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.

Read More

Encore of Revival: America, April 17, 2017

America is seeing a lot of in-fighting, so we are led to believe. Some of it is purifying while some of it is foolish. Some is real while some is over-reported.

Reporting would have us believe that Trump’s administration is divided. Little be it known that Lincoln packed his own cabinet with opponents in the Republican primaries. Some competition isn’t exactly bad. But, we still won’t know the whole story for at least two years.

Bill O’Reilly’s career is all but over. The big question is about timing. Roger Ailes resigned about nine months ago amid accusations because he didn’t want to be a “distraction” at the network. Now, accusations against O’Reilly have been long floating like feathers of a pillow emptied in the streets. But, only now are they surfacing. Why? Being the “network for Conservatives”, Sarah Palin is right. Republicans are a “party of cannibals” and, now, that same in-fighting narrative is being reported in the White House.

While the Conservative voters don’t want anything to do with a “party of cannibals”, the establishments that depend on them—Fox News and the RNC being at the front—don’t seem to get that message. O’Reilly is Catholic. Conservatives are often Christian in some form or another. Forgiveness is part of their model. Fox News and the Republican party would both be wise to denounce their tradition of socially cannibalizing. Fox News doesn’t answer to CNN and NBC audiences, it answers to its the Fox News audience. If O’Reilly resigns, it’s the beginning of the end for the Fox News Channel. If Bannon resigns, it’s the end of the Republican party.

But, that’s okay. Another news network and another political party can always take their place. Maybe that would be best anyway.

Read More

Encore of Revival: America, April 3, 2017

Federal interference and wielded “power of the purse” miraculously became unethical in Seattle when Trump took the helm from Obama. Nearly everything the new president does is bad, not because it is bad in principle, but because it is done by the president whom the media didn’t predict would win the election.

The “Freedom Caucus” in the US House of Representatives will gain power. By defeating a half-baked “repeal and replace”—a bill that reaffirmed the power for a US Secretary to create whatever related policy he willed—the Freedom Caucus proved that it was not only powerful enough to defeat a bill that it’s own voting bloc presidential candidate sought, but that their defeat was so powerful that they provoked him into giving them credit for wielding such power.

But, an understanding of President Donald J. Trump suggests much more. This is a mere game of “catch” with a hardball. Trump didn’t get what he wanted, he negotiated hard line, so did the Freedom Caucus. In the end, he will surely make an awesome deal. Republican party unity will increase. Paul Ryan will object every bit as much as he takes public credit for “party unity”. And, a bitter few will seethe in smoke-filled back rooms while the Republican party feigns unity through Trump’s tenure. After that, the Freedom Caucus will have to find a new home.

The big news this week is that third party politics already had its cornerstone laid, and that nobody noticed.

Read More

Encore of Revival: America, March 27, 2017

Trump has his “Russian election help” just as Obama had his “fake birth certificate”. While the Democratic base pushes for investigations of an election for which they still can’t accept their loss, there is little to no complaint on Capital Hill about the Clinton Foundation’s involvement in Bernie Sanders’ defeat at the primaries. The so-named “Russian hack” investigation puts all of its hopes on the FBI director whose “investigation” ordered the local Sheriff to enter random passwords into the San Bernardino iPhone until it locked, rather than following Apple’s instructions from the start. This is the same man whose investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails also went nowhere.

The truth doesn’t matter in these outcomes of legitimacy to hold public office. Once in office, the victor stays, the entire investigation is bravado for the base. Some call this “demagoguery”. And, half of America is finding the excuse they need to panic. America is headed toward a face off, not of facts or testimony, but of one opinion versus its opposite.

Take “Repeal and Replace” over Obamacare for instance…

In the first half of the week, headlines were dominated by the unproven accusation that the Obama-governed election was hacked by the Russians, as if that would somehow be a problem for Trump. Then, “Repeal and Replace” neither repealed nor replaced.

Republican leadership puts together a package to phase out Obamacare without harming the few who actually benefit from it. The “Freedom” caucus objects to it not being conspiracy-proof enough, more or less. Trump, author of “The Art of the Deal”, isn’t finished negotiating; it’s smoke screen time.

“Smoke screen time…”

Trump Tweets “Watch Judge Jeanine… tonight.” Judge Jeanine opens her show by saying that House Speaker Paul Ryan should resign. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus tells Sunday show host Chris Wallace that Trump’s Tweet was to help a personal friend promote her show and that the White House doesn’t want Ryan to resign—but, the discussion is now on the table. Suddenly, the White House supporting people in the media is a bad thing because Trump is the one supporting. Suddenly, reaching across the isle is a bad thing because headlines portray that Trump wants to be the one reaching. Like dogs begging for doggie biscuits, talking heads freely advertise that Trump is willing to accept any votes Democrats want to give him—as if that is something new. Now, the investigation into whatever the Russians were allowed to get away with under Obama’s watch is creating questions for Obama officials to draft answers for. What does it all mean?

It all means that players who try to “trump” Trump, are gonna’ end up in a dust storm. Trump’s election didn’t merely metaphorically “blow up” Democrats, or Republicans for that matter, but the entire political landscape with them. That’s what his supporters really wanted, and that’s just what they’re getting. That’s what this is all about: blowing the dust off an archaic stronghold.

Right or wrong, Washington has a new general in town. No more business as usual. No more politics as usual. The games aren’t going to look like the Harlem Globe Trotters vs the Washington Generals anymore.

Read More

Encore of Revival: America, March 20, 2017

The upcoming Supreme Court nomination approval will certainly prove important. SCOTUS should likely hear any number of cases involving whether Republican and Democratic presidents must abide by the same laws, immigration and spying not the least.

The cat is out of the bag and it looks like it’s about to have kittens. Obamagate is here.

Multiple sources claim Obama used British Intelligence to spy on Donald Trump. While British surveillance is certainly ahead—with their soon-to-be-released drone ‘robo-cops’—why does the US president need British help? He’s not just attempting to flatter James Bond fans. When a president enters through the back door, too many questions come up. Why would the most powerful politician in the world need to have someone else do his work? Is he not allowed to? Does he want to keep his fingerprints off a smoking gun? Does Obama know something we don’t?

Trump supporters and Trump dissidents will both honker down on their positions. Some former Trump dissidents will flip to support him when they see what he was up against. Obama fans will view Obama as having been in such a desperate predicament that drastic means were necessary. Trump fans will view Trump just the same, in a desperate predicament. No arguments will persuade anyone. Only events will sway a few late bloomers. Read More