Gareth Vaughan on combating & lampooning Trump, Wettergate & the liberal legion, China & Trump, the Trump News Network, UK landlords swapping houses for shops & more

Happy New Year and welcome to our first Top 10 for 2017. It's from interest.co.nz's own Gareth Vaughan.

As always, we welcome your additions in the comment stream below or via email to david.chaston@interest.co.nz.

And if you're interested in contributing the occasional Top 10 yourself, contact gareth.vaughan@interest.co.nz.

See all previous Top 10s here.

You'd almost have to be in outer space or living in a remote, isolated cave to not be aware that Donald Trump will imminently be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. Against this backdrop, today's Top 10 focuses on Trump and his idiosyncratic style, which is set to make his presidency unlike any that has preceded it.

1) 'A random blowhard on a bar stool.' Writing for The Daily Beast, Pulitzer Prize winning US investigative journalist and registered Republican David Cay Johnston takes a look at what to expect from President Trump. Johnston has investigated and reported on Trump and his business activities for nearly 30 years. He featured in this interest.co.nz article and video interview last year. I thoroughly recommend his book The Making of Donald Trump, and his articles on Trump's tax history, including this one.

America enters a perilous era with Trump's inauguration, Johnston writes. Americans must respond "smartly" to a President with an "insatiable lust for money, power, and public adoration."

Based on my almost three decades of Trump watching, here is some of what to expect in the days ahead: 

First, a rapid fire set of actions designed to dazzle supporters and overwhelm opponents who cannot focus on every executive order and fast-track bill in Congress. 

Second, expect Trump to also use national security to crack down on dissent. Protests must be peaceful or they will play in Trump’s authoritarian hands. 

Next, expect Trump to curtail public access to government information, perhaps including removing reporters from the White House. Similarly, unwelcome Freedom of Information Act requests will be slow-walked and the already inadequate budget for processing such requests will likely be slashed in the name of reducing burdens on taxpayers. 

Johnston also points to Trump's recent interview with The Times, noting one answer had nothing to do with the question and was "the kind of nonsense expected from a random blowhard on a bar stool." Erratic behaviour is to be expected.

...expect Trump’s behavior to become more erratic, as I have long warned, once the pressures of being president weigh on his immature, narcissistic personality.

Be wary. Be watchful. But most of all don't be dumb and play into Trump’s hands.

2) Combating Trump. Johnston is also launching a news service. Touted as a new kind of news organization for the Trump era, David Cay Johnston's DCReport says;

Others quote what Trump Tweets.

We report on what the Trump Administration does.

David is proposing a new kind of nonprofit, citizen-centered news organization, David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, featuring journalism that scrupulously and meticulously scours the public record to report what’s really going on inside your Congressional committee rooms, your executive branch departments, your regulatory agencies and, yes, your White House. This is citizen-focused journalism that will value policies over politics and will focus on the results of government actions, not just the rhetoric of politicians.

...even the best mainstream news organizations rarely cover what is happening within the government until it is far too late for citizens to do anything about it. Mainstream news focuses on controversies - think of the campaign coverage of Clinton’s emails or Trump’s boasts about sexual assault. Rarely does the mainstream press report on the day-to-day mechanics of government, where laws get made, regulations are forged and backroom deals are struck - where government actually happens.

3) The ‘Wettergate’ delusion. Meanwhile, over at The Boston Globe, Niall Ferguson has a warning for the "legion of liberal journalists, bloggers, tweeters, and actors" railing against Trump: He's not going to be impeached in a hurry, and what if he actually succeeds?

What the liberal media would most like is for Trump’s presidency to go directly from his inaugural address next Friday to Watergate, ideally within 24 hours, except that this time the scandal won’t be called Watergate, but — assuming the Russians have video of Trump ordering tarts to urinate on his Moscow hotel room bed — Wettergate.

This, however, won't happen, Ferguson says.

