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27 April 2016


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Fred: But as one wag said, all Tom Friedman's cab drivers talk like Tom Friedman.


Hillary might pick the mayor of San Antonio as a running mate. Also he is going to need to split the Hispanic vote.


Lars: I have this debate with people every day. Please consider the phenomenon of "social permission." We were told that DT would top out at 25%. Then 30%. He is now getting 50%.

Moreover, polls at this point are meaningless. Reagan was way behind Carter at this point in the 1980 election cycle.

Finally, I suspect immigration and trade are lot more important in areas outside of NYC, DC, and Los Angeles, i.e., most of America, than many non-Americans realize. You are fed our media's view of America. And the media totally misjudged Trump.

This election is going to be between two very flawed people. And Trump doesn't have to be better than most hypothetical opponents. He only needs to be better than one: Hillary Clinton.


The fifth Moscow Security Conference has just concluded. Speeches here: http://eng.mil.ru/en/mcis/speeches.htm
I guess some of Trump's proposals would be well received, as stabilization of the Middle East was really the most important theme, and ISIL was seen from Indonesia to Russia as the most active threat to all. The second most important theme for the Russians was the military build-up in Eastern Europe. US taxdollars and EU/WB/IMF lifelines at work right up to the Russian border to countries who could otherwise never afford a confrontational stance towards their substantive Russian ethnic minorities. Here, Trump's announcement that the US "must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves" might ring as if he were indeed ready to take back some of this. Or force these countries to go all the way and expand military spending, maybe on loans with zero-interest rates. In either scenario, I suppose most people on the speakers' list here, if confronted would mostly seek to roll back NATO membership (they understand how difficult this is), return to regular inspections of conventional arms and use OSCE to manage the various conflicts. They'd respond aggressively to a ballistic missile shield and massive build-up. I am not sure how to read Trump's alternatives, with only a small window opening for making a deal and otherwise "quickly walk from the table". A lot of the people at this conference might think the process of reaching a deal with the US will take a lot of time, as they have long (and plausible) lists of reasons why it's going to be complicated even if both sides are committed to make it work.


Matthew & Lars

It is not a question of who is marginally better or worse than the other. Trump is going to concentrate on destroying HC as a candidate. He is not going to be very interested in issues. Every day, he and his surrogates, will undermine her as a human, a politician and a policy maker. He has tremendous resources and is steadily amassing a wealth of material on her that can be said over and over again until the voters simply believe that it is true whether or not it is. Politics today is seen as largely a marketing exercise about brand development. He is going to try very hard to destroy her brand as a candidate. There is a lot of baggage that she carries, and it will be used. pl

Gary Orton

To paraphrase economist Dean Baker, it was not free trade or globalization that put American workers in competition with low paid foreign workers in the last decade. China and other developing countries bought massive amounts of U.S. dollars to hold as reserves in this period, causing the dollar to rise and our goods and services to be less competitive. http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/the-question-is-not-free-trade-and-globalization-it-is-free-trade-and-globalization-designed-to-screw-workers

It’s not surprising our trade negotiators didn’t press China and the others to raise the value of their currencies. More powerful US interests, such as Walmart and other major retailers have business models based on using low cost imports as a way to undercut competitors. The same applies to manufacturers like GE who profit by outsourcing production to countries with low cost labor. Besides, the US trade negotiators’ agenda is already full, protecting other powerful interests—Pfizer’s patents, Disney and Microsoft’s copyrights, and advancing the desire of Goldman Sachs and Citigroup for more access to China’s markets. http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/krugman-on-china-trump-and-romney


"... undermine her as a human, a politician and a policy maker."

this has been going on for 25 years. she is now too compromised and too weak to be believed or trusted.


Shorter Mark:

"Heh, let me mouth the neocon talking points and view Trump's speech with the most mendacious of lenses. That'll show em."



He was a Republican first, and Reagan's Secretary of the Navy before his Senate run as a Democrat due to his opposition to the Iraq War. I think it's an easy sell, and he complements Trump well.



Look at how hard he is in denial. I bet Lars believes a man wearing a dress is a woman too!

Babak Makkinejad

Then they can leave too and found a new colony.

And they will not need ever run out of suitable planets - Cosmos is a pretty big place.


Because you don't only have to sell foreign policy to Americans but also to the rest of the world.


"There is no such thing called a post-Industrial economy"

Well I guess there is some such thing but it looks like some kind of neo-feudalism, or ends up like some kind of Dickens era scene.

