The new who gives a damn politics

It’s also worth noting that talk is going around DC that the US and China may keep the original $50B in tariffs, but that the Trump Administration has asked the Chinese to move theirs away from targeting the GOP base to less politically sensitive sectors, even proposing alternative industries to the Chinese side.

That is from Bill Bishop, who edits the email newsletter Sinocism, which I find essential and pay real money to read.  Here is additional Bloomberg coverage.


I guess it's not surprising that the same sort of people who told us falsely for three years that the Trump administration was colluding with Russia have immediately pivoted to peddling rumors of collusion with China. You spend your money however you want to, Tyler, but shilling for this new conspiracy theory does no favors for your own credibility.

The base chimes in!

Fodder for your moment of clarity:

Clear as mud. From the article's ' talk is going around DC' to your 'wishful thinking is fact' tweet, the clarity of the situation is that you've been owned by Trump.

I think it is clear at this point that Trump is no superspy, but going through those 50 points with a critical eye, we must admit that he loved Putin for too long, and even more dangerously and preposterously, really did trust him over US intelligence services. That made him a patsy, and "the base" patsies in turn.

I don't see a lot of love in his actions. I know you progs value rhetoric over actions though.

"even more dangerously and preposterously, really did trust him over US intelligence services. "

I doubt he trusts them, but this really shows you haven't been paying attention for the past few weeks.

The whole reason so many support him, even though his tweets cause some pain, is that he's NOT a patsy, a nice change from the last administration.

Going through those fifty (count 'em!) points, we get the impression of someone who is just throwing crap at the wall to see what sticks.

Helsinki was a weird moment, with no satisfactory explanation.

Going through this list, and many others, you get the idea that the only defense for Trump is to grade on an ever-lower curve.

Did he just promise a pardon for *future* criminal behavior?

"Add it to the list, and what did you expect anyway?"

Your response is to throw more crap. Noted.

As I say. At this point Trump's only defense is "how can it all be true?"

It is too much. It boggles the mind.

And yet.

Trump Is A Russian Agent is the new Bush Did 9-11 So He Could Steal Iraq's Oil. Yeaaaaahhh.

Perhaps your moment of clarity will come after typing one too many of such pointless deflections.

The *best* defense of Trump on this page is that he was merely a useful idiot.

Heck of a champion (and candidate) you've got there.

Perhaps pills are a solution to your paranoia.

lol, no fringe paranoia here. I am downright mainstream.

The Republicans were 100% convinced Obama had no shot in 2012.

Trump had, very early on, some reason to believe that some elements in the US’s intelligence services were conspiring against him. So his unwillingness to trust them makes a certain amount of sense.

'that some elements in the US’s intelligence services were conspiring against him'

Which certainly seems to justify keeping his conversations with Putin protected from anyone else in the American government knowing what was said.

No, really - 'President Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former U.S. officials said.

Trump did so after a meeting with Putin in 2017 in Hamburg that was also attended by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. U.S. officials learned of Trump’s actions when a White House adviser and a senior State Department official sought information from the interpreter beyond a readout shared by Tillerson.

The constraints that Trump imposed are part of a broader pattern by the president of shielding his communications with Putin from public scrutiny and preventing even high-ranking officials in his own administration from fully knowing what he has told one of the United States’ main adversaries.

As a result, U.S. officials said there is no detailed record, even in classified files, of Trump’s face-to-face interactions with the Russian leader at five locations over the past two years. Such a gap would be unusual in any presidency, let alone one that Russia sought to install through what U.S. intelligence agencies have described as an unprecedented campaign of election interference.'

Trump never had a good reason to fire Comey, failed to distance himself and his campaign from Putin. This is his own fault.

Trump is often his worst enemy. Before he fired Comey, I thought it unlikely there was real, serious collusion (just because Putin hates Hillary and thinks of Trump as a useful idiot does not imply collusion), but the firing forced me to revise my priors.

Sure, Comey is a weasel (he is a lawyer, after all), but firing him impulsively did terrible damage to the first 2 years of the presidency.

The alternative would have been two more years of Comey's bumbling sabotage from within.

I'm sure we could get plenty from "the base" who would be happy if China targeted California, specifically.

