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Wednesday, 02 August 2017

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"The Great O" wants to get the Politburo back together again. Since he can't be lead singer, he can be lead writer.

Or perhaps, lead sock-puppeteer. Jes' sayin'!

The great O is actually fervishly working from his basement lair only 2 miles from the White House. If only he were on some mountain top in Hawaii, preferrably Kilauea

Was it Reagan who said " Yes I've been to a communist country, I've been to Massachussetts"?

That would explain why he'd be so "good".

Anyway I expect some body will be along in a minute to tell us we don't know anything and so on and so forth, at some length.

Woof woof.

Don't get your blood pressure up. Patrick works for Bain Capital, the private equity and venture capital investment firm with close ties to Mitt Romney. He doesn't exactly fit the mood of Democrats or the left right now.

There was a joke going around DC after the already sacked Scaramucci was hired: If any more Goldman Sachs alumni get hired by Trump there won't be anyone left to hear Hillary Clinton's speeches.

Btw, here's hoping your "promotion" doesn't last long.

I should be more plain and hope the wife is better soon.

He (Patrick) may be more in-line with the Green Party.

Well one thing I've observed of late - and here Pompous G I'm forced to give you what, had I a choice, to not've "enjoyed" the opportunity; but give you Pompous G; full credit I'm enjoying the heck outta all y'all regulars fine repartie.

(Yeah yeah I know Pompous G but, I'm using the word by way of the fencing sense and, were you within sword's distance (dread thought) it'd be obvious.)

On the general subject of "Potus vs the Generals", a modern re-run is kicking off ...

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/trump-says-u-s-losing-afghan-war-tense-meeting-generals-n789006

Be interesting to see how the Don fares. Certainly some straight talking to the Ruperts is good to see. Listening to what's going on on the ground and rubbing the Ruperts' noses in it is good to see. Reminding the Ruperts that "making it pay" is what foreign wars are all about is good to see.

The Afghans will work for anyone with a bigger gun than they have AND offers them more money, but it's got to be both. Digging the minerals out of the ground and sharing the profits would've been the no brainer to complement the gun. Only a bunch of Ruperts could manage to miss the bleedin' obvious and hand half the job - the lucrative part - over to the Chinese while shouldering burden of blood and treasure themselves, thereby leaving the Afghans unsated and still fighting.

Can the Don with his business angle bring the missing half of the solution to the table?

SoD

SoD,

Probably not. America has never been good at empire and Afghanistan is a historically tough nut to crack. The Pentagon is already trying to hide the war from the public:

hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_AFGHANISTAN_US

My browser dropped part of the URL:

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_AFGHANISTAN_US

We were quite good at empire, but didn't do very well in Afghanistan. The Russians sank after about ten years and the Americans have been at it for 15 or so. Why not get out and stop all aid and let the Chinese have a go? We don't need them; we can't afford them, and we don't want them.

Like they always say about Afghanistan, an easy place to enter but difficult to leave.

Here's the strategy, Uncle Sam: -

(1) Keep the big gun in there. Show the rest of world that you can outlast all the others who've had a go.

(2) Boot the Chinese out (punishment for not doing the do with North Korea), cream the profits off the minerals, and use the wedge to buy out the senior Talibs.

(3) Offer the younger Talibs employment in Syria fighting Assad, the Iranians, and ISIS, all of whom they hate. How much does a young Talib get paid? I bet it's a lot less than Uncle Sam could pay 'em in Syria, which in turn would be a lot less than Uncle Sam's own soldiers cost in Syria - so a win-win. Be just like the old times, a few Yankee veterans might meet the sons of old buddies -"Ah yes Ahmed, your father and I gave those Rooskie boys a right roasting, I can tell you", and then, "Let's you and I do the same, be just like the good old days! I might adopt a more behind-the lines stance, y'know, what with age and a slightly bad back and all that, but I'm right behind you". And if Ahmed and most of his mates end up pushing up the daisies in the Levant, well that's no big loss. Especially if they take a few Hamid's with them. Bait and Bleed.

Afghanistan peaceful and pro-US. Putin, Assad, ISIS, and the Iranians with a whole lotta trouble on board. All of 'em far too busy to dick us about. And all self-funding.

I dunno, I'm wasted in IT.

SoD

SoD, you'd be a great deal maker. It's unfortunate our constitution requires the president be a natural-born citizen of the United States.

I was a member of the Knee-Jerk Liberal Church (Which some people insist upon calling the Congregational Church.) for twenty years. I held every office in the church but Moderator, and I am never moderate about anything, so I would not be a good fit, there. The church has stood near the university campus for a century or so, which means that a fair number of the members are students or faculty. The faculty were mostly kind, and not always inflexible. There was, however, one man, Dr A. a tenured professor in, oh well, no need to tell that. One of the offices he held was chairman of the Building and Grounds committee. Since I had more experience than I intended in rehab of older structures, I knew some things, e.g. that water is the foe of the works of man. Rains in Texas tend to be absent or torrential. (They aren't moderate, either.) There was a spot outside where rain accumulated, and ran into the ground at the Southwest corner of the church, undermining the foundation. The windows had lovely Arabesque arches atop, and, the wall above that window got stellate cracks in the plaster, radiating upward from the apex of that arch, after every every heavy rain.

