Saturday, March 4, 2017

I Doubt A United Front Will Emerge To Fight The Common Enemy of Radical Islamic Terrorism. Trump Tapped By Obama?

Atty. Gen. Sessions spoke with The Russian
Ambassador to get Putin to return Brady's shirt.
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President Donald J. Trump
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Asia was supposedly going to become the dominant economic power.  That was the thinking and prediction as Japan ruled the '70's.  Now five problems have surfaced that caused this prediction to be further jeopardized.

It appears the economies of Asia have stagnated, debt has risen, demographics are unfavorable and political instability could result in military outbreaks.   This is a long article but well worth reading.

Perhaps the articulated concerns will prove overblown as was the first forecast but it is food for thought.

A question I asked myself as I read it are there parallels for America?  We have no demographic problem but our debt has increased, our political picture is one of discord and our declining influence has resulted in greater instability world wide.

The world is not coming apart at the seams but some of the stitches that have held it together are rupturing.

I have used the analogy that America was like a college student who had a room all to him/herself and then roommates entered the picture and altered the living conditions.

I have also suggested, as China expanded it's commercial influence, the military would soon demand increased funding in order to protect the nation's expanded investments. We are now seeing this occur.

Finally, the unbridled rogue bully nation often is allowed to bring the entire house down and we are seeing this regarding N Korea.

Where this all ends is anyone's guess but I seriously doubt we can depend upon  Islamic radical terrorism  to unite Russia, Europe, Asia and America in a common defense against this common enemy. (See 1 below.)
Obama tapped Trump? Trump will eventually  learn Obama is a greater threat to his presidency than Putin? (See 2 and 2a  below.)
This black life is worthless:

Asia’s Promise Gives Way to Its Growing List of Troubles

Riddled with economic, political and security woes, today’s Asia is more likely to produce instability and conflict than the freedom and prosperity many once hoped for

Since Japan’s emergence as an economic juggernaut in the 1970s, experts have predicted the 
arrival of an “Asian century.” We should get ready, they say, for a tectonic shift in global 
power as U.S. influence declines, Europe’s discontents mount, and the countries of the 
Indo-Pacific come to dominate world politics, economics and security. Images of Asia’s 
rising power and prestige have embedded themselves in our imaginations, from the 
purchase of Rockefeller Center by Japanese investors in the late 1980s to the grand 
spectacle of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Today, with more than half the world’s 
population living in the region, Asia looms ever larger.
But this impressive ascent has not reconfigured world affairs, and it is unlikely to. The 
more important Asia has become on the global stage, the more glaring have its flaws 
become. The region is deeply fractured, threatened by economic stagnation, political 
upheaval and flashpoints that could trigger new wars. And in our more integrated global 
society, its troubles could quickly become everyone else’s. Much of the world’s attention 
in the coming decades will be devoted not just to accommodating Asia’s growing power 
but to managing and mitigating its many serious problems.
The bad news is likely to arrive in five discrete but interrelated varieties. The first
major problem is the end of Asia’s economic miracle and the failure of its
economies to reform. From Japan to India, Asian countries are struggling to 
maintain growth, balance their economies and fight slowdowns. The worries they 
face include uneven development, asset bubbles, labor woes and state control of markets.
Perhaps the greatest risk is the dramatically slowing Chinese economy. When trading 

opened on the Shanghai Composite Index on June 12, 2015, its value had skyrocketed 

more than 100% since the summer of 2014. Then the bubble popped. Fueled by fears of a 

slowing economy, a weakening currency and an unsustainable debt bomb of some $30 

trillion, China’s markets went into free fall.

