MADE IN AMERICA

Fair Trade vs. Free Trade

One of the things you can say about Donald J. Trump is that he’s consistent, but he’s hardly ever right. For example, he thinks he knows a lot about money. The logic runs something like this: “I made a billion dollars, so I know how to fix things.”

It would be different if the stock market wasn’t at all-time highs. It would be different if the unemployment rate was in the toilet. But as the administration rolled out fire trucks and back hoes on the front lawn of the White House to promote their America First dogma, the headline in the Washington Post was “Trump’s ‘Made in America’ week is a hypocritical joke.” None of Donald and Ivanka Trump products are made in America. Ivanka’s shoes, handbags, blouses, dresses, jeans and shirts are made in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam and China and Donald’s ties and suits are made in China, Bangladesh and Mexico. When confronted with this fact, the two moguls say, “Everybody else does it.” Really?

Why does the press keep slapping this man? It seems like everything our President touches turns into a controversy at least and a bag of flaming crap at worst. Our very own Don “Quixote” Trump is not only fighting windmills, he is attempting to stop Niagara Falls with his bare hands. Our brave hero.

One of the lessons of war that escapes Donald Trump is what happened after the World Wars. The first war led to the losers to disastrous economic plights that turned people inward and voted for people like Hitler and Mussolini.

The nations of victors in WWII knew that they had to help the economies of many countries to make sure that peace would last. The United States basically took Japan on as a special project. We airlifted in experts and technologies to teach the Japanese how to make many products.

The hard-working Japanese culture and South Korean’s post conflict manufacturing produced some of the finest electronics for the world, and still does. The Donald must have been busy being rich in the 1950s and doesn’t remember how America was flooded with cheap products, like transistor radios, that were labeled Made in Japan.

As more and more American companies realized that they could get cheap parts for their products, the flood gates opened. Many of our automotive offerings needed more and more computer technologies, thus the need to import more parts from other countries. We also created giant discount box-stores that sold everything from TVs to T-Shirts at rock bottom prices. How did they do it? They bought products from other countries that were made by low wage workers.

While the United States knew that workers and factories here were being phased out, we kept thinking we could move those workforces to other industries. That only happened when the worker saw the writing on the wall early and had the capabilities to serve the needs of another field.

Training was essential to complete the migration from the agricultural age to the manufacturing age. Did we forget about this? Logic follows that it would take the re-education of millions of workers to pull off the conversion this time. Some people just don’t want to change.

Now, our great Orange Leader wants us to brand all our products with ‘Made in America.’ I get that, but it’s just a Band-Aid. In fact, the Band-Aid was invented in 1920 by Thomas Anderson and Johnson & Johnson employee Earle Dickson in Highland Park, New Jersey. Not all bandages are made in America, but they are a great example of an American invention that the world now uses. And the examples are countless. We design things, we just cannot make them at reasonable prices because Americans demand a wage to match our prosperous economy. Double-edged sword.

When NAFTA (North American Free-Trade Agreement) was signed, products moved from Canada and Mexico into the US without tariff. We also sold tons of stuff to those two countries.

According to the United States of America Trade Representative (an office of the President): The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with Mexico was $55.6 billion in 2016. Mexico is currently our 3rd largest goods trading partner with $525.1 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2016. Goods exports totaled $231.0 billion; goods imports totaled $294.2 billion.

And their figures on Canada are similar: U.S. goods and services trade with Canada totaled an estimated $627.8 billion in 2016. Exports were $320.1 billion; imports were $307.6 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade surplus with Canada was $12.5 billion in 2016. Canada is currently our 2nd largest goods trading partner with $544.0 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2016.

As you can see, this cry-baby tantrum about “fair trade” is foolish rhetoric by the President on the NAFTA deal. As far as China and other Pacific Rim countries are concerned it’s a different question, but best not to ask too loudly. With the amount of U.S. debt that Chinese banks hold, and our need for China to control North Korea, we might want to carefully plan what we say. Best not to Tweet.

