49 thoughts on “News/Politics 1-7-17

  1. This story headlined in my local paper this morning, but I found more detail in the Knoxville paper below. I wonder if globalists would consider it a cramp in free trade, or is it closer to treason. A plea deal in TN called it espionage and the maximum sentence is 20 years. (My local paper reported a maximum sentence of 10 yrs and a $250,000 fine, which would seem like a very light sentence for a nuclear offense involving China. We’ll see.)

    An engineer working as an operative for the Chinese government in a bid to use American know-how to beef up China’s nuclear program pleaded guilty Friday in the first-of-its-kind prosecution in the nation.

    Szuhsiung “Allen” Ho confessed Friday in U.S. District Court in the nation’s first case of nuclear espionage involving China. In a plea deal struck by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Atchley Jr. and Ho’s defense team, Ho is being allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge and will be sentenced under a terrorism statute dubbed the Freedom Act of 2015. The maximum sentence is 20 years.

    To keep that deal, Ho must tell the government everything he knows about China and its nuclear program. Chief U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan set a May 17 sentencing hearing.
    Ho’s plea is considered key to gathering intelligence on the inner workings of China’s nuclear program – both the one used to power homes and the one to make war – in a case in which the Chinese government refuses to even acknowledge the indictment of its own nuclear power company.

    Ho, his firm Energy Technology International, and Chinese nuclear power plant China General Nuclear Power were indicted in April in an alleged plot to lure nuclear experts in the U.S. into providing information to allow China to develop and produce nuclear material based on American technology and below the radar of the U.S. government.

    http://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/crime/2017/01/06/deal-brokered-nuclear-spy-case-involving-china-tva/96251646/

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  2. As an aside for those who still can not figure out how Trump got elected, my brother (mentioned in last my last night comment) and his whole crew voted for Trump. They figure the labor market will tighten, and if there are deportations, they might even get a raise. :–)

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  3. This Morning on Fox, the anchors were no longer questioning the conclusions of US intelligence agencies or citing Assange as a credible source. Trump and the little Trumpkins are trying to change the subject to Democrat incompetence, NBC leaks, etc.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/trump-russia-hacking-intelligence-briefing-233275

    Do you think anyone advised The Great Tweeter to be quiet during the Russian hack debate. By attacking US intelligence agencies, citing Assange, praising Putin and being incredibly defensive, Trump did more than anyone to cast doubt on his own legitimacy and appear as a buffoon to our allies.

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  4. Our illegal alien’s are a complex problem. Several years ago Alabama did a crack down on them. Farmers had crops that needed to be picked and shipped. You can’t use a combine to pick tomatoes. They have to be carefully packed. There wasn’t a lot of lead time to hire and train others to do it. A landscaping company who did a lot of work for us lost most of it’s crews. I was speaking with the owner. He had 5 or 6 white guys apply. A couple dropped out when they heard there was a drug test, a couple worked the first day and didn’t return, and so on.
    I have watched Mexican workers frame and roof a house. They showed up at 7:30, ran an extension cord to a power source, took shifts to eat lunch –construction never stopped until about 4:30. I also have driven past construction sites on holidays where they were working. I was headed to the beach one Memorial Day and saw Mexicans out building the entry to a development.
    Joe Bonner, a former Alabama representative spoke to a group of real estate agents about our illegals. He had asked a high school graduating class “Who would like to spend the summer at the Grand Hotel?” Lots of hands went up. Who would like to work this summer at the Grand Hotel? A few hands went down. Who would like to scrub toilets this summer at the Grand Hotel? Well no one was interested in doing that.
    If we are going to bemoan that Mexicans are here taking all of our jobs we have got to be willing to do those jobs when they are deported.
    Now, I must admit that I am against ILLEGAL immigrants. I think it robs those who worked within the system to become a citizen of the United States of the honor of their citizenship. Why should they go through classes, spend money, and time to become a citizen when someone just crosses a border and poof they get the same benefits as you? Of the naturalized citizens I have known, they tended to have more patriotism than I do.

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  5. Thanks Ricky. But there is quite a bit of work to be had around here and they are already working 6 days a week–though sometimes Saturday is a half day. The work is hard on the body, so Saturday really should be optional. But what the crew is really ticked about is the constant threat of being replaced by people who are working under the table. It’s more of a problem than you would think. The government has grossly fallen down on the job in the immigration department. It is causing unnecessary hostility and hardship.