First, Trump’s party has control of both houses of Congress, something that Nixon did not have despite his landslide victory in the 1972 election. A House Democrat may well propose an impeachment resolution. But there are multiple hurdles the resolution would have to clear before it even came to a vote in the House, including the House’s Judiciary Committee. Two-thirds of the Senate would need to vote to oust Trump.

Second, the news media are far less respected today than they were back in 1972. That was the year Gallup first asked the question: “In general, how much trust and confidence do you have in the mass media … when it comes to reporting the news fully, accurately, and fairly?” Back then, 68 percent said a fair amount or a great deal. Last September, in the most recent survey, it was 32 percent. In 1972, only 5 percent of voters answered “none at all.” Now it is 27 percent.

Perhaps new organizations such as David Cay Johnston's DCReport can help reverse the US public's declining respect for their country's media...

Ferguson also makes the point that, helped by having both Congress and the Senate under Republican Party control, Trump has the opportunity to score some early wins.

Finally, there is the distinct possibility that many voters do not care half as much about what Trump has been up to in bedrooms as they do about whether or not he can deliver on his election pledges. Instead of wishfully thinking about what could go wrong for Trump, liberal hacks need to consider the (for them) nightmare scenario that things may go right for him.

Voters do not expect economic miracles, but they may get higher growth if Trump and Congress can quickly deliver on tax reform and deregulation, and avoid an all-out trade war with China.

They may also get peace in the Middle East if Trump can turn his bromance with Putin into a concrete plan to end the war in Syria. And they are almost certain to see much more effective action against Islamic State and its non-violent sympathizers than we have seen under Obama.

4) The Trump News Network (Twitter).

Trump's controversial tweeting is copping plenty of criticism, but it's clearly working for him. His direct and simple tweets cut to the chase and are easy for anyone to understand. They also both bypass the media and set its agenda. BBC radio takes an indepth look at Trump's tweeting in Trump Tweet by Tweet here.

Trump also attacks people who court his wrath via Twitter. One of these targets has been Megyn Kelly, the former Fox News anchor who recently moved to NBC. She's quoted in the BBC programme saying:

 "I have been under armed guard for 16 months, and my children have been under armed guard. And it's not an appropriate price to pay for hard hitting journalism."

Where will Trump’s Zeus-like thunderbolts strike next?

In this Bloomberg piece Noah Smith criticizes Trump's tweeting about public companies, calling it a "policy of rule by personal intimidation" that amounts to "a hidden partial nationalization of America’s large companies and even of companies in foreign countries that do a lot of business in the US."

So far, Trump has focused his ire on companies that transfer jobs out of the U.S. (with little attention to whether they create different jobs in the U.S. to compensate). But what will he demand that businesses do tomorrow? Keep prices low in order to mask the negative effects of a trade war? Stop doing business with countries whose leaders have tweeted or said disapproving things about Trump? Stop putting advertisements in media outlets that publish stories criticizing the president? Cut off ties with businesses owned by rich people who have given money to Democrats? The possibilities are boundless. 

The effect on the U.S. economy, however, is unlikely to be salutary. Yes, some companies will avoid offshoring due to fear of Trump. In some cases, this will result in workers getting a larger share of the pie, and owners getting less. In other cases, the companies won’t be able to keep up in competitive global markets, and will have to downsize - American jobs won’t be offshored, they will just vanish. 

But an even bigger effect will simply be higher uncertainty. Since no one will know where Trump’s Zeus-like thunderbolts will strike next, investing for the future will become a fraught proposition. Businesses that under Barack Obama or George W. Bush or Bill Clinton would have been able to plan for the next five or 10 years will find themselves paralyzed by the chance that Trump might cast his baleful gaze on them next week.

5) Can China survive Trump?

From a global economic perspective, one of the key dynamics of the Trump presidency is going to be the US-China relationship. Prior to entering the White House there has been plenty of tough rhetoric from Trump on China. He has labelled the country, which has been the key engineroom of global economic growth over recent years, a currency manipulator and threatened 45% tariffs. 

