Beyond the Cusp

December 5, 2016

So Trump Took a Call from a Woman, Big Deal

 

President Elect Trump has been being roasted for taking a phone call from a woman, a Chinese woman, an important Chinese Woman, an Important Chinese woman who happens to be Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. The Mainland Chinese (some still refer to them as Red China, imagine that) Dictator’s underlings Foreign Minister Wang Yi and another Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang went on the record demanding that President elect Trump recommit to the One-China Policy. Wow, are they overly-sensitive or just really insecure and jumpy? He exchanged congratulations with another recently elected President of a nation which the United States forsook in exchange for their one-billion-three-hundred-eighty-one-million give-or-take a few million potential customers and inexpensive workers over the paltry twenty-three-and-a-half-million potential customers and more expensive workers. Red China (see above, we’re troglodytes and use old terms) need not worry, their place as the main supplier for WalMart is secure. Some people really get bent out of shape jealous if you talk to their rival suspecting you don’t love them anymore. Don’t worry Red China, or with their new capitalism is it now Pink China, America never really loved you in the first place, it just made economic sense to pretend America threw our friends in Taiwan overboard. Wait until America sends them more arms and you really go bat-crazy on us for selling arms to one of your claimed provinces. What, you don’t want your provinces armed or just this province? Get serious and maybe America will as well.

 

Let’s get honest here. If you asked the man on the street in any major city which nation the United States recognizes and has relations with and made them choose between Taiwan (and you explained that was also called Formosa and was often called free China) or Mainland China (and informed them it was also Communist China and previously called Red China) the total would overwhelmingly choose Taiwan. That is who the American people desire as their friend, until they would find out things in WalMart would have their prices rise, then they would pick Red China, oops, sorry, Mainland China. The Americans know who their real friends are and who assists North Korea with their nuclear program and thus assist Iran with their nuclear program. They are not the ignorant rubes you have been told they are; they just are mostly hard working and need to worry more about feeding their families, clothing their families and keeping a roof over the heads of their families and do not really have tons of time to keep up on foreign affairs. Anyway, if they know any history, then they know that should a war break out, then one really decides who they side with and who is required to put down the infinitely worst enemy which may or may not require siding with a lesser current enemy. When that war is over, we can go back to disliking whomever we choose and this applies to all nations. Israel would even side with Saudi Arabia and Egypt against Iran and there is nobody we can think of at the moment which would have us ally with Iran, they count as worst enemy. Not to worry, that was not exactly a secret.

 

Back to Mainland China and getting serious. The United States remade their bed in the Far East all the way back in 1979 and tossed Taiwan to the seven winds of fate and allied officially with Mainland China in order to actually recognize them in the Security Council of the United Nations and allow for formal trade relations and a billion other things; they are called potential customers and the makings of a very large military force if necessary, also called the Chinese people. Still, every decade or so the United States takes a risk and modernizes the Taiwanese military with a large weapons deal and Mainland China goes ballistic and whoever is the President grovels for a while promising that he will never allow such a deal again. That President keeps his word but that word does not apply to the following Presidents. We suspect that there will probably be one of these explosions should Donald Trump be reelected as such deals are most often executed during second terms so as to minimize the damage to reelection chances. It looks bad when your opponent can label you a treaty breaker and unreliable and all those nasty things and actually have proof in the form of Mainland China. Then again, Donald Trump has not exactly been a by the book kind of guy though many of his cabinet picks have been from the right wing conservative branch of the Republican Party, that might be a twig that far out on the right wing when you get to Retired Marine General James “Mad Dog” Mattis for your Secretary of Defense, a choice we heartily love and approve.

 

The flap over the phone call was very similar in the mainstream media as it was to the choice of General James “Mad Dog” Mattis for your Secretary of Defense. Retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor will likely continue to ruffle the feathers of the snowflakes reporting for NPR and the self-proclaimed objective media. I mean two former military men, what is Trump planning for, a war, an invasion, against whom? Well, the far left would be our guess as it appears they are gearing up for the long war, may it last twenty years as that is what is required to restore from the damage done since the assuming of the Presidency by Lyndon Baines Johnson after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Reagan checked the damage temporarily but with a Republican Congress, if the leadership can get their acts together, Trump can make real gains in restoring sanity and deregulating small businesses which get caught in the regulations battle the government claims to be using to check the “Big Guys.” The aims of these regulations almost always are skirted by the “Big Guys” and squarely smack the small businessman when he tries to progress and build his business. For far too long the government has actually been in the business of making sure the wealthy remain wealthy with no taxes or levies against wealth but with tons of taxes and other fees and regulations to prevent anybody else becoming wealthy and challenging the existing moneyed interests. Sure there are exceptions, but that is the problem, there are exceptions and it is not the normal flow for the little guy to make it big. We can hope Trump is different but that remains to be seen.

