Encore of Revival: America, May 8, 2017

Police departments are ceasing patrol due to unpopularity with the people, according to an FBI report. France, like Canada and the US 12 years ago, also has new, young president. The new president, Emanuel Macron, who won by more than 65%, ran on a campaign of cutting spending, loosening France’s ever-so-strict labor laws, and protecting the self-employed. Regardless of what you think you know of Le Pen, who lost, French politics aren’t what they seem. The same can be said of the new politics on Capital Hill.

Trump’s budget deal is complex. It angered people, he knew it would, he wanted it to. But, the backlash will also be complex. His two-part Tweet tells it all.

Trump could have used the budget reconciliation rule to pass a budget bill or to repeal Obamacare, which suspends the 60-vote rule over matters of Constitution and budget. Democrats used it to pass Obamacare, which seemed to be misuse of the rule; Republicans didn’t use it to repeal Obamacare. He could have suspended the 60 vote rule, but he didn’t and he hasn’t. He won’t because he wants the 60 vote rule removed—a rule which, more or less, allows “auto filibuster”, so opponents can keep needless discussion going to stop a law from being voted on, without actually having to attend any meetings. It’s a silly rule in the Senate. It’s a relatively new rule in the Senate. The House has no such rule. Thankfully, families and business also don’t have such rules. Trump is playing smart. The best solution to bad rules and laws: rigorous enforcement. He wants his supporters to support efforts to eliminate the 60-vote rule so that, as in the House, a law only needs a simple majority to be passed.

There is still no wall. Obamacare isn’t gone. Some Trump supporters are angry—though, keep watching: They’ll cool off around election time when they see what pops over the horizon.

One very important thing happened: military. China, Korea, and the Middle East are heating up. China is making huge strides with constructing its first aircraft carrier. We needed that military cleanup from eight years of rust. Otherwise it would be the North Koreans vs ISIS jihadists fighting over who gets to keep your women, brainwash your children, and kill the rest of your family—no matter what country you live in. Like it or not, evil or good or somewhere in the vast in-between, the decaying US military is all that keeps people who don’t apologize away from the shores of the people who do. This budget kept that military going.

Yes, it did make other milestones. It was a first: A new president actually influenced the current year’s budget—because we were over-budget from eight years before. Yes, the bill boosted military spending without having to boost non-related programs. And, yes, Trump will be in a better position to threaten with a shutdown later, since the military is finally operational again.

But, the people won’t have it. Trump was supposed to drain the swamp. Where’s the wall? Why is the US spending over $1B on non-citizens in our prisons? Why not fix Obamacare with the same rout that it was created? The people want results now. They will come back to support Trump in 2018 and 2020, but only briefly; and in between, they will get thirsty for a third party. Perhaps that was also part of Trump’s plan in the first place. Let’s be frank; the Republican party likes Trump and his base about as much as Britain liked General George Washington and the American colonies.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, May 1, 2017

The news would have us think that China’s reverse-engineered copy of a Soviet-made diesel aircraft carrier is nuclear-powered and in full commission. It’s not. It’s simply being towed from one construction site to another. But, it is another milestone step in progress and the West needs to pay close attention. With all the excitement over Korean nukes, China obtaining its own aircraft carriers is a bigger step and a bigger threat to China’s neighbors. Heads are turning in Japan and India.

Trump’s “bromance” with China’s President Xi isn’t without precedent. The two are smart. Trump is less-controlled by the big political class. No matter how much Xi may want to resolve peace, any deal he makes with Trump must be pleasing to the Communist Party of China. Perhaps some success with Trump on the Kim dynasty in Korea will help Xi persuade the old boys club in China. But, that would be a first. Old school Chinese don’t like to learn new tricks.

Eventually, Korea will make major steps toward becoming one nation. Then, the US and China will change colors in the South Sea. Both sides will have gotten what they wanted: a stable Korean Peninsula. But, when the conflict in the West Pacific erupts, all bets will be off. It won’t be America who betrays first, the Chinese will make their move after they have their excuse. The ongoing US relationship with Taiwan may be that excuse. And, in the minds of the Chinese, the US will have been wrong.

Xi and Trump will become like old generals who know each other from battle field just as well as from the tea time table. No matter how much conflict they have, they will always be grateful for their cooperation in Korea. That’s what mature generals do. And, that is the current leadership at both ends of the Pacific.

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Encore of Revival: America, May 1, 2017

Jack Ma says that CEOs could be robots in the future, but they already are. Someone accuses your most-necessary employee of something bad and you instantly fire him. That’s quite robotic and that’s the trend in management, at least in the changing news industry.

