Understanding the US - Again

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby Mort Walker » 07 Aug 2018 05:15

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby Falijee » 07 Aug 2018 17:42

Another Blow Handed To POTUS Trump By The Hollywood Crowd !

Donald Trump’s ‘Hall of fame’ star being removed permanently

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby UlanBatori » 08 Aug 2018 03:46

Each time these einsteins pull a stunt like this (kick out his Press Sec from a restaurant, punch an obnoxious desi DT supporter in the teeth with his own megaphone) they confirm the wisdom of the Conservative Voter. The Midterms will be interesting but I think the Dems are reading voters wrong again.
Taxes are down. Protectionism is protecting jobs. The ISIS is dead/dying. Oil prices are flat. The snooty Oiropeans are bissing in their negligees. The 7th Fleet is Standing Up To the Red Chinese. Eyeran is being taught a lesson. Gas mileage rules are being eased. The US is out of the Paris/Copenhagen scams.
The Aliens, illegal or otherwise, are being packed off to where they came from. THAT oughta teach 'em not to take away American jobs.
The stock market is up. Salaries are rising, for the first time in like 15 years.
The Defense Budget is way up.
What the heck more do red-blooded Americans expect of their POTUS, in making America Grate Agin?

**************

NPR was talking about a Chinese entrepreneur whose products "no longer carry the Made In China label when exported to USA". She said she had been asked by American Importers to also put in a little American flag and "Made in USA" like we used to see on the "Parkar" Pens "Made in Usa", from Usa, Near Bombay, but "that she had declined" (likely story..) Signs of the times.

I predict that soon a few Democrat senators/COTUSppl will be battling Fake News that they are owned by the Red Chinese.

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby UlanBatori » 08 Aug 2018 03:53

To understand the US, consider the realities like this one:

The rate of people 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991, the study found, and the same group accounts for a far greater share of all filers. Driving the surge, the study suggests, is a three-decade shift of financial risk from government and employers to individuals, who are bearing an ever-greater responsibility for their own financial well-being as the social safety net shrinks. The transfer has come in the form of, among other things, longer waits for full Social Security benefits, the replacement of employer-provided pensions with 401(k) savings plans and more out-of-pocket spending on health care. Declining incomes, whether in retirement or leading up to it, compound the challenge.


Or this one:

Ten years after the housing collapse during the Great Recession, a new and different housing crisis has emerged.

Back then, people were losing their homes as home values crashed and homeowners went underwater. Today, home values have rebounded, but people who want to buy a new home are often priced out of the market. There are too few homes and too many potential buyers.

Home construction per household is now at its lowest levels in nearly six decades, according to researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. This isn't just a problem in San Francisco or New York, where home prices and rents have gone sky-high. It is also a problem in midsized, fast-growing cities farther inland, like Des Moines, Iowa; Durham, N.C.; and Boise, Idaho. In Boise, an analysis by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development showed there is a demand for more than 10 times the number of homes being built right now.

.....She's 37 and manages a learning center for kids who have autism. She's solidly middle class and can afford a house that sells for $200,000. But the median home price in Boise right now is nearly $100,000 higher than that, putting it out of reach for St. John and for the average homebuyer in Boise.


Boise Idaho?? $300K homes? Wow! Add a humongous heating bill every non-summer (which means 11 months of the year) to that.

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby A_Gupta » 08 Aug 2018 06:08

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby Mort Walker » 08 Aug 2018 07:11

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby Mort Walker » 08 Aug 2018 07:19

CNN, MSNBC, FOX and WaPo are biased in one direction. You can’t tell if they’re lying or not, it isn’t just about domestic news either. Lots of crap about India and international news. The NYT is a little better, but NPR has covered the news better.

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby Guddu » 08 Aug 2018 07:38

Falijee wrote:Another Blow Handed To POTUS Trump By The Hollywood Crowd !

