Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Reagan and Trump, Conservatives : "I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph, and there is purpose and worth to each and every life”
TODAY WE TIE UP SOME DANGLING NEWS. There are so many items in the news right now that every day, new details and new information arrive that wasn't there 12 hours ago. And, the new info and detail make a difference. Let's dive in. • • • THE MANAFORT TRIAL. Last night, we learned from Fox News legal expert Judge Anthony Napolitano that Paul Manafort was exonerated of the same charges he is now being tried for eight years ago by then-prosecutor Rod Rosenstein. How's that for a twist and a half?? Judge Napolitano’s news backs up President Trump’s “Witch Hunt” argument about there being a clear bias to this entire media circus the nation has endured for months. Judge Napolitaon said : "Paul Manafort was investigated by the federal government by a team of federal prosecutors and FBI agents for all this stuff eight years ago and they exonerated him. And who was the young prosecutor that led that exoneration? Rod Rosenstein.” DAG Rod Rosenstein now runs the Justice Department, and Napolitano suggested the Manafort legal team have threatened to call DAG Rosenstein as their first witness and have him tell the jury all the reasons why he declined the prosecution of these charges eight years ago.” • • • NEW JOB NUMBERS ARE EVEN BETTER THAN THE EXPERTS ESTIMATED. That was the Wednesday morning report from CNBC : "Private payrolls boom in July, increasing by 219,000 vs 185,000 estimate : ADP. Jobs in the U.S. increased by 219,000 in July, while economists polled by Reuters expected a gain of 185,000. July's job gains were the best since February, when 241,000 jobs were added....Private payrolls in the US increased by more than expected last month as companies get a boost from lower corporate taxes, ADP and Moody's Analytics said Wednesday. 'The job market is booming, impacted by the deficit-financed tax cuts and increases in government spending,' says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics." CNBC also reported that jobs growth for June was also revised up to 181,000 from 177,000. Zandi said in a statement : "The job market is booming, impacted by the deficit-financed tax cuts and increases in government spending. Tariffs have yet to materially impact jobs, but the multinational companies shed jobs last month, signaling the threat." • The breakdown for the new jobs in July by business size was this -- ,edium-sized businesses, which employ 50 to 499 people, added the most payrolls as they created 119,000; larger businesses expanded their payrolls by 48,000; and small businesses, which employ one to 49 people, say payrolls grow by 52,000. The breakdown by type of job was this -- service-providing companies expanded their payrolls by 177,000, led by gains in education and health services as well as professional services; education and health services payrolls grew by 48,000; professional services created 47,000 jobs; information technology, however, lost 1,000 payrolls; and the goods-producing sector saw payrolls increase by 42,000, led by a 23,000 gain in manufacturing jobs and 17,000 additions in construction. • Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, whose job numbers are considered the most reliable, said : "The labor market is on a roll with no signs of a slowdown in sight. Nearly every industry posted strong gains and small business hiring picked up." • CNBC noted that : "The job gains come as Corporate America enjoys lower taxes compared to last year. In December, the Trump administration slashed the federal corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%. The gains also come amid heightened tensions between the US and some of its biggest trade partners. The US has already slapped tariffs on $34 billion worth in Chinese goods, to which China has retaliated. The US has also placed charges on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union." • The US government will issue its own July monthly nonfarm payrolls report on Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET, but it is clear that the Trump economic miracle is real and growing. • • • CHINA IS FEELING THE PINCH OF THE US TARIFFS. On Wednesday morning, CNBC also reported that : "As Trump's tariffs start to bite, China pledges it'll keep its economy stable. China's top leaders said on Tuesday the country will strive to achieve economic stability despite challenges, Xinhua state news agency reported. The announcement from Beijing came as data from the world's second-largest economy suggests that the country is starting to feel a pinch from U.S. tariffs." • According to CNBC, in a statement carried by China's Xinhua state news agency after a meeting of the Politburo, a top decision-making body of the ruling Communist Party : "Beijing said it will take targeted measures to solve issues in the economy. The Chinese economy is facing 'some new problems and new challenges. There are obvious changes in the external environment,' the statement added. It did not specifically mention China's ongoing trade war with the US. We must do a good job in stabilizing employment, finance, foreign trade and investment, and expectations,' the