"When prosperity comes, do not use all of it."—Confucius Is China about to do the United States a big favor, however unwittingly? According to Bloomberg, China is considering whether to slow, or even stop, purchases of U.S. Treasuries. At $3.14 trillion, China holds the world's largest foreign exchange reserves. It is also the largest underwriter of U.S. debt. Financial experts and political observers have long worried that becoming financially dependent on an unfriendly and rival nation is not good for the U.S. in the long term.
"Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer."—W.C. Fields
I do not make it a practice to comment on the work of fellow columnists, though occasionally some care to comment on mine, which is fine. I'm happy to help them make a living. An exception will be made here because of New York Times "conservative" columnist, Bret Stephens.
Side issues—some of them created by the president himself—have obscured the accomplishments of the Donald Trump administration during his first year in office. The economy is the most obvious one. From anemic growth in the previous administration, it is now growing at around 3 percent, which economists say is ideal. The stock market continues to set records, fattening retirement portfolios.
Responding to the recent Las Vegas concert shooting that killed more than 50 people and injured hundreds more, President Trump described the act as one "of pure evil." One definition of "evil" sounds so inadequate in today's culture: "morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked: evil deeds, an evil life."
It is no secret that what the major media seem to care most about is radically different from what concerns average Americans. While the inside the Beltway crowd continues to focus on alleged collusion between President Trump and Russia, real concerns like the future of Social Security are ignored.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (Proverbs 15:1) President Trump once referred to the health care bill passed by the House as "mean." So how should we characterize his remarks about MSNBC "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brzezinski? The president of the United States, reacting to her criticism of him, claimed Brzezinski was "bleeding" from a facelift when he saw her last New Year's Eve at his Florida resort. He further described her as being "dumb as a rock." That's worse than mean. It's cruel.
Is there anyone who can point to the "Affordable Care Act" (aka Obamacare) and credibly claim it is accomplishing the goals set for it seven years ago? Insurers are pulling out of the exchanges, premiums and related costs are going up, not down, as supporters of the misnamed law claimed they would. Many people who like their doctors are not being allowed to keep their doctors.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has had enough of President Trump. Speaking last Sunday in a Munich beer hall, Merkel suggested that Europe may no longer be able to rely on the United States as a faithful ally and that the continent "really must take our fate into our own hands." I had three reactions to this. The first was: You ingrate. We bailed you out twice in the 20th century at enormous cost in blood and treasure. After World War II, the Marshall Plan rebuilt your nation, even though your people elected Adolf Hitler and brought the destruction on yourselves.
GLASGOW, Scotland—The ransomware cyberattack that wormed its way into at least 74 countries recently exposed new vulnerabilities in the UK's National Health Service (NHS), as if it weren't vulnerable enough. Hospital systems in England and Scotland were taken offline. Major operations were delayed, causing frustration and additional worry to patients who spoke to TV interviewers. Sky News technology correspondent Tom Cheshire asked why the affected NHS trusts were not up to date. The answer he received from an IT source inside NHS was: "They patched nothing generally."