The United Nations Security Council voted 15-to-0 this weekend in support of tough new sanctions against North Korea. The sanctions, drafted by the United States, come in the wake of repeated ballistic missile tests that have revealed shocking advances in the Stalinist regime's capabilities.
The sanctions hit North Korea's "primary exports" -- coal, iron and seafood. According to various estimates, they could reduce North Korea's trade revenues by more than a third.
A statement from U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley described the sanctions as "the strongest . . . ever imposed in response to a ballistic missile test." That means these sanctions are stronger than anything imposed by the Obama Administration, stronger than anything imposed by the Bush Administration and stronger than anything imposed by the Clinton Administration.
The fact is North Korea has been engaging in nuclear blackmail for decades and administrations of both parties have failed to deal with it. Meanwhile, it has been unnerving to read quotes from intelligence officials who claim to be astonished by North Korea's advances. Perhaps if there were less surveillance of Trump officials and more surveillance of North Korean officials, our experts wouldn't be so surprised.
There's no guarantee these sanctions will succeed in changing North Korea's belligerent behavior. Odds are they won't. But this was a necessary step that had to be taken before the administration can begin to develop a consensus on the need for military action.
Every day since the inauguration, the left has been trying to weaken President Trump politically in order to drive him from office. Progressives have accused the president of destroying America's credibility around the world, isolating us from allies and prohibiting any chance of building an international consensus.
Yet with little fanfare, the Trump Administration succeeded in producing a unanimous Security Council vote Saturday, with China and Russia supporting these tough new sanctions. I looked but could not find a single analyst who said it was time to reevaluate criticism of President Trump's leadership.
Ready For 2020?
I know, I know. . . We just had a presidential election last year, and there are mid-term congressional elections next year. But apparently some progressives just can't get over the fact that Donald Trump won and they are already fantasizing about 2020.
Last week, Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) threw his hat into the ring. Not for governor or senator next year, but for president . . . in 2020. That led Politico to run an amusing column headlined, "What Is John Delaney Thinking?"
Over the weekend, the New York Times ran a bizarre story suggesting that Vice President Mike Pence was gearing up for his own 2020 presidential campaign, along with the other GOP figures like Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Ohio Governor John Kasich.
The assumption behind the Times report was that President Trump may be forced from office or will refuse to seek a second term.
The story is just more fake news based on left-wing wishful thinking. Vice President Pence and other political figures aren't doing anything unusual.
They are attending events and raising money for what is expected to be a tough election cycle next year. Big deal. Desperate to improve its circulation figures, the New York Times is taking run-of-the-mill political activity and jumping to all kinds of sensational conclusions.
Vice President Pence blasted the Times report as "disgraceful and offensive." He labeled the story as "categorically false" and "just the latest attempt by the media to divide this administration."