statement added." • Analysts said the Politburo's communication suggests that Beijing will be fine-tuning its economic policies. Some form of easing is expected. Macquarie Group Limited economists Larry Hu and Irene Wu wrote in a note : "China's top policy makers are clearly concerned about two issues: the sharp slowdown of credit growth and the uncertainty due to the trade war. As such, they called for more proactive fiscal policy and infrastructure spending." Macquarie is a global diversified financial group headquartered and listed in Australia. The note said that Beijing will continue to keep a lid on debt, as the Chinese statement reaffirmed, but the Macquarie note added that could change if the employment situation in the country worsens : "The statement also offers some clues as it mentioned stabilizing employment twice. In other words, if the unemployment problem becomes severe, a policy U-turn could happen from deleveraging to boosting growth. Clearly we are not there yet." • China's economic growth target for 2018 is around 6.5%, down from China's 2018 growth target. CNBC said : "Even before the ongoing trade dispute with Washington, the Chinese government was already managing a slowdown in its economy as Beijing cracked down on high debt levels and heavily polluting industries....In July, the Caixin/Markit Purchasing Manager's Index -- a closely watched gauge of China's economic activity -- hit an eight-month low as new export orders fell at the steepest pace in more than two years, the two organizations said. The data pointed to 'some negative impact of the first tranche of US tariffs that came into effect last month,' said Julian Evans-Pritchard, Capital Economics' senior China economist. He said he expects further weakness ahead. 'We see increasing headwinds to the manufacturing sector from the recent slowdown in credit growth. US tariffs will also be a drag, weighing on investment and foreign demand.' " • CNBC also reported on the current US-China tariff situation. American tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese products took effect on July 6. China retaliated with duties of its own on the same value of American goods. President Donald Trump's administration countered that it is preparing possible tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese goods. In July, the President said he was willing to place tariffs on every Chinese-made product shipped to the US. On June 22, President Trump requested the United States Trade Representative to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10%. The new duties will go into effect "if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced," the President said in a statement provided by the White House late on Monday. Beijing has pledged to fight back if Trump goes ahead with the new tariffs. James Cheo, senior investment strategist at the Bank of Singapore, says : "As of now, the numbers are not large...when it becomes larger in terms of tit-for-tat retaliation, that would be more worrisome." • • • TRUMP'S CHINA TRADE WAR STRATEGY. The Epoch Times reported on Tuesday evening that : "The strategy first used by President Donald Trump against North Korea is now being employed in the trade war against China and will bring far worse consequences for the Chinese economy than many expect, said an expert. 'Although he might not have said it, what President Trump is adopting during the trade war with China is an ‘extreme pressure’ strategy similar to that he imposed on North Korea,' said economic analyst Qin Peng. According to Qin, Trump’s 'extreme pressure' strategy imposed on North Korea included economic sanctions, upgraded preparations for military attack, forming alliances, and putting pressure on China to constrain North Korea. These tactics worked together to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table. In the case of the trade war with China, Trump started with steel and aluminum tariffs, then tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods, and then the threats of $200 billion in tariffs and being 'ready to go' with tariffs on $500 billion in Chinese goods....Gradually, an international alliance has been formed, to force the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to solve the problems of intellectual property theft and unfair trade. Qin Peng said the 'extreme pressure' strategy was a response to China’s attitude. Ever since the trade war began, China has been accusing, attacking and retaliating without making any of the positive changes Trump had expected." • The Trump "carrot and stick" tactics towards Europe, Canada, Japan, and other countries has worked rather quickly, brining them to the table ot discuss more even-handed trade and tariff policies. • But, says Epoch Times, China has also made a lot of bad judgments : "For example, in the first round of talks, China proposed to buy $70 billion worth of American products and goods, but did not address the huge structural trade imbalance with the United States nor the accusations of technology theft. Qin expects that if the tariffs on $200 billion in goods, followed by tariffs on $500 billion in goods, are imposed, the Chinese economy will suffer far more dire consequences than many investment banks and economists have predicted. 