Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Nothing That Drips From Her Lips Is Believable.What's With Soros. Nouriel Roubini!


In all fairness, Hillary has been preparing for the presidency for 30 plus years and Donald is still working on being a semi-politician.

Would Donald have done better had he prepared more ? One of my dear friends and fellow memo readers believes, he is too dumb to be effective?

I am just guessing but I believe the more the debate went on the more bored Trump became. Certainly that was how I felt because listening to Hillary drone on is a true turn off. She mouths words but says little that makes sense or is worth listening to because of her history of lying and pandering. Nothing that drips from her lips is believable because she is a robot and so staged.

If Trump was trying to be "presidential" he was because he was more boring than was necessary.
I thought this was interesting and humorous but it was taped before we recently learned about 1800 illegals who were given citizenship status in error. DUH:

When I posted Limbaugh's congressional retirement comment I questioned it but did not check.  This from a dear friend, a memo reader and former candidate for Congress: "Dick:
Limbaugh's comment on an instant congressional pension is entirely wrong. I researched this when i ran. No vesting at all for 5 years and then, depending on the Congress member's own level of contribution it starts at about $13,000 per month. His comment was way off base. However, they STILL get a much more generous deal than soldiers. Bob Johnson"
Erick Erickson on last night's debate. (See 1 and 1a below.)
Setting the record straight. (See 2 below.)

Iran's army larger than ours. (See 2a below.)

Who uses nuclear first? (See 2b below.)

Israel and Russia regarding technology (See 2c below.)
What's with Soros? (See 3 below.)

What will be with Obama in November? (See 3a below.)
Nouriel Roubini is always worth reading.
(See 4 below.)

If Hillary becomes president markets may do well initially but I doubt it will over her four years because her policies are wrong and Republicans may not be able to thwart her or even make the effort for fear of being castigated as obstructionists.

If Trump becomes president markets may sell off initially because of uncertainty but could do quite well if Republicans get behind him and they work together for the common good because his policies are far better than Hillary's 

My concern is that both will be disrupted by external circumstances beyond their control.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++1)American Colonoscopy 2016

Most Americans, twenty minutes into last night’s debate, would have most assuredly preferred a colonoscopy without anesthesia than be subjected to that. Hillary Clinton pushed her tongue into her upper dentures to force a smile and Donald Trump yelled.
Remember when people were excited to see the train wreck that would be a Trump vs. Clinton debate? The nation comes away from the experience diminished. So does Lester Holt.
Holt was not a moderator so much as a person who tossed in a stick of dynamite and let the candidates toss it back and forth until it exploded. He gave the Trump camp ample reason for bias. He asked about:
  • Trump’s taxes
  • Trump’s statement on Hillary Clinton’s appearance
  • Trump’s birtherism crusade
He did not ask about:
  • Benghazi
  • The Clinton Foundation conflicts
  • Clinton’s support of Obama’s red line repeatedly crossed in Syria
  • Clinton’s “deplorables” comment
In fact, Holt brought up the issue of conflicts with Trump and his taxes, but it never came up with Clinton and the Clinton Foundation.
Never fear though, Holt had an entire section of the debate dedicated to cybersecurity and let Donald Trump take the business to Hillary Clinton over her emails. Except Trump did not. Yes, there was a specific question about Clinton’s emails earlier in the debate, but Holt set it up perfectly for Trump to take on hacking and security of her emails and Trump repeatedly failed to litigate the issue.
For her part, Clinton failed miserably to build the case against Trump about stiffing middle class workers. She tried, but she did a very poor job of it. It came across flat and emotionless. But, like John Kasich, we now know her father’s occupation.
Trump came across stronger in the beginning, but as the night went on he yelled more and more. He interrupted more and more. He was more and more off putting and annoying. All Clinton had to do was smile and laugh at him.
The Clinton criticism of Trump turned out to be true. She repeatedly baited him and Trump took the bait every single time. He hurt himself on the issue of his taxes and then set himself on fire with the birther issue. Clinton, however, never knew when to shut up. She was the Neil deGrasse Tyson of politics, taking the joy out of Christmas songs by too much needless and boring exposition.
At the end of the night, Clinton outperformed Trump only because she came across as less angry. I moderated a panel of voters after the debate. More than half were absolutely for Trump, only one was firmly for Clinton, but almost all of them think Clinton came across with the better demeanor.
It was reflected in the debate spin room as Trump’s staff put on a brave show that reeked of despair. Keep your eye on the LA Times tracking poll, which though the numbers may not be good has certainly picked up on shifts of momentum. I suspect we are about to see a shift in Clinton’s direction that may become irreversible.
The big loser of the night, however, was not Trump or Lester Holt. It was America. Two unlikable candidates went into the debate and came out even more unlikable. Okay, and Ted Cruz is a pretty big loser too for defending that performance last night. Come on, Ted…

