Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
As the following excerpted article discusses, Trump's backing out of the TPP is a classic political ploy, taking credit for something that was essentially a fait accompli, discussed in the first part of the article. Obama clearly handed Trump a gift on this one. The prior section also talks about the China card which Obama played with the TPP in its death throes, so there was nothing left to squeeze from it. Obama had nothing to gain by giving it the final axe, so he handed it off to der Grop'n Fuhrer.

Mentioned in the excerpt is the ACA, and for all its faults I can not for the life of me figure out why Obama and his team played into the name Obamacare, when the majority of its ignorant critics generally liked the features of the ACA. Like our fraudulent Federal Reserve money system, the insurance companies depend upon massive participation to overcome the burden of high cost, sick individuals. For this and other reasons, it seems to have been doomed for its current fate, a death of a thousand cuts. Now Trump and even the Republicans are saying that 'everyone' will have 'access' to health care. What does 'access' mean? Where are the death panels now?

We need to understand today's announcement as entirely empty political entertainment, which is classic Trump. As I pointed out last spring, Trump has a finely-tuned huckster's ear. He understood that railing against so-called "free trade," particularly the horrendous Bill Clinton-era North American Free Trade Agreement, would reap political benefits, particularly in a number of states where those bad deals laid waste to good-paying, unionized industrial jobs.

But Donald Trump has never cared about the average worker. In fact, Trump biographer Michael D'Antonio, who has spent many hours with his subject, told me in a recent podcast, that Trump is quite content to do the worst to the little guy — witness the thousands of lawsuits filed against Trump for ripping off average people who worked for him.

In the current political environment, Trump wants his grandiose signature withdrawing from the dead-as-a-doornail TPP to distract people from extinction-level, imminent threats facing working Americans from this Administration. Just his repeal of the Affordable Care Act would do far more immediate damage to people than the TPP: it would leave millions of people without health care, and bankrupt families socked with immoral health care bills.

His income cut tax plans would shovel $2.1 trillion into the pockets of the wealthiest Americans, leaving society less able to pay for basic needs. He has already promised corporations an almost free pass to repatriate hundreds of billions of dollars that will, if past practice is a guide, create very few jobs but end up ballooning CEO paychecks and benefits.

His designated minions waiting to get the keys to the departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services (HHS) are hell-bent on applying a blowtorch to minimum wage laws, workplace safety, school funding and a whole raft of human services, not to mention killing unions, who built the middle-class.

All of these policies will likely keep at bay, for now, the corporate lobbyists, the Chamber of Commerce and Republicans, who viewed rock-solid support for so-called "free trade" as a fundamental principle of the Republican Party. Their sorrow at the setback in the march to impose corporate trade deals will be assuaged by the glitter of the vast riches about to shower on the elites as Donald Trump, slowly but surely, dismantles any semblance of fairness in America.

Also, note that the $2.1 trillion dollar tax cut, mostly for the richest, does not include the $2.5 trillion tax holiday for repatriated foreign dollars. As was mentioned in the Robert Reich documentary, Inequality for All, by a high tech billionaire, that billionaires are not efficient 'job creators'. This is because they only re-invest a small portion of their profits. Besides buying additional mansions and yachts, today they like to put their excess money in non-productive (for society) monitization investments, i.e. making money on money.

Ironically, the greatest growth of the USA, especially for the middle class, was when personal income tax rates had a peak marginal rate of 90%. This induced large business owners to re-invest their company profits into growing the concern, rather than cashing out. Unfortunately, this is too counterintuitive for the average superficial person to consider, who would never have to face 90% income tax rates in their dreams. And no thanks to Ayn Rand.

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Yes, this HAD to happen, since Trump has refused to resolve the situation properly. After all, he cannot divorce his children, short of killing them. But he's even bringing some of them into the WH offices to work on policy matters. And they are hawking Ivanka's and Melania's wares, the latter on the WH website.

Start the impeachment now, and include Pence in the charges. He should be impeached for knowing this would happen.


Washington, DC—Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is bringing a federal lawsuit to stop President Trump from violating the Constitution by illegally receiving payments from foreign governments. The lawsuit will be filed in the Southern District of New York when the court opens at 9 AM on Monday.

The foreign emoluments clause of the Constitution prohibits Trump from receiving anything of value from foreign governments, including foreign government-owned businesses, without the approval of Congress.

“We did not want to get to this point. It was our hope that President Trump would take the necessary steps to avoid violating the Constitution before he took office,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said. “He did not. His constitutional violations are immediate and serious, so we were forced to take legal action.”

