Trump – a man for some seasons

Trump2

I have very mixed feelings and thoughts about the man:

1.  I like his economic policies.  I don't believe any of the Democrat ravings about his policies being intended to benefit the 1% ers or that they have done that.  I have looked carefully at the present federal income tax laws and that just ain't so.  Look at the effect his policies have had on unemployment, especially of women and minorities.  Look at how many jobs are available for new hires in America.  Look at the reduction of taxes on working class people  At the same time, we should remember that upper income people in the US were already paying the bulk of income tax in actual dollars BEFORE this new tax law.

2.  If he wants to slug it out in trade negotiations with China and the EU, I am all for it.  Let him not take counsel of his fears!.   The trade deal with Canada and Mexico is so patently to the benefit of us all that a Democratic obstruction to the deal under "Fast Track"  will surely be seen as purely political.  Perhaps Trudeau can talk sense to Pelosi in his talk with her next week.

3. Immigration – US law admits 1.2 million permanent immigrants a year.  That is enough.  False appeals for asylum should be firmly rejected.  If he wishes to round up illegals whose final status has been legally decided and deport them I am all for it.

4.  He should stop insinuating that he would like a 3rd term.  We do not need presidents for life in the US.  If he wants a third term, let him sponsor one of his people.

5.  He is allowing the consolidation of executive foreign policy power in the hands of neocons and Zionists.  Pompeo, Esper (Pompeo's USMA classmate), Bolton, Bolton's stsff, these people seek imperial domination.  Gina Haspel should fear for her job..  There are undoubtedly Pompeo stay-behinds at CIA.

6.  He is seeking to make the Palestinians permanent serfs of the Israelis, a captive work force.  He allows Israel to control US policy in the ME.  Whether or not this is from political fear or conviction is irrelevant.  They run our show and the belligerence toward Iran is a reflection of both neocon free floating hostility and Israeli desire to dominate the region using us as tools.

7.  I like his space program.  I like the creation of a US Space Force that will eventually be out of the grasp of USAF.

All in all a mixed bag.  pl

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47 Responses to Trump – a man for some seasons

  1. Avatar Jack says:

    Sir
    What I best like about Trump is that he drives the media and political establishment batshit crazy.
    Considering that we have spent several trillion dollars on our foreign interventions mostly on behalf of neocon and zionist pipe dreams of hegemony and domination with nothing positive to show for, and with a consequence of a massive buildup of a national security surveillance state that acts with impunity shredding what limited rule of law we have, IMO, that is the single most important political issue we have if we want to retain even a small semblance of a constitutional republic. Trump has not been a change agent here. The best he’s done is openly support Bibi’s maximalist vision stripping away the false mask previous president’s have worn in this matter. IMO, the American people need to continue to vote for change agents on this issue until they can finally get someone with sufficient character to dismantle the Borg influence.
    I also believe that the real national security threat is China’s totalitarian CCP. This not just a trade dispute we have with them. They’ve been fully engaged in a strategic non-military war with us for decades. I give kudos to Trump for highlighting it but IMO he’s not gone far enough and the jury’s out whether he’ll cave to Wall St and corporate interests who were instrumental in us voluntarily supporting the CCP’s strategic war aims.
    IMO, the data does not support increase in capital investment due to the tax cuts and favorable terms if repatriation of offshore corporate funds. What we’ve got instead is massive stock buybacks that benefit management and Wall St. Main St is also not doing as well as the headlines purport when one delves deeper into the economic and financial data. I read a lot of perjorative comments when anyone proposes “socialism” for the bottom 80%. However the reality of the past 60 years is that we’ve only had socialism for the top 0.01%.There’s more economic concentration than at anytime over the last century. Across every major sector. We’ve financialized our economy and de-emphasized the real economy to the benefit of the oligarchy. The symbiotic relationship between big business and big government has never been stronger in my 80+ year lifetime.
    The political duopoly has not served us well as all we get is Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dum.

  2. Avatar Linda says:

    Just one note – my taxes have increased since the “tax cut” legislation

  3. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Linda
    Congratulations! you made the cut! So did I. My taxes paid went up because of the loss of the SALT deduction and such things as fiduciary fees on a trust.