'Deutsche Bank projects a 0.3% decrease of Chinese GDP if tariffs on $200 billion in goods are imposed, while Morgan Stanley is predicting a 0.3% direct impact and an indirect 0.3-0.5% impact,' Qin said. 'However, I think these numbers are too conservative, as they don’t include the factors of market and investment confidence.'....'Other analysts project a GDP decrease as much as 3% if other factors such as foreign investment are considered,' Qin said. 'I basically agree with this analysis. With the deepening of the trade war, China’s structural foreign currency surplus will disappear.' Qin believes China’s massive credit bubble could burst. 'History has told us that the damage caused by financial problems could be much larger than sheer weak GDP growth.' ” • China seems to have digested this negative analysis, because, as reported by Bloomberg on July 31 : “The U.S. and China are trying to restart talks aimed at averting a full-blown trade war between the world’s two largest economies, two people familiar with the effort said.” • Wen Zhao, a commentator for NTD, part of the Epoch Media Group, thinks that : "Chinese leader Xi Jinping made three major misjudgments during the trade war, which are misjudgments about Trump, the international environment, and China itself....China might have thought that Trump is only a businessman without strong principles, and could easily be influenced by short-term interest, including his interest in his family businesses. The CCP therefore adopted a strategy of delay and ignored Trump’s warnings and dissatisfaction. The misjudgment about the international environment lies in the fact that China thought it could form a 'united front' with Europe to fight against the United States by giving out some trade and investment deals. However, this was a serious misjudgment, as China seems to have forgotten what it has done within the EU in terms of trying to create factions with its 'One Belt, One Road' initiative. It asked for political endorsements from countries such as Greece and the Czech Republic, as an exchange for investment. All these doings wouldn’t go unnoticed by the European leaders. How would they be willing to trust Beijing? What is more important is the misjudgment about China itself, as well as its ability to influence the international world. The recent propaganda campaigns such as CCTV’s 'Amazing China' series, the 'Made in China 2025' plan, the 'One Belt, One Road' initiative, which Wen said involves China 'throwing away” huge amounts of money, the military expansion, and so on have caused the world to begin to be on guard against the Communist regime." • As Wen so nicely puts it : “if you know neither yourself nor your opponent, then you will lose the war." • • • TRUMP IS TARGETING THE WORLD'S REMAINING COMMUNIST REGIMES. The Epoch Times wrote an analysis on July 26 that concludes that President Trump is targeting the handful of Communist regimes left : "Just like how former US President Ronald Reagan was instrumental in bringing about the demise of communism in the Eastern Bloc and the collapse of the Soviet Union, President Donald Trump is also helping end communism in the world, dealing with each communist state in a different way, says Frank Xie, an associate professor in the School of Business Administration at the University of South Carolina." • Epoch Times noted that President tRump has spoken out against communism on a number of occasions. At the United Nations General Assembly in September 2017, he said : “Wherever true socialism, or communism, has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure. Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies, only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems. America stands with every person living under a brutal regime.” The President made similar comments in a statement in June 2017 when announcing his administration’s policy toward communist Cuba, saying “communism has destroyed every single nation where it has ever been tried.” • Professor Xie reminds us that Trump then reversed former President Barack Obama’s initiative of opening trade and tourism ties with Cuba, restoring the embargo of the Central American communist state and adding to the pressure on the ruling regime. And, for Vietnam, Trump is using economic ties to bring the Asian state into the world’s economic system. Xie says : “They’re actually giving up their communism very soon, I believe." When it comes to North Korea, Trump has been using military threats and economic sanctions to have the communist country abandon nuclear weapons. And on China, according to Xie, who wrote the 2013 book “The Dragon’s Vault,” imposing tariffs to balance trade is a “very effective weapon” that Trump has employed. Xie states : “The US is hitting the red dragon’s vault in its soft spot,” he said, referring to the Chinese communist regime’s foreign currency reserves, which have ballooned thanks in major part to years of trade surpluses." Xie said without these huge reserves, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could be crippled. • Professor Xie listed for Epoch Times some of the effects the Trump tariffs are having on China : "Chinese stocks have started to plummet, and the ongoing trade war is causing negative sentiment among investors. Although Beijing has imposed reciprocal tariffs, markets in the United States have remained stable, and even experienced growth....The yearly trade deficit of the United States with China in recent years has soared to over $350 billion, with the figure at $375 billion last year. China’s total exports in 2017 was about $2 trillion, with one-fifth of that destined for the United States. With China’s 2017 GDP at $12 trillion, the total exports to the United States accounted for 3.5% of China’s GDP. On the US side, with 2017 exports to China at only $130 billion and with a GDP of close to $20 trillion, exports to China only accounted for around 0.7% of the U.S. GDP. 