A Peace Summit Sullied


By Tabitha Korol
Arab leaders met in Egypt for the Arab League Summit ostensibly to start a peace process with Israel, the same peace process that the Arabs have, without exception, always declined in the past.  This time, they hope that our new President Trump will support a two-state solution, one that would give Israel a contiguous border with her avowed, homicidal enemy. They also expect to negate Trump’s campaign promise to move America’s embassy to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, in keeping with the construct of violence that the Mohammedans have scorched into the history of every vanquished territory.

Arab recognition of Israel’s right to exist was part of the 1948 peace plan, yet this is what the Arabs sidestep.  They want a Palestinian state not alongside, but in place of, Israel. Since the Arabs lost their aggressive war of June 1967 against Israel, they have sought to obtain the territory by other means – if not through warfare then through demographic jihad – the overwhelming of the small Jewish State by those who fled in 1948 together with their progeny, a total of 4.3 million.  What do they promise in return?  Nothing.  Not to stop the riots, violence, intifadas.  Not to stop teaching hate in their schools.  Not to strive for real peace with their neighbor state, Israel. Ever.

Meanwhile, an Islamic State (IS) jihadist, Abu Baker Almaqdesi, revealed their “big operation” to encircle Israel’s borders, and attack and expel the Jews from “occupied Palestine.” Concurrently, the Jerusalem Post reported that UNESCO is considering a resolution that will contest Israel’s sovereignty over western Jerusalem, home to all of Israel’s governing bodies.

Washington Post reporter and Cairo bureau chief Sudarsan Raghavan wrote about the Arab League Summit on March 29, in his article, “In a message to Trump, Arab leaders renew calls for a Palestinian state,” but strategically omitted crucial information!  He said that the Arab League called for fresh peace talks with reconciliation if Israel returns the “Arab lands it has occupied,” but the premise is completely fallacious.  The territories to which he refers, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and eastern Jerusalem are not “Arab lands” or Palestinian lands, but lands in dispute by both parties because the Palestinians are challenging the internationally accepted rule that the aggressor has no lawful claim to land.  Raghavan has not the authority to exchange the designations of ‘disputed territories’ for ‘occupied Arab lands.”  Repeating the assertion does not bestow validity.

The United Nations defines an act of aggression as being in contravention of the UN Charter, ruling that a war of aggression is always wrong.  Further, the UN states that territorial acquisition or special advantage resulting from aggression is always unlawful.

The Jews have maintained ties to their historic homeland for more than 3,700 years; if not for foreign conquerors, an independent Jewish state would, today, be 3,000 years old.  Even after Jewish exile, small Jewish communities remained for 2,000 years, and in the early 20th century, returning Jews developed the land from a largely uninhabited wasteland with malarial swamps into a thriving, dynamic, productive society, recognized by legal documents.  Only then did the Arabs begin to show an interest in the land.  There has never been an independent Palestinian state; the allegations are yet another warfare strategy.

By design, Raghayan does not clarify that Israel’s control of these disputed areas came from fighting and winning a defensive war; the Arabs were the aggressors. For example, after Germany’s defeat in World War I, the Treaty of Versailles placed punitive conditions on Germany, with significant financial reparations, loss of territory, humiliation and war guilt, yet the Arabs, despite their aggression and loss, are permitted to demand territory!  Further, had Jordan not joined the war, it would not have lost the West Bank or eastern Jerusalem – over which it reigned for a mere 19 years. As the victorious defenders, Israel has no obligation to withdraw to the 1967 borders, to negotiate and offer compromises, particularly as the Palestinians continue their terrorist attacks against innocent Israeli citizens.
Jordan’s King Abdullah has repeatedly blamed the region’s instability on the Palestinian cause, yet history confirms that the Middle East has, to this day, suffered from 7th century backwardness, ignorance, countless civil wars, sharia law’s brutality, and the rise of ISIS, none of which are related to Israel.  The King’s focus on the Palestinian issue in the midst of so much internal strife in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, is undoubtedly calculated to give the White House a false impression of Arab unity and agreement.

Raghavan’s article suggests that Israel is inflexible, but Israel offered the Palestinians a contiguous state, withdrawal from 95% of the West Bank and 100% of Gaza, and to dismantle more than 100 of her own communities.  Israel had also offered religious sovereignty over the Temple Mount and a right of refugee return with reparations, yet the Arabs rejected negotiations in 2000, 2001, and 2008.  Neither does the bureau chief address Israel’s very legitimate security concerns.