I can't, for the life of me, understand why we gave away our manufacturing. I was a manufacturing engineer. I hear people talking as if you can just put up a manufacturing operation like a piece of cake. They have no idea how many iterations it takes to get things right.

The idea that you can outsource the manufacturing and keep the engineering and R&D jobs here is a joke that only an ignorant fool could believe. The engineering jobs go too. The research and development goes later. My fiance is a research chemist. The labs have been moving to India and China for a decade.

We gave away a century of knowledge and know how. I don't think a country can recover from that. The advantages that we had, both earned and unearned, we gave away. You don't get those back.


"His speech gave much cause for celebration in Moscow"

Why? Do you think that Russia really cares about the show?


"Americans did fine in this country before plutocrats decided to import serf labor. We will continue to do just fine after we deport them all."

Here you confuse very likely correlation with causation. American did fine as long as the USA possessed a strong industry, e.g. after WWII more than 50% of the global industry was located in the USA. With the destrcution of the industry, this started around 1980, you got into trouble. At the same time you had the immigration issue. Solving the latter will imoprove the whole situation but will not solve the underlying first issue.

Peter Reichard

All very true but the formidable Clinton machine has survived everything thrown at it so far, is very devious and will have mainstream media support. No doubt their opposition research is working overtime. You can't run a casino in New Jersey or build with NYC construction unions without rubbing elbows with the "wise guys" of the Italian Families. God knows what, real or unreal, they will try to make stick to him. This ain't going to be Eisenhower versus Stevenson but a wild and dirty campaign. I'm almost looking forward to it.

Ken Roberts

SmoothieX12 at 28 April 2016 at 09:21 PM asks if the Russian people cared about Trump's foreign policy speech. Perhaps not many, but I'm sure some did.

Here's the recent "speechifying" event that did get the attention of Russians: 2.5 million questions reportedly. Saker's transcript seems compressed for an event of 3.5 hours, but there is plenty here that can be parsed for clarity on questions such as likely future actions/reactions re Syria, E. Ukraine, etc.




It's actually both, unless you're disingenous enough to pretend that 30 million illegal aliens and untold H1Bs & refugees have zero effect on the social safety net and wages.


Americans think building a wall to keep their neighbors out is a fine thing and their right, to "protect USA national interests FIRST," but can't or won't make the obvious leap to the concept that other nations have their own borders and their own interests, which the USA encroaches upon at will. Borders for We but not for Thee.

Trump alluded to the first of these encroachments when he noted that "after the Cold War US foreign policy went off track," (which I assign to Bush SR.'s Persian Gulf adventure). But Trump did not properly analyze the problems with that "off trackness," and seems to be committed to pursuing the same wrong track rather than pulling in philosophically; he's allowing military capability to drive philosophy/policy rather than make military the handmaid of a corrected policy. (OTOH Bush Jr proclaimed a "humble" foreign policy but that was a lie.)

Trump's demonization of Iran and adulation of Israel mark him as just as craven as any other Establishment candidate -- another Obama, wasting his power and opportunity.


I noticed the news reports of protests outside the Trump rally in Costa Mesa CA last night. You can see the foreign flags (Mexico) being waved around. It's going to be a long summer.




Several years ago Mexican national flags were carried in demonstrations in LA. That ended when the Mexican nationalist leaders realized the negative effect of that on US public opinion. Now this has returned? A number of years ago I was at a luncheon in Washington at which the Mexican ambassador to the US was the guest speaker. In his remarks he said that eventually Mexico would take back the US southwest to include California. the audience laughed and he said he was quite serious. When asked how, he said "by inundation." Now we have demonstrators carrying the Mexican flag beating people leaving a Trump rally in southern California, the enemies of the US here will probably be pleased. pl

alba etie

That would be interesting if Sen Jim Webb would be his pick . Trump is making some good sense here in his first swipe at FP . I do however fully support the Iranian Nuclear Deal. I believe Presumptive Nominee Trump and former Secretary of the Navy Webb do not support the Iranian Deal , that could be a full stop barrier to my voting for the Trump /Webb ticket . And Senator Sessions as your boss at DHS - that would be a departure from former Gov Napititano yes ?

alba etie

... like we give a rat's b--utt about what the great brain trust from the Brooking's Echo Chamber thinks about Trump's foreign policy ...

alba etie

Col Lang
And we deployed two F22's to Romania this week ...( sigh )

alba etie

Col Lang
Do you still support the Iranian Deal ? I do still think itys a good agreement .

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