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)

 

 

BREAKING: NAFTA Call With President Trump, President Nieto (Mexico) and PM Trudeau (Canada)


Art of the deal glaringly visible in less than one-half of a single day’s media cycle.  Simply amazing.  These phone calls are also further evidence of how much leverage the U.S. carries in the entire NAFTA Trade construct.  [White House Press Release]

Readout of President Donald J. Trump’s Call With President Peña Nieto of Mexico and Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada

Late this afternoon, President Donald J. Trump spoke with both President Peña Nieto of Mexico and Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada.  Both conversations were pleasant and productive.

President Trump agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time and the leaders agreed to proceed swiftly, according to their required internal procedures, to enable the renegotiation of the NAFTA deal to the benefit of all three countries.

President Trump said: “it is my privilege to bring NAFTA up to date through renegotiation. It is an honor to deal with both President Nieto and Prime Minister Trudeau, and I believe that the end result will make all three countries stronger and better.”   ###

 

Citing New Soft Wood Import Tariff, Maine Lumber Mill to Add Jobs and Second Shift…


President Trump has a simple economic platform: “Buy American and Hire American“; toward that goal all economic and fiscal policies are now directed to assist U.S. manufacturing companies and retain U.S. workers.  Period.

Two days ago Commerce Secretary Wilbur “Wilburine” Ross announced a 20% tariff, countervailing duties, on imported Canadian soft wood lumber.  Today, Pleasant River Lumber Co. in Jackman Maine announces their wood mills will now expand as a direct result of the beneficial impacts of even trade practices.

This is a big deal for this community.

MAINE – The Dover-Foxcroft-based Pleasant River Lumber company is expanding its Jackman sawmill in anticipation of increased demand for American lumber amid the U.S. government’s plans to levy tariffs on Canadian softwood.

In a media release Tuesday, Pleasant River Lumber said it is expanding its Moose River spruce mill in Jackman to add drying capacity this summer and hire up to 20 new workers for a second shift starting this fall.

“We have confidence with the recent tariff announcement a level playing field will exist that will allow us to invest in and expand our facilities in Maine,” said Jason Brochu, co-president of the family-owned Pleasant River Lumber.

The company employs 300 workers at its spruce and pine sawmills in Dover-Foxcroft, Jackman, Hancock and Sanford. The company acquired the Moose River Mill in Jackman in 2015, and it now produces about 85 million board feet of dimensional lumber a year.  (read more)

Some people might think this is not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things.  However, it is a very big deal to that community; it is a very big deal to those families; it is a very big deal to those who will now have good paying jobs.

Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.

Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching.  As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea.  The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning!  May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”

The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!

[SOURCE]

Italy to Raise Taxes to Satisfy Brussels – Why the Euro Will Fail


Gentiloni Paolo

 

ItalyThe European Union (EU) has been pushing Italy for a very long time to reduce its deficit. Of course, governments are never capable of reducing their own expenditure. This results going in only one direction – raising taxes. Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni had to agree on the concrete measures. The bill is now being discussed in Parliament, which has 60 days to pass. Italy has the second highest debt in the Eurozone after Greece.

This is why the EU is doomed. There will never be any reform that addresses the people. It is always about raising taxes to maintain government power and to hell with the people. The upcoming Germany vote still appears to be fragmented and as a result, Merkel may remain as Chancellor at the end of the day. We will have to run our models soon on the German election.

This is why I have warned that the Euro will fail. Had Brussels consolidated all the debts from the outset, then the Euro would have competed against the dollar. Leaving everyone to hold their own debts only created a single currency and then the fear that if one member expended their debt, it would impact everyone else.

This system is tearing Europe apart and unemployment in each country will turn to civil unrest and point the finger at Brussels. The debts should have been consolidated and the central bank would have then had a single bond issue for reserves. Now, the entire banking system has to be politically correct, owning a piece of everyone. Even the ECB has 40% of all government debt throughout the Eurozone.

