Massive protests following a presidential election, are those things not supposed to happen in Ukraine? What has become of America?
Sunday, November 13, 2016
The narrative that gets pushed is, if only the politicians in DC had better manners they would get along and then get things done. It is kind of like saying people are lazy when the truth is there really are no jobs to go around.
A big chunk of the budget in DC goes into sustaining NATO. Another big chunk goes into interest payments for the 20 trillion dollar debt. And another massive big chunk goes into paying for the entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.
All that leaves little to no wiggle room for anyone to do anything. America finds itself boxed in.
Trump touched upon two of the three big elephants in the room. He touched upon NATO. He hinted at a fundamental rethink on NATO. Making the political moves to turn Russia into a Germany in terms of geofriendliness would go a long way. He has also floated the idea of a one time 15% tax on the wealth of the super rich to pay off the national debt. His wanting a rethink on NATO is gutsy. His one time tax idea is gutsy and smart. Done right the two together could create a 200 to 300 billion dollar wiggle room in the federal budget. And then the wheels would start spinning again. There would be no more gridlock.
The military industrial complex in America is its own planet hurtling through empty space with a momentum all its own. India should be wary of a country that wants to do joint naval exercises but will not pour a trillion dollars into India's infrastructure and another trillion into solar power generation in Rajasthan. In 2008 America and Europe wiped out tens of trillions of dollars in wealth after having spent decades lecturing the Global South that it is not creditworthy. That was A to Z racism, beginning to end.
Russia also, by the way, has a planet, its military industrial complex. The planets often act like hammers looking for nails. Sometimes they find each other instead of nails.
While there are a billion in want of basic food and water.
Saturday, November 12, 2016
the ability of the Bush administration to use its power to compel the press to adopt its alternate reality led to the greatest foreign-policy blunder since Vietnam, and the deaths of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, as well as the rise of ISIS. The consequences are, arguably, immeasurable, and the stats I have mentioned simply cannot do them justice
Looks like Trump might finally end the Cold War. George HW Bush didn't do it. Bill Clinton didn't do it. George W Bush didn't do it. Barack Obama didn't do it. Finally Trump might do it.
Making peace with the Crimea annexation in exchange for a foolproof guarantee on no further adventures in eastern Ukraine, lifting of all sanctions on Russia, an initiation of new summit talks, Gorbachev Reagan style, for dramatic reductions in nuclear weapons, and a full engagement with Russia, people to people, in terms of trade, collaboration on fighting extremist violence, I believe these are some of the things Trump hinted at on the campaign trail.
In the early 2000s Russia actually sought to join NATO. Much water has flown down the East River since.
This might be one early score for Trump. It would give him a good start.
I saw he wants term limits for members of Congress. A 10 year term limit would be a good thing. Or five terms for House members and two terms for Senators. The founders were not thinking in terms of career politicians. Term limits would be one good way to make Washington stink less. Drain the swamp.
A one time 15% tax on the wealth of all rich people to pay down the debt would be a boon to the economy. The interest payments live little wiggle room for bold moves. This is another of his ideas I like.
One bold thing Trump said on the campaign trail is that NATO is expensive. It is indeed tribal thinking. An attack on all is an attack on all is not rule of law thinking. The world has to move towards rule of law in international affairs. 600 billion dollars is indeed a lot of money.
Friday, November 11, 2016
The day before the election Bill Clinton bemoaned "a great president who has been term limited."
Barack Obama said on the same stage, "The sun will shine tomorrow no matter what happens."
That is not a fighting spirit.
The Comey strike was quite a blow. Here were white men saying, it is not about collecting votes, it is about acceptance, and we simply will not accept you.
The FBI is a white male bastion, obviously.
Prominent liberal newspapers wrote Hillary Clinton saw this coming. She was expecting an October surprise.
The liberal media had its own October surprise. It talked about a Latino surge in early voting to create a white surge on Election Day.
White women across the board voted against the idea of a woman president.
The chosen liberated people harassed Moses in the desert. Why did you bring us here? We were better off in Egypt.
Hillary Clinton herself did not give a single gender speech. It was as if she was trying to become the first female president without anyone noticing she was female.
She won the convention and the aftermath and completely lost August by disengaging and disappearing. She won three debates and earned double digit leads and again disengaged and squandered it. Comey would not have attacked if he had not seen an opening.
Hillary Clinton has that Jeb Bush quality like she does not really want to be there.
Not picking Elizabeth Warren for running mate was such a waste. This would have been a 55% victory for Clinton.