    But brother will be fine I think. He’s always been very frugal, even as a child. He owns a very modest home (a duplex; mostly paid off) in a safe working class neighborhood, and a small building lot he’s saving for his daughter and her family.

    (Oh, and it may not be a well known fact, but good carpenters are proficient with algebra word problems.) 😉

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  6. Debra, My algebra word problem literacy test is just a semi-sneaky way to approximate the voting requirements of 1776. Your brother is an adult white male property owner. He could have voted in 1776. He could vote under the Weaver System. Mission accomplished.

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  7. The problem with sudden crackdowns and sketchy enforcement is that it doesn’t allow the labor pool to stabilize. Businesses are not the only ones who need stability; families do too.

    Is anyone surprised that high school graduates don’t want to go clean toilets? I wouldn’t raise my hand for that question either. Ask them if they want to earn $15 or $20 dollars an hour, and see what response you get.

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  8. True, a sudden crackdown wouldn’t be optimal, Debra. It would be like instantly shutting off a welfare program or government schooling–part of the problem is creating, allowing, and fostering a certain environment in the first place. Even opponents of all that bad stuff should, and probably do, recognize there’d have to be gradual phasing out and grandfathering goin’ on.

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  9. Debra, Here is good news for your brother. If he and his co-workers are working 6 days a week it means the labor market is already tight. Employers don’t like to pay time and a half when they can pay straight time.

    In a rational world some of those skilled, but unemployed Ys we heard about yesterday would move to the South to help your brother and all could work 40 hours a week. However, encouraging rational behavior can cause serious negative side effects and I will go no further.

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  10. Immigrants will clean toilets. Before long they own a company and hire others to clean toilets. Then they have the pleasure of paying for the food and healthcare of native-born Americans who won’t work hard and won’t start at the bottom. I have seen that all happen many times.

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  11. Debra, I am more on your side than not. I am well past high school and wouldn’t want to clean toilets at a hotel either, but if I had to I would and could. I interviewed for two different jobs last year. Both would have paid me $13,000 less than what I actually earned. One was not offered to me because I did not have experience in that field and someone was hired who did. The other was offered but would have required standing on my feet at least 8 hours a day. I chose not to accept it and continue with what I am doing. Not 5 minutes ago my husband told me I need to find a different job. He is of the opinion that I am in an abusive “relationship” with the guy I work for. I was passive-aggressively threatened with being fired yesterday because I asked someone for a document I didn’t have because it made “us” look disorganized.
    Until I can find a way to replace it I have do suck it up and deal. If we want illegals deported we have to be willing to do the work they were willing to do at the same rate of pay. I earn commissions but my salary is no where near $20 an hour and I have a Master’s degree.

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  12. We have something in Greensboro that we didn’t have in Hendersonville.
    (When it’s warm, it seems.) People stand on the street corners with signs saying they lost their jobs and need help.
    Soon after i got here, I gave a $20.00 bill to a guy.
    Sometime later, I came to a similar situation and started to give him some money. Then, I recalled seeing a sign on a door not 100 yards away.
    The sign said: “HELP WANTED.
    I drove on past.

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  13. Honest work is always honorable, and I have never failed to learn something from every single job I’ve ever had. Including a temp job years ago, that had, as part of its duties, cleaning toilets for a very large, well known, multi-national company. It paid minimum wage, and most (well, ALL ) of my co-workers were immigrants who kept asking me where I was from. I said “I’m from Tennessee” and they said “yes, where FROM”? No one spoke English very well, but finally I understood that they had decided I must be an immigrant from Poland, because no American would have to have a temp cleaning job.

    I was only there for a few weeks between semesters, but I did learn a few things. I learned the importance of corporate reputation in the Wall Street Journal, because every office and every desk (hundreds) had a copy. And the CFO underscored items religiously, sometimes in red.
    I learned that there was a hierarchy in the tech department, some having spacious tables with ample work space for their computers, while others were so tightly jammed together I literally had to climb over office furniture to get behind the desk.

    I learned there really are conference tables that seat 50–gorgeous, smooth, glossy mahogany (makes me smile even now to think about it). It was there that I really fell in love with, and learned to appreciate, watercoulor. They had the most deeply satisfying collection of seascapes I have ever seen.

