Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Much Ado About Putin

Many on all sides have been highly critical of President Trump for not being sufficiently rough and tough on Vladimir Putin in their post summit press conference in Helsinki, Finland. While Trump expressed confidence in the US intelligence community, he also said that Putin gave a "strong and powerful" denial of any Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election. Trump went on to say he did not "see any reason why" Russia would be behind any meddling in our election. Trump went on to say there was no collusion with Russia in the 2016 election.

Here's George Bush in 2001: "I looked the man (Putin) in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul." Respectfully to former President Bush - that was moronic.

In 2009, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, presented Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, with a "reset" button. So, Democrats can make nice with Russia, and try to reset relations between the two countries, but not Republicans? Then, we have Obama telling Medvedev (unbeknownst to Obama he was caught on an open mic): "On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved, but it's important for him to give me space...This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility." Medvedev: "I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir (Putin)." Maybe that "flexibility" encouraged Putin enough to take the Crimea and invade eastern Ukraine. Was there, shhh, collusion between Obama and Putin?

Let us not forget the 2012 debate between Obama and Romney. Recall that Obama mocked Romney for claiming that Russia was our biggest geopolitical threat. Obama: "The 1980s are now calling to ask for their policy back because the Cold War's been over for 20 years." Uh-oh. Did Putin have something on Obama? Between this and the "flexibility" comment, I'm very suspicious.

At the time of the 2016 election, Obama was President, Loretta Lynch was the Attorney General, James Comey was the Director of the FBI, and John Brennan was the CIA Director. Surely, 2016 was not the first year Russia tried to interfere in our elections. Surely, Obama and his Administration were on the lookout for Russian cyber attacks during the election, and took the threat very seriously. So how is it that in October, 2016, only one month before the election, Obama said that there's "no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig America's elections." So, no collusion could affect the outcome of an election...until Trump upset Clinton and then...collusion!

But one President got it right, calling the Soviet Union the "evil empire." That, of course, was Ronald Reagan, who was highly criticized for daring to make such a comment. Reagan was called a "warmonger." I am confused. Reagan was a warmonger, but Bush and Obama were just trying to make nice with Putin and his evil empire?

Would I have preferred some tougher talk at the press conference? Probably, but I don't know what was discussed privately. It appears Trump sought assurances about the safety of Israel with regards to all the parties fighting in Syria. What else was discussed? And didn't the media claim that Trump just getting us into nuclear war when he talked tough to "little rocket man?" Let's be honest. Trump can never win. And, if he did cave in to Putin, he clearly would not be the first President to do so. Just the most highly criticized - along with Reagan, the too tough talking warmonger. No wonder I'm confused.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The New York Times Takes on Trump's SCOTUS Pick

In their lead editorial in their July 10, 2018 edition, The NY Times describes the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court as "awful," with the result being a "shift (of) the balance of constitutional jurisprudence to the right." Had President Trump nominated a left-wing judge to the Court would the Times, and the rest of the Left, be concerned about a shift of the balance of constitutional jurisprudence to the left? A 5-4 conservative majority proves to be a cause for fear-mongering. A 9-0 left-wing Court would likely cause no concern whatsoever.

We know that the Left cannot tolerate losing. Recall that when Trump won in 2016, the Left's answer was to get rid of the Electoral College. Now, with their alleged concern over the "polarization" of the Court, the Times suggests "there are structural fixes, like term limits, that could counteract this trend." The Times: "One proposal would limit justices to 18-year terms, which would create an opening on the court every two years," assuming a staggered process. The elimination of the Electoral College and term limits for Supreme Court Justices would require Constitutional Amendments. But that has not stopped the Left from seeking other - underhanded - means to achieve their goals.

With regards to the Electoral College, left-wing states have been forming a compact to give their electoral votes to whichever candidate gets the most popular votes - totally undermining the majority of people in any of those states which may have voted against the national popular vote winner. So, we'll have to see what they come up with to change the conservative majority or limit their terms.