If Israel were to cede the Golan Heights, it would give ISIS the elevation advantage to shell Israeli citizens below and attack Tel Aviv and Israel’s major airport with impunity.  In the past, Israeli children had been forced to sleep in bomb shelters.  The Palestinian Authority was supposed to renounce terror and prohibit lethal weapons and violence on Israel, yet they give access to shiploads of explosives to arm the P.L.O. and Hamas, and continue their classes and summer camps, where they indoctrinate the Palestinian public and children to seek martyrdom by killing Israelis.  Their teachings violate the letter and spirit of the peace agreements.  They continue to be deadly partners for peace.

Meanwhile, President Trump’s campaign promise of relocating the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is on hold.  As with all ideas repugnant to Islam, the proposal is countered with threats of anger and violence.  The Koran contains at least 109 versus that call Muslims to war for the sake of Islamic rule.  Mohammed’s own martial legacy against all of “Infideldom” and the Koran’s stress of violence continue their trail of misery and death across 14 centuries of world history.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said a two-state solution was the “only path to ensure [that] Palestinians and Israelis can realize their national aspirations and live in peace, security and dignity.”   Regrettably, he has no concept of their true national aspiration.  If we learned anything from Islamic history, it is that a partial conquest today means another claim for tomorrow, until Israel is dedicated to Allah.  Because despite the Arab infighting, all factions of Islam agree on one thing – that Israel – and the West – have no right to exist.

 

Vice President Pence Swearing-In Ceremony For Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta…


Earlier today Vice President Mike Pence participated in the final presidential commission ceremony for a cabinet member of the President Trump cabinet, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta.

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The Senate finally voted 60-38 yesterday to confirm Alex Acosta to the post. Acosta accepts the presidential commission and becomes the 27th labor secretary. The son of Cuban immigrants will lead a sprawling agency that enforces more than 180 federal laws covering about 10 million employers and 125 million workers.

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The Dow Jones for the Close of April 2017


DJIND-W 4-28-2017

QUESTION:  Mr.Armstong in the past you talked of a down trun in the market in May.Since Trums TAX you have gave the impression everything is ok till 2018 is that correct?

THANK YOU

SM

ANSWER: There has not appeared to be a condition where one would warn of a crash in the stock market. The decline into May has been more of a sideways consolidation. The high remains the week of February 27th, 2017 at the 21169.11 level. In cycle analysis, what you look at is the direction. That forecast would have been wrong if the market made new highs above that of the week of 02/27/17. Moving sideways is still a cycle low rather than a high. The key point was the 20,000 level on the Dow. I have stated that a serious correction would only happen with a weekly closing beneath that level.

Today, a Weekly Bullish stands at 20970. We are currently trading at 20954. A close above that level will warn this is starting to firm up. You can see our Energy Models have been declining rather than rising. This has indicated the consolidation and it warns we are not at the precipitous from which a major crash is likely.

On the monthly level, here too we see 20975 as the important resistance and 202881 as the support for the close today. Everything is showing this 20770-20975 level as critical. The failure to exceed that level for the close today warns that the consolidation is not yet complete. Last month’s low was 20412.80. A closing below that would be technically bearish and confirm a drop into May.

We will lay out the longer term in a more detailed published report.

30Y Treasury Yield Jumps Near 3.00% Despite Dismal GDP Growth


Tyler Durden's picture

Nothing says sell bonds like the worst quarterly growth for a Fed rate hike since 1980

 

but that’s what is happening…

Here’s why – Treasuries under pressure after 1Q employment cost index rose 0.8%, largest gain since Q1 2007, a sign of inflationary wage pressures as both pay and benefits accelerated

US GDP Collapses To 0.7%, Lowest In Three Years; Worst Personal Spending Since 2009


Tyler Durden's picture

The Atlanta Fed was right once again, and slashing its forecast over the past 3 months today the BEA confirmed that in the first quarter US economic growth tumbled to just 0.7%, down from 2.1% in the last quarter and below the 1.0% expected, and the lowest print in three years going back all the way to Q1 2014.

Broken down by components, the disappoing number reflected increases in business investment, exports, housing investment, offset by a big slowdown in consumer spending. The increase in business investment reflected increases in both structures and equipment, notably a significant increase in mining exploration, shafts, and wells.

These positive contributions were offset by decreases in private inventory investment, state and local government spending, and federal government spending.

