Friday, April 1, 2016

White House Censors President Hollande

Original transcript starting at 1:20.

“We are also making sure that between Europe and the United States there can be a very high level coordination. But we’re also well aware that the roots of terrorism, Islamist terrorism, is in Syria and in Iraq. We therefore have to act both in Syria and in Iraq, and this is what we’re doing within the framework of the coalition. And we note that Daesh is losing ground thanks to the strikes we’ve been able to launch with the coalition. We are continuing to support Iraq. This is also a decision we have taken, supporting the Iraqi government and making sure that they can claim back their entire territory, including Mosul.”

Thursday, March 31, 2016

In Defense Of Cheap Asian Labor. Part I

Were it not for cheap Asian labor you probably would not own a cell phone. If an Iphone were manufactured in the US it would probably retail at about $2K/unit. At that price, few people would own phones and we would probably not hit the critical mass needed to construct coast to coast networks. The Trumps can bitch and moan all they want but without China, we would all be poorer.

Blue jeans, flatware, microwave ovens to name but a few items are now cheaper in absolute dollars (and a fraction of the price in real dollars) than they were in 1970. We can credit Moore's Law for computational deflation but textiles, hardware, kitchen goods and just about everything else? Thank a Chinese peasant whose standard of living has tripled since 2001.

Americans are protected from a shrinking dollar and Asians triple their income in a decade in half. Sounds like a win-win situation doesn't it? It does unless you are a demagogue or con artist or political opportunist, in which case you will employ selective statistics, selective narratives, half-truths and even falsehoods to cultivate phantom grievances. 

Free trade is good but unfortunately it is not fluffy. Thus, free trade will never be embraced by fluffy minds.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Only Trump Can Stop Trump But Don't Underestimate The Guy

Trump is a loose cannon. Yes, he will probably get the nomination and he could have waltzed through the general election but...he is Donald Trump.

Trump needs more than half of the GOP votes to win the presidency. He could have offered Cruz a Supreme Court nomination. He says he wants an insider as VP so he could have gotten Rubio or Kasich aboard. He managed to antagonize all three. More importantly, he antagonized his rivals' supporters instead of winning their patronage.

Some Cruz people will never forgive Trump for calling their man a liar. It might not matter in the primaries but it could matter in November. This is not the same as calling Jeb a low energy guy. It is a vicious lie directed against a good man who is lived by his people. Then he orchestrated the lothario rumors. If that wasn't low enough, he attacked Heidi Cruz. You might rethink that one next autumn, smart guy.

Some men see merit in staying with their wives through thick and thin and all of her bad moods. Not every man believes in trading up for a new model every few years. I am told that some women are against the practice. My position is that discretion is the better part of everything. If a man trades up, he should not compare his new toy to the wife of a man who stayed with his bride.

The ever-irascible Ann Coulter seems to agree: From The Washington Examiner:
For Coulter, Trump's attacks on Cruz's wife may have crossed a line, and she wished he, "would be a teensy bit less low-brow."
"This is the worst thing that he has done," she said as her host laughed. "Everything else I could probably defend."

Newt Gingrich called Trump's vicious attack on Heidi Cruz as "Trump's wake-up call." The jawbone and Twitter account of an ass might yet claim another victim.