The Times asserts that Trump's list of potential nominees were all proposed by the Federalist Society and/or the Heritage Foundation, as if that is just evil. Not all of the leftist groups are, let us say, of the intellectual variety - think Occupy Wall Street and Antifa, for example. Then we have the countless left-wing activist organizations, such as MoveOn.org, and the left-wing think tanks such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the Center for American Progress and the Open Society Foundation, among others. Would the Times have a beef with left-wing groups proposing SCOTUS nominees to a Democratic President? Not likely.

I love this quite telling comment by the editorial writers: "The Federalist Society claims to value the so-called strict construction of the Constitution, but this supposedly neutral mode of constitutional interpretation lines up suspiciously well with Republican policy preferences..." Suspicious? Why? How? Because Republicans support the Constitution - and do not believe that one's race, sex, religion or gender should automatically determine who wins a case. (See the prior post.)

The Times concludes with these thoughts. First, the "Constitution is about to be hijacked by a small group of conservative radicals..." As noted in the last post, all conservatives are now considered "radical" or "extreme" or "arch-conservative" by the Left. Second, the Times tells us that there is "a global movement against the idea of liberal democracy" in places like Hungary and Poland, and presumably they include the USA under Trump as well. This blog has commented in numerous posts how liberals here no longer believe in liberal democracy, for the simple reason that liberals no longer believe in classical liberalism - rather, they are Leftists. Many just do not know it.

I think that the July 10 Wall Street Journal editorial on Kavanaugh said it best: "The American left is distraught because it fears losing the Court as its preferred legislature." Which explains why the Left is unhappy with judges who simply interpret the law. The Left wants judges to write the laws that they are unable to get passed in Congress or the State Legislatures. If one of the senior liberal Justices should retire or otherwise leave the Court during Trump's term, allowing Trump yet another nominee, I can only imagine the fits and tantrums that we will see from the Left.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Reply to UCLA Law School Professor's Op-Ed on Trump's SCOTUS Pick

(Note: In the July 9, 2018 Los Angeles Times was an Op-Ed by UCLA Law School Professor Jon D. Michaels. The writing below was my email to him commenting on his article. His article, "A case for bold dissent," anticipated Trump's not yet named nominee being approved by the Senate, and called for the four left-wing Justices to be more vigorous in their dissents (also anticipating more 5-4 decisions). Professor Michaels opined that President Trump's pick would be an "arch-conservative." For the Left, all conservatives are now either "arch-conservatives" or "radical conservatives" or "extremists." It is not necessary to have read the Op-Ed to follow this post.)

I do take issue with a couple of your points. To the Left, every conservative is an "arch conservative." After all, before knowing the pick you dubbed him/her to be an "arch conservative." Furthermore, even with five of these "arch conservatives" on the court, we both know that the overturning of Roe vs. Wade is not likely. Does C.J. Roberts really strike you as the type of Justice to overturn a 45 year old precedent?

(This paragraph was added by me the next morning as a P.S.) Yes, Janus overturned a 1977 precedent (Abood). However, I see a significant difference between not compelling support for speech with which one disagrees, versus taking away a right (abortion) that has existed for nearly half a century.

Of greater concern is that you seem to believe that the Constitution needs to change/be reinterpreted based upon demographic changes in society. Is that how it should work? The law varies based upon the ethnic, racial, religious or gender identity of the people involved? "Formal equality?" The "justice is blind" type of equality? Apparently, as you go on to express your concern about the "realities of structural poverty, racism, sexism and homophobia."

Assuming there is such a thing as "structural poverty," what do you expect the Courts to do? Wouldn't that be a legislative issue? It is disappointing that what the Left is unable to achieve through legislation they believe should be accomplished through the Courts.

I would surmise that you agree with President Obama's approach to the Bill of Rights - changing it from protecting the individual from abusive government power to mandating that the government provide ... (fill in the blanks).

