Closing Thought–24Jan17

Those Damn Executive Orders!

Obama signed a buttload of EOs while in office…not as many as Bush2 or Clinton but a bunch nonetheless ….and of course because he signed them the Right was livid about how he was circumventing the Constitution and defeating our democracy at the same time….

Pres. Trump in his first day of his presidency has signed EOs….you remember EOs, right?

President Trump had a busy morning, signing three executive orders on trade, abortion, and federal hiring, and issuing a warning to US companies that they’ll be penalized if they move overseas. Details:

  • TPP: As promised, Trump signed an order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the New York Times points out is President Obama’s most important trade deal, though it was never ratified by Congress. Coupled with Trump’s promise to renegotiate NAFTA, Trump’s trade stance is “a drastic reversal of decades of economic policy in which presidents of both parties have lowered trade barriers and expanded ties around the world.”
  • Hiring freeze: Trump kept another campaign promise to freeze federal hiring, except for employees involved with national security such as members of the military. The Washington Post reports that employees hired in a late rush by the outgoing Obama administration who have not started their new jobs yet may be out of luck.  (this worries me…it sounds like setting the stage to privatize our government)
  • Abortion: Trump reinstated a rule that prevents federal money from going to international aid groups that provide abortions or offer information about the procedure. Politico notes that the “Mexico City policy” has been put in place by every GOP president since Reagan and rescinded by Democratic presidents.
  • ‘Border tax’: In a meeting with business leaders Monday, Trump reinforced his “America first” message, reports the Wall Street Journal. He promised incentives for those who work and hire in the US but added, “if you go to another country … we are going to be imposing a very major border tax.”

WAIT!  I thought these were “lawless tyranny”……

My question now is….is it not a bit early in his administration for EOs?

I mean he has control of both houses of the Congress and yet he feels he needs to issue EOs….why?

Does anyone really think that we will hear about this from his supporters?  They hammered Obama for years because of them and yet this is somehow acceptable?  Why?

We Must Put a Stop To This Sh*t!

We are having protests….and as usual the Right is going batcrap crazy with all sorts of conspiracies of why they happening and who is behind it……you see to them the American people would not protests anything without provocation…..amusing as it is….these same dolts were behind the celebration of the Tea Party protests of 2009 and beyond…..to them these people were just taking back the American democracy and the country.

But now it is only malcontents that are protesting…those that do not work and those that do not love their country…..funny thing is I did not see one assault weapon slung over the shoulder of a protester….these newest protesters are impressive in number not in weaponry….

And now with the newest emperor in place there is a move by Repubs to violate the Constitution and ban civil disobedience…..

Women’s March on Washington will kick off what opponents of the incoming administration hope will be a new era of demonstrations against the Republican agenda. But in some states, nonviolent demonstrating may soon carry increased legal risks — including punishing fines and significant prison terms — for people who participate in protests involving civil disobedience. Over the past few weeks, Republican legislators across the country have quietly introduced a number of proposals to criminalize and discourage peaceful protest.

The proposals, which strengthen or supplement existing laws addressing the blocking or obstructing of traffic, come in response to a string of high-profile highway closures and other actions led by Black Lives Matter activists and opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Republicans reasonably expect an invigorated protest movement during the Trump years.

Source: Republican Lawmakers in Five States Propose Bills to Criminalize Peaceful Protest

This is an updated version of above link…..

Source: Lawmakers in Eight States Have Proposed Laws Criminalizing Peaceful Protest

As you can see the number of states participating in this abuse is growing…..

Of course about here one of those mental midgets on the Right will inject something about those protesters that resorted to violence and destruction…..let me say here that none of that is acceptable and they should be dealt with lawfully…..but to ban any and all peaceful protest is a violation of civil rights.

I realize that these midgets think the Constitution only applies to them and their issues….but it just does not work that way…..no amount of lying and bitching will change that……

What To Expect From The Economy

I am spending Trump’s first full week writing about the situations that he will be facing and even predicting a few things to come…..

Just how are most Americans coping these days with the economy and their finances?

Minor emergencies like a busted pipe, flat tire or a root canal happen all the time. But for the majority of Americans, such inconveniences are potential recipes for financial ruin, according to a new survey by finance site Bankrate.com.

In the survey released on Wednesday, Bankrate found that 63 percent of Americans don’t have enough saved to cover even a $500 financial setback. And just half of higher income respondents (defined as $75,000 or more in annual earnings) said they have enough cash to handle such an emergency.