It is beyond brain-dead to maintain this system demanding individual countries sacrifice their own domestic policy objectives for Brussels’ demands. In the USA, each state has its own agenda, but their debt is not acceptable as reserves for the banks. The Euro system is simply like being somehow half-pregnant.

The Gold Reports & the Building of Volatility the Precursor to Chaos


Volatility Historical

Our first report will be released on Gold, Guns & War which illustrates how gold has historically reacted to different types of war events, both internationally as well as domestically, as in civil unrest and revolution.  Illustrated here, we can see the historical volatility in gold over decades of interacting with the global economy and war. This chart shows how volatile the instrument is now in relation to a historical all time correlation.

We are witnessing the gradual rise in volatility since the 1999 lows. We are still nowhere near the sharp rise in volatility sparked by the collapse of Bretton Woods. Nevertheless, the timing is setting up on our volatility models for the future. Everything is lining up and we will be reviewing this at the Hong Kong WEC at the end of the month.

Trump Keeps His Pledge on Tax Reform


trump-cohen

TAX-REF (3)A lot of emails are coming in asking if I have been advising Trump on the taxes since this is similar to the plan I proposed when I testified before Congress. The answer is no. If they took the tax proposals we had worked on with members of Congress back in the Nineties, who knows. They are on file and have been endorsed by many different tax reform advocates.

I have not spoken with anyone in the White House regarding taxes. I testified why the corporate tax rate must be cut to 15% before the House Ways & Means Committee. The answer is very simple. Corporations will be taxed in their home country unless they pay some tax where they are domiciled overseas. Our headquarters back then was in Hong Kong. Everyone was there because of a 15% corporate tax rate. I testified if the USA lowered the corporate tax rate to 15%, then the USA would become the tax-haven and corporations would move to the States. This is a no brainer and was based on the fact that we did in fact advise multinational corporations – not just theory. I knew what they would do and would have advised them to move accordingly.

tax-cycThe biggest problem we face is this has to be made into a Constitutional Amendment. This is my ADVICE to Trump right now! Why, as soon as the cycle changes and the Democrats gain control, the taxes will rise again. This is why corporations level. We LACK TAX STABILITY. Taxes become a yo-yo  and business cannot plan long-term when the political atmosphere keeps changing between Marxism and a Free Market. This eternal battle destroys economic growth and has ruined jobs only to reduce the standard of living for the long run. A chart of the top tax brackets look like the brainwave of a schizophrenic.

Trump’s tax plan reduces seven tax brackets down to three. So it’s not the Flat Tax that Democrats will slam because the rich will keep more than they average person based solely on Marxism that discriminates freely against someone based upon their income. The first tax cut was JFK, the second was Reagan. This will be the biggest tax reform in US history. It does not go far enough, but it is the best we can do until there is a collapse in the monetary system that ends Marxism once and for all.

White House chief economic advisor Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin effectively summarized the plan to reporters. It reflects the proposal Trump outlined as a candidate keeping his word to his supporters. That in itself is really unusual for any candidate to do what they said during the election.

The tax rate on repatriation of trillions of dollars offshore is still being argued with Democrats, who never saw a $1 they did not want at least 50% of. The Death Tax has been devastating to small business and farmers. The next generation have been compelled to sell land, the farm or close the business to pay the estate taxes. This has wiped out small farms and resulted in big corporate America producing food as small farmers were forced to sell because of taxes. Likewise, if a small business sees its owner die, the family has been forced to shut it down. This was one primary reason I have been saying we will go public or else if I died, the taxes owed for my death would result in job losses for staff. Going public was the only way to get around this to ensure the company continues. So these changes will be beneficial for the economy and this may be one of the reasons why the stock market still looks like it will double in value into the years ahead after we get past 2017 this year from Political Hell.