'The reliance on exports is not that great for the US, but it is huge for China,' said Xie. 'If China loses its trade with the United States, its economy is not going to survive.' ” • China’s foreign currency reserves this year are over $3 trillion. The reserves have been steadily increasing ever since the country joined the World Trade Organization, thanks to the huge trade surpluses China maintains with its trading partners despite their complaints that Beijing is not playing by the rules. However, according to Professor Xie, the reserves aren’t used to improve Chinese people’s lives or help lift the people of the developing country out of poverty. Rather, the money goes into the regime’s “vault” for the benefit of the CCP elites, says Xie : “In 1989, after the Tiananmen Square Massacre, the communist regime almost fell. They thought they were going to lose control of China...they were ready to go. That’s when they transferred $60 billion to Swiss bank accounts. That’s how much they had at that time. Of course, they have much more now. They use that as nest eggs for the elites....The money is used not only to fund the luxurious lifestyle of the CCP elites, but also to suppress dissidents and groups that the Party targets internally as well as to exert control overseas. Examples include buying support from small African countries in the UN Human Rights Council; supporting states that act against the United States; and funding Confucius Institutes on university campuses around the world, which have been cited as political arms of the regime in order to extend its soft power or even for espionage. Basically [the money is] for the survival of the communist regime. That is why the US tariffs are detrimental to the CCP. They cannot sustain their power without money support. They cannot continue the suppression, persecution, and their hold on power.” • On April 9, Larry Kudlow, President Trump's top economic advisor and National Economic Council Director, said : "Somebody's got to say to China, 'you are no longer a Third World country. You are a First World country and you have to act like it.' " Kudlow is a savvy and street smart economist. He knows, as does the equally savvy and street smart Trump, that China may not want to "lose face' in public, but that it is being squeezed by experts who have the economic and currency clout to play the Chinese game until China, also street smart but lacking in savvy, works out that it cannot win and cries 'Uncle." • • • DEAR READERS, 60% of the S&P 500 has released its quarterly results, with 78% of those companies posting better-than-expected earnings, according to FactSet. Nick Raich, CEO of The Earnings Scout, told CNBC on Tuesday : "Do you remember all the pundits who warned 1Q 2018 earnings were at their peak? Well, the 2Q 2018 numbers for these 299 S&P 500 companies that have reported are better than how they reported last quarter in terms of year-over-year sales and earnings growth. There are also more companies beating estimates this quarter as well." ON Tuesday, the Federal Reserve started a two-day monetary policy meeting, with an announcement scheduled for Wednesday. Investors are not expecting a rise in interest rates, however, but discussion on trade or where the Federal Reserve is thinking of heading could be talked about. The meeting follows the publication of a lot of economic data and the news that President Trump said he was "not thrilled" about rising interest rates, expressing concern that the Fed could upset the economic recovery. Hoxevr, after his public jawboning, the President said he would not interfere and let the Fed do what it wants. • And that brings us back ot the title I left you with on Tuesday -- "Tump Is Dragging Us Kicking and Screaming Into Peace and Prosperity." It's an article written by Karen Kataline that lays out the "sheer volume of vitriol, hatred and 'resistance' coming from the media, Hollywood elites, establishment Republicans, and various other 'never-Trumpers,' " against the reality of President Trump's enormous successes. Kataline says we would think that such vitriol "would be in response to the most unfit and dangerous President we’ve ever had. Some from the aforementioned groups are probably nodding their heads in agreement already. You would think we had a President who has exhibited open hostility to our country; who has actively worked to diminish our standing in the world, or who has tried to fundamentally change our country into a globalist, socialist state which would no longer resemble anything our Founders ever intended. Maybe that hysteria would be warranted if