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

 

October 19, 2012

Both of Our Fears Confirmed; One in United States and One in Israel

For those who still had faith in the media or in politics and have been paying attention this week has now been forced into the majority camp of the skeptics. The more obvious one, once it has been revealed to the public, was actually in Israel and had nothing to do with any debates anywhere in the United States. Last year much of the coverage attempted to sell the story line that the tent protests and related events were a popular uprising and had absolutely nothing to do with Israeli politics. They were sold as protests supported by the every-man and had nothing to do with protesting the Netanyahu government coalition. These were real people with real problems that the government needed to address seriously and immediately because the entire of Israel was represented by these protests which strangled downtown Tel Aviv for weeks. Well, something very unfortunate for this theory and the people who were selling it in Israel, they lied through their teeth. The list of candidates for the Knesset by the Labor Party was released today and surprise, surprise, former student leader Itzik Shmuli, well known protester Stav Shafir and  journalist Mickey Rosenthal who had covered the protest giving them glowing approval in every article. Short note to the Labor Party, we understand that you need to do what you need to do to unseat the Likud Party and Netanyahu along with his coalition from control of the Knesset. We even understand that you might choose to go to great lengths in order to accomplish your goal. Next time you basically sponsor, granted, not officially, but veritably sponsor protests to make the sitting party in power look unpopular and merciless and unfeeling towards the people of the nation of Israel, try and refrain from placing the leaders and key people or their in the bag journalist onto your candidate list for the Knesset in the elections a little over a year later. The reason should be obvious, even to the most blinded ideologue.

The other confirmed suspicion was not really all that surprising. We were treated to exactly how closely aligned with the Democrat Party some, nay, most of the mainstream press is and how far one member of the elite in this club was willing to go in front of the likely largest audience they had ever had watch them. This was the confirmation that second Presidential Debate moderator Candy Crowley produced in spades with her performance this week. Her performance stood in stark comparison to the impressive performance and ability to be almost invisible by PBS anchor Jim Lehrer turned in at the first Presidential Debate. The lowlight of Ms. Crowley came when she scolded Mitt Romney, sounding like an out of control old fashion schoolmarm scolding a petulant child, over his stating that the President had misspoke about the Benghazi, Libya Embassy attack claiming he had called it a terror operation the next day. As it turns out, fact checkers have since reported that Mitt Romney was correct, Ms. Crowley was incorrect in her damning accusatorial correction and President Obama had indeed misrepresented his next day reaction of the horrendous terror attack that killed Ambassador Stevens and three other American embassy personnel. If that had been the sole act of bias committed by Candy Crowley she could easily be forgiven for making a bad call and even doing so a little over the top emotionally, but that was just the icing on the cake of a night replete with one slight after another with virtually all were slanted in favor of the President. Ms. Crowley also allowed President Obama to speak for ten minutes more than was challenger Mitt Romney. It has been reported that at CNN there was a memo that revealed that this apparent favoritism was actually done to allow the slower speaking President Obama and Mitt Romney to use the same number of total words during the debate. I have yet to hear of anybody who has gone back and counted the word count for each candidate thus cannot comment about this claim other than to ask; really, equal word count and you expect anybody to say, “Yes, sure, that was the reason.” Then there was the count of interruptions which Ms. Crowley was very generous in handing out, not what many, myself included, desire from a moderator. The problem here was of the over fifty total interruptions were not exactly evenly handed out. The interruption count showed that Ms. Crowley generously gave Mitt Romney three, some even say four, interruptions per interruption she showered on President Obama. What was the worst was that for those who tuned in to watch and listen to the two candidates were treated to a debate which had three participants, two for President Obama and Mitt Romney for himself. Let us hope that we get a performance that is more like the professional performance turned in by Jim Lehrer and Ms. Crowley will be the exception and not the rule.

Beyond the Cusp

October 11, 2012

Will Obama Attack Iran as an October Surprise?

It is almost universally accepted that Mitt Romney pretty much beat President Obama mercilessly in the first of the three Presidential debates. Tonight is the Vice Presidential debate which usually would garner little interest except for the hard core political hounds like us, but this one has had a larger build-up. Some are predicting a bland though fact and number filled performance by Congressman Ryan and others are calling for a count the Uncle Joe gaffes. Either way, this may be an exception for Vice Presidential debates, but I am not expecting anything near to the reactions to the results from the first Presidential debate. What is a promise is that the remaining two Presidential debates will likely draw even closer scrutiny from an even larger television viewing audience that even the near record setting first debate. The first of the remaining Presidential debates will cover domestic and foreign policies and be of a general nature with the final third debate focusing solely on foreign policy. That final debate could very well also be a must win, crucial, last chance for the Obama campaign if the numbers continue on their recent trending and the debates continue to showcase a side of Romney which belies all the accusations and denunciation thrown at him by the Super PAC advertisements. This may place President Obama needing a complete knockout performance in the final debate which is in an area where he is extremely vulnerable.