Bloomberg looks at what the Trump presidency might mean for China via a discussion here between Beijing University professor Michael Pettis, and Bloomberg Intelligence economist Tom Orlik. Bloomberg notes President Xi Jinping is at the annual Davos World Economic Forum talkfest for the first time in "a sign of how concerned China is about a possible retreat from globalization."

How badly could Trump's threatened 45% tariff hurt China?

The South China Morning Post probes this question, noting Trump has named Peter Navarro, the author of Death by China, as director of the National Trade Council, and Robert Lighthizer, another China critic, as US trade representative.

Kevin Lai, research head for Asia excluding Japan with Daiwa Capital Markets, wrote in a research note that punitive tariffs of 45 per cent would lead to an 87 per cent fall in China’s exports to the US, while HSBC economists led by Qu Hongbin predicted they would result in a halving of Chinese shipments to the US. 

The US is China’s biggest export market, accounting for 18 per cent of total exports, and China’s overall exports would be expected to shrink at least 9 per cent if Trump carried through with his tariff threat. There would also be significant suffering due to the collapse of businesses and job losses, with Lai estimating that China’s gross domestic product could be trimmed by 4.8 per cent.

Should a fully fledged trade war between the world's two biggest economies materialise, things could get ugly for small countries like New Zealand caught in the crossfire.

6) 'You're supposed to spend money on your own people.'

Also in attendance at the Davos talkfest, which is taking place in Switzerland this week, is Alibaba founder Jack Ma. The wealthy entrepreneur recently met Trump amid talk of Alibaba helping create up to one million jobs in the US.

Ma had some stinging criticism for those overseeing US public policy for the past 30 years.

The past 30 years America had 13 wars spending $14.2 trillion. The money's going there. What if they spent part of that money on building up the infrastructure, helping the white collars and blue collars [workers]? No matter how good the strategy is, you're supposed to spent money on your own people.

7) "Buy-to-let is dead." UK landlords swapping houses for shops.

In a break from Planet Trump, The Telegraph reports that Britain's legions of "buy-to-let" residential property investors are dumping houses and switching to shops, restaurants and offices instead.

Why?

There are now less than three months until mortgaged buy-to-let properties become subject to a new, tougher tax regime which will see thousands of landlords in danger of falling into loss-making territory.

More than 100,000 landlords bought properties within limited companies last year - but many are now concerned that the Government might move to make these subject to tougher taxes too.

George Walker, commercial auction partner at Allsop, said the auction house has seen three times the number of buy-to-let converts dipping in to commercial property since the tax changes were announced. 

"We're getting a lot of investors into our market because of the changes to buy-to-let. Once they have bought one, they can't believe the simplicity and want to do it again," he said.  

The table below comes from The Telegraph.

Here in New Zealand the Labour Party says if in government it would: "Shut down the ‘negative gearing’ tax breaks that allow investors to write off their losses on rental properties against other taxable activity."

8) An eminent economist and a hare-brained plan.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's move to cancel his country’s 500 and 1,000 rupee bank notes in November was a fascinating move and is being watched closely around the world. Writing in The South China Morning Post, Tom Holland is sceptical about the official reason for the move and has his own theories. Officially the move - in a cash driven economy - was to combat black money, corruption and crime.

Holland notes sceptics in India argue the real purpose of Modi's move was to wipe out the black money cash campaign funds accumulated by his political opponents ahead of key February state elections.

Internationally Holland is concerned about prominent policymakers, bankers and economists supporting Modi’s desire to create a cashless economy. Governments have tried to inflate away public debt through money printing. But this hasn't worked. And now he's worried about government's scraping bank notes in order to impose negative interest rates that deliberately diminish the value of their citizens’ savings. This, he argues, reneges on trust between people and government.