Why does Trump keep complaining about trade? He skillfully convinced those workers who have been displaced by global trade to vote for him. He has to keep them in the hypnotic trance where he promises to magically take them back to a “better time.”

The mantra of “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” only means something if the great one can actually create more jobs. Focusing on coal mining is convoluted logic. Coal has been displaced by natural gas and the good news, the US is pumps lots of that resource. The symbolism might be rich, but Trump is regressive in his thinking. Why did China just take the lead on producing solar energy products? Did we miss that?

Trump actually thinks that getting rid of regulations will magically grow plants and jobs. Rules don’t keep people from being successful, global markets do. Even if we got rid of every regulation, we would still have to produce steel at a price that competes. ‘Globals’ will always be able to make things cheaper and we could tax the imports but that would increase the price here. Why make the America consumer pay for your trade myopia?

What Donald Trump really doesn’t understand is that he’s a President for 1959, not a president for 2017. It’s too late to stop the windmills of the world from turning. If they don’t sell to America, they will sell to someone else. The water will keep coming over the falls, because that is what nature does.

Trump’s one man fight against globalization might make him look like Captain America, but in reality he’s just another America businessman taking advantage of Free Trade for his own benefit. Buy one of his ties, you’ll see where it was made.


SERIOUS TRUMP – GOOFY DONALD

Can We Have the Serious One?

Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post was on Meet The Press this week (7-9-2017) using the term “Teleprompter Trump.” She was describing the person who reads someone else’s words and gets better grades for being presidential than the man known as “Twitter Trump.” And may I suggest a third person inside the human Cheeto?  How about the “Impromptu Trump?” This persona appears when Trump goes on camera to make a point that everyone else in his administration has been making for the previous 24-hours, except he says something completely different than they did!

With our multi-personality President, we must divert the different streams of verbiage into the appropriate buckets. When POTUS spoke last week in Poland, we heard from Teleprompter Trump. In that speech we heard this, “We urge Russia to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere and its support for hostile regimes including Syria and Iran, and to instead join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and the defense of civilization itself.”

We live in a sound-bite/headline word. Out of the speech in Warsaw came the line about whether the west has the will to survive, while the warning to Russia was buried in the rest of the lecture. The big speech was a few days before Trump and Tillerson met with Putin and Kislyak. And this meeting, produced more controversy.

Kislyak and Putin claimed in their press briefings at the G20 that, indeed, Trump brought up cyber meddling in our election.  They also said that Trump had accepted Putin’s denial. Trump did not have a press briefing, therefore the story got out in front of him.

The administration thought Trump’s Tweet would soften the astonishment of those who thought he left the Russians off the hook.  Trump wrote, “Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded.”

Donald Trump has said that it’s easy to be a critic. I, for one, don’t have to try very hard to muster up some serious criticism about things that Twitter Trump types. But really, are we going to get together with the fox and talk about security at the hen house? Will dinner be served?

As Air Force One made its way back to Washington, the story broke in the New York Times that Donald, Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort met with a Russian lawyer who offered “information” on Hillary Clinton. This meeting occurred right after the Donald won the Republican nomination.

As the weekend progressed, more and more “adjustments” were made to the story.  Finally, we received the official word that, yes, the meeting took place, but the nominee, Donald Trump, was not at the meeting and knew nothing about it. Kushner and Manafort were working for the campaign at that time.

While the super hawks of the Senate, Lyndsey Graham and John McCain, were on the Sunday talk shows making fun of the suggestion of a cyber security unit with Russia, it wasn’t long before the great Orange leader was taking back his own words on Twitter: “The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn’t mean I think it can happen. It can’t-but a ceasefire can, & did!” (7-9-2017)

The big question is what would Teleprompter Trump say about this? We hardly ever get to see Impromptu Trump, so we probably won’t get to confront that personality on this issue. But, for sure, if Donald J. Trump was in front of cameras and asked about this he would start to defend himself and then make a quick turn to talk about the ceasefire that is taking place in an area of the least problematic in Syria. But then, Twitter Trump drives the narrative and thus action plan of this White House.