Such is, to borrow a phrase, life in Trump's America.

(And no, further focus on the nuttiest "base" doesn't really buy more votes in 2020. It just shores up losses as more and more "Trump fans" suffer moments of clarity.)

I won't shed a tear when CA (St. Andreas, pray for us.) slides into the Pacific Ocean.

Like a busload of lawyers driving off a cliff. It would be a start.

I guess the difference is that California likes the rest of the country, and is happy to buy it up with our Mexican doubloons.

Are you ready for Trump to dump hordes of migrants in your backyard? I'm grabbing my popcorn.

"Unrequited love's a bore." De Mamas and De Papas.

I think you meant Mexican pesos.

Anyhow, Orange Man Bad!

Team Red partisans are particularly gleeful about this new turn in American Politics. They like the show our Mango Maduro is puting on. But for how long?

I'd be absolutely thrilled if you and your ilk were targeted. Not only would my state's industries be spared, but I could also lick your salty tears.

Elections have consequences, politics is zero sum, and you are finding out the hard way.

Of course, because while cruelty was always part of Trumpism, it is now the only part left.

No more genius businessman, no more Art of the Deal, now it is just "be mean to people I don't like."

You crazy, man. It 'splains why all your Dim party leaders are insane.

The cruelty is the point, episode 532.

Army Pfc. Barbara Vieyra was mortally wounded in Afghanistan in Sep 2010 when insurgents attacked her unit. Last week, ICE deported her husband, leaving their child, a US citizen, in Phoenix without parents.

Getting on a plane to Mexico doesn't seem so bad for the little child. Aren't we all global citizens now anyway?

(No more drain the swamp, obviously.)

An inactive, 82 yr old judge retires. That surprises you?

I think it is the family tradition of tax fraud that explains the missing tax returns.

'People complained, in the 90s' Yeah that'll go somewhere. Desperate grasping of straws before indictment come for the Dems. Ok, I'm more indictments.

And yet you ignore the scoreboard?

"Over the course of his nearly two-year-long probe, special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of prosecutors have now indicted 34 individuals and three Russian businesses on charges ranging from computer hacking to conspiracy and financial crimes."

Go ahead, try to get something on the boards.

And none had to do with Trump.

He was just useful enough to hire and trust a bunch of them.

The Russians had no connection to him at all.

They peed on his face according to British intelligence. That's a pretty major connection. With DNA evidence too.

His campaign manager was on the Russian payroll.

What is your state's industry that California doesn't have? Believe it or not, they do mining, manufacturing, and oil drilling out there just like red states.

Such is life in Xi's America.

I believe I have linked this before, but here is Dani Rodrik's objective observation for peaceful trade coexistence with China. As for the allegation by Bill Bishop, only those intoxicated by Trump worship would expect anything less of Trump. On the other hand, moving from the demand that the US (Trump) have veto power over China's fiscal policy to the suggestion that China target Trump unfriendly places for China's tariffs at least has the advantage of something China may accept.

for all the ongoing discussions on growth around Boeing, the real avant-garage, the corollary to the Obama Iran tantrums, has been the China discussion. Those of us without lorgnettes or matter-of-fact sentiment cannot honor the lunette.

We are all cosmopolitan globalists now anyway, so who gives a damn about politics indeed. We all bent the knee to supranationalist expertise. This is what we get. Live with it.

You're right...I really don't give a damn.

Trump has requested that

China target

Sanctuary cities instead.

Well, rumors are rumors but that sounds a lot like politics as usual. The real question is why would China want to support Trump? There is either a whole lot more under the cover here or it's pretty much a "meh" type event.

My suspicion is that China would want to support Trump because he is a pushover and generally incompetent, and the alternative is a Democratic president who isn't a pushover and isn't incompetent. Another way to put it is that I highly suspect that the Chinese are glad that they are negotiating with Trump and not with Obama.

Also, Trump is a great bullsh1tter and has Fox news behind him, so when China reaches a deal with the US that is favorable to China and deleterious to the US, they can count on Trump and Fox news to sell it to about 40% of the US populace as the greatest deal of all time, while about half of Democrats won't pay enough attention to really care. So what Trump does is buy China time to delay real and serious demands for reform with how they relate to the rest of the world.