    Oh, and I also learned that a 6 or 7 figure salary is wholly insufficient to improve the aim at the urinal. Sad, but true. :–)

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  14. $20

    You’d be very popular with our panhandlers, Chas

    You have a good heart

    But, yes, many of these people are pretty manipulative. Many will say things like, “I can tell you’re a Christian!”

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  15. From Drudge:

    “SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A 57-year-old convicted killer serving a life sentence in California became the first U.S. inmate to receive state-funded sex-reassignment surgery, the prisoner’s attorneys confirmed Friday to The Associated Press.”

    If a person could get someone to give him $20.00 every hour, he would be beating minimum wage.

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  16. Kim, your husband is right, “Guy” doesn’t deserve you. At all.

    But I don’t agree with the assessment that if there are deportations, those jobs must be filled with Americans working for the same rate. The whole labor issue is that an abundance of cheap labor drives the wage down. Take away the cheap labor, and wage goes up. And that affects everyone who works for a wage.

    The corollary to that, I’m sure some will say, is that inflation can then become an issue because prices will go up to account for the loss of cheap labor. To some extent that may be true, though maybe not as much as we think. And inflation induced by honest competition in wages is at least an *honest* problem. Illegal labor is not. It’s not honest for either the producer or the laborer.

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  17. No one has a problem with legal immigrants, nor for expanding naturalization/visa for jobs that need filling. It’s the exploiting of the visa system to displace American workers that’s the problem. It’s also the 15 million illegals that’s the problem.

    And an honest days work includes paying your taxes, having your own SS#, not one you stole or bought from someone who did. And it darn sure doesn’t include stealing someone else’s stuff and screwing their life up. There are millions working like this. It’s not an honest day’s work, it’s a criminal enterprise. Pray it’s never your identity they steal.

    Until you stop this and deport those people and other felony committing criminal illegals, and secure the border, nothing else you accomplish will matter.

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  18. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/03/5-facts-about-illegal-immigration-in-the-u-s/

    A few facts on illegal immigrants:

    1. The number of illegal immigrants in the US peaked in 2007, stabilized and has gone down since then. The same is true for illegal immigrants in the workforce.

    2. Viewers of FoxNews may think Mexicans are fleeing from instability in their country to the US. In fact there are 10% fewer illegal Mexican immigrants here now than there were in 2007. The economy of Northern Mexico is doing well and many Mexicans are going home to work. Saltillo and Monterey are much safer than Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago and St. Louis.

    3. Americans faking disability are draining the Social Security system. Illegal immigrants pay billions of dollars into the system each year though fake ss#s or someone else’s# and don’t take anything out. They are helping to keep the system afloat.

    If illegal immigrants are really “stealing” jobs from hard-working Americans, I am still waiting for anyone to explain to me why they haven’t stolen the jobs of the first generation legal immigrants from India, the Phillipines, and South Africa and other countries. Those legal immigrants are out-earning the average Americans by a substantial margin and I never hear those folks begging for Trump to build a wall or give them back “their” jobs.

    The blacks have Sharpton, the lower class whites have Trump, but the Indians, Filipinos and South Africans take responsibility for themselves.

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  19. And I’ll note they’re legal immigrants Ricky, a distinction you keep ignoring.

    And I’ll counter with the story of 1 million Americans who are the victims of illegal immigrant stealing their identities, and the Obama IRS who enabled it under Obama.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/aug/30/irs-doesnt-tell-1-million-taxpayers-that-illegal-i/

    “The IRS has discovered more than 1 million Americans whose Social Security numbers were stolen by illegal immigrants, but officials never bothered to tell the taxpayers themselves, the agency’s inspector general said in a withering new report released Tuesday.
    Investigators first alerted the IRS to the problem five years ago, but it’s still not fixed, the inspector general said, and a pilot program meant to test a solution was canceled — and fell woefully short anyway.
    As a result, most taxpayers don’t learn that their identities have been stolen and their Social Security files may be screwed up.”
    ————————-

    And how those use those stolen ID to steal billions from the taxpayers. These aren’t victimless crimes.

    http://immigrationreform.com/2016/03/09/irs-encourages-illegal-immigrants-to-commit-identity-theft-and-refuses-to-inform-victims/