1a) Knock Out Fight That We Thought, It Was Spirited But Was a Draw


It was not exactly the knock out fight that we thought. It was a spirited fight. I think in the end it was something like a draw. But I do believe that the draw goes to the challenger in the sense that Trump did not go over the line. And the very fact he could go 90 minutes on the same stage ultimately elevates the challenger, that's just automatic for any debate of that support.

I think he did allow himself to get very defensive and she exploited that. She kept coming back for things where he wasted a lot of time on taxes, on some of the other issues he felt personally about, and, as a result, he missed a lot of opportunities. She presented herself as she always does. Solid, solid, knows her stuff, not terribly exciting but reliable. I think that is the best she can do. Likable, she couldn't but that is not something within her reach. 

He contained himself in the sense that I don't think he committed any gaffes but he allowed himself -- she could find out something personal about him that would make him down rabbit holes at a time when he had wide openings to go after her on e-mails and other items, and let them go.

Hillary’s Debate Lies

With her comments about crime, policing, and race, the candidate helps push a false—and dangerous—narrative.

Hillary Clinton repeated her incessant lie last night that the criminal justice system is infected with “systemic racism.” Race “determines” how people are “treated in the criminal justice system,” she said. Blacks are “more likely [than whites] to be arrested, charged, convicted and incarcerated” for “doing the same thing.” Such a dangerous falsehood, should Clinton act on it as president, would result not just in misguided policies but in the continued delegitimation of the criminal justice system. That delegitimation, with its attendant hostility and aggression toward police officers, has already produced the largest one-year surge in homicides in urban areas in nearly a half-century.

