THE STATE OF THE ONION


THE ONION UNION

NOTE:  “The State of the Onion reflects the tears that come from dicing onions, by a President who seems to live in dicey deals...”   Trump will destroy the United States.  It will become more apparent as we the real people pull back the layers of the onion and realize what has happened.  It took Barack Obama eight years to turn the disaster George Bush43 created around and Trump is benefitting from that.

At what price? Everything that Barack Obama did to save the environment, was cancelled by Trump. Now we are poisoning our water sources again, turning Anwar into an oil well we don’t need and hundreds of other recalls by a person whose heart does not flow with blood.  He is one with his own bubble.  Trying to avoid war and tempting to start a new one with Iran, and Barack took the economy from 6000 to safe present day levels has been nullified. 

The expanded economy with a stock market at 25,000 is the result of increased profits for the shareholder and rich.  Trumps tax breaks for the rich will result in a 1.5 to 2 trillion dollar loss for the US.  But his GOP base will never hear about that. Looks good in the stock market and the rich are getting richer but nothing, nothing has trickled dow to the middle class.

Hopefully the US will have a regime change in 2018 and frankly after all the lies and misrepresentations, I’ll accept removal of the President and his cronies and phonies by any means possible.  I’m open to all options.  Assassinations, after all T-rumps best friend, Vladimir handles his indiscretions through poison and bullets.  


📢   Donald Trump’s BFF sent T-rump a poem...before Helsinki

Your twits and stones won’t break my bones and names will never harm me
But nukes, troops and cruise missiles might possibly alarm me.

Your claims and bravado from one who never gave his country service,
I laugh, your bragging and self adornment falls short of a Whirling Dervish
Spew all the junk, the flim and flam, please claim fake all that you can,
Since my superb hackers  just delete all your spam...
 Be aware, my friend, I was trained by the KGB, and we got all the hacks free by the DOD
So be kind to me and kiss my ass, for a scumbag like you,  I’m way above your class.

                                                                 Your Fiend, 

       Vladimir 
                                                            

EMERGING EMERGENCIES

JUST ANOTHER DAY IN TRUMP-VILLE
President Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin has underscored the grip the Russian president has on his US counterpart, writes David Frum in The Atlantic.  We don’t yet know why Trump is behaving this way, Frum says, but America is clearly facing a national security emergency.

“Denouncing the EU as a ‘foe,’ threatening to break up NATO, wrecking the US-led world trading system, intervening in both UK and German politics...it adds up to a political indictment whether or not it quite qualifies as a criminal one,” Frum writes.

“America is a very legalistic society, in which public discussion often deteriorates into lawyers arguing whether any statutes have been violated. But confronting the country in the wake of Helsinki is this question: Can it afford to wait to ascertain why Trump has subordinated himself to Putin after the president has so abjectly demonstrated that he has subordinated himself?”

TRUMP’S FOREIGN POLICY REVOLUTION
Critics should not expect as much pushback from Republicans as they might hope for. After all, Trump is revolutionizing the party’s foreign policy  right here at home.   “Trump’s political genius continues to be that he recognizes that the base of the Republican party is ripe for this ideological revolution, that while the old Reaganite formulas may still be subscribed to by Republican elites in Washington and New York, it is not embraced out there in the grass roots.”

When the whole shebang goes down in flames and Trump destroys the United States, they will call him an idiot savant then the trials will begin.


AMERICA NEEDS TO QUIT THIS FOREIGN POLICY ADDICTION
The Trump administration is poised to resume sanctions against Iran on Tuesday. It’s the latest example of a frequently self-defeating foreign policy addiction America needs to quit, suggest Neil Bhatiya and Edoardo Saravalle for The Atlantic.

“At their most effective, sanctions are the product of multilateral efforts to solve clearly articulated, shared global-security concerns. Now they are becoming strident expressions of displeasure from an isolated United States, often wielded in service of domestic partisan priorities—a careless approach that may well neutralize the effectiveness of these powerful tools,” they write.

“America’s new penchant for unilateral sanctions is now jeopardizing long-standing relationships with allies. When the Trump administration left the Iran deal, the EU responded by updating a law that prohibited European companies from complying with certain US sanctions. As a result, the United States did more than lose a helpful partner—it set back its own program.”

