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Politics thread - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside (Read 434,923 times)
Edith Grove
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Re: Politics thread - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside
Reply #4425 - May 23rd, 2019 at 11:48am
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gimmekeef wrote on May 23rd, 2019 at 10:39am:
Id love to track the buying and selling of stock by those insiders at Mar A Lago on Mondays. Hearing Trump talk about sanctions and tariffs I'm sure they got a lot of inside trader info.



Something make you think that's never happened in previous administrations?
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“What rap did that was impressive was to show there are so many tone-deaf people out there,” he says. “All they need is a drum beat and somebody yelling over it and they’re happy. There’s an enormous market for people who can’t tell one note from another.” - Keef
 
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Re: Politics thread - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside
Reply #4426 - May 23rd, 2019 at 2:12pm
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Edith Grove wrote on May 23rd, 2019 at 11:48am:
gimmekeef wrote on May 23rd, 2019 at 10:39am:
Id love to track the buying and selling of stock by those insiders at Mar A Lago on Mondays. Hearing Trump talk about sanctions and tariffs I'm sure they got a lot of inside trader info.



Something make you think that's never happened in previous administrations?



https://media.tenor.co/images/b4afd01ef3ab17714f63d8dcda9d9ef8/raw
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Re: Politics thread - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside
Reply #4427 - May 23rd, 2019 at 9:32pm
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https://www.arcamax.com/politics/mod/davidignatius/s-2211974?fs






" Europeans must accept responsibility for their jihadist 'foreign fighters'
David Ignatius on May 24, 2019 "







" WASHINGTON -- For sheer hypocrisy, it's hard to match the European nations that are refusing responsibility for dozens of their nationals who became jihadist "foreign fighters" over the past five years and are now warehoused in makeshift prisons in northeast Syria.

U.S. officials say that about 2,000 foreign fighters from more than 50 nations are among the roughly 10,000 captured Islamic State fighters held in several dozen ramshackle prisons in Syria. The detention facilities are run by the Syrian Democratic Forces, the Kurdish militia that partnered with a U.S.-led coalition to defeat Islamic State. The other 8,000 captives are Syrian and Iraqi fighters.

The Pentagon and State Department have implored European nations to repatriate their nationals for trial and imprisonment, or at least pay the SDF to hold them temporarily. But so far, most European nations have refused. The SDF warns that it can't imprison them indefinitely and doesn't have laws that would allow formal prosecution in the Kurdish-controlled zone.

"If these prisoners are not going to be taken, what is the endgame?" complained one frustrated Pentagon official in an interview: "What comes next? People haven't thought about it."

The Europeans protest that they don't have adequate laws to try their nationals who committed terrorist offenses on foreign soil, and that they don't have evidence that would stand up in court. They worry, too, that jihadists in European prisons would radicalize other Muslim prisoners, and then be released back into society in a few years, perhaps to commit new terrorist acts.

It's a political problem for Europe, too, explained one European who has talked extensively with officials there about the repatriation issue. "The European Union is in denial," he told me. "The security and interior ministers don't want to hear about it. The Europeans feel that a government that takes them back has no chance for reelection."

The problem isn't just the foreign fighters in the prisons, but their wives and children living in camps. Experts estimate that of the 74,000 people at a huge camp known as Al Hol, about 11,000 may be related to fighters who aren't Syrian or Iraqi.

The European desire for self-protection was epitomized by Ben Wallace, British security minister, who told The Guardian: "I'm not putting at risk British people's lives to go looking for terrorists or former terrorists in a failed state."

The International Committee for the Red Cross, which visits prison and civilian camps in northeast Syria, said in a statement: "Countries of origin cannot turn their backs. People -- especially children -- cannot be made stateless. Faced with this complex problem, moral inertia is not an option."

What peeves some U.S. officials is that the European nations shunning responsibility for Islamic State prisoners have for years been lecturing the United States about its immoral treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Facing a post-conflict dilemma now that's similar to what the U.S. encountered with al-Qaida, the Europeans are ducking the problem.

European castigation of Guantanamo abuses included German Chancellor Angela Merkel's statement that "an institution like Guantanamo can and should not exist" and the European Parliament's demand that the U.S. close Guantanamo "without delay." (These criticisms were gathered by the Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas.)

President Trump tweeted about the problem on April 30, as the last holdouts of the Islamic State were being routed and sent to the overcrowded, underfunded SDF prisons: "European countries are not helping at all, even though this was very much done for their benefit. They are refusing to take back prisoners from their specific countries. Not good!" For once, Trump was right.

But U.S. pleas have yielded little response, especially from Europe. The only countries to accept significant transfers from the SDF prisons are Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Kosovo, Morocco and Bosnia, a Pentagon official said. Some prisoners have also been transferred to Iraq, which has offered to take thousands more, but only if paid.

