Thursday, May 23, 2019

China fires a ranging shot

It's been speculated for some time that the reason China has acquired over a trillion dollars in US Treasury bonds and several trillion in cash (not literal cash but bank holdings) is to use it as a weapon. In reality it was just a tool being used to back China's vast trading and asset acquisition policy. They've been buying copper mines, oil fields, ports and well just about anything all over the world for decades. 

It appears that now with a belligerent orange idiot in charge of the US who has been firing the relatively competent people around him and replacing them with sycophants that China may have decided that it's time to hammer the plowshare into a sword. Ever since the Bush Crash the Chinese have been quietly inserting their own currency into trade all over the world. Since China makes everything and the US makes nothing there is no country that isn't willing to trade in Renminbi (the People's currency) instead of insisting on USD.

China typically does its trading of US debt quietly through proxies but this week they dumped $20 billion of US debt for no apparent reason. That is a tiny amount but it was done right in the open, much the way an artillery battery fires a single round deliberately short of the enemy position to test the range. 

Wall St ran for the fox holes but the pundits are mostly saying China isn't really going to do this. Meanwhile in China, President For Life Xi, who Trump thinks is totally in awe of his Orange Greatness, is giving policy speeches at multiple appearances where he is invoking the history of the Great March. He's saying times will be hard for a decade or more but that China will prevail. Yeah....  Have you got your canned goods?  -

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The War with Iran has been cancelled

It appears we won't be going to war with Iran because the President summoned Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and issued orders to end the saber rattling. President Putin was quite clear in yesterday's Kremlin meeting and it will be done as ordered. At least that's the way it is today in Orange Krazy World.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Raise the Threat Level to Orange, a stupid dangerous shade of orange

Trump isn't as stupid as he lets on or more likely he's taking advice from someone who isn't. Corrupt, deceitful, bloodthirsty and cruel, Trump's kind of guy. 

Trump is ignoring North Korea, no profit there but Venezuela, Libya and Iran, all have oil and they're getting the same Axis of Evil treatment that Bush used to run oil up from $18 to $140 a barrel. You'd think he'd be afraid to anger his base by driving up the price of gas and with it the price of 'hamberders' but he'll blame it on The Green New Deal and the brain dead fools will eat it with a spoon. 

Trump really likes the idea of starting a war with Iran, it's good to be a war President, it gets you into the history books but this is fraught with danger, since they aren't Iraq. They're one united people unlike the fractured Iraq and they're experienced with bloody warfare having fought Iraq at great cost.

Plus this could pretty easily turn into a real shooting war with their major oil buyer China and China has 21st century weapons instead of 1960s Soviet surplus equipment like Iraq. Our own military can't function without high tech Chinese parts and while our DARPA labs do reverse engineer the computer chips we buy from them looking for back doors, there is no real certainty we've found them all. 

If China was only to supply Iran with ship killer missiles and modern anti-aircraft systems it would be a short costly war for the US.  Would Trump accept the bloody nose of losing a couple of aircraft carriers and heed demands that he step down from office or would he test his access to the nuclear codes? Maybe he would just go for martial law, there could be elements of the military that would be just fine with that.

You can buy a modern Geiger counter pretty cheap, it might be something to keep with the canned goods. This is assuming that you don't get rounded up by ICE, it is what they train for. 


Thursday, May 2, 2019

Azincourt Class Super Carrier

Joe Biden put on a strange performance in Iowa where trotted out some 20th century talking points about trade with China. He was dismissive of anyone who thinks that China is competition for the US economically or militarily. Apparently Joe hasn't noticed that everything in Walmart says "made in China" in really small print. He doesn't notice the trillion dollar annual trade deficit or that wages have not improved since he was a freshman in Congress forty years ago. He helped Clinton bring us the trade policies that are turning us into a third world country and he just doesn't see it, or hopes we won't. His surrogates are alternately dismissing complaints about this on the Republican partisanship or the ignorance of socialists on the left depending who they're talking to.  

He went on to drop some Trump like comments to justify his position by claiming Beijing has its hands full with domestic and regional problems. 