The increase in exports reflected an increase in nondurable industrial supplies and materials, notably petroleum. Also on trade, imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased in the first quarter of 2017. As the chart below shows, the dramatic drawdown in trade as a result of the soybean export surge giveback is now over, and net trade contributed a modest 0.1% to Q1 GDP.

But the biggest culprit for the atrocious GDP print was the collapse in consumer spending, which rose at just 0.23% annualized, the lowest increase since 2009, and reflected an increase in services offset by a decrease in motor vehicles and parts. In short: for whatever reason, spending in the first quarter imploded.

Elsewhere, looking at PCE, prices rose 2.6% Q/Q, above the 2.3% expected, and higher than last month’s 2.0%. Core PCE rose 2.0%, in line with expectations.

Once again, the bulk of the PCE growth came from rising healthcare service prices, with the rest barely registering.

Food prices increased in the first quarter following a decrease in the fourth quarter of 2016. Energy prices increased in the first quarter of 2017 following a larger increase in the fourth quarter of 2016. Excluding food and energy, prices increased 2.3 percent in the first quarter of 2017, compared with an increase of 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Part II – Why President Trump Has Not Received Legislative Action From Congress – and What Can Be Done…


In Part I we explained why President Trump has not received any legislation:

To Wit: President Donald Trump winning the election threw a monkey wrench into the entire DC system…. The modern legislative machine is frozen in place.

The “America First” policies represented by candidate Donald Trump are not within the legislative constructs coming from the authors of the legislation.   Congress has no bills to advance because all of the myriad of bills and briefs written are not in line with President Trump policy.

That’s why congress has not passed any legislation for President Trump to sign.

There’s no entity within DC writing legislation that is in-line with President Trump’s economic and foreign policy agenda.  Exactly the opposite is true.  All of the DC pipeline legislative briefs and constructs are antithetical to Trump policy.

There are almost zero organizational entities within K-Street presenting any legislative constructs or legislative briefs intended to advance any of Trump’s policy objectives.

Think about how much money is behind the legislative business when those who control the legislation are willing to spend $3.1 BILLION in a single year to achieve their needs.

♦The “Associated American Southern Border Wall and Security Builders” – special interest and lobbying group – simply doesn’t exist. Nor are there any entities creating legal briefs (bills) to facilitate the southern border wall construction.

♦There is no “Associated Illegal Immigrant and Deportation Enforcement” group lobbying for the removal of undocumented illegal aliens; or writing legislation to fast-track deportation of illegal aliens.

♦There’s also no official corporate political action committee or group office on K-Street creating legislation to repeal ObamaCare, or lobby for the removal of government interventionism into the healthcare system.  etc.

The DC legislative pipeline is devoid of any bill, brief or construct for any of the platform priorities of the Trump administration.   Quite the opposite is true.  Almost all of the K-Street institutions -which create the legislative priorities- are capable of producing a product that flows in one direction.

This reality is the epicenter of the UniParty problem.

Voters can demand change and switch the House of Representatives from Democrat to Republican control, but politicians don’t actually write legislation.  The legislative product coming through the system remains the same regardless of which party is in control of the House of Representatives.

Voters can go further and change out the Senate from Democrat to Republican control; but again, you find little difference because the legislative product hasn’t changed.  K-Street may (usually they don’t) modify the special interest ingredients a little – but the progressive sausage is still a progressive sausage; it’s not a hamburger.

Voters go one step further and change the Executive Branch away from progressive control.  However, there again, the legislative product has not changed.  The DC system is creating the same ideological product regardless of the dynamic of party affiliated politics.

The problem in 2017 is systemic because there’s no counter-balancing legislative or lobbying enterprise within the epicenter of the DC Swamp, K-Street.  There’s virtually no alternative legislative product being generated which would coincide with the change in representative political ideology.

This UniParty system is why Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell voted to fund and approve every one of President Obama’s priorities.  Omnibus, Bailouts, Porkulous, DACA, Healthcare Exhanges, Stimulus etc. are the only game in town with support – there simply are no alternatives being pushed by interest groups.

Yes, there are a few modestly sized groups like Heritage Foundation who can generate alternate legislative products and some advertizing. But for every one of them there’s a hundred going in the other direction.

When you think about it, it simply makes sense.  It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Why would there be an organizational entity inside the system whose primary purpose would be to spend money in order to generate less spending or smaller government?  They would essentially be advocating against their own interests.

Remember the grand fiasco that was the 2013/2014 Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill (Gang-of-Eight)?