Since Trump refused to divest from his businesses, he is now getting cash and favors from foreign governments, through guests and events at his hotels, leases in his buildings, and valuable real estate deals abroad. Trump does business with countries like China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines, and now that he is President, his company’s acceptance of any benefits from the governments of those countries violates the Constitution. When Trump the president sits down to negotiate trade deals with these countries, the American people will have no way of knowing whether he will also be thinking about the profits of Trump the businessman. ...

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Mentioned in the excerpt is the ACA, and for all its faults I can not for the life of me figure out why Obama and his team played into the name Obamacare, when the majority of its ignorant critics generally liked the features of the ACA. Like our fraudulent Federal Reserve money system, the insurance companies depend upon massive participation to overcome the burden of high cost, sick individuals. For this and other reasons, it seems to have been doomed for its current fate, a death of a thousand cuts. Now Trump and even the Republicans are saying that 'everyone' will have 'access' to health care. What does 'access' mean? Where are the death panels now?

Below, a Federal judge finds that Aetna has played fast and loose with the health insurance of 20 million Americans. The Republicans squealed like pigs about government death panels which never seemed to have arrived, but they never say anything about private insurance company 'death judges' who singly get to determine if you are too expensive to provide procedures for. The more procedures they deny, the bigger the house the death judges can afford. This after they had already cherry picked you as a low cost customer from the larger pool. So what will Trump and his chimpigs pull out of their hats to provide 'access' to all?

In private talks with the DOJ, Aetna executives continually linked the two issues, even while they were telling Wall Street that the merger was “a separate conversation” from the exchange business. Bertolini seemed almost to take the DOJ’s hostility to the merger personally: “Our feeling was that we were doing good things for the administration and the administration is suing us,” he said in a deposition.

Bates found “persuasive evidence that when Aetna later withdrew from the 17 counties, it did not do so for business reasons, but instead to follow through on the threat that it made earlier.”

The threat certainly was effective in terms of its impact on the Affordable Care Act, since Aetna’s withdrawal has become part of the Republican brief against the law. That it says so much more about Aetna executives’ honesty and integrity probably won’t get cited much by GOP functionaries trying to repeal the law. Aetna is at least partially responsible for placing the health coverage of more than 20 million Americans in jeopardy; that it did so at least partially to promote a merger that would bring few benefits, if any, to its customers is an additional black mark. ...

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Trump made his first official visit as president and it was to the CIA to tell them how much he loves and respects them. He gave one of his trademark rambling stream of consciousness speeches and it seemed strangely well received by an audience full of supposed professional spies. He ended by telling them that he'd need a bigger room next time and "maybe it'd be built by people who know how to build and we won't have all these columns, you understand that?" (I don't, I'm not a spy but I can only assume he's alluding to freemasons and the Romanesque "architecture" of America.) The whole thing just seemed strange but maybe that's just how things are going to be now in the age of Trump: strange.

CBS News confirmed reports that President Donald Trump brought a studio audience to his visit with the CIA on Saturday. The news agency reports that an official said the visit left a wake of “unease,” “made relations with the intelligence community worse,” and was “uncomfortable.”

Intelligence people were “stunned” and “offended by the president’s tone,” CBS reported U.S. government sources tell CBS News that there is a sense of unease in the intelligence community after President Trump’s visit to CIA headquarters on Saturday.”

Also, Trump did bring cheering props, which fits with how he has operated previously in requiring a cheering section – a sort of laugh track of supportive extras like those his campaign hired for his announcement event. It has been confirmed by Trump insiders that the President loves props.

“Authorities are also pushing back against the perception that the CIA workforce was cheering for the president. They say the first three rows in front of the president were largely made up of supporters of Mr. Trump’s campaign,” CBS continued.

The crowd was filled out with about 40 Trump invites and also, the front rows were senior CIA who were not cheering (on the video you can see their heads pivot to the cheers and laughter while not joining in), “An official with knowledge of the make-up of the crowd says that there were about 40 people who’d been invited by the Trump, Mike Pence and Rep. Mike Pompeo teams. The Trump team expected Rep. Pompeo, R-Kansas, to be sworn in during the event as the next CIA director, but the vote to confirm him was delayed on Friday by Senate Democrats. Also sitting in the first several rows in front of the president was the CIA’s senior leadership, which was not cheering the remarks.”

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
The following link presents a very long listing of Trump scandals. All these are besides his ostensibly legitimate current businesses which he is yet subject to conflicts of interest as President. Each subsection has extensive links to other reporting.

Imagine the numerous private and foreign intelligence dossiers that had to exist before the election, separate from the curious Watersportsgate dossier.