Biden cited tensions in the South China Sea that he called "the China Sea" which is unwittingly appropriate since the tensions there are strictly of China's making as they claim the entire area for themselves and are building artificial islands with military installations to enforce this new found sovereignty.  Yeah Joe, it is the "China Sea".

Joe then went with a full-on disconnect saying, "... the problems in the mountains... in the west". Nobody knows what he was referring to, maybe Tibet? It's in the mountains and was a big deal in the 90s but this never created any real problems for China. China is engaged in massive infrastructure building to the west to spread its influence and control. These aren't problems for China, these are opportunities they are exploiting.

Biden went on to dismiss concerns about China's military with the tried and true, "America has the strongest military in the world". Old Joe seems to think we're facing off against a People's Army armed with bamboo spears. Sure we have a dozen 100 billion dollar super carriers but China has been building thousands of hyper-sonic ship killer missiles that the USNavy has zero defense against.

You can compare this to the French armored calvary at the Battle of Azincourt in 1415. Expensive and invincible calvary ran up against the cheap simple English long bow and was cut to pieces. If you don't know history, you are doomed to repeat it. Joe wants his turn as President and willing to say anything to get it. 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Sleepy Joe vs the Orange Nazi

Sleepy Joe as the Orange Disaster called him this morning on twitter is officially running for the Democratic nomination. He set about establishing his liberal bona fides immediately by pointing out that Trump thinks Nazis are "fine people". The people whose votes he's courting at the moment already knew that but it did get him a few seconds on the news.

A couple of weeks ago Joe managed to get on the news with a supposed slip of the tongue saying that he's, "the most progressive Democrat running". The big news was supposedly that he let slip he's running, nobody noticed that he claimed he's a progressive. That of course was a big fat lie. Trump is every bit as progressive as Joe, that is not at all. 

Biden was an active and enthusiastic participant in the corporate dems dismantling of the American middle class. The Bankruptcy reform that made it impossible to write off student loans was his baby. Student loans have shot past credit cards and auto loans to $1.55 trillion and climbing fast as the student share of education balloons and wages after graduation fizzle despite the good economy. 

Obama-Biden policies moving student loans directly under the jurisdiction of the Dept of Education didn't really cut out the banks from making loans at a tidy profit but created a new profit center of private loan servicing companies that make examples out of scofflaws by sending Federal Marshals to arrest them and haul them before a special judge to be further threatened. A six percent Federally guaranteed return $1.55 trillion plus all the fees they can generate makes doing anything productive seem like a total waste of time.

Biden was involved in every bad policy to which Dems have been a party since Bill Clinton banished the Progressives to the wilderness. Trump was able to beat Hillary because he could tie her directly to the decline of the middle class and he'll have an even better case against Biden who was a full participant. Hillary went from co-president to a simple first lady when anyone pointed out just how awful the things Bill Clinton pushed through really were. 

Hillary only started calling herself a progressive after it was obvious Bernie was beating her. Biden hasn't missed a beat in picking up the progressive mantle. It's about as disgusting as watching Republicans wrapping themselves in the Flag. Biden has been signaling to the big donors that they need to really pony up in the first 24 hours to match Bernie's war chest. Time to send Bernie another ten spot. There are thousands of corporate Dems but there are tens of millions of us. where the disgust is shared freely but bring your own canned goods. 

Monday, April 22, 2019

For a Russian spy her involvement with the Yuge Rotten Orange will get her time wearing orange

The Feds are recommending 18 months in prison for the only Russian spy arrested in the ongoing Orange Treason Scandal. They submitted in evidence to the sentencing Judge a note that Maria Butina wrote to her handlers in Moscow detailing the advantages of putting resources into an 'unnamed' Presidential campaign and into conservative groups like the NRA.

Butina's American boyfriend (whom she complained about to in her reports to Moscow) was a mid-level Republican operative that has been indicted for basically swindling little old ladies is responsible for at least one person placed in the WH as an aide to General Micheal Flynn who was indicted in his own right and still cooperating. Flynn's sentencing Judge wondered out loud after seeing the sealed information in his case if the prosecutors had considered charging him with Treason. The Judge told him to go back and cooperate some more because he wasn't inclined to accede to the prosecution's call for leniency in his case.

