Encore of Revival: America, September 17, 2018

Trump’s sanctions about elections are about the election. Turn all eyes to Texas. The seat of Senator Ted Cruz should not be in jeopardy. Democrats have no reason to dump such large amounts of money into a Texas race where senators are trending Republican—unless they are either crazy or they happen to know about other plans that could affect the vote. They aren’t campaigning against Cruz because they think he is weak, but because he is so powerful.

Without the additional sanctions on foreign interference, it would be much easier to meddle in your opponent’s election by asking a foreign power to do the meddling. Americans know better than to meddle in American elections because they have nowhere to run. Off-shore meddlers are another story—at least they were until Trump ordered his sanctions.

This is a shot across the bow, not so much deterring foreign powers from meddling as much as making foreign powers—and any domestic cooperatives—aware that the White House is aware that there are attempts to meddle. Only a fool would think Trump’s order is purely for the optics of pleasing his unusually loyal base, which cares more about jobs and walls than defusing accusations they have already decided are fraudulent. These sanctions from the White House could be what wins Cruz his second term. We’ll see.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley lives in a unit in the famed Waldorf Astoria. She originally had the $135k/month unit occupied by Susan Rice during the Obama years. Rice had ordered $52k worth of drapes and motors to close them, but the furnishings didn’t arrive until Haley had insisted on moving to a less-than-half-the-price unit of the lavish Obama ambassador, at only $58k/month. New York is an expensive place for everyone, but Haley also rejected the set of drapes. Of course, in New York newswriting, Obama’s bad decision must be blamed on Trump. It’s all Trump’s fault what Obama did.

Senator Feinstein should be impeached and Judge Kavanaugh should be approved Monday rather than Thursday. After a long and—according to Democrats—interesting career in the White House, an uncorroborated claim from a supposed victim of a so-called assault—much less severe than anything Clinton was praised for by his base—came to Feinstein in July. The accuser didn’t mention anything in all the other years of Kavanaugh’s career, nor did Feinstein mention the accusations in July or August. Everyone waited until the last possible minute.

If it is true that Democrats don’t mention important facts until time is almost up, they should be expelled from Washington. Many voters in the #WalkAway movement seem to agree. But, this looks more like something made-up. By doing this at such a late hour, Democrats have implied that there is nothing more meaningful to discuss. Democrats are still angry that they can’t read all the private memorandum that other people wrote to other people which Kavanaugh was the confidential delivery boy for. So, they pull an Anita Hill style accusation that looks fake in every time and manner they choose. The only credibility this accuser can gain at the bottom of this ninth inning would be for Feinstein to resign in disgrace for either trying to pull a fake “September surprise” or for exploiting a victim in doing so. Fat chance on a Democrat not exploiting the victims so desperately engineered into their voter base.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 10, 2018

Right or wrong, the US-China tariff war was always coming. Stupid American companies flew into the campfire of Chinese manufacturing like moths into a flame. China was smart inasmuch as they did not become dependent on the outsourced labor, which was always going to ever-only be temporary. China has wasted no time, building infrastructure, such as the highway between Hong Kong and Macau and the silk road, now gaining income by the well marketed tourist attraction.

But, this tariff war was always coming. The political situation in the Pacific indicates that it’s not about economics so much as it is about military. Pacific island nations grow more and more irritated by China. Little, small nations are speaking out, demanding China apologize for storming out of a PIF (Pacific Islands Forum) meeting when China’s diplomatic representative was told to wait to speak until after heads of state from member nations had their turn. China is not a member, only an attendee. This is not any demonstration of leadership that the region will accept, no matter how much it may have been bestowed by the territorial gods at the universe’s center, which is in China of course.

Then, there’s Taiwan. If last week was a week of firing off blanks and papers across bows, this week, cannonballs started splashing. Taiwan introduced three different bills amending existing law, stiffening restrictions and penalties concerning anything that could even remotely be construed as interference between Taiwan and China. As if that wasn’t enough, Taiwan is increasing its budget for both fighter jets and the navy. And, Taiwan’s military even moved up an annual naval exercise to rehearse an attack from China at an earlier date than usual.