In just weeks, the world began asking whether China’s glory days were over. Since then, 
the evidence has only accumulated that China has entered a prolonged economic 
slowdown, marked by a stampede of capital out of the country, totaling $725 billion last 
year, according to the Institute of International Finance. China’s leaders will have to craft 
meaningful reforms to maintain even moderate growth in the years ahead.
Japanese corporations once led the world; now they struggle with shrinking market share, 
growing inefficiency and waning innovation. In 2015, a Bank of Japan report noted that 
the country’s companies have more than $2 trillion in liquid assets sitting unused. Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe’s reforms have neither changed Japan’s risk-averse corporate 
culture nor eliminated enough regulations to unleash entrepreneurship and innovation.
Asia’s advanced economies face their own problems. Japan continues to search for ways 
to end 25 years of economic torpor. An asset and property price bubble nearly brought 
down the country’s financial system in the 1990s, and the economy has limped along 
ever since. Most Japanese have a comparatively high standard of living, but decades of 
stimulus packages and a focus on exports have failed to nudge Japan beyond an average 
annual growth rate of barely 1%, according to World Bank data.
Even if Asia’s economies do muddle through, we must prepare for a far less economically energetic region than we are used to.
Asia’s second looming problem is demographic. Japan began losing population in 2011, 
after decades of dropping birthrates, according to World Bank data. The country’s health 
and welfare ministry and other experts worry that the number of Japanese, which stood at 
127 million in 2014, could fall by as much as a third by 2060. One result of this failure 
to reproduce is that Japan, according to the U.N., “is home to the world’s most aged 
population,” with 33% of its citizens 60 or over in 2015; the country is thought to have 
more than 58,000 centenarians. No modernized society has ever faced such a challenge.
Elderly women walk through a shopping district in Tokyo, Japan, June 16, 2015. A U.N. report calls Japan ‘home to the world’s most aged population.’
Elderly women walk through a shopping district in Tokyo, Japan, June 16, 2015. A U.N. report calls 
Japan ‘home to the world’s most aged population.’ PHOTO: YURIKO NAKAO/BLOOMBERG NEWS
Japan’s demographic problems today could well become those of South Korea, Hong 
Kong, Taiwan and Singapore tomorrow. The direst scenarios for South Korea’s population
for example, predict a drop from 50 million today to just 10 million in 2136, thanks to a 
low fertility rate of 1.19 children per woman. As populations shrink, these countries will 
struggle to maintain their labor forces, stay competitive, fund entitlement programs and 
reshape their societies to deal with mostly elderly populations.
China’s leaders have created another demographic problem through the Communist 
Party’s infamous one-child policy, promulgated in 1979. Meant to control overpopulation, the 
policy has prevented as many as 400 million births, China’s government says. Despite the 
loosening of Beijing’s draconian restrictions in 2015, China still projects that its 
population will begin to slide downward around 2030.
China’s one-child policy is already hurting the labor market. In 2012, the total number of 
working-age Chinese dropped by some 3.4 million, according to China’s National Bureau 
of Statistics. Between 2012 and 2014, the labor force shrank by some 9.5 million, the 
bureau reported, and the steady flow of migrant workers into coastal manufacturing 
centers has begun to dry up. These trends will increasingly pressure the government itself 
to provide health care and other basic social services for elderly Chinese who, because of 
the one-child policy, don’t have large families to support them.
At the opposite end of the demographic spectrum lie countries such as India and Indonesia
. Much of South and Southeast Asia face the risk of too many people. The U.N. predicts 
that India’s population will surpass China’s by 2022, turning the world’s largest 
democracy into the world’s most populous country.
For governments, this youth boom means a growing demand for education, jobs, 
infrastructure and rising living standards. Though having a surplus of young people might
seem like an economic asset, most poor countries have failed to turn abundant labor pools
into lasting prosperity.
These demographic dangers point to a third major risk: dealing with the region’s 
unfinished political revolutions
China is still decades—even generations—away from developing any sort of meaningful 
political liberty. The party has become ever more isolated from its citizenry, who widely 
(and rightly) see it as corrupt, inefficient and often brutal. The party has managed to keep 
a lid on dissent, but only because it has been able to point to the country’s huge economic 
gains. As growth wanes, unrest will increase. The distrust between citizen and state is the 
single greatest threat to the party’s continued rule.
To head off unrest, President Xi Jinping has consolidated his own power, making him 
probably China’s strongest leader since Mao. But if Mr. Xi overreaches and overturns the
country’s longtime model of collective leadership, he could usher in a new era of 
strongman rule or unleash a power struggle among elites.
As some in Beijing worry that Mr. Xi won’t step down when his term expires in 2022, 
China is increasingly left in political stasis: The party cannot evolve without risking its 
hold on power, but the longer it resists change, the more dissatisfied citizens grow and 
the more sclerotic its governance becomes. The party will struggle to maintain control 
without becoming even more repressive, but further crackdowns could spark unrest that 
might sweep it from power.
Asia’s political troubles are hardly limited to its autocracies. South Korea is currently 
enduring its own Watergate. After weeks of demonstrations in Seoul, South Korea’s 
parliament decisively impeached Park Geun-hye, the country’s first female president, last
December. Yet those in the streets were protesting not just Ms. Park’s alleged corruption 