As the former IMF economist Kenneth Rogoff explained last year in his book The Curse Of Cash, “phasing out paper currency is arguably the simplest and most elegant approach to clearing the path for central banks to invoke unfettered negative interest rate policies”. In other words, he wants to impose an expiry date on money. In a cashless world you either spend your money now, or risk losing it. 

Only an eminent economist could come up with such a hare-brained plan which so fundamentally misunderstands the nature of money. An economist will tell you that money is a means of exchange, a unit of account and a store of value. Yes, it is all those, but above all it represents trust: the faith that your debtor will pay. Banknotes are the physical embodiment of that trust. 

If officials attempt to scrap banknotes in order to impose negative interest rates that deliberately diminish the value of their citizens’ savings, they will be reneging on the fundamental compact of trust between people and government. Of course, it can be argued that governments have been breaching that trust ever since Roman emperors began clipping their coinage. Nevertheless, withdrawing banknotes would make the betrayal explicit.

9) "This country will be showered with jobs."

Back to Trump. He's certainly showing that he has a thin skin with his tweets complaining about Alec Baldwin taking the Mickey out of him on Saturday Night Live. Given he's now a very, very high profile public figure, the lampooning's not going away. Trump will just have to get used to it.

10) Mark Hamill lampoons Trump too.

Baldwin's not the only actor finding a soft target in Trump. Mark Hamill, best known as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, has joined the fun. Here's Hamill as The Trumpster, a super villain alter ego who reads Trump tweets in the voice of The Joker. Hamill voices The Joker in animated versions of comics featuring the famous villain.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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49 Comments

#2. I like the sound of this "Others quote what Trump Tweets. We report on what the Trump Administration does."
There has been far too mean and nasty comment on Trump, sometimes worse than Trump who they are whinging about.
example. NZs Bernadine Oliver-Kerby. She says "Donald Trump evokes in her the same feeling she gets when she uses a public restroom and the seat is already warm." Ugly stuff and contributes to the debate - Not.

#6 You’re supposed to spend money on your own people.” Yes. It's well worth reading Jack Ma's in full on the link. My reading of what Don thinks of the military machine is that he agrees with Jack. And I agree with them both.

Jack Ma may have become a billionaire and global business leader but he has revealed that was rejected for an Australian visa seven times....

somewhere along the way Obama and Clinton did serious damage to the Democratic party, They lost big and it's going to take some thinking to get back on the rails. So what went wrong from the 'Yes we can" man to the 'make America great again' man that caused this huge shift in voting?
Perhaps the hollowing out and destruction of middle America, zero real wage growth, massive unemployment, drug abuse, homeless begging on street corners, loss of faith in healthcare reforms, student debt, housing debt, the perception of corruption at the top that handed out billions to banks, car makers and insurance companies and the one %,while the rest got to swallow real wealth and asset destruction and are left with a lack of vision for the future.
While losing every war they fought at huge cost of life and limb. The USA cannot even take Mosul
https://www.rt.com/usa/371553-us-embed-with-coalition-fight-mosul/
>>

Some Democrats are waking up in bafflement and confusion at what just happened to them. Obama's abuses of executive power and the media bubble they were living in made it seem like their destiny was here. History was on their side. The GOP was a party of losers. But somehow this party of losers had dominated statewide races and Congress. But it didn't matter so long as they had the White House.

The potent combination of media echo chambers and Obama made it easy to ignore the defeats. But with the loss of the White House, some are walking out of the illusion and surveying the wreckage.

They've lost the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court. The Democrats are truly a minority party. And the GOP now has the potential to seriously nail down the Supreme Court and make huge policy changes that will reverberate for generations.

What the hell happened?
http://www.frontpagemag.com/point/264791/left-destroyed-democratic-party...

What happened? To my mind Obama never had an economic strategy - all statesman, no substance - and racial tensions escalated significantly during his term.

Then, Elizabeth Warren failed to announce a run on a ticket with Bernie Sanders. This meant the Dem Party machine felt it all okay to undermine Bernie (given he was on his own, so to speak) so that the Party fundraisers extraordinaire (the Clinton's) would secure the nomination.