Criminologists have tried for decades to prove that the overrepresentation of blacks in prison is due to criminal-justice racism. They have always come up short. They have been forced to the same conclusion as Michael Tonry in his book, Malign Neglect: “Racial differences in patterns of offending, not racial bias by police and other officials, are the principal reason that such greater proportions of blacks than whites are arrested, prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned,” Tonry wrote. In 1997, criminologists Robert Sampson and Janet Lauritsen reviewed the massive literature on charging and sentencing. They found overwhelming evidence establishing that “large racial differences in criminal offending,” not racism, explained why more blacks were in prison proportionately than whites and for longer terms.
To say, as Clinton did last night, that blacks are more likely to be incarcerated for doing the same thing as whites ignores the relevance of a defendant’s criminal history in determining his sentence, among other crucial sentencing factors. Just last week, an analysis of Delaware’s prison population presented to the Delaware Access to Justice Commission’s Committee on Fairness in the Criminal Justice System revealed that when juvenile and adult criminal records are taken into account, along with arrest charges and age, racial disparities in sentencing decisions are negligible to nonexistent.
Clinton also complained that “too many young African-American and Latino men end . . . up in jail for non-violent offenses.” In fact, the majority of prisoners in the U.S. are serving time for violent felonies. The enforcement of low-level public order offenses in New York City during the mayoralties of Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg actually lowered New York State’s prison population by intervening in criminal behavior early, before it ripened into a serious felony. Even as misdemeanor arrests increased in the city, felony arrests and felony incarcerations dropped. The number of jail inmates and convicts under parole and probation supervision in New York City dropped as well. Hillary Clinton may think that low-level public-order enforcement (otherwise known as “broken windows” policing) is racist, but law-abiding residents of high-crime communities beg the police to enforce public-order laws because they know that out of street disorder erupts gun violence and other forms of predation.
Clinton reiterated her call for “implicit-bias” training for officers. The premise of such training is that police officers are shooting black males out of such bias. Yet,four studies have come out this year alone that demolish this charge. They show that if there is bias among police officers in their shooting decisions, it works in favor of blacks and against whites. “Implicit-bias” training, based on a lie, is a grotesque waste of resources at a time when officers are desperate for more hands-on tactical training that will help them make those crucial shoot/don’t shoot decisions in the field, or avoid being put into such an excruciating situation in the first place.
Clinton claimed that “stop-and-frisk was found to be unconstitutional.” No federal judge would have the power to declare pedestrian stops unconstitutional, because the Supreme Court put its constitutional imprimatur on the practice in 1965. Stop-and-frisk remains a lawful and essential police tactic. Criminologist David Weisburd examined the practice in New York City and found that it reduced crime in shooting hot spots. Federal district court judge Shira Scheindlin did rule that the New York Police Department’s practice of stops was racially biased, but her ruling applied only to the New York Police Department. That ruling was wholly unjustified and would likely have been reversed on appeal, had newly elected New York City mayor Bill de Blasio not dropped the appeal. Judge Scheindlin used a population benchmark for measuring the lawfulness of police actions: if police stops didn’t match population ratios, they were unconstitutional, in Scheindlin’s view. Such a methodology ignores the massive disparities in criminal offending in New York City. Blacks commit over three-quarters of all shootings, though they are 23 percent of the city’s population. Add Hispanic shootings to black shootings and you account for 98 percent of all shootings in New York City. Whites are 34 percent of the city’s population; they commit less than 2 percent of all shootings. Such disparities in gun violence mean that virtually every time the police are called out on a gun run—meaning that someone has been shot—they are called to minority neighborhoods on behalf of minority victims, and, if any witness or victim is cooperating with the police, being given a description of a minority suspect. The reality of crime, not phantom police racism, determines the incidence of police activity, including pedestrian stops.
Clinton claimed that stop-and-frisk was “ineffective” and “did not do what it needed to do.” Felony crime dropped 85 percent from the early 1990s to the mid-2010s in New York City; more than 10,000 minority males were spared the violent death that they would have experienced had homicides remained at their early 1990s levels. Stop-and-frisk was a crucial part of that crime drop, the longest and steepest on record; it’s hard to imagine anything more effective than New York’s proactive policing revolution. Stop-and-frisk deterred criminals from carrying guns. Equally importantly, it intervened in a range of other criminal behaviors. If an officer saw someone casing a store on a boulevard plagued with burglaries, or saw someone walking quickly behind an elderly lady in a neighborhood plagued with robberies, he would stop that person and ask a few questions. That stop may not have resulted in an arrest, but it could have averted the commission of a crime.
Homicides and shootings in New York City rose 20 percent in the first half of 2015, thanks to the Scheindlin-induced drop in pedestrian stops. Then-police commissioner William Bratton responded with a massive deployment of overtime manpower to high-crime corners; officers used “command presence”—i.e., their mere presence on the street—to deter criminal behavior. This roll-out of manpower resources quelled the shooting spike and New York City ended 2015 with a 6 percent homicide increase. Other departments do not have the personnel available to them to make up for a drop in proactive policing.
Donald Trump is right to warn about depolicing and what I have called the Ferguson Effect. “Right now, our police, in many cases, are afraid to do anything,” he said. The result is a massive loss of black lives in places like Chicago and Baltimore. Law and order are breaking down in inner cities; officers are surrounded by hostile, jeering crowds when they get out of their squad cars to conduct an investigation. Resistance to arrest is up, increasing the chances of an officer’s own use of force. And race riots are returning to American cities. The current mendacious narrative about policing and race has to change or we can expect to see further violent-crime increases and further racial violence. It is clear, however, that Hillary Clinton will continue to enflame racial tensions through a set of lies about the criminal-justice system.