May I point out that what was once known as Multiple Personality Disorder is now called Dissociative Identity Disorder? It’s a condition under which a person’s identity is fragmented into two or more distinct personality states. It’s said that people with this rare condition were often victims of severe abuse. Maybe the metal in the silver-spoon in Donald’s mouth leeched into his tiny brain when he was young. Dissociative Identity Disorder is D.I.D., as in “Did I say that?”

Those who lie and exaggerate are often forced to retract, restate and reform the things they said. With Trump’s tribe of surrogates on-call to course correct Our President’s words, one could honestly ask whether Donald Trump has any talent for clarity. In fact, he continuously and clearly steps on his own proclamations. How can this be good for America?

Trump can restate his mantra of “No Connection, No Collusion” all he wants, but the intent of getting information on Clinton was the reason for the meeting with the Russian lawyer. Don, Jr. threw himself under the bus to protect the old man and now we have an admission of the desire for dirt, thus the first step toward collusion.

Donald Trump should think about negotiating a cease-fire with the free press by giving them some real facts. Slowly, the conflict between Teleprompter Trump, Twitter Trump and Impromptu Trump will continue to plague this administration’s ability to create a positive presidential presence for the majority of Americans; you know, the Popular Vote.

Editor’s Note: We borrowed the “Cheeto” moniker from SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR singer Corey Taylor from his book: “America 51: A Probe Into The Realities That Are Hiding Inside ‘The Greatest Country In The World'”


“NOBODY REALLY KNOWS”

Trump Sows the Seed of Doubt

Donald Trump is an interesting speaker. After saying that “Nobody really knows” who hacked our 2016 national election, he says, “And there’s nothing wrong with that statement.” Much like salting his verbiage with the plea “Believe me,” it serves to block or deny the interviewer the next question, “What is the truth, Mr. President.” Clearly to him, the truth is what he says it is and one thing for sure, he doesn’t want anyone to question him.

When Trump says in his legal documents, which we call tweets: “North Korea is behaving very badly. They have been “playing” the United States for years.” We see that he is irritated at how the US has handled that country in the past. There are times when I feel sorry for President Trump. He lives in a world where everybody that came before him is stupid, or incompetent. In his little, inexperienced mind, everybody else is not smart and surely the solution is simple. He asks, “Why didn’t they do something?”

The reason I feel sorry for him is because as he gets closer to any real problem, he finally realizes it’s complicated, like healthcare. Because he believes only he knows a better solution, he fails to comprehend the reasons things haven’t been achieved before is because global problems are multifaceted. He does understand that three out of the five things you could do would be a total disaster. The two good ideas are only good for us. And for how long?

When asked earlier about what he would do if North Korea launched an ICBM (A rocket that could make it from Asia to US soil) Trump tweeted, “It won’t happen!” Well, I guess that was “Fake News” because in fact, Kim Jong Un carried out a test of what most experts agree was an ICBM capable of at least reaching to Alaska and Sarah Palin’s back porch.

In his unrelenting desire to denigrate the previous president, Trump cares not where he is or what audience is listening. He will do everything he can to put-down Obama. Does Trump realize that from Truman to Obama there were eleven presidents who had to deal with North Korea and nothing has changed? There have been eleven presidents before Trump since Israel was created and we still don’t have peace in the Middle East. Nobody really knows if Trump knows this.

Back to North Korea, Trump was very critical about previous administrations declaring “red lines,” whether they were in the sand, or in the snow or on poorly drawn maps, but now that President Trump is confronted with less than adoring support from many of the other nations of the world, he will have to make his due with the devil. And who is the devil? The very man who many think helped him get elected. Putin will want more than he gives.