    “Another tax season has arrived and with it comes the annual soaking of the American taxpayer. Every year, the Internal Revenue Service doles out billions of dollars in tax credits and other funds to illegal immigrants and their families, some of whom do not even live in the United States. Despite the wonderful work a few years ago by the Eyewitness News team at WTHR in Indianapolis, led by chief investigative reporter Bob Segall, the story gained widespread attention on Capitol Hill, but the situation remains unchanged.
    Then, late last year, Segall identified another incredible scenario: even though the IRS is able to easily identify undocumented workers who are using fake Social Security numbers, the agency chooses to look the other way – even when a valid Social Security number belonging to an American citizen is used to file a tax return and wreaks havoc on his or her life.
    The secret IRS policy is so damaging to American citizens whose Social Security numbers are surreptitiously used by illegal aliens – 1.2 million fraud victims last year alone – that two whistleblowers came forward to WTHR to reveal the problem. “I love my country,” said one. “That’s why I’m here. It’s a crime. I don’t care what you call it, it’s a crime,” said one, who chose to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.”

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  20. In Coming Apart, Charles Murray wishes out loud that upper class whites would “preach what they practice” about work ethic, marriage, church attendance and illegitimacy to lower class whites. It might not be well received, but we really need immigrants to preach what they practice to lower class whites and lower class blacks.

    https://www.quicksprout.com/2010/06/30/why-immigrants-are-more-successful-than-you/

    If we could get those two groups helping to pull the wagon rather than riding in the wagon, it would be a different country.

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  21. Actually, Mexicans and other Hispanics have La Raza and are more than happy to affiliate with the Rev. Sharptons of the world to lobby DC for their right to special treatment based on race or ethnicity. But that is par for the course these days.

    However, I am encouraged to learn that reports of Mexico’s economic and political turmoil have been greatly exaggerated. It makes objections to deportation on humanitarian grounds much less convincing. Maybe they too can soon start to take responsibility for themselves in their own lawful countries.

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  22. I do hope that last comment didn’t sound hateful. But who, other than an enemy of the country, would object to immigration being orderly, secure, and legal? Everything has become as upside down as homosexual marriage.

    …or maybe I’m just tired.and it’s time to sign off for the evening. Until next time: peace to all. :–)

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  23. Good discussion, Debra.

    Here in Dallas/Fort Worth (which is booming), we have all types of immigrants: Asians, rural Texans, fellow Southerners, legal Hispanics, illegal Hispanics and Yankees, just to name a few. Those of us who have been here a while get to see the good and the bad of each group every day. I favor comprehensive immigration reform. I really don’t want people to be here illegally for all sorts of reasons. However, until the black underclass and the white lower class step up their work ethic, this economy will not work without a sizable helping of illegal Mexicans.

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  24. From Yahoo news. The judge to the group of four who tortured the impaired victim”

    Cook County Circuit Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil called the group a danger to society on Friday after their “terrible actions,” the AP reported. Wondering how they could be charged with such cruelty towards the victim, she asked them, “where was your sense of decency?”

    Problem is: They likely didn’t understand the question. What do you mean by “decency”? Never heard of such a thing. They are all to blame, but it’s not all their fault.

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  25. Bob — from last night

    I like my teacher’s union. Yes it does support a political party but one it thinks will advance the interests of collective bargaining which is in every member’s interest. However, my union not only gives a good wage, benefits and pension — it limits the increased workload, stress, managerial power, etc, My particular union (i.e. for the local school board) is well known for protecting teacher’s time and limiting the number of out of classroom responsibilities. I’ve dated teachers from other school boards and unions and was surprised by the number of meetings, increased responsibilities, and added paperwork they were required to complete. Thus, I’m very happy with my union.

    My daughter and her friends critique the corporate elite, neoliberal economics, and the gov’t from a Marxist perspective sometimes unaware it is Marxist. Its part of the air in my city. They see the gov’t as a tool for the corporate elite and the neoliberal agenda and have no desire to establish or support a state dictatorship no matter what its stated aims. The social left (“safe space” “cultural appropriation” etc) doesn’t have much support with my daughter and her friends. Most of them won’t go to university and come form working class backgrounds. They see the social left as “white girl” politics — Starbucks, netflix, and a condescending attitude toward the poor. My conservative friends called limousine socialism.