Donald Trump’s ‘Hall of fame’ star being removed permanently


That is fake news or khayali pulav, even per the article you cite.

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby jaysimha » 08 Aug 2018 10:16

Guddu wrote:
Falijee wrote:Another Blow Handed To POTUS Trump By The Hollywood Crowd !

Donald Trump’s ‘Hall of fame’ star being removed permanently


That is fake news or khayali pulav, even per the article you cite.


No.... wiki is telling...........
it was destroyed a second time in July 2018 by a man named Austin Clay.[127] Clay later surrendered himself to the police and was bailed out by Jamie Otis

Image

Donald Trump's star was repaired soon after it was destroyed on July 25, 2018.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_Walk_of_Fame

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby Lalmohan » 08 Aug 2018 14:30

"left and rights of passage
black and whites of youth
we seek the knowledge
but the truth is not the truth
absolute..."

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby Singha » 08 Aug 2018 15:59

NDTV
The U.S. said it will begin imposing 25 percent duties on an additional $16 billion in Chinese imports in two weeks, escalating a trade war between the world's two biggest economies.
Customs will begin collecting the duties on 279 product lines, down from 284 items on the initial list, as of Aug. 23, the U.S. Trade Representative's Office said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. The new list covers products ranging from motorcycles to steam turbines and railway cars.

It will be the second time the U.S. slaps duties on Chinese goods in about the past month, despite complaints by American companies that such moves will raise business costs and eventually consumer prices. The U.S. levied 25 percent duties on $34 billion in Chinese goods on July 6, prompting swift in-kind retaliation from Beijing. China has vowed to strike back again, dollar-for-dollar, on the $16 billion tranche.

The total could increase soon. The USTR is reviewing 10 percent tariffs on a further $200 billion in Chinese imports, and is even considering raising the rate to 25 percent. Those duties could be in place after a comment period ends on Sept. 6.

President Donald Trump has suggested he may tax effectively all imports of Chinese goods, which reached more than $500 billion last year.

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby A_Gupta » 08 Aug 2018 16:17

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby chola » 08 Aug 2018 16:28

Trump is amazing! Lol

He is looking Wall Street right in the eyes and kicking us in the teeth.

The Fortune 500 is going to have its profit projections halved in a few years when they are walled off from the China market.

OR Trump forces the chinis to back down on their “Made in China 2025” tech initiatives and the Fortune 500 keeps its tech lead AND get unfettered access to the chini market. This would cause a massive uptick in the forecast!

No American President has put things on the line like this. He has even odds of winning.

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby Singha » 08 Aug 2018 17:47

Xi will get deposed if he caves in to the US.
his enemies will make sure of that. he has made a lot of enemies by using the corruption stick to purge rivals.

he is playing a high stakes high risk game as well - atleast DT can just walk away from the white house ....

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby Lalmohan » 08 Aug 2018 18:04

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby Mort Walker » 08 Aug 2018 18:32

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby saip » 08 Aug 2018 18:32

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby Mort Walker » 08 Aug 2018 18:49

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby Mort Walker » 08 Aug 2018 18:52

chola wrote:Trump is amazing! Lol

He is looking Wall Street right in the eyes and kicking us in the teeth.

The Fortune 500 is going to have its profit projections halved in a few years when they are walled off from the China market.

OR Trump forces the chinis to back down on their “Made in China 2025” tech initiatives and the Fortune 500 keeps its tech lead AND get unfettered access to the chini market. This would cause a massive uptick in the forecast!

No American President has put things on the line like this. He has even odds of winning.


Perhaps. But if investors get 5% return (possibly happening later this year) on 10 yr treasuries they may not mind.

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby Lalmohan » 08 Aug 2018 21:10

bond yields going up is generally bad news not good...
the economic policies being enacted now are all inflationary in the medium term
all non rich non elites are going to get it in the musharraf

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby Singha » 08 Aug 2018 21:12

CNN
China has announced plans to put tariffs of 25% on US products worth $16 billion, the latest move in an escalating trade war.
The Chinese government said in a statement Wednesday that the taxes would be imposed on August 23.