 

Uncle Donald Wants You

 

Reince Priebus is one choice which should be about as milquetoast and scrambled eggs as one can get. He will make the smallest ripples but does know how the Republican machine works, though many might claim the machine malfunctions more than running smoothly. Reince Priebus is one person who could quietly still get what Trump needs going and is far less controversial than say Newt Gingrich who would have been another good choice to get results but at what costs. Stephen Bannon is another choice which the media will blast as being bigoted and troublesome but he is no paleo-conservative and is more the middle of the road conservative with good monitoring for the mood of Congress and world affairs and should be an asset. The claims against Jeff Sessions and the regurgitating of his lynching by a Democrat Congress which also gave us the expression of somebody being Borked after the treatment which culminated on the rejection of Judge Robert Bork for a Supreme Court nomination where innuendo and snide commentary proved enough to slur the good name of a competent and righteous juror who would have been an asset and great Supreme Court Judge and would likely have been nominated to be Chief Justice instead of Roberts had he been on the court. His loss and the lynching of Jeff Sessions will be recorded as stains on the reputation of the members of that Congress who performed their positions in the Senate as more a lynch mob than an approval and validating body.

 

Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and David Patraeus have all been names floated for Secretary of State. David Patraeus should not be a viable choice despite his qualifications and proven work ethic but it is his ethics which failed as he shared classified information with a person not cleared to receive such privilege. That was just as wrong as Hillary Clinton’s transgressions even if to a much lesser degree and he served his time and lost his position and should remain that way at the very least at this time. Perhaps in a second term but not up front. As far as between Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani it comes down to what attitude does Donald Trump prefer to be the face of the United States? He has already made one choice in such a position with Nikki Haley as the United Nations Ambassador where her straight forward style will be refreshing and her professionalism a statement to the world that the United States takes reasoned and solid stances and represents exactly what they claim to be. Rudy Giuliani would be a similar, if not more vocal and sharply stated, style appointee and would make for a great compliment to Nikki Haley with both being out front kind of people and shy wallflowers. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is a quiet, professional choice who would be a good negotiator though very unlikely to be brash or grating. His style is grace and competence will win the day as long as one remain steadfast and steady on the path and refuses quietly but still forcefully to stand their ground. The main problem with Mitt Romney is he screams Republican political tool and would offend many Trump supporters which is why he will be the media favorite.

 

Other choices, include Steven Mnuchin for Secretary of the Treasury who was chosen from the media film and Wall Street business world. Wilbur Ross for Commerce Secretary comes from a venture investment capitalist background where he rescued failing companies often making them profitable. Such work does not make one popular, especially if you are successful as often one is required to step on more than a few toes and restructure companies releasing sometimes most of a workforce. He will be interesting to monitor. Elaine Chao as Secretary of Transportation will make an excellent choice. Not only a woman but a minority woman with impeccable abilities and great loyalty to those she works with. She was Secretary of Labor under George W. Bush for eight years, making her the only cabinet member to serve his entire term. Mike Pompeo for Director of the CIA is an Army veteran who spent years as a businessman before entering politics, now in Congress, voted as a Tea Party candidate from Kansas, and sits on the House Intelligence Committee which gives him the necessary experience factor. Still to cover are Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services and Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education; both of which have the needed qualifications but are really lesser known Republican Party regulars and should prove efficient in calming any jitters from the Party elites. Will the elites of the Republican Party be mollified? Not likely, but they will have less than they expected to use as pry bars when speaking to the media, and that will be an asset in and of itself. In all too many ways, the detractors of Donald Trump and his performance as President are jumping the gun slightly as he has not taken office or even cleared the Elector College which meets to vote later this month. The actions of some Republican Party elites, many in the media and now Mainland (Red) China are all very similar in that they grab ahold of a single incident, a particular appointee or any other item even as small as a tweet and just sink their teeth in and, like a bulldog, refuse to release and will remain attached in attack mode even if it kills their credibility because they are serving the cause. What cause? Don’t ask us, ask them. They probably believe they are serving some purpose saving the party, nation, free world or even the planet, possibly the solar system; and this drives them right over the edge, we would say beyond the cusp, but whatever edge they are running off, it is not here.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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February 12, 2013

