In case you missed it, here is the letter from Trump’s Campaign Director of Communications, Tim Murtaugh regarding the “Credibility of Certain Guests”. Which falls neatly under the header of Trump’s belief that there should be a state run media.
Lots of stuff is slipping through the cracks per usual with this bipolar administration’s constant bullshit. The USMCA is one of the important issues we have all lost sight of.
No one would argue that NAFTA did not need a fine tuning, but many would argue that the USMCA is not the appropriate upgrade of the existing trade agreement between the US, Mexico, and Canada. What is unfortunate is that the Democrats and Republicans seem to be lining up on the side of a political analysis of the USMCA rather than an economic analysis. The GOP seeks to support the agreement no matter what is inside of it, and the Democrats, although by-and-large are finding issues on a micro level with each detail, are also not keen on just giving Trump a “win”.
The only certain “winner” in the USMCA for the US, is dairy producers in slightly wider access to Canada. The target is to allow US dairy farmers access to 3.5% of the Canadian market, a not insignificant sum to US dairy farmers, but an insignificant sum in the overall agreement.
Some of the Democrats point by point concerns about the USMCA are:
- Agreed upon labor standards which could have the effect of lowering US Auto manufacturer wages.
- How environmental standards will be enforced.
- Higher pricing on already costly classes of drugs.
Democratic leaders realize there are 3 options for the USMCA agreement. Accepting the agreement as-is, refusing it and continuing under NAFTA, or a highly likely scenario considering idiot Trump’s track record, of removing the US from any trade agreement with Mexico and Canada altogether. The uncertainty that the US represents to the interests of Canada and Mexico’s trade resulted in the necessary completion and implementation of a major trade agreement between them and 9 Asian countries in the CPTTP.
All of these finer points aside, the biggest drag on the trade situation between the three countries is idiot Trump’s idiot tariffs. Until that is addressed, the US will push Mexico and Canada further away and create an atmosphere exactly the opposite of any formalized trade agreement.
Perhaps equally important is the lack of focus on the holistic effects of the USMCA on trade between the countries. The International Monetary Fund has made just such a study, and it isn’t pretty. Regardless of whether we trust the IMF’s target numbers in this profoundly complex study, the overall effect seems undeniable. The USMCA will result in a net loss of trading between all three countries and a net loss for each country due to global forces that would make it easier and more cost effective to take a portion of their business elsewhere as a result of the agreement.
We must further examine idiot Trump’s idiocy in his constant statements that the USMCA is collecting large amounts of monies in coffers to pay for the wall. First, the USMCA isn’t even ratified. Second, if it were to be ratified, there are no magical “coffers” into which money is flowing from US companies as a result of increased sales. Overall it is clear US companies will have decreased sales and there is no mechanism by which any monies they are making are going to be collected by the Fed to dump into a wall slush fund anyway. Fucking idiot.
The Trump administration’s desire to be an isolationist nation has no effect whatsoever on the global nature of US multinational corporations. Money flows like water through the path of least resistance and the glorious amount of cash that tax reform has dumped into corporations only feeds their desire and ability to find deals across the globe wherever their whims and the bottom line lead them.
Attorney General Bill Barr implied in his confirmation hearings that he didn’t really need the job. He had already done it. He said, “I feel that I’m in a position in life where I can provide the leadership necessary to protect the independence and reputation of the department.” Whether we take that at face value or not, do you think he is oblivious to the fact, either now or then, that one way or the other, the Mueller report’s core issues will find their way into the hands of Congress? Do you doubt he knows this was always meant to be an issue for Congress to take up?
Bill Barr merely wanted to insert himself into US history and will make decisions based on how many chapters of that history in which his name will be mentioned for good or bad.
Pete Buttigieg will never be the Democratic presidential nominee because his name is ridiculous and also lends itself to dreadful gay jokes. Dude, really…you should have changed that name years ago. That sucks because he’d make a decent president and an excellent administrator.
Kirsten Gillibrand will never be the Democratic presidential nominee because she doesn’t have a single atom of testosterone in her body. Ironically, the woman best known for women’s rights will be subconsciously snubbed by the masses because she cannot orate or debate without sounding like a shrill, hysterical woman because she’s so goddamn feminine.
Tulsi Gabbard will never be the Democratic presidential nominee because she’s fucking evil.
Corey Booker is a guy you just got to feel is going to run himself into some kind of scandal by the time debates come around.
John Hickenlooper is another guy with a ridiculous name. No.
It’s only a matter of days before Donny Trump is alerted to some newly formed “caravan” heading to the border to rape and pillage the land by Fox News. They need it to happen in a bad way, so Fox News will find some group of people to label a “caravan” no matter what.
Have you seen the movie The Unbelievable Truth? It’s a small, quirky, cute movie. Budget was like 75k. Here are some hysterical lines from the movie. Adrienne Shelly is the woman on the right of the above picture. She was adorable in the movie… and she was murdered at her office in NY in 2006 by an illegal alien.
AIPAC’s annual policy conference is a confluence of special interest, money, and lawmakers. If there is any doubt of that, look at its lengthy list of speakers. If there is any doubt as to the intentions of AIPAC, read their mission statement for the policy conference: The conference is a celebration of the U.S.-Israel partnership and the premier opportunity for every attendee to lobby their Congressional office to advance the U.S.-Israel relationship.
Whereas last year’s speech by AIPAC CEO Howard Kohr was primarily about the existential threat of Iran, this year’s speech was about the existential threat of those that would question the intent of U.S. pro-Israel legislation. Without naming any names, mind you. Of course this is once again improperly framed as an attack on Jewish “dual loyalties.”
