44 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-10-18

  1. Douthat posted this article about what has happened to the Evangelical “Center” over the last 60 years. It argues that the Evangelical Right and Left have become absurdities.


  2. The Stormy Daniels story is important because it appears to involve a serious violation of election law. This happened a few days before the 2016 election, not eleven years ago.


    Let’s try to be honest and objective. If Obama and/or his lawyer had violated federal election law to secretly pay off and silence his former porn star girlfriend a few days before he was elected, Fox would create a new cable channel to provide 24 hour coverage of the story. However, since this is only the 153rd most dishonest thing Trump has done, it has to compete with his other “presidential” activities and Tweets.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If Kevin D. Williamson had written the article, he would have left out all the discussion of Anti-Semitism and replaced that with facts, statistics and ridicule aimed at the anti-globalists. Nevertheless, this part of Stephens’ piece is pretty good:

    “To be a globalist means almost nothing — even “Davos Man” has to trundle home somewhere after the annual forum draws to a close. Rex Tillerson is as much a globalist as Samantha Power. Ditto for John Bolton and John Kerry, Charles Koch and George Soros, Mike Pompeo and Julian Assange. A term that embraces opposites has almost no explanatory power.

    To be an anti-globalist, on the other hand, does specify something. It means someone who is convinced that serious business is transacted at conferences like Davos or Bilderberg or Munich, and that 500 or so people run the world at the expense of everyone else. It means the notion that American prosperity would be well served by a return to a Smoot-Hawley world of punitive tariffs and other beggar-thy-neighbor economic policies. It means the suspicion that Americans whose cultural and geographic horizons are broader than America’s borders are deficient in patriotism.

    In short, anti-globalism is economic illiteracy married to a conspiracy mind-set. The dark truth about Davos isn’t that it’s sinister or significant. It’s that it’s booooring.”


  4. What’s changed?

    The media has gone from propagandizing for Russia to declaring them the worst thing ever.

    What’s changed?

    Nothing, except Trump is now president, so Russia bad! Funny though, they never thought that while selling their souls to Russia for cash.


    “With special counsel Robert Mueller’s latest indictments of alleged Russian trolls, Facebook is facing heavy fire from prominent critics at the New York Times, Washington Post, and other legacy media for uncritically spreading Russian misinformation. But the probe’s newly lengthened chronology, stretching back well before the 2016 campaign, suggests social-media mischief was only part of a deeper Russian propaganda effort in which those same news organizations were also willing and paid participants.

    In 2007, state-owned publisher Rossiyskaya Gazeta launched Russia Beyond the Headlines, a multi-page full-color broadsheet laid out just like a newspaper and distributed, typically monthly, as an insert by some of the most prestigious names in newspaper publishing, including London’s Daily Telegraph, Le Figaro in France and the Italian daily La Repubblica, reaching an audience estimated at nearly 6.5 million readers.

    In the United States, the Russian-state media entity partnered with the Washington Post until 2015 and with the New York Times, which confirmed it still bundles the insert into its regular paper. Angela He, manager of corporate communications for the Times, sent an email “confirming that we do run these ads” and that they conform to Times advertising acceptability standards, but declined to elaborate.

    Russia Beyond, as the insert was renamed in 2017, serves as a “gateway for all things Russia — from culture, travel, education, language, ways to do business, and much more.” Only a small disclaimer right below the masthead, in light typeface, explains that it’s an advertising feature.

    Russia Beyond paints a picture of a normal country, with normal concerns, including reviews of Moscow’s trendy restaurants and reports from the latest ComiCon. The Russia depicted in its pages isn’t working with Iran and the Syrian regime to slaughter civilians and gas children. Rather, it’s a global actor in good standing, whose citizens don’t understand why the United States and European Union placed sanctions on their country in response to the invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.

    It serves not only Russian national interests, but also the personal power plays of President Vladimir Putin. According to a study by the Institute of Modern Russia, a New York think tank run by Pavel Khodorkovsky, a Russia Beyond insert in the largest German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, featured an article attacking his father, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a onetime oligarch imprisoned and later pardoned by Putin.