  4. Avatar Eric Newhill says:

    With the Democrats you’ll get the same foreign policy at the end of day and a foreign invasion of the US + socialism + general post modern anti-American insanity culture.
    The Pomp publicly says that Trump doesn’t want war with Iran and I believe that; if for no other reason than Trump knows that’s the one thing that would damage his sure thing win in 2020 – though actually, I’m pretty sure Trump sees it for what it is and what it is offends his business sense (bad ROI, etc).
    Voting Trump is the only option.

  5. Avatar Thomas says:

    Why did they go up? Informing us on that point allows us to debate the policy. Just saying taxes went up is an emotional response. My wife and I’s overall tax rate went from 18% to 14%. Nothing special for us. One income from service to country and one pension income. We have one child, so a little day care credit (not full amount of credit). Definitely not an expert on financials of the tax laws. So there is my point of view. With some factual information.

  6. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Thomas
    My tax rate is higher and I lost various deduction including the SALT deduction

  7. Avatar Eugene Owens says:

    Why do you lump Esper with the neocons? His bio says in the past he worked for Senators Hagel and Frist, neither of whom was a neocon in my understanding.
    He did serve as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy under Bush. But he left in 2004, I wonder what the backstory on that was.
    He served time in the Heritage Foundation during the mid 90s, but unlike the AEI they had drifted away from neocon thinking by then.
    So maybe he is, or maybe he ain’t. I for one would like a closer look at his opinions during his time as a DepAsstSecDef and while he was at Heritage.

  8. Avatar Jose says:

    Congratulations! you made the cut! So did I. My taxes paid went up because of the loss of the SALT deduction and such things as fiduciary fees on a trust – pl
    Florida has one and half million more people than New York, yest we have have the budget of New York.
    Why should efficient, Republican states subsidize inefficient, Democratic states.
    Florida does not need to buy votes and patronage like New York (Miami is a different mess).
    Elect Governors that can Govern, not “grease” the system.
    Really feel sorry for Virginia, all those refugees from inefficient Maryland will eventually destroy your state.

  9. Avatar Fred says:

    Jose,
    Florida has a lot of transplanted Puerto Ricans too.
    The state doesn’t buy votes or patronage, politicians and interest groups do both.

  10. Avatar Turcopolier says:

    I received a wondrous (to be treasuered) comment today from Yolande of Jerusalem (hallabina)This creature (French usage) told me that whilst she approves of my anti-interventionism, my support of DJT is unacceptable. The world is full of people like her (a lot of them undergraduates studying on government money in France and Spain). For them they are the intellectual descendants of people like Edith Piaf (I adore her) who was a street singer and daughter of a street singer. Yolanda, this hidalga castellana?, is typical of her kind,. For her there are no people who should be judged as anything but black and white, good or bad. Sad. I was like that for about a week in high school. BTW, I support the constitutional order and SOME of DJT’s policy. I will not vote for any of the neo-marxists running against him. Joe? Don’t be ridiculous.

  11. Avatar Barbara Ann says:

    Now if I were a subscriber to Patrick Armstrong’s Trump cutting the Gordian knot of foreign entanglements theory, I might just be persuaded that he has deliberately allowed the neocons enough rope to hang themselves, or at least to cut the blood supply off where it really matters.
    The House has put the noose around its neck, will the Senate open the trapdoor? Is Patrick right, is Iran a long con and if so who is in on it? Is the Very Stable Genius the most underestimated man in history?
    Questions.

  12. Avatar Lars says:

    Our taxes went up and Trump endorsed the bureaucratic NASA vision of the future, which is wasteful, already delayed, over budget and undesirable. There is a competing vision, which would be cheaper, is ready to go now and involves private enterprise. Other than that, Trump will be regarded as the worst POTUS ever and hopefully will remain as such for a very long time.

  13. Avatar doug says:

    Most (80% or so) people’s taxes decreased as a result of the Trump/Republican tax cut. The Left did an excellent job of convincing voters that it didn’t happen. Truly fake news.
    That said, it didn’t happen to everyone. My taxes went up about $5,000 due to the SALT 10K deduction limit even though my brackets dropped. I live in California where state and property taxes are high much like those in New York and other coastal states. I lost the ability to deduct a large fraction of them and I’m retired. My income, while decent, isn’t enough to overcome the hit.
    Still, while I take a hit it bugs me that Democrats have convinced so many folks that they didn’t get a cut.

