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The US Presidency 2019

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FJAG

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Well, since I started last year's controversial thread, I might as well start this year's too, albeit two days early.

Here's the first post:

Retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal: President Donald Trump immoral, doesn't tell the truth

By Roey Hadar

The former top commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, retired four-star Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, criticized President Donald Trump's behavior and handling of the presidency, saying the commander-in-chief is dishonest and immoral.

“I don’t think he tells the truth,” McChrystal said in an exclusive interview on “This Week” when asked by Co-Anchor Martha Raddatz if he believes the president is a liar.

“Is Trump immoral, in your view?” Raddatz asked.

“I think he is,” he said.

McChrystal said he couldn't tell any of Trump's supporters "that they are wrong," but added, "What I would ask every American to do is ... stand in front of that mirror and say, 'What are we about? Am I really willing to throw away or ignore some of the things that people do that are -- are pretty unacceptable normally just because they accomplish certain other things that we might like?'

"If we want to be governed by someone we wouldn't do a business deal with because their -- their background is so shady, if we're willing to do that, then that's in conflict with who I think we are. And so I think it's necessary at those times to take a stand."

. . .

See full article here:

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/retired-army-gen-stanley-mcchrystal-president-donald-trump/story?id=60065642

:subbies:
 

brihard

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I particularly enjoyed when he went to Iraq to meet the troops and then lied to their faces about their own pay raises. I don’t know if he just made numbers up on the spot or prepped the BS ahead of time, but it was pretty amazingly blatant.
 

dimsum

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Brihard said:
I particularly enjoyed when he went to Iraq to meet the troops and then lied to their faces about their own pay raises. I don’t know if he just made numbers up on the spot or prepped the BS ahead of time, but it was pretty amazingly blatant.

Yeah.  I wish there was footage of the reaction when folks figured it out.
 

FJAG

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OMG

Graham: 'We're in a pause situation' on Syria after meeting with Trump

By Kevin Liptak and Devan Cole, CNN

Washington (CNN)Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham says President Donald Trump now understands what is at stake in Syria and has agreed to slowing, for now, his plans to immediately withdraw all US troops from Syria.

"After discussions with the President and (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph) Dunford, I never felt better about where we are headed. I think we're slowing things down in a smart way," the South Carolina Republican said, adding later: "I think we're in a pause situation where we are reevaluating what's the best way to achieve the President's objective of having people pay more and do more."

Graham said during the President's trip to Iraq, commanders on the ground informed Trump that ISIS is not "completely destroyed," which he said was an "eye-opening" experience for the commander in chief.

"The President assured me he is going to make sure he gets the job done, and I assured him that nobody has done more to defeat ISIS than he has. We are inside the 10-yard line," Graham told reporters at the White House, where he'd just come from lunch with the President.

Graham, who was a harsh critic of Trump's plans to bring home US troops from Syria when the decision was announced earlier in December, said he departed his meal Sunday feeling cheered.

. . .

See rest of article here: https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/30/politics/lindsey-graham-isis-syria-trump/index.html

Also here: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/graham-says-i-feel-pretty-good-about-syria-after-lunch-with-trump

:subbies:
 

Remius

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FJAG said:

I saw Sen. Graham's interview with Dana Bash before he went to that lunch with the POTUS.  I'm glad to see that even his supporters are trying to talk some sense to him.  If he does reverse his decision on Syria then maybe he still has some sense to listen to some people around him.  It confounds me though why Mattis wasn't one of them.

2019 is going to be one wild ride in DC this year...
 

Fishbone Jones

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Trump could single handedly create world peace while finishing a cure for cancer and his detractors would still condemn him.  :boring:

And after all the times, in just the last couple of years even, that CNN has been caught lying and defining fake news, that people still use them as a valid source to qualify their opinion.
 

brihard

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Fishbone Jones said:
Trump could single handedly create world peace while finishing a cure for cancer and his detractors would still condemn him.  :boring:

I wouldn’t put either claim past him at this point... in any case, the corollary is true too. It appears there’s not much he can do that will stop a lot of people from still leaping to his defense.

Anyway, so we’re keeping track, he lied to the troops’ faces about their own pay raises, fired Mattis, and now seems to be partly backtracking on the Syria withdrawal because, true to form, he has been winging foreign policy decisions again. Today on Twitter he even lied about being present in the Oval Office when he demonstrably wasn’t, of all things. Like, why lie about that? This guy is compulsively dishonest.

Also this week the rest of the Pacific Rim has contentedly carried on with TPP without him (outflanking him in redefining the international trade order- the US can say goodbye to a lot of food exports), Congress is joining Mexico in not paying for his wall, and he seems afraid to take ownership of the government shut down that a week or two about he bragged he’d be proud of... have I missed anything?
 

Remius

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The more likely scenario is his detractors going after him for claiming that he cured cancer and achieved world peace with zero facts to back it up.  But his base will believe it.
 

PPCLI Guy

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Fishbone Jones said:
Trump could single handedly create world peace while finishing a cure for cancer and his detractors would still condemn him.  :boring:

And after all the times, in just the last couple of years even, that CNN has been caught lying and defining fake news, that people still use them as a valid source to qualify their opinion.