    “In the words of Ulrich Schmid of the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung, the article is reminiscent of the Russian media’s ‘journalistic execution’ of Russia’s number one political prisoner,” the institute said, referring to the elder Khodorkovsky. “In the article, Khodorkovsky is painted in the darkest colors as a Komsomol apparatchik, cynical businessman, and an interpreter of the Bible.”

    So it turns out that, like Facebook, the New York Times and Washington Post were among those taking money to distribute Russian propaganda. How much money exactly? Neither newspaper would disclose financial details. But there are indications it was a significant amount — and far more than Facebook received. In 2008 the Daily Telegraph was reported to have earned nearly 40,000 pounds a month (perhaps $57,000 to $80,000) to distribute the insert. Russia Beyond likely paid several million dollars to the Times and Post combined over more than a decade. By comparison, Facebook was paid roughly $100,000 by Russian-linked disinformation sources during a nearly two-year period.”

    Hey Mueller should look here, these are the crimes he likes, one’s that are decades old and impossible to defend yourself against.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t even have to read the article. We gave up focusing on the Bible, the gospel and what does God require of us, and chased after the false idols of power, politics, press and prestige.

    Echoing Anne Graham Lotz: “Just give me Jesus.”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Now, about that Pro-Russian propaganda……

    Seems the NY Times is still running it. Hardly a surprise really.


    “Facebook has come under heavy fire from the New York Times and the Washington Post for uncritically spreading Russian misinformation. But Lee Smith makes a strong case that the Times and the Post are guilty of the same offense on a larger scale.

    These organs spread Russian propaganda via “Russia Beyond the Headlines,” a multi-page full-color broadsheet laid out just like a newspaper and distributed for newspapers like the Times and the Post to insert — for a fee. “Russia Beyond the Headlines” was produced by the state-owned publisher Rossiyskaya Gazeta. According to Smith, it serves not only Russian national interests but, inevitably, also the personal interests of Vladimir Putin. The Institute of Modern Russia, a New York think tank run by Pavel Khodorkovsky, found that a “Russia Beyond” insert in the largest German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, featured an article attacking Khodorkovsky’s father, a onetime oligarch imprisoned and later pardoned by Putin.

    The Washington Post inserted “Russia Beyond the Headlines” into its newspaper until 2015, according to Smith. The New York Times still does.

    What is the nature of these inserts? Says Smith:

    Russia Beyond paints a picture of a normal country, with normal concerns, including reviews of Moscow’s trendy restaurants and reports from the latest ComiCon. The Russia depicted in its pages isn’t working with Iran and the Syrian regime to slaughter civilians and gas children. Rather, it’s a global actor in good standing, whose citizens don’t understand why the United States and European Union placed sanctions on their country in response to the invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.

    The insert contains only a small disclaimer right below the masthead, in light typeface, explaining that it’s an advertising feature. From personal experience, I can say the disclaimer is easy to miss.

    Thus, as Smith says, it turns out that, like Facebook, the New York Times and Washington Post were among those taking money to distribute Russian propaganda. Neither paper will say how much money it received, but Smith believes the amounts were significant and, in all events, far greater than what the Russians paid Facebook:”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Seriously? 🙄


    “The Democratic Party New York Times headlines: “The Stormy Daniels Scandal Gets Serious.” Let’s just pause on that. President Trump’s alleged dalliance with Ms. Daniels occurred, if it occurred at all, 12 years ago. Long before he was a presidential candidate, let alone president. How much interest has the Democratic Party New York Times shown in sexual relationships entered into by John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, or any other Democrat more than a decade before entering public life? Nevertheless, the Times argues that this is somehow a big deal:

    As this drama unfolds, it’s becoming clear that, for all its sordid details, it isn’t really a sex scandal. It’s a campaign finance scandal, a transparency scandal and potentially part of an ongoing national security scandal. It’s salacious and absurd, but we should take it seriously.

    But the Times’s explanations of why Stormy Daniels is suddenly relevant are laughable, e.g., the payment that Trump’s lawyer supposedly made to Ms. Daniels should have been reported as an in-kind contribution to his campaign. Right. The Times soon goes around the bend:

    Finally, the Daniels story is germane to the overriding scandal of the Trump administration, the one involving Trump’s relationship with Russia. Christopher Steele, the British ex-spy who compiled an infamous dossier of opposition research on Trump, wrote that Russia could blackmail Trump with evidence of his “sexual perversion.” Nothing we know of Daniels confirms the dossier’s outré claims about what such perversion entailed. The NDA does, however, show that Trump was susceptible to blackmail.

