51 thoughts on “News/Politics 7-17-18

  1. As predicted here, our trading partners are looking for ways to “wire around” an economically illiterate US. I wish them well. We may have elected a leader who lacks an 11th grader’s knowledge of economics, but that is no reason for people in other nations to suffer.

    Yes, I did say “11th grader”. Back in the 1970s, we were not taught the economics of trade until our first macroeconomics course in college. I was surprised when HRW reported that young Canadians learned about Comparative Advantage in high school. My son told me that by the 2000s, US high school students were also being taught the economics of trade during the first 6 weeks of their junior year.


  2. I rarely read this thread and never comment, however, all the hoopla yesterday prompts me to say, “Guys, get over it, Trump won, he’s doing a decent job, he’s not going anywhere, and it would do our country a great service to stop all the crap and work together.”
    Everyone saw what they wanted to out of the meeting and press conference. Listening to what was actually said vs how the MSM reported it made me want to puke. If it had been O, they would have gushed all over him for fostering “reconciliation” by not taking a hard stand. Had Trump gone over there and gotten in Putin’s face, you’d all be crying, “Look what he did!!! We thought he was going to try to make peace and instead he’s starting a war.”
    Glad I got that off my chest.
    BTW, I’m neither a Trumpkin nor a Never Trumper. I’m just an American who wants life, liberty, and justice for all.

    Liked by 9 people

  3. Why won’t the NYTimes print the real news, and not yet another distraction?

    Real news stories like this are what the NYT and their shills are trying to distract you from.



    “Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) told reporters outside a closed-door hearing on Monday that former FBI lawyer Lisa Page has been significantly more cooperative than her one-time colleague and lover, counter-intelligence agent Peter Strzok.

    “As I said before, she is a very forthcoming witness,” Ratcliffe told reporters after leaving the hearing room. “She gave us a lot of new information that we didn’t have before. So that will lead us to ask for some more people to make some more requests for information we do not yet have.”

    It’s all unraveling now.

    Ricky can now return to shilling for the liberal left and Democrats, as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Looks like the NRA was infiltrated by the Russians too.


    The Russians are everywhere. And Trump plays the three monkeys; see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil…

    Linda. You’re right there is a certain amount of bias in the perception of yesterday….if Obama had done it, the Republicans and some here would have articles of impeachment drawn up and demanding his arrrest for treason when he gets home….just like the left now. But from a neutrel perspective, he made a very serious error in judgement which will damage the US diplomatically and encourage more espionage behaviour.


  5. In the wee hours of this morning, HRW (who I believe is in a distant time zone) said this:

    “Ricky, could we say its his stupidity and self delusions of grandeur that is leading him into betrayal?

    As you can imagine leftist commentators like Moore have lost their shirt (an unappealing image). I think McCain is right….he abased himself, the presidency and the country. Will this make the diffetence to Trump supporters…..to the intelligent ones who can see how this plays out in the great game and great power status, it should. Chas makes a good point though, the avearge Trump rally supporter won’t have a clue or will call it fake news. You can ask the average shopper to place the US on a world map and they won’t similarly they couldn’t find Helsinki nor know what happened. Or they watched Hannity ….”

    HRW, You made a tiny assumption which I would challenge and I think you know what it is.


  6. Boy those Russians were everywhere….. during Obama’s time in office.

    And yet he said there was nothing to worry about, this isn’t the 80’s, right? Weird how they operated right under his nose, huh?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Collins and Stephens were good today. Like most educated people, they are wrestling with the “idiot or traitor” question.


  8. Here is the official Cult explanation and it is a doosy. Trump seems to admit that he behaved idiotically yesterday. However, he contends that it was the Democrats who turned him into a moron. I give Rand Paul an “A” in creativity for authorship.

    OK, Trumpers. It is safe to come out of hiding. Let’s see if you can sell this story.


  9. Rand Paul’s statement is correct—but incomplete. He locates the public Trump derangement “on the Left”, when we daily see that the derangement extends to portions of the Republican party. This is probably because he does have to work with Never-Trumpers in Congress.


