Obama consolidating power

S foreign policy “a complete and total disaster,” claiming that previous administrations in the post-Cold War era were guided by unrealistic expectations that damaged America’s national interests. S economic interests through tariffs and protectionism. there is nothing here to parse, no hidden meanings or tactical elisions or slow-rolled strategic campaign.” That seems generally accurate.

written by David Roth, the editor of a sports blog: “The spectacle of expert analysts and thought leaders parsing the actions of a man with no expertise or capacity for analysis is the purest acid satire — but less because of how badly that expert analysis has failed than because of how sincerely misplaced it is …

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Whatever one thinks of Iranian international behavior, by the miserable standards of U. It is quite remarkable to see how effectively alternative reality is created. To a large extent, American consumers gain, while Big Pharma, Microsoft, and others granted exorbitant and unprecedented patent rights under TRIPS suffer some reduction in their enormous profits.

Iran is typical, but the successes are far broader. Nor do we hear much about how this is normal policy in Western state capitalist societies, notoriously in the U. throughout its history, and dramatically since World War II, the basis for the creation of today’s high-tech economy, and continuing today. That leads at once to another question: Is the TRIPS regime legitimate?

And if the latter, is the solution to wave a fist at China or to change the mode of decision-making in the U. — by shifting it to the hands of stakeholders, workers and communities, or at least giving them a substantial role, as democratic theory would suggest? Oddly, it isn’t raised, while the official mantra persists unperturbed. Worshippers of free enterprise and the market should surely agree. Concern is often openly expressed that Chinese progress might leave the U. behind — for example, that Huawei’s cheaper and superior technology may give them an “unfair advantage” in establishing 5G networks. Their concerns are reminiscent of the 1980s, when superior Japanese manufacturing techniques were undermining inefficient U. enterprises, and the Reagan administration had to intervene to block Japanese imports by “voluntary export restraints” — where “voluntary” means “agree or else” — and other devices to enable backward American management to catch up.Consider the charge that “China is killing us,” stealing our jobs, joined by “Mexican robbers.” How is China killing us? What appears to be a more credible charge is that China is violating the intellectual property rights regime (TRIPS) established in the World Trade Organization. True, it was established by interstate agreement, but who made those decisions?Did China have a gun to the head of CEO Tim Cook of Apple, ordering him to end the last vestige of production of Apple computers in the U. Or Boeing, or GM, or Microsoft, or any of the others who have shifted production to China? Did the public have any role, or even know what was happening? The misnamed “free trade agreements” are more properly described as investor-rights agreements, often with little relation to trade in any meaningful sense, and not surprisingly, serving the interests of their designers in the investor class.Putin “may feel that way,” Trump responded: “He sees what’s going on.And I guess, if you look at what’s happening in Los Angeles, where it’s so sad to look; and what’s happening in San Francisco and a couple of other cities which are run by an extraordinary group of liberal people.” He was asked why the U. alone is refusing to join the G20 in a commitment to address global warming and responded by praising the quality of U. air and water, apparently not understanding the distinction.

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