  • Trump’s plan will cut the number of income tax brackets from seven to three, with a top rate of 35 percent and lower rates of 25 percent and 10 percent. It is not clear what income ranges will fall under those brackets. It would also double the standard deduction.
  • The proposal will chop the corporate tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent.
  • It would eliminate tax deductions with only a few exceptions, including the mortgage interest and charitable contribution deductions.
  • The White House said there will be a “one-time tax” on the trillions of dollars held by corporations overseas. However, Mnuchin said the rate for that tax has yet to be determined. Mnuchin said the White House is “working with the House and Senate” on a repatriation rate, saying it would be “very competitive.”
  • The plan would get rid of the estate tax, otherwise known as the “death tax.” Cohn said that the move will help privately-held businesses and American farmers. Analysis of the estate tax reveals that it affects only a very small portion of Americans.
  • Mnuchin also said the U.S. would go to a “territorial” tax system. Though further details were not forthcoming, such systems typically exclude most or all of the income that businesses earn overseas.
  • Trump’s plan would also repeal the alternative minimum tax and 3.8 percent Obamacare taxes.

More Visible Dots The Media Ignore In Trump’s Strategy Against North Korea…


Hours before the Trump administration briefed 100 senators today on the issues surrounding North Korea, a more consequential announcement was made.

The jaw dropping announcement (hidden by U.S. media) appears to show just how long President Trump has been putting the North Korea strategy together.  However, before discussing that aspect, we review the Senate Briefing at the White House:

Today Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presided over a meeting meeting to brief Senators.

The details of that meeting have not been made public because of their classification and sensitivity.  The meeting lasted about one hour and discussed various financial and military options available for pressuring North Korea to end its nuclear program. (link)

Here’s where it gets really interesting.

For months the media have, at random, ridiculed President Trump for not distancing himself from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.  President Duterte has been cracking down on Filipino drug gangs in his country and his approach has been severe and extremely tough.  Indeed Duterte’s zero tolerance approach has been brutal.

However, shortly after his election, December 3rd 2016, President Trump chose not to refute Duterte for his approach toward confronting the Filipino drug gangs and drug epidemic.  The media were apoplectic.   Duterte responded by calling President Trump “a deep thinker“. Duterte said he was greatly pleased with the “rapport” he has established with the newly elected U.S. president.

Instead of President Trump calling out President Duterte for the severity of his approach, President Trump moderated any criticism and said he understood that Duterte was confronting the problem the best way he knew how for his country.

That was in December of 2016.

Well, guess who is now the rotating (every year) Chairman of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)?

Yup, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

And just yesterday, after a visit last week from Vice-President Pence, ASEAN announced:

Southeast Asian nations would adopt a softer than usual tone about South China Sea disputes at a leaders’ summit on Saturday in Manila, and exclude references to militarization or island-building, according to a draft of the chairman’s statement.

Although some Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders will express “serious concern” over the “escalation of activities” in the disputed sea, ASEAN will drop references, or even allusions, to China’s construction of artificial islands and the military hardware it has placed on them, according excerpts of the draft seen by Reuters. (link)

China has been expanding its seven man-made islands in the Spratlys (South China Sea) for several years, and the action has been a considerable point of angst for the region and for U.S. geo-political strategists in the former Obama administration.

However, despite the activity, and despite the protestations by the Obama White House and Obama State Department, the general consensus has been there’s nothing any nation can do about it because China exerts tremendous economic leverage in the entire region.  Additionally, the man-made Islands are too far along for any substantive international efforts to thwart them. 

The horse giant panda is now fully out of the barn.

There’s no President Trump policy capable of reversing the position of China in this action.  Done is done.  However, the international view of legitimacy around these islands still carries some major political leverage if applied toward a greater regional need of similar consequence.

Enter the need for the international community, and ASEAN specifically, to see North Korea pull-back from their doomsday nuclear ambitions…. and President Trump understanding that given the nature of entire issue – it all comes down to leveraging China, using complex terms of political currency, valuation and international legitimacy, against North Korea.