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Der Grop'n Fuhrer, aka Agent Orange, campaigned to his Tea Party populist core that he would keep us out of expensive wars. But as the following excerpted article discusses, his 'other' statements, before and after the election, strongly belie this claim. One might take any one of the aspects mentioned and be inclined to dismiss them, but the totality is rather disturbing. The article does not include the explicitly stated (to a Vatican audience no less) goal of his top strategic advisor, Steve Bannon, to launch a holy war. And let's not forget his apocalyptic CIA Director and General Flynn, at least.

Maybe Trump's and Bannon's plan is to get the Catholic Church to pay for the holy warz, but the church has been paying out a lot for its institutional child molestation. On the other hand, Trump seems to be digging at NATO countries to pay protection money. Odd, because he's on such good terms with Mr. Putin.

The last sentence of the article is key to me as to how this is all going to play out. This scenario did not play out well for Napoleon, Hitler, and Mussolini but the globalist Hidden Hand achieved its objectives, you can be sure. In each case the complaints of the common man were first exacerbated, then stoked to a nationalist frenzy, where the faux populist could easily be inserted. The 'Fopulist' then burns his country to the ground, leaving the wider world more open to the Final Global Solution.

Mussolini, or his body double, ended up hanging upside down and naked on a meat hook. Hitler was dubiously burned to a crisp, and the little emperor supposedly ended up on an ironically named island, St. Helena. In this case, Trump has plenty of foreign resorts to take refuge in, albeit he doesn't really own them. This is good for him as a hideout network, as they won't be repossessed, just renamed.

The Pentagon adamantly denied that the U.S. military was currently helping Russia in Syria, where the Russian military has been accused by the U.N. of committing war crimes by using bunker-busting and incendiary bombs on civilian populations. Spicer didn’t mention any of that, but Trump is undoubtedly unconcerned since his strategy is the same: “Bomb the shit out of them.”

As for “taking the oil,” which is a suggestion Trump has repeated for months (including as recently as Saturday when he told the CIA officials they “might get another chance at it”) even conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer was taken aback, correctly noting that “seizing the oil is a war crime.”

If you have listened to Trump talk about China over the past 18 months, it is clear that he is not simply talking about a potential trade war but is prepared to confront the world’s largest nation militarily. In his confirmation hearings, secretary of state-designate Rex Tillerson made it clear that he agreed with Trump that the U.S. would not allow China to build military bases on islands in the South China Sea, and Spicer made that official yesterday:

I think the U.S. is going to make sure that we protect our interests there. If those islands are in fact in international waters and not part of China proper, then yes, we’re going to make sure that we defend international territories from being taken over by one country.

Does that sound like any definition of “isolationism” you’ve ever heard?

When Donald Trump says “America First,” he really means “We’re No. 1.” He talks incessantly about “winning,” so much we’ll be begging him to stop. He openly declares that he believes in the old saying “to the victors belong the spoils,” either suggesting that he has no clue about the West’s colonial past and how that sounds to people around the world or simply doesn’t care. He’s not talking about isolationism but the exact opposite — American global dominance without all those messy institutions and international agreements standing in the way of taking what we want.

No, Trump is not an isolationist. He’s not a “realist.” Neither is he a liberal interventionist or a neoconservative idealist. He’s an old-fashioned imperialist. He wants to Make America great again by making it the world’s dominant superpower, capable of bullying other countries into submission and behaving however we like. He doesn’t seem to understand that the world won’t put up with that.

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Der Grop'n Fuhrer, that guy that doesn't want us to get involved in more expensive 'warz', wants to re-institute what most sane people acknowledge as unhelpful, and worse, acts to encourage radicalization and recruitment for our 'enemies'. Further below the first excerpt is Sen. McCain's tepid statement against Trump doing this. Maybe no one told McCain, Mr. Good Cop today, that Trump's national security team are all holy warriors, who are certainly glad to have an enemy to fight against. What good it is to give a holy war and nobody comes?

Don't we already have enough, from the very first microsecond, to impeach this traitor? Problem is, that too many in Congress are on board, loudly or not, wittingly or not, with the religious agenda. The agenda hidden behind Agent Orange's carnival barker antics.

The draft order would not immediately allow the CIA to resume the use of so-called “enhanced-interrogation techniques” (EITs) prohibited by the Army Field Manual. Congress later codified the Obama administration rule in statute, and that law remains in place.

But the draft order says that high-level officials should conduct reviews and offer recommendations to Trump.