Just hope Elizabeth is there for the Party and the country in four years time.

Under Obama the US went from a dire recession to a fairly good recovery. Much better than a lot of other countries did.

I feel like the economic outcome of a country during a term has far too many variables outside of a head of states control to have much bearing on whether they were 'good' or 'bad' overall. In fact, 99.9% of what happened was based on laws and regulations passed by previous governments. Not to mention the weather, and what new natural resources had been discovered. This whole idea of business being inspired by a great leader to make more profits is just silly. They are already pretty well inspired by the money they want to make. You really have to look at what major changes the head of state made while in power and look at how those changes worked out long term, preferably long past when they were in power.

Now thew USA is vilifying Russia a country with a GDP smaller than New Yorks and military spending equivalent to 3 weeks of the USA's. Yet Russia looks to a tech advantage in much of it's hardware.
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/russia-testing-new-engine-t-50...

#3 Niall Fergusson has his head screwed on straight. Most of the reporting on Trump is ill-focused gibberish grasping at straws. They can't see the forest for the trees given what Trump hands them on a platter.

One source suggests that the golden story story was a piece of erotic fan fiction that was emailed to a Congressman, which he then sent to the CIA. I suspect there will be changes in the way the intelligence gathering branches deal with things in the future. They apparently don't care what their new boss thinks of them.

I think what is really annoying the media, Hollywood, liberal pundits, and their fellow travelers is that they are now irrelevant. I don't know how many "take-downs", "slams" and "totally destroys" of Trump prior to the election I saw but in the end he won. John Oliver and Noah Trevor (darlings here in NZ) were irrelevant - the people of American were not convinced. The new reality, better or worse, is no one is listening to these partisan hacks anymore.

Trump can by-pass the media and when the media does criticize him he can label them "fake news" because they are the "boy they cried wolf" . I hope that maybe, just maybe, the media and co become a bit more humble and reflect - but I don't see that happening.

Back to Trump. He's certainly showing that he has a thin skin...

The secret of Trump's success is that he reflects attacks back on his attackers. Why would he develop a thick skin and ignore attacks when he has been so successful at this? Nice try, ain't going to happen.
If you attack Trump you have to be prepared for a counter strike in the form of a Zeus-like thunderbolt.
The people love Trump and they hate the phoney "celebrities" who play tough guys but in reality are wimps living in safe bubbles.

Zachary,

"The people love Trump". By that,you mean that a minority of the American voting public want Trump. He lost the popular vote by some margin,if you recall.
I don't know how his presidency will work out,but my guess is that it will be a major disappointment to his supporters and I sincerely hope that he does not last beyond one term.

Isn't it great to see all those overpaid so called celebreties throwing their toys out of the cot because Trump has won.
Even the Godfather Robert De Niro said that he was embarrassed by the results.
Well how many of us haven't been embarrassed by some of these celebrities on stage efforts.
The are full of it.When they open their mouth you don't know if they are acting or not.They all live in coocoo land.

I don't really care what celebrities think, and I'm not sure why they think their opinions are supposed to be important.

I don't even like Trump but the supporters of Clinton are behaving like sore losers.

Everyone has every right to speak up at any time if they feel that the values of their country are being eroded. Regardless of who they voted for and regardless of who won.
If Bill English decided to slaughter half our citizens tomorrow, I wouldn't say 'OK go for it, I voted Labour and we lost, fair enough'.
I think the bigger problem is gloating 'winners' who think they are awesome just because they supported the same moron that a lot of uneducated hillbillies did. If that makes them feel like a winner there is something wrong.

By describing Trump voters as "uneducated hillbillies" and Trump himself as a "moron" you make a very poor and unimpressive argument. I think you are mistaking 'high energy' for gloating.

'high energy' you should be in sales...

I agree with Zachary on this one.
Similar insensitive generalisations could be made about the democrat supporters.
Especially those ones that decided to protest through violence.