TEHRAN (FNA)- Mohsen Rafiqdoust, who served as minister of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps throughout the eight years of the Iraqi-imposed war on Iran, said the IRGC Ground Force is five times more than the US army troops, adding that the IRGC can dispatch 6 million troops to any battlefield in a matter of days.
“Today, the number of the IRGC Ground Force is five times more than the US army and it is the Ground Force which ends the wars,” Rafiqdoust said, addressing a gathering in Tehran on Sunday.
“The IRGC Ground Force can send 6 million ready-for-combat troops to the battleground in less than 10 days,” he added.
Noting that the country's warehouses are full of weapons and military equipment, Rafiqdoust said, “Our missiles are ready to be fired at Israel. This has been shown to the Americans and they have been allowed to have videos” (through their broadcast on Iranian TV).
Firing one artillery round against Iran by Israel would mean that “Iran will turn Tel Aviv into dust”, he underlined.
In relevant remarks in 2014, Commander of the IRGC Ground Force Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour said his troops are among the best in the region.
“Today, the Army and IRGC's Ground Forces are among the best and most powerful ground forces of the region,” Pakpour told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony to commemorate IRGC Missile Industry martyrs in Tehran.
Also in the same year, General Pakpour underscored the IRGC’s full preparedness to defend the security and territorial integrity of Iran powerfully.
“Thanks God and due to the good management done by Iran, we have no special security problem in the country; generally speaking, the problems are in our neighboring countries and sometimes the terrorist elements are directed towards Iran from outside,” Pakpour said at the time.
“The dedicated forces of the IRGC Ground Force are fully ready to defend and establish security in every part of Iran under any conditions,” he added then.



Prof. Louis René Beres on the delicate global balance of nuclear power that could be jeopardized by nuclear aggressions from North Korea or Pakistan, and the repercussions of such steps on the Israeli nuclear strategy