The SDF, which has limited resources and faces a Turkish threat of attack, has kept holding the prisoners but warned it can't do so indefinitely. Abdulkerim Umer, an SDF representative, told The Associated Press: "We can't put up with this burden alone. ... The international community has evaded its responsibility, so we ask that they help us set up the court here."

European nations talk of some sort of international tribunal for the jihadist prisoners, but there's been no significant movement to make that happen.

Defeating the Islamic State was a worthy goal. Ignoring the prisoners who were captured in that war, and leaving the problem to others, is reprehensible.  "






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Re: Politics thread - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside
Reply #4428 - May 24th, 2019 at 7:28am
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Maybe we really can make America great again.

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Re: Politics thread - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside
Reply #4429 - May 24th, 2019 at 8:43am
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Here ya go Joey...


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Re: Politics thread - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside
Reply #4430 - May 24th, 2019 at 9:00am
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Some Guy wrote on May 24th, 2019 at 7:28am:
Maybe we really can make America great again.

...





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“What rap did that was impressive was to show there are so many tone-deaf people out there,” he says. “All they need is a drum beat and somebody yelling over it and they’re happy. There’s an enormous market for people who can’t tell one note from another.” - Keef
 
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Re: Politics thread - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside
Reply #4431 - May 24th, 2019 at 10:29am
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Song of the Summer-

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Re: Politics thread - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside
Reply #4432 - May 24th, 2019 at 8:55pm
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Some Guy wrote on May 24th, 2019 at 7:28am:
Maybe we really can make America great again.

...


Don't mammaguay, I lose control
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Re: Politics thread - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside
Reply #4433 - May 25th, 2019 at 10:49am
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So now we have Fox "News" showing doctored videos of Pelosi? All the while Trump saying he doesn't do cover ups. Gee Donnie what was your signature doing on that check to Stormy?
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Re: Politics thread - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside
Reply #4434 - May 28th, 2019 at 9:24pm
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<  ------------ Robert Muller Resigns    ---------- No COLLUSION and No OBSTRUCTION !!!!!!    ..................  " SUPREME "  Leader wins AGAIN     ......... We NEVER Get Tired of WINNING !!!!!!!!!!!!!   WIN !!!! WIN !!!!! WIN !!!!!  ............. Drinks Are On Young Joey Tonight    .  :






http://fortune.com/2019/05/29/robert-mueller-resigns-statement/






" Robert Mueller Resigns, Says Charging Trump With Crime Was ‘Not an Option’ .  "








By RENAE REINTS Updated: May 29, 2019 12:08 PM ET




" Announcing his resignation, Special Counsel Robert Mueller said Wednesday that charging President Donald Trump with a crime was “not an option,” citing department policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted.

“Under longstanding department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional,” said Mueller. “Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.”

Mueller also noted that “the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing,” likely referring to Congressional impeachment proceedings.

In Wednesday’s address—Mueller’s first public statement since the start of the roughly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election—the special counsel resigned from his role at the Justice Department and reiterated the findings of his office’s report.

“There were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election,” said Mueller. “And that allegation deserves the attention of every American.”

Mueller emphasized that he would not speak further on the matter, and if he were to testify in front of Congress, no new information would be provided. “The report is my testimony,” he said.

Upon the end of the special counsel investigation in March, Attorney General William Barr released a four-page summary of Mueller’s more than 400-page report, sparking complaints that the AG was attempting to hide evidence that would be unflattering to the president. Indeed, the redacted report, released in April, shows Trump called the Mueller investigation “the end of my presidency” and attempted to thwart the investigation.

In Barr’s summary of the report (which Mueller has previously told him “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions”), he concluded there was not enough evidence to charge Trump with obstruction of justice. This is despite the fact that Mueller’s report specifically states that while it found no conclusive evidence of crime, it “does not exonerate him.”

“If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller said Wednesday, noting his office is appreciative of the fact Barr made the report “largely public.”

Trump, meanwhile, has latched onto the phrase “no collusion,” citing the reports determination that while the Trump campaign may have expected to benefit from Russian interference in the 2016 election, the investigation did not find evidence that the campaign “conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

In response to Mueller’s statement, Trump tweeted, “Nothing changes from the Mueller Report. There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed!”

Others, however, view Mueller’s address as a call for Congress to take action. Senators Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren—both 2020 Democratic candidates—have reiterated their calls for impeachment, citing Mueller’s statement. "




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Reply #4435 - May 28th, 2019 at 9:41pm
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https://www.omaha.com/opinion/noah-feldman-it-s-hard-to-take-impeachment-serious...





