Nuclear Weapons Proliferation Should Be The Greatest Concern Of The US

Rightly so, the country is in an uproar about free speech and white supremacy. But far more threatening is the global proliferation of nuclear weapons. Even lesser developed countries have nuclear programs. Every one of them represents an existential threat to the U.S. and its allies.

The most troublesome nuclear countries are North Korea and Iran. But larger countries with more sophisticated weaponry, such as Russia, China, India and Pakistan, are a much greater strategic problem. The former group is in the process of building their nuclear capabilities and each is rogue, unstable and cannot be trusted. The latter are important because their nuclear arsenals are significant, and they encourage the U.S. to jack up its investment in defense.

As a matter of fact the Trump administration has announced that it is considering a huge upgrade of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The ramifications of such an endeavor are significant.

The U.S. currently is able to deliver intercontinental ballistic missiles from silos domiciled throughout the country, submarines and Air Force bombers. Most of the proposed spending would likely go to the land and bomber-based programs.

The land-based “40-year-old missiles . . .” need to be replaced.” And the Air Force is “developing a highly stealthy nuclear cruise missile, which [can be]  launched from planes.” These programs began during the Obama administration. The former president thought that more accurate nuclear weapon targeting would enable the U.S. to reduce its overall arsenal, a dubious and unsubstantiated perspective.

The importance of all these upgrades is that the U.S. will need to spend at least $1 trillion during a period of significant budget constraints. With pressure from conservatives, other spending priorities will be impacted.

Increased weapons development by the U.S. will likely encourage other nuclear powers to upgrade their capabilities. And so we have the beginnings of a new and more dangerous nuclear arms race.

Smaller countries with nuclear weapons will take note that more accurate nuclear weapons could be used in a regional war against them, perhaps in a pre-emptive attack.

The issue of an ever-increasing military budget is as old as the U.S. A strong military to secure our freedom has always been considered a noble objective. But the proposed spending will impact social programs and there will be opposition.

Finally there is a concern about Donald Trump orchestrating a massive increase in military expenditures. Some in the aforementioned articles do not believe that the Trump administration has a well thought out strategic program for these weapons. And so initiating individual projects now may be premature.

In a related article the controversy about the Iran nuclear deal was discussed. The current status of the arrangement is that Iran has been complying with its provisions. The author of this article has indicated many times in previous essays that taking Iran’s word and/or assuming it does not have secret programs in violation of the treaty is folly and incredibly naive.

In any case Trump wants to increase sanctions against Iran, which may cause the nuclear deal to crater. This would be in response to Iran’s ongoing destabilization of the Middle East. Yet another article indicates that Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon are supporting rebel forces in Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan.

The world is becoming more dangerous every day. For this reason it is difficult to argue against a very strong American military capability. But concerns are growing about the current president’s acumen to navigate through these frightening times.

Trump Must Resign, Part 2

It’s perfectly obvious that Donald Trump should immediately resign as president. His insensitivity towards the issues contributing to the Charlottesville riot was the last straw for many people who were still hopeful that the president could recover. The nation and the world have turned against our leader, and it will be impossible for him to implement any of the significant initiatives he promised during the presidential campaign. But how will this all come down?

An increasing number believe Trump will surrender his office before the 2020 Election. If the president’s opposition (which already includes most of the press, every Democrat in the country, an increasing number of Republicans and a large swath of the business community) expands any further, the Trump administration will be unable to govern. This will no doubt frustrate the president to no end and further antagonize the dwindling number of supporters he continues to placate.

It’s conceivable that the president will resign in haste and say, “There are so many losers in Congress. Because they are still drinking swamp water, they are unable to serve the American people or me. I will no longer work with these incompetent political hacks. I quit.”

Or it’s possible Trump will deliver an extended speech on national TV and mention the names of politicians and others that he thinks unduly and unfairly caused his presidency to flop. The list would include first and foremost all the Republican traitors who did not support his campaign initiatives that enabled them to be so successful in 2016. On the top of the list you will find Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader, who has been unable to manage his caucus and shepherd any legislation through the Senate. As an aside, it’s stunning that the Leader was unable to turn 2 or 3 senators in his own party to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Other critics and foils of Trump such as Paul Ryan and John McCain, in particular, will certainly feel his wrath in a resignation speech, as will uncooperative members of both houses of Congress. And, of course, Chuck Schumer, the Minority Leader in the Senate, and Nancy Pelosi, the Minority Leader in the House, will receive special invective from the departing president. Their obstructionist attitude and inability to offer any new ideas to improve the country will be the focus of Trump’s comments. And he will strongly indicate that the party that elected him president turned their backs on the agenda that made him so popular last November.

