Some takeaways from another week under "He Who Would Be Emperor:" "All politics is local." Speaking to local issues rather than echoing the official mantra may be the only way Democrats are going to win back the House. Campaigning in Pennsylvania, which you'll recall with anguish that Trump won in 2016, probably reflects the kind of messaging it will take to flip the state. Rep. Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, for example, is nearly morphed into a Trump-style Democrat. Good news on the environment — and the rule of law.
It is truly extraordinary: The still-new Trump administration keeps appointing people whose common priority is the destruction of the agency they head. Their mission is opposite of their agency's priority to management over responsibility, product over people, and private interests over public service. In essence, Trump is presiding over a government that rejects governing and seems intent on creating a state within a state.
Possibly, just possibly, a new momentum for direct U.S.-North Korea discussions is developing. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson provided some of it when, in a talk at the Atlantic Council on Dec. 12, he proposed for the first time talks without preconditions. It is a significant departure from previous remarks, echoed by other senior U.S. officials, in which he insisted on North Korea's cessation of weapons tests and lowering of tensions before talks might begin.
The media waited with bated breath for Donald Trump's first news conference in 167 days. But I'm sure many journalists knew what was coming: A show, orchestrated by the Apprentice executive director so as to reveal precisely nothing but used instead to revile his critics. Vladimir Putin couldn't have done better.