It is a little past noon Wednesday as I pen this article and already too much has happened this week for me to cover it all. Today I’ll make an attempt to briefly discuss a few things that constitute the mess Donald Trump is making of America and by extension the world. Let’s explore.
Wednesday morning the stock market opened down about 2%. By noon it was basically even. In the earliest days of the Trump administration he and his enablers were continually taking credit for the rise in the stock market. I have yet to hear them take responsibility for its recent declines. The truth is presidents have only limited ability to influence the business cycle and I am on record saying that I don’t feel the stock market is the best indicator. If anyone deserved credit it was probably Barack Obama because the business conditions, (other than right wing mythology about Trump and Republicans), were largely the result of his actions. That being said, the series of recent market drops (and 2% is well beyond a fluctuation) can be almost exclusively to Trump directives, statements or tweets.
Yesterday’s drop was directly attributable to Trump’s tariff/trade war with China. One of his enablers, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, went on television and denied it was really a trade war. He effectively called it a negotiating tactic. If he really believes that I guess it proves that a successful career as an international money launderer doesn’t qualify you to be the Commerce Secretary.
Trump’s personal war with Jeff Bezos has also hurt the market and with it a lot of pension funds and 401K’s. Bezos is the largest stockholder and CEO of Amazon. He also happens to own the Washington Post which has the nasty habit of doing investigative reporting that tells the truth on Trump. The Washington Post wins Pulitzers for its reporting; Trump earns Pinocchios for his statements.
Apparently China is savvier about American politics than Trump. They are targeting goods like soybeans and bourbon that will hurt Trump supporting areas with their most recent retaliatory tariffs. Many people voted for Trump because they believed he would bring jobs back and make their life better. The opposite is happening. Sooner or later they will realize that they got conned. Trump thinks he can continue to fool enough of the people long enough to stay in power through two terms; I’m skeptical.
Perhaps in an effort to distract from the trade war losses, Trump announced that he was instructing the military to prepare to withdraw from Syria. That along with his bombing of the landscaping at a Syria airbase (the runway was never targeted) are clear signals of his surrender to Vladimir Putin. The Syrian Civil War (if you choose to call it that) quickly became a multi-dimensional proxy war with Russia siding with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and the United States backing forces attempting to overthrow Assad. (There are several other players involved.) Russia wants to keep their ally Assad in power and in the process retain their naval base in Syria. I score this another Putin win.
I really doubt there is a correlation; nonetheless it is interesting that the Syrian withdrawal comes within hours of reports that Trump is considering placing military troops along the Mexican border. The legality of the move is somewhat constrained, but I doubt Trump knows that. What exactly would the troops do? Would they shoot women and children as they crossed the border? Would that include refugees? While Trump’s base loves the rhetoric, intelligent Americans have a plethora of questions and reservations!
Trump and Ross could fairly be called old fools. This week we found out more proof that the younger generation is just as inept and politically naive. As the teaser exerts of her forthcoming book come out Cecil Richards (the retiring President of Planned Parenthood) revels that during the transition Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner met with her and offered increased financial aid if Planned Parenthood would remove abortions from its offered services. These Lucky Sperm Cell Club members/”business geniuses” obviously didn’t realize that some people (Richards among them) operate from a position of conviction and have business morals. They won’t sell out for a few more dollars.
Yes, Washington and the world are becoming a larger mess with every passing day of the Trump administration. Inevitably someone will have to clean up that mess. The cleanup won’t start until at least January 20th of 2021. Even if Trump is removed from office, except for the personal enrichment, Mike Pence won’t be any better.
Nobody of significance has been fired or forced to resign yet this week. Then again, I’m writing this on Wednesday afternoon.
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