    I do understand, however, why some groups protest the presence of Condi Rics, Bush Jr., Cheney etc on their campus. They view them as war criminals who should be tried in the Hague as opposed to being paid to appear on their campus. I don’t entirely agree (they should be allowed to speak and let the marketplace of ideas decide. If they are convicted in the Hague then they should be banned) but thats their rationale.

    My daughter spent almost every other summer or Christmas visiting her grandmother and great-grandmother in Poland. She teases the Polish people she knows imitating them with heavy accent saying, “It was better under communism” or “Under communism it was free”, since she heard it so often. I lived there in 1992 and remember many people telling me they rioted or protested the gov’t increasing the cost of bread and essentials and now they complained the prices are even higher and protesting to the gov’t does nothing because it no longer controls the prices. Among the working class there’s a nostalgia for the cradle to the grave socialism of the past — where your workplace fed you, housed you, and paid for your vacation in the mountains. This nostalgia has in part fuelled the right wing populism in Eastern Europe — supported by Putin. European right wing populism has a heavy nationalist and anti-immigrant component, is socially conservative, but also is in favour of the welfare state (modern day paternalism). The Eastern Europeans who immigrant in the post WWII period have a different story and a different impression to give.

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  26. Immigration, employment, law and order, etc are interrelated but instead of approaching it from a law and order perspective, treat it as an economic and administrative issue. Sure, patrol the border but take away the market conditions that create the need for illegal immigration.

    The US has some of the loosest labour laws in the OECD and even then its barely enforced. The “black” or “gray” economy in the US is quite large and includes not only illegals but also ordinary residents who work under the table. Increased enforcement of existing rules, ensure all employment is on “the books” — more surprise inspections, increase IRS audits of business esp industries well known for working off the books — meat packing, construction, etc.

    This will tighten the labour market and as Debra points out less workers and more jobs should lead to increased wages. And to help that along, increase minimum wages — this will encourage people to not only work but to work on “the books”. Its extremely doubtful that this will increase inflation. It rarely does and currently corporations have record profits and record savings — they can afford to shorten their profit margins and keep prices the same.

    Unionization will also help to keep employment monitored and on the books. Unions will report to the gov’t for free making compliance to labour law far cheaper than without unions.

    In addition, we (Canada and the US) need to change our education on the trades. Canada actively recruits tradesmen from southern and eastern Europe. And at home, we send far too many people to university. Diverting students to the trades will require a change in secondary and post-secondary education plus our attitudes. Many of the illegals provide skills that for some strange reason North Americans fail to acquire.

    This will not end illegal immigration but neither will a wall and the above is far cheaper and more beneficial to the common worker. Mexicans will continue to come and go providing labour when needed and leaving when not needed. They act in much the same way as Malays in Singapore – cheap labour without state responsibility — they leave when not needed.

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  27. Comment on Ricky’s 8:41 post

    Its been pretty well established that the Russians are responsible for hacking the Democratic party’s emails. And its also pretty much established that Putin wanted Trump over Clinton — he’s done business with Trump, knows he’s a buffoon, and knows Trump’s business interests in Russia will bias Trump as opposed to Clinton whose neoliberal/corporate agenda directly contradicts the right wing populism Putin supports. The Russians have provided support in the form of loans, cash, advisers, training, a web presence, etc to various minor right wing parties in Europe. Most of these parties will not amount to much but occasionally they will get lucky — e.g. Jobbik in Hungary. And they’ve done the same with Trump — provide some assistance — leaking emails and other damaging information in the hopes he will win.

    Best meme I saw on the internet today — “If Obama had to prove he was born here, Trump has to prove he’s not a Russian spy”. The left has taken note of the Republican treatment of Obama and is demanding the Democrats treat Trump in the same manner. I’m sceptical they will since many of the Democrats have a corporatist agenda that despite Trump’s populism he also supports.

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  28. Chas — I never give money to people who beg at red lights for various reasons ( I don’t carry money for one). However, an elderly gentleman has reserved a corner two blocks from my house and at the entrance to the entertainment district. He’s been there for years and keeps a milk crate and other items at the corner even when he’s not there. People/shops/restaurants will leave stuff beside or in his crate even when he’s not there (food, winter clothes, blankets). My daughter has bought him an occasional coffee from Tim Horton’s. On weekends he makes good money from the bar and night club patrons. (The night clubs hold a free Christmas dinner party every year for those without families)

    Two corners down, a young guy has staked out an other intersection as his. However, he is employable and hence I don’t think he has the same success as the older gentleman — who is probably only my age but looks at least 65. He told my daughter he’s been homeless off and on since he was 16. I can barely understand him and its obvious he’s never going to work. I can see helping him out but not the young guy (who I know lives in the apartment bldg by my house with two other people, which means he gets welfare).