Source: Most Americans Lack Reserve Cash to Cover $500 Emergency: Survey – NBC News

Now there will be those on the Right that will have lots to say about these findings….none of which will be accurate…..

Let’s move on…….what can we expect in the economy in Trump’s first 100 days?

For President-elect Trump, boosting economic growth and creating more good-paying jobs recovery will not prove easy. George W. Bush campaigned on — and delivered — lower taxes and more limited government, but his economic expansion was no more robust than Barack Obama’s and ended with the 2007/08 financial crisis.

Mr. Trump has promised a lot that will be difficult to accomplish, because federal resources are limited. Without any new tax or spending initiatives, the federal deficit will grow as more baby boomers retire, and congress will not always cooperate.

Still public confidence is as important as government policies for inspiring growth, and he can still spell out a robust agenda during his first 100 days. Here are five things to look for in the new president’s first days.

Source: What to expect from the economy in Trump’s first 100 days | Fox News

FOX News, huh?

Not always the most accurate source for actual news but this one is something to consider when dealing with the economy….Morici is a respected economist so his opinions are worth considering…..

The last factor he, Morici, covers is that of trade…….and then word has come out about one of Trump’s first EOs….(more on EOs later today)…….

President Donald Trump on Monday will unravel the behemoth trade deal he inherited from his predecessor, as two sources familiar with the matter told CNN he plans to sign an executive order to withdraw from the negotiating process of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

That executive order will send signals to Democrats and leaders in foreign capitals around the world that Trump’s rhetoric on trade during the campaign is turning into action. Trump vowed during the campaign to withdraw the US from the Pacific trade deal, commonly known as TPP, which he argued was harmful to American workers and manufacturing.
The executive order is expected to be the first Trump will issue Monday, a senior White House official said, and will amount to the administration’s first major action on foreign policy.
(cnn.com)
The economy will be one of the indicators to tell whether the Trump plans are working or not.

Only thing that is obvious is the Goldman-Sachs will have a good couple of years…..

Are Dems Capable?

The Dems were handed their asses in 2016….and being true to form they have promised to learn their lesson and do a better job for the people of this country…….I call CRAP! on their promises.

They have learned nothing….but they could…..not in the direction they are traveling these days….

The Dems are still trying to embrace Clintonism….a trajectory that lost them an election…..

Last January, in his surprising endorsement of Senator Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich made an astute observation which bears repeating following Donald Trump’s victory on November 8th.

“I’ve known Hillary Clinton since she was 19 years old, and have nothing but respect for her,” he wrote in his blog. “In my view, she’s the most qualified candidate for president of the political system we now have. But Bernie Sanders is the most qualified candidate to create the political system we should have, because he’s leading a political movement for change.”

Despite the many theories circulating as to why Clinton lost the election, that quote says it all.

Source: The Democratic Establishment Is Doubling Down on Clintonism as Her Cronies Fail Upward :: Politics :: Features :: Democrats :: Paste

The Dems are pushing that the DNC will be the change needed……again….I don’t think so….

The seven leading candidates to serve as the next chair of the Democratic National Committee gathered at George Washington University on Wednesday night to dodge key questions about party reform and pander to the 447 insiders who will elect the next Democratic leader.

At a debate sponsored by The Huffington Post, contenders repeatedly called for “unity” and made vague calls for better “organizing” while sidestepping important issues about how the DNC should govern its future affairs.

Source: The DNC Contenders Are Not Interested In Your Populist Moment | The Huffington Post

Lots of drama around who will lead the DNC forward….my problem is the ones running are the ones that are the problem…..the people may be populist…leaders are NOT!

If they truly want to return to prominence then maybe they should take a look around……

The election of Donald Trump is part of an ongoing surge of right-wing nationalism across the globe, from Brexit to Hungary to the Philippines.

This presents a thorny problem for the left. Belligerent nationalism has caused many of the worst atrocities in modern history, from the Black Hand in Serbia to Nazi Germany. Yet the basic political instincts behind nationalism cannot simply be ignored or wished away.

If it is to defuse the more destructive aspects of nationalism, the left must admit the need for national fellow feeling — and ensure that, unlike the eurozone, any supranational institutions are created on a democratic basis.

Source: How liberals can learn to stop worrying and love nationalism

As much as I disliked the Tea Party…I will admit that they were successful…all the hate and vitriol was a success….maybe the Dems should take a page out of the playbook…..

Donald Trump represents a grave threat to liberal democratic values. On Capitol Hill, Republicans are falling in line and some moderate Democrats have signaled a willingness to cut deals. But ordinary Americans have the power to resist. We know this is true because we have seen local, grassroots organizing take hold before.