Nobody really knows if Donald Trump is smart enough to be President, but we do know that the people around him have little sway on what he thinks, what he does or what a new world order should be. His ping-ponging between sword rattling and attempting to outsource his problems to Russia or China have failed. Both world powers have no intention of carrying out any plan that would weaken their economies or stature on the world stage. Both Russia and China like selling things to North Korea. Russia loves to sell things to Cuba, Iran and Syria. Most likely, Japan and Germany will craft a trade deal that will hurt Detroit and there is nothing Trump can do nothing about it.  If only Trump was open to some free trade that would help America.

Trump could use some strong counseling on the fact that his sowing doubt makes him sound unsure of himself. Why wouldn’t you want the leader of the free world to know things? He claims he knows more than everyone else, but on certain things he  is passive, clueless and uninvolved, perhaps posturing so that someone else can take the blame. A blamer always needs someone to blame.

Now, after saying he would be able to stop North Korean’s leader from testing rockets and nukes, he has thrown out increasingly stern warnings. According to the Washington Post (7-6-2017), In Warsaw, Trump said the United States was considering “some pretty severe things” in response to what he called “very, very bad behavior” from the North, although he did not mention any specific plans. “Something will have to be done about it.”

Nobody really knows what “something” could be. Perhaps, our great Donald is still formulating those ideas. It’s pretty clear to the world that if you want to stop someone from doing something you either talk to them or punch them. Trump sure does a lot of talking, but he doesn’t put his money where his mouth is. Perhaps he wants to use someone else’s money to solve problems that won’t go away.

With trade, climate and immigration on the table, with the EU and Syria, North Korea and ISIS being important to Russia, China, Japan and South Korea, our President should be prepared to listen as much as he talks.

Trump should work on knowing the issues and proper answers and stop watering down his speeches with anti-press, anti-Obama and anti-trade tirades. Nobody knows why he does it, and nobody outside of the US cares about his fake fight with CNN. Focus, Donald, Focus!

 

 

 


IMPATIENT AND “UN” AWARE

Trump’s Challenge: North Korea

That great term, “sword rattling” takes us back to simpler times, which were just as complicated as they are today. As a country, we don’t get to pick the leaders of the nations of the world. Leaders move to the top of a government sometimes because of birthright, while others kill their way to the top. And in democratic places, some run, campaign and get elected. Their viewpoints will either light the way, or cast a shadow over the land they rule.

Donald Trump ran his campaign on hardened opinions based on his consumption of extremely skewed media outlets and conspiracy theories. He railed against China by mentioning their currency manipulation and trade advantage over the US in almost every rally. He said few negative things about Russia. Trump also claimed he knew more about things like ISIS than his generals, but now that he is President it’s important that he actually listens to his generals.

On the day before the 4th of July, this nation’s 241st birthday, Kim Jong Un ordered the launch of what his press described as an ICBM that could reach the United States. Trump is now becoming aware that Little Kim is taunting the leader of the free world. In fact, the missile traveled 578 miles and made it two-thirds of the way to Japan.

In the Rose Garden (6-30-2017) Trump made a big announcement about the Asian country when he said, “The era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime has failed. And, frankly, that patience is over.” Okay, not quite a red line, but in a communist country, red is not such a bad color.

Once again, our federally paid tweet teenager took to the internet even before he knew the nature of the missile to weigh in on this crisis, “North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? Hard to believe that South Korea and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!”

When I read that tweet, I LOL’d. The line that stuck out was, Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? And I thought, yeah, that little monster, lucky-sperm leader is launching missiles and our great orange hope is launching tweets. Why isn’t he just talking to Japan and South Korea? It sounds like he is pitching a movie idea to China. What does he mean by “heavy move.” Isn’t that what Trump said he did with women he thought attractive?

According to the New York Times (6-26-2017): “South Korea’s foreign minister indicated strongly on Monday that her government would honor an agreement to deploy an American missile-defense system despite protests and economic retaliation from China.” That seems a bit far from what you want China to do, Mr. Trump.