A Pakistani-made Gaznavi missile, capable of carrying nuclear warheads (Photo: AP)
“…in the highest branches of strategy, intellectual complications and a great diversity of quantities and relations are to be looked for” (Carl von Clausewitz, On War).
More than likely, the first post-Hiroshima/Nagasaki use of nuclear weapons will be undertaken by North Korea or Pakistan. Should this actually turn out to be the case, the cumulative consequences would impact not only the responsible aggressor state and its multiple victims, but also still-developing strategic nuclear policies in certain other countries. The most obvious and concerning case of such a prospective secondary impact would be Israel.
For now, Israel's nuclear strategy remains “deliberately ambiguous,” or in the “basement.” Whether well-founded or foolishly conceived, this intentional opacity has endured as national policy because Jerusalem has not yet had to worry about confronting any enemy nuclear forces. This potentially fragile posture would almost certainly need to change, however, if Iran were sometime perceived to have become a near-nuclear adversary.
Significantly, while seldom discussed “out loud,” Israel could also feel compelled to shift away from nuclear ambiguity once an actual nuclear attack had taken place elsewhere on earth. In other words, there would need to be no direct connection between such an attack and Israel for the Jewish State to acknowledge certain derivative obligations to alter or modify its own nuclear strategy.
To be sure, any such predictive analytic leap cannot readily be drawn from relevant historical examples. After all, such expectedly pertinent examples simply do not exist. Moreover, to be suitably scientific, any assessments of probability regarding an actual resort to nuclear weapons would have to be based upon the ascertainable frequency of past nuclear events. Fortunately, for human welfare, if not for the science of strategic prediction, there have been no nuclear wars.
What about Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Incontestably, the American atomic bombings of Japan in August 1945 were not proper examples of a nuclear war, but rather of a unique or one-time use of nuclear weapons designed to end an ongoing and worldwide conventional war. Further, there were no other nuclear weapons states in August 1945 (Washington was not even sure that its own Little Boy and Fat Man would work), so any corollary U.S. strategic calculations could bear no resemblance to what might actually confront Israel today.
For purposes of Israeli strategic thinking, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were utterly sui generis; hence, forever dissimilar to any present or future national security circumstances.
Nonetheless, we needn't make any plausible or persuasive probability assessments about North Korea, Pakistan and Israel in order to reach the following conclusion: Once North Korea and/or Pakistan fires nuclear weapons against another state or states, a principal nuclear “taboo” will have been broken, and all existing nuclear powers – especially Israel – will then begin to take more seriously the actual operational use of their own nuclear weapons. The precise manner and extent to which Israel would be impacted in such circumstances would depend, among several more-or-less intersecting factors, on prevailing geopolitical alignments and cleavages, both regional and worldwide. For example, North Korea has already had tangible ties to both Syria and Iran, and all concerned parties could be forced to take into distinctly calculable account the presumed expectations of an already resurgent Cold War.
The “spillover” impact on Israel of any actual nuclear weapons use by North Korea or Pakistan would also depend upon the particular combatants involved, expected rationality or irrationality of these same combatants, yields and range of the nuclear weapons fired, and the prompt aggregate calculation of civilian and military harms actually suffered in the affected areas. If North Korea had fired its nuclear weapons against American targets, military or civilian, Israel could correctly anticipate an overwhelmingly destructive U.S. response. If, in another apt scenario, a government in Islamabad (possibly a post-coup Islamist regime) fired “only” its tactical or theater nuclear weapons, and “only” against exclusively military targets, the Indian response might then be substantially less overwhelming.
It also ought to be noted here, for further predictive clarification, that Pakistan recently shifted certain specific portions of its nuclear targeting doctrine to expressly lower yield, shorter range weapons, presumably to enhance the underlying credibility of its nuclear deterrence posture vis-à-vis India.
All of this would pose stunningly complex calculations for Israeli strategists. Indeed, these planners would have to account capably not only for singular nuclear weapons operations by North Korea or Pakistan, but also for any multiple interactions or synergies that might be involved. It is even conceivable, to offer still another meaningful example, that any North Korean resort to nuclear attack would be followed, more-or-less promptly, by a separate Pakistani use of nuclear weapons.
This prospect could represent a chaotic or near-chaotic development, in which Israel would then be faced with a palpably unprecedented analytic challenge.
In dealing with such strategic dangers and possibilities, Israeli planners would steadfastly need to identify their basic task as an intellectual struggle of “mind over mind,” not merely one of “mind over matter.” Such a critical distinction was already well heeded by ancient Greek and Macedonian war planners in the fifth and fourth centuries BCE, as well as by the ancient Chinese strategist Sun-Tzu. In the Nuclear Age, even by definition, this vital distinction has become even more urgent and necessary.
Where should Israeli strategic planners now go with such complicating insights and expectations? Above all, they will soon need to factor into their nuclear policy calculations an altogether refined version of Carl von Clausewitz's concept of “friction,” or his closely related emphases on the “fog of war.” In this nuanced and updated version, they will need to base suitably enhanced preparations for Israeli nuclear posture changes upon a much more integrated geographic area of global strategic interaction, and on a correspondingly wider range of worldwide military developments.
These developments must include certain conflicts and operations that could arise outside of the Middle East, especially North Korea and Pakistan. Ultimately, this is because of the immutably systemic nature of all world politics, including all core strategic interactions between individual states.
This suggests, among other things, that because of “friction” created by nuclear weapons use outside the region, Jerusalem could have to move beyond “deliberate nuclear ambiguity” sooner or more suddenly than may originally have been intended. In turn, any such unanticipated shift would have immediately urgent implications for Israel's strategic nuclear deployments, its nuclear targeting doctrine, its elaborate cyber-defenses, and its similarly multi-faceted ballistic missile defenses. For Israel, therefore, anticipating and understanding strategic complexity could offer the country an invaluable if not genuinely indispensable security “net.”
In Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv, it plainly follows, only those “mind over mind” nuclear planners who choose to cast widely, could be expected to catch.
Louis René Beres (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is Emeritus Professor of International Law at Purdue. He lectures and publishes widely on matters of Israeli security and nuclear strategy.

2c) Wikileaks: Russia offered to cancel S-300 Deal with Iran for Israeli UAV Technology 
Wikileaks reveals that in 2010, Israel was offered by Russia to cancel the 
delivery of S-300 missile systems to Iran, in exchange for Israeli unmanned 
aerial vehicle technology, for which it was willing to pay $1 billion 
Ami Rojkes Dombe | 26/09/2016 


A leaked document published on wikileaks.org reveals that in 2010, Russia 
raised the provision of sophisticated Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) 
technology in exchange for canceling the S-300 sale to Iran. 