Wahhhhhh stupid working class people don't understand their own interests and vote for Trump.

Such patronizing arrogance will not serve you well come 2020. Better field a competent candidate who runs on more than transgender rights and socialism otherwise you're going to take it in the ass for four more years.

I gave Trump a fair shot to prove himself but up to this point it is clear that Obama is the better negotiator. Trump's goals don't make America strong. In geopolitics and Starcraft, turtling up by erecting walls is a losing strategy. To take on China, you really need to leverage your allies not push them away. Trump's used-car-salesman-in-New-Jersey works in the Middle East because that region shares the same hot-blooded temperament but Obama's understated, on-point approach is much more effective just about everywhere else on the globe. Unfortunately he can't run a third time.

You're 14 days too late with your analysis.

That's a popular theory. As is in other quarters is the idea that the Chinese are more intimidated by Trump than another "competent" Democrat candidate that would have pushed softer renegotiation, and been more vulnerable to appeals that the US has a duty to help China on 'poverty reduction'.

Either way though the Chinese aren't telling (if they appear to, they're lying) so it's somewhat fruitless to try and work it out (Kremlinology).

P Burgos wants us to forget that under Obama, the Chinese hacked the entire database of federal security clearance files, and the Obama administration said and did nothing in return. (By contrast, Obama was visibly angry and threatening when the North Koreans hacked Sony). And, of course, China and Iran killed a few dozen American spies starting in 2010 after communications security failures by the Obama administration, which "punished" Iran by delivering a billion dollars in cash on a pallet. This is all just game-playing for the trolls on this blog, but there are real life-and-death consequences to electing and apologizing for genuine incompetence.

Any recommendations on similar regional outlets for the Middle East and Africa?

Gawker middle East

Such fake shock and outrage over how the world works (follow the money). The little people always amuse me, always clamoring for more money from the 1%, with the implicit understanding that if you pay them off they'll shut their mouth. So much for their "ideals". At least I'm transparent with my ideals, and don't compromise. Go here and see if you're in the 1% like I am: (I'm a little bummed the interactive graphic does not go over 1%, but I guess for most people it's good enough).

fisherman fish fish

How about some analysis of why the Republican party at large is enabling this insanity?

Because he's hurting people who aren't going to vote for the Republicans anyways? How's that for analysis?

More that he just exposing the left's hypocrisy. Again. Did you hear? Cher went Republican.

It is because people like our hosts didn't say, "Okay, this time round it's clear we need to vote Democratic and hope that in four years time the Republican Party can come up with better policies and a better candidate."

The tailoring of sanctions to maximize political damage to one’s opponent is called “smart sanctions” and was invented by the US for use against the EU. Of course, two can play that game, and the EU found the fault lines in the US were not any narrower or less susceptible to leverage than those between EU members. Now China is getting into the game, and of course as a unified central government that doesn’t heed popular opinion, they are less vulnerable to smart sanctions in the first place.

While in a sense this is an interference with another country’s (or federation’s) internal affairs, in another way it’s fairer to mete out the costs to the proponents of a policy than to those taken for a ride.

FM: Now China is getting into the game, and of course as a unified central government that doesn’t heed popular opinion, they are less vulnerable to smart sanctions in the first place.

I think the Great Firewall of China suggests otherwise than an indifference to the opinion of "The People". The mechanisms for popular "feedback" are different though, it's true. (They can be a bit more shooty and killy at times).

Perhaps I should requalify: the US cannot leverage provincial differences to put political pressure on Chinese leaders. China has a millennia-long history of centralized government, the Han people are ethnically homogeneous, and the the top level of the Chinese hierarchy is not defined by provincial origin, and in fact are expected to cycle through regions. The few provinces that don't fit the mold of overwhelming Han population (Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Manchuria) are politically irrelevant and for the first two in the grip of iron repression.

Even an absence of intra-province tension within China seems a bit "pull the other one, it's got bells on it" from everything every "China Hand" I've heard on the subject has ever said.

looks like you gave bill bishop a nice hug

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