Tankers, Lies, And Videotape

Earlier this week two petroleum tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman. President Donald Trump is placing the blame on Iran…while naturally Iran is denying any involvement. Unfortunately neither administration can be trusted to tell the truth so it is very hard to determine who is actually responsible.

And the US has released a portion of a video that purportedly shows members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards removing unexploded mines from the side of one of the tankers. But as we know, with 21st Century technology, video is no longer a proponent of truth.

And the world isn’t helping one whit. Great Britain is siding with the US, Germany doesn’t believe the video proves anything. The explosions were supposedly caused by torpedoes and mines yet the damage is above the waterline and neither ship sank. The owners of the Japanese vessel claim their crew saw objects flying toward them before the explosions started. China says no one wants war over the issue. Europe urges restraint. The United Emirate Republics say that they have proof that the attacks were state sponsored.

So where do we go from here?

Well the president says he is willing to open talks with Iran over the issue. So lets do that. They say they didn’t do it…so let’s suspend disbelief for a time and join them in determining exactly what did happen. Include the governments of Japan and Norway whose vessels were attacked.

Continued antagonism will continue to push Iran into the Russian sphere of influence. A friendliness initiated during the Syrian civil war.

Pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Treaty has caused the European Union to develop new banking relationships and networks so they can continue to trade with Iran and circumvent Trump’s sanctions. Those two actions have weakened America’s diplomatic and economic strength in the region and may change our economic strength worldwide eventually. The Euro continues to replace the US Dollar as the currency held by foreign governments as a safe haven currency.

Opening talks with Iran is a good thing. Getting them involved in determining who attacked the tankers is a good thing. Getting the other gulf countries involved would be a good thing.

The biggest draw back (other than Trump not following through on the things he says) would be: why should Iran trust Donald Trump?

Trump tariffs lead to economic consequences

It appears President Donald Trump’s idea of “making America great again” includes possibly provoking another trade war and inching the nation’s economy to the brink of a recession.

President Trump’s threat to punish Mexico with tariffs until it restrains the flow of migrants rattled financial markets on Friday, and the Mexican government, American businesses and Republican lawmakers pressed Mr. Trump to back down.

The president has made frequent use of tariffs to try to force trade concessions from other governments, including Mexico, Canada, China and Europe. But he escalated his aggressive approach by threatening to hit a United States ally and its largest trading partner with tariffs over concerns about immigration.

[…]

Stock prices slid on Friday, continuing a monthlong retreat, with the S&P 500 down nearly 6 percent this month and the bond market flashing worrying signs of a global recession. Shares in General Motors fell by more than 4 percent, while shares of Ford were down 2 percent.

Trump’s tariffs – and the resulting trade wars with countries like China – have led economists to warn an economic recession could be on the horizon for this year.

Economists have warned the recent slowdown experienced by the U.S. economy carries with it “the unmistakable whiff of a recession.” So far, the U.S. economy has outperformed expectations, a trend it maintained during the first three months of 2019, when it grew at a better-than-expected 3.2 percent.

However, economists expect growth to ease off to below 2 percent on an annual basis in the second three months of the year. Last week, a survey from IHS Markit showed the index of production among U.S. manufacturers had fallen from 52.6 in April to 50.6 in May. While any figure above 50 indicates the sector expanded in the period, the reading was the lowest in nine-and-a-half years.

Earlier this month, government data showed sales at U.S. retailers dropped for the second time in three months, sliding 0.2 percent from the previous month in April. While a drop was expected after retail sales rose 1.7 percent in March, the slowdown in April suggested Americans were being a lot more cautious with their finances than 12 months ago.

First Two Years of Trump Presidency Were Stollen

If you were on Twitter or anywhere else in social media over the weekend, you know that President Trump was upset that the first two years of his presidency were stollen (sic). I don’t know who he thinks is responsible.

But maybe I can help clear this up for the president…during the first two year’s of your presidency, you enjoyed solid majorities in both chambers of Congress…so if anything was stolen it was the result of…your inability to lead, your inability to manage, the staff revolving door in the West Wing, the ineptitude of former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, the recalcitrance of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and your complete lack of understanding of the Constitution, foreign policy, history, and economics…to say nothing of letting Robert Mueller get in your head (shouldn’t have since you ‘did nothing wrong’) and your complete refusal to let go of Hillary Clinton. The whole blame for your stolen years rests with the idiot sitting at the Resolute desk.

I Thought Trump Had Fixed This:

President Donald Trump visited Green Bay Wisconsin last night and held one of his rallies as part of the 2020 Presidential Campaign. After railing on about how Harley-Davidson is being treated unfairly in the world market…he proceeded on about NAFTA.


Both (Senator Bernie) Sanders and Trump are expected to run against the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, which decimated manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin.


“You look around the Wisconsin you still the scars,” Trump said Saturday. “I want to make it almost impossible to leave Wisconsin and go to Mexico.

Why are we re-running the last presidential campaign? Didn’t President Trump solve this issue when he signed the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement? I mean that was the whole point of renegotiating NAFTA, right? He fixed it! If he didn’t, he apparently isn’t the great negotiator he has claimed to be. And maybe he shouldn’t be president?

BTW: USMCA has yet to be ratified by Congress…but what’s the hurry?