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  29. It will be interesting to see how foreign countries react to the Trump presidency. I think most of our allies will just try to get through the four years and hope Trump’s advisors will keep him from saying or doing anything too harmful.

    Putin has some real opportunities. I think he will try to use Trump to help him reach a final negotiated settlement in Ukraine complete with an end to all sanctions imposed by the Europeans.

    With Trump pulling out of the TPP, China will recruit more nations to sign its alternative trade agreement. Nations from Australia to Chile to Mexico plus many Asian countries will increase their trade ties with China. If Trump does impose a tariff, China’s opportunity to pull countries out of the orbit of the US will increase.

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  30. The TPP should fail — its nothing more than a corporate bill of rights. Free trade is more the rule than the exception. Any further international agreements are more about creating structures of trade and commerce than favour international corporations.

    The real danger for the US is if China, Russia and others attempt to form a different economic zone apart from the dominant neoliberal economies of the OECD. Although these Central Asian countries are often at odds with each other, the Shanghai Cooperation Zone has potential.

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  31. Oops forgot,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai_Cooperation_Organisation

    Eastern Ukraine has the potential to be a “frozen conflict” and in case given the ethnic make up of the eastern Ukraine, the West will be looking for a means to escape the conflict while saving face. I actually expect some success in this area from the Trump admin — but not the success Ukrainian nationalist will want. Ukrainian could possibly be force to accept some loss of territory in exchange for closer European ties.

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  32. HRW’s comments about Poland remind me of a conversation I had with a woman in Romania. I can’t figure out how to give you the link on this too clever IPad, so here’s the quote:

    Alex’s mother is my age and when she joined us, I asked how her life changed when communism fell and “capitalism came.”

    Not as fluent as her son, she still made herself understood.

    “Before capitalism, we did not know who we could trust and so we were family focused. You spoke truth to your family and they were the center of your life. You worked your job and then you came home to your family. You grew much of your own food.”

    “Now,” she explained, “under capitalism, we work all the time and we have little time for our family. We are not so close anymore.”

    I nodded.

    “The tomatoes do not have any flavor, either.”

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  33. From National Review

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443637/donald-trump-democrat-opposition-left-losing-it
    _________________________

    Diligent opposition has a place in our republic; hysteria does not.

    Democrats have been in power for so long that they’ve forgotten how to oppose. Their party has been on a roll since 2005, when the botched Social Security reform, the slow bleed of the Iraq war, and Hurricane Katrina sent the Bush administration into a tailspin.

    The Democrats won the Congress the following year and the White House two years after that. And while they lost the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014, Democrats still had the advantage of retaining the White House, a president seemingly immune from criticism, the courts, the bureaucracy, and large portions of the media. The correlation of forces in Washington has weighed heavily in favor of the Democrats for a decade. No longer.

    The election of Donald Trump has brought unified Republican government to Washington and overturned our understanding of how politics works. Or at least it should have done so. The Democrats seem not to understand how to deal with Trump and the massive change he is about to bring to the nation’s capital. …

    … Yes, the first duty of the opposition is to oppose. And I don’t expect the Democrats to roll over for Trump. But I am surprised by their hysterics, and by their race to see who can be the most obnoxious to the new president. They seem to have been caught off guard, to say the least, by their situation. …

    … It takes time to adjust. The Democrats may be counting on inertia and the media to slow the Republicans down and force them into a defensive crouch. Worked in the past. But here’s the thing about Trump: He doesn’t play defense.
    __________________________________

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  34. I don’t think the left is losing it — they are playing the exact same game as the Republicans in 2008. In 2008, there was a run on guns, mass protest, insinuations about Obama’s birth and religion, etc. The left hasn’t forgotten…its a little late and hypocritical for the right to complain.

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  35. Bill Maher, of all people, identified the problem the Democrats and the press now face. What do you do when you have been falsely been crying “Wolf” for decades (against Reagan, the Bushes and Romney) and a deranged wolf is now actually here?

