12/5/19

Impeachment — Decisive Engagement

Today, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi directed the House Judiciary Committee (Jerry Nadler, Chairman) to draft Articles of Impeachment saying, “The President has given us no choice.”

This decision came after a meeting of the Democrat caucus and a day of riveting testimony from a panel of four law professors. [For those of you whose sarcasm meters are in the shop for holiday repairs after Thanksgiving — this is sarcasm.]

This calls to mind two things of some portent:

If you come to kill the king, make sure to kill the king.

The importance and danger of a decisive engagement.

Continue reading

10/22/19

National Security — The Catchall Slur Or Justification?

We hear the term “national security” bandied about a lot, but what exactly does it mean at the boot top level?

First, let’s be clear as to what the term “national security” is supposed to mean, shall we? For the purpose of our discussion, it is the protection of the United States from direct attack or preventing any hostile or destructive action against us.

It may entail economic security, environmental security, military security, political security, energy security, or the security of our natural resources.

As to economic security, one could easily see the issue of trade as being an area of interest in the context of national security.

In the machinations of the Paris Accord, the issue of environmental security was obvious. The US was tasked to make enormous changes and to provide substantial funding while countries like China were to do next to nothing because they were “developing” countries in spite of the fact they were the world’s largest polluter. This is how President Trump justified his decision to pull the plug.

Military security is paramount in such places as the Middle East or freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea where China is on the rise threatening Taiwan with invasion and militarizing a dozen islands and atolls. Watching how “One China, Two Systems” plays out in Hong Kong is a wakeup call to the US as it relates to China, a vicious Communist regime that thwarts and smashes the yearnings of its people for freedom.

The Russian attack on our elections is an area of focus as it relates to political security.

The sanctity of the free passage of oil through the Straits of Hormuz is an area pertinent to energy security — though less so to us than ever before, because of our own domestic energy production.

The sale of uranium to Russia during the Obama administration is an example of a topic pertinent to securing our natural resources.

Continue reading

10/3/19

The Whistleblower — Exclusive Interview

The call came in yesterday. It was a little mysterious, so I was understandably cautious.

“Listen, Big Red Car, how would you like an exclusive interview with THE WHISTLEBLOWER?” the voice asked in a furtive whisper.

“You mean, THE whistleblower?” I asked.

“Yes.”

“Sure, when?”

Today, I am sitting with The Whistleblower and we are going to chat about his complaint.

Continue reading

09/20/19

The American Presidency

No man, with the possible exception of General of the Army Dwight David Eisenhower, has ever been ready to become President of the United States on day one.

The job is bigger than any man, more complex than any man’s experience, throws him into a malestrom of competing voices and opinions while uniquely challenging its holder to make life-and-death decisions beginning day one. Looking at that sentence, I believe that Ike was ready to go right after the Inauguration.

Continue reading

08/23/19

Trump’s Folly — Greenland

Don’t let the title fool you, I am in favor of the United States buying Greenland and its 844,000 square miles of ice. I don’t really care that it was President Trump’s idea meaning I could like something even when it is disqualified by being an idea from “that” guy. [Tongue, meet cheek.]

Of course, it is not President Trump’s idea.

That distinction belongs to Senator Owen Brewster of Maine who spun the idea up in 1945. That idea was first proposed to the Danes by President Truman’s Secretary of State in 1946 and the US’s opening bid was $100,000,000. Classified archives burst open in 1991 revealing this nugget.

Continue reading

07/28/19

Tech, Taxes, Tariffs, Trade — And French Wine

France has imposed/threatened a “digital services tax” on the likes of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google — all American companies.

The tax is 3% of gross revenues from digital services earned in France, but only for companies with more than 25MM Euros in French revenue and 750MM Euros in worldwide gross revenue. The tax money goes to France.

When you work through the math it puts a bullseye on Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google while giving a pass to many European companies who collectively are just as big as these digital behemoths. This is not an accident.

This tax was discussed for some time period, but its enactment caught a lot of folks by surprise. One who was not caught by surprise was President Donald J Trump.

President Trump had spoken to the French President Emmanuel Macron cautioning him that such a tax would be met with an American response.

Image result for images macron

President Trump, in his inimitable fashion said, “Don’t do it because if you do it, I’m going to tax your wine.” Macron blew him off. French wine is a huge industry.

The French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, sniffing at the ruffian DJ Trump, suggested that taxes and tariffs were completely unrelated. Good luck with that, Bruno.

Taxes and tariffs are core elements of trade while technology, digital services are a critical element of American commerce.

Continue reading

06/27/19

Judgment And Going To War

While I recognize that you are engaged in evaluating the debates and probably don’t have time for anything else, I want to slip in a few comments about judgment.

What brings this to the fore in my V8 is the matter of President Trump deciding not to strike Iran in retaliation for having downed a US Air Force drone.

Image result for images global hawk

Here is a picture of the drone, a RQ-4A Global Hawk that is flown by three remote pilots, has the wingspan of a 737, flies at 500 MPH, carries ooooodles of tech gear to listen to and look at our enemies, and typically operates at 65,000 feet altitude.

[Big question — WTF was the Global Hawk doing operating at 22,000 feet over the Straits of Hormuz? That is within the capabilities of Iranian SAMs (surface-to-air missiles) to reach while if they had been at 65,000 feet, the Iranians could not have reached that altitude. Why?] Continue reading