Among the targets of those reviews: Whether the field manual should be changed and “whether to reinitiate a program of interrogation of high-value alien terrorists to be operated outside the United States” by the CIA — including any “legislative proposals” necessary to revive the program.

Trump has in the past offered a full-throated endorsement of a return to the use of techniques many decry as torture — like waterboarding and “a hell of a lot worse” — because “torture works” and “if it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway.” ...

From McCain:

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today on reports that President Trump will sign an executive order directing a review of interrogation policies:

“The President can sign whatever executive orders he likes. But the law is the law. We are not bringing back torture in the United States of America.

“On June 16, 2015, the United States Senate voted 78-21 to adopt an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 that reaffirmed the prohibition on torture by limiting interrogation techniques to those in the Army Field Manual. The Army Field Manual does not include waterboarding or other forms of enhanced interrogation. The law requires the field manual to be updated to ensure it ‘complies with the legal obligations of the United States and reflects current, evidence-based, best practices for interrogation that are designed to elicit reliable and voluntary statements and do not involve the use or threat of force.’ Furthermore, the law requires any revisions to the field manual be made available to the public 30 days prior to the date the revisions take effect.

“During both our personal conversations and his confirmation hearing, CIA Director Mike Pompeo repeatedly committed to me that he will comply with the law that applies the Army Field Manual’s interrogation requirements to all U.S. agencies, including the CIA. In response to written questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said he ‘supports using the Army Field Manual as the single standard for all U.S. military interrogations.’ I am confident these leaders will be true to their word.”

Of course, when the manual gets revised, ...

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Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
It appears that with Kellanne Con Way's Newspeak invokation of "alternative facts", initiated by a seemingly vain debate about the size of the inaugural crowd, that the famous book of Orwell's, 1984, is now number one on Amazon.

I was made to read that book in high school. Some time later I have long wondered why? While I generally agree with the sentiments of the below excerpted article, I do take exception with Orwell's presented notion (within the excerpt from 1984 within the article excerpt) of the Nazi and Communist regimes intentions. To me these were all Machiavellian Realpolitik writ large on the global stage, preparing us for THIS, and what is to flow from that. The result of such as Orwell's construction allows us to think that the topical 'history' that watch unfold, or be revealed, before us is all organic and the serial happenstance of Postmodernist framing. If randomness was at work, we could not possibly have such as so many Jesuits and Goldman Sachs people in the administration of a man who might otherwise be competing for the title of AntiChrist. And then there are his other holy warriors, like DeVos and Pompeo. But maybe Agent Orange is more like the Christ we know from Caesar's Messiah? Or he is a false messiah, leading up to a later big finale?

The terrifying Age of Trump has begun with the celebration of "alternative" facts, gag orders on civil servants, journalist harassment and arrests, the disappearance "inconvenient" government data on climate change, proposals to eliminate government departments that support inconvenient programs (for women and minorities) or produce "inconvenient" data that would not adhere to the "party" line. These opening moves are strands of a narrative that is being woven into a mythical reality designed to enable Mr. Trump to establish and maintain unrivaled personal power. These bold power moves underscore a prescient message from George Orwell's masterpiece, 1984, published in 1949 and once again on the bestseller list..

Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.

That chilling passage from a great work of literature, of course, had real world roots and has real world ramifications. Orwellian empowerment depends in large measure upon the more chilling reality of "The Big Lie." In the words of Joseph Goebbels:

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State. ...

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
In support of my just previous post regarding Orwellian disinformation, we should be looking at the real meaning of President Tweet's twit storm, and what it is really about.

“I think people out there are feeling terrified and they’re feeling unsupported, and they want us to feel as desperate as the people we’re here to represent,” said the Hawaii senator. “My argument to this is people got persuaded that this administration and these Republicans were going to fight for regular folks. And they’re not. It was a lie.”

“I think our argument has to be, ‘They’re screwing you,’” Schatz added.

To make that argument stick, Senate Democrats believe, they have to find the right battles first. Sometimes that means separating the substance from the noise, like not reacting to every eyebrow-raising comment from Trump’s Twitter account or to every gaffe by his nominees (like one who said guns are needed in schools to protect students from grizzly bears).

While a showdown over Carson may be viscerally satisfying, one top Senate Democratic aide said, the better play is to spotlight instances when a nominee is directly threatening Trump’s supporters. It’s no coincidence that Democratic leaders have been hyper-focused on health and human services secretary nominee Tom Price, treasury secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin and education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos. Democrats believe these nominees help them make the case that a Trump administration will cut health care, screw over homeowners and gut public education.