Hillary Clinton, an attorney, said that "the Supreme Court should represent all of us." When did the Courts become a representative branch of the government? She also opined: "...the Supreme Court needs to stand on the side of the American people, not on the side of powerful corporations and the wealthy." Should we tar and feather the wealthy as well? And this from her: "...we need a Supreme Court that will stand up on behalf of women's rights, on behalf of the rights of the LGBT community, that will stand up and say no to Citizens United..." Again, one's identity should predetermine the outcome of a case? Rather shocking, no? Why would we even need Courts?

As for Citizens United, a couple of quick points. Before the Citizens United decision, who was paying $35,000 to $40,000 per plate at Obama's (and other politicians) fundraisers? The average Joe? Hardly. Where was the concern about that money? Lastly, why the outcry about conservative money? Might it be because the Left has a virtual monopoly on political speech otherwise? Think the LA Times, the NY Times, The Washington Post, and most of the written mainstream papers. Think ABC, NBC and CBS. Think MSNBC, CNN. Then, we have Hollywood - TV shows, movies - one left-wing message after the next. Billionaires? Gates, Buffet and Zuckerberg are left-wing.

I am always amazed that so many on the Left are unhappy with the American system - providing more freedom than any other in history; and lifting more people out of poverty than any other. Yet, President Obama said we needed "fundamental change."

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

And Now, A Few Words From Our Founders

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." (In Congress, July 4, 1776. The Declaration of Independence.) "All men are created equal." No King, no Lords that are somehow inherently better than anyone else. "Endowed by their Creator." Our Founders were God-fearing men. "Unalienable Rights...Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Imagine how novel these ideas were in 1776. A document that put the individual as the center of society - not subservient to it.

When we turn to the Constitution, we are looking at the greatest governing document ever created by mere mortals. Our original governing documents, the Articles of Confederation, were deemed insufficient to keep our thirteen colonies/states united behind a centralized government. Hence, the Constitution. In an Op-Ed in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, Joseph Tartakovsky told us that since 1789, the year of enacting our Constitution, "the average life span of national constitutions world-wide has been 19 years" (citing research out of the University of Chicago).

Our Founders were some of the greatest political philosophers in history. Imagine creating a government strong enough to hold the states together, but limited enough in its powers to keep the well-being of the individual as the purpose for the government. Benjamin Franklin was the oldest, and by some measures the wisest, of all those who participated in the Constitutional Convention. Franklin: "...I agree to this Constitution, with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a General Government necessary for us, and there is no Form of Government but what may be a blessing to the People if well administered..." But Franklin was also concerned about all societies devolving into despotism.

The House of Representatives in its entirety is elected every two years. As the "People's House," it is meant to reflect the current attitudes of the society. But to offset what might be dangerous trends we have the Senate, with Senators serving a term of six years, long enough to outlast some of those trends. To further assure that end, only 1/3 of the Senators are up for election every two years. While a President may veto Congressional legislation, that executive is not all-powerful, as the Congress may override any veto by a two-thirds vote.

When we look at Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution we see the enumerated powers given to Congress. Why delineate a specific number of powers? Because the Founders were very concerned about too powerful a central government. The President, a civilian, was made Commander-in-Chief of the military. The President has the power to appoint his principal officers in the executive department - but only with the Advice and Consent of the Senate. The President was to put in charge of foreign policy, having the power to enter into treaties with other nations - but, again, with approval of the Senate by "two-thirds of the Senators present." And the President is elected by an electoral college, to avoid giving the most populated states permanent control over the executive branch. Otherwise, the smaller states would have been reluctant to join this union.

While the Constitution did create a federal judiciary, it not specifically give the Courts the right to declare legislation or executive orders to be "unconstitutional." That power the Supreme Court took upon itself in its famous decision by Chief Justice John Marshall in the 1803 case of Marbury v. Madison. Marshall: "The question, whether an act, repugnant to the constitution, can become the law of the land, is a question deeply interesting to the United States..." And: "The constitution is either superior paramount law, unchangeable by ordinary means, or it is on a level with ordinary legislative acts, and, like other acts, is alterable when the legislature shall please to alter it." But Article V sets forth the limited manner in which the Constitution may be amended.