It appears that the NRA funneled as much as 70 million dollars in Russian money into the 2016 election (30 million to Trump alone) which might explain why high ranking GOP members of Congress are sticking with Trump, they're all dirty. Trump changed FEC regulations to exempt the NRA from revealing where their money comes from the day after the Russian/NRA story broke, this won't stop the FBI from investigating.

There are 14 ongoing investigations redacted in the Mueller Report, this probably doesn't include investigations that weren't referred by Mueller directly. When the FBI kicks over a log they're free to chase anything that runs. Trump's log is yuge and very rotten.

Trump's Monday morning tweets indicate he really feels the noose tightening. Spouting that he can't be impeached and his enemies are the real wrong doers. This includes his own lawyers who he claims fabricated their notes to make him look guilty. Mueller reported ten instances where Trump ordered his staff to commit obstruction of justice and they refused. The rightwing defense that their refusal exonerates him. Endeavoring to commit obstruction is the same as doing so under the law. The only defense is that Trump is too incompetent to hold the highest office in the land. Impeachment is the only course of action either way.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Solid as Sears or rotten as Steven Muchin

What's left of the once the once storied Sears Roebuck & Co has filed suit against it former Chief Executive Officer Eddie Lampert and a string of its high-profile past board members, including Lampert's former Yale roommate, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, alleging they conspired to steal $2 billion in assets from the company forcing it into bankruptcy. 

Looting the assets of a company and then stiffing all the creditors has been standard operating procedure for 'yuge' business in America ever since Ronald Reagan de-criminalized many of the practices that people like Trump depend on to make these schemes work. But some of these practices aren't completely de-criminalized and the not-so-bright individuals involved do sometimes get caught.

Trump isn't as afraid of the redacted Mueller report as he is of the number of spin-off prosecutions that are still under seal. Trump's ex-lawyer Micheal Cohen alluded to Trump's practice of inflating and deflating the value of assets to his advantage. This is called wire fraud, bank fraud, tax fraud and insurance fraud. Considering the amount of money involved, these offenses potentially carry decades in prison.

This is how white collar crime works, stealing from poor people is applauded; stealing a little from other rich people is just part of the game, stealing a lot (if your victims are rich) gets you Bernie Madoff like prison time.  The reason Lori Loughlin didn't plea bargain her college admission bribery case while Felicity Huffman did is the amount of money involved. Having paid 'only' $14,000 in bribes, Huffman will get a slap on the wrist. Aunt Becky spent hundreds of thousands and will do some significant prison time.  Trump is feverishly scheming to avoid dying in prison. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Trump and his fellow travelers

Trump apparently tuned into his personal network to see the Fox hosts pillory "crazy Bernie" in front of a mob of Trump supporters at a televised town hall event. He turned a deeper shade of orange on the greeting Bernie actually got from the crowd as the Fox shills were unable to control and humiliate Sanders as was their obvious plan. Apparently the average Fox viewer would actually like to pay less for healthcare that is simple and really provides for their needs instead of rich insurance executives.

Trump tweeted his displeasure but was out done by the so-called liberal establishment that was out in force to vilify Bernie for not being a team player and breaking the boycott of Fox. They were also willing to embrace Trump's conspiracy theory that the Fox audience warmed up to Bernie because they were really Bernie supporters and not actual Fox viewers. 

Clinton apologizers won't admit that the 8% of Bernie supporters that didn't vote for Hillary were in fact Republicans, they instead prefer to characterize "Bernie-bros" as misogynists. In reality 15% of Hillary supporters refused to vote for Obama in 2008 calling themselves PUMAs (party unity my ass). If the math seems off on that it's because that Hillary has never been very popular despite the puffery and Obama was. Bernie becomes more popular as more people actually hear what he has to say and it drives conservatives nuts.

Establishment Democrats hate and fear Bernie and actual Progressives because they see their world going away if the middle-class ever comes to power again. A lot of them work in jobs that would no longer exist in a world where Wall St isn't allowed to scam people. An economy has evolved since Reagan where people at the top don't really do anything and get paid handsomely for it. A meritocracy just isn't their thing.