    Earth to the New York Times: Donald Trump doesn’t have a relationship with Russia! This is a bizarre fantasy that makes the Times and other Democrats look stupid. In any event, Stormy Daniels has nothing to do with Russia, one way or another. And for the Times to accuse our president of “sexual perversion,” on the basis of absolutely zero evidence, is a low blow even by the standards of the Democratic Party press. (On a positive note, it is good to see that the Times thinks there still is such a thing as sexual perversion. That seems like an old-fashioned notion in today’s era of “let a thousand gender identities bloom.”)”

    Donald Trump doesn’t have a relationship with Russia, but the NY Times sure does.


  8. It’s time to end this farce.


    “Half the country hates Donald Trump, and even the half that thinks he’s doing a good job often flinch from his boorishness, his nasty public attacks, sometimes even on his own aides. For all the top talent he says he’s surrounded himself with, the president repeatedly attracts among the worst that Washington—and New York—have to offer. No doubt that’s one reason why whatever is thrown at him seems to stick.

    At the same time, there is a growing consensus among reporters and thinkers on the left and right—especially those who know anything about Russia, the surveillance apparatus, and intelligence bureaucracy—that the Russiagate-collusion theory that was supposed to end Trump’s presidency within six months has sprung more than a few holes. Worse, it has proved to be a cover for U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement bureaucracies to break the law, with what’s left of the press gleefully going along for the ride. Where Watergate was a story about a crime that came to define an entire generation’s oppositional attitude toward politicians and the country’s elite, Russiagate, they argue, has proved itself to be the reverse: It is a device that the American elite is using to define itself against its enemies—the rest of the country.

    Yet for its advocates, the questionable veracity of the Russiagate story seems much less important than what has become its real purpose—elite virtue-signaling. Buy into a storyline that turns FBI and CIA bureaucrats and their hand-puppets in the press into heroes while legitimizing the use of a vast surveillance apparatus for partisan purposes, and you’re in. Dissent, and you’re out, or worse—you’re defending Trump.

    Recently, a writer on The New Yorker blog named Adrian Chen gave voice to the central dilemma facing young media professionals who struggle to balance their need for social approval with the demands of fact-based analysis in the age of Trump. In an article pegged to special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments of the Internet Research Agency, Chen referenced an article he had written about the IRA for The New York Times Magazine several years ago. After the Mueller indictments were announced, Chen was called on to lend his expertise regarding Russian troll farms and their effect on the American public sphere—an offer he recognized immediately as a can’t-win proposition.

    “Either I could stay silent,” wrote Chen, “and allow the conversation to be dominated by those pumping up the Russian threat, or I could risk giving fodder to Trump and his allies.”

    In other words, there’s the truth, and then there’s what’s even more important—sticking it to Trump. Choose wrong, even inadvertently, Chen explained, no matter how many times you deplore Trump, and you’ll be labeled a Trumpkin. That’s what happened to Facebook advertising executive Rob Goldman, who was obliged to apologize to his entire company in an internal message for having shared with the Twitter public the fact that “the majority of the Internet Research Agency’s Facebook ads were purchased after the election.” After Trump retweeted Goldman’s thread to reaffirm that Vladimir Putin had nothing to do with his electoral victory, the Facebook VP was lucky to still have a job.

    Chen’s article serves to explain why Russiagate is so vital to The New Yorker, despite the many headaches that each new weekly iteration of the story must be causing for the magazine’s fact-checkers. According to British court documents, The New Yorker was one of the publications that former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele briefed in September 2016 on the findings in his now-notorious dossier. In a New Yorker profile of Steele this week—portraying the spy-for-corporate-hire as a patriotic hero and laundering his possible criminal activities—Jane Mayer explains that she was personally briefed by Steele during that time period.