The Big Three Obama Appointments

Three of the most important nominations a President makes, as the Administrative Branch of the government is primarily responsible for foreign affairs, are Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and Director of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). President Obama could have made appointments which would have been uncontroversial, middle of the spectrum, and well versed in their fields and received quick Senate approval with little confrontational debate. But that was not his intent. The President cast cares aside and chose three candidates who were at best problematic.

For Secretary of State he chose Senator Kerry who originally made his name making outlandish and adversarial accusations before Congress demeaning his fellow soldiers with whom he had served side by side with in Viet Nam. He accused them of committing horrific atrocities comparing them with Genghis Kahn and the Mongol hordes. Since being elected to the Senate Kerry had castigated the State Department who served under Republican Presidents and was never really much of a defender of the state on the international stage. Still, of the three Senator Kerry was likely the least controversial and due to his relations with the members of the Senate received an easy confirmation hearing. Senator Kerry becoming Secretary of State was never in doubt and, by comparison with the other two appointees, was the least troubling.

Next is the President’s appointment for Secretary of Defense, former Senator Hagel. Senator Hagel’s hearings have had a grand display of ruffled feathers and looks to be flailing and headed to defeat. His hearings were a relief in many ways, none to Mr. Hagel’s credit. He was unprepared for answers which any competent appointee for Secretary of Defense would have known would be asked. His lack of having even a basic grasp of President Obama’s foreign policy positions was appalling and shocking. His admission after receiving corrections and admonitions from even Senators with whom he had served surprised and shocked even those who initially had supported his appointment. When even Senator McCain, who had been a friend and cosponsored legislation with Senator Hagel, appeared to lose his temper at Hagel’s’ evasions and prevarications was seen as shocking and a telling problem which evidenced the downturn of any possibility for Hagel to be approved. What may have been the final nail in the Hagel appointment coffin came when the senior committee member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, announced he planned to filibuster the appointment should it be brought before the Senate for confirmation. Seldom do we get to witness such a display of animosity shown publicly for a former Senator when brought before the Senate for confirmation. Partial proof of the deference shown by the Senate to former Senator during confirmation hearings was the easy and rapid approval given Senator Kerry just weeks prior when considered for Secretary of State.

The final appointment was the President appointing John Brennan to be the Director of the CIA. Any candidate for such a sensitive position is required to possess many varied and crucial qualifications. One of the most vital is the trust of both the employees of the CIA and the President while being able to display same before the Senate. Another would be a high sense of morality and a solid moral breadth to guide him in a position where temptations to go afield of the straight and narrow are numerous. That is where there may be some difficulty with the Brennan appointment. This was evident with his first appearance before the Senate where the hearings were disrupted repeatedly by demonstrators. What was amazing is that I have to give Code Pink credit for their consistency on this matter. Code Pink had problems with Mr. Brennan when he was instrumental in defending the use of enhanced interrogation techniques. Since then Mr. Brennan has been neck deep in President Obama’s use of drones for targeted assassinations including that of Americans overseas who have been identified of ties to terrorism. This too has troubled Code Pink and their demonstration against him as a President Obama appointee was something not often found in politics in the United States, a consistent and independent sense of morality that is applied without regards to political party. Code Pink was right on target about Mr. Brennan who has demonstrated that he has no internal morality and will simply take his orders and perform whatever he is assigned to without regards to legality or righteousness. He has uncanny ability to find justifications for any actions no matter their actual morality. That combined with Mr. Brennan’s tendency to be a simple yes man makes him problematic at best and a disaster waiting to happen at worst as Director of the CIA. Unfortunately, the Senate is very likely to allow Mr. Brennan to be confirmed as it is rare for the Senate to refuse two senior Presidential appointments so close together, but we can pray.

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