we had a President who sent boatloads of cash to a foreign power that publicly vowed to destroy us with nuclear weapons; or whose administration gave 20% of our uranium to Russia (yes, Russia) for a quick political payoff. Such hatred might be justified if we had a President who allowed the leaking of highly-classified information to other countries who are openly hostile to us, like China; or who didn’t bother to lift a finger to save our US Ambassador and three others who were savagely murdered in Libya; or who abused the power of his office to spy on and punish his political opponents. Those might be justifiable reasons for their 'righteous' anger and indignation." • Oh Yes. We recognize President Obama, Secretary Hillary and a gang of their henchmen in that description. And we recognize the fawning propagandist mainstream media for whom Obama and Hillary could do no wrong, no matter how much "wrong" they did. • But, the description has NOTHING to do with President Trump. Kataline point this out : "Some would argue that we had just such a leader in the previous administration who, despite rhetoric to the contrary, delivered exactly those results and more. Yet, there was barely a whimper from this cadre of resistors. They protected him, covered up his bungles and betrayals and more often ignored them completely. Now, with President Donald Trump, calls for impeachment are commonplace. We have yet to see any limit to their outrage. Along with that has come a curious, and to some, welcome honesty about the ideology that is supported by the current Democrat Party. They are avowed socialists and have finally begun to admit it. Gone are the covert buzzwords and camouflaged slogans like : 'income inequality' and 'You didn’t build that!' Part of their irrational hostility to Trump is precisely because he is pro-American and an unapologetic capitalist. That stance demands secure borders, requires peace through strength, and must nurture capitalism and industry. The supposedly non-ideological Trump has furthered that agenda with clear conviction. When we have returned to our ideological roots of less government and more freedom, prosperity has been the predictable result." • Kataline talks about American conservatives haing been "asleep at the wheel for decades in educating the next generation about the horrific history of socialism. In fact, we know that in many classrooms, socialism has been openly promoted. Such ignorance and indoctrination has never been more on display than it is right now." She cites the division of Germany after World War II as one of "the best practical comparisons between these disparate ideologies. The almost 30-year contest between socialism and capitalism brought results that were dramatic and indisputable. The Communist-controlled socialism of East Germany brought poverty, despair and a wall to keep people in against their will. Capitalism brought the exact opposite." • And, what have we been dscussing in today's blog?? The fact that President Trump has, as Kataline put it, "handed us another opportunity to compare these ideologies in modern-day and practical terms. Once again, the results are incontrovertible. Our growing prosperity is putting our stable of Never-Trumpers in a tough spot. Even the most disengaged and uninformed citizens would laugh at the notion that the last administration deserves the credit for this. Openly hoping for war and poverty rather than peace and prosperity under Trump isn’t a particularly winning message, especially in an election year -- though some have actually done so like Bill Maher. About the only strategy left is to ignore, downplay, or simply refuse to report all the good news and hope Americans will hardly notice. Color me skeptical, but I don’t think that’s going to work either." • Kataline's conclusion is this snetence packed with truth and current cultural context : "Donald Trump is dragging us kicking and screaming into peace and prosperity. Never has such success been so unwelcome by so many. For the sake of generations to come, and as he continues to succeed, it will be just as important for roughly half of us to educate the other half about how and why it worked." • I quote President Ronald Reagan so often that you must by now be able to finish the quotations before you read to their end. Why quote Ronald Reagan again and again? Because he is the Father of our cause. He is the Father of those who work to protect and defend, and save, the Constitution and the Republic. Why else would he have such thoughts as these -- “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” Or, “I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.” Or, “How do you tell a Communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.” Or, “Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.” Or, the great thought that puts President Reagan beside the Founders : "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” • Ronald Reagan even had words that described his faith and his creed, and also President Trump's : “I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph, and there is purpose and worth to each and every life.” There is no need to look beyond those beautifully simple yet profound words to know who we Conservatives are, and why Progressives hate us.