Maybe those videos of Trump rallies I watched weren't a true representation of all Trump voters, but the people on those videos definitely seemed pretty stupid.

True.
Are they really any dumber than Social Justice Warriors, though?

Zachery, I assume you have never made similar comments about Labour voters, Green voters, Winston voters?

JimboJones this conversation reminds me of this short film clip:

Gene Wilder - Blazing Saddles

Not all actors are against Trump:

Voight on Trump: "God answered our prayers"

Is that the same as "Putin answered Segal's prayers" ?

Jon Voight *snort* God answered our prayers *rolls eyes*

And the most sickening being the celebrity/comedy set were all too PC to make a joke about Obama but now Trump is expected to get used to being lampooned 24/7.

Do you recall the whole birther thing, and who championed it? Yes, Trump needs to get used to being lampooned, he's earned every bit of it.

Ronald Reagan suffered similar kinds of all out attack by the mainstream media, but it didn't stop Reagan from new economic initiatives and acting as a catalyst to bring down the iron curtain in Russia and Germany etc.
The more that CNN, Nzherald, Stuff, etc write/show negative articles on Trump (written by sports reporters, fashion designers, etc) the more they expose their inherent bias, and the more the public distrust 'news'.

I assume the reason Trump uses Twitter so much is so that he ensures what he says is reporter accurately! LOL.

Bigly, Kate, bigly

#1 David Cay Johnson is just another RINO with obvious bias. Does he really have an objective view? He thinks opposing tax and spend is racist - some Republican!

"In an appearance on the Thursday broadcast of MSNBC’s “The Reid Report,” he stated that Republicans oppose higher taxes and spending because “there’s all sorts of areas where a fixed ideology that has no support in the empirical data gets into people’s heads and that’s what becomes important and there’s also an element of racism in here.”

http://cnmnewz.com/journo-opposition-to-taxes-and-spending-is-racist/

I'd back Jack Ma (biz acumen) and Niall Ferguson (historical and situational awareness) over any and every MSM outlet, the latter composed these days mostly of SJW's and repeaters, and all simply terrified about their bleak future prospects.

Inauguration day soon NZ time. Bring popcorn.....

Waymad,

I'm curious. Niall Ferguson is,like me,a Glaswegian and I have several of his books. Can you explain what you mean by (historical and situational awareness).

No NZ TV channel will be covering the Trump inauguration.
Because NZ Television media managers know better than any interested NZ citizens.
NZ TV fully covered the Obama inauguration.

Why is everyone worried about China with a Trump Presidency? American actions under Obama have only pushed Russia much further into China's hands. Trump wanting to work with Russia instead of having "proxy wars" against them across the globe like in Syria is a fresh start.

Emails leaked revealed that Saudi Arabia & Qatar are funding ISIS.

America shifting jobs over to China has only weakened America greatly.

The Syrian civil war needs to end & co-operation with Russia needs to be part of ending it. Wikileaks Leaked a audio recording of John Kerry talking about intentionally letting ISIS grow in Syria just to remove Assad from power.

Assad was the next target to eliminate after Saddam & Gaddafi to destabilize the Middle East-North Africa region.

The Arab spring only helped the Muslim Brotherhood gain control of Egypt before being overthrown.

Hillary Clinton was the major push for the Libyan civil war to remove Gaddafi & Hillary voted for the war in Iraq to remove Saddam. She also wanted to remove Assad in Syria while wanting to be tougher than Obama on Syria.

Not to mention the Obama administration bypassed congressional approval to attack Libya.

Hillary Clinton considers "war criminal" Henry Kissinger to be her 'friend'. She supported the unconstitutional coup in Honduras which removed a democratically elected President Zelaya which was condemned by the U.N,E.U & O.A.S.

U.S. state department & Jewish billionaire George Soros involved in causing civil war in Ukraine.

Rebel groups in Syria the U.S. supported are known to have associated,allied themselves with ISIS & Al-Nusra.