    The New Yorker has produced tons of Russiagate stories, including a small anthology of takes on the Mueller indictments alone. Of course there’s one by the recently-hired Adam Entous, the former Washington Post and Wall Street Journal reporter who broke the news that the Washington firm Fusion GPS, which produced the Steele dossier, had been hired by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee—a story that helped Fusion GPS relieve some of the pressure congressional inquiries had put on the firm to release its bank records. No doubt Entous will continue to use his sources, whoever they are, to break more such stories at The New Yorker.

    One person at The New Yorker who won’t get on board with the story is Masha Gessen. Born in Moscow, Gessen knows first-hand how bad Putin is and dislikes Trump only a little less than she dislikes the Russian strongman. Yet in a recent New Yorker piece, Gessen mocked Mueller’s indictments: “Trump’s tweet about Moscow laughing its ass off was unusually (perhaps accidentally) accurate,” she wrote. “Loyal Putinites and dissident intellectuals alike are remarkably united in finding the American obsession with Russian meddling to be ridiculous.”

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Why having media for hire to the highest bidder is a bad idea.

    This and the one above should be on your must read list.


    “The Fusion GPS news-for-hire scandal has not only led to the public identification of the source of the “Trump Dossier”—a for-profit company that provides opposition research to whoever could write big checks, which is staffed by four former Wall Street Journal reporters led by Glenn Simpson. The scandal has also lifted the lid off a sewer of corporate information warfare and opposition research that the flailing institutions of the mainstream press now regularly re-package as news, without ever saying where it came from—or who paid for it. While the idea that the products of paid opposition research are being main-lined by name news outlets makes an ongoing mockery of claims to objective reporting, that part of the story is hardly new—it goes back at least to the partisan warfare of the 1990s. So why is Fusion GPS such a big deal?

    The Trump Dossier, and the firestorm it ignited, is only one piece of the Fusion GPS story. What’s new about Fusion GPS and its fellow DC oppo shops—few of which register as foreign lobbyists—is that they take money from entities linked to foreign governments that are eager to re-frame or invent news stories to punish their enemies at home and torque American foreign policy by controlling information. When you connect the dots between Fusion GPS’s foreign clients and U.S. media outlets, a much more disturbing picture emerges of the firm’s activities, and what they reveal about the weakened state of the American press, and American democracy.

    Faith in the outfit’s journalistic expertise and experience is one of the chords that Fusion GPS strikes in its relations with journalists, whether they’re trying to block a story or shop one. “If they have a story they think you’d be interested in,” says one Washington, D.C. journalist familiar with Fusion GPS’s operations, “they call you down to their office on Dupont Circle and show you a dossier. There’s no confidentiality agreement, but it’s understood that if they show you something and you talk about it, you’re cut off, or worse.”

    The fact that Fusion GPS has the whip-hand in its relationship with journalists hardly compels the company to be honest—revealing sources is for suckers, especially when your “sources” are paying the bills. At the same time as Fusion GPS was being paid directly by Russian clients in Washington, it was also being paid by a Venezuelan company called Derwick Associates that reportedly skimmed billions of dollars from rigged contracts with Hugo Chavez’s regime—and which did large amounts of business with Russian state companies like Gazprom and Gazprombank that are sanctioned by Washington for issues related to Russia’s involvement in Ukraine. That’s how Fusion GPS kept the lights on.

    If taking money from repressive kleptocracies is an ugly business, an even uglier story emerges when you start connecting the dots. Add Fusion GPS’s contracts with Russian and Russian-linked entities together with the company’s role in compiling and distributing a defamatory dossier sourced to the Kremlin, and the idea that the Trump Dossier was a Kremlin information operation becomes quite plausible—with much of the U.S. media serving as the delivery mechanism for a poison dart aimed at the legitimacy of the American democratic system.

    But wait: How could the Kremlin be targeting Donald Trump, at the same time as it was trying to elect Trump by hacking John Podesta’s emails and spreading them on Wikileaks, and running anti-Hillary Clinton conspiracy stories on Russia Today? The answer is that the purpose of Russia’s interventions in the 2016 election wasn’t to elect either Clinton or Trump, for a traditional quid pro quo. Information operations don’t work that way; they’re hammers, not scalpels. You can sow distrust and confusion, and pit groups against each other—but you can’t move swing voters in Wisconsin from one column to another with any kind of reliability, and efforts to achieve such a straightforward aim are more likely than not to backfire.