I think our argument has to be, 'They’re screwing you.' Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)

“We cannot follow every tweet," said Matt Canter, a former communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which helps elect Senate Democrats. "I think we have to figure out what this man is going to do first... Every morning we wake up with our heads spinning and that's exactly how he wants it to be. It's a problem we can't allow to happen. " ...

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Ka Ching!!!

As the article states, members will now get to rub elbows with Agent Orange at what will become his Bergdesgarten retreat.

Donald Trump's Florida resort Mar-a-Lago has been accused of cashing in on his presidential victory.

On Jan. 1, the resort doubled its initiation fee to $200,000, people close to the resort first told CNBC. The resort, which is owned by the Trump Organization, has allegedly been considering an increase since before the election. The initiation fee has been $100,000 since 2012.

But, CNBC reports, the overall cost to be a member at Mar-a-Lago is actually more than $200,000 thanks to an additional $14,000 members pay in annual dues—plus tax. ...

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Everthing in this article below is true, but again, perhaps this is exactly what Trump and his Jesuit brain (Flynn mentioned below) trust wants.

Taken as a whole, these policies and utterances risk straining critical alliances and prompting blowback, terrorism experts argue. Researchers in the field have warned for years against creating the impression of a broad clash of civilizations, with the U.S. as a Christian superpower battling Islam. They note that Trump’s rhetoric on the campaign trail already showed the risks inherent with such a framework.

“When Trump says hateful things about Muslims, it proves that jihadists are right to fight against the West, because the West is against Islam,” one ISIS fighter told researchers writing for Foreign Affairs magazine last summer. Earlier in the year, The Associated Press found that an al Qaeda-affiliated recruitment video featured footage of Trump suggesting a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. And the then-candidate’s constant questioning of Muslims’ place in Western societies has lined up neatly with ISIS’s long-stated goal of destroying “the grayzone” of religious coexistence and convincing more and more Muslims to see violent radicalism as their only chance to assert themselves.

Prior to Trump’s inauguration, ISIS had used his image twice in montages showing Western leaders whom Muslims should oppose, according to Charlie Winter, a senior research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation.

After Trump’s election, observers hoped that the gravity of the office would dull his rhetoric. But the first week has only worsened matters, analysts say.

Trump has offered renewed hope to terror groups weakened by a two-year U.S. campaign in Iraq and Syria, according to Clint Watts, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute think tank and veteran of the U.S. Army, FBI and Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. He believes that both al Qaeda and the Islamic State could feel incentivized to attack the West in hopes of provoking an overreaction, drawing the U.S. into unwinnable wars and proving themselves more worthy of fresh support than groups more concerned with local conflicts in the Muslim-majority world. Watts also called Trump’s selection of aides with hard-line views on Islam, likeNational Security Adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a worrying sign.

“It creates this clamping down … it confirms al Qaeda and ISIS narratives,” he told The Huffington Post. “The Trump narrative really entices the globalists [in the terror movement who say] you cannot go at this without taking the West out, dismantling and pushing back the West.”...

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
The following excerpted article discusses Trump's actions and positions of the free trade agreement issues. It should be noted that the TPP excluded China as a member, as its aim was supposedly to mitigate against the influence of China. Thus Trump's unilateral backing out of TPP is seen as a victory for China, now able to further fill a vacuum of influence. This is the same reason that the Russians are happy with a Trump presidency, among other reasons.

With Trump looking to alienate global Islam, is this wise to further isolate the USA from its traditional allies, all in the name of appeasing his disgruntled nationalist zealots. The latter of which, Trump is showing that he doesn't really give a damn about, except to use them as chum in the water.

The article's conclusion, not excerpted, has some ironic comments about nationalism vs. globalism, especially in the context of my claiming that America's nationalists (and Islam) are sardonically being framed as the radical Zealot's of yore.

Most Asia experts regard that as an unlikely outcome. Rather than coveting membership in the T.P.P., China is keen to promote a rival pact, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, in which it plays a prominent role. Either way, Trump’s accession to office presented the Chinese with a big opportunity. At the World Economic Forum, last week in Davos, Xi Jinping, China’s President, portrayed China as a fervent defender of free trade and open markets, saying that “globalization has powered global growth and facilitated . . . advances in science, technology and civilization.” Backing up Xi’s speech, a senior official in the Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday, “If it’s necessary for China to play the role of leader, then China must take on this responsibility.”

There is something ironic here. On numerous occasions, Trump has vowed to check China’s growing economic and strategic power, which, in his zero-sum view of the world, represents a grave threat to the United States. But he has now scuttled a trade agreement that the Bush and Obama Administrations both saw as a vehicle to bolster American influence in the Pacific region, to define the rules of the economic game in ways favorable to the United States, and to provide some counterweight to China’s economic influence.