China is the real threat to America's top superpower status unlike Russia with declining GDP growth.

America has been at war for 223 out of 240 years of its history as a nation. America has 800 military bases around the world compared to the rest of the world only having 30 combined. America spends more on its military then the next 6 nations combined.

America needs to seriously stop being the World Police.

I hope Trump shuts down most of the U.S. military bases in most parts of the world as its wasteful spending & burying the U.S. into much further debt.

Trump won the election and is going to be President ... like-it-or-lump-it .

And do you know what else ?

The world will not end

And do you know what else ?

He may just turn out to be good for America.

And you know what else ?

I would prefer a strong democracy like America way more than strong murderous dictatorship like China leading the world .

People hate Trump because of what he has said , but they miss the point completely . Trump is not constrained by the need to be PC or diplomatic , he says it as he sees it , he speaks from the heart , he ignores political correctness, he gets things done , and has a devil -may -care attitude to consequences , and he has done okay so far with this way of doing things

I was appalled at the state of America when my wife and I did a month long road trip there a few years ago , the infrastructure is a mess , there are potholes in the roads , there are people living under bridges , the rust belt is depressing , small towns have high levels on unemployment .

Young African American males seem to be more likely to be "known to police " than an employer

America has gone soft since Vietnam , they have lost their competitive edge , they have de-industrialized and they have been living beyond their means , they have eye-watering levels of debt.

The Trade Unions did not just want the eggs , they killed the Goose while constantly badgering their bosses , ending up making low-quality rubbish , and the bosses reacted by exporting their jobs and prosperity to China and elsewhere.

Consequently , America today manufactures almost nothing , it makes no cellphones or computers , no household appliances , almost no electrical goods , even the electronics on Boeings are made in China .

Go figure !

Trump may not be able to stop this trend , or even reverse it , but he may slow it down .

He needs to start with CHINA which has been cheating and broken almost EVERY WTO RULE that exists., and there have been no consequences ........... none .

Liberal American leaders dont dare criticizing China , and now they have paid the price , they are OUT , voted out by the very people who traditionally supported the left , who are now unemployed , poor , hopeless or homeless or worse, getting through the depressing day on opiates

Its because America has gone soft and lost the edge , and gone into decline

All the hand -wringing , singing , dancing , protests songs and protest marches are not going to make one iota of difference to the outcome

Trump is America's only hope

really well put,and the hysteria even here doesnt make any sense,prospect of real change is creating panic.

This is my Friday Funny...well not mine. Please do not read anything into it.

It is meant to be a joke. Somebody sent it to me. I will share it with you...this Friday before Inauguration Day.

By the way.....I have no political offaliations...I hate em all. Lib/Dem/REPUB. NAT/Lab.
Whatever you want to call them initially.

Yer Tiz...

Hillary Clinton decided to send Donald Trump a letter to let him know how she felt about him on the Day before Inauguration.

Trump opened the letter and it appeared to contain a single line coded message:

uo@ n uo eed 3dop n 3w pX n 370HSSV 0773H

Trump was baffled, so he e-mailed it to Mrs Trump and his children.

She and the children had no clue either, so they sent it to the FBI.

No one could solve it at FBI, CIA or NSA. They eventually asked Britain's MI6 for help as they seemed to know, what was what..quite often.

Within minutes, MI6 cabled this reply: "Tell Mr Trump that he is holding the message upside down."

God Save America....and us too.

Just a question, who is Vanessa?

My error....not proof reading my cut and paste. Just skimmed the surface...of the water.