The president will also have no kind words for many of people that worked for him in the White House, especially those who could not perform up to his standards including Steve Bannon (the grim reaper), Reince Priebus (the wimpy chief of staff), Michael Flynn (the liar) and Sean Spicer (the man made famous by SNL). None of these people should have been part of the administration to begin with for a variety of reasons. Perhaps Trump will even take some parting shots at Jeff Sessions for dubious actions, and non-action, pertaining to former FBI Head James Comey and the current Special Counsel investigation into Russian involvement in our elections.

For sure Trump will attack foreign leaders who were uncooperative, critical and/or threatening. On the top of the list will be Kim Jong-un, Vladimir Putin, Bashar al Assad, Angela Merkel and many of the other heads of state that castigated him for dumb and naive comments he made.

The corporate leaders who abandoned Trump’s advisory groups will surely get airtime. Likely Trump will say that they were more concerned with political correctness than the financial stability of the nation. He will point out they did not have the backbone to work with him based upon his seemingly insignificant comments about the Charlottesville situation. Trump will ignore the fact that his response to the riot was not presidential and did not go far enough to denigrate Neo-Nazis other supremists. America cannot have a president who is considered remotely supportive of hate groups.

It’s certainly feasible that Trump will stubbornly remain in the White House and ignore all the criticism being showered upon him. But to what end? If he cannot find any support from either political party, he will be worse than a lame duck president. Our president will be emasculated and without power, something Trump is not accustomed to. Leaders around the world will not consult with him or invite him to be involved in any global issues or problems.

There’s a strong possibility Trump may commit a blunder that is serious enough to stoke impeachment proceedings. This is a long shot because impeachment must be based upon a serious crime or misdemeanor. However Robert Mueller (the Special Counsel) and his staff are continuing to investigate Trump. Perhaps they can uncover a crime that warrants impeachment.

The odds of Trump winning the Republican nomination in 2020 are zero. Mike Pence would be the probable front-runner in the GOP primaries, and he of course would assume power if Trump stepped down prematurely.

The events delineated above are total speculation on the author’s part. However the hard feelings that are being expressed about Donald Trump are real and serious. Americans are disappointed and frightened about the ramifications of a collapse of the presidency. Given the serious issues facing the country from around the world, it is an inopportune time for this to occur.

When it’s all over, Trump will return to his castle in the sky on Fifth Avenue where he will again assume the role of king. He will pick up where he left off and try to build his brand, which will carry much less value prospectively. Who would want Trump’s name on their building or hotel after he disgracefully gave up the presidency?

 

Note: Special thanks to Cindy and Ron M. They inspired my two-part rant about the Trump imbroglio.

Trump Must Resign

Writer’s note: This is the first of a two-part assessment of President Trump. The second one will be published later this week.

 

Part One

 

It’s time to face the reality that the Donald Trump experiment is an unmitigated disaster.

Americans voted for change. They wanted a leader who was not tarnished by the swamp known as Washington D.C. What we got was an inexperienced, self-aggrandizing egomaniac who cannot even mobilize his own political party.

What have we learned from this unsavory moment in American history? The most important thing is that experience in governmental affairs and diplomacy really matters.

Obama was a liberal version of Trump, and he screwed up the country for eight years. He was a local community organizer and served two years as a senator (most of that time he was campaigning to be president). Obama’s lack of experience and inability to connect to his colleagues in government greatly diminished his presidency. And now he is considered to be a failed leader by many Americans with virtually no legacy of any value.

Immediately after Obama, the electorate made the same mistake and voted in Trump who was equally unqualified to lead the nation. Yes, he was a successful businessperson, but so what? During his campaign he honed his agenda. It was controversial and in your face. But in many aspects it was a solid plan that would accelerate economic growth, make America stronger globally and deal with those that threaten our country and our world.

The problems were that Trump lived up to his reputation and has become a bully to his colleagues in government, and it soon became obvious that he had no idea how to navigate through the myriad of government bureaucracies.