TEAM TRUMP’S IRAN PIPE DREAM
Despite John Bolton’s suggestion to the contrary, new US sanctions on Iran are clearly about regime change, Fred Kaplan writes in Slate. They probably won’t work—and even if they do, what comes next will be worse.

 
“One could make a case that it would be in the best interest…if the Iranian regime folded and was replaced by more peaceful and democratic leaders. But this…isn’t likely to happen. More to the point, Trump’s policies—the withdrawal from the nuclear deal and the stiffening of sanctions—are weakening Iran’s moderate factions and strengthening its hardliners,” Kaplan writes.
 
“[W]ith this one move, Trump has irritated the allies, opened a new avenue for Russian and Chinese influence in the Middle East, strengthened the hard-liners in Iran, and heightened the chances that they’ll revive Iran’s nuclear program—all for the sake of killing a deal that blocked this program for the next two decades, and in pursuit of the pipe dream, which has been punctured in so many other dark escapades in US foreign policy, that ousting an unfriendly regime will bring to power a much friendlier one.”

  • Unintended consequences. Henry Rome argues for Eurasia Group that the ratcheting up of pressure on Iran is likely to intensify two proxy conflicts.

“One is Yemen, where Iran provides military support to the Houthi rebels in their war against Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” Rome writes. “A second, often overlooked area for confrontation is in cyberspace, where Iran retains advanced capabilities to attack US or allied computer networks. Under these circumstances, US allies in the region, especially Israel and Saudi Arabia, would likely be more emboldened to take aggressive action against Iranian threats—raising the temperature in an already volatile region.”
 


THE REAL BOMBSHELL IN THE RUSSIA INDICTMENTS
Friday’s Justice Department indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence agents will have made for particularly uncomfortable reading for the Kremlin, writes Leonid Bershidsky for Bloomberg. Russia seems to have underestimated America’s spies. 

The real bombshell is “the investigators’ apparent ability to link specific actions, such as searches and technical queries, to specific officers of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence service. By making these connections, Mueller’s team has made an enormous leap from the US intelligence community’s previous disclosures,” Bershidsky writes. “Russian military intelligence appears to have been seriously compromised. 


HAS AMERICA STOPPED FIGHTING TO WIN?
Overlooked by the US public, America’s military appears to have shifted strategies in some of the world’s hotspots, suggests Paul Staniland for The Washington Post. Resolving conflicts is out, “Violence management” is in.
Under the violence management approach, the “goal is disrupting militant organizations without trying to build new states, spur economic development, or invest heavily in post-conflict reconstruction,” Staniland writes. 

“But violence management does not offer a clear way out, either – it pushes hard questions about how to allocate political power and create durable institutions into the indefinite future.” “As long as the US government can limit the domestic costs of violence management overseas, few Americans will have incentives to pay attention to these low-level, far-flung wars.”  We’ll see hat happens with Iran.

 

HOW TO BEAT TEAM TRUMP AT TRADE: DO NOTHING
The European Union and China might be tempted to respond to the Trump administration’s tariffs in kind.  If they do, they’ll likely end up hurting themselves even more but if they don’t and make their own deals outside the US  like-minded nations and let the United States sink itself.

“Matching Mr Trump tariff for tariff will at some point become counter-productive. If the US no longer wishes to anchor the world economy, it may be better for other governments to get on and supplant it rather than using trade restrictions to try to force it back to its former role.”

Done Deal - EU leaders are expected to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Tuesday to sign the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. Such deals are the best way for the EU to show that there’s multilateral life beyond Trump, suggests Paul Taylor for Politico EU. 

“The EU should build a web of free-trade agreements with like-minded nations and regional groupings, while working with China to open up investment and curb intellectual property theft through negotiation rather than punitive tariffs,” Taylor says.


NATO UPDATE
TURKEY PLAYING THE FIELDS
Some of President Trump’s rhetoric about NATO is undoubtedly dangerous, but that shouldn’t distract from the biggest danger to the organization.  US policy so far has not reflected Trump’s tantrums for now it’s still in his grandiose blohardisation.

US forces remain in Poland (and Germany, for that matter) and the sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Crimea, meddling in Eastern Ukraine and its interference in the 2016 US election remain.   The US has supported the accession of Macedonia into NATO and sold Ukraine anti-tank missiles,” Lake writes.