That Go8 bill was an outcome of the same lobbying process, same K-Street legislative construct etc.  The controversial bill was not majority supported outside the beltway.  Despite the electorate lack of support it passed the Senate and Speaker Boehner, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy were only two days from a vote in the House when Cantor was primaried.

When ObamaCare was passed on December 23rd at 1:38am a full 70% of the country when polled did not support it.  But the DC lobbying and legislative system created it and found a way to get it passed.

Jump to 2017 – President Trump takes over the White House in January, and there’s really no Pro-Trump legislative product from congress because there’s no Pro-Trump legislative construct coming from the people who write legislation, K-Street.

Instead, crickets.

The only special interest group that President Trump advocating for him are the voters.

The DC swamp (writ large) is a singular organism with multiple visible components that seem disconnected; but in direction or pathway they are not dissimilar.  Under the visible surface the UniParty roots are all intertwined and connected around principles of self-sustaining common interest.  Their commonality lies in growth of government.

President Trump’s fiscal and economic policies are adverse to those UniParty interests.  President Trump’s first full-year budget proposal was a trillion dollar reduction in spending.  As a consequence the combined weight of all visible DC interests immediately aligned toward diminishment of the proposal.

Within the DC Swamp the flow of legislative interest travels in only one direction.  Albeit there are multiple organizations able to construct legislation for sale; the direction of the product they are producing is going in one progressive direction.

There are no K-Street lobbyists demanding smaller/lesser government.  There are no lobbyists walking in to House and Senate offices and asking for representatives to spend less money.  The only people doing that are voters.   How do reps generally deal with those annoyances?  They turn off the phone, disconnect the fax machine and ignore the emails.

Accepting the reality of who controls legislative constructs also helps to understand why those same entities will not allow prior legislative accomplishments to be undone.  Modern K-Street considers prior legislation ‘paid-for investments‘, they will not allow removal.

Retention priorities:

♦Retention of ObamaCare. ♦Deep Federal Spending. ♦NO border wall. ♦Open-ended immigration until congress delivers comprehensive immigration reform to include amnesty. ♦Tax Cuts (corporate revenue enhancements) are permitted.

They did however suffer defeats on legislation that had not yet passed, but were prepped for Hillary Clinton, like: Trans-Pacific-Trade (TPP) and Common Core federalization of education.

So the next obvious question is: what can be done about it?

The only viable solution, under the current system in place, is for the Trump Administration to generate their own legislative product to deliver to congress for passage.  It sounds weird, but essentially that appears to be what is taking place right now with the White House staffing up with their own groups of bill authors, constructionists and administration lobbyists.

President Trump’s team will create the legislative product, and hopefully the republican controlled house and senate will pass it.

However, even this process also runs head first into the positions of the UniParty.

Example: Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross sends the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation a statutorily required “letter of intent” to renegotiate NAFTA (North American Free Trade Association) mid-March, and the Republican Committee Chairman John Thune doesn’t accept it. (Today is 4/28/17).

Now what?  The GOP wing of the UniParty is beholden to lobbying interests (U.S. CoC) who are adverse to NAFTA renegotiation.   See who is on the committee HERE.

This example is not even a legislative product that needs a vote.  This example is simply a statutorily required notification that requires being accepted.  What do you think would be the outcome if Senator McConnell was given a legislative product containing similar pre-paid lobbying conflicts for his membership?

This reality also helps to explain the frustration from the White House when they do have a legislative product that moves the needle (ie. healthcare), road-mapped primarily by HHS Secretary Tom Price, and yet the House of Reps can’t even bring it to a vote.

The Freedom Caucus can wax philosophically about the Price/Ryan bill not being a full repeal; and they can argue accurately about the bill having flaws remaining from the influence of the ObamaCare lobbyists, but what is the actual alternative?  Nothing.

Nothing is not an option.

The White House paying for their own staff to hire outside people to write legislation because congress doesn’t have an ideological enterprise to create their own is what has lead to this ridiculous situation we are in right now.

This DC quagmire might improve over time as new enterprises (legislation builders) move into DC to do work with a more favorable ideological outlook in-line with the new administration.  But in the interim nothing is getting done, the simple tasks of budgets are at loggerheads, and time is wasting.

Fortunately for congress, right now foreign policy is taking up a lot of intellectual and administrative energy.  The current domestic economic policy outcomes are being driven by the executive office alone without congress having to do any work.

However, understandably, President Trump is not going to sit and wait for congress to evolve in their ability to turn away from existing lobbyists hanging around to defend their interests.  Sooner or later President Trump is going to do something dramatic to break the impasse within the broken legislative system.

