Friday, August 4, 2017

A Damn Fool

By signing the Russian Sanctions bill into law all the while grousing about it, President Donald J. Trump has shown to all the world that he's a damn fool. I'm sure he thought he was on the "winning" side when he signed this thing, rather than to veto it and find himself on the "losing" side. Apparently it was lost on him that vetoing this bill would have given him some political capital, a higher standing amongst his base and grudging respect from others. Instead he signed it into law and became Congress's chump.

From James Howard Kunstler (emphasis original):
Russia hysteria has become a full-blown national psychosis at a moment in history when a separate array of troubles poses the real threat to America’s well-being. Most of these have to do with the country’s swan dive into bankruptcy, but meeting them honestly would force uncomfortable choices on the grifters and caitiffs in congress. Meanwhile, the Treasury Dept is burning through its dwindling cash reserves, and all government activities will face a shutdown at the end of the summer unless congress votes to raise the debt ceiling — which may be way harder than passing the stupid Russia sanctions bill. 
That bill, vaingloriously called The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, will only blow up in America’s face. This country’s actual trade with Russia is negligible, but the bill aims to interrupt and punish Europe’s trade, centering on oil and natural gas, which they need desperately. Mainly, the US bill seeks to interrupt a gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea that would bypass several of the Baltic Nations currently being used by America — under the NATO banner — as staging areas for unnecessary and provocative war games on Russia’s borders. 
Germany is certain to not stand for it, and like it or not, they are the straw that stirs the European drink. The sanctions pretend to seek to isolate Russia, but the effect will only be to isolate the United States. Europe will laugh at the measure as impinging on their sovereign prerogatives to trade as they please. And Russia can turn around and sell all the natural gas it wants to customers in Asia. Left undiscussed in the moronic American media is the American gas industry’s hidden role in pushing the sanctions so it can sell liquefied gas overseas — which would only end up raising the price for American gas customers to heat their homes....
So what exactly was Mr. Trump thinking when he signed the “deeply flawed” (his words) Russian Sanctions bill coughed up like a hairball by congress? It’s a ridiculous piece of legislation from any angle. It limits the president’s own established prerogatives for negotiating with foreign nations (probably unconstitutionally), and will only provoke economic warfare (at least) against the US that can easily lead to shattering global trade relations entirely. Some observers say he had to sign it because the vote for it in congress was so overwhelming (419 to 3) that they would only override a Trump veto. But the veto would have had, at least, symbolic value in the Jacksonian spirit that Trump pretended to want to emulate at the outset of his term. Perhaps he sees the Deep State endgame and is tired of resisting.

From The Automatic Earth (Russian PM Medvedev via Zero Hedge) (emphasis mine):
The signing of new sanctions against Russia into law by the US president leads to several consequences. First, any hope of improving our relations with the new US administration is over. Second, the US just declared a full-scale trade war on Russia. Third, the Trump administration demonstrated it is utterly powerless, and in the most humiliating manner transferred executive powers to Congress. This shifts the alignment of forces in US political circles. 
What does this mean for the U.S.? The American establishment completely outplayed Trump. The president is not happy with the new sanctions, but he could not avoid signing the new law. The purpose of the new sanctions was to put Trump in his place. Their ultimate goal is to remove Trump from power. An incompetent player must be eliminated. At the same time, the interests of American businesses were almost ignored. Politics rose above the pragmatic approach. Anti-Russian hysteria has turned into a key part of not only foreign (as has been the case many times), but also domestic US policy (this is recent).

What is this President, fucking stupid?

UPDATE 8-8-2017: Because Congress adjourned for its 2017 recess last week, the Donald could have let the bill languish until it passed its expiry date, which would have been yesterday. This action is called a Pocket Veto, which US presidents can use anytime they want to dispose of bills they don't like, were passed by overwhelming majorities in both houses (but not always), and were passed close enough to their expiry dates so that they would become null and void without the executive signature. Instead he signed it anyway because he wanted to be seen as a winnah and not a loozah.

Like I said, what is this President, fucking stupid?


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