The evidence of the latter is as clear as day. He has been unable to efficiently build a team below cabinet level appointments. Turnover of his advisors is embarrassingly high making his administration that much more useless.

But most important is that no one in Washington likes the man and few want to help him or be a part of his team. Frankly Trump has done little to rectify this situation because of his erratic and uninformed behavior and asinine tweets. He showers people with praise who say they want to assist him in some regard, including members of Congress and even his own aides, then eviscerates them when they get bogged down or suddenly push back.

The saddest part of the Trump saga is the attitude of Democrats and the media. Both were so angry that their hopes for the presidential race were crushed that they attacked the new president and made it impossible for him to succeed. They should have been more focused on Hillary, the bumbling candidate.

Democrats (aka the do nothing obstructionist party) were so dead set on making Trump fail that they fought against legislation that would have been good for the country. No productive ideas or offers to work on issues that both parties wanted have materialized. Some analysts say the state of the Democratic Party is actually worse than Republicans notwithstanding the horrendous performance of Trump and the GOP led Congress.

Ever since Election Day the press has bludgeoned the president. Granted, much of the criticism was well deserved. But the manner in which the press berated Trump personally will go down in history as one of the fourth estate’s worst moments.

There is no such thing as reporting of the facts any longer. Sniping, parsing of every word and hypothesizing the worst outcome from every mandate or comment by the administration dominate newspapers, blogs and cable TV. As Americans we expect the press to be informative, not act as the ultimate judge of our leaders. We need to leave that role to the voters armed with the truth.

The bottom line is that Trump is hurting our country more than he is improving it. His time has expired. We need to prepare ourselves for a great event that could have a lasting effect on our government and reputation around the world. That event will be the resignation of Donald Trump.

Criminalize Hate Protest

Americans have made it perfectly clear that certain groups in this country that denigrate minorities, Jews and gays have no standing in our society. Moreover these groups and their repugnant vitriol suggesting superiority over others should be outlawed similar to other forms of speech that incite lawlessness.

Donald Trump unsuccessfully tried to equate Neo-Nazis and supremacists to others who protest for equal rights, civil rights and injustice. He was dead wrong in his misguided off-the-wall diatribe in New York City yesterday.  The stated purpose of the demonstration in Charlottesville was to preserve a statue of Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general. Retaining memories of the South when slavery was prevalent along with memorials of those who fought for the cause must end immediately.

The negative response to Trump’s inane perspectives regarding hate protestors and anti-protestors has the been nearly universal. Only David Duke, the former head of the Klu Klux Klan and his colleagues have thanked the president for his supportive words.

Democrats, Republicans, Congress people, corporate executives and even Fox News are bewildered by the rationale of Trump to defend the basest members of our society, people who applaud the efforts of Nazi Germany and indiscriminate lynchings that occurred not long ago in the South.

Up to now our country has defended the “right” of Americans to suggest that they are superior to others, and for them to proclaim that minorities are inferior. The basis of this protection has been free speech. But historically, certain types of “free speech” have not been protected, and for good reason. My essay on this blog yesterday lists the “unprotected” forms of speech in America (https://softballpolitics.com/2017/08/16/freedom-of-speech-perspectives).

The list must be expanded to include speech, protest and assemblies organized by hate groups. We cannot allow these incendiary individuals to spew their disgusting perspectives and incite violence. Nor can we depend upon the authorities to censor these activities as supremacists hide behind the skirt of the Constitution.

Such a move would be a large undertaking, but the support it has, based upon the past few days, should enable the country to ban hate activities by amending the Constitution. Hate activities should be classified as a form of domestic terrorism.

No longer will municipalities and judges need to accommodate these hate mongers. And no longer will the American people need to stand aside and watch as supremacists denigrate our values.

Freedom Of Speech Perspectives

One definition of Freedom of Speech is: the right, guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to express beliefs and ideas without unwarranted government restriction.

A critical question that has arisen from the Charlottesville riot is whether radical, violent groups like the KKK, skinheads and Neo Nazis have a right to demonstrate and protest even if their perspectives are repugnant to most Americans. Simply stated, can one group verbally attack another group on religious or cultural grounds and be protected by the Constitution? The answer is not so simple.