Neither Bush nor Obama had spelled out this last aim, but it was well understood by all the participants, and by many T.P.P. supporters in Congress. One of them, Senator John McCain, called Trump’s decision this week “a serious mistake that will have lasting consequences for America’s economy and our strategic position in the Asia-Pacific region. . . . And it will send a troubling signal of American disengagement in the Asia-Pacific region at a time we can least afford it.”

The question, now that Trump has junked the T.P.P., is how he will deal with Beijing. On trade issues, he evidently intends to go one on one and demand big concessions. Last week, Wilbur Ross, his Commerce Secretary, described China as “the most protectionist of very large countries.” But the Chinese are likely to insist that any American complaints be dealt with through the W.T.O. If Trump responds by threatening to impose hefty tariffs on goods produced in China, he could well cause a crash in the global financial markets. And that would be just the beginning.

The new Administration is also indicating that it might challenge China militarily in the South China Sea, where China has asserted sovereignty over some small islands that are located in international waters. On Monday, Sean Spicer, Trump’s spokesman, said, “We’re going to make sure that we defend international territories from being taken over by one country.” In response, a Chinese foreign-ministry official said on Tuesday, “We urge the United States to respect the facts, speak and act cautiously to avoid harming the peace and stability of the South China Sea.”

It is perhaps too early to read very much into this verbal jousting. But when you combine Trump’s disregard for multilateral agreements and organizations (which also seems to extend to NATO and the European Union) with his appetite for challenging countries, institutions, and people on an individual basis, it is hard not to be concerned about where things are heading—and not just with China. ...

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
The following excerpt is from an interesting analysis wondering how Trump's base will respond if he keeps acting against their interests, even if he said he was going to do just so in some cases. There are some comments from such voters provided, but in any case I suspect that Trump will initially make the "trains run on time" just like Hitler and Mussolini did. And thus, he will garner continued support from his rabid base, even though many will lose out. For instance the new Trumpfactories will be highly automated. Much of our food will become much more expensive, etc..

What I have excerpted from the article are some more general observations on how such voters are manipulated, via 'divide and conquer' political strategies. These operate on manipulating long held biases, that allow individuals to psychologically dismiss counterfactuals to their positions.

Very specific to my concerns is the notion of Trump's pandering to Crony Capitalism in various manners. This running directly against the grain of the Tea Party ideals, AND those of Steve Bannon, Trump's chief Strategic Adviser. The latter taken from Bannon's Internet speech delivered to the Vatican, where he also advocated against Crony Capitalism and for some undefined Christian Capitalism, that looks out for the interests of all. 'All' that is, once the Muslims and Secular humanists are cleansed from the Earth in his desired holy war apocalypse.

And so I am guessing that Christian Capitalism is when everyone goes to Church, the restored true Church, and pays their ten percent tithe. Then the church doles this out to the needy. Of course, the only needy will be of the faithful, as Bannon, per the notions in the Bible's book of Revelation says everyone, not of the faithful, will be cleansed from our presence. Similarly, the Romans famous bread dole was delivered only to Roman 'citizens'. As I just pointed out on another thread, many of these citizens of the imperium, at least, were ethnically diverse and even former slaves, but they had to conform to the mono-culture of the imperium. Which morphed into the offices of the Church, ... who now controls all the branches of American governance, once not long ago, strictly mainline Protestant.

And so, as I have wondered previously, what is this key economic disconnect between Trump's team of holy warriors and Trumpism? Does this bode well for Trump's longevity in office, albeit caused by slightly different dynamics that the article suggests? Or is Bannon and his Christian Capitalism just a fig leaf to buy time, till the Crazy Train derails?

Similarly, the excerpt invokes Fox News, as providing key support to the Trump base, albeit there was some faux shade in pitting them against the "alt-right' people like Bannon. Fox is now strongly back in the Trump bandwagon, but Rupert Murdoch is yet a globalist, and faux, fast tracked American 'citizen'. The Fox Channel frequently provides culturally 'degenerate' programming 180 degrees in opposition to the Fox News moralizers.

There are many explanations for why a voter would might choose a candidate who is likely to do that person harm. The American electorate, to put it kindly, is not particularly sophisticated. The country’s schools are broken: A high percentage of graduates of either high school and college lack critical thinking and reading skills. Many graduates also cannot read and properly evaluate a newspaper editorial, or discern if a story is from a reputable source or is “fake news.” Voters also privilege different issues in their calculations. For committed conservatives, winning the “culture war” may be more important than basic pocketbook or bread-and-butter issues.