and cronyism but also a socioeconomic system that many no longer believe in.
In Malaysia, Prime Minister Najib Razak is enmeshed in a multibillion-dollar investment-
fund scandal even as liberal opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim remains in prison and the
government cracks down on protesters calling for more open government. (Mr. Najib has 
denied wrongdoing in the fund scandal and has been cleared by Malaysia’s attorney 
general.) In the Philippines, disgust at government inefficiency and corruption helped to 
elect the populist firebrand Rodrigo Duterte as president. He made a war on drugs the 
centerpiece of his campaign, and police have killed more than 2,000 people in a bloody 
crackdown since he took office, with 5,000 more killed by alleged vigilantes. Across the 
region, the millions who feel left behind threaten the stability of governments.
And those governments aren’t so sturdy in the first place, which bring us to another 
regional problem: feeble institutions. Asia has no NATO, no European Union. It has no 
effective regional mechanism to tackle shared problems with joint resolve.
In large part, that is because Asia was dominated for centuries by its most powerful 
nations—China, Japan and India—and by imperialists from abroad. Today, the region is 
riven by the type of distrust and dislike among neighbors that used to bedevil Europe. Its 
great powers have no formal allies among their neighbors and few close partners—a 
legacy of their long histories as regional bullies.
This leadership gap helps to explain why Asia has never developed an effective regional
community. Issues of mutual concern are either addressed in an ad hoc way or left to 
languish. Consider the failure of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or Asean—
supposedly the region’s premier organization—to intervene meaningfully on behalf of the
Rohingya, a Muslim minority group living in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. Myanmar’s 
military has been accused of violently persecuting the group, causing tens of thousands of
Rohingya refugees to flee into Bangladesh or board boats for other Southeast Asian 
countries. The bloc’s tepid response, based in large measure on a longstanding reluctance 
to interfere in each other’s internal affairs, has highlighted the region’s inst
If these four worries weren’t bad enough, they pale in comparison with the most profound
obstacle to Asia’s continued rise: the risk of war. Increasingly, the region is regressing to 
a 19th-century brand of power politics in which might makes right. Such realpolitik is 
hardly reassuring in a neighborhood that includes five nuclear-armed powers: China, India, North 
Korea, Pakistan and Russia.
Since 1945, the U.S. has underwritten regional stability in Asia, but that post-World War 
II order, established by President Harry Truman and his heirs, is now under threat. The 
problem is both the rise of China and new, widespread regional worries that President
Donald Trump’s “America First” rhetoric—despite his attempts to calm anxious U.S. 
allies—may mean a diminished U.S. commitment.
The new U.S. pull toward isolationism has arrived just as Mr. Xi’s China is increasingly 
becoming a revisionist power, bristling at any resistance—especially American—to its 
regional ambitions. Japan, Taiwan, India and many others fear the rise of this sort of 
nationalist China—a fear exacerbated by the numerous unresolved territorial disputes in 
the East and South China Seas. An arms race has begun in Asia and with it an 
accelerating cycle of uncertainty and insecurity.
The Chinese missile destroyer Guangzhou launches an air-defense missile during a military exercise near China's Hainan Island, July 8, 2016.
The Chinese missile destroyer Guangzhou launches an air-defense missile during a military exercise near China's Hainan Island, July 8, 2016. PHOTO: XINHUA NEWS AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES
The South China Sea is among the globe’s most vital thoroughfares. More than $5 trillion 
of trade passes through its waters annually, including more than $1 trillion in U.S. trade. 
But control of the reefs, shoals and atolls that dot the sea is hotly contested. To enforce 
China’s claims, Beijing has constructed artificial islands as military bases, equipped with 
deep-water harbors, runways and missile fortifications, according to the Pentagon
Chinese coast-guard vessels and fishing fleets harass the ships of their neighbors, as well 
as those of the U.S. Navy. Many in the region fear that a small confrontation could spiral 
into outright conflict.
Meanwhile, North Korea is a growing threat, expanding its nuclear arsenal and 
developing new ballistic missiles to deliver them. Pyongyang has underscored its 
ruthlessness by striking beyond its borders, as seems to be the case in the recent murder in
Malaysia of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korea’s dictator. After years of 
failed diplomacy by Democratic and Republican administrations alike, North Korea is 
alarmingly close to being able to strike its neighbors and the U.S. mainland with nuclear 
Taken together, this panoply of problems suggests that the years ahead in Asia won’t be 
an era of peace, expanding freedom and accelerating growth. The region is far more likely
instead to become an engine of conflict and instability.
Asia’s successes over the past decades, particularly its economic gains, shouldn’t be 
dismissed. The region still has an advanced manufacturing base, deep savings and a 
strong middle class in many countries. China, Japan and South Korea, in particular, will 
remain central to the global economy. But the region’s strengths are increasingly 
imperiled by its many problems, which have been ignored for too long.
For the U.S., these risks make it even more important to maintain longstanding American
commitments to promoting security, trade and democracy in the region. Ultimately, of 
course, the fate of Asia will be determined by its own leaders and people. The rest of the 
world can only try to ensure that the region’s troubles don’t worsen and spread.
Mr. Auslin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of 
“The End of the Asian Century: War, Stagnation, and the Risks to the World’s Most 
Dynamic Region” (Yale University Press), from which this essay is adapted.