" Noah Feldman: It's hard to take impeachment seriously now . "





" Impeachment has jumped the shark. The episode that proves it is the one in which serious, informed politicians are wondering if President Donald Trump actually wants to be impeached for political advantage and is trying to goad Democrats into obliging him.

It would be impossible to imagine a more preposterous scenario under the Constitution and in the history of the presidency. Impeachment was intended by the constitutional framers as a highly serious option reserved for only the most extraordinary, egregious violations of the rule of law. Today's discussion treats impeachment as a trivialized gambit within the ordinary game of electoral politics. The undermining of the constitutional ideal is near-total. It's almost laughable.

To be clear, impeachment itself is and has long been a matter of high seriousness. Not so long ago, Richard Nixon resigned from the presidency to avoid the historic disgrace of being impeached. President Bill Clinton toughed it out, famously. But neither he nor anyone else doubted that his impeachment, however motivated by partisanship, became a permanent stain on his personal and presidential legacy.

Whether you think that Clinton was guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors or not, it mattered enormously that he was just the second president in 200 years to be impeached. The House Republicans pushing his impeachment weren't just saying that they wanted to make it harder for Clinton's vice president, Al Gore, to win the next election. They were making the argument that Clinton was a genuine criminal who had subverted the justice system by lying under oath.

Fast forward 20 years. When critics of the Trump presidency started discussing impeachment almost as soon as he took office, they meant to do much more than achieve some political advantage. Or at least I did. In my role as a constitutional law professor, I wrote several essays trying to make sense of the law, history and theory of impeachment. I went back and read books on the subject going back to the 1970s.

I wasn't alone. Two of my most distinguished colleagues at Harvard Law, Laurence Tribe and Cass Sunstein, each wrote full-length books on the ins and outs of impeachment. Both had worked for President Barack Obama. Yet both went to great lengths to avoid saying that Trump deserved to be impeached on the basis of available evidence. Instead, they provided nuanced analysis of constitutional precedent and logic. The point of the exercise was to help guide the public in a rational, nonpartisan way through the thickets of possible constitutional crisis.

Of course, no scholar or expert would deny that there is a political aspect to impeachment. Some politics is inherent in a constitutional structure that places impeachment responsibility in the House of Representatives and the trial to remove a president in the Senate.

The framers may have been idealistic, but they weren't naive. They knew that elected politicians would not be free of political motivation. Nevertheless, they also made successful impeachment and removal very difficult, precisely to discourage Congress from taking the whole process lightly. They chose words with grand implications -- "high crimes" -- to underscore that removing the president outside of elections must not be undertaken lightly.

Yet somehow, all the talk in the last 2½ years has robbed impeachment of its original serious content and atmosphere. Maybe it's just too many rapid-fire conversations on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, with their constant drumbeat of partisan prediction and preoccupation. We have talked about impeachment in the partisan context so much that we can no longer imagine it as something more than an electoral ploy.

The blame for this development goes to both parties. Since the 2018 midterm election, House Democrats have made it painfully clear that discussing impeachment is primarily or even exclusively a tool to weaken Trump's chances in 2020. You almost never hear a Democrat say, "We have a moral duty to impeach even if it will cost us the election in 2020." Rather, the idea of impeachment and the idea of electoral advantage have become inextricably entwined.

On the Republican side, there has been much gleeful speculation that a Democratic effort to impeach Trump would bring out the Republican base in huge numbers. Trump himself is clearly toying with the possibility that this might be true -- hence his recent efforts that seem to be daring the Democrats into action, or at least making them look like wimps if they don't impeach him.

That leaves us with the preposterous notion that the president could or would somehow bring about his own impeachment to help him get re-elected. Gone is the traditional notion that impeachment itself would be a blot on Trump's reputation. Not that Trump has ever cared much about reputation in the ordinary sense, but he very clearly wants to be remembered as a great president. In his mind, however, being impeached apparently wouldn't stand in the way of his lionization as a leader.

Trump's beliefs about politics and the Constitution are nothing if not a reflection of this instant in time. That he is treating impeachment as mere rhetoric shows that impeachment has lost its sting. That's sad enough for now. It will be much, much sadder in the future, the next time we need impeachment to mean something. "

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Reply #4436 - May 28th, 2019 at 9:48pm
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Reply #4437 - May 28th, 2019 at 10:27pm
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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/24/opinion/trump-elections-india-australia.html







" How Trump Wins Next Year
What’s happened in India and Australia is a warning to the left."







By Bret Stephens
Opinion Columnist



" More than 600 million Indians cast their ballots over the past six weeks in the largest democratic election in the world. Donald Trump won.