But those are mechanics. The people have spoken. Americans just got themselves an Aexit. The post World War II and the post Cold War world order is now over. America has now exited the world stage by popular opinion. NATO and the dollar will go under a fundamental rethink.
Brexit and Aexit are concrete steps in that direction. These developments were prophecied 2,000 years ago. The Lord God, the one true Living God, all seeing, all knowing, eternally just, all powerful, steers the plates of geopolitics as deftly as he defeated the armies that you read about in the Old Testament. God is the God of all peoples. God is the God of the entire cosmos.
America has become a modern day Roman Empire. It will go to the outer edges of the solar system but not to Africa. Those are not the ways of the just.
A world government of one person one vote from the local, to the state, to the national, to the global levels, that is what is in the offing. Brexit and Aexit are Britain and America stepping back to make way for that.
The American establishment is under siege because it will not reason its way to that world government but it will move if its hand is forced by a popular mandate, like now.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
but i had breakfast with my dad at a denny’s this summer that concerned me. he is a deeply principled man. a very good person with strong values. he is rust belt middle class. he went to the seminary for years to be a priest but ultimately felt it wasn’t for him. he cares deeply about people, is the kindest person i know, and doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. he coached me and my 3 siblings in basketball and soccer and more. he’s that dad. at that breakfast he told me was voting for trump and he was certain trump would win. this was weeks before the conventions.
it was about bringing down the establishment.
he said there were millions like him who were so angry at the path we were on that they would put anyone in the office to blow it all up.
trump only won because he struck a chord with the mainstream. he got people like my dad to vote for him — good people who believed they did the right thing by voting for him.
my wife was crying tonight over this election. it felt like the biggest failure of america we’ve ever experienced.
One of the biggest upsets in American political history was built on a coalition of white voters unlike that of any other previous Republican candidate, according to election results and interviews with voters and demographic experts.
Mr. Trump’s coalition comprised not just staunchly conservative Republicans in the South and West. They were joined by millions of voters in the onetime heartlands of 20th-century liberal populism — the Upper and Lower Midwest — where white Americans without a college degree voted decisively to reject the more diverse, educated and cosmopolitan Democratic Party of the 21st century, making Republicans the country’s dominant political party at every level of government.
Magnified by the constitutional design of the Electoral College, and aided by Republican-led efforts to dampen black and Latino voting in states like North Carolina, Mr. Trump’s America proved the larger on Election Day. It smashed through the Democrats’ supposed electoral “blue wall” — the 18 states carried by Democrats in every election since 1992, such as Michigan and Pennsylvania, plus the diverse and well-educated parts of the country that Mr. Obama attracted in his two races, like New Mexico, Nevada, Virginia and Colorado.
Starting Wednesday, you could walk from the Vermont border through Appalachian coal country to the outskirts of St. Louis without crossing a county Mr. Trump did not win decisively. You could head south through rural and suburban Georgia all the way to South Florida, or northwest through the Upper Midwest, or make a beeline for the West Coast, skirting only the rising Democratic communities of Colorado and the booming multicultural sprawl of Las Vegas before finally reaching Mrs. Clinton’s part of the country.
“I feel our country is on the verge of becoming a third world country,” he said. “Our children are not going to have a future. We are not going to have a future.”
What worried me the most were my concerns about the influence of theocratic Muslim dictatorships, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia, in a Hillary Clinton America. These dictatorships are no shining examples of progressive society with their failure to offer fundamental human rights and pathways to citizenship to immigrants from India, refugees from Syria and the entire class of de facto slaves that live in those dictatorships.
You could say the victory was narrow or you could call it a landslide. The Democratic presence has been reduced to the municipal levels. Trump has all branches of government.
Hillary Clinton built a tremendous lead through an excellent convention and squandered it all in August. Then she built a double digit lead by winning three debates and still squandered it by disengaging during the final weeks: "I am simply not going to respond to him any more."
That is on mechanics.
On the mandate now that is with Trump and not reading it is not an option. In business they say the customer is always right. In electoral politics the voters are the customers.
Both NATO and the dollar are about to see a fundamental rethink. 11/9 has been tectonic. The world order that emerged at the end of World War II and the Cold War is now over and a new order will have to be shaped.
Brexit and now an Aexit, got to read the unmistakable pattern.
You might disagree with many things he said, you might even find them abhorrent but he did connect with the voters in numbers sufficient.
Trump innovated. He used Facebook.