I told Dr. A. that the problem was water, but he had a PhD, so he knew everything, and sought high and low for an expert to tell him that water was NOT the problem. The cracks continued. Finally, Dr. A's term expired, B&G got another chairman, and I explained about the underground erosion. They called someone in, who found a clogged storm drain, repaired it, and the cracks have not reappeared.

I worked in a nursing home for a couple of years, an appendage to the back of a POSH retirement community. Dr. A, now retired from his department, contracted to do a survey of the residents, most of whom had had very successful careers, which was why they could afford to live there. They somehow found out that the company that owned the facility had a capital improvements budget of a hundred thousand dollars a year, and they thought that it would be a capital idea to let them decide how to spend that budget, a notion which also appealed to Dr A. He professed himself unable to understand why the company would not take such a reasonable course of action. I explained to him that whatever the director of the location did not spend would be his annual bonus. He never did understand what I had told him. If his University department had an appropriation, they spent it all, every year, or saw it reduced in the next cycle, b y whatever was not spent.

As I read the comments here, I am compelled to wonder whether that same mentality infects the thinking of our resident troll. At the very least, I believe that these brief accounts will explain to most of you why I am not quite as impressed as I ought to be, by his expertise.

Well SoD, far as your strategy goes step #2 is a no-can-do because of Aynak primarily (pretty sure the Chicoms did the deal roundabouts 2007). They're finalizing the rail line through Pakistan ("little" problem there 'cause the Pakis are supposed to be doing the security shit and what with Qatar having kicked up and the Saudis don't dare get their tender fingers dirty they're hollering for Paki Spec-Ops).

I see incidentally yesterday the Chicoms also cut the ribbon on their new port in Djibouti.

Afghanistan is a fucking mess. Three days ago, an Islamic State nutter let off a bomb outside the Iraqi embassy in Kabul. Day before yesterday Taliban lit one off in Herat and then yesterday IS again, let go with one in Helmand that killed seven NATO [+ two US] and, so far as I can tell our War Party (and our media) can't bring themselves to shed light with We The People nevermind allowing "us" a say.

Nope. Not a peep (tho' as I've said elsewhere not much tv what with all the Trump! Colluding! Russians! going on so as I can only bring myself to watch the Sunday Shows).

Personally I hope Trump doesn't shut the fuck up at all where Afghanistan is concerned. A right fucking mess Afghanistan.

SoD?

Here's you a book:

https://www.amazon.com/Way-Knife-Secret-Army-Earth/dp/B00QSF9XLI

JK,

I agree, Afghanistan is a mess. So is Syria, Yemen.

When I've got messes in my life - and by George and all the Saints, I've had a few - I give 'em the garden treatment: I sweep them into one pile. They're a lot less in your face that way, you don't bump into them so often. Particularly if you position the one big mess out of sight.

Getting the two alignments of the ME and Afghan mess to have at each other is like sweeping the messes into one pile. Just leave it positioned out of sight and it won't bother you.

After a while it will moulder down into a trivial pile of dust, then you can sweep it up and stick it in the compost heap.

I find the same works with my inbox. I have a folder called "WTFDIDWT" ("What the fuck do I do with this"). All the messes go in there. After six months I take a peak, and most of it seems to have sorted itself out - Ahmed and Hamid styleee.

SoD

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/politics/australia-mexico-transcripts/?utm_term=.9923d3504ad5

It's amusing stuff, isn't it?

It reminds me of my darling GOTTY (Game of Thrones), when all the lords of Westeros visit whichever nutter is on the Iron Throne, bowing and scraping, but still ramming their points home as graciously as they can.

The only difference is the GOTTY script is so much better. The grunts and snuffles of today's Westerosian pols is an embarrassment. Perhaps we could get George RR Martin to write their intentions on behalf of them? And maybe get Melania and Ivanka to get their kit off and flash their covfefe's and buttyhoho's once in a while for a bit of comic relief (or some form of relief).

One thing that sticks out is Trump's avowed Mercantilism. He clearly is exactly what it says on his tin.

In that conversation with the Mex, where the Don is banging on about slapping a border tax on him, why doesn't the Mex remind the Don of what happens when you do that? The Mexican Peso devalues against the dollar. That makes US exports to Mexico more expensive, and Mexican exports to the US cheaper, and thereby wipes out the effect of the border tax.

As a right up-to-date example the Mex could quote Brexit: Even the threat of leaving the EU devalued the pound by 20%. Thereby BMW's, VW's und alles are all 20% more expensive in Blighty, and Nissans, Hondas, and the rest made in Blighty are all 20% cheaper in the EU. So any border tax raised under WTO terms when Brexit proper arrives will merely redress the old balance.

The Don might reply, "Yes, but I got myself a tax into the coffers". And there's the rub: Where did that border tax money actually come from? Did it grow on a tree?

No, it didn't. It came in equal proportions from Mexicans and Americans who all end up paying more for their goods and services.

Therefore, it's not a "victory" for the US, or Mexico. Its a victory for the state over ordinary people. Another effing ball and chain around all our necks.

SoD

SoD...
"Its a victory for the state over ordinary people. Another effing ball and chain around all our necks." That's how we serfs know we are being properly governed. All benefit to the Central government and their insatiable appetite for more power and control. This never ends well.

An item that confuses the Trump wing is that NAFTA was negotiated in part to boost the Mexican economy and slow Mexicans fleeing to the US to escape poverty. They want contradictory outcomes on immigration as well as economics.

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