A week ago, several million Australians went to the polls in another touchstone election. Trump won.

Citizens of European Union member states are voting in elections for the mostly toothless, but symbolically significant, European Parliament. Here, too, Trumpism will mark its territory.

Legislative elections in the Philippines this month, which further cemented the rule of Rodrigo Duterte, were another win for Trumpism. Ditto for Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election in Israel last month, the election of Jair Bolsonaro as president of Brazil last October, and Italy’s elevation of Matteo Salvini several months before that.

If past is prologue, expect the Trumpiest Tory — Boris Johnson — to succeed Theresa May as prime minister of Britain, too.


In 2016, at a campaign rally in Albany, Trump warned: “We’re gonna win so much you may even get tired of winning. And you’ll say, please, please, it’s too much winning, we can’t take it anymore.”

Tell us about it.


Trump’s name, of course, was on none of the ballots in these recent elections. His critics should take no comfort in that fact.

In India, Narendra Modi won his re-election largely on the strength of his appeals to Hindu nationalism and anti-Muslim sentiment. In Australia, incumbent Scott Morrison ran against the high cost of climate action, including in lost jobs, and won a stunning upset. In the U.K., Trump surrogate Nigel Farage looks like he and his Brexit Party will be the runaway victors in the European elections. In Brazil and the Philippines, the political appeal of Bolsonaro and Duterte seems to be inversely correlated to their respect for human rights and the rule of law, to say nothing of modern ethical pieties.

The common thread here isn’t just right-wing populism. It’s contempt for the ideology of them before us: of the immigrant before the native-born; of the global or transnational interest before the national or local one; of racial or ethnic or sexual minorities before the majority; of the transgressive before the normal. It’s a revolt against the people who say: Pay an immediate and visible price for a long-term and invisible good. It’s hatred of those who think they can define that good, while expecting someone else to pay for it.

When protests erupted last year in France over Emmanuel Macron’s attempt to raise gas prices for the sake of the climate, one gilets jaunes slogan captured the core complaint: “Macron is concerned with the end of the world,” it went, while “we are concerned with the end of the month.”

This is a potent form of politics, and it’s why I suspect Trump will be re-elected next year barring an economic meltdown or foreign-policy shock. You may think (as I often do) that the administration is a daily carnival of shame. You may also think that conservatives are even guiltier than liberals and progressives of them-before-us politics: the 1-percenters before the 99 percent; the big corporations before the little guy, and so on.

But the left has the deeper problem. That’s partly because it self-consciously approaches politics as a struggle against selfishness, and partly because it has invested itself so deeply, and increasingly inflexibly, on issues such as climate change or immigration. Whatever else might be said about this, it’s a recipe for nonstop political defeat leavened only by a sensation of moral superiority.

Progressives are now speeding, Thelma and Louise style, toward the same cliff they went over in the 1970s and ’80s. But unlike the ’80s, when conservatives held formidable principles about economic freedom and Western unity, the left is flailing in the face of a new right that is increasingly nativist, illiberal, lawless, and buffoonish. It’s losing to losers.

It needn’t be this way. The most successful left-of-center leaders of the past 30 years were Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. They believed in the benefits of free markets, the importance of law and order, the superiority of Western values, and a healthy respect for the moral reflexes of ordinary people. Within that framework, they were able to achieve important liberal victories.

Political blunders and personal shortcomings? Many. But neither man would ever have been bested by someone like Trump.

Anyone who thinks the most important political task of the next few years is to defeat Trump in the United States and his epigones abroad must give an honest account of their stunning electoral successes. Plenty has been said about the effects of demagoguery and bigotry in driving these Trumpian victories, and the cultural, social, and economic insecurities that fuel populist anxiety. Not so often mentioned is that the secret of success lies also in having opponents who are even less appealing.

In the contest of ugly, the left keeps winning. To repurpose that line from Trump, “Please, please, it’s too much winning.”






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Reply #4438 - May 29th, 2019 at 8:09am
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Reply #4439 - May 29th, 2019 at 9:10pm
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<  ----------- Some Guy   ?!  .... !!!!!   :








https://www.omaha.com/opinion/cal-thomas-no-credit-where-credit-is-due/article_7...






" Cal Thomas: No credit where credit is due .  "









" The quote is attributed to President Harry Truman, and Ronald Reagan kept it on his desk: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”

It is even more amazing what has been accomplished with the American economy, but Democratic presidential candidates, the media and economists such as Paul Krugman of the New York Times refuse to give President Donald Trump any credit.

Recall that it was Krugman, a Nobel Prize winner, who predicted that Trump’s election would trigger “a global recession.” One continues to wait in vain for an “I was wrong” statement from him.