  14. Avatar JamesT says:

    Eric Newhill,
    You will not get the same foreign policy with Bernie or Tulsi. The Democrats are not all the same.

  15. Avatar turcopolier says:

    doug
    Exactly the same thing happened to me.

  16. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Lars
    You have no idea how bad and inept a lot of these men have been. Go back to Sweden. It will be so much better there.

  17. Avatar Jose says:

    Fred, we have absorb almost one million since the bankruptcy and hurricane.
    Please fact check me by googling this information, but I believe certain school districts have had to deal with nearly a new middle school of students for many months.
    I am proud of how we have been able to take care of these Americans with jobs and opportunity, not traditional blue state mistakes.
    Now the ones that went to New York, are coming down..lol

  18. Avatar J says:

    Colonel
    If we could just get rid of the Cigar-store president (Bolton) and the court jester (Pompeo), we’ll be a whole lot better off.
    The Space Force no longer under the tutelage of the USAF? Perish the thought. O Richard Dean Anderson, where are you when the Stargate calls?
    J

  19. Avatar J says:

    Colonel
    Seems that Trump is Santa’s helper when it comes to adding even more domestic surveillance on our fellow Americans.
    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/06/19/critics-lament-126-house-democrats-join-forces-gop-hand-trump-terrifying-mass
    J

  20. Avatar Seamus Padraig says:

    You know, BA, I always hate those ‘400D chess’ theories concerning Trump, since they are completely unfalsifiable. And yet, and yet, and yet … I have to admit that, up till now at least, pretty much everything that’s happened in the Persian Gulf has been completely consistent with Patrick Armstrong’s thesis, so who knows. One thing’s for certain: I can’t hope that Armstrong is wrong.

  21. Avatar Eric Newhill says:

    JamesT,
    You are assuming the President gets to have full control over FP. That apparently isn’t true.

  22. Avatar Ghost Ship says:

    You have it the wrong way round, it’s the Democratic states that subsidize Republican states.

  23. (5) and (6) are far worse than feared in 2016. I don’t know whether it would have been worse with Clinton as regards foreign policy overall. We can’t estimate Trump’s body count, let alone guess what Clinton’s would have been. Disastrous, anyway.
    I like the “he’s giving the neocons enough rope to hang themselves with” theory. Also the theory that if he can’t get foreign policy changed from the White House then he’s arranging things so that force of circumstance will change it. But there’s no proof but hope of the various 4D chess theories and if Trump were trying such things he’d scarcely advertise it. More likely the swamp’s just too strong for him.
    The doom pornsters are out in force on the economic side of things but then they always are. They’re realists, in truth, the doom pornsters, but their reality is not the reality of magic money and financial plate spinning we live in right now. I had hoped that Trump would keep the plates spinning while bringing back industry and jobs. Is he moving in that direction? Seems to me that the West as a whole is still in the grip of the suicidal economic orthodoxy currently prevailing and that that great hope of the Trump Presidency has not been realised. But there’s a theory for that as well, the Rome wasn’t built in a day theory, as consolation if one insists on optimism.
    Where one need not seek consolation, and sufficient reason this side of the Atlantic for being a permanent ever Trumper, is that our status quo political classes can’t stand him. Either side of the Channel they still go for him on any excuse or none. Non stop and no sign of it stopping. Heartening to see the cat among the Progressive pigeons, when it’s so repellent and dangerous a breed of pigeons he’s disturbing.

  24. Avatar Lars says:

    I did go to Sweden last December, but I still prefer Florida’s Space Coast for a variety of reasons. However, it would be helpful if you clarify who “these men” are.