In all of this, the rain continues to fall in Taiwan, now flooding different parts of the island than saw torrents over three solid weeks of cloud cover. Not to worry, though. City governments are closely monitoring just how many millimeters of water can drain away how quickly, revamping any old sewer system that can’t keep up. Taiwan just seems to have its hands full, as well as its rivers.

Then, there is the tsunami of US diplomacy. Trade wars often prelude military wars. While Taiwan’s dwindling allies flip to support China, the US is breaking ties with any country that breaks ties with Taiwan, more or less. Solidarity with Taiwan seems to have bipartisan support in US Congress. With trade alliances shifting, when war breaks out, it will be a financial calculation as a convergence of China’s revenue and US dependence on Chinese-made goods both bottom out.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 3, 2018

China is in trouble. We don’t know why, but we know the indication: Trump will be absent from ASEAN. He was absent from a funeral this week and his support grew. He was absent from a Republican debate, then he won the Republican nomination. By not meeting Xi face to face, Xi won’t be able to read his emotions. No one knows exactly what Trump has planned, only that he’s spending a lot of time on the golf course—a luxury banned by China’s Communist Party—a luxury that just so happens to be Trump’s favorite place to mull things over and get new ideas.

In the rainy season of August, Taiwan enjoyed almost three weeks of cloud cover. Whatever went on in Taiwan, it was difficult to see from above, and China never likes not being able to see from above. There’s nothing like a little conveniently bad weather to irritate the away team. But, that wasn’t the end.

The US is looking at a contingency of Marines to defend its unofficial embassy in Taipei and a former chief suggests simulating attacks on China’s Soviet made, diesel powered aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, if it gets close enough to Taiwan. Such a statement is purely provocative and no chief, former or sitting, would make such provocation without sitting in counsel. This all compares to the Scottish flashing each other before a battle of the kilts. This week, the Taipei Times published numerous insulting and blatantly disrespectful stories from Taiwanese politics, spitting at China. Taiwan wouldn’t do without backing.

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Encore of Revival: America, September 3, 2018

It’s all seen in his funeral. John McCain’s death, more and more, seems destined to symbolize the death of the Washington “establishment”. Put less friendlily, the death of McCain was the death of the swamp. More respectfully, and how things out to be, we mourn the loss of a senator while we move on with our convictions.

The Trump electorate, finally gaining the cooperation of the GOP, is proving more and more to be a valid and clear and enduring majority. They wanted Obama’s health care law repealed; only McCain—from their own political party—stopped them. They wanted to be descent and quiet at the funeral of the man who despised them. John McCain found Sarah Palin, then put her on a leash. She respected him and only spoke respectfully of him, then he put a muzzle on her. Now, he’s dead and she continues to respect him in her silence. Meghan McCain had a right to say whatever she wanted and her words agreed with her father’s sentiment; Trumpists didn’t like her words, but she stayed right on topic. Thank you Meghan. Trump would not attend, but his daughter did, a most appropriate discretion. Trump had more respect in his absence than in Obama’s venomous distraction toward the man who would not crash a funeral. Bush and Biden gave good and respectful speeches, celebrating and mourning him.

The Trump electorate lives on and they are growing in number. Now, with Kevin McCarthy calling an inquisition into the Silicon Valley tech giants, who have harassed the controlling votership for two years, Republicans are moving away from the maverick-moderate tactics of McCain—which did work in his day. Insulting and muffling public expression, including the Declaration of Independence, was a foolish error. If their defense is true—that they “didn’t know”—then they should have at least studied the electorate rather than despised it and known their own history well enough not to flag key words from our nation’s heritage. At least, Silicon Valley is guilty of not caring enough about what they should. They are already paying a punishment through the markets. Now, they will answer to Congress.