According to the publication, IMOD's Political-Military Chief Amos Gilad 
said that Russian interlocutors had acknowledged development gaps in their 
UAV platform and that Russia is prepared to pay USD one billion for Israeli 
UAV technology. He reiterated that Israel would not provide its latest UAV 
technology, arguing that such technology would likely end up in the hands of 
the Chinese. 

Regarding the Iranian nuclear program, Gilad was not sure Tehran had decided 
it wants a nuclear weapon – but is "determined" to obtain the option to 
build one. According to Gilad, given Tehran's clandestine nuclear program 
(e.g., Qom), it will not be clear when Iran has reached the "point of no 
return." He doubted Iran would choose to let it overtly known that it has 
produced a nuclear weapon. The document also reveals that the Iranians 
planned to build ten additional uranium enrichment facilities.
3) Globalism, Soros, and Charlotte: Now I Get It

For the last few months I’ve had a question in my mind: Just what is George Soros up to? Because I could not understand why a great capitalist speculator, a financial operator who makes the Koch Brothers look like altar boys, would be interested in funding a lefty activist group like Black Lives Matter. It didn’t compute.
But now I understand. No doubt you readers already figured it out. Alas, I am not so smart.
The light went on when I was reading “Progressivism Goes Global” by John Fonte and John Loo in National Review about the plans of the progressive global governance guys. The key point is articulated in a quote from Anne-Marie Slaughter, the head of policy and planning at the State Department under Hillary Clinton. Her idea is that the “global administrative state would work through the ‘coercive power of vertical [government] networks’”:
Vertical government networks pierce the shell of state sovereignty by making individual government institutions -- courts, regulatory agencies, or even legislators -- responsible for implementation of rules created by a supranational institution.
Don’t you just love that? The globalists get the power, and get to pull the strings behind the national governments, and coerce them into doing their global will.

But first, before the globalists ascend Mt. Olympus, they need to “pierce the shell” and destroy the prestige and the power of the nation state; otherwise the national governments will still have the power to tell the globalist gods to go pound sand. How do the globalists do that?

It’s obvious. They divide and conquer. They set the people in each nation state against each other. They divide them up by class, by race, by gender, by tribe: Black Lives Matter; La Raza; Human Rights Campaign, CAIR. With one ring to rule them all.

So that is why George Sauron and all the top-tier foundations are funding groups like Black Lives Matter. That is why the globalists are all in favor of unlimited immigration. The more that the people in America think of themselves as black or white or Hispanic or gay or Muslim rather than American, the easier it is for the global elite to “pierce the shell of state sovereignty” while we are all busy fighting each other.
So far so good. But there is a problem, as the globalists are finding out, to their horror.

The problem with globalism is what to do when things go wrong, as in the Euro, as in Muslim rapists in Europe and no-go areas in Sweden.

In the nation state, when things go wrong, the voters throw the rascals out and elect a new government. They might elect a Roosevelt over a blundering Hoover. Nothing changes, of course, unless they elect a Reagan, for the ruling class is still the ruling class blundering from crisis to crisis; but at least the people have a new leader and new hope.

What happens under global governance when things go wrong? Huh? Appoint a committee?
Exactly. You globalist geniuses didn’t think of that, did you?

That is what Enoch Powell meant when he said that the European project could not work because there was no European demos, no European people. You need a “people” when things go wrong, so the polity hangs together rather than separately.

Right now, of course, things are going wrong with the globalist project, and the result is that the people in the various nation states in Europe are rallying to politicians that want to re-establish the powers of the nation state to throw the globalist rascals out. While they still can.

What luck that the globalist project ran off the road so soon. Given another 20 years of Soros-funded identity politics, with Muslim Lives Matter making Black Lives Matter look like a walk in the park, the people of Europe would have split up into squabbling racial and religious identities, and with things going wrong and the failure of the globalist elite there would be no demos to throw the rascals out.

Hello globalists, progressives, and all the ships at sea. The whole point of constitutions and laws and separation of powers and elections to secure the consent of the governed is this. They help stop civil war. The political furniture that you want to “pierce” is the way for the people to check their rulers short of bloody civil war.
It is telling that in the aftermath of the Charlotte Riots, President Obama is burbling about white police officers learning about discrimination, and Hillary Clinton is missing in action. It is Donald Trump that is calling for unity.
Of course. Donald Trump stands for Making America -- the nation state of Americans -- Great Again. Obama and Clinton are globalist progressives. They don’t care about unity; they care about divide and conquer.