In the interest of fairnes, I simply ask for a shortlist of his accomplishments.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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PPCLI Guy said:
In the interest of fairnes, I simply ask for a shortlist of his accomplishments.

Well except for the screaming media and a lot of sad-sack Canadians, most normal Americans are very happy having jobs right now......drove through Michigan and you couldn't see the billboards for the 'help wanted' signs.  Now I make no claim that this is his doing, but if the job market sucked it sure would be his fault.

And hey,....whatever became of Black Lives Matter?  Oh yea, working people are happy people.
 

Edward Campbell

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I clipped the attachment off social media about a week ago, as you can see it is dated 16 Dec 18; I don't follow the originator so one of the people I follow repeated it ...

I think it matters because as I, and some smart people, too, like Niall Ferguson and Stephen Harper, have been saying, Donald Trump is just the symptom of a deep malaise in American, and Western society. He could resign tomorrow and the angry, anti-globalization, anti-immigrant, protectionist, even isolationist movement would continue and even strengthen.

Put very simply, globalization left too many Americans and Brits and Canadians and, and, and underemployed and stripped of the dignity that a job provides. They lost too much from the globalization that ran, mainly unchecked, from about the mid 1960s until now ... I have used this (982) song as shorthand to explain what happened. It wasn't just China, it was also Japan and South Korea and others ... and it wasn't just cheap labour. The Asians didn't just work for less, they worked smarter for less. The fault wasn't just trade unions, as I have been saying for years, I'm a big fan of trade unions: they have done wonders for workers' rights, above all in health and safety issues, but trade unions are just as likely to have faulty leadership as are remote First Nations, the Canadian Forces and governments like those in Canada and the USA. In North America and Europe Trade Union leaders were, fairly consistently, after the 1950s, narrow minded and parochial and, with a few notable exceptions (including the Canadian Auto Workers), focused on the short term, the next quarter, rather than thinking strategically.

(Anecdotally, I was posted (early 1980s) to HQ AFCENT in Brunssum in the Netherlands. Our landscape was dotted with slag heaps, the remnants of the coal mines that had closed 20 years earlier (those mine closures had been one part of the impetus for moving AFCENT from France to the Netherlands, Charles de Gaulle was the other). Being the Netherlands, the slag heaps were covered with grass and trees and many were recreation facilities, but nothing could disguise the fact that South Limburg province had gone from being a rich province full of hard working miners to an economic backwater because the USA, Australia and neighbouring Germany were producing better (cleaner) coal for less per ton, after it was transported to the Ruhr or South Korea.)

I have written about what Professor Guy Standing of the University of London calls the precariat, which he describes as "the growing mass of Canadians who are in precarious work, precarious housing and hold precarious citizenship: the perpetual part-timers, the minimum-wagers, the temporary foreign workers, the grey-market domestics paid in cash, the young Canadians who will never have secure employment, the techno-impoverished  whose piecemeal work has no office and no end, the seniors who struggle with dwindling benefits, the indigenous people who are kept outside, the single mothers without support, the cash labourers who have no savings, the generation for whom a pension and a retirement is neither available nor desired … [and] … The precariat consists of millions of people struggling to come to terms with lives of unstable labour and unstable living, lacking an occupational identity or career. They rely on money wages, which are stagnant and volatile, putting them in constant fear of unsustainable debt. The politicians have ignored the precariat, which may account for 40 per cent of the adult population in Canada. In some countries, it is more; it is growing everywhere … [and, worse] … the precariat has been losing citizenship rights – civil, cultural, political, social and economic. As such, they are becoming supplicants: They must ask for favours and benefits, satisfy bureaucrats and depend on discretionary decisions that subject them to discomfort, indignity and even homelessness." That's the source of President Trump; they're his base; he is their creature, not they his. Donald Trump might drop dead today and they would still be here and their problems would still be festering sores on the body politic in America, Australia, Britain, Canada, Denmark and Estonia.

Donald Trump is not the problem, he is simply a symptom ~ a rather nasty, even dirty symptom, in my opinion, but that's all he is. If we want fewer Trumps and more traditional, classical liberalism then we need to address the concerns of the precariat.


Edited to correct an embarrassing grammar error.
 

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Remius

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I’m more than willing to give credit where credit is due.

He got rid of bumpstocks.  Not an easy thing when you consider the NRA lobby.  Not sure his base is happy about that though.

He passed a justice bill that got rid of the three strikes you are out law.  That law disproportionately affected the black community and saw people jailed for life’s over small crimes.

Also, it depends on your leanings but he pulled out of the Paris accord, removed some regulations in the energy sector to encourage growth and appointed two Supreme Court Justices that will have an impact for decades.

Giving him credit for the jobs and low unemployement is debatable.  The job market was on the rise before he took office and have continued the same trend since.  I give Trump no more credit for job creation than I give Trudeau for the same thing. 
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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Remius said:
Giving him credit for the jobs and low unemployement is debatable.  The job market was on the rise before he took office and have continued the same trend since.  I give Trump no more credit for job creation than I give Trudeau for the same thing. 