The US products in line for tariffs include chemical items and diesel fuel.

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby Lalmohan » 08 Aug 2018 21:13

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Reason: No US internal politics unless there is a distinct India angle! Despite lots and lots of warnings by admins, this is continuing. Next one will elicit action. Please do co-operate!

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby Singha » 08 Aug 2018 21:14

full list of 279 items. quite a lot of meaty high value items in the last pages. the first part is mainly petrochemicals incl plastics

https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/en ... ranche.pdf

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby Singha » 08 Aug 2018 21:15

cheen imports 1/4 from US what the US imports from cheen.

they have a shorter runway than US to hit back.

reports of taiwan and japan cos with operations in cheen looking at ASEAN sites as cheaper and equally well connected by sea, with no political risk.

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby ramana » 08 Aug 2018 21:22

chola wrote:Trump is amazing! Lol

He is looking Wall Street right in the eyes and kicking us in the teeth.

The Fortune 500 is going to have its profit projections halved in a few years when they are walled off from the China market.


OR Trump forces the chinis to back down on their “Made in China 2025” tech initiatives and the Fortune 500 keeps its tech lead AND get unfettered access to the chini market. This would cause a massive uptick in the forecast!

No American President has put things on the line like this. He has even odds of winning.



Trump is creating a new wealth system.
Upending the China trade of Wall Street.

I know we can outrage with our biases but look at the results of his talk and actions.

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby hnair » 08 Aug 2018 21:31

Folks, we shutdown GDF because of too much personal opinions causing fog. Here we are seeing American partisan political opinion of a personal kind being bandied about. Dont want an American-GDF in Bharat-Rakshak forum when the Indian one is shutdown.

Please co-operate

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby UlanBatori » 09 Aug 2018 01:56

The crucial thing to "understand about the US" todin, seems to be the tamasha re: Eyeran. On the face of it, it is sheer Trumpistani bullying tactics aka Real Estate Negotiation. Same as he did with NoKo, until everyone agreed to have Trump Towers Pyongyang come up on the beach resorts. The US is reneging on an agreement negotiated in good faith.

My concern is how far Trumpistan intends to go in "punishing" nations that continue to "ignore the US sanctions". The sanctions are illegal by any international criteria. But the US is basically saying:
If you ignore our (illegal bullying) Sanctions, your businesses will not be able to do business with the USA

Wonder what happens if the rest of the world goes to the WTO and :((

Trump is betting that they won't, they don't have the golas to do it. Or he's waiting for the Special Elections to be over, showing how he's getting away with being Strong and Tough?

My prediction of the end-game on Iran is still that Trump will make Iran and Israel realize that he is goading them to destroy each other, and that the war will be fought on their lands, not over the US. That will cause a hug-fest like NoKo-SoKo. Maybe it will be preceded by regime changes in both countries that bring more peaceable types to power with the mandate for a hug-fest.

But in Korea, there has always been the desire for reunification: in fact what is happening now is precisely what was recommended on BRF many saal pehle. . Nothing of the sort between Israel and Iran. So I don't see the basis for the end-game.

Given that, where is he going with this bijnej of threatening friendly nations for not picking fights with neighbors? I think the only sensible course is to refuse to pick a fight with Iran, as Russia is "accused of" doing with NoKo (over 10,000 new work permits issues, heightened trade).

IOW, why should Indians suffer higher oil prices just trying to kowtow to illegal (per the UN) bullying from Trumpistan? I think it is a historic opportunity to cement ties with Iran, for India, and isolate the u-no-hu.

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby Kashi » 09 Aug 2018 05:41

UlanBatori wrote:But in Korea, there has always been the desire for reunification


Only among the elderly, who yearn for that they lost 65 years ago. Their number are fast dwindling. Most youngsters have very little appetite for a potentially ruinous re-unification.

