Only when I laugh

The McLeod River Post - - Open For Business -

An­other first this week, U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump be­ing laughed at as he gave a speech to the United Na­tions (UN). Whether that was wise re­mains to be seen. Maybe it was just a spon­ta­neous thing that some peo­ple just couldn’t help. In Monty Python terms an­noy­ing the most dan­ger­ous man in the world, Mr. Neu­tron, may not be a good idea.

I watched some of the tes­ti­mony given to the Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee. Har­row­ing, I think is the word. That poor lady, Chris­tine Blasey Ford came across to me as cred­i­ble. Brett Ka­vanaugh, an­gry. Un­der­stand­able but I don’t think he did him­self any favours. An­gry is not a trait I like in a judge. Some of this is po­lit­i­cal games and brinkman­ship with the ma­jor­ity of the Supreme Court for years at stake. Would we be see­ing the same if the boot was on the other foot? Sadly, I think so. Whether a Supreme Court should be par­ti­san within a con­sti­tu­tion is a de­bate for an­other day.

The Repub­li­cans are push­ing for a vote on Ka­vanaugh to ad­vance to the Se­nate, which they should win, but may not. A speedy ap­point­ment will, I think, mean that Repub­li­cans can kiss good­bye to a large chunk of the fe­male vote at the mid-terms. De­lay risks los­ing the houses in the midterms and the chance of a ma­jor­ity in the Supreme Court. I’ve al­ways thought that an in­ves­ti­ga­tion is mer­ited, now, The Amer­i­can Bar As­so­ci­a­tion thinks the same. The FBI has a week to in­ves­ti­gate. My gut tells me there is more to come on this. Other women are com­ing for­ward and have a tale to tell. I think the safest and cor­rect course of ac­tion is have an in­ves­ti­ga­tion and see what come out.

It was go­ing to be some­what of a super Thurs­day with Trump meet­ing Rod Rosen­stein, pre­sum­ably to ask for his res­ig­na­tion or fire him, thus gain­ing con­trol of the Mueller in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Per­haps this was a step too far and advice has stayed the Pres­i­dent’s hand.

It’s dis­ap­point­ing and some­what alarm­ing for Canada to be cas­ti­gated at the U.N. along with Iran and China. No men­tion of Russia though, which is odd or telling de­pend­ing on your view­point. I think we must stand our ground on NAFTA even if it may mean pain in the short term. No ad­min­is­tra­tion lasts for­ever, right?

We all know but many seem to have fre­quently ig­nored or for­got­ten that China’s record is not great when it comes to hu­man rights, cur­rency, busi­ness and in­dus­trial ac­tiv­i­ties. Money has talked as west­ern com­pa­nies flocked to set up in China help­ing push its econ­omy to num­ber two in the world. I’m not say­ing that Trump is wrong to push back, it should have been done years ago it’s the way he is do­ing it. Loss and gain of face is an im­por­tant driver, ever more so in Asia. Mess­ing with it is dan­ger­ous.

China can­not go tit for tat with the U.S. on tar­iffs, the trade numbers don’t stack up. The U.S im­ports far more from China than China im­ports from the U.S. So, China may re­tal­i­ate in other ways. Sell U.S. debt at a loss? Cease co­op­er­a­tion with the U.S. on North Korea? We’ve al­ready seen a U.S. war­ship re­fused to en­ter Hong Kong. I’ve read that U.S. com­pa­nies are feel­ing the chill in China too. How about chang­ing reg­u­la­tions or step­ping up to freez­ing or seiz­ing U.S. com­pany as­sets in China? It’s been done by regimes be­fore. How much dam­age would that do? It would be wise to tread care­fully.

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