The aforementioned groups would likely cite the Constitution to justify their right to march for white supremacy. But Freedom of Speech is not absolutely free. In fact many scholars believe that there are a number of unprotected forms of expression that include: obscenity, fighting words, defamation (including slander and libel), child pornography, perjury, blackmail, incitement to commit lawless actions, true threats and solicitations to commit crimes. The protesters in Virginia expressed their hatred of minorities and the supremacy of their kind. Surely this would fall into a few of the unprotected categories mentioned above.

Yet the police did not act quickly enough and protesting morphed into a full-fledged riot. Should the police have challenged the right of the marchers on the grounds indicated above? Probably so, but this type of assessment straddles a fine legal and judgmental line. Unfortunately the anti-protestors began to fight with the protestors and one woman died, two police officers lost their lives and scores of people were injured.

Some scholars make the case that censorship is not the best way to fight bigotry, nor is physical engagement by opposing groups. Learned people also say that freedom of speech is the basis for the other rights delineated in the Constitution (freedom of religion, press, assembly and government petition). In other words without free speech, these other rights would be diminished.

Rather, public discourse about repugnant opinions gives everyone an opportunity to openly denigrate cancerous societal perspectives. It is easier to discredit bias and discrimination when the vast majority of Americans can understand the pros and cons of such viewpoints.

Does speech that is insulting to a group cross a line? Can a protestor carry a sign that mocks another group? Can a protestor make a speech that proclaims the supremacy of his group over others? Who must make the determination about the constitutionality of such an event or speech? A judge may not always be available. Usually licenses to protest are granted by municipalities. If there is a resistance to do so a judge may intercede. But seldom will a judge opine about what speakers may say and what kind of signs protestors may carry before the event takes place.

In the case of Charlottesville the protest by supremacists did incite a riot. The interface between the protestors and the anti-protestors led to skirmishes, injuries and property damage. But the reporting indicates that both sides were looking for a fight. The latter is telling. It is the premeditation of violence that may trump the right of free speech.

We must allow all sides of an issue to be aired in public forums if we want to insure real freedom of speech. Unfortunately peace loving, kind and tolerant people must standby and allow hideous people to express their hideous opinions. If not who will be the judge about what is or is not free speech.

One only needs to look back to the 1960s to appreciate how peaceful protest can evolve into chaos. Protestors, anti-protestors and even the police instigated violence. Surely no one would question the objectives of the peaceniks or the freedom fighters during those years. Nevertheless violence was commonplace. In fact the most violent peaceniks (an oxymoron) resorted to explosives and murder, and police beat protestors regularly.

Martin Luther King Jr. and his contemporaries understood that protest must be civil and peaceful to gain an appropriate notoriety and empathy for the cause.

Trump Is Misunderstood

The past seven months have been a political roller coaster ride for the president, his fellow Americans and leaders around the world. Voters frequently say they are in favor of Trump’s agenda items but are completely turned off by his demeanor and style. I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard someone call him an a-hole.

Understanding Trump is an arduous task. He was the master of his real estate kingdom for years. During that time he was pampered by a legion of sycophants and social climbers who were at his disposal- literally.

Trump treated suppliers of all types of services with disdain as if it were an honor to do business with the Donald, even if they lost money.

For some strange reason Trump decided to run for president. What inspired him to give up his idyllic existence where he was an undisputed leader for the pressure packed job of governing America is still a mystery? Most believe ego and arrogance played a large role.

Since his election Trump’s efforts to be dictatorial have been thwarted at very turn. Our Constitution gives third parties in the federal government enormous power. Congress controls the purse strings and oversees every action taken by the president. Additionally it must approve treaties and enact laws. Trump’s horrible relationship with this group that includes members of his own political party is one of the greatest problems he has encountered.

Rogue Republicans in the House and Senate have challenged and stymied various initiatives. Frankly they are traitors, many of whom will be punished in the 2018 and 2020 elections.

Most recently the president has lambasted Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader and Republican, from Kentucky. Trump is furious that McConnell has not been able to shepherd any meaningful legislation through the Senate including efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare. Republican colleagues in Congress have come to the Senate Leader’s defense. Having McConnell as an adversary will not bode well for the Trump administration moving forward.

It is this contemptuous manner that many Americans find disturbing. In his former life Trump used people until they were unable to deliver or turned against him. This group included former employees, suppliers, bankers and attorneys. So long as Trump got his way he was a big fan. God help those that did not come through or defied him.