    No, the point of the Kremlin’s assault on the American election of 2016 was to defame both candidates, and sow chaos, and thereby to discredit the American system of government, which rests on the consent of the governed. By any measure you care to use, the Kremlin has succeeded, and Fusion GPS was one of its most useful instruments.”

    Liked by 2 people

  10. One of the major arguments made by Republicans during the Clinton/Lewinsky matter was that the affair made Clinton subject to blackmail.

    Not only did the Stormy Daniels affair make Trump subject to blackmail, he was actually successfully blackmailed by the porn star herself. Who knows how many other persons or countries have successfully blackmailed Trump for who knows how many other sordid acts?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. And here’s another piece of often unheeded wisdom by Pat Buchanan—-about Russia.

    Warning: This link contains NO semi-nude pix or salacious nuances to titillate the senses; just historically informed common sense and intelligent thinking. Those more interested in the porn update of the day need not pause here.

    Unless there is a late surge for Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin, who is running second with 7 percent, Vladimir Putin will be re-elected president of Russia for another six years on March 18.

    Then we must decide whether to continue on course into a second Cold War, or engage Russia, as every president sought to do in Cold War I.

    For our present conflict, Vladimir Putin is not alone at fault. His actions have often been reactions to America’s unilateral moves.

    After the Soviet Union collapsed, we brought all of the Warsaw Pact members and three former republics of the USSR into our military alliance, NATO, to corral Russia. How friendly was that?……


    Liked by 1 person

  12. Recently, Connecticut’s court system and several other State departments were hacked with ransomware. Cyber attacks of all kinds are probably going to increase, and the implications are much broader than election interference. The day may come when we will wish we had focused more on training computer people here rather than handing out h1b visas like candy, and outsourcing IT processes to the degree that our national supply of IT professionals is dangerously low.


    Liked by 2 people

  13. Hmm. Is it better for NBA teams to teach Trumpers to play basketball or bring in tall athletic people from around the world to play basketball? Is it better to teach Trumpers to do cyber security or bring in really smart people from Asia to do cyber security? Connecticut can have the trained Trumpers. Texas will take the smart Asian immigrants.


  14. And it’s not just any old Asian that Texas wants. We are going to be recruiting primarily from Jiangsu and Shanghai.


  15. China schools corporate America, again. Maybe someday we too can be economically free like China. 🙄

    The job Roy Jones landed at Marriott International’s “customer engagement” center in Omaha didn’t pay much. He got $14 an hour to work the night shift monitoring Marriott’s accounts on Twitter and other social-media platforms. On a typical night, Jones might see 300 tweets mentioning the hotel chain, and would respond as seemed appropriate. So when he saw a tweet from Friends of Tibet on Jan. 9 praising Marriott for including Tibet (along with Hong Kong and Taiwan) in a survey it had mailed to members of its rewards program, he did the natural thing: He “liked” it on behalf of Marriott Rewards.

    Days later, he was fired.

    Jones’s “like” had offended China’s communist dictatorship, which goes ballistic at any suggestion that Tibet is separate from China. Marriott’s survey was already being denounced on Chinese social media because it referred to Tibet as a country, and the praise from Friends of Tibet, a group that supports Tibetan independence, added fuel to the bonfire. Chinese authorities summoned Marriott officials for some blunt re-education. They ordered the company to halt bookings at its 300 Chinese hotels for a week, demanded a self-abasing public apology, and, according to The Wall Street Journal, required Marriott to “seriously deal with the people responsible.”

    Marriott hastily complied. The company announced an eight-point “rectification” of its corporate policies…..



  16. We can all rest assured that China’s rise to world economic domination could not conceivable have been possible without the full cooperation of the US ( led by Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and others). As Pat Buchanan points out:

    …In 2017, the U.S. ran a trade deficit in goods of almost $800 billion, $375 billion of that with China, a trade surplus that easily covered Xi Jinping’s entire defense budget .

    If we are to turn our $800 billion trade deficit in goods into an $800 billion surplus, and stop the looting of America’s industrial base and the gutting of our cities and towns, sacrifices will have to be made.

    But if we are not up to it, we will lose our independence, as the countries of the EU have lost theirs.

    Specifically, we need to shift taxes off goods produced in the USA, and impose taxes on goods imported into the USA….