Considering that Trump is not a politician, that “something” could get rather ugly.

 

The Confidence Game – The Next Crisis


Confidence-wide

QUESTION: Martin, I started following your models shortly after college in 2000 when I entered the financial advisor world. I soon realized how clueless this industry was and formed a hedge fund in Tampa in March 2007 to short retail and housing, largely based on your models & my understanding of cycles. I reached the top 1% in Morningstar through Sept of 2008 right up until the government banned shorting. I could not receive quotes from my Goldman Sachs trading platform and I lost a lot of money in a few short hours. I eventually had to shut down the fund and my investors took losses. It was this period where I learned the error in my thought process, I underestimated the length to which the Government & politicians would go to kick the can further down the road and underestimated the big banks inside influence on the “free markets”.

Your recent post regarding inflation and the end of Quantitative Easing had me thinking, wouldn’t the moment the politicians realize there is a recession on the horizon and inflation begins to cripple the housing followed by retail, etc, wouldn’t they re-institute QE and expand the balance sheet further regardless of the future implications? It seems politicians will do whatever it takes to avoid the worst and continue to kick the can down the road to save their own careers.

Thank you for your provoking thought and mindful awareness while everyone else buries their heads in the sand.

R

credit-anstalt

ANSWER: The outcome always depends upon confidence. It is what you believe that counts rather than the facts. When Credit Anstalt went belly-up in 1931, why did an obscure bank in Austria set in motion the 1931 Panic and Sovereign Debt Defaults that made a recession into a Great Depression? The answer was found in the name. One of the owners was the Rothschilds. When people heard the Rothschilds went bust, they began selling all the banks because if they went down, everyone else surely would. They were the Goldman Sachs of the day.

Hoover - Loose Cannon

I suggest reading Herbet Hoover’s Memiors from 1931. This is a confidence game. Just because QE appeared to work before does not mean it will work a second time. The middle-class lost money and their living standards were sharply reduced. Retail investment in equities has not yet returned to even 50% of 2007 levels. Most people who lost their homes were those who could never have bought one before. Yes, the middle-class who borrowed more against their house were put under stress. Home equity loans dried up so industries like selling pianos dropped by more than 50% since people borrowed using home equity to fund expensive things like a piano.

Fed v Congress

Energizer-BunnyThe difference this time is the fiscal budget. Back in 2007, the Fed only had to worry about its policy and the contracting economy. The problem they created is that government just keeps going like the Energizer Pink Bunny – it never stops spending regardless of the level of interest rates.

The Fed cannot neutralize the Fiscal spending of government. This is deeply entrenched. Just look at the table below on the annual deficits since 2007. This has increased about 364% since the 2007 crisis began.

Government has become addicted to cheap interest rates. If rates go back just to 5%, we are looking at a fiscal deficit explosion the Fed cannot overcome.

US Deficits 2007-2016

The crisis has to hit before a politician would ever act. Once the crisis begins, you cannot restore confidence. The whole thing will have to play out. Moreover, the crisis in Europe helped to send capital to the USA easing the economic pressure here. This is why the USA is holding up the entire world economy right now and a stiff wind will blow over the European banking system. I seriously doubt that anyone can stop the next crisis and whatever they do will then be seen as a failure.

glassDuring the late 1970s, the IMF held gold auctions trying to stop its advance. The first auctions in 1975-1976 caused gold to drop by 50%. However, then continued auctions had no effect and they were seen as a validation of the bull market they could not prevent. We are looking at the same type of collapse in confidence this time around. The same fundamental act can have different interpretations. It is the glass half full or half empty.

The Euro for Month-End April 2017


IBEUUS-M 4-24-2017

The Euro turning point on our Weekly Models still points to the week of May 8th. As we can see technically, the Euro is well below the Monthly Downtrend Line which stands significantly above the market at 12622. There is no real chance of a reversal in the protracted long-term decline. We really need a Monthly Close above 11060 to signal a sustainable rally ahead and a closing for month-end beneath 10822 will warn that the Euro is still bearish in the broader term. Any rally into the week of May 8th should be sold whereas a decline into the week of May 8th will be followed by a minor relief bounce.

IBEUUS-W 4-26-2017

Turning to the weekly level, we can see the the Energy within this market has peak once again and is in danger of moving back into negative territory in the weeks ahead. We need a weekly closing on Friday above 10855 to raise hop of a rally into the week of May 8th. Therefore, this is becoming very narrowly focuses 10855 and 10822.