  10. Others have already made this point, and quite well I’d add, so I present this without additional comment.


    “The current hysteria is what we have been experiencing for two years. It drowns out, and in many ways delegitimizes, honest criticism.”

    “I watched the Trump-Putin press conference on Monday morning, then spent almost 8 hours in the car with only terrestrial news radio, when available.

    When I finally arrived and had a chance to catch up on Twitter and replays of cable news, it was obvious that I re-entered a world divorced from the reality that most people hear, which is short news bites while going about their lives.”


  11. Might be right there, Debra. If it makes you obsessed with coming to a website populated by about 20 people in order to flood it with insults (toward Chas, of all people?), it might be derangement…as well as “delusions of self grandeur,” whatever that is.


  12. As Debra has correctly stated many times……

    Just because he says something, doesn’t mean he’ll do it.


    “Despite Botched Summit with Putin, Trump’s Policies Are Still Pressuring Russia

    Although Trump’s incredible statements at the press conference were irresponsible, naïve, and even dangerous, they do not reflect current U.S. policy toward Russia. And that’s a very good thing.”

    “The Trump administration has also done something that the Obama administration refused to do: it authorized the sale of lethal arms to Ukraine, including anti-tank missiles, to help the country in its fight against separatists — that is to say, Russian forces — in the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine.

    The Trump administration has more or less adopted the correct policy toward Russia. Moreover, Trump does not wield dictatorial authority. He can’t unilaterally prop up or protect Russia, even if he wanted to. He’s restrained in these matters, as all presidents ought to be and, so far, he’s pursued rather punitive policies toward Moscow, his behavior in front of the cameras notwithstanding.

    To be sure, Trump’s statements at the summit were startlingly reckless. They hurt America’s position in the world and weakened it in front of the unflappable Putin. But amid all the chaos and concern, it’s important to remember that for pushing back against Moscow, actions speak louder than words.”


  13. Solar,

    Most days it’s 60-70 different visitors (spammers aren’t included), and it’s remained in that range for all our years here. Many read and never comment.

    But your point stands. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Pat Buchanan is neither a Trumper nor a Never-Trumper, and he’s no fool either. His column on July 5th offers a good assessment of just why it is unlikely that people like Ricky will ever come back to the Republican party—and why, if they do, they will never be asked to lead it. He begins by listing the grave mistakes they made that caused them to lose the party:

    First, the hubristic drive, despite the warnings of statesmen like George Kennan, to exploit our Cold War victory and pursue a policy of permanent containment of a Russia that had lost a third of its territory and half its people….

    Second, in a reflexive response to 9/11, we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, dumped over the regime in Libya, armed rebels to overthrow Bashar Assad in Syria, and backed Saudi intervention in a Yemeni civil war, creating a humanitarian crisis in that poorest of Arab countries that is exceeded in horrors only by the Syrian civil war…..

    And thirdly, (emphasis mine)

    The GOP elite also played a crucial role in throwing open U.S. markets to China and ceding transnational corporations full freedom to move factories and jobs there and ship their Chinese-made goods back here, free of charge.

    Result: In three decades, the U.S. has run up $12 trillion in merchandise trade deficits — $4 trillion with China — and Beijing’s revenue from the USA has more than covered China’s defense budget for most of those years.

    Beijing swept past Italy, France, Britain, Germany and Japan to become the premier manufacturing power on earth and a geo-strategic rival. Now, from East Africa to Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean, and from the South and East China Sea to Taiwan, Beijing’s expansionist ambitions have become clear.

    And where are the Republicans responsible for building up this potentially malevolent power that thieves our technology? Talking of building a Reagan-like Navy to contain the mammoth they nourished…..

    He ends with this very reasonable conclusion:

    No, Trump didn’t start the fire.

    The world was ablaze with tribalism and was raising up authoritarians to realize nationalist ends — Xi Jinping, Putin, Narendra Modi in India, Erdogan in Turkey, Gen. el-Sissi in Egypt — before he came down that escalator.