The Economist, a center-left British magazine that includes coverage of events in the U.S. and is no fan of the Trump administration, recently published a remarkable editorial that contains gems Republicans should quote between now and the next election. They include a strong rebuke to the contention of many Democrats that “working people” are still struggling and that the improved economy continues to benefit only the wealthiest 1 percent.

The bleak picture painted by Democrats, the editorial says, “is at odds with reality.” The Economist refers to a worldwide “jobs boom” and (note to Bernie Sanders and others promoting socialism) asserts that, “Capitalism is improving workers’ lot faster than it has in years ... the zeitgeist has lost touch with the data.”

Noting that U.S. unemployment at 3.6 percent is the lowest in 50 years, the magazine says, “Less appreciated is the abundance of jobs across most of the rich world.”

A more educated population, the matching by websites of jobs to qualified applicants, and, yes, economic stimulus efforts that helped fuel the emergence of economies from the last recession have all contributed to the American economy and many European economies.

Then there is this, which has been the gospel of conservatives for decades when it comes to welfare and its disincentive for many to find work: “reforms to welfare programs, both to make them less generous and to toughen eligibility tests, seem to have encouraged people to seek work.”

This has forced liberal politicians to shift their focus from the unemployed to the “quality” of jobs. British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is quoted as saying, “Our jobs market is being turned into a sea of insecurity.”

“Reality begs to differ,” says the Economist. “Official projections” predict that by 2026, “America will have more at-home careers than secretaries.” Jobs and the skills necessary to fill them are changing, but not so rapidly that workers — and especially younger people — cannot adjust their education and training to match the new requirements.

Wages are rising almost everywhere, and, as the editorial says, tight labor markets “lead firms to fish for employees in neglected pools, including among ex-convicts. … American wonks fretted for years about how to shrink the disability-benefit rolls. Now the hot labor market is doing it for them.”

This is the argument that conservatives, many Republicans and the Trump administration have been making for some time. Economic growth, not government, raises most boats.

While acknowledging that “the jobs boom will not last forever” and that a recession will eventually “kill it off,” the editorial concludes that the economic boom “deserves a little appreciation.”

It deserves more than that and would be more than appreciated if it all happened under a Democratic president. Republicans and the Trump administration should seize on this reality and promote it every day, asking voters if they want to continue with these successful policies or return to low economic growth and fewer jobs.

It is a question Democrats and their policies of higher taxes and reimposed regulations will find difficult, if not impossible, to answer. "





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Reply #4441 - May 29th, 2019 at 9:23pm
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https://www.omaha.com/opinion/karl-w-smith-how-this-trade-war-will-remake-the/ar...






" Karl W. Smith: How this trade war will remake the world .  "








" President Donald Trump has long said the goal of his trade policy is simply to get better deals for Americans. But as the trade war intensifies, it seems increasingly likely that his policies will lead to something more: a lasting break with China and a new alignment of global power.

First, consider the evidence for the break. The current impasse in trade talks was sparked by a sudden change in terms on the part of the Chinese negotiators.

This change likely caught the administration off guard, but Trump’s response is notable: He immediately ramped up tariffs, then announced a ban on business with Chinese telecommunications firm and national champion Huawei Technologies Co.

These actions have backed Chinese President Xi Jinping into a corner and turned the trade dispute into a matter of Chinese national pride.

This limits the possibility not only of a quick resolution, but also of the chances that the Chinese people will accept any concessions to the U.S.

Trump’s handling of this situation stands in sharp contrast to his negotiating strategy on other issues.

Though the president railed against NAFTA throughout his campaign, he’s touted its replacement as a huge success, even though it is only cosmetically different, and he has been willing to suspend his tariffs on Canada and Mexico to ease its passage through Congress.

Likewise, Trump has been more than willing to trumpet his successful negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un even though the evidence for such success is thin.

Meanwhile, the president’s tough talk against Europe and Japan for their trade practices, and against NATO allies for their defense spending, has been mostly bluster.

When it comes to China, however, the president is doubling down.

He has encouraged U.S. supply chains to move out of China and established subsidy programs to cushion farmers from the effects of a protracted trade war.

Which leads to the long-term implications of this battle. A protracted trade war would almost guarantee a global realignment.

Supply chains that run through both the U.S. and China would constantly be subject to disruptions, so global manufacturers would have to decide whether to pursue an America-centric or China-centric strategy.

That’s already the case in the digital sphere, where Chinese restrictions on the Internet divide the world into two parts: that which is served by U.S. tech giants such as Google and Facebook, and that which relies on Chinese firms such as Baidu and WeChat.

China’s threat to cut off U.S. access to rare-earth minerals points to a potential bifurcation in commodities markets as well.