Now, finally, I get it.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class

Obama's November Surprise
by Gregg Roman

There is growing speculation that President Obama will spring a diplomatic surprise on Israel during the interregnum between the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8 and his departure from office in January.

Some say the surprise will be a speech laying down parameters for a final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute or some type of formal censure of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, but the scenario generating most discussion is a decision to support, or perhaps not to veto, a UN Security Council resolution recognizing a Palestinian state.

This would be a bombshell. Washington's long-stated policy is that a Palestinian state should be established only through an agreement negotiated directly between the two sides. In practice, this would require that Palestinian leaders agreed to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and concede the so-called "right of return" for refugees of the 1948 war and their descendants to areas within Israel's borders, a prospect which would mean the demographic destruction of Israel.

For decades, Palestinian leaders have made it clear they won't do this: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas doesn't mince words, tellinga gathering of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo in November 2014, "We will never recognize the Jewishness of the state of Israel." Efforts to win recognition of Palestinian statehood by foreign governments and multilateral institutions are designed to skirt this precondition for statehood.

Any state that comes into existence without Palestinian leaders formally recognizing Israel will be a brutal, unstable train wreck, with areas under its jurisdiction likely to remain a hotbed of terrorism. On top of whatever existing factors are producing the endemic corruption and autocracy of the Abbas regime (not to mention the Hamas regime in Gaza), unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state will vindicate radicals who have been saying all along that there's no need to compromise.

On the other hand, official Palestinian acknowledgement once and for all that Israel is not just here to stay, but has a right to stay, would deprive Palestinian leaders of time-honored tools for manipulating their constituents – appealing to and inflaming their baser anti-Jewish prejudices, promising them salvation if they'll only shut up 'til the Zionists are defeated, and so forth. Instead, they will have to do things like govern well and create jobs to win public support.

Previous American administrations have understood that recognizing Palestinian statehood before Abbas and company allow Palestinian society to undergo this transformation would be the height of irresponsibility. This is why American veto power has consistently blocked efforts to unilaterally establish a Palestinian state by way of the UN Security Council.

Notwithstanding his apparent pro-Palestinian sympathies and affiliations prior to running for the Senate and later the White House, President Obama initially maintained this policy. The expressed threat of an American veto foiled Abbas' 2011 bid to win UN member-state status for "Palestine." He settled for recognition of non-member-state status by the General Assembly in 2012.

As moves by the PA to bring the issue of statehood to the UN picked up steam last year, however, it appeared to walk back this commitment. While U.S officials privately maintained there was "no change," Obama and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power refused – despite the urging of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid – to state publicly that the U.S. would use its veto to stop a resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood.

The conventional wisdom was that Obama's refusal to make such a public declaration was intended to exert pressure on Netanyahu to tone down his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, and later to punish him for it or hold it out to secure concessions. As his presidency enters its final months, it's clear something even more nefarious is at work.

President Obama's failure to clarify his administration's position has greatly damaged prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Even if it is Obama's intention to veto any resolution on Palestinian statehood that comes up at the UN, his refusal to publicly state this – or, put differently, his determination to go on the record for the history books not saying it – has fueled perceptions among Palestinians and European governments facing pressures of their own that American will is softening.

It is imperative that Congress use the tools at its disposal to make this unwise path as difficult as possible for the Obama administration.

Ultimately, a one-sided UN declaration such as this serves only to postpone by a long shot the day when Palestinian leaders accept Israel as it is – the homeland of the Jewish people – and allow their subjects to enjoy the lasting peace and prosperity they and their neighbors deserve.
Gregg Roman is director of the Middle East Forum.
4)The Return of Fiscal Policy
By Nouriel Roubini
(Nouriel Roubini, a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business and Chairman of Roubini Macro Associates, was Senior Economist for International Affairs in the White House's Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton Administration. He has worked for the International Monetary Fund, the US Federal Reserve, and the World Bank.)