    And so the elites who were in charge when the fire broke out, and who failed to respond and refused even to recognize it, and who now denounce Trump for how he is coping with it, are unlikely to be called upon again to lead this republic.

    Knowing all of the above, it occurs to me that we do need to identify people of gravitas and character (qualities scarce in Trump) who will be able to lead in this new direction under a new set of assumptions. Who might those people be? Are they already on the scene, or are they the new faces who are going to be filling the seats of retiring Republicans and weak Democrats this fall and hereafter?

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Debra, I know Buchanan well. I voted for him in 1992. Not only is he a Trumper, he was a protoTrump in 1992 and for years thereafter. It was hard to recognize because Buchanan has a brain and moral values.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. More fake news…..


    “See the redheaded woman in the doorway, her face just visible over the shoulder of the guy in the blue tie? Click here for a larger version, published by the NYT last year when Trump welcomed a Russian delegation to the White House. She does look a bit like accused Russian spy Mariia Butina! What was an undercover Russian spy doing in the Oval Office along with all of those, uh, known Russian spies?

    Singer’s tweet caught fire among the political chatterati on Twitter. Then someone bothered to fact-check it:”

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Ed Morrisey’s response is a winner.


    This was a close second. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Debra, Buchanan is to economics as Dreher is to politics. He first caught the disease of protectionism during the 1992 campaign. It was a very mild case as he ran primarily on social issues. Over time the disease became more severe.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Ricky, By ‘protectionism’ you mean valuing your own country’s economic well-being above the free-for-all trade with favored communist countries. And it is not a disease; it was a gift bequeathed to us by our founders. It’s called being an independent country. It’s called real patriotism, and real responsibility for the gifts entrusted to us.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Aj. By your Obama remark are you suggesting he should have used the FBI to investigate the NRA Russia connection. Can you imagine the hue and cry. The NRA is responsible for its own behaviour not the president, unless you want the govt watching all lobby groups.

    So the ecxcuse is the constant investigations makes it difficult for the snowflake to act in a responsible manner? Then he should resign.


  21. No, I’m suggesting that she and all the Russians so far indicted by Mueller all did their dirty deeds mostly while Obama was in charge.


  22. I just dropped in to see if Trump’s Euro disaster was enough to make Trump supporters think twice. But i think they crossed the Rubicon and there’s no turning back.


  23. And it’s not the NRA’s job to weed out foreign agents before they’re given visa’s to enter the US. That also fell on Obama and his admin. How could the NRA possibly know who she was?


  24. The questions now are; will the present admin follow up on the investigation and protect the American electoral system, will he continue to deny his own govts investigation, was he complicit in the manipulation, how knowledgable was the NRA of the Russians….etc
    It looks Trump and friends are ignoring the evidence, and will do nothing to protect the US electoral system

    Liked by 1 person

  25. The Russians have been giving money to right wing groups for years. The NRA is responsible for its associations. Unless they want a more active govt…..

    Then again i just watched the latest Sascha Cohen video…..the NRA and the Republican party are easy to fool

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Not backing down, and according to Trump’s trade rep., “wholly legitimate and fully justified as a matter of U.S. law and international trade rules”


    “On Monday, the U.S. challenged five trade partners’ punitory tariffs at the World Trade Organization.

    Robert Lighthizer, trade representative for the U.S., said cases are being launched against Turkey, Mexico, Canada, China, and the European Union in response to new tariffs due to President Trump’s national security-oriented charges on aluminum and steel.

    Lighthizer defended Trump:

    “The actions taken by the President are wholly legitimate and fully justified as a matter of U.S. law and international trade rules.”

    Furthermore, he excoriated the nations involved for their vengeful moves:

    “Instead of working with us to address a common problem, some of our trading partners have elected to respond with retaliatory tariffs designed to punish American workers, farmers and companies.”