The trend is clear: As China’s economic and geopolitical power grows, countries within China’s sphere of influence will feel increasing pressure to integrate their economies with Chinese supply chains and multinationals rather than American ones.

At the same time, as my Bloomberg Opinion colleague Tyler Cowen points out, the rise of China is a main driver of populist sentiment in the U.K. and Australia.

This creates political pressure in those countries for further isolation from China.

In the U.S., Trump has made it clear that he sees the trade war with China as politically advantageous for him, and he’s probably right.

It’s probably also true that this anti-China sentiment will outlast him.

Add up all these factors, and the U.S.-China trade war looks like the beginning of a profound break in the global order.

As China and the U.S. form two opposing economic and geopolitical coalitions, the rest of the world will be forced to choose.

Maybe the European Union can form a third unaligned pole, as France and Germany’s membership in the EU (and the U.K.’s absence from it) provides them with the negotiating power to avoid falling under the Chinese or American sphere of influence.

Of course, in some ways this type of multipolar alignment would be a return to the past.

The dual-superpower world that existed for much of the second half of the 20th century was always an exception, and the era of American supremacy that began after the collapse of the Soviet Union was never going to last.

Until recently, however, a new kind of bipolar arrangement seemed possible: a kind of competitive partnership between China and the U.S., with the EU playing a supporting role.

The events of the last few weeks have left that looking increasingly unlikely. "




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https://www.arcamax.com/politics/mod/davidignatius/s-2214227






" America is at war, in cyberspace
David Ignatius on May 31, 2019 "










" WASHINGTON -- One of the least-discussed but perhaps most consequential comments by special counsel Robert Mueller in his appearance before reporters this week was his blunt counterintelligence assessment: "Russian intelligence officers, who are part of the Russian military, launched a concerted attack on our political system."

Here's why this judgment is so important: The U.S. military, backed by Mueller's findings and those of the intelligence community, has responded by developing a tough new doctrine to counter cyberattacks by Russia and other rivals. The premise is that our adversaries are engaged in constant cyberassaults against us, and America should adopt a strategy of "persistent engagement."

What this means, basically, is that the United States is now in a low-level state of cyberwar, constantly.

This military response to cybermeddling is entirely independent of the usual headline-grabbing issues that surround Mueller's report, or Trump's angry tweets about it, or whether the House of Representatives will launch an impeachment investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice. Those political debates will continue, but meanwhile, the military is taking the offensive in dealing with the threat that surfaced so dramatically in the 2016 presidential election.

Driving this new strategy is U.S. Cyber Command, the nexus of the military's efforts to combat and deter adversaries, from terrorist groups to Russia and China. It keeps a low profile, but it's worth examining some of its basic policy statements, to get a clearer picture of a conflict that most Americans don't understand, even after more than two years of media fixation on issues surrounding Russian meddling.

Cyber Command initially stated its new strategy in a 2018 directive that had the classically opaque title "Achieve and Maintain Cyberspace Superiority." The central theme was that the military cyberwarriors would take the fight into enemy networks (and the gray zones in between): "We have learned we must stop attacks before they penetrate our cyber defenses or impair our military forces."

Gen. Paul Nakasone, the head of Cyber Command, added more detail in an interview with Joint Force Quarterly early this year. He explained the challenge of "defending forward" in the new state of persistent engagement: "How do we warn, how do we influence our adversaries, how do we position ourselves in case we have to achieve outcomes in the future? Acting is the concept of operating outside our borders, being outside our networks, to ensure that we understand what our adversaries are doing."

The new doctrine was debated at a May 10 Cyberspace Strategy Symposium convened by Cyber Command at the National Defense University in Washington. The ground rules of the debate prohibit quoting any of the speakers by name, but various experts discussed the rules of the new, ongoing war in cyberspace, and whether this continuous, invisible struggle will produce stability and deterrence, or not.

A senior U.S. military officer told the group that cyberwar means deploying U.S. teams abroad, sharing tradecraft and helping allies build resilience. He described persistent engagement as watching and stalking: "Never let your adversary have a moment to hide, breathe, stop." As with any military operation, the goal would be "imposing cost," he said. "Adversaries, until checked, will keep advancing."


These are big, untested ideas, and a much-needed public discussion is just beginning about how these norms of persistent conflict will work. Michael Fischerkeller and Richard Harknett argued April 15 on Lawfare that what has emerged in cyberspace isn't deterrence, but "agreed competition," with "a tacit agreement among states that they will actively pursue national interests through cyber operations ... while carefully avoiding the equivalence of armed attack."