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby UlanBatori » 09 Aug 2018 06:55

True that the numbers of the Korean War survivors is fast dwindling. The "young" these days were born after the 1994 Currency Scam that destroyed the Korean economy. They yearn to leave for the US or Oirope and have little attachment to either North or South. Reminescent of urban u-no-hu who are brought up in middle-class comfort versus the ppl who went through the Wars and the climb out of poverty following that. Except that they have the Draft and the Young hate it and will do whatever it takes to dodge it. But anyway, OT and my knawlidj of Korea is on par with that of the NYT New Delhi correspondents aka Village Idiots.

But back to the US: The dangerous gamble that Dilli has to take, is to ignore the sanctions against Iran without being too loud about it. Historic moment for India in this respect. May needlessly biss off DT, then again, it will equally probably, win DT's respect because that's the language he understands: absolutely no respect for anyone who grovels. And it will win Iranian respect and gratitude for a long time to come, whatever that is worth. Maybe enough to break off Baluchistan from terroristan.

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby UlanBatori » 09 Aug 2018 07:17

A rather amazing admission by a guy who has been virtually "postal" against the POTUS

In the last 14 contested Republican primaries where President Donald Trump has endorsed a candidate, his pick has won -- or is leading -- all 14 times........ despite Trump's weak numbers among the general populace, he remains a massively powerful force within the GOP -- someone who can make and break candidacies with a single tweet...Trump offered his conclusion based on Tuesday's results:
"As long as I campaign and/or support Senate and House candidates (within reason), they will win! I LOVE the people, & they certainly seem to like the job I'm doing. If I find the time, in between China, Iran, the Economy and much more, which I must, we will have a giant Red Wave!"


You see why the muscle-flexing and teeth-baring against Eyeran.


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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby Singha » 09 Aug 2018 10:38

wait till AI unmanned drones take over low level policing
heavily armed squad cars could act as motherships for ELO copters to scout out locales and call in ground/air strikes
MAVs would fly into buildings

there is no place to run or hide.

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby UlanBatori » 09 Aug 2018 16:31

{Just noticed that there is a Jio-Politics dhaga to infest instead with South American news. Bredators haven't noticed it yet... :mrgreen: }

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby A_Gupta » 09 Aug 2018 17:50

Too Big To Fail: Disney’s Acquisition Of Fox And How That Impacts The Indian Market
https://swarajyamag.com/business/too-bi ... ian-market

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby Rudradev » 10 Aug 2018 03:27

A good overview of the US' Grand Strategy and Foreign Policy under Trump... and also what is likely to follow if he gets a second term.

https://warontherocks.com/2018/08/crisi ... cond-term/



Among anxious commentators, the defining temptation of the Trumpian moment is to emphasize high drama that eventually leads to a rupture in the Pax Americana. America’s establishment primacists pour obsessively over the president’s tweets and antics. They presume the power of one president’s rhetoric to destroy quickly the post-1945 dispensation, suggesting it must have been fragile to begin with. Old Europe and Putinist Russia form the focus of these lamentations. They point to Trump’s antagonisms with allies such as Angela Merkel’s Germany, his overt coercion of European partners and brute demands that NATO allies pay up for American protection or else, his sinister linkages with Moscow, and his gutting of the State Department. The complaints comport to Twitter word limits. “This is Putin’s dream,” claims Nick Kristof. Wailings from some grandees are ahistorical and shallow.