  25. Avatar Barbara Ann says:

    Thanks Patrick, Raimondo has it right I think. Neocons gotta neocon, so best chuck them some red meat in Venezuela to keep them busy where they can do less harm than elsewhere.
    My comment above lacks a proper argument, so here is a first stab at a hypothesis re the real goal of the Maximum Pressure campaign:
    As you write, Trump is consistent in his message that he wants to avoid/lessen foreign military adventures. Yes he struck Syria – but for the cameras only it seems. I also struggle to see how this arch manipulator of people can have been brainwashed by the very people he stood against. Pompeo and Bolton are more likely in the tent purely so Trump can control the direction in which they p*ss.
    So why Trump’s hard-on for Iran, as TTG describes it? Trump is not an ideologue. In fact it would be hard to find a man more lacking in ideologies, so Iran is an inconsistency. In this version of events Trump has realized (or been told) that to emasculate the current crop of neocons the AUMF is the key – and it surely is. A moribund Congress is never going to repeal the Forever Wars Charter so long as the neocons and their lobbyists fight for it. Tulsi-style peace-mongering won’t do it, no, they need to be scared into action.
    So is the Maximum Pressure campaign on Iran the mother of all long cons? Well don’t tell me this hustler extraordinaire cannot conceive of such an idea. Let the modern day Cato the Elders have their Carthaginian campaign – up to a point. And that point is precisely the one where Congress comes under maximum pressure, when they finally wake up to what a ‘rogue’ president can do with AUMF; another Iraq, but worse.
    Tests for this hypothesis would include signs of the pressure (threat of an imminent conflagration) remaining until the repeal bill passes the Senate. War then needs to be avoided, so once this goal has been achieved talks should start. The other test would be the “you’re fired” moments – Bolton and perhaps Pompeo being ejected from the tent once Trump has got what he wants out of them.
    Far fetched, fraught with risk? You bet, but is it any less consistent than Trump having been done over by the neocons? Pomp may have been first in his class, but my money would be on the guy from the NYC real estate developer shark tank every time.

  26. Avatar Fred says:

    Jose,
    It has been a tradition of retirees and others upon arrival to say they paid for schools etc “back home” and then proceed to elected people just like the ones who ruined the places they came from. This group not only won’t be going home but will be voting in the same old way. Enjoy.
    BTW Puerto Rico has not declared bankruptcy nor are the numbers 1,000,000 nor anywhere close.

  27. Avatar prawnik says:

    I don’t buy it. Rather, by letting the neocons have free rein and by letting them control his access to information (John Bolton, I am looking at you), Trump has allowed himself to be boxed in to the point where he feels he has no choice but to make war.

  28. Avatar MP98 says:

    I’m roughly the same situation.
    I live in a high-tax (low service) state and additionally we have significant medical expenses which the tax law butchered as deductions.
    I’m not happy, but it’s still a hell of a lot better for my country to NOT have the Clinton crime family back in the WH.

  29. Avatar MP98 says:

    “People get the government they deserve.”

  30. Avatar AK says:

    Agreed, but neither Bernie nor Tulsi will be the nominee. The power brokers in the globalist/Leftist coalition will not allow it. Bernie bears the scarlet letter of having opposed the anointed queen of the globalist establishment in 2016, for which they have not and never will forgive him. And Tulsi, as much as it disappoints me to say it, is a non-starter. She not sufficiently played the victimhood card (yet), and she has so far proven unwilling to brand half the country as irredeemable racists. Those two features are disqualifying in the Democratic electorate’s estimation.

  31. A cool look at some very puzzling events, your link. Was it that the PR missile strikes on Syria were ineffectual because someone (Trump?) didn’t want to risk kicking the Russian tripwire? But it still remains puzzling, as was Trump going along with the Skripal affair.
    Also puzzling, from your link above, is this ZH article –
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-03-08/trump-may-charge-allies-600-more-hosting-us-troops
    I foolishly posted a query relating to this on a dead thread. The query arose from and is a comment on your previous article –
    https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/06/russian-federation-sitrep-13-june-2019-by-patrick-armstrong-.html
    It’s to do with the similarly puzzling US/European defence relationship. Briefly, there’s talk about the EU becoming an independent military power. But it can’t manage that for a decade or more. In the meantime it has to rely on the American defensive umbrella. This means being defended by an American ally whose services it is reliant on but which it is intending to dispense with as soon as is convenient. And Macron is reported to have emphasised to his electorate that independent does mean independent.
    But how is this scenario regarded from the point of view of the American/Canadian component of NATO?

  32. Avatar randal m sexton says:

    So no reflections on his mental stability?

