Encore of Revival: America, June 12, 2017

Donald Trump has been and always will be a business man at heart. His interactions with Comey reflect a boss gently steering one of his top employees. But, Washington doesn’t work that way. The president can fire an FBI director, but he may not steer him. Many Americans will see this as an “endearing and harmless mistake”—evidence that the nation finally has a president who doesn’t think like a lawyer. Trump is guilty of thinking like the people rather than an old stone that has sat in the beltway so long that it looks like a pile of moss.

In his testimony, Comey verified what we already knew: Russians did not meddle with cast votes or vote count. If there was voter fraud, it wasn’t from Russia.

So, there was no “Russian hack” of the electoral process. There were hacks during, after, and before the election, along with a lot of other events that didn’t make the news. So, why the big news?

The news media couldn’t not cover it. They hyped it. They had to cut into profits to pay for it because they had gotten themselves in too far not to. Pictures of Comey and a scene with the press taking pictures of the press taking pictures proves that there’s a lot of press, something the press still needs to prove these days—especially with Fox News having cannibalized itself right out of first place.

Moderate Republicans and mainstream Democrats work on the same basic ethic: effort wins. Republicans want the people to see that they are “trying”, but they won’t do anything. If the Republicans took action it would be a first.

Likewise, Democratic voters are enamored with the Comey hearing. Comey is looking Trump in the eye. He is going to go say things. That’s courage. That’s really bold, and stuff. In-yer-face, toothless, uber-rude bravado is much more important than actually winning—at least when you can’t win. To a young ultra Liberal, boldly accomplishing nothing is much better than winning anyway, that is if you’re still angry about having lost.

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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, 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 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.

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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.

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