah on the part of Democrats, who have been violating the Logan Act as long as one can remember:
- Pierre Salinger for McGovern, with the North Vietnamese, while we were at war;
- Jesse Jackson, with Castro’s Cuban officials and Ortega’s Sandinistas;
- Democratic House Speaker Jim Wright, also with Ortega and his Sandinistas;
- Nancy Pelosi with Syria’s Bashar al-Assad; and now (!)
- former President Obama in France.
Trump administration continues protectionist push
Our trade correspondent L.C. reports that the Trump administration is reviving US trade laws that haven’t been used for many years. Usually a US trade action against a foreign country is only launched on the basis of the complaint of an afflicted US company or industry. But the administration has now revived a statute, dormant for over a quarter of a century, permitting complaint initiation by the US government itself, without any initiative coming from industry. The present target of this “self-initiation” revival is the Chinese aluminum industry.
China would likely challenge the US actions at the World Trade Organization (WTO). In fact, the reason why the US government stopped self-initiating cases long ago was because the WTO was established. The US Department of Commerce reports that it “last self-initiated a CVD [counter-vailing duty] investigation in 1991 on softwood lumber from Canada,” and “The last self-initiated AD [anti-dumping] duty investigation occurred in 1985 on semiconductors from Japan.” The WTO was formed in 1995.
According to an editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal,
“[T]he Trump Administration keeps stacking up unilateral trade cases. The new Commerce investigation concerns common alloy aluminum sheet, which is crucial for industries from construction to home appliances. The U.S. uses 26 billion pounds a year, but domestic makers meet only 8% of that demand.
“Tariffs would raise costs for U.S. manufacturers, which would likely lose more jobs than they’d create in the aluminum industry. That’s what happened when George W. Bush raised steel tariffs in 2002.
“Higher prices on $600 million worth of aluminum may not have a major effect on the U.S. economy, but it signals the Administration’s willingness to start a trade war. If the Commerce investigation results in anti-dumping duties, Beijing will have a strong case to take to the WTO that could allow China to impose new duties on American goods.”
hat tip: Eaglebeak
Click here to go to yesterday’s Founders Broadsheet (“Kudlow: Vote for tax-cut plan, warts and all”)