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.

 

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)

 

 

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]

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…


Wilbur Ross Hits Canada With Soft Wood Import Tariff…


How do you get congress to accept the NAFTA notification of intent letter? Why, you backstop the Canadian decision to undermine U.S. dairy farm exports by applying equity import tariffs and offsetting losses to U.S. manufacturers.

First stop, lumber mills. ie U.S. regional impacts, not coincidentally, represented by key Democrat constituents.

The congressional delegations from Washington State and Oregon happen to be mostly elected Democrats; and they happen to applaud the efforts; which means they are not able to criticize the approach. Hmm, it’s almost as if Wilburine and POTUS had a strategy or something.   Nah, couldn’t be.

(Via CNN) These are the first tariffs imposed by President Trump, who during his election campaign threatened to use them on imports from both China and Mexico. The decision on Monday is bound to lead to a standoff and could stoke fears of a trade war between the US and Canada, two of the world’s largest trade powers.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the tariffs, or taxes, announced Monday evening were being imposed after trade talks on dairy products fell through.

“It has been a bad week for US-Canada trade relations,” Ross said in a statement. Trump’s tariffs come as the US, Canada and Mexico prepare to renegotiate NAFTA, the free trade agreement among the three countries that came into being in 1994. Trump has directed almost all of his NAFTA criticism at Mexico, which makes this decision even more surprising.

When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Trump in February, Trump said he only expected to be “tweaking” the US-Canada trade relationship.

The tariffs — also called duties — ranged from 3% to 24% on specifically five Canadian lumber companies. For all other Canadian lumber companies, there’s a nearly 20% duty imposed on exports to the US.

The five firms were: West Fraser Mills, Tolko Marketing and Sales, J.D. Irving, Canfor Corporation, and Resolute FP Canada. West Fraser Mills will pay the highest duty of 24%.

The duties were imposed to create a level playing field for American lumber companies.

U.S. lumber companies allege Canadian firms are provided with unfair subsidies by the Canadian government.

Canadian exports of softwood lumber to the U.S. were valued at $5.6 billion last year, according to the Commerce Department.

The Commerce Department said the duties are preliminary and a final determination will be made in September. The U.S. Lumber Coalition, which represents the industry, said the duties will likely take effect starting sometime next week. The Commerce Department wasn’t available to clarify. (read more)

REACTION: Senator Ron Wyden (Democrat-Oregon.), the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, applauded the Commerce Department’s decision.

“Unfairly traded softwood lumber from Canada has for decades hurt mill towns and American millworkers in Oregon and across the country,” Wyden said.

“Today’s announcement sends the message that help is on the way,” he said. (link)

The Fate of the Euro


Albert Einstein We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

QUESTION: The bounce in the Euro is a fool’s’ game?

ANSWER: Absolutely. The Euro is doomed because especially if Le Pen loses, Brussels will be relieved and proceed as usual. The same problems will merely exist and no reform will come forward to save the day. A good wind will blow over the European banking system. You are expecting politicians to admit they were wrong and surrender power in Brussels. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. As Einstein said, you will NEVER solve the problem of the Euro with the same thinking process.

IBEUUS-M 4-24-2017

As weekly closing above the 10860 level in the Euro will imply the rally will press high to test the 112-114 level. Just look at the technical perspective on a monthly level. The Downtrend Line stands in May up at 12622. We are nowhere near reversing the trend in the Euro.

We have the French, British, and then German elections here in 2017. We do not expect total chaos before 2018. That seems to be the point of a major shift.