Bill O’Reilly is gone, at least from television. Yeah, he should have acted better. But, there are much bigger fish to fry still swimming at large in the vast ocean of harassment and bureaucratic strong-arming. Bill was only a target because powerful people don’t like what he was saying—the very things that made him number one in cable news. And, they were willing to get rid of him, even though it meant losing money.

Money has rarely motivated the news industry. Newspapers are losing profit left and right, but they don’t change. News website advertising doesn’t work—not because readers don’t like ads, but because they don’t want ad services to triple web page load times. And, the slow, snail-mail, old culture leaders in the dying news industry think that web page load times are no problem because it’s faster than waiting for the morning paper. But, it’s not about that; it’s about slowing down your entire computer or not being able to read a story before you get off at your bus stop.

News is led by leadership that is out of touch with its own industry. That’s why Bill O’Reilly, of all people, was let go. And, just as predicted last week, he wasn’t the first. The small-fish friers saw the inch and thought themselves to be rulers. Someone accused Hannity, expecting the precedent to work. But, Hannity stopped that in a hurry. But, believe it, one way or another, Hannity is next.

Once Sean Hannity leaves his normal programming, he’ll have plenty of friends to welcome him—including Milo Yiannopoulos, Bill O’Reilly, and the newest inventor in news and information, Jimmy Wales. Yes, the Wikipedia founder is now starting the Wikitribune. As of press time, wikitribune.com has hired 4 of 10 journalists.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, April 24, 2017

All eyes on Korea means all eyes on China, which means all eyes on Trump. What’s at stake?—not nuclear war, not regional war, not freedom for northern Koreans, but a trade deal with China. At least, that’s the story if you ask the money channels.

China is a “gold mine for innovation”, the hope for breakthrough in the car crisis—in case you didn’t know there was a car crisis. Australia is partnering with—of all countries—China to address cyber theft. China is such a booming, excellent, most-happening place that Chinese investors have actually decided it’s a good idea to finally start reinvesting in their own country.

But, most importantly, Trump needs to be very, very careful in dealing with northern Korea. China even said so. They even made a phone call to say it.

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Encore of Revival: America, April 24, 2017

Most of the news about Bill O’Reilly examines the history of advertising, accusations, money, and news ratings. The main topic of headlines from big news outlets are about Fox News—not what Bill O’Reilly’s future is, but what Bill O’Reilly’s future is at Fox, the competitor of reporting news companies.

It was all political. Yes, there are and have been for quite some time bolstered allegations that O’Reilly has too much playtime. The allegations against him pale in comparison to Clinton—either Clinton. But, it only mattered before because Bill was big. It only bit this time because Roger Ailes wasn’t there to circle the wagons and he was targeted by special groups, such as Color of Change, that go after a media personality’s advertisers. That tried and failed against Rush Limbaugh, but not against Glenn Beck, Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes, and now Bill O’Reilly.

Again, Sarah Palin called Republicans a “party of cannibals”. They are. Everyone has problems. Only venues that cater to Republican-voting audiences exploit each other’s problems like chickens in a pecking order. Were O’Reilly’s audience made mostly of Democrats, he might have been praised. Only Roger Ailes would not capitulate over the accusations against O’Reilly over a decade ago, but the Murdoch’s would capitulate over Ailes and they did last year. Now, Fox capitulated again. It won’t stop. Fox News is beginning a trend of giving in to every weak-kneed demand like General Motor’s executives caving-in to most every whim of the unions.

It’s over for Fox. It’s over and dead.

No industry leader allows its most-viewed show’s most-viewed host to leave—and continues to be the industry leader. Right or wrong, dishonest or ethical, when Fox News fired Bill O’Reilly Fox News fired itself. It’s all about money. Under the pioneer of Fox News, Ailes, it was about long-term money. Now, governed by some “great successor”, it’s about short-term money. It’s always been about money. Now that it’s become about the short-term, so short is the term Fox News has left.

Everything will shift to alternative media. O’Reilly is resuming his work at billoreilly.com as of Monday, April 24th. And, Milo Yiannopoulos announced this week that he is returning to the public eye in a “comeback tour”.

Big news venues have attempted to take out Donald Trump, bolster the Democratic candidate in Georgia’s special election—who still didn’t win the necessary 50% of the vote to keep his seat past June. And, Republicans continue to play a losing game—eleven Republican candidates in the same Georgia district!?

“Big News” is a dying industry cannibalizing itself.  Were it not for the desperate scramble for what remains of industry-wide dwindling ratings, Bill O’Reilly’s problems, whatever they may be, wouldn’t have mattered.

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