Social scientists have repeatedly shown the ways that American voters reason backward from their conclusions and ignore inconvenient information. The vast majority of Trump voters received their information from Fox News: Disinformation and lies are taken as truth; the phenomenon of circular and self-limiting knowledge that social scientists call “epistemic closure” creates right-wing political zombies. Racism, authoritarianism, bigotry and ethnocentrism are a toxic (and politically intoxicating) mix.

And perhaps the most basic truth is that Trump’s voters simply wanted to elect a human grenade as president. They pulled the pin and then forgot to run away from the explosion, likely because they were fascinated by the spectacle and eager to witness the harm that they believed Trump would do to their enemies.

As philosopher Henry Girioux has repeatedly warned, the “dead zone of capitalism” will only be expanded by Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s obsessive advancement of predatory capitalism and austerity. Red state America is already economically unproductive and parasitic, largely dependent on the taxes and economic activity generated in blue state America. As such, Trump’s policies will disproportionately punish his greatest supporters.

Well-intentioned liberals and progressives insist that we should empathize with Trump’s semi-mythical “white working-class” voters. These progressive and liberal dreamers reference examples of interracial alliances that struggled to advance shared class interests. Of course such alliances across the color line have occurred in the United States. The United Mine Workers union offers an important example of interracial, if uneven, collaboration and cooperation. At times, white and black sharecroppers across the South and elsewhere worked together against the planter-class plutocrats of the 19th and 20th centuries. In Texas, the “white scourge” of cotton was indeed king, but laborers — whites and people of color — found ways to work together to advance their shared economic interests.

Unfortunately, such interracial alliances are not common in American history. Poor and working-class white Americans have all too often chosen the psychological and material “wages of whiteness” instead of allying with people of color in the same economic class, even when the latter option would have lifted all boats. These white Americans were not tricked or hoodwinked or conned or bamboozled. They made a decision that loyalty to whiteness took precedence to a shared sense of humanity and the common good. This is a persistent feature of American history from long before the founding of the republic through the era of Donald Trump. ...

Similar divisive ploys are a persistent feature of history - period.

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
The following excerpted article discusses the possibility of a soft deposing of the Grop'n Fuhrer. It must be initiated by Pence, our radical evangelical Catholic VP.

The 25th Amendment was added to the Constitution after the assassination of John F. Kennedy and provides for the replacement of the vice president if the office becomes vacant. (So it led indirectly to the presidency of Gerald Ford, the only American president who was never elected to any national office.) But Section 4 is about something else entirely:

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
It’s obvious that Trump has a narcissistic personality, which in itself is not disqualifying. He’s not the first president to have one; nor will he be the last. But his issues seem to run deeper than that. Some observers have suggested that he shows the characteristics of classic psychopathy. And there are plenty of people who see his behavior as blatantly self-destructive.

Pro tip: when meeting w the people who have the power to remove you under the 25th amendment, try not to say anything glaringly insane

— David Frum (@davidfrum) January 24, 2017

Of course it’s an extreme long shot that members of Trump’s Cabinet or the Republican leadership in Congress would ever take such a drastic step. (Although it’s not at all hard to imagine that in their hearts many of them would prefer President Mike Pence.) This would only happen if Trump really started to behave in a unhinged fashion. After all the bizarre behavior he has exhibited over the past 18 months, one cannot help but wonder: What could possibly count as going too far? It’s almost too terrifying to imagine.
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Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
As I have discussed in prior posts on this thread, Trump's personal moral behavior is the opposite of what one is supposed to believe a 'real' Christian should conform to. A few of my posts have shown that perhaps his personality had either been profiled, and/or groomed for this role. Being the opposite of a Christian is something akin to being an AntiChristian ... or perhaps an ...

Imagine if he is a Lifetime Actor then. Unfortunately, whatever attention that is being garnered by Trump's pandering to the religious right agenda has been strictly limited to social issues, and not to the more apocalyptic issue of holy war, as espoused by Steve Bannon, Mike Pompeo, and others. The Democrats in the Senate are voting Trump's Cabinet picks in with only some pro forma verbal opposition.

With hindsight, Mr. Trump’s libertinism made him the perfect Trojan Horse for conservative values. Because he’s such an irreligious figure, social issues barely figured in the campaign. Even as Christian conservatives put their faith in Mr. Trump, opponents of the religious right’s agenda — which remains broadly unpopular — could convince themselves that Mr. Trump wouldn’t enact it.