The Donald might be impatient with North Korea, but he has to understand that country’s complexities. If General MacArthur in the 1950s would have been allowed to continue his march beyond the 38th parallel, who knows what Korea would be as a unified country, today. China wanted a buffer between a working democracy, albeit corruptible, in South Korea and what they want to believe is modern communism in China. Remember, it was China that convinced Truman to “stand down” and fire MacArthur to avoid another world war.

Trump showed his feelings about China’s lack of involvement in his tweet (June 20, 2017), “While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!” Why is our President attempting to shame leaders of major countries into action? It’s almost more important for him to have a running commentary on his feelings. O.M.G. Our president is like a teenage girl writing in her diary every night: Dear Diary…

While China and South Korea would like more discourse between countries, Trump is doing his best at making this about the cult of personality rather than real political diplomacy. Well, to be truthful, Trump is not a diplomatic person. Why is he President again?

Trump toys with people on tweeter and screams about his big bad enemy, the press, at his politically motivated rallies, while Kim Jong Un toys with nations with missiles. The frightening reality is that Un would sacrifice his country’s 25 million people just to prove that he is the boss. What are Trump’s priorities?

Trump may say he is impatient, but what is next? If the President of the United States cannot rally nations and the strong characters who care about the world, he is wasting his time with those 140 characters on Twitter. Those leaders want to know what is the plan and that includes, what happens after Kim Jong Un is gone. Unfortunately, most of those same leaders are looking forward to the time Trump is gone.

 

 


THE INSANE BLAME GAME

Trump Must Look Forward

Donald Trump more than insinuated that the death of Otto Warmbier right after he was released from a North Korean jail was somewhat caused by the slow diplomacy of the Obama administration. One could ask why it took the Trump administration five months to free Mr. Warmbier? And a better question might be, how soon can you get the other American’s Kim Dong Chul, Kim Sang-duk and Kim Hak-Song freed from this horrible regime in North Korea?

Sometime soon, Donald J. Trump needs to look forward and stop blaming the last administration for everything that goes wrong. He’s got just as big a problem in Syria right now with the confusion being created by Russia. Within the last 24 hours we have shot down one Syrian jet and two Iranian made drones that the Syrian army is using to scope out their enemies. The imaginary red line in Syria was matched by team Trump with 59 tomahawks, but what did that do? Nothing.

When the Chinese pulled back on trade with North Korea, Russia stepped up and moved their coal and supplies to Kim Jong Un. We have someone who is on the side of Assad, Iran and North Korea; and Trump wants to be open to a productive Russian relationship. Someone has to get to Trump and shake him into the reality that Putin will do anything to bring him down. Time will show that if he cannot control Trump, he will certainly destroy him.

There are serious problems in the world and the Trump administration barely has the ability to handle an investigation into their stupid mistakes with Russia and election meddling. How can they really be affective with crazy demonic leaders like Un or the crafty and soulless Putin? Trump is outclassed by Putin and ineffective with North Korea.

The President’s legal document, called a tweet, sent a message to China today (6-20-2017) While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried! Why does he broadcast this, rather than just sending a communique to the President of China? Trump has let everyone in the world know that he thinks what China did was not good enough for him. Is he really blaming China for the actions of Kim Jong Un?

If Trump can get the other three Americans out of North Korea, we can all salute him and believe that he has some leverage with Un, but that seems unlikely. Trump could end up being played by Un and Putin, while disbelieving they have the upper hand. Could he be that naïve?

The best thing Trump could do would be to help the investigation and get rid of these distractions. There are too many important things to deal with in the world right now. With the Treasury Department sending documents to those on the Congressional oversight committees, it’s getting more and more critical for the President to admit if there are tapes, show his full tax returns and help rid himself of this cancer on his Presidency.

We don’t need more dead Americans shipped home from North Korea. We don’t need to hear the President’s concerns laced with blame and exploitation. We need the President to be a leader and help America. So far, we have someone who is floundering while acting on such basic levels.