Friday, March 02, 2018

Why Trump's Trade Tantrum Matters - To You. Yeah, You.

The Legendary B-61 - Old Reliable

Remember, this is the same Donald Trump who, when still a candidate for the Republican nomination, asked his nuclear weapons tutors, what was the point of America having nuclear weapons if it couldn't use them.

White House officials didn't waste any time in leaking to the mainstream news media what presaged Trump's decision on Wednesday to launch a major trade war with Asia, Europe and, potentially, Canada over steel and aluminum exports to the US. The word was that he simply came "unglued." They had never seen him in that extreme state. He allowed his frustrations with his attorney-general, Jeff Sessions, along with his chief of staff's decision to take scissors to Jared Kushner's top secret security classification and his soon to be former communications director/therapy aide, Hope Hick's admission that she just might have told the odd white lie on behalf of her boss. Seemingly unable to sink his teeth into any of those things, he came unglued, and in a plainly irrational moment declared a major trade war. He needed to lash out.  He was lashing out against general Kelly, against Jeff Sessions, against Hicks' congressional interrogators and the collective unfairness of it all - to him. He took the first thing he could find to kick - global trade in steel and aluminium, most of it from America's closest allies. Unglued, unhinged, madness on the attack.

He's the president of the u-u-u-united states of america, for chrissakes. If he comes so unglued over these troubles, not to say they're not problematical, what might he do if Mueller indicts his son, Fredo, or even worse, Ivanka? This is an individual with blatant psychological issues.

Lately there's been no end of reports on the worsening situation with the world's stockpile of nuclear weapons. America is working to upgrade its arsenal including the return of tactical nukes that could be used in situations other than a nuclear, chemical or biological attack on the United States.  If someone takes down VISA's computers, you'll nuke them? Really?

Now I found a couple of Ted Talks that might explain the problem better than I could even hope to. If you've got kids or grandkids or hope to have grandkids, it's worth your while to check these out.  First, Brian Toon, followed by Robert Green.

Now, Robert Green.

It is truly alarming to see a borderline psychotic in the White House, one that has shown no great concern over the hazards and consequences of using nuclear weapons. If such a thing happens, especially among the great powers, it's unlikely that it will be premeditated. It's more likely to be a mistake, an error in judgment under stress. Which is why, until the Oval Office is again occupied by a rational, stable person, the world needs to start openly recognizing this madness and speaking out against it. They won't get rid of this bastard on their own, world.


Anonymous said...

And in a remarkable coincidence:

President Trump’s decision Thursday to impose crippling tariffs on the imports of steel and aluminum took many by surprise — particularly investors, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day’s trading down more than 400 points, or 1.7 percent, at 24,608.

But one billionaire investor and former Trump adviser, Carl Icahn, was seemingly unvexed, having dumped a million shares tied to the steel industry a week before the president announced 25 percent tariffs for foreign-made steel.

"It's a big club, and you ain't in it."


The Mound of Sound said...

Yeah, I saw that Icahn piece, Cap. It sounds as though he saved himself a tidy $6-million by selling shares before Trump announced these tariffs. Who knew? It sounds very much like Icahn did.

Anonymous said...

Another interesting thing about Trump's steel tariff is the way it hurts California industries, like the TABC and Tesla vehicle assembly plants. It's five times cheaper to ship semi-finished steel across the Pacific from Australia, Japan and Mexico that to ship it across land from eastern US steel mills.

So basically Trump has declared a trade war against his own country! Although, give the way California voted, I'm sure he sees that as justified.