"People hate Trump because of what he has said , but they miss the point completely . Trump is not constrained by the need to be PC or diplomatic , he says it as he sees it , he speaks from the heart , he ignores political correctness, he gets things done , and has a devil -may -care attitude to consequences , and he has done okay so far with this way of doing things" you forgot to add "Trump does not care who he walks all over to get what he wants (Aberdeenshire golf course) or who he bilks out of money (contractors on his buildings) he was a pretty horrible man before he became POTUS elect, personally I cannot see him as the good guy - leopards/spots.
He will quickly tire of this "presidenting" thing and to those who think he has destroyed the establishment, think again, what has happened is that a personal freedom denying republican party is now in a position to deny climate change, deny gay rights and deny women the rights to say what happens to their own bodies. The GoP establishment will not let him get away with anything.
On the subject of people less than informed who voted Trump, a question has been put to many, "Would you prefer Obamacare or ACA" to which, not surprisingly, many answered the latter, completely unaware they are one and the same.
Just what, I wonder do people think might happen to health care in the USA, it is possible that Trump favours some sort of universal system as is the case in most developed countries, but seriously, anyone out there, do you think the GoP will be down with that one?
And before you start, I failed to read the American public, but then I was and still am a Bernie Sanders supporter and wish sometime in the future that Elizabeth Warren changes her mind has a crack, SHE is the real thing, but I do not for a second believe I have misread or am misreading Trump, I still see him as pretty deranged.

Regarding Trump – A lot of media coverage of alleged Russian hacking of the DNC servers. What's missing from the scope of thinkable thought is the fact that the DNC did deliberately set out to destroy Bernie Sanders in favor of Clinton.

Its an astounding outcome when you consider that giants like google were fully engaged manipulating search predictions in favor of Clinton. Giants like facebook and all the mainstream media outlets using all the Orwellian, pavlovian, Aldous Huxlian tools of persuasion that you could dream of, all in favor of Clinton, and she still lost! What kind of Hobsons choice democracy is that?

At least it’s not that bad in New Zealand. I think the National party has headed us in that direction with their tactics, but at least we still have valid choices. I agree with Boatman, nothing will change.

George Soros has got himself all worked up about .....everything really!

"It’s tough to be gloomier than billionaire George Soros right now.

America has elected a would-be dictator as president, the European Union is disintegrating, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May won’t last long as her nation prepares to secede from the EU, and China is poised to become an even more repressive society, the investor told Bloomberg Television’s Francine Lacqua from the World Economic Forum in Davos".
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-19/george-soros-says-mar...

A beautiful new era has dawned. We mustn't rest on our laurels, it's time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. Let's make the whole of the West great again!

It was a great day today, and a great celebration.
Maybe NZ & Australia can learn something and put their own respective countries first, and celebrate the special freedom that their heritage has given them.

Why just the West Zac?

I've run through my entire popcorn supply just reading this thread.

Well worth a full read; P C Roberts on Trump:

Consider the forces that Trump has against him:

Black and hispanic leaders need victimization, because it is what elevates them to power and income. They will turn a jaundiced eye toward Trump’s inclusiveness. Inclusiveness is good for blacks and hispanics, but not for their leaders.

The executives and shareholders of global corporations are enriched by the offshored jobs that Trump says he will bring home. If the jobs come home, their profits, performance bonuses, and capital gains will go away. But the economic security of the American population will return.

The military/security complex has a 1,000 billion annual budget dependent on “the Russian threat” that Trump says he is going to replace with normalized relations. Trump’s assassination cannot be ruled out.

Many Europeans owe their prestige, power, and incomes to the NATO that Trump has called into question.

The financial sector’s profits almost entirely flow from putting Americans into debt bondage and from looting their private and public pensions. The financial sector with their agent, the Federal Reserve, can overwhelm Trump with financial crisis. The New York Federal Reserve Bank has a complete trading desk. It can send any market into turmoil. Or support any market, because there is no limit on its ability to create US dollars.

The entire political edifice in the US has insulated itself from the will, desires, and needs of the people. Now Trump says the politicians will be accountable to the people.

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/01/20/trumps-declaration-war/

Apparently most Presidents try to do something other than through the MSM. Roosevelt did it with his fireside chats, Reagan with film and I have forgotten what the others did but we now have Trump with Twitter. Par for the course.