McCarthy’s move will energize the base—the one thing that the losing moderates of 2014 feared—the one thing that helps Republicans win elections. The Republican base is energized and we are now no longer looking at a possible and unusual midterm victory for Republicans; we are now looking at a likely and unusual midterm victory for Republicans.

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Encore of Revival: America, August 13, 2018

What happened to Omarosa is normal, it doesn’t matter, and it’s a darn shame that it’s normal and doesn’t matter. Bureaucratic America permeates every institution, from universities to small Christian congregations to telecommunications companies, even to the White House. They run people around, play dirty tricks, mistreat people of all skin tones, and now it’s coming back to bite them in the hiney.

Omarosa herself is now under the microscope, which lets us see the shameful sham of why her story doesn’t matter. It’s just too normal. Bureaucracy doesn’t attack everyone, but it sure does have its favorites. She seems to be one of them. Chuck Todd kept asking how and why she knew to record her meeting with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. It’s unbelievable for most people, except for bureaucracy’s favorite people to bash. After a while bureaucracy victims get a nose for smelling the rigmarole around the corner. And, they have a knack for attracting trouble, if for no other reason than that bureaucracy doesn’t like bloodhounds sniffing them down.

Here’s how the archetypal scenario could likely play out—not how it actually did, but how it could have if bureaucracy behaves like bureaucracy…

Trump knows that worms in the White House are always trying to control him by controlling the information that gets to him. So, he asks Omarosa to get certain articles for him, going around his bureaucracy. Smelling trouble, she may have taken steps to protect herself, just as she did in recording the conversation, just as she did with giving her loves ones copies of the reported recording of Trump using the “N” word as a precaution just “in case she’s rubbed out” (Esquire). That kind of preemptive-precautionary habit might have led her to violate some rules in the White House, though she would have been acting in defense, not hostility. John Kelly, like the classic bureaucrat he comes across as in the recording, wouldn’t have been out of character to “trump” up, as it were, his firing case against Omarosa, though he wouldn’t have been entirely unjustified either. She was likely a loose canon, which was why Trump wanted her there in the first place, and John Kelly arrived to tie down loose canons. Trump later told her that he “delegated” because he really did delegate. Trump wouldn’t fire the lady himself since he adores her too much—this happens with many administrators because no one likes to fire friends. And, no one likes it when your good friend, the President, lets his chief fire you because you got too cautious on someone else’s watch. Feelings are hurt, it wasn’t meant to be personal, but it was personal. Now, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

…That’s an archetypal speculation of how things may have gone down the hill.

Trump kept things chaotic on purpose so that an old boys’ club couldn’t keep him a prisoner of fame. This was the story on the street when Reince Priebus left. The Left praised John Kelly as the one possible man who might be able to control Trump. When he was first hired, Kelly was hailed by the Left as the savior. Now, when he does what the Left praised him for, it’s all Trump’s fault.

The words Kelly spoke were shamefully typical and ordinary in bureaucratic America, but they don’t make him especially evil. Many, many pastors have been “fretired” through the same conversation in the back office. Coming from the White House raises the stakes, but other than that, the conversation seemed all too typical.

As for the “N” word, one statement doesn’t define a person. It can be sad. But, everyone has said foolish things that they didn’t mean, whether in stupidity or anger. No president will ever be an exception. In the minds of Trumpists, who only grow their numbers, discovering proof that a human is human is no longer a fireable offense.

Omarosa was a way for Trump to get around his own gatekeeper. If Trump doesn’t hire Omarosa back, Kelly could end up “resigning” in the coming months.

The wisest action would be for Trump to have a one-on-one with Omarosa, apologize on a personal level for his own bureaucracy—which every institution in America has, shamefully—, hire her back so that only he has the power to fire her, also keep Kelly on to keep doing his job, and encourage her that she won’t need to guard herself with more recordings and possible “ethics” violations anymore.

And, if he did use the “N” word, he should also say to the country, “Yeah, I did. I was an idiot, really sorry to everyone. Don’t follow my bad example. Let’s all be better and move one.”

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