“The scurrilous charge of dual loyalty is a signal, and that signal, amplified by today’s social media, is now empowering people who have long-opposed our cause, our movement, and frankly, everything we have built. Now we see the intense hatred of the Jewish state is creeping from the margins towards the center of our politics — places where political coalitions are built, places where this nation’s leaders gather to debate and make decisions.”
Howard, why don’t you just say Ilhan Omar?
How about if I make some inferences now, but mine will not be incorrect, as was the framing of Ilhan Omar’s statements about the questionable legislation the US is creating on behalf of Israel and the questionable impact of money on the process of legislation as somehow being anti-Semitic, how about if I do that?
Is the “scurrilous” charge that is a “signal,” is that a dog-whistle call from a “people who have long opposed our cause” such as a Muslim or figurative representative of Palestine “where the nation’s leaders gather” to take up anti-Semitism? Is that what you are saying Howard? Am I misreading your statement? Improperly characterizing it? Perhaps I am quite a bit closer to the mark than any mislabeling of what Ilhan Omar has said.
“If you’ve never donated to a federal campaign this is the year to start. Do all you can and even a little bit more. And don’t wait for others to step up. We are a movement of leaders.
Through the years there have been others who have attacked us, who have attacked our right to make ourselves heard. Each time we have responded as citizens should. We mobilized; we made our case; we made our movement even stronger. That’s what must happen now.
Israel’s antagonists have decided to mount a political assault on us. In return, they must get a political response. That response must be large; it must be sweeping; and it must define our movement for years to come. “
Here are some appropriate and truthful statements from Howard. They need more money donated to the cause to fight for what AIPAC believes in on behalf of Israel and to counter-attack the “antagonists”. Fine, have this debate in the realm of politics and not false narratives. The truth is, Israel is not above reproach as Howard would have it. Israel’s motives are not unblemished; it’s history not pure or divine. Israel should be questioned and the motivation of US politics should be questioned and any false narratives met with the truth of the ugliness of the narrative itself as witnessed in this speech by AIPAC CEO Howard Kohr.
We should question how it is that pushing confrontation between Israel and Iran and Palestinians through the administration’s policies is beneficial to any party. We should not only question this legislation- Israel Anti-Boycott Act , we should denounce it as unconstitutional. We should also have a larger debate about the influence of money on US policy and realize that nothing shall ever be as the framers intended until we remove it’s influence altogether. All of this without the demonization of reasonable dissent of the status quo or the mislabeling, misdirection, and pure, talking-head mumbo jumbo of which our current politics and pundits are so fond.
Attorney General William Barr’s brief report on “The Special Counsel’s report”:
“confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination…” is in parenthesis implying that either this paraphrasing of “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference…” was offered by Mueller as a subtitle of the complete report, or that it is implicit as an interchangeable title. Is the Mueller report entirely about prosecutions and declinations?
I think the art-of-phrasing was intended to have us infer as much even though the regulations concerning Special Counsel’s report do indeed state: “He or she shall provide the Attorney General with a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special Counsel,” they do not state that the special counsel shall report exclusively these items. Further, the original Special Counsel regulations stated that the counsel shall report to the US House of Representatives: “any substantial and credible information … that may constitute grounds for an impeachment.”
It’s likely this statement, “confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination…,” which is in lowercase, was cherry-picked out of the document as an improper label for the whole of the document, even if in substance the whole of the document could casually adhere to that heading. I feel confident that this document was written fully believing it would end up in the hands of the House one way or the other and therefore is a larger document than merely itemized prosecutions and declinations.
This would be the second quotation from the Mueller report. If in fact this report is intended for the House, then there is a rift between the phrase that Barr attributes to the statement, “…did not find..,” and Mueller’s actual statement, “…did not establish.” To “establish” within Mueller’s mandate would mean to be capable of “proving beyond a reasonable doubt.” He is using this word for Congress, pointing to facts that wrongdoing exist, just not in a case Muller could justify. To “not find” implies the matter was already figuratively adjudicated. Realizing there is an issue beyond the court system in the word, “establish,” implies the underlying behavior is meant for a nonjudicial review. The House would not be leading a criminal prosecution. This leads me to believe this document was crafted for Congress.
“…but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment,” followed by the third actual quote from Mueller’s report, “…while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” In the following paragraph AG Barr inserts the opinion that clearly Mueller intended for Barr to decide on the matter if Trump committed obstruction of justice. We’ve already come to the understanding that Mueller himself believes it cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, so why would he ask Barr to come to the same conclusion? No.
Mueller offered positions of guilt and innocence so that it may be determined if Trump’s actions are unbecoming of a president, not to conclude he should or shouldn’t be tried for obstruction. Mueller opted to not make a traditional judgment, not with the intent of leaving it to someone else to make a traditional judgment. Duh. This is meant for the House to examine.
It is clear that AG Barr has a very limited view of what information is pertinent for the public’s understanding, or more likely, what he wants us to understand. Barr has reduced this to that which only could possibly directly affect Donald Trump’s legal standing and inserted the ultimate decision that there is no case to be made against Donald Trump either by Mueller’s own words or the “just” decision that Barr himself has made. End of case, as far as Barr is concerned.
Barr goes on to describe how he shall eventually create a report suitable for public consumption after much redacting. He makes no mention of Congress and how a unredacted version could and should be submitted to a House committee…where it belongs.
No my friends, this report is meant for one of the committees in the House of Representatives. It needs to arrive in it’s whole state; complete in both style and content. Not only is it meant for the House, it is written in the words of Robert Mueller speaking to the House.