James Miller and Neal Pollard countered on Lawfare that deterrence might work in this new domain, as a kind of "adaptive learning." They cited published reports that Cyber Command disrupted Russian cyberwarriors before the 2018 midterm elections. They concluded: "Risks to the U.S. ... appear to have been reduced, with no apparent blowback or other immediate downsides."

The bottom line, Miller and Pollard argued, is that "effective signaling through military actions ... should ultimately reduce the risk for dangerous escalation."

Reviewing this strategic debate, my worry is that Russian actions in cyberspace look more like intelligence operations than strategic military activities. They exist in a semi-deniable, hard-to-attribute gray zone. They're closer to James Angleton's "wilderness of mirrors" than Herman Kahn's "escalation ladder." If so, a military approach may not fit.

Of all Trump's responses to the Mueller investigation, the most damaging may be the way he downplayed Russian covert meddling in our elections and accepted Russian President Vladimir Putin's claims of innocence. Fortunately, Cyber Command isn't making the same mistake. "








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Reply #4443 - Jun 5th, 2019 at 1:14pm
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Grocery prices are going up, up, up, up. Publix is killing me. Maybe more tariffs will help?


Joey?

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The best? Thoughts?



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https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/30/opinion/lyndon-johnson-vietnam-war.html





" Lyndon Johnson’s Living Room War . "


By Chester Pach











" On May 31, 1967, an ABC news anchor, Frank Reynolds, introduced a film report from Vietnam in an unusual way. He told viewers that they were seeing something unprecedented — a war that television was bringing into their living rooms.

Some TV reports about the war were unsettling, like the story that followed Reynolds’s introduction. It showed a medic’s frantic but futile efforts to save the life of a fallen Marine during a battle at Con Thien, near the demilitarized zone.

Reynolds declared that TV journalists had a responsibility to cover the Vietnam War with “all its horrors,” but their goal was neither to shock viewers nor sensationalize the news. Instead, Reynolds believed that evening’s story showed the deep bonds between American troops in combat.

But President Lyndon Johnson had a very different view.

President Johnson was obsessed with how television covered the war. He monitored the newscasts on banks of three televisions in the Oval Office — one tuned to each major network. He even had them installed in his hospital room when he had gall bladder surgery.

Johnson complained that television’s war coverage was misleading and one-sided. Stories about American artillery barrages that devastated villages or search-and-destroy operations that went awry were common, he insisted, while enemy atrocities went unreported.

The president thought that ABC did a better job of reporting the war than its two major competitors. But what he saw on CBS and NBC so infuriated him that he made the fantastic allegation that those two networks were “controlled by the Vietcong.”

By mid-1967, Johnson worried that TV reporting was so biased against him and the war that it was undermining popular support for his Vietnam policies. He decided that success in Vietnam would have to be achieved in American living rooms, not just on the battlefield.

Johnson was so concerned about TV reporting because he knew that Vietnam was the first war during which a majority of Americans relied on television as their main source of news. In the mid-1960s, most people considered TV “more believable” than newspapers, probably because, as the NBC producer Reuven Frank explained, it could transmit experience. The morning paper might describe the results of a battle; television could show the courage of soldiers or the suffering of distressed civilians.

By the beginning of 1967, all three networks had expanded their evening newscasts from 15 to 30 minutes. Vietnam became the big story on these programs as the number of troops in the country increased to over 400,000 by midyear.

In Vietnam, journalists didn’t have to submit their stories to military censors for clearance as they had during World War II and the Korean War. Information officers thought that they could ensure fair reporting by developing good working relationships with journalists and relying on a policy of “maximum candor consistent with security considerations.”

Military-media relations in Vietnam fell far short of these hopes. In July 1965, Assistant Secretary of Defense Arthur Sylvester told journalists in Saigon, “If you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, you’re stupid.” Reporters soon questioned the reliability of information at the official afternoon briefings about the war, which they disparaged as the “Five O’clock Follies.” When asked in 1967 why there was no news censorship as there had been in previous wars, Johnson replied sardonically, “Because we are fools.”

The president was so concerned about critical news stories that he failed to appreciate that the evening newscasts often showed American victories in battle. He lamented television’s lack of interest in “the fighting man’s compassionate concern for the Vietnamese,” even though features about American troops rebuilding village schools or providing medical care to ailing peasants were staples of TV news.

But he wasn’t wrong, entirely: By mid-1967, the evening newscasts showed that the war was exacting a mounting toll on American troops. A day after the story about the medic and the dying Marine at Con Thien, the weekly casualty report revealed record losses, including 313 Americans killed in action.