He just fulfilled a 2,000 year old prophecy. China and India now are the largest and third largest economies in the world, adjusted for purchasing power.
It is written, the king of the north and the king of the south will have become regional powers.
The plates of geopolitics grind on.
Americans have not shared in their country’s prosperity. In real terms median male earnings are still lower than they were in the 1970s. In the past 50 years, barring the expansion of the 1990s, middle-ranking households have taken longer to claw back lost income with each recession. Social mobility is too low to hold out the promise of something better. The resulting loss of self-respect is not neutralised by a few quarters of rising wages.
his voters took Mr Trump seriously but not literally, even as his critics took him literally but not seriously.
might even model himself on Ronald Reagan, a conservative hero who was mocked and underestimated, too.
whereas Reagan was an optimist, Mr Trump rails against the loss of an imagined past. We are deeply sceptical that he will make a good president—because of his policies, his temperament and the demands of political office.
After the sugar rush, populist policies eventually collapse under their own contradictions. Mr Trump has pledged to scrap the hated Obamacare. But that threatens to deprive over 20m hard-up Americans of health insurance. His tax cuts would chiefly benefit the rich and they would be financed by deficits that would increase debt-to-GDP by 25 percentage points by 2026. Even if he does not actually deport illegal immigrants, he will foment the divisive politics of race. Mr Trump has demanded trade concessions from China, Mexico and Canada on threat of tariffs and the scrapping of the North American Free Trade Agreement. His protectionism would further impoverish poor Americans, who gain more as consumers from cheap imports than they would as producers from suppressed competition. If he caused a trade war, the fragile global economy could tip into a recession. With interest rates near zero, policymakers would struggle to respond.
Trump says he hates the deal freezing Iran’s nuclear programme. If it fails, he would have to choose between attacking Iran’s nuclear sites and seeing nuclear proliferation in the Middle East (see article). He wants to reverse the Paris agreement on climate change; apart from harming the planet, that would undermine America as a negotiating partner. Above all, he would erode America’s alliances—its greatest strength. Mr Trump has demanded that other countries pay more towards their security or he will walk away. His bargaining would weaken NATO, leaving front-line eastern European states vulnerable to Russia. It would encourage Chinese expansion in the South China Sea. Japan and South Korea may be tempted to arm themselves with nuclear weapons.
Trump was narcissistic, thin-skinned and ill-disciplined. Yet the job of the most powerful man in the world constantly entails daily humiliations at home and abroad. When congressmen mock him, insult him and twist his words, his effectiveness will depend on his willingness to turn the other cheek and work for a deal. When a judge hears a case for fraud against Trump University in the coming weeks, or rules against his administration’s policies when he is in office, he must stand back (self-restraint that proved beyond him when he was a candidate). When journalists ridiculed him in the campaign he threatened to open up libel laws. In office he must ignore them or try to talk them round. When sovereign governments snub him he must calculate his response according to America’s interests, not his own wounded pride. If Mr Trump fails to master his resentments, his presidency will soon become bogged down in a morass of petty conflicts.
No problem comes to the president unless it is fiendishly complicated. Yet Mr Trump has shown no evidence that he has the mastery of detail or sustained concentration that the Oval Office demands.
The danger with popular anger, though, is that disillusion with Mr Trump will only add to the discontent that put him there in the first place. If so, his failure would pave the way for someone even more bent on breaking the system.
The open markets and classically liberal democracy that we defend, and which had seemed to be affirmed in 1989, have been rejected by the electorate first in Britain and now in America.
We liberal elitists are now completely in the clear. The government is in Republican hands. Let them deal with him. Democrats can spend four years raising heirloom tomatoes, meditating, reading Jane Austen, traveling around the country, tasting artisan beers, and let the Republicans build the wall and carry on the trade war with China and deport the undocumented and deal with opioids, and we Democrats can go for a long , brisk walk and smell the roses.
Wednesday, November 09, 2016
A whole bunch of people would be crying hoarse next year when they lose their health care. But most of them did not even bother to vote. And many of them voted for Trump. They are white and poor.
It is not easy to lead the powerless.
And to think a majority of white women voted for Trump, one third of Asians and Hispanics voted for Trump.
It is not easy to lead the powerless.
American sexism runs deep. White women lost it for her. Internalized sexism is a problem.
Hillary herself did not make one gender speech.
If she had picked Elizabeth Warren she would have won with 55% of the vote. She would have also taken the House.
But the number one problem is the sexism and the racism. This was founded a racist, sexist country. It has not grown up still.