As president, Trump continues to lead in the same manner. The cavalcade of individuals that have entered and exited the White House is evidence that the president has not changed his belligerent attitude towards his subordinates.

Similarly, Trump’s relationship with world leaders follows the same trajectory. Everyone is great until they disagree or push back. Then they are moved into the incompetent bucket.

Notwithstanding all of his personal faults and egomania, Trump is still admired and supported by many Americans. Even some of the aforementioned people that say he’s an a-hole continue to be in favor of lower taxes, more national security, better healthcare, a strong military and so on. The man’s vision of America is far better than his his personal perception.

Naturally, the president, just like every one who preceded him, has strong opposition. Unfortunately pushback of Trump by his antagonists such as the far left, Democrats in Congress and the press is way out of line. Keep in mind every colorful description of Trump has already been used to describe some president that served before him.

I think Trump is grossly misunderstood and characterized unfairly. Yet his inane use of social media and his thin skin for criticism are fodder for those that mischaracterize him on a regular basis.

North Korea Has Threatened To Strike A U.S. Territory With Nuclear Missiles

Kim Jong-un has decided to increase the tension between North Korea and the U.S. by threatening a nuclear missile strike against Guam, an American territory with a huge air base located in the Pacific Ocean. President Trump responded by indicating that NOKO would “face fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Kim made the threat against Guam through the state-controlled news agency, KCNA. The island territory is American soil and over 200,000 citizens live in Guam and surrounding areas.

Guam Governor Eddie Baza Calvo” [reassured] the people of Guam that currently there is no threat to our island or the Marianas.” Presumably the confidence he has is based upon the actual capability of NOKO to actually direct a missile to Guam. Additionally the island is protected by THAAD, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system. It is designed to shoot down short and medium range ballistic missiles.

This crisis has reached epic proportions. The most important question still remains unanswered. Can NOKU attach a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile and send it accurately to a target many thousands of miles away? The U.S. must concern itself with a strike against not only Guam but also South Korea, Japan and the continental U.S.

For years American presidents were comforted the fact that NOKO would never be able to develop the technology to deliver a missile effectively over a long distance. Based upon recent tests by NOKO military analysts now believe the country may be capable of doing so.

This site recently discussed the options available to the U.S. to discourage further development of NOKO’s missile technology. They included convincing China to step in and stop its ally before it actually uses a nuclear weapon. The U.S. has recently increased economic sanctions, which will devastate further the economic stability of the country. In the medium term economic hardships may foment a regime change in NOKO. And finally there is military action.

Of course NOKO’s current technology is the most important consideration given that the U.S. appears to be considering a military strike. But there are many issues that can have a huge effect on the outcome of a U.S. strike. Here are the most important questions relating to a U.S. invasion.

  1. If the U.S. attacks NOKO will Kim launch nuclear weapons against the U.S., South Korea and/or Japan?
  2. Will the U.S. be able to destroy NOKO’s nuclear capabilities before the country can launch?
  3. If the U.S. attacks NOKO will Kim unleash his million man army and its significant conventional power against South Korea?
  4. If the U.S. attacks NOKO how will China react?

NOKO has about 25 million citizens. Many are located near Pyongyang (2.6 million). A U.S. strike would surely include a barrage of firepower directed at the capital city. NOKO has 1 million men in its military, the majority of which are probably located near the border of South Korea. Similarly the U.S. would likely direct significant firepower to obliterate the NOKO army. The casualties could easily be near 1 million based upon this assessment.

If the NOKO army was not eliminated quickly, South Korea would be vulnerable to a conventional military attack. South Korea has 51 million citizens and its capital city has 10 million citizens. The devastation to South Korea from either a nuclear or conventional  attack would be epic.

Because American presidents have kicked the can down the road for decades, the U.S. is now in the unenviable position of having to deal with a heavily armed NOKO. There are no good options aside from convincing the Chinese they must reason with Kim. This in fact may not have any impact. Military action is around the corner, and the world should prepare for it.

 

 

Trump Will Not Run For A Second Term

Conversations about the future plans of Donald Trump are beginning to dominate news media. Will he run for a second term? Will he quit before 2020 out of frustration?

The administration is only six months old, even though it feels much longer because of never-ending internal conflict and alleged scandal. Exacerbating the situation is the on-going investigation by special counsel relating to inappropriate interference of Russia in our election process and any other issues that tempt Robert Mueller.

