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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

06/4/19

A Letter to England

Our President is wrapping things up in England on the heels of a state visit. He was invited by the Queen when the Parliament could not find the manners to do so after we had the Prime Minister over for a nice visit.

Queen Elizabeth honored him with a formal reception at her palace, a trooping of the line, a lunch, tea, and a state dinner. Got to exchange ideas with Prince Charles. What a treat!

That is the royal treatment. Thank you, Queen Elizabeth.

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The political establishment was not so appreciative or civil. They insulted our President, a kid from Queens (get it, the Queen, the kid from Queens), who returned the fire.

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05/30/19

The New Legal Concepts Post Mueller

Robert Swan Mueller III wrote a book. It was a longish book at 441 pages. Not War & Peace long, but still long enough that nobody has read it.

You have not read it. The talking heads have not read it. The Speaker of the House of the US House of Representatives admits she has not read it. It is the most unread book in America.

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You can buy an eBook ($1.99) or an audiobook on Amazon. Sales have been slow. The author is Robert S Mueller III, a Princeton undergrad and a Virginia Law grad.

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04/19/19

The Mueller Report

Sigh, a friend who constantly goads me in regard to all matters pertinent to President Trump has threatened me with physical violence if the Big Red Car fails to take note of the Mueller Report. I will try to restrain myself from discussing much of the detail, but I will touch on the process.

Robert Swan Mueller III investigating President Trump’s McDonald’s selections.

First, I believe that most reasonable people will conclude, as did Bobby Mueller, that there was no evidence of Trump campaign Russian collusion. That is, of course, the genesis of the report — “Bob, go take a look at whether the Trumpies were in bed with the Russians. Do it in accordance with the Special Counsel statute.”

Two years later, we now have the Mueller Report.

The charge then morphed into an investigation of whether the President obstructed justice. The charge to look at obstruction was focused at first, but then ran far afield during the course of the investigation.

I take issue with the process. Let us map the process, shall we?

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04/4/19

Lunch: President Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez = AOC

President Trump invited thought leader and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to lunch at the White House so they might get to know each other. The Big Red Car was allowed to sit in and listen to their conversation.

AOC arrived at the porto cochere in a black SUV that gets seven miles per gallon in city traffic. As she stepped down, she mounted the stairs and waved to the crowd on the other side of the drive. It was actually three members of the White House grounds crew who had been blowing leaves off the driveway. They waved back at her.

“Amigo, it’s AOC. Wave, man.”

President Donald J Trump met her at the door — he was a little late — and welcomed her to the White House.

“Have you ever been to the White House?” he asked, holding her hand.

“No, but I will live here one day.” She broke into laughter, riotous laughter.

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DJT chuckled and waved a finger at her. [She’s 29 and you have to be 35 to be President.]

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