The Weekly Bearish lies at the 10715 level. Clearly, we do see a choppy trading people starting the week of May 8th. The computer has selected this weekly target months ago which is interesting how this falls into place with the May 7th French election.

Google’s New Flying Car & the Future Could Be So Much Brighter


Flying Car

I found what I want for Christmas – Google’s prototype for a flying car. It would be really nice if we could ban all people from government who have zero experience in the real world who love to be career politicians to tell the rest of us what to do, and take all the toys away from military armies, for nobody wants to really invade and occupy enemies anymore – it’s just about pushing a button for power or like a domestic fight when dishes begin to fly before a divorce.

It reminds me of the Wagon Wheel scene in When Harry met Sally. Military fight over things like who will control what and at the end of the day, we forget about it. Neither Russia nor China are trying to reinstall communism. If Russia invaded Europe, the socialists will cheer and hand them the bill for their pensions. Putin would turn and run then. If we could actually return the national defense back to the Founding Father’s concept of a militia and eliminate standing armies worldwide, Kim Jong-un would be left with perhaps chasing women instead of power. Neo-Conservatives who are mad at the world for turning them into weak traitors like John McCain, would have to find a real job where he could brewed over being broken by the Vietnamese.

If we could just break-away from these two elements, the future might appear to be a new world of accomplishment.

Democrat Congressional Leadership Now Demand Trump Administration “Punish” China…


It was only a few months ago when congressional democrat leadership were clutching their pearls because President-elect Trump held a phone call with the political leadership of Taiwan.  House and Senate Democrats rose to defend the honor of China around the precept of the Obama administrations’ acquiescence to the “one china” policy, and Trump’s audacity to call it into question.

Then something weird happened.

President Trump took office January 20th, and after many diplomatic contacts within the administration and their Chinese counterparts, President Trump and President Xi Jinping began to formulate a friendship.

April 5th/6th President Trump and President Xi Jinping met in Mar-a-lago for two days and the outcome has been historic and stunning cooperation between the U.S. and China.  China began pressuring North Korea to stop the military drum-beating.

President Trump obviously held a long strategy and outlook toward China and how the geo-political landscape could be remolded to benefit the U.S. if a new era of mutually beneficial action could begin [SEE HERE].

Quick, new talking points are needed.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer along with lesser house and senate leadership underlings tell their political operatives the new Democrat narrative demands that China must be attacked – because Trump.  Even if it means war, or something.

In a hilariously transparent 180° change in direction, the full Trump Derangement Syndrome took over immediately amid the Democrats.  China went from being a country worthy of the U.S. and Obama’s respect, to a country that is now the arch enemy and personification of all things anti-American.   This actually happened in the span of about two weeks.

Today the severity of the TDS was full frontal as Democrat Senator Chris Van Hollen demanded the Trump administration begin “punishing” China, and called for “strong economic sanctionsagainst China to “force North Korea” to heel.

Following the briefing by Rex Tillerson (State), James Mattis (Defense) and Dan Coats (ODNI) of the full senate, many politically obedient democrats were quick to the microphones to demand more aggression by the White House toward China, because Trump.

These Democrat knuckleheads, who previously hailed China as a wonderful strategic ally, would have us go to war with China simply because President Trump is being much more successful diplomatically than the previous Obama administration.

Thankfully the Trump administration is not driven by such insane political ideology:

STATE DEPT – Past efforts have failed to halt North Korea’s unlawful weapons programs and nuclear and ballistic missile tests. With each provocation, North Korea jeopardizes stability in Northeast Asia and poses a growing threat to our Allies and the U.S. homeland.

North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is an urgent national security threat and top foreign policy priority. Upon assuming office, President Trump ordered a thorough review of U.S. policy pertaining to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K.).

Today, along with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford, we briefed Members of Congress on the review. The President’s approach aims to pressure North Korea into dismantling its nuclear, ballistic missile, and proliferation programs by tightening economic sanctions and pursuing diplomatic measures with our Allies and regional partners.

We are engaging responsible members of the international community to increase pressure on the D.P.R.K. in order to convince the regime to de-escalate and return to the path of dialogue.

We will maintain our close coordination and cooperation with our Allies, especially the Republic of Korea and Japan, as we work together to preserve stability and prosperity in the region.

The United States seeks stability and the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. We remain open to negotiations towards that goal. However, we remain prepared to defend ourselves and our Allies.  (link)