NEW YORK – Since the global financial crisis of 2008, monetary policy has borne much of the burden of sustaining aggregate demand, boosting growth, and preventing deflation in developed economies. Fiscal policy, for its part, was constrained by large budget deficits and rising stocks of public debt, with many countries even implementing austerity to ensure debt sustainability. Eight years later, it is time to pass the baton.
As the only game in town when it came to economic stimulus, central banks were driven to adopt increasingly unconventional monetary policies. They began by cutting interest rates to zero, and later introduced forward guidance, committing to keep policy rates at zero for a protracted period.

Whither Turkey?

Sinan Ülgen engages the views of Carl Bildt, Dani Rodrik, Marietje Schaake, and others on the future of one of the world’s most strategically important countries in the aftermath of July’s failed coup.

In rapid succession, advanced-country central banks also launched quantitative easing (QE), purchasing massive volumes of long-term government securities to reduce their yields. They also initiated credit easing, or purchases of private assets to reduce the costs of private-sector borrowing. Most recently, some monetary authorities – including the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, and several other European central banks – have taken interest rates negative.
While these policies boosted asset prices and economic growth, while preventing deflation, they are reaching their limits. In fact, negative policy rates may hurt bank profitability and thus banks’ willingness to extend credit. As for QE, central banks may simply run out of government bonds to buy.
Yet most economies are far from where they need to be. If below-trend growth continues, monetary policy may well lack the tools to address it, particularly if tail risks – economic, financial, political, or geopolitical – also undermine recovery. If banks are driven, for any reason, to reduce lending to the private sector, monetary policy may become less effective, ineffective, or even counter-productive.
In such a context, fiscal policy would be the only effective macroeconomic-policy tool left, and thus would have to assume much more responsibility for countering recessionary pressures. But there is no need to wait until central banks have run out of ammunition. We should begin activating fiscal policy now, for several reasons.
For starters, thanks to painful austerity, deficits and debts have fallen, meaning that most advanced economies now have some fiscal space to boost demand. Moreover, central banks’ near-zero policy rates and effective monetization of debt by way of QE would enhance the impact of fiscal policy on aggregate demand. And long-term government bond yields are at an historic low, enabling governments to spend more and/or reduce taxes while financing the deficit cheaply.
Finally, most advanced economies need to repair or replace crumbling infrastructure, a form of investment with higher returns than government bonds, especially today, when bond yields are extremely low. Public infrastructure not only increases aggregate demand; it also increases aggregate supply, as it supports private-sector productivity and efficiency.
The good news is that the advanced economies of the G7 seem poised to begin – or perhaps have already begun – to rely more on fiscal policy to bolster sagging economic growth, even as they maintain the rhetoric of austerity. In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration has announced a plan to boost public investment. And Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to postpone a risky consumption-tax hike planned for next year, while also announcing supplementary budgets to increase spending and boost the household sector’s purchasing power.
In the United Kingdom, the new government, led by Prime Minister Theresa May, has dropped the target of eliminating the deficit by the end of the decade. In the wake of the Brexit vote, May’s government has designed expansionary fiscal policies aimed at spurring growth and improving economic conditions for cities, regions, and groups left behind in the last decade.
Even in the eurozone, there is some movement. Germany will spend more on refugees, defense, security, and infrastructure, while reducing taxes moderately. And, with the European Commission showing more flexibility on targets and ceilings, the rest of the eurozone may also be able to use fiscal policy more effectively. If fully implemented, the so-called Juncker Plan, named for European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, will boost public investment throughout the European Union.

As for the United States, there will be some stimulus, regardless of whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump wins the presidential election. Both candidates favor more infrastructure spending, more military spending, loosening limits on civilian spending, and corporate-tax reform. Trump also has a tax-reduction plan that would not be revenue-neutral, and thus would expand the budget deficit (though the effect on demand would likely be small, given the concentration of benefits at the very top of the income distribution).
The fiscal stimulus that will result from these uncoordinated G7 policies will likely be very modest – at best, 0.5% of GDP of additional stimulus per year for a few years. This means that more stimulus, particularly spending on public infrastructure, will probably be warranted. Nonetheless, the measures undertaken or contemplated so far already represent a step in the right direction.

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