The Giant Panda can eliminate the problem that is Kim Jong Un.

ASEAN Chairman, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, modifying the confrontational tone of Asian nations toward China is yet another useful carrot by U.S. President Trump to stimulate China’s increased pressure upon North Korea.

That’s a really big ‘get’ for President Xi Jinping.

“Complicated business folks, ….Complicated business”…  

Again, a review of the activity timeline reveals a long-term strategic approach: 

♦February 10th – President Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Abe at the White House and at Mar-a-Lago, w/both spouses, to discuss regional issues (including N-Korea).

February 27th – President Trump and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi meet in the White House Oval Office to discuss regional issues (including N-Korea).

March 15th – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits Japan, South Korea and China to follow up on February’s conversations and discuss the forward path (including N-Korea).

April 6th and 7th – President Trump hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping in Mar-a-Lago where they discussed all of the critical bilateral and regional issues (including N-Korea).  President Trump seeded the background by appointing Ambassador Terry Branstad, a 30-year personal friend of President Xi Jinping.

April 8th – Secretary Rex Tillerson debriefs the media<– CRITICAL READ

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?

  • For the first time ever, China did not support Russia in a U.N. Security Council veto vote surrounding Syria.   China abstained.
  • China turned around 12 fully loaded cargo ships laden with imported coal from North Korea.  400,000 metric tonnes refused unloading.   China begins an embargo against North Korean coal.  China begins importing coking coal for steel-making from the U.S. coal mines.
  • Additionally, in furtherance of economic sanctions – China halts oil exports to North Korea.
  • Additionally, in furtherance of political isolation – China halts direct flights between Beijing, China and Pyongyang, North Korea.
  • And in the most stunning seismic shift of geo-political alliances, China says it is now open to discussions of a denuclearized North Korea, meaning getting rid of N-Korean nukes, WITHOUT N-Korea being included in the talks. Hello?  China, the United States, Japan, Russia and South Korea discussing how to de-nuke North Korea.  (A new Marshal Plan of sorts)

♦April 14th – President Trump announces policy directive to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin that there’s no need to label China as a currency manipulator.

April 15th – Vice President Pence arrived in Asia for a ten day visit (South Korea, Japan, China, Indonesia, Australia); positioned as the steady, stable and reliable administration policy closer (including N-Korea).

April 23rd – President Trump followed up on Pence’s visit with personal phone calls to China’s President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; again, the topic was North Korea.

April 24th – U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley brings the U.N. Security Council to the White House for lunch with President Trump.  The President spoke of the need for the U.N. to fulfill its original charter.

♦April 25th – ASEAN (Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte – rotating ASEAN Chairman) releases policy statement saying Southeast Asian nations agree to go easy on Beijing over South China Sea dispute.

Although some Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders will express “serious concern” over the “escalation of activities” in the disputed sea, ASEAN will drop references, or even allusions, to China’s construction of artificial islands and the military hardware it has placed on them, according excerpts of the draft seen by Reuters.

April 26th – President Trump invites all U.S. Senators to the White House for a classified briefing on North Korea.

April 28th – (THIS FRIDAY) U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be traveling to the U.N. to speak to the Security Council personally.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Talks To Lou Dobbs….


Ah, the simple joys in life.  Wilburine Ross interviewed by Lou Dobbs… Sip slowly.

The general status of angst created by ordinary swamp review has a tendency to wear down a soul. It’s at the times when we feel surrounded we should reflect upon how lucky we are to have the T’Rex’s and Wilburines on our team. We’ve already won, our opponents just haven’t noticed yet.

White House Responds to Judge Orrick Defunding “Sanctuary City” Injunction…


Does Schäuble want Draghi to Exit the Stage Once & For All?