The United States and its diplomacy, though, is not simply the captive of one demagogic commander-in-chief. It moves on two axes. Trump’s heterodox rhetoric and brutally transactional worldview are only one. The second axis is a long built-up assumption that the United States must lead the world. This entrenched idea determines the legitimacy and standing of those who hold office. It is the core concept of what has become an elite “common sense.” In other words, what we on BRF like to call the US "Deep State" is at least as important in determining US Foreign Policy as Trump himself... if not more. It demands that the United States must be the world’s dominant power; that it must have an outsized military power; that it must be preponderant particularly in the three vital power centers of the world, Europe, the Gulf, and East Asia; that it must exercise dominance through allies whom it must contain and subordinate; that it must strive to prevent “rogue” adversaries from acquiring nuclear weapons; and that it must prize open and expand markets for the penetration of American capital. To alter this structure, shred alliances, retrench security commitments, frame the world not as an American domain but as multipolar spheres of influence, would take more than attention-grabbing statements. It would take a sustained, costly, and fiercely fought political struggle, domestically and abroad.


Thus far, the bottom line about Trump’s presidency is that before he took office, he threatened to govern as an isolationist, but he has not. Instead of addressing the failures of primacy, he is exacerbating them. When running for office, Trump promised to extricate America from unnecessary wars. He toyed with the idea of tolerating others’ nuclear proliferation. He pronounced NATO to be “obsolete.” He took up the slogan of interwar isolationism, “America First.” This worldview persists. He is no convert to the traditional ethos of the Pax Americana. In his contractual view of international affairs, he would prefer to draw down global military deployments. He would prefer not to be bound by alliance commitments. He would rather accommodate other major powers and let them dominate their back yards. He would be content for regional powers to be security providers. And he has no time for the traditional logic that the hegemon pays more than the lion’s share of the defense bill in order to keep allies subordinate.

He has not governed this way. Look beyond the tweets to follow the money and the troops. Trump is aggressively reasserting American primacy, not dismantling it. Rather than bringing the legions home, Trump is reinforcing their central importance, emptying the treasury to strengthen them, and even asking for military parades. Thanks to his deficit-financed military build-up plus his extravagant tax cuts, the annual budget deficit has ballooned by 12 percent since last year, and is projected to rise by an additional $100 billion a year. In the Middle East, Trump has doubled down on America’s bid to remain predominant for the foreseeable future, increasing civilian and military deployments by 33 percent (as of November 2017) along with accelerated arms sales, while strengthening ties with the Saudi bloc and Israel to confront and coerce Iran, America’s main rival in the region. In Asia, Trump has pursued the nuclear disarmament of North Korea while increasingly confronting China about Taiwan, trade, and the South China Sea. We can debate what to call this, but it isn’t isolationism.

The disjuncture between Trump’s anti-traditionalism and American deeds, indeed between Trump and the policy thrust of the executive branch, is most apparent in U.S.-Russian relations. Trump’s notorious words are often contradicted by the details of actual policy. Trump stands accused of treasonous collaboration with Vladimir Putin’s regime, due not only to allegations of electoral interference and private one-on-one meetings, but deferential statements about Russia’s security interests, congratulating Putin on re-election, and suggesting that Russia be invited back to the G-7. But amid the U.S. foreign policy establishment’s fascination for the extent of Trump’s collusion with Putin, its almost Trumpian fixation with televisual optics, and its fondness for grandiose tracts about “world order,” it neglects the prosaic details of concrete commitments.

Consider the totality of American policy towards Russia since January 2017, which is the product of multiple decision-making centers, and some of which is forged despite Trump. Around the infamous Brussels and Helsinki reports, a significant act went under-reported. Before he went to Brussels, Trump addressed the Three Seas Initiative at Warsaw, where he pitched the United States as an alternative energy supplier to Russia, explicitly to break Russia’s gas monopoly, his Energy Secretary presented the United States as an alternative market provider to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Moscow noticed with displeasure. Whether or not Trump threatened to quit NATO, its members are spending evermore on defense, which is not a happy result for Russia. Despite protestations, European states retain powerful incentives to stick with Washington. There are no signs of their abandoning the alliance to rearm independently or bandwagon with other powers.