The weak link in the alliance, in fact, is Turkey. Here is a country slipping into the sphere of influence of Russia – the very country that NATO was created to deter.  

In December Turkey finalized a deal to purchase the S-400 air defense system from Moscow. Also Greece and the Chinese have purchased this system.

Reuters: The Turkish government “issued presidential decrees on Sunday reshaping key political, military and bureaucratic institutions as part of the transformation to a powerful executive presidency triggered by last month’s election.”

The S-400 system, with the NATO codename SA-21 Growler, is made up of four different missiles with varying ranges, and entered service in 2007.  It can destroy aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, and can also be used against ground targets. The longest range missile, which travels at Mach 15 (11,509 miles per hour) can engage targets at around 250 miles and at an altitude of over 98,000 feet.   The S-400 outclasses the US s primary anti-aircraft missile system: the MIM-104 Patriot


MORE RUSSIAN INFLUENCE -TRUMP DISHES NATO
RUSSIAN NUCLEAR PLANT IN TURKEY
In April the Turks broke ground on a Russian-made nuclear power plant. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan…has recently held talks with Putin to discuss the future of Syria.”  The US president calls the European NATO members freeloaders. He declined at last year’s summit to reiterate the entire point of the alliance, that an attack on one is an attack on all. 

President Trump’s suggestion that other NATO countries boost defense spending to 4% -- twice the currently agreed figure – misses the point, It’s not that allies should be spending more, it’s that America needs to spend less.  “The threat of Russia actually invading the Baltic states is very small. And Russia poses basically zero military threat to larger NATO members like France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.   The far larger threat to Europe is ideological. It’s rising authoritarianism.


DONALD TRUMP AND 
THE WORLDS OTHER COUNTRIES 
President Trump’s trip to Britain was marked by protests. But Britons need to accept reality, He’s the President of the United States, and Britain still needs America.  (Still he doesn’t have to act like a pr*ck)  Prayer is needed, lots of prayers from all faiths including witch doctors and faith healers that he might get hit by an errant Golf ball.

Forget the woolly, sentimentalized rhetoric of the ‘special relationship,’ we are talking hard national interests here. The plain truth is that the US is our single most important partner and ally and President Trump is its democratically elected leader.” And possibly the hopes and prayers of our people that Donald should have a severe and permanent heart attack might change things,...OMG that would make Mike Pence President.  How can he function, Michael needs a large ass to kiss and praise?

Markets took a tumble Wednesday after the Trump administration said it was preparing a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods. But if the US is hoping to put the brakes on China’s economic rise, then the truth is that that ship has already sailed, suggests Adair Turner for Project Syndicate.

“China’s rise is now self-sustaining. A huge and increasingly affluent domestic market will make exports less vital to growth. Rapidly rising wages are creating strong incentives for best-practice application of robotics, and China’s companies are becoming cutting-edge innovators in artificial intelligence, electric vehicles and renewable energy,” Turner writes.

“And President Xi Jinping’s ‘Made in China 2025’ program will help foster a shift to high-value manufacturing supported by Chinese domestic R&D. Even if the US now slammed the trade and investment doors shut, it would make little difference to China’s rising economic and political power.”


THE HYPOCRISY OF TRUMP 
TRADE VICTIM CARD (?)
•  There’s a problem with President Trump’s regular complaints that the United States is being taken advantage of by other countries, The New York Times editorializes: America is no trading angel, either. Look no further than the President’s complaints about Canada.

•  “American dairy quotas and tariffs are so restrictive that the vast majority of the milk, cheese and butter families in the United States buy is made domestically. In fact, dairy producers in Wisconsin and other states sold $792 million in products to Canada in 2017, while Canadian producers sold just $149 million of dairy to the United States, according to the Brookings Institution,” The New York Timesnotes.

•  Trump thinks that it’s in his interest to paint America as a victim of cunning foreigners. That much is clear. It’s far less obvious why he believes that countries he has subjected to such baseless attacks will negotiate favorable trade agreements with a President who has shown he can’t be trusted.”  No one likes dealing with someone who brags about how good he can screw you.

07-2018 aljacobsladder.com