Trump is winning on immigration.

We currently have a “partial government shutdown” which no one seems to notice. Most of the appropriations bills were passed and signed. The Homeland Security budget became a Continuing Resolution and is being held hostage in the Senate where Chuck Schumer has vowed “So, President Trump, you will not get your wall,”

Trump has not vetoed anything so the responsibility for the “shutdown” is not obvious. The 40,000 federal employees who are furloughed or not getting paid are over 80% Democrats. The most recent pay period will result in checks today. Then the next pay period in two weeks will be the one where the “nonessentials” will not be paid.

Schumer: “So, President Trump, you will not get your wall,” Schumer added. “Abandon your shutdown strategy. You’re not getting the wall today, next week, or on January 3 when Democrats take control of the House.”

How is this playing in the country ? Some surprises.

Ann Althouse reads the Washington Post so I don’t have to.

She notices the comments to that article on the child that died in US custody.

I’ve excerpted the parts of the article that might make a reader want to blame the father. Was the boy exploited? Was he regarded as expendable? There’s plenty else in the article that might make you want to blame the U.S. government (mainly for not giving quicker medical treatments). I would also think many readers would mostly feel sad that a boy died and bemoan poverty generally. So I was surprised at how harsh the comments were against the father. I didn’t expect this at The Washington Post. This is the most liked comment:
This child’s siblings in Guatemala are alive and well. The child was dragged to the US using money that could have paid the father’s overdue electric bill, which is not a reason to grant asylum.

I wonder how long the Democrats will let this go on if Trump does not cave in ? He seems to have a gut instinct about what Americans think.

CNN seems to think that signing MAGA hats in Iraq is some sort of crime.

CNN Pentagon reporter Barbara Starr said “a lot of questions” have been raised following President Trump’s surprise visit to troops in Iraq where he signed ‘Make America Great Again’ hats and flags.

“There’s a lot of concern because military policy, military regulation prohibits military members in uniform from doing anything that can be construed as a political endorsement. That’s what you want from your U.S. military. They’re not a political force,” Starr reported.

“How did the red hats get there? Some people are saying, well, the troops just brought them and wanted to get them signed. But even if that is the case, the question remains, there were commanders, there were senior enlisted personnel on the scene, they know the regulation. Why did this happen?” Starr asked.

The cluelessness is almost painful. Obama signed stuff when he was president.

What will the end game look like? The new House is even farther left wing than the Senate. Could the “shutdown” go on for months ?

Look at the comments to the WaPoo article.

Thank you. I am liberal myself but I get tired of people who shut off their critical thinking when it comes to brown people. This guy made a spectacularly risky decision, and his child paid the price. It’s on his head. This is, of course, on the assumption that the U.S. wasn’t negligent in the kid’s care – which is certainly possible. Nonetheless it’s his father who endangered him.

This looks like trouble for Democrats. What if Trump stares down Democrats for months ?

63 thoughts on “Trump is winning on immigration.”

  1. President Trump is very fortunate in having such idiotic enemies — Democrats who will close the government in order to open the border, and wailing media buffoons who impeach their own credibility every time they open their mouths. On the other hand, he is unfortunate in his “friends” — Institutional Republican Congresscritters who lack spines and brains. It is very difficult to predict how this will work out.

    But whatever little drama the Political Class can stir up does not change the fundamentals. The Federal Government is spending about $1.30 for each $1.00 it brings in. And much of that $1.30 is spent on current consumption (a lot of it unsustainably imported) instead of on assets which will increase future revenues. At least when the system crashes, the flow of illegal immigrants will reverse itself. Perhaps the Democrats will become even more like the East German Communists, and build a wall to keep us peons in?

  2. Dr K must know that “Laughter is the Best Medicine”, as his “Ann Althouse reads the Washington Post so I don’t have to” brought not merely a wry smile, but actual laughter.

    The WaPo comments included more ‘groaners’, both positive and negative. Good groaners for their observations about absurdity, which should leave most readers chuckling. Sad groaning at pondering the awful situations motivating many aliens to attempt invasion and realizing how complexly difficult any assistance is much less any resolution.

  3. I still read her posts and scan comments for good links. Most are from narciso but there are others.

    I just got tired of the leftist trolls. She tolerates them much more than Neo neocon does, for example.

  4. I think Gavin has it right.

    The tax simulous has slowed, the Fed is crowding out investment by flooding the bond market to reverse its 0 interest rate strategy based on present inflation concerns and all those promises are growing long teeth. Those concerns will increase no matter the outcome of the measly $5 billion for border security stare down. The Fed models still seem woefully short in accounting for rational expectations and it is fighting fiscal simulous that will run out of steam when investment is crowded out and by raising consumer credit interest rates, especially affecting durable goods, based the Fed’s mischief in the financial sector. As interest rates rise, the funding of the debt roll over increases exponentially and dramically increases as a percentage of the annual government expenditures. Positive supply side enhancements have been the real growth in energy resources and production as well as some some meaningful regulatory costs. Targeted tax changes intended to encourage investment and domestic production are significant, but limited in effect.