Some of the Founders realized that, while the Constitution set forth the structure of the government, it neglected to ensure the rights of the individual to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Hence, the first 10 Amendments - our Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights makes us the freest people on the planet. The freest people in history. We have the right to speech, to practice our own religion, to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, the right to keep and bear arms, the right to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to "not be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."

As the above-referenced Mr. Tartakovsky wrote: "It is not in having a constitution that our strength lies, but in cherishing it." Yet, many today, generally on the Left, have little appreciation for the Constitution. They would amend the First Amendment to deal with Citizens United, or to prohibit hurtful speech. They would eliminate the right to keep and bear arms. And they would have no respect for property rights, with this trend particularly present in millennials. In one poll, 44% of millennials preferred socialism, 7% supported communism, and 7% even supported fascism. Compared to the majority (51%) preferring socialism/communism, only 42% preferred capitalism.

Ben Franklin is alleged to have been asked, upon leaving the Constitutional Convention, what type of government the Founders created. His reply: "A Republic, if you can keep it." Maybe we can all do our best to keep it. God bless America. And Happy Birthday!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

A View From the Left

In a major electoral upset in the primary election in New York's 14th district, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez upset 10 term Congressman Joe Crowley, a man who many expected might be the next Speaker of the House should the Dems take the House back. New York's 14th district, heavily Democratic, is made up of parts of the Bronx and Queens, with the primary winner being the likely winner in the general election. Ocasio-Cortez is an open socialist, and is allied with the Democratic Socialists of America, a group that supports the BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) movement against Israel.

Following the recent violent efforts by Gazans to breach Israel's border, resulting in the deaths of at least 60 people - 50 of whom were Hamas members - Ocasio-Cortez called it a massacre. "This is a massacre. I hope my peers have the moral courage to call it such...Democrats can't be silent about this anymore." Yes, the Democrats need to rise up against Israel. And I have no reason to believe that the liberal/leftist Jews won't follow right along.

Ocasio-Cortez's platform includes abolishing ICE, universal Medicare, a jobs guarantee for all, free college, housing (presumably free) as a human right, and, of course, the impeachment of President Trump. I wonder if anyone has to pay for all this "free" stuff. Meanwhile, in Minnesota, Ilhan Omar is the likely successor to Rep. Keith Ellison (one of the two Muslim members of Congress), as Ellison is running for Attorney General of Minnesota. Omar has referred to Israel as an "apartheid" state. In case that does not make it sufficiently clear what he thinks of Israel, here is a now deleted Tweet of his: "Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel." Again, the outright hostility towards Israel will be no deterrent to left-wing Jews supporting these people and their party.

Proving that they will stop at nothing to defeat Trump, a group of states - blue states - have proposed legislation for their respective states that would bar anyone from being on the ballot for President unless they release their tax returns. Clearly, these measures are aimed at Trump, who has not released his tax returns. As the Constitution only requires that someone be a natural born citizen, be at least 35 years old, and been 14 years a resident within the United States, this underhanded effort to prevent Trump from being on the ballot will clearly fail on Constitutional grounds. Just another example of the Left's "the ends justify the means" approach to life.

With Justice Kennedy resigning from the Supreme Court, the Left has been apoplectic (a common emotion for the Left) over Trump having the opportunity to appoint another Justice. The Dems/Left (they are one and the same) say they are concerned about a shift in the ideological balance of the Court. Of course, that is a blatant lie. If President Trump were to appoint another Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Dems/Left would be in a state of jubilation. The LA Times basically said as much in their 6/28/18 editorial regarding Kennedy's replacement: "Since that person is unlikely to be a liberal - Trump's politics won't lead him to a new Ruth Bader Ginsburg or a Thurgood Marshall - let us make another suggestion." Clearly, there would be zero outcry were Trump to tilt the ideological direction of the Court to the left. The politicians and mainstream media are a group of hypocrites.

The New York Times was...well, the New York Times. Their 6/28/18 editorial, as might be expected, essentially told us that the sky is falling. "It is a dark moment in the history of the court and the nation, and it's about to get a lot darker." It does not get any clearer than that. Any conservative Republican President would appoint a conservative Justice. But the Dems/Left are now so extreme that any conservative appointment will be a "dark moment in the history of the...nation." Is it any wonder that they call us deplorables, haters, bigots and so on. They truly hate us. After all, conservatives make the country dark and getting darker.

Michelle Goldberg is a regular opinion writer for the New York Times. In her 6/26/18 Op-Ed in the Times, and after calling Trump a "racist," she said this: "I'm agnostic on the question of whether publicly rebuking Trump collaborators is tactically smart." Trump collaborators? That's what it is when you work in the White House now? You are a collaborator. As I said, they hate us. And they believe that we are evil. As for the way some Administration officials have been publicly mistreated, Ms. Goldberg tells us it was just "the sort of public opprobrium due members of any other white nationalist organization." That's how it works for the Left. There is no need to debate the issues when all they have to do (actually, all they have) is hatred and demagoguery.

The Los Angeles Times has the answer for dealing with those who cross our border illegally. Don't charge them with the crime of crossing illegally into the country. In fact, just don't detain them. Who says the Left does not want open borders?

So, there you have it. The Dems/Left are the party of open borders, hatred toward conservatives, "free" stuff for everybody, using whatever means necessary (harassment, unconstitutional laws, and so on) to accomplish their ends, and, of course, are virulently anti-Israel. My left-wing friends, even the Jewish ones, can hardly wait to vote for all that in November.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Mob

No, this is not a post about the Italian Mafia. Although, there are definite similarities with the threats and intimidation. A friend who is a retired police officer likens them to a criminal gang. However, having grown up in New Jersey, I believe "The Mob" is a more accurate description. We are already well past De Niro's "Fuck Trump" on live TV at the Tony Awards. We are past Samantha Bee and the "C" word. We are well past Hillary's "basket of deplorables."

We are past the name calling and cursing. Now, we are at incitement. Peter Fonda expressed that he would like to see "Barron Trump ripped from his mother's arms and put in a cage with pedophiles." Maxine Waters, Dem. Rep. from California, said this at a weekend rally in Los Angeles: "If you see anybody from that (Trump's) Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they're not welcome anymore, anywhere." Not welcome anywhere? What does that mean? They need to leave the country? Maybe, they need to be dead?

Waters continued on MSNBC: "the people are going to turn on them, they're going to protest, they're going to absolutely harass them." Waters is not the only one to think this way. When DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielson was dining out last week, a Mob accosted her, yelling "shame," and "if kids don't eat in peace, you don't eat in peace." On Friday, the Mob was outside her home yelling "no justice, no sleep." And: "Secretary Nielson and everyone else who has carried out these brutal and cold-blooded orders (at the border), to rip apart families should never be allowed to eat and drink in public again."

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked to leave, with her family, from the Red Hen restaurant in Virginia, because the restaurant has "certain standards." Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi had to leave a movie theater after a Mob shouted at her about immigration and health care. And, in case you have any doubt about what the Mob thinks of you, here's MSNBC commentator Donny Deutsch: "We can no longer say Trump's the bad guy. If you vote for Trump, you're the bad guy. If you vote for Trump, you are ripping children from parents' arms." Don't we lock up bad guys? Is that what they want for 63 million Trump voters?

The Mob has been upset for quite some time, most often when they have been unable to get their policies enacted through the democratic process. Like all Mobs, they really do not believe in democracy. So, when democracy did not work for them, they litigated. They sued, and tried to shut down businesses that did not adhere to their agenda. Now, we are past that. Now, we are at outright harassment and intimidation. I am inclined to say that ultimately these tactics will result in violence. When you get in someone's face, sooner or later they will push back.

However, we are even past the possibility of violence. Recall last year a Trump hater shot up a Congressional Republican baseball practice, nearly fatally wounding Rep. Steve Scalise, and also wounding two Capitol Police officers and other staffers. Here are some comments from the shooter's Facebook page. "Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy." "It's Time to Destroy Trump & Co."

And let's not forget, like the other Mob, this Mob hates the police also. Obama and his AG Eric Holder, had a war on cops. (By way of comparison, Trump has a war on criminal gangs.) Wikileaks has published the names of over 9000 former and current employees of ICE. I cannot see any legitimate reason for doing so. Do they want harm to come to the people who protect us? Democratic Congress members now want to eliminate one entire police force - ICE. They want to eliminate the agency that protects our borders, our safety and our sovereignty. (As an aside, "sovereignty" is a word you will never hear from democrats nor read in the mainstream media. They do not believe in national sovereignty.) The measure to eliminate ICE either has been or will be introduced by Representatives Mark Pocan (D-WI), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). So what if drugs, criminal gang members and terrorists get in to our country? It is the police who are the bad guys, as far as The Mob is concerned.

By now, I am sure you have figured out who The Mob is - it is the Democratic Party. They may not have hired hit men, but in every other way they resemble The Mob. The harassment. The intimidation. The threats. And the very real possibility of violence by both their actions and their war on police. I don't belong to The Mob. Do you?

Sunday, June 17, 2018

North Korea

It would be nice if the mainstream media could make up their minds. First, Trump was going to get us into nuclear war with North Korea, calling Kim Jong Un "Little Rocket Man," and all. Then, it was how dare Trump sit down with Kim and give him credibility on the world stage. True, he did seem to be excessively effusive about Kim. But the media does not get Trump's approach. It's the old carrot and stick.

Former undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman had an Op-Ed in the 6/14/18 USA Today. Secretary Sherman was the lead negotiator on the Iran nuclear deal, and was previously involved with the prior North Korean nuclear deal. She described the Singapore summit as not "much more than bluster and balloons." Really, what did she expect from an initial sit down? Kim did declare a "firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula." But, words are cheap, especially so from dictators. So, we won't know until we know.

Secretary Sherman: the "official statement (signed by Trump and Kim) was far weaker than at least three previous documents signed by North Korea in years past. Unlike the agreements negotiated in 1992, 1994 and 2005, Tuesday's joint statement includes no verification requirements or framework to guide upcoming negotiations." What? Is that for real? Just how tough were the three prior agreements if Kim now has an estimated 60 nuclear weapons and a robust ballistic missile program?

Secretary Sherman continued that Trump does not understand that "any potential agreement would be durable only if South Korea, Japan, China and Russia are on board." Well, unlike Obama's deal with Iran, Trump says he wants any deal approved by the US Senate. Just what the Constitution demands. Why didn't Obama, the Constitutional law professor, know that?

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the sanctions will remain in place until there are results. Pompeo also expressed the Administration's expectations that results will be seen within 2 1/2 years - by the end of Trump's (first) term. And just how impressed should we be with the Iran deal Ms. Sherman negotiated. No inspections on military bases. Continued development of Iran's ballistic missile program. And, of course, no requirement that Iran cease its terror supporting activities throughout the Middle East and elsewhere in the world. But wait, I thought one of the criticisms of Trump was that he didn't insist on movement of the humanitarian issues in North Korea. Isn't stopping terrorist attacks a humanitarian issue? I guess not when the deal was Obama's.

I think that Caroline Glick had, perhaps, the best take on the Singapore summit. As with any such summit, there is no guarantee that the other side will agree to any deal. Glick: "Democratically elected leaders have a greater tendency than dictators to become convinced that their political survival is dependent on their ability to deliver the deal." And: "If a leader believes his future depends on getting a deal, the likelihood that he will accept a terrible deal skyrockets." Gee, that sounds an awful like Obama, who was willing to pass up on the missiles, support for terrorism, inspection on military bases, and a $150 billion present in order to get the deal that he believed would be his major foreign policy achievement.

But Trump is not Obama. Iran came to the table because Obama kept offering more and more to the Iranians. Sure, Trump is holding off on joint military exercises with South Korea; but those exercises can just as easily be reinstated. North Korea came to the table out of fear of Trump. That's a good thing. Because Kim undoubtedly understands that if he messes with Trump, he has no guarantee that he will remain in power. The Ayatollahs never feared that from Obama. A little fear goes a long way.