Consider too other measures. He has appointed hawkish American primacists and Putin critics to Russia-related official posts. He has expanded sanctions, including an expanded Magnitsky list of targets. The Justice Department has forced Russia Today to register as a foreign agent. Trump has expelled Russian diplomats. Trump has armed Ukraine, Romania and Poland. The U.S. has reinforced NATO’s enhanced forward presence in Poland and the Baltic states with increased troop numbers and more exercises, and presided over the expansion of NATO into Montenegro and Macedonia, against Russian efforts to keep its clients in the Balkans and resist E.U.-NATO enlargement, while courting Ukraine and Georgia as future alliance members. The United States also acquires low-yield nuclear weapons with the explicit rationale of competition against Moscow, to remain “top of the pack” among nuclear powers. Trump twice authorized airstrikes against Syria, Russia’s Middle Eastern client state, against Putin’s protests. He also loosened the rules of engagement in Syria, struck Russian troops and mercenaries there and bragged about it. So far, the U.S. refuses to recognize Crimea as part of Russia. Is this Putin’s dream?


Some commentators, like Daniel Vajdich and James Carafano, maintain this confrontational stance is Trump’s own. Carafano attributes Trump’s reassertion of American hegemony to a coherent Trumpian vision, a “large dose of peace through strength: showing strong face to his enemies with military and economic pressure,” while offering them a “chance to stop competing.” This is an elegant explanation. But it overstates the president’s command of the policy process. The picture that emerges is more fraught. A surer verdict must await future archives, but from the pattern of what we can know about the process behind these choices, a reluctant Trump is constrained to maintain a hard-line policy mix. i.e. he finds that he must GUBO to the Deep State.This is despite his public braggadocio and despite his instinctive belief that Washington should delegate anti-Putin countermeasures to Europeans. Similarly, he retains a personal preference for pulling troops out of Afghanistan, South Korea, and Syria. Yet advisors pressed him successfully to maintain the traditional U.S. posture so far. “You guys want me to send troops everywhere,” Trump charged Secretary of Defense Mattis, whose response (“You have no choice”) carried the day. Whatever Trump might say on Twitter or TV, the Deep State unquestionably prevails in determining US foreign policy and grand strategy. On a related note, can you IMAGINE Nirmala Sitharaman telling Modi "you have no choice"??

As well as being subject to constant advice to maintain a tough stance on Russian adventurism, domestic criticism of any conciliation of Russia and the Mueller investigation that the foreign policy establishment has encouraged have led Trump to complain that he “can’t put on the charm” or “be president.” Trump acknowledges that he is boxed in: “Anything you do, it’s always going to be… ‘He loves Russia.’” “I just want peace,” he complained when aides pushed him (successfully) to supply lethal aid to the Ukraine. The White House initially invited Putin to visit Washington, but subsequently postponed the occasion, citing the “Russia witch hunt.” If Trump had his way, as one former official put it, he would purse a “much more open and friendly policy with Russia.” So far, he hasn’t had his way on most first order questions. The environment is too resistant. The actor is not determined enough and doesn’t have enough political capital to spend. True, in the field of economics, Trump’s stoking of trade wars and large leaps in protectionism are a departure from post-Cold War policies, though he adheres to the impulse of creating markets open for American business and on American terms. On security questions, though, if it is hard politically to arrange a Putin visit to the White House, the constraints against doing what Moscow would like, negotiating a “Yalta-2” grand bargain to recognize a Russian sphere of influence — or withdraw from Europe — are strong.


Trump lacks the determination and political capital to bring about a Yalta-2 even if he might personally favour better relations with Russia and a more multipolar world. He will rave and rant but will never actually fight the big fight necessary (against the overwhelming odds of the establishment's worldview) to implement a new paradigm on his own terms. That's because his entire appeal to his base depends on being perceived as a "strong leader" who can impose his will anytime, anywhere.

