Opinion

China’s Hostage Triumph
Opinion

China’s Hostage Triumph

Westerners working in China are officially on notice. You could be arrested on trumped up charges at any time and used as hostages to promote Community Party interests. That’s the message from the humiliating U.S. surrender to China’s hostage diplomacy in the case of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou. Canadian authorities arrested Ms. Meng in 2018 at the request of the U.S., which charged her with bank and wire fraud. Under a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) reached Friday, Ms. Meng was allowed to return to China without going to trial. She merely admitted to facts she had previously denied. Shortly thereafter, and right on cue, China released two Canadians it had arrested on phony charges not long after Ms. Meng’s arrest.
Pelosi Goes for Broke
Opinion

Pelosi Goes for Broke

Can Nancy Pelosi bull-rush her few House moderates and Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema? That seems to be her strategy this week as she prepares to jam a $3.5 trillion (really $5 trillion) tax and spending bill through Congress. Mr. Manchin recently wrote in our pages that he favors a “strategic pause” on the spending bill to assess its economic impact and take more time to debate specific policies. Sounds sensible. But Speaker Pelosi doesn’t do pauses, especially in what she views as her legacy project to turn the U.S. into a European entitlement state.
Germany’s Muddled Message
Opinion

Germany’s Muddled Message

German voters spoke on Sunday, and now they need to wait weeks for someone to tell them what they said. The results are a muddle, and complex coalition politicking will determine what path the country follows out of the Angela Merkel era. Exit polls Sunday evening showed a race too close to call, although perhaps with a slight edge for the center-left Social Democrats (SPD). They and Mrs. Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU and Bavarian sister CSU) each have won roughly a quarter of the votes. Whichever of the two manages to form a government, it will be a choice voters have made without much evident conviction.
House Democrats Miss Some Necessary Tax Increases
Opinion

House Democrats Miss Some Necessary Tax Increases

President Biden needs tax revenue to pay for his Build Back Better plan, and he wants to raise most of it by raising taxes on corporations and the rich—both of which got large tax cuts under President Trump. But congressional Democrats are already balking at the White House’s tax-hike proposals. The House Ways and Means draft bill falls short of the Biden tax proposals in several ways, but thankfully not all. The draft accepts the global minimum corporate tax rate that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen painfully and successfully negotiated with 130 countries—yes, 130. It would be a shame to see Congress pull the rug out from under Ms. Yellen’s achievement and at least so far, it hasn’t.
A Shocking Tale About Raccoons
Opinion

A Shocking Tale About Raccoons

After last summer’s fiasco, in which raccoons left us with seven ears of mangled sweet corn, we decided to fight back. We considered borrowing or renting a dog. But neighbors didn’t want to part with their dogs for a month. Dogs have to be fed and watered, and we are absent from the farm part of each week. Dogs like to sleep at night when raccoons are at work. So I turned to Mike Fargione, a wildlife biologist with the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Mike identified raccoons as the likely culprits. “They may remember where they got food in previous years, but the ripe corn smell brings them over—else they would be there earlier.” He suggested electric netting.
Not That Long Ago, ‘Evil’ Really Meant Something
Opinion

Not That Long Ago, ‘Evil’ Really Meant Something

Fifteen or 20 years ago, when I was preparing to write a book on the subject of evil, I asked a variety of people whether they had ever known someone whom they considered to be evil. The overwhelming majority stared into space for a moment and then said, “No—no one I would call truly evil. There was Hitler, of course. But I didn’t know him.” An exception to the pattern was William F. Buckley Jr., who, without hesitation, replied, “Gore Vidal.” I laughed, but Mr. Buckley didn’t. I think he was serious. He stared at me with hard, enameled eyes.
Blinken Blindsides an Ally in Guatemala
Opinion

Blinken Blindsides an Ally in Guatemala

The migration calamity that exploded in the border city of Del Rio, Texas, this month is the product of bureaucratic incompetence. But Democratic Party politics and progressive ideology have also played big roles in fomenting the crisis. When Democrats were out of power, their denunciations of President Trump’s border policies sent a message to migrants that asylum-seekers would be welcome if there were a new occupant in the White House. It was a way to rev up the base for the 2020 presidential election. It also helped candidate Joe Biden get buy-in from extremist factions seeking to tear down institutions like private property and the rule of law.
The Haqqanis Are the New Global Terror Threat
Opinion

The Haqqanis Are the New Global Terror Threat

The Haqqani network has evolved over the past half-century from a relatively small, tribal-based jihadist group into one of South Asia’s most significant U.S.- and U.N.-designated terrorist syndicates. As Afghanistan’s new Taliban government pushes for credibility abroad, the Haqqani network is the most powerful faction with which it must reckon. The Haqqani network could theoretically reform itself to gain international acceptance, but let’s not ignore reality: Paying lip service to Western conditions or red lines won’t change an entity this resourceful and ruthless. The only way for the U.S. and its allies to deal with the newly empowered Haqqani network is through shrewd statecraft and multilateral engagement.
Ilhan Omar’s Idea of Progress
Opinion

Ilhan Omar’s Idea of Progress

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.), along with five other Democrats, recently introduced H.R. 4894, the Genuine Progress Indicator Act of 2021. The bill, only six pages long, is a glaring example of why Congress has a meager 28% approval rating. The goal is a progressive alternative to gross domestic product, which presumably is an unjust tool to prop up big bad business. “The world needs new economic indicators and economic policies that will prioritize and encourage truly sustainable and equitable development,” Ms. Omar claims. The bill requires that “the head of each Federal agency, the President, the Chair of the Federal Reserve, and Congress shall” use both the genuine progress indicator and GDP when budgeting or forecasting economic activity.
Trump Loses Arizona—Again
Opinion

Trump Loses Arizona—Again

Former President Trump claims Arizona’s ballot audit found “massive fraud,” yet the new recount says he actually lost the state by 360 more votes than originally reported. He is now demanding an audit of the 2020 election in . . . Texas, which he won by nearly six points. When are Republicans going to quit playing this game? Arizona’s official results say President Biden won by 10,457 votes. Mr. Trump never accepted the loss, so the GOP state Senate launched an “audit” by hiring Cyber Ninjas, a company without experience reviewing elections. After repeated delays and various pratfalls, here’s the result: A hand recount of Maricopa County’s 2.1 million ballots says that Mr. Biden won the state by 10,817 votes.