    DJ is correct. Trump does not play defense. However, he does play offense very well against himself. He came within an eyelash of losing to the second worst major party candidate in history despite Putin’s help and the fact that it was a Republican year. It took Anthony Weiner to breathe new life into the e-mail scandal and give Trump tiny victories in those three critical Yankee states. Since he opened his campaign, every single wound suffered by Trump has been self-inflicted. He knifes himself on Twitter about every other day.

    The real problem for the Republicans is that they have also been crying “Wolf”. After the Republicans took the House in 2010, Obama has been largely neutered on domestic initiatives. His foreign policy (much of which I disagree with) is similar in many ways to that of Little Bush. That is what allowed Obama aides to continue the work of Bush aides with our Asian allies on TPP. If the Democrats in the future nominate an ignorant, deranged megalomaniac, Republicans will also learn that crying “Wolf” no longer works. They will probably then turn to hysteria.

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  36. Perhaps it is because I am surrounded mostly by liberals that I see what I’d call hysteria in the wake of the 2016 election.

    Despair, panic, hysteria — especially being played out on social media. Fascinating in some ways but also disturbing.

    I don’t remember seeing that after the ’08 election, but, again, living and working and moving in what is a very blue culture where I am, I may have just missed it.

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  37. DJ, Here in Texas all I hear is that Obama is the Anti-Christ on steroids. I think we live in polar opposite echo chambers.

    HRW plays an important role here. He is extremely well-informed, friendly and makes all of us think hard about our common perceptions.

    Trump’s campaign and election has also helped us test and sharpen our ideologies.

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  38. Maher is right — crying wolf too many times is not a good idea. Measured outrage appropriate for the offence is needed. However, I don’t think Maher or any else thought the Republicans would nominate someone this outrageous.

    The senior editor of the Think Progress needs to get a grip — unless his plumber was a tattooed member of the Aryan Nations he’s got no reason to panic. And seriously who discusses politics with their plumber …..

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Paranoia strikes deep … 🙂 Seriously, I know a number of people who think just like that post-2016 election.

    Alas, it’s the state our nation finds itself in and I don’t see it going away soon.

    Sometimes it’s interesting for me having been a liberal through college and (more moderately) into my early 30s. I know the counter-arguements and hear them going back in forth in my own head, knowing what I ‘would have said’ back in the day to this or that point.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. A suggestion for each side that might improve dialogue:

    1. Conservatives: Don’t defend every foolish thing Trump says or does. Russia/Wikileaks is a good recent example. It will wear you out and kill your credibility with liberals (and everyone else).

    2. Liberals: Be patient. Trump and his kids have been liberal New Yorkers their whole lives. You are probably going to like some of the things he will do. If he proposes really bad ideas, you should be able to join with conservatives and block them.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Elections have consequences.

    This will just add to their misery. But on the bright side, they’ll have more time for protesting and such.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/trump-clinton-loyalists-jobs-233296

    “The job market is about to get even more crowded for Washington Democrats, as thousands of Obama appointees join the hundreds of Clinton campaign staffers looking for employment.

    There’s rarely been less demand for their services.

    The Trump tornado is tearing up post-election planning around the Beltway. It’s not just that those 4,000 administration jobs are no longer available to Hillary for America alumni, or that failed Senate candidates like Russ Feingold and Katie McGinty won’t be able to hire their staff on the Hill. There are also the lobbying firms, trade associations and corporate government affairs offices that are pitching senior Obama aides’ resumes into the round file while scrambling to hire operatives with Republican connections.

    It’s insult to injury for a generation of young operatives who are still managing their shock and grief from Hillary Clinton’s loss. And for those who want to fight to keep President Barack Obama’s legacy from being erased, there aren’t a lot of places ready to pay them to do it.”

    Like

  42. Good. I hope she pays a heavy price for what she did to these officers.

    http://www.abc2news.com/news/region/baltimore-city/judge-allows-defamation-lawsuit-against-marilyn-mosby-to-go-forward

    “A federal judge has ruled that a defamation and malicious prosecution lawsuit filed against Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby can go forward.

    The lawsuit was filed by five of the six Baltimore Police officers charged in 2015 with the death of Freddie Gray.

    The judge ruled that the suit against Mosby and Baltimore City Assistant Sheriff Samuel Cogen can proceed, said Michael Glass, an attorney for Sgt Alicia White and Officer William Porter. “

    Liked by 1 person

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