    The tariffs aren’t merely in bad taste; according to Lighthizer, they’re in violation of WTO regulations. And regardless of them, the U.S. will do whatever is necessary to guard its interests:

    “The United States will take all necessary actions to protect our interests, and we urge our trading partners to work constructively with us on the problems created by massive and persistent excess capacity in the steel and aluminum sectors.”

    The Donald hit partnering nations with a 25 percent charge on steel imports in March (and remember: he’s the artist of the deal, as covered here and here). In addition, he imposed a 10 percent tax on aluminum.”


  27. Checking the fact-checkers.

    And they failed.


    “The fact-checkers went into overdrive after President Trump’s joint press conference with Vladimir Putin Monday, with The New York Times, for example, publishing “8 Suspect Claims From the Trump-Putin News Conference.”

    Among those suspect claims was Trump’s assertion that the DNC never handed over its hacked servers to the FBI. Linda Qiu said Trump’s claim was misleading:

    Mr. Trump is conflating two issues and referring to conspiracy theories that the Justice Department has rejected.

    He is right that F.B.I. agents never examined the Democratic National Committee servers themselves. However, agents instead coordinated with the D.N.C. to obtain forensics from a third-party security firm that James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, described to Congress last year as an “appropriate substitute.”

    Oh, so agents coordinated with a third-party security firm that James Comey said was an appropriate substitute. Well, as long as Comey was satisfied. The Washington Examiner’s Byron York, however, took notice of the “he is right” part of those fact-checks.”


  28. Maybe this is why he questions it?


    “But no. That’s not how Trump handles the Trump-Russia affair. And so, when he was asked a simple, straightforward question — U.S. intelligence agencies say Russia interfered. Putin denies it. Who do you believe? — Trump would not give a simple, straightforward answer.

    Instead, he started with misdirection. “You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server,” he said. “Why haven’t they taken the server? Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee? I’ve been wondering that.”

    Then Trump said his top intelligence officials came to him and “said they think it’s Russia,” meaning they believe Russia was behind the hacks. On the other hand, Trump said, “I have President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia.” Trump cast doubt on the U.S. agencies’ conclusion: “I don’t see any reason why it would be [Russia],” he said, “but I really do want to see the server.” And finally: “So I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”

    The bottom line was that Trump, the president of the United States, would not accept the U.S. government’s assessment of the Russian effort and hinted that he had at least as much or more faith in Putin’s version of events.

    Predictably, all hell broke out, with anti-Trump commentators talking treason and Trump supporters in Congress declining to defend the president. The controversy consumed cable TV and was sure to last until the next controversy begins. And Trump could have avoided it all.”


  29. The narrative continues to unravel……


    “Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe claimed on Monday that FBI lawyer Lisa Page contradicted many parts of testimony from her colleague and lover Peter Strzok.”

    “Strozk denied that texts he exchanged with Page — particularly one promising they would “stop” Trump from becoming president — were indicative of bias that affected the investigations. However, Ratcliffe alleged that Page contradicted Strzok in her testimony and even admitted that the texts “mean exactly what they say.””


  30. Trump weasels even better than The Cult or Cult Followers.This response doesn’t exclude the 400 lb. guy, Seth Rich, the Pizza Pedophiles or Nordstroms.


  31. Debra, Your post at 11:20 is interesting. Like Peggy Noonan you are looking for the sane Donald Trump. Tom Cotton is a possibility for you. The new Marco Rubio is another. They have both been critical of Trump for not being tougher on China.

    Here is your problem:

    1. Trump has done so much damage to the Republican brand that it is very likely a Dem will win in 2020 and 2024.

    2. Trump has done so much damage to the American brand, he is driving our trading partners into the arms of China.

    3. By the time a Cotton, a Rubio or someone similar could be elected, China will be established as the global economic leader.

    4. Neither Cotton, nor Rubio nor any similar Republicans are protectionists. They will take shots at China, but they are basically free traders with our allies because they understand economics.

    Don’t despair. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and their ilk like tariffs. Those are the types we will likely get in 2020 and 2024. That will further solidify China’s position.


  32. Yes. It might be a cult.


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