I think we all know that our jobs are relying on that 75 cent dollar.......we ever go back to par, and tumbleweeds will be blowing across our business areas.
 

Infanteer

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Bruce Monkhouse said:
I think we all know that our jobs are relying on that 75 cent dollar.......we ever go back to par, and tumbleweeds will be blowing across our business areas.

Really?  Is that true?

Canada's dollar was essentially on par with the US dollar from 2007-2012.  During that time, unemployment in Canada fluctuated between 6 and 8.3 percent, with the high values being obvious results of the Great Recession of 2007-2009.  Canada's dollar is now .73 cents to the U.S. dollar, but the unemployment is Canada is now sitting at about 5.6 percent.  I don't see much disparity between unemployment rates in 2007 (6%) and 2018 (5.6%) despite the Canadian dollar being worth .27 cents less.

Here's the sources, for anyone who cares:

https://www.google.com/search?q=canadian+dollar+vs+us+dollar&rlz=1C1GGRV_enUS751US751&oq=canadian+dollar+vs+us+dollar&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.6936j1j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

https://www.statista.com/statistics/578362/unemployment-rate-canada/

https://tradingeconomics.com/canada/unemployment-rate
 

Infanteer

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Bruce Monkhouse said:
most normal Americans are very happy having jobs right now......drove through Michigan and you couldn't see the billboards for the 'help wanted' signs.  Now I make no claim that this is his doing, but if the job market sucked it sure would be his fault.

E.R. Campbell said:
what Professor Guy Standing of the University of London calls the precariat, which he describes as "[size=12pt]the growing mass of Canadians who are in precarious work, precarious housing and hold precarious citizenship: the perpetual part-timers, the minimum-wagers, the temporary foreign workers, the grey-market domestics paid in cash, the young Canadians who will never have secure employment, the techno-impoverished  whose piecemeal work has no office and no end, the seniors who struggle with dwindling benefits, the indigenous people who are kept outside, the single mothers without support, the cash labourers who have no savings, the generation for whom a pension and a retirement is neither available nor desired … [and] … The precariat consists of millions of people struggling to come to terms with lives of unstable labour and unstable living, lacking an occupational identity or career. They rely on money wages, which are stagnant and volatile, putting them in constant fear of unsustainable debt.


Its interesting, because these represent two different viewpoints, or are they two sides of the same coin?  Bruce brings up a valid points on the historic strength of North American unemployment rates, low interest rates, and low unemployment rates should mean "things are good!" and people happy with the way things are going.  This is a message the current U.S. administration and Canadian ministry have pushed out in recently as a sign of their good stewardship.  At the same time Edward speaks to the types of jobs that are out there to keep unemployment low are "less stable" than jobs we traditionally equate with the working class, providing less benefits and stability, and thus creating more anxiety in the median of a population that sees its relative wealth level shrinking in comparison to the top 10% or 1% of earners in a country.

We get news of GM shutting down factories and on the same day see that unemployment is at rates not seen since the early 1960s.  Which is it?
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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You don't think a 27% increase in the cost of manufacturing something here will further drive what little is left down south?  Then you have become insulated from the real world.....it's easy to do with those of us whom have Govt. jobs.

EDIT: saw your post above and I think it proves my point a little.  I've been lucky to have my employment with a Govt. for 40 years now.  My friends who have 'normal' jobs, if you will, do not feel anything like I do.
 

Infanteer

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Bruce Monkhouse said:
You don't think a 27% increase in the cost of manufacturing something here will further drive what little is left down south?  Then you have become insulated from the real world.....it's easy to do with those of us whom have Govt. jobs.

So, you and I both have government jobs, and yet somehow I am insulated from the real world and you are not.  Spare the ad hominem.

I'm not looking at what I think, I'm looking at what objective, historical data shows us to be true.  You said Canadian unemployment will rise if the the Canadian dollar goes to par with the US Dollar.  12 years ago, the currencies were on par, and the unemployment rates were similar.  Why is historical data not supporting your conclusion?
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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No,...I'm insulated also.  I'm looking forward to my pension soon, and yet I had a visit this week from an old school buddy who works construction out on Vancouver Island, and his concern is IF he will be able to save enough to walk someday.  How can I know what he is feeling every freakin' day?

Historical data is a sweet wonderful thing for historians and not very accurate for predicting the future.  So, are you saying that, based on your historical data, our businesses could take a 27% hit right now?  Like bet your life savings on it sure?
 

Edward Campbell

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I don't think the data, however optimistic, matters to the precariat, who, I suspect, are the core of President Trump's supporters. My guess (I cannot overemphasize that that's all it is) is that the precariat, which is predominately male and has less than a college/university education and either had or has parents who had good, solid, high paying industrial jobs in the 1970s and '80s, doesn't care about facts ... they know what they feel, and they feel a huge loss of both hope and dignity. I have written, several times, about the dignity deficit, and why I (and Stephen Harper, think it might propel Donald Trump to a second term in 2020.

Go look at that 'tweet' I attached to my earlier post: the people who voted for Trump and will vote for him or his surrogate again, in 2020 and in 2024 and beyond, don't care about the data because it doesn't address their issues, their feelings.
 
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