02/19/19

Twenty-fifth Amendment to the US Constitution

A gray, rainy day in the ATX — a good day to trim trees?

So, lately we’re been hearing a lot of talk about the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the US Constitution. Let’s do some research, shall we?

Here’s a picture of the Founding Fathers in Philadelphia hammering out the Constitution. The US Constitution was drafted over a period of 116 days from 25 May 1787 to 17 September 1787.

The American Revolution ended on 3 September 1783. It took a long time to finalize the Constitution and it had a provision to amend it.

Image result for images us constitution

First, contrary to the talking heads, the 25th Amendment was not the work of the Founding Fathers. I listened to an idiot on Fox News for half an hour talking about what the Founding Fathers intended.

The 25th Amendment was submitted to the states on 6 July 1965. It was ratified on 10 February 1967.

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01/28/19

Nancy Pelosi – an Exclusive Interview

Big news today, y’all. Your Big Red Car has snagged an exclusive interview with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.

Nancy Patricia D’Alesandro Pelosi is the 78-year old Speaker of the House for a second time. She represents approximately 80% of the City of San Francisco (if people are taking a dump on your block, call Nancy) and has served in the Congress since the Holy Ghost was a Private First Class.

OK, she has served for 32 years and will serve through 34 when she finishes this term. [Term limits. The Big Red Car is in favor of term limits.]

Image result for images nancy pelosi

“You thought he, President McDonald Trump, had a chance? I was running the House when he was banging porn stars and Playboy bunnies. Please!”

We met at a coffee shop in West Austin where she was nibbling a croissant and drinking a “shot in the dark” — three shots of espresso in a black cup of coffee.

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12/24/18

Generals v Politicians

Big Red Car here on a sunny Christmas Eve awaiting Christmas and the Prince of Peace which brings me to the subject of generals, politicians, and wars.

As a soldier (combat engineer officer), I spent a lot of time around generals. As a class of the species, they represent the top 0.1% of any year group of officers. The road to the top is a meritocracy and a very tough one. [Sure, there are some political generals, but as a general assessment they are the best of the best — if they remember to stay in their lane.]

Generals are at the top of their profession which is to wage war against the enemies of the United States and WIN.

Trump: Mattis out as of Jan. 1; deputy to be acting chief

Resigned Secretary of Defense James N Mattis, former USMC General.

The part about winning is an essential element in the General business.

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11/16/18

Jim Acosta — Exclusive Interview

So, the Big Red Car scored an exclusive interview with Jim Acosta of CNN. You will recall that he recently was put in timeout by the Trump administration for misbehaving at a Presidential press conference.

In case you don’t know who he is, here is a picture of Jim at the White House before a press conference.

“Dear Diary, look it’s me and President Trump. Wow, look at me. Great hair, huh? Had it styled for today. That son-of-a-bitch Sam Donaldson had a bald noggin and a fake toupee. I have real hair and I’m real news. Real hair. Real news. Jimmy the Reporter Acosta. Yeah!”

As we are headed to print, a Federal Judge has ruled that too many people are being mean to Jim and that he should get his press pass back because he’s nice enough.

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10/24/18

Canadian Softwood Lumber Tariff Revisited

Canadian Softwood Lumber Tariff — what ever happened?

Big Red Car here on a drippy and rainy gray ATX day. It has been raining for almost a month.

Today, we talk about what really happened by the imposition of the Canadian Softwood Lumber 20.8% tariff back in May 2017.

Of course, the Canadians and the Americans – National Association of Home Builders – immediately began to cry foul predicting that the price of a US home would go up by $9000.

The business press said “Trump is an idiot. This will cause a huge trade war.”

Now, of course, we have some firm evidence as to what did happen. In fact, after hitting a peak of $653 per thousand board feet, the current price of lumber is $313.40/thousand board feet.

That’s right lumber has gone DOWN after the imposition of the tariff. Here is the price of a thousand board feet of lumber from the inception of the tariff until today.

Chart

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07/22/18

Dealing With Despots – USA Russia Summit Meetings

Big Red Car in the ATX, which is headed to 105F today – it looks like 112F on Monday. Hello, Texas summer! It hit 102F yesterday.

So, the entire kerfuffle of Putin – a despot – meeting with our president got me interested in the history of US-Russia summits. Turns out there is a lot of history which is pertinent to the subject.

What is particularly interesting to me is the first such summits.

The players were Stalin, Nikita Krushchev, Vice President Nixon, President Eisenhower, and President Kennedy.

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06/21/18

China, Tariffs, Trade War

China, tariffs, trade war – hello, America!

Big Red Car here on a gloriously sunny Thursday contemplating recent developments in regard to China, tariffs, and a trade war.

China is a bad actor and has been for years. They have been stealing American technology – both from an espionage perspective and an industrial/commercial perspective – for half a century.

But, it is not just the “big stuff” like software, hardware and military gear.

If you are going to be the King of the Jungle, you have to act like a lion.

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05/16/18

Sanctions Work – ZTE

Sanctions, Big Red Car? How dreary for such a sunny, lovely day in the ATX, yawn! OK, Big Red Car tell me about how sanctions work. Maybe a real world example?

Dear reader, let us take up the case of Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment, known as ZTE. They are a maker of inexpensive smartphones and other telecom equipment in more than 160 countries and employ 75,000 workers.

ZTE is no small fry on the international scene. When the Chinese government wants to wiggle into bed with a country, they often provide loans as an economic development tool.  Those loans? What are they used for? To set up a nationwide cellular network built by … wait for it … ZTE!

ZTE is an important element of Chinese international policy.

The Chinese also see that a large company like ZTE can break the stranglehold that American tech companies have on China. It is a nationalistic undertaking.

But, ZTE ran afoul of American sanctions. How?

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04/30/18

North Korea – the Libya Solution

The Libya Solution? Really, Big Red Car?

Big Red Car here going North Korea on y’all. You know I served in the Republic of Korea in the Army back in the 1970s, so I have always been interested in all things Korea.

I used to spend time on the DMZ on my belly studying the goings on in North Korea. Plus, I used to build artillery positions and GSR (ground surveillance radar) sites on the top of mountains to shoot or spook into NK.

The Boss back in the day, freezing while overseeing the building of a road to the top of a mountain to build an artillery firing position. That’s North Korea in the background. My favorite thing about the Army — a constant supply of Jeeps. The radio on that Jeep could reach to Saturn.

So, when it began to appear like we were headed to war in Korea, I followed it closely.

Now, it looks like Kim Jung Ping Pong is going to come to President Trump’s table with some peace offerings in hand.

I give President Trump the credit for his bellicose approach to the nuclearization of the Hermit Kingdom because he scrapped “strategic patience” and substituted “fire and fury” in its place.

Who dreamed up “strategic patience” and how does it differ from not doing anything while Kim and his buddies figured out to make nukes and rockets capable of reaching Dallas?

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