Yes, I am aware that President Obama single handedly went in and took out al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, but that one decision and action does not a foreign policy make. With all the dust-ups between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as well as almost anything that concerns Israel will be examined and used to exemplify President Obama’s foreign policy shortcomings. One can be pretty sure that every single time President Obama has bowed before another World Leader or misspoke or things did not go as well as we were led to believe will all be run in loops in political commercials. What this writer fears is that President Obama may feel that before the final debate, which will concentrate on foreign policy, he might try to find a decisive foreign policy move which would erase all the ill will that has been perceived between he and Israel and make a definitive statement that President Obama is a leader who takes on foreign problems by grabbing the horns and doing what must be done. There is one move that could be used to show that there really is no space between President Obama and the Israeli leadership and that the United States under President Obama truly does have Israel’s back. President Obama could order between the second and final debate a full, all-out multiple sorties strike on almost all of the Iranian nuclear sites which tactically could be struck without causing massive civilian casualties and other collateral damage to non-military targets in the surrounding vicinities. It is unlikely that should President Obama contact the Israeli leadership and offer to make a joint strike provided it be carried out before the last debate that Prime Minister Netanyahu and many of the others within the Israeli leadership who have called for striking Iran earlier rather than later would look a gift horse in the mouth. As Prime Minister Netanyahu has stated repeatedly when pressed to take a side on the Presidential elections, he has no dog in the fight and will work with whoever is elected to be the next President of the United States. Prime Minister Netanyahu has gone to great lengths to minimize publically any disconcerting thoughts or doubts he may have had over actions taken by President Obama and has kept any differences between the two of them and kept such differences out of the press. Unfortunately, this has not prevented many in the liberal press from playing up the angle that the Israeli leader does favor one side over the other and has actually acted in a way to influence the elections for President. The proof has been that he received Mitt Romney when he visited Israel very graciously and with respect and full honors one would show a potential next President of the United States. They claim that the way Prime Minister Netanyahu reacted to Romney was in complete contrast to the way he has treated President Obama during the campaign. The one small fly in the ointment of this comparison is that thus far during the campaign, President Obama has not visited Israel. Truth be told, President Obama has not visited Israel since before he was elected to the office of President. President Obama has made numerous trips to the Middle East, throughout Eastern Europe, but has not stopped in Israel in all of his travels. So, how the press anywhere can compare the treatment shown to Mitt Romney to that shown a President who has not actually visited Israel is beyond real. I would stake everything that should President Obama visit Israel he would be given, at the minimum, treatment that would easily match that shown Mitt Romney.

I am also fairly certain that if President Obama were to visit Israel and in a private meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu and the inner cabinet, or whoever is necessary to make a decision concerning Iran and their nuclear program, and presented a full and complete set of plans for a United States strike on the Iranian nuclear sites and requested reasonable assistance from Israeli forces and resources, the Israelis would likely review the plans quickly and offer every assistance requested and beyond. I am concerned that such a scenario of just this type may become reality should President Obama feel the necessity of such boldness to reaffirm him as a President who takes actions that are necessary, just as he made the call on Osama bin Laden. I can assure you that the Pentagon and the Israelis have likely even discussed different scenarios and reached accords on who would be responsible for what and all the particulars and planning has been gone over numerous times. The one thing both American and Israeli militaries do is make plans for virtually any scenario or possibility no matter how obscure or improbable the scenario may be. This pretty much assures that both countries have numerous plans all completely fleshed out with all consequences and alternatives fully defined and accounted for. This would make a decision by President Obama to take action against the Iranian nuclear sites, with or without Israeli assistance, cooperation, or support; this would be fully operational likely within forty-eight hours and very likely almost immediately. My bet is that the assets have been in place for such a strike for quite some time now and have likely been briefed repeatedly on the most likely of sorties that would be incorporated in such a strike. That leaves one question, would President Obama use a cooperative strike on the Iranian nuclear sites with Israeli cooperation? My fear is should President Obama be facing a nearly guaranteed defeat in the election and the polling and other predictive sciences all pointed to an attack upon Iranian nuclear sites, especially if Israel were included and assisted, was extremely likely to affect the elections sufficiently to produce his reelection, then the President might avail himself of just such an option. Should President Obama actually travel this route, then the question that must be pondered is whether or not the American voting public is really that easily swayed by such a shallow and obvious act? Let’s hope we never need to find out, though ridding the world of most of the Iranian nuclear sites definitely qualifies as a positive event, it would still be much preferable that it was carried out as a serious reaction to the threat a nuclear armed Iran would pose to the world and not as a campaign event to win votes.

Beyond the Cusp

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