Draghi Schauble

Federal Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schäuble of Germany is starting to show signs of rebellion against the elite in Brussels. With the event of BREXIT, the EU is more concerned about trying to punish Britain than they are in reflecting upon what is going so terribly wrong. They will throw their support behind Macron in France fearing that a Le Pen win may be the end of Brussels. Consequently, the EU Commission is trying to punish Britain, and is actually dividing Europe once again. There will be the EU membership, and then there will be the Eurozone within, limited to those countries who surrender their sovereignty to Brussels relinquishing their currency, but not their debt.

Schäuble is clearly attempting to save the Eurozone and make it operational at the same time to protect German exports within Europe. The driving force behind the Euro was to eliminate foreign exchange risk so German manufacturers could sell to all of Europe on a regular basis without currency fluctuation disturbing their sales.

Yet Schäuble is actually looking at reducing the power of the EU for reading between the lines, he has no confidence in the abilities of the EU Commission to manage Europe. Obviously, BREXIT is restructuring the EU only insofar as they seek to punish Britain rather than reform the problems that caused it. That means the Euro zone will be restructured as a block within the EU leaving the institutions, such as the ECB, applicable to the EU. The rules within the Eurozone are by no means clearly defined. This is how Markel opened the gates to refugees without ever going to a vote first in the EU. Thus, the unilateral decisions of Germany have then been applied to all of Europe without any democratic process whatsoever.

Schäuble is looking at the distinction between the EU and the Eurozone and thus reducing the power of the EU Commission to save the Eurozone – a second Europe within Europe, of which Britain was never a member. Schäuble attacked the ECB and Mario Draghi saying: “The ultralock money policy that exists in many regions is not helpful.”  Schäuble said this opening on his trip to Washington. The ECB, Schäuble argues, is creating risks such as asset price bubbles with its negative interest rate policy. This is the clash of philosophies with Schäuble’s view on AUSTERITY.

Schäuble demanded a change of direction from Mario Draghi. He warned that Draghi was increasing the risk of creating a whole new crisis rather than lessening it. The Federal Reserve reverse course right after 2015.75 on the ECM that targeted October 1st, 2015 with the first rate hike in December 2015. Schäuble remarked that it “would not be a bad idea if the European Central Bank and other central banks followed” the course of the Fed. Schäuble has clashed with Draghi who still considers his stimulus quantitative easing policy of the ECB still necessary. Draghi said on this trip to Washington that a “very significant amount of monetary easing is still needed.”

Schäuble has also proposed that the basic structure of the Eurozone in the form of budgetary policy must be changed. Schäuble remains rightly concerned what happens when Draghi changes course and raises rates. Schäuble is deeply concerned that national debts will then explode with higher interest rates. For this reason, Schäuble wants the euro rescue umbrella ESM in the near future converted to a European Monetary Fund. Schäuble sees this as a European version of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). If a new aid program for a crisis country were to run without the IMF because the IMF has disagreed with the draconian measures imposed upon Greece. Schäuble wants to replace the IMF to impose austerity. Apparently, Schäuble has also convinced Chancellor Angela Merkel of this proposal since the IMF disagrees with the austerity ideas of Schäuble.

Troika-Unelected

This new European Monetary Fund to replace the IMF, which is a member of the Troika, will then be given the task of budgetary monitoring of Eurozone countries. Therefore, we will have the EU, but a separate system within the EU for the Eurozone all based upon extending austerity. This is obviously a disempowerment of the EU Commission.

Greece is still an unsolved problem – and Schäuble also sees that Greece should exit the Eurozone. Schäuble also sees a better partnership with Russia and an emancipation from the USA. This was really based upon German manufacture having a new market to sell into given the rise of Donald Trump. Then Schäuble wanted a nuclear Europe to stand against America and Russia. Schäuble’s view is that the core of Europe is Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. It never included Britain. The Franco-German axis was to become the economic engine of the future. To Schäuble, the core is simply the Euro for that evens the playing field for Germany to sell products into Europe. He has embraced the Euro, but never accepting a federal debt for Europe. This is why he has never seen Italy, Spain or Greece as the core of the EU – just vassal states to sell products to.