    The impending ramping up of government transfer payments based on the entitlement promises will push consumption demand up in absolute as well as relative terms compared to investment. The supply of goods and services will not expand to keep up and productivity increases will slow. Investment will fall as a proportion of real GDP while government spending and debt and consumption increase. the aggregate supply of goods and services will not keep pace as profit margins fall based on lower investment (lower productivity and capital replacement and upgrades) and increased input costs.

    This becomes a vicious cycle which can become both inflationary and stagnant a la late 70’s. If drastic actions are not taken to slow the rapid growth of transfers and other government spending, the promises will crash the financial sector and the economy. We have largely avoided this scenario based on foreign demand for our government debt and holding of the dollar. It seems that will not likely continue indefinitely as China, India, etc. productivity and production slow.

    A timeline is challenging to establish, but we have ratcheted ourselves up significantly over the past decade toward this crash scenario.


  5. we have ratcheted ourselves up significantly over the past decade toward this crash scenario.

    Oh, I agree. Trump will get nothing done the next two years that require the House but judges will be confirmed.

    It will take a while to unravel the ZIRP from the Obama years but the Fed seems too focused on inflation, unless of course, the plan is to crash the economy to get rid of Trump. I’m not quite that paranoid but I could be persuaded.

    The hysteria about the border wall seems contrived but the Democrats seem to be going full Marxist. The next two years will be interesting.

    I expect some sort of economic crash but don’t know the time line. I’m old enough to hope I miss it but I have kids and grandkids.

    Kurt Schlicter’s novels are one extreme. I don’t know what the “good” scenario about the future is. Maybe “America 3.0”

  6. Death 6: “A timeline is challenging to establish …”

    Absolutely! Full disclosure — I voted for Ross Perot in 1992 because he was the only candidate talking about the need to do something about the unsustainable growth in government debt. It was clearly an urgent problem which the Political Class was sweeping under the carpet.

    Yet here we are, over a quarter of a century later — all that has happened is that the pile of debt under the carpet has grown mountainous while the Political Class still do not even acknowledge there is a problem. It is very difficult to predict when the world falls off this tightrope, and even more difficult to predict how — but someday we will fall.

  7. The reason I’ve always been so sanguine about the Dem health care plans is that they are a few decades too late–there is no money available to take over the system like they would like.

  8. I voted for Ross Perot in 1992 because he was the only candidate talking about the need to do something about the unsustainable growth in government debt.

    I was ready to do so, too, until he had his meltdown. He would have had asa much trouble as Trump has had although the Deep State was not as entrenched. Obama really larded the bureaucracy before he left town.

  9. Those Perot voters were there for the taking for 20+ years, but the GOP was too stupid to go for them until Trump took over.

  10. It is very difficult to predict when the world falls off this tightrope, and even more difficult to predict how — but someday we will fall.

    Oh, I’m not so sure.

    By 2030 the ratio of those 18-64 to those 65+ in the U. S. will decline from 3.5 to 2.5. The median age in the US will be a shade under 40 and in China it will be 48. India will have a larger population than China. Africa’s population will be just starting to take off.

    My money is on 2030.

    Whoever succeeds Trump in 2024 will have the great challenge of confronting the American people with the bill for a century of profligacy. I’m not sure AOC will be up to it.

    Happy New Year.

  11. Two points:

    Immigration has released more that a thousand “refugees” by giving them a ride to the El Paso bus depot. This has led to predictable impotent howls from the “advocates”.
    Apparently, they didn’t confirm their reservations before crossing the border.

    A new caravan is forming in Honduras, supposedly 15,000, with the intent of taking Mexico up on its offers of asylum.

    Trump doesn’t have to close the border, just search every vehicle, the lines would reach to Guatemala in a week.

  12. Trump doesn’t have to close the border, just search every vehicle, the lines would reach to Guatemala in a week.

    Maybe he and the new Mexican president talked about us helping Mexico with its border. Its southern border.

  13. Mrs Davis: “My money is on 2030.”

    That certainly is plausible. A physicist might feel the need to put an uncertainty band around the number of years to meltdown, say 12 years +/- 10?

    I once had the opportunity to discuss Social Security with a Congressman who was quite defensive about the program. To paraphrase, what he claimed distinguished Social Security from an immoral illegal Ponzi scheme was that the economy was supposed to keep growing robustly, such that the increasing per capita income of workers would offset the declining number of workers per beneficiary. Stepping back, maybe that would have worked — if Congresscritters had not subsequently crippled economic growth through the foolish imposition of excessive counter-productive wealth-destroying laws & regulations. But since every cloud has a silver lining, we should be happy for Ms. Occasional Cortex — while she is undoubtedly as dumb as a rock and as well-informed as the average university professor, she will certainly be able to look around herself in Congress and take pride in being fully the equal of her peers.

    Although it is now inevitable that we in the West will suffer a very painful crunch (sometