What the EU wants from Britain now… and other commentary

Foreign desk: What the EU Wants To Hear Now on Brexit

Make no mistake, says Bloomberg’s Leonid Bershidsky: Despite its public refusals to change the Brexit deal following its spectacular rejection by the UK parliament, the European Union is, in truth, “continuing to negotiate.” With one caveat: Its leaders “only want to hear specific things from Britain” — beginning with a delay of its scheduled March 29 departure from the EU. ­Actually, they would like canceling Brexit altogether, via a second public referendum. At the very least, they want London to undertake the “Norway model,” remaining in the European Economic Area. Both sides, he says, “know the alternative is a no-deal Brexit,” and “neither wants it.” But be affected person: “Last-minute solutions are the EU’s traditional mode of ­operation.”

Critic: For Blas, Some Hands Are Cleaner Than Others

Mayor de Blasio “sounded as if he were channeling his Sandinista heroes of the early 1980s” when he mentioned that “there’s plenty of money in the city — it’s just in the wrong hands,” suggests City Journal’s Seth Barron. Then once more, “over the course of a political career that has included five primary elections, five general elections and a runoff election, de Blasio has raised tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions, much of it from the wealthy.” Despite his self-described “socialistic impulse,” the mayor “has managed to take maximum donations from real estate magnates.” Hedge funders, Hollywood varieties, enterprise moguls — they’ve all funneled cash to his campaigns. Maybe cash is “in the wrong hands” solely “when those hands aren’t handing him campaign donations.”

Conservative: Beto’s Not Sure Constitution Still Works

Likely presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s current interview with The Washington Post was “a non-prescription sleep aid,” complains ­National Review’s Kyle Smith — till the very finish. That’s when he mentioned one thing “interesting, indeed shocking.” Seems the media celebrity “isn’t sold on the basis of the United States of America.” Specifically, O’Rourke says he “isn’t sure the Constitution still works.” Says Smith: Anyone who runs for president by “dismissing the Constitution” — which he must swear to “preserve, protect and defend” — as “something that may or may not work, is an even bigger gaffe than Jesse Jackson’s reference to New York City as ‘Hymietown.’ ” That little nugget additionally was buried deep in a pleasant Washington Post story — “the rest of which has been completely forgotten.”

Mideast watch: John Bolton Is Threatening Iran? Good!

The Washington institution has been rattled by information that National Security Adviser John Bolton requested the Pentagon for army choices in opposition to Iran. Democrats and commentators could also be “aghast,” however Ray Takeyh at ­Politico factors out the historic reality: “When dealing with Iran, threats usually work, while blandishments only whet the appetite of the mullahs.” And whereas “the signs coming out of the White House may at times be ambiguous,” nonetheless “the tough talk and the tough actions have had an impact in Tehran.” The US has pulled out of the nuclear deal and reimposed crippling sanctions — however has confronted “no retaliatory Iranian response.” Why? Because Tehran “respects and fears the power of the United States when wielded appropriately.” Bolton, in contrast to lots of his predecessors, “seems to have internalized the right lessons.”

Iconoclast: Are You Coping With the National Emergency?

President Trump now says he’s disinclined to observe via on his menace to declare a nationwide emergency to get funding for a border wall. But as Charles Lane notes at The Washington Post, it could be no massive deal: There are absolutely “31 presidentially declared national emergencies currently in force, the oldest of which President Jimmy Carter decreed in 1979 to enable the freezing of Iranian assets during the hostage crisis.” If Trump chooses this path to evade Congress by releasing up in any other case dedicated army funds, it gained’t be the first time. Because Congress more and more “has delegated ostensibly exceptional lawmaking power to the executive branch.” And as soon as an emergency has been declared, solely the president can finish it. That’s not “the kind of government the Founders envisioned. But it is the one we have.”

— Compiled by Eric Fettmann

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