If he takes on a real fight against the Deep State and loses, that aura will disappear, and he will be revealed as too weak to lay down the law... not just on foreign policy, but on implementing any of his promises (such as "draining the swamp"). All the Twitter bluster is simply a cover-up for his impotence in actually making his personal worldview a reality.

BUT what if Trump wins again in 2020?


Trump may be fortunate that his re-election timetable coincides with the right side of an economic “boom bust” cycle. Were he to win a second term, and especially if the margin was more decisive, the conditions of his presidency would change. If he won big, he would have more political capital to spend. He would feel vindicated by the authority of a second mandate. Term limits would mean that he would no longer need fear election failure. It is possible that Trump “Mark 2” would be more willing to tolerate the costs of introducing major change in American grand strategy.

Consider further the possibility of a major strategic shock, with an impact comparable to the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor in 1941, or the OPEC oil embargo of 1973. By definition, the shape and outline of the shock is unclear. And we can’t know when it would happen. But if the literature on great power decline is sound, it would likely have military and economic dimensions, featuring some fatal interaction of war and debt. The source of the next financial crisis could lie elsewhere, but Trump’s own policies also make more likely what was an implicit tendency, increasing the debt-deficit load and repeating a familiar pattern, whereby a large deficit-financed military build-up, deficit-financed wars (alongside tax cuts) stimulates demand, creates bubbles of irrational exuberance, overheats the economy, and eventually leads to a loss of confidence in markets. This would be followed by a contraction, but this time without the financial reserves that were available to mitigate the last financial crisis. This process could erupt sooner rather than later.

It would take the combination of a strategic shock great enough to discredit the status quo and a determined revisionist president. If so, then these forces might come together, to take the president off the chain, and to create a domestic environment more hospitable to major change. Earlier security shocks, such as the 2008 financial crisis, did not lead in this direction because the Bush administration was averse to retrenching commitments. With Trump or a Trumpian figure in the white house, one response that was once taboo would be on the table: a fundamental retrenchment of overseas commitments, along the lines of Trump’s instincts. It isn’t certain what this will involve, but it would be drastic and imply a different assumption about how to pursue security. It could lead the United States to, for example, withdraw from the Gulf and let Saudi Arabia acquire the bomb, or to acknowledge Russia’s view of its sphere of influence while withdrawing from NATO or decisively repudiating Article 5, or to reduce military expenditure just to the level needed for the United States to deter attacks and defend itself.

American “greatness” would still be Trump’s signature tune, but it would be redefined around liberating America from foreign entanglements, investing in and walling off the country, and an industrial renaissance. To be sure, the American foreign policy class would fight back furiously. But like in the era of Vietnam and the oil embargo, its power and confidence would be diminished. Already scarred by the last global financial crisis, stagnating wages and general alienation, the populace would be more receptive. An emboldened and more risk-prone president would be willing to hire outsiders as officials, less experienced and capable but ideologically attuned to the narrower security vision of “America First.”

All this might be difficult to imagine. But rapid realignments of grand strategy can happen. As I argued, one example is Great Britain’s postwar abandonment of empire. New conditions were inhospitable to the exhausted country maintaining its colonies. These included the cumulative fiscal pressures of World War II, decolonization resistance, the United States’ dismantling of the economic order of imperial preference and the sterling bloc; and the shock of the Suez crisis of 1956, which revealed Britain’s vulnerability to U.S. coercion. Successive British governments were impelled to bow to these pressures once they became overwhelming. They then redefined Britain’s status around alliances and nuclear weapons, presenting retreat from empire as a graceful management of change and casting the emergence of independent countries as “the crowning achievement of British rule.”

If we see a different kind of President Trump unleashed by new conditions, less constrained and more emboldened, in a context where major retrenchment becomes thinkable and attractive, only then will he or his heirs probably try to bring down the priesthood’s temple.