  17. 1. Do any of the Trumpkins know that the TPP was designed and created as a counterbalance to China?

    2. Just as the TPP countries have found partners other than the US who wish to continue to trade, China could have and did find scores of trading partners other than the US. Reagan and Friedman understood economics, but so did other countries.


  18. @4:07 If the elites are ready to recruit citizenry from China, it makes run of the mill lefty Democrats look more patriotically American by comparison. At least the Democrats will not do us worse than China, so perhaps the future election outcomes are not so momentous as we would like to think. Maybe they never have been.

    But let’s be clear: China has never renounced its communism. On the contrary, it has reinforced it. And it seems likely that by the time we’re finished financing China, we will have given them all the resources they need to dominate the world politically as well as economically.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. China trades more with the EU than with the US and trades more on a per capita basis with Japan and South Korea than with the US. Appranently, Friedman’s works have been translated into many languages and Freshman Economics is available to students in many parts of the world. My son said he learned enough in his Texas high school economics class to know to reject Trumpism.


    Meanwhile, one of my golf buddies is a Trumpkin who works for a fence company with other Trumpers. They know that their cost of steel is going to rise thanks to the Trump tariff. Steel suppliers won’t give them quotes for longer than three days out. The uncertainty means they can’t generate bids to their customers. Customers on long term deals don’t want to absorb Trump’s higher steel prices, and the Trumpkin fence company employees are all afraid they will be laid off. Winning!


  20. Debra @ 8:49 The Buchanan/Trump story is that the Chinese are selling products “below cost”. This is difficult to prove, but if it is true, that means that the Chinese have been subsidizing the US, the EU, Canada, Japan, South Korea, etc. for years. Friedman makes it clear that if someone wants to subsidize you, let them do it. Trumpers and Democrats, of all people, should understand this since that has been their domestic strategy for decades. Most pay no income taxes but receive lots of goodies and benefits paid for by others (including the Chinese who are loaning the US govt. dollars that can’t be raised from the shrinking group of US taxpayers).

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Debra @ 8:49 When we are looking for fellow citizens, conservative Texans value:
    1. People who understand the rule of law and don’t attack law enforcement personnel in defense of a notorious liar and con man.
    2. People with some moral compass who oppose pornography, owners of strip clubs, sexual predators and advocates for adultery and perversion.
    3. Those who have some basic understanding of and commitment to free market principles and international trade.
    4. People (like most of the millions of recent legal immigrants) who have the intelligence and work ethic to be able to contribute to our society and actually pay income taxes to help fund the government.


  22. Ricky, When you import people from Shanghai, their children born in Texas will be citizens. This China love is probably the best thing to happen to Democrats. It ensures that Republicans will be held in suspicion, and rightfully so. I suspect this is all some big plot, a conspiracy, to boost Democrat turnout in susceptible locations, to increase the odds of someone getting white chocolate after the midterms. Sad attempt, but it could work. ;–)

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Subsidizing the consumer by selling below cost in order to drive a competitor out of business is an unethical tactic of big business. Microsoft used that method wildly and got their fingers badly burned by the DOJ. Amazon still uses the tactic, so far, without reproof. But the method does seem to magically acquire a veneer of respectability when China does it. Very short sighted in my opinion, especially when we know that the object is dominion.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Debra, Here is the sad fact. The Trumpist Republican Party is now viewed not with suspicion, but with outright disgust and contempt by an increasing majority of educated Americans. His speech last night in Pennsylvania in which he called Chuck Todd an obscenity and attacked Reagan just made things worse.

    Some of the educated will vote Democrat. Others of us will sit elections out so long as our choice is between the socialists and the personality cult of an imbecile.

    Cheer up! You may like the Democrats. You like Trump and he was always a Democrat until very recently.


  25. Debra, Steel is not software and China is not Microsoft. Steel is produced by hundreds of companies in scores of counties. It is a very competitive market.