The religious right has been elevated to power without having to contest its ideas in an election. Sometimes, a deal with the devil pays off, big league.

Michelle Goldberg is a columnist for Slate and the author of “Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism” and “The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power and the Future of the World.”

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
This is a humorous case of "let's be careful what we hope for".

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Vice-President Mike Pence has issued the following message to the American people:

Dear American People,

What with all the hoopla and hullabaloo of Inauguration Week, we didn’t really get a chance to get to know each other. And so, if you don’t mind, I thought that I’d take a minute or two to tell you a thing or two about Mike Pence.

I’m what most people would call a “fun guy.” In my spare time, I enjoy golf and heterosexuality. And I’m something of a voracious reader. My favorite book, of course, is the Bible, but I enjoy other books, too. I’m a big fan of “The Da Vinci Code,” which has a lot of stuff about the Bible in it. And Paul Ryan just gave me a copy of “Atlas Shrugged,” by Ayn Rand. I just started reading that one, so I haven’t gotten to any parts in it about the Bible yet, but it’s darn good.

Another thing I read recently, and it’s probably become my second-favorite piece of reading material right after the Bible, is the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. It’s all about how to remove the President and replace him with the Vice-President. I have to admit that it was a kick to start reading the dusty old Constitution for the very first time and see yours truly right in there!

It turns out that the Twenty-fifth Amendment says that the country can remove the President if he is found to be “incapacitated.” That can mean anything from physically incapacitated, like being in an irreversible coma, to mentally incapacitated, like being seen raving like a lunatic during a visit to the C.I.A. Either way, if folks decide that it’s time to put a fork in you, see you later, alligator! ...

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
From humorous to dead serious, we now have perhaps the most consequential thing Trump has done so far. While everyone, including Trump, has played up Mad Dog Mattis, the "warrior monk" and others of the new national security team, Trump has turned the entire national security apparatus on its head, all hidden in the fog of the Muslim immigration ban. This by not only including Zionist Steve Bannon in the NSC, but by having him replace those which are Senate confirmed. As has been noted before Bannon and Zionist (Trump son-in-law) Kushner have been made a shadow NSC along with Prince Priapus.

For those rabid supporters of Trump, this must be a good thing, as anything that is change must, by definition, be good. Bannon has already explicitly declared apocalyptic religious war on half of America, ... and yes I recognize that many Trumpies see that as good too.

President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum Saturday that removed the nation's top military and intelligence advisers as regular attendees of the National Security Council's Principals Committee, the interagency forum that deals with policy issues affecting national security.

The executive measure established Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon as a regular attendee, whereas the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence will be allowed to participate only "where issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed."

A 'shadow National Security Council'
The Washington Post's Josh Rogin reported before Trump was sworn in that Bannon, Jared Kushner, and Reince Priebus comprised an informal "shadow national security council" that "sits atop the Trump transition team’s executive committee and has the final say on national-security personnel appointments."

Jared Kushner is Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser. Priebus is Trump's chief of staff.

"Bannon has been working on the long-term strategic vision that will shape the Trump administration’s overall foreign policy approach," Rogin reported, citing transition officials. He "is committed to working on the buildup of the military and is also interested in connecting the Trump apparatus to leaders of populist movements around the world, especially in Europe."...

Some will no doubt complain that Trump and Bannon's commitment to working with global populist movements is a good sign that they are true nationalists. Trump and Bannon, and their handlers are at least one level up the Machiavellian ladder though. Let's remember, no Hitler (or by any other name) means no Israel.
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Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
The following is about adverse reaction to Bibi's support of Trump's Mexican wall.

The adverse reaction to Netanyahu’s tweet, which was retweeted by Trump and drew far more attention than Netanyahu’s tweets usually do as a result, appeared to be an early sign of the danger Netanyahu faces with aligning himself with Trump.

The Mexican government was outraged that he would involve himself in what it regards as a bilateral issue.

“The foreign ministry expressed to the government of Israel, via its ambassador in Mexico, its profound astonishment, rejection and disappointment over Prime Minister Netanyahu’s message,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“Mexico is a friend of Israel and should be treated as such by its Prime Minister.”

Dan Shapiro, who served as ambassador to Israel under Obama until nine days ago and still lives in the country, ditched diplomacy to question Netanyahu’s motives in sending the tweet.

“Hard to explain this intervention on a hotly debated issue in domestic U.S. politics. Unless this endorsement is Trump’s demand of Netanyahu for something Netanyahu wants,” he wrote on Twitter, suggesting it may be linked to Trump’s promise to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“To me, it looks like Trump is already squeezing Netanyahu hard.” ...