It was easy for Johnson to connect the bad news on TV with troubling information in the polls. An enduring misconception is that popular support for Johnson’s Vietnam policies did not crumble until the Tet offensive in early 1968. In fact, as early as January 1967, polls showed that by a margin of 43 to 38 percent (the remainder undecided), Americans disapproved of Johnson’s handling of the war. By July, support for Johnson’s Vietnam policies had fallen to 33 percent.

Many of Johnson’s critics wanted a negotiated settlement or a withdrawal from the war; others advocated stronger military action. Most were probably weary of a war that had become increasingly costly and controversial and had no end in sight. A Gallup Poll in June showed that half of the American people did not understand the purpose of the war. One-fourth doubted that South Vietnam would survive after troops departed.

As spring turned to summer in 1967, there was more bad news from Vietnam on the evening newscasts. For example, the CBS correspondent Murray Fromson reported from Ken Hoa about the chronic problem American advisers had getting South Vietnamese troops to fight aggressively.

Discouraging news also came from Cam Ne, a village that had already produced one of TV’s most sensational stories. Two years earlier, CBS’s Morley Safer had ignited a controversy when he questioned whether Marines burning the huts of anguished peasants during a search-and-destroy operation in Cam Ne was the way to win Vietnamese hearts and minds. In July 1967, NBC’s Howard Tuckner informed viewers that the South Vietnamese government had decided to destroy Cam Ne and move its residents to a new “peace hamlet,” which he described as a “concentration camp.”

Administration officials attributed these depressing stories not to the difficulties of the war or the deficiencies of their strategy but to reporters who were cynical and antagonistic. The problem was journalists who “had a tendency to search for a critical story that might lead to a Pulitzer Prize.”

Johnson took some of the criticism of the war effort personally. When CBS showed a film report in which the correspondent Bert Quint asserted that the war was a stalemate, Johnson charged that Walter Cronkite, the CBS anchor, was out to get him. When the president met with a group of visiting Australian journalists, he declared, “I can prove that Ho Chi Minh is a son-of-a-bitch if you let me put it on the screen.” But the TV networks “want me to be the son-of-a-bitch.”

In late summer, with a presidential campaign season approaching, Johnson decided to make a new effort to persuade the American people that American forces were making progress in the war. He told aides to “sell our product” and “get a better story to the American people.” What the American people saw on television would determine their support for administration Vietnam policies.

Johnson took the lead in selling progress in Vietnam. He dismissed TV reports about a stalemated war while insisting that official reports showed American troops were achieving their objectives. In a November news conference that many observers considered one of his most effective performances on television, Johnson traced an upward slope with his hands while asserting, “We are making progress.” Other prominent civilian and military officials appeared on camera with the same message. For example, Gen. William Westmoreland traveled to Washington and told an audience at the National Press Club that “we have reached the point where the end begins to come into view.” Continued progress would allow American troops to begin coming home within two years.

But television reports from Vietnam often challenged these confident assessments. In a story about the death of an American soldier in a firefight near the coastal town of Hoi An, CBS’s John Laurence questioned what the war was accomplishing. “There are a hundred platoons fighting a hundred small battles in nameless hamlets like this every week,” Laurence declared. “And in the grand strategy of things, this firefight had little meaning for anyone but the redheaded kid who was killed there.” ABC’s Roger Peterson offered his own skeptical assessment as he prepared to return home after months of reporting from Vietnam. He found the South Vietnamese government “as corrupt and inefficient as its predecessors” and predicted that its army might require “a decade or two” to be “an effective fighting force.”

Despite such critical stories, the Johnson administration had used television to achieve some success in American living rooms during the final months of 1967. Polls showed declining popular discontent with the president’s Vietnam policies and rising confidence that Americans troops were making progress in the war. The Johnson administration had achieved those results by raising expectations of continued good news from Vietnam. In early 1968, the Tet offensive shattered those expectations. Television brought the Tet offensive “with all its horrors” into American living rooms in shocking and sensational ways.

Michael Arlen popularized the term “living-room war” while writing for The New Yorker during the 1960s. Arlen praised much of the reporting from Vietnam, but wondered how much three-minute stories contributed to public understanding of the war. A half-century later, we have no conclusive proof that television had a decisive effect on public attitudes toward Vietnam.

We do know, however, that TV reports made a deep impression on one crucial viewer, Lyndon Johnson. Johnson was the first president, but hardly the last, who thought that what people saw on television might be as important as what actually happened on the battlefield. "


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

Chester Pach is a professor of history at Ohio University and is the editor, most recently, of “A Companion to Dwight D. Eisenhower.”
















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Re: Politics thread - Enter at your own risk! Warning… Bullcrap inside
Reply #4449 - Jun 7th, 2019 at 3:59pm
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So, Governor Blockhead signed a new abortion bill. All the movie studios are threatening to leave Georgia. Where do you stand on this?
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