  26. The Democrats here will be preferable to the Chinese government. I hope you enjoy living in Hong Kong or Singapore or Shanghai whatever province or arm of China you finally settle in. ;–)

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Wonder of Wonders! It has happened that I agree with Kevin Williamson for a 3rd time in a month—if only in the headline: There Will Be No Civil War Today. And I’m even willing to go along with his idea that our men are longing for drama. However, he underestimates the power of degeneracy on a people, and I’m afraid we’ve been so full of it for decades with the ‘Homo Economicus’ idiocy that has driven our foreign trade policies, we may be due to pop soon. Of course, it’s always possible that it won’t be a grand pop, but the fizzle of a slow leak over the next few decades. At any rate, God usually leaves a remnant behind to pick up the pieces if we are willing. I am.



  28. And speaking of civil, Justice Clarence Thomas has the right idea I think.

    Supreme CourtJustice Clarence Thomas called on hundreds of law school students Saturday to set their own paths towards positivity in order to have a more civil society.

    Speaking at a dinner for the Federalist Society’s 2018 National Student Symposium, Justice Thomas said people can get each other worked up, but it’s important to work for an ideal and not just against something.

    Without mentioning Republicans or Democrats, the jurist suggested students can’t get bogged down during polarizing times.

    “I don’t think we can have a society where we are consistently cynical or negative the way that we are,” Justice Thomas said. “At some point, if you’re going to have a country, you got to have something to be for.”

    “What do we want the law to stand for?”



  29. 1. As Ricky points out, the Republicans and the evangelical right should ask “if Obama did…..”. And if they still support Trump the charge of hypocrisy, absurdity, and opportunitism should not be surprising.

    2. The Stormy… affair points to a Trump weakness….his own behaviour. Although the payments are shady and probably violate some election rules, his financial behaviour and problems are likely more suspect. I suspect that is the direction Mueller is moving.


  30. 1. As Ricky points out, the Republicans and the evangelical right should ask “if Obama did…..”. And if they still support Trump the charge of hypocrisy, absurdity, and opportunitism should not be surprising.

    2. The Stormy… affair points to a Trump weakness….his own behaviour. Although the payments are shady and probably violate some election rules, his financial behaviour and problems are likely more suspect.


  31. Debra, Glad to hear you are reading Williamson.

    HRW, I assume you don’t think Tony Perkins would have given Obama any “mulligans” for porn star payoffs.

    There was a small amount of good news in this article that is set in my hometown of Grapevine, Texas.


  32. 3. The TPA had little to do with tariffs and free trade. Instead it was about corporate rights and the limits of state power. Thus the rush to pass it without oversight.

    4. Tariffs are an economic tool. The East Asian countries had tariffs to protect industry until recently. Once their industries became competitive they lowered the tariffs. The US did the same thing pre-WW1.

    5. Trump’s initial steel tariff was a sledgehammer approach as opposed to a scalpel. China and other low cost producers aren’t even in the top ten steel exporters to the USA. Canada is number one. There’s a glut of steel globally, but Canada’s higher priced steel is imported for quality and lower transportation.


  33. 6. Tariffs could be used to protect new developing industries. International patent law enforcement is probably more effective for industries that the US has advantages ie technology, entertainment, etc.

    7. Trade surplus and deficits don’t make a difference to a govts balance sheets but merely provide an indication of economic strength and are probably over valued. Canada has a trade deficit with many countries including the US but that isnt a problem economically or security. It may be better to have a surplus qs that indicates healthier corporations etc but its not a nation vs nation situation.

    8. Corporations using their economies of scale and monetary strength to underprice the competition is not unethical. Its capitalism. But its not good for long term economic health hence the govt eventually needs to interfere to break up monopolies and promote competition but in the meantime I’ll take the free installation of Windows with my new laptop.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Zakaria is a Clinton Democrat which in terms of free trade, he could also be a Reaganite. Hence I’m a little suspect. Bur he is right to question steel tariffs; its not in US interests. Patent law is yet no mention of it by Trump. At least after he had his own trademark dispute with China settled.

    Obama never got a mulligan. In fact i think he started the course with a few penalty strokes.

    The Ontario conservative party just elected a new leader, Doug Ford. It appears the social conservatives brought him over the top in the third round of voting. They gave him a mulligan. Not only is he the brother of the former crack smoking mayor of Toronto, he was a well known drug dealer well into his twenties. The conservative paper, the Globe and Mail, did an expose a few years back and although Ford denied it he never challenged it. I’m quite sure its true since some of my friends bought hash from him.


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