This is why I believe the Deep State Republican Party will do its best to sabotage Trump in 2020. The groundwork is already being laid with the Republicans' most potent financiers, the Koch brothers, publicly pulling away from backing Trump-endorsed candidates in the 2018 midterms. They already have a Trojan horse in the administration... Christian fundamentalist Mike Pence, who is biding his time and carefully avoiding controversy with his boss in the current term. It is very likely that with the first thing that goes wrong... even if it isn't a "shock" of the magnitude described in the article above... a primary challenge will be mounted with the full backing of the Kochs to unseat Trump's re-election bid in 2020.

The Deep State Republicans have a tight leash on Trump for the next two years, and (especially regarding tax cuts, deregulation, the Supreme Court, and other judicial nominations) his current presidency is an advantageous situation for them compared to a Hillary Clinton victory. However, they can't trust that circumstances will not erode their grip on the leash in a second Trump term.

Depending on how the 2018 midterm elections go, the axe could begin to fall as early as this December.

ramana
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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby ramana » 10 Aug 2018 05:51

RD, Thanks for the article. At the core the writer a UK prof argues that Trump is unable to be Trump as he does not have the political capital. And if a new external or internal shock is administered he will revert to 'isolationism' and leave Europe to Putin's mercies.

Its amazing that I was reading Curtis B. Dall, FDR's son-in-law, who described the 1929 crash as induced by European/English(?) bankers and the phrase "Isolationism' was coined in the inter war years to describe an America that does not want to be involved in Europe's affairs. At that time the President was a Democrat now its a Republican. Trump knows the loaded meaning of the phrase isolationism and hence uses nationalist versus globalists. The trade wars are to bring about new trade regimes away from WTO and more on bi-lateral basis. And this will bring severe re-adjustment in US economy. Its possible these tariff wars are to assure his base that he can go to the brink for their support.

This prof is restating the old English playbook of periodic crashing of US economy to bring recalcitrant American leaders to heel.
BTW the object of such crashes is to acquire the post crash assets on the cheap. If you note Trump cabinet consists of $Baires who acquired the assets on the cheap. And somehow the contagion spread to Europe after two years and unraveled EU.
We are there now.
DSR are muddled and really in trouble.

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby chanakyaa » 10 Aug 2018 08:15

Oil price crash of of 2014 was a classic example. From $150 to $27, led to such a drastic readjustment of energy assets around the world that many energy companies went bankrupt, eventually shifting dirt cheap assets in hands of the powerful; who rode it to its former glory 4 years later. Don't believe? just ask Brasil's Petrobras.

Petrobras’ Refinery: So Cheap, Could Venezuela Buy It?

Lalmohan
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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby Lalmohan » 10 Aug 2018 14:36

there is more than one power centre at work in the current admin. there is the republican deep state (or maybe just deep state), then there is the christian right bedrock and then there is the far right

the deep state and the far right are slugging it out for control of the president and i have no doubt the deep state will win

the issue then becomes, what of the christian (white) bedrock? pence is their man, jerusalem recognition was their agenda (even if the jews are incidental to the plan); a long term evanjehadi agenda may well be acceptable to the Rep deep state if it gives them control over the economy and puts the fascists back on their ranches and weekend hideaways

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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby A_Gupta » 10 Aug 2018 16:38

Why is everyone fascinated with Yalta-2? Is this the grand alliance against China?

ramana
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Re: Understanding the US- Again

Postby ramana » 10 Aug 2018 19:15

A_Gupta wrote:Why is everyone fascinated with Yalta-2? Is this the grand alliance against China?


I called it Yalta-2 right on the day the Helsinki meeting occurred. Reason is its similar to the the first Yalta between FDR and Stalin which divided Europe into zones of influence. Churchill was unhappy and started the iron Curtain speech which launched the Cold War as FDR was dead by then.

Reason why this is Yalta-2 in my mind is some modus vivendi on Europe with Russia is needed to rebuild US economy after the 2008 financial collapse. Also other regions and spread of nukes. An important marker was the remark about US-Russia controlling 90% of the world nukes. Lets see.


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