The New York Times interviewed 75 Republicans “at every level” and sensed great uncertainty about “whether Trump will be on the ballot in 2020 . . .” Leading the parade of G.O.P. presidential aspirants at this point are Senators Tom Cotton and Ben Sasse along with John Kasich, the Ohio governor. And then of course there is Vice President Mike Pense.

Most are respectful (overtly) about Trump’s prerogatives as the incumbent president, aside from Kasich who is much more “defiant.” Of note, Pense has been trying to elevate his status with the party by meeting with conservative groups and large donors. But The Times reports that Pense has respected his boss in every public forum.

Everything about Trump defies tradition. He took down seventeen Republican “luminaries” in the 2016 primaries as an outsider with no government experience. His unabashed campaign style was a winning tactic for the election. The continuation of his abject defiance of tradition and protocol after he took office has greatly infuriated a wide swath of Americans and people around the world.

Sophomoric tweets about political opponents, uncooperative world leaders and even his own party members have turned Washington upside down. Using social media to communicate with the electorate may be the high tech way to campaign and govern in the future, but Trump’s obnoxious attitude has rubbed many the wrong way.

The irony of Trump’s individualistic approach is that many still believe in his vision. What supporters, and former supporters, object to is the president’s policy of turmoil and change. And there is no end to alleged scandals related to himself and his sycophants.

America has woken up to the fact that good behavior is something we want in our president. Our leaders need not be so sensitive and ready to fight about every comment by the opposing party and the unfair and unkind press.

Yet, Trump has eliminated burdensome mandates imposed by his predecessor. This has improved business conditions for many corporations in diverse industries. Related to this is the surging stock market, which has been bolstered by positive economic expectations to record highs.

And fewer businesses have dared to move operations abroad frightened of being exposed publicly by the president in a tweet or a speech. In fact new investment in America is happening every day.

Huge international dilemmas face the Trump administration representing both a challenge and an opportunity. The most important of which include nuclear showdowns with North Korea and Iran. Russian sanctions have been escalated, based upon aggressive actions by Vladimir Putin. Terrorism is increasing worldwide despite some success relating to ISIS. Trade problems abound. Climate change is up in the air, so to speak.

There is still plenty of time for Trump to excel by managing problems. Congress may even begin to act more professionally and cooperatively because of the impending midterm elections. Trump’s unpredictable governing style could bear some fruit moving forward especially with other leaders who are as defiant as he.

However it is difficult to believe that Trump wants another four years of hell in Washington. And it’s more difficult to believe voters will sign up for another four more years of hell with him in the White House.

 

 

International Conflict Will Keep Trump Busy During The Balance Of His Administration

Congress is in no mood to enact new legislation. The obstruction of Trump initiatives by both parties has disappointed many Americans.

Republicans are deeply divided as conservatives and moderate senators battle with each other. Democrats generally vote as a group on important issues, so new laws will only be possible if Republicans pull together, which is not happening.

Many Republicans are hoping that disloyal senators, who are unwilling to vote for Trump’s agenda, will lose their seats. After riding on Trump’s electoral success these traitors should be ousted by the party that they abandoned.

The Democratic Party is in shambles and led by two weak leaders. The party will not make any sizeable gains in the midterm elections because it has offered no new ideas and has no exciting candidates.

So what will the president focus on moving forward? It’s unlikely that much will change in Congress for the balance of Trump’s first term, although tax reform could gain some bipartisan traction.

The plethora of crazy leaders around the world and the decisions they are making will keep Trump busy. Acts of aggression against America and its allies are happening every day along with crimes against humanity and other atrocities.

Let’s discuss some of the most dangerous players.

North Korea’s nuclear ambitions are the most noteworthy threat to the U.S. If the madman that leads NOKO develops the technology to launch missiles with nuclear warheads that can reach the continental U.S., there will be no end to the trouble he will create.

Trump has four options aside from kicking the can down the road and subjecting the country to extreme existential risk. He can attack NOKU now and destroy the country along with all its weapons, its army and many of its citizens. He can increase sanctions and try to foment regime change. He can attempt to assassinate the leader, not knowing what kind of person would replace the current megalomaniac. He can try in the strongest manner to persuade China that it must convince the despot to give up his nuclear program.