Eight years ago, two of us worked as congressional staffers and the other in immigrant rights organizing. President Obama had taken office with large Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress and seemed poised to enact many of our shared priorities. Another force was taking shape, however, that would eventually bring federal policymaking to a halt.

Source: How to Stop Trump: Lessons From the Tea Party | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

The Dems can return to the top of the mountain but it will take real work and real change…..as it is today….I do not see anything new on the horizon.

We need to dump the status quo…..we need an alternative to this nationalistic rise…..

A clash of two insurgencies is now shaping the west. Progressives on both sides of the Atlantic are on the sidelines, unable to comprehend what they are observing. Donald Trump’s inauguration marks its pinnacle.

One of the two insurgencies shaping our world today has been analysed ad nauseum. Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen and the broad Nationalist International that they are loosely connected to have received much attention, as has their success at impressing upon the multitudes that nation-states, borders, citizens and communities matter.

Source: We Need an Alternative to Trump’s Nationalism. It Isn’t the Status Quo | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

The winds of change are blowing….but how hard?

The Foreign Crises Awaiting Trump

Now that all the pomp and ceremony is done it is time for me to get back to work with the international relations and conflict analysis….

WE are in our new president’s first full week of rule…..and the news is that his choice for SecState, Tillerson, will be confirmed after weeks of confusion and misdirection……and now it is time for the new admin to face the crises waiting on the horizon….especially internationally…..

Trump wants to undo the liberal international order the U.S. built and replace it with a 19th-century model of nationalism and mercantilism. Its unwinding cannot, and will not, be pretty.

We do not know if the period we are about to enter under the presidency of Donald Trump will be as turbulent as the 1910s, the 1930s, the 1940s, or even the 1960s. But it is a safe bet that if such turbulence were to recur in our lifetimes, it would happen under conditions like those of today—a superpower under radical and volatile leadership, geopolitical rivalries, a populist revolt, and a fragile global economy.

Source: The Foreign Crises Awaiting Trump – Defense One

His most pressing situation is that of the South China Sea and China’s expansionism……

The South China Sea is developing at an extraordinarily rapid rate and the events that transpire in the region in the next two to three years will be some of the most significant geopolitical events in the world.  Inside the South China Sea Region are five claimants, hundreds of contested geological features, and two major clashing superpowers: The United States and China. Four key variables have been identified as the principal factors in determining how the South China Sea will evolve in two to three years: (1) U.S. foreign policy in East Asia under Trump. (2) The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) increasing reliance on nationalism to maintain its legitimacy. (3) Vietnam and the development of its foreign policy. (4) The trend in the unity of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a collective security organization. It is predicted with a high degree of confidence that tensions in the South China Sea will continue to increase as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s foreign policy becomes more confrontational with China. This will in turn encourage Vietnam to act more assertively, which in turn will drive Chinese nationalism to new levels. We predict with a medium degree of confidence that the region will take on the characteristics of Finlandization as a weak U.S. economic, as well as a lackluster hard power presence drives the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) towards bandwagoning with an increasingly-aggressive China. Vietnam remains the lone holdout, lashing out from its isolated position. Finally, we predict with a low degree of confidence that the South China Sea will deescalate to the mid-2016 status quo as uncertainty in U.S. foreign policy forces all claimants and peripheral influences to pause and consolidate their positions. Black swan events in the region include a radical change in Indian foreign policy towards China and a radical shift in the China-Russia relationship, for better or worse.

Source: Tensions in the South China Sea National Intelligence Estimate: The Next Two to Three Years | Small Wars Journal

Then there is the region that has been a thorn in every president’s ass since 1948….the Middle East….

During the campaign, President-Elect Donald Trump often vowed that the days of American adventurism in the Middle East were over (while incongruously promising to obliterate ISIS with a sophisticated strategy of More Bombs). He excoriated Hillary Clinton for her role in the NATO-led 2011 military action in Libya. And frankly, a principled skeptic of American interventionism could have squinted and discerned some good ideas — even if the intellectual framework remained To Be Tweeted.

But this posturing about a new day in the Middle East was just an elaborate con, like most everything else that came out of Trump’s mouth during this campaign. Team Trump is about to make an already troubled region so much worse.

Source: Donald Trump’s Middle East con

My point is that there is so much that could go wrong in the world and attention should be there and not bitching about protests or trying to bully the social media world on Twitter.

Flash:  Rex Tillerson has made it out of hearings as SecState….vote coming….