TRUMP LIVID!! Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” – McCarthyism

Trump has accused the former president Barack Obama of 
tapping the wires at Trump Tower.  A sitting president tapping the
wires of an incoming president is horrendous!


Krauthammer: No Question Obama Left Behind ‘Landmines’ For Trump, ‘Revenge of the Losers’ 

On Friday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Special Report,” columnist Charles Krauthammer argued that there’s
no question that President Obama “was intent on leaving 
behind landmines.” He added that “What this is is the 
revenge of the losers. These are people who wanted to make trouble for an administration of a guy who they 
thought wasn’t going to win and shouldn’t have won, and to 
see what happens, and that’s what I think is going on.”

"Krauthammer said, “I don’t think there’s any question the 
president was intent — the former president, was intent on 
leaving behind landmines. And you’re right, the NSA stuff is 
curious. Normally, when NSA is listening in on a foreigner, they 
take great care to redact any American involved. The NSA’s not supposed to spy on Americans. Here, it was the reverse, and 
there was an obvious attempt, it was reported in the New York 
Times, to make sure this was spread as widely as possible, that it would become a problem for the Trump administration. I wouldn’t 
call it the deep state. … What this is is the revenge of the losers.
These are people who wanted to make trouble for an 
administration of a guy who they thought wasn’t going to win and shouldn’t have won, and to see what happens, and that’s 
what I think is going on. To some extent, it’s happened in other administrations, but I think it’s more obvious, and we’re going to 
get to the bottom of it, because there are going to be a lot of investigations.”

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