Action must be taken before NOKO actually achieves the aforementioned capability to strike the U.S. And nearly as important, the U.S. must keep China informed about any tactics it intends to implement. And finally the U.S. must be sure that a preemptive attack destroys all of NOKO’s offensive weapons.

The Iran nuclear situation is similar to NOKO in many ways. But a few things are different. One is that Iran probably appreciates the fact that any nuclear action on its part will result in the obliteration of the country. Two, Iran has not exhibited an ability to launch a missile that would threaten any non-Arab country except Israel. Yet, a nuclear storm in the Middle East would be a devastating event for the region and the world.

Another fact is that it is likely that the U.S. and Israel have enough intelligence about Iran’s military capabilities including its nuclear program to successfully attack it preemptively and prevent a counter response.

Russia has decided to rekindle the Cold War. Many analysts are puzzled by this strategy because Russia is being decimated economically by low oil prices and rampant corruption. Moreover the cost of occupying Crimea and conducting a war in Syria along with maintaining a huge army is very costly. Putin is falling into the same trap that engulfed Gorbachev. The country does not have the economic might to be at odds with the West perpetually.

A wiser Russian leader would opt for reconciliation with the U.S. Cooperation between Russia, the U.S. and China could be the formula to deal with major threats to peace globally, including terrorism, NOKO, climate change, African discord, Middle East destabilization, etc. But this is not likely to happen until each country has a leader who wishes to facilitate peace.

The Middle East is a powder keg ready to explode. Frankly there will be no end to the animosity existing between Shia and Sunni. The only way for peace to prevail is with extinction of one of the sects. The destruction of Iran by the U.S. might end the 1,000-year struggle between the sects. But this could have other ramifications including a resurgence of new and more aggressive non-religious regimes.

And finally there is the European Union. The problems between the EU and Great Britain are growing every day. Economic alliances are being terminated. Serious issues are resulting from the diverse immigration standards throughout Europe. Great Britain is becoming more hawkish while Germany is attempting to jam its partners with a liberal immigration system. The problem is that the most receptive country enables violent immigrants to enter, and these people then can move freely to other countries in Europe to make trouble.

It is possible that Trump’s aggressive position towards NOKO, Iran and Russia will be a good thing in the long run. All three have severe and growing internal problems, which can be used to our advantage.

Congress will not be able to limit Trump’s actions internationally especially if national security is at stake. Trump can actually make a name for himself on the bigger stage with some wise diplomacy overseas.

 

“A Better Deal?” Pelosi And Schumer Must Step Down For Democrats To Make A Comeback

A few days ago Nancy Pelosi, the longtime leader of House Democrats, along with Chuck Schumer, the minority leader in the Senate, brought us “A Better Deal.”  Bryon Dean Wright, a Democrat wrote a scathing piece in which he said Democrats were clueless about what they must do to win future elections.

Pelosi said that her “better deal” will be the first step in rebuilding the party’s standing with voters.  Schumer said voters do not know what the Democratic Party stands for. In fact 67% of Americans view the party as out of touch.

Democrats keep repeating Hillary Clinton platitudes as if they were  elixers for the party. The economy is rigged against average Americans, the minimum wage should be increased to $15/hour,  corporate monopolies are bad for America and drug prices are too high. That’s about the extent of the Democratic platform at this time.

Elizabeth Warren was also present at the preview of “A Better Deal.” She said the economy is broken. She probably has not been reading the Wall Street Journal, or she would know that stock prices are soaring, inflation is low, unemployment is down and businesses are reporting good earnings, which will help Americans find more higher paying jobs.

Voters are disgusted with pols who only want to rake in more cash to campaign and retain their seats. This flies in the face of good government. Only term limits and new blood in the halls of Congress will change the attitude and objectives of our lawmakers. Ironically President Trump has called for term limits even as his party is in the majority. There is no way decades old hacks like Pelosi and Schumer would agree to new laws that would limit their tenures in Congress or ability to lobby after their careers end.

Pelosi told the world she is a “master legislator.” This is an incredibly self-serving comment that very few Democrats would subscribe to. But many legislative colleagues need her to raise money for their election campaigns, so Democratic dissent is rare.

Democrats have an opportunity to make gains in 2018 and in 2020, but they will not be successful with their existing tired, cynical and obstructionist leaders. The party needs a fresh face, a person with new ideas. This is unlikely. Party members are going to see the same people making the same suggestions in 2018 that Hillary Clinton offered Americans and lost with.