  33. Avatar blue peacock says:

    Patrick
    Iran will be the acid test.
    Trump railed against the nuclear deal with Iran during the campaign. Yet he was the first major party nominee to campaign for the presidency criticizing the trillions spent on overseas wars with nothing to show for.
    He’s now surrounded himself with neocons on national security policy matters and his man about town son-in-law is supposedly an ardent zionist. Kushner is also pals with MbS who must be whispering in his ears about the evil Shiite theocracy. It has also long been Bibi’s wet dream for the US to destroy Iran and Trump is publicly very supportive of him.
    With the allegations from Pompeo about Iran mining tankers in the Gulf and now Iran taking down a very expensive high altitude naval drone with a missile strike, we’ll see how this evolves. Maybe we get a replay of the North Korea theatre. From Rocket Man to Best Man.
    What do you think? Will Iran go down with guns blazing if Trump orders a missile strike on an Iranian military or IRGC asset inside Iran? I don’t see how Khamenei could retain domestic credibility and not respond to a direct US strike inside Iran. He must also know that any significant retaliation would lead ultimately to many Iranian cities in rubble.

  34. Avatar turcopolier says:

    RMS
    I don’t think he is unstable. As I have said many times here he is an example of the entrepreneurial narcissist personality.

  35. Avatar turcopolier says:

    lars
    presidents of the US. I think Wilson was a terrible president, much worse than trump. He yearned to meddle everywhere. T Roosevelt was just as bad, another meddler. I could go on.

  36. Avatar akaPatience says:

    NYT is reporting that the POTUS approved an attack on Iranian targets and then pulled back. Is he balking, mind-diddling or both?
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/20/world/middleeast/iran-us-drone.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

  37. AS I said: I’m mystified. TRump’s instincts were greatly impeded by the Russia lies and he still hasn’t fully exposed the conspiracy so he still can’t act on “It’s better to get along with Putin/whomever than not” policy.
    But maybe, (maybe) (perhaps) we’re getting to the point. Iran has effectively checkmated (I am completely convinced they will fight and never forget that they have spent the last 30 years thinking about how to sink carriers and deal with air attacks). Venezuela is descending far past mere farce. Syria is coming to an end.
    Some reading
    https://www.wearethemighty.com/articles/that-time-a-marine-general-led-a-fictional-iran-against-the-us-military-and-won

  38. Avatar randal m sexton says:

    Any reconsideration of his stability based on recent events?

  39. Avatar joanna says:

    In the meantime it has to rely on the American defensive umbrella.
    Switzerland did quite well with its not so impressive defense capabilities over the centuries. Don’t you think. Never needed the Americans to protect them. 😉

  40. Avatar turcopolier says:

    RMS
    His willingness to cancel the strikes in mid-execution is evidence to me of a principled stability.

  41. Avatar turcopolier says:

    joanna
    You are right! At last! The US should abandon Europe to its fate.

  42. Very stout characters, the Swiss, and as you intimate they really do know how to use their armed forces to defend their independence. Respect. We, and you in Germany perhaps, could learn a great number of lessons from them when it comes to that. But right now the only lesson we in the UK seem to be learning from them on the military side of things is how to equip and maintain a navy.

  43. Can we imagine a test of the hypothesis:
    if Trump in the next while — how long? but not very long — says I was misled by my wicked advisors (B, P and whatshername at the CIA) whom I have now fired,
    then we can agree that Raimondo read the tea leaves.
    But the problem is that if he doesn’t (and still doesn’t go to war — bombs that is) then we remain dangling.
    (PS I agree with some commentators that as far as Tehran is concerned, the war is already on.)

  44. Avatar Barbara Ann says:

    Patrick
    Yes this is a problem, as far as testing the hypothesis is concerned. If DJT really is operating on this plane e.g. he is going to bring the troops home and get the Dems to vote for it (as they just have re AUMF) we will see correlation between his stated interests and events on the ground, but with no attributable causation. That would break the spell, the conned must not know they have been so treated.

  45. Avatar joanna says:

    Yes, there may be another Armada on the shores of Albion one of these days.

  46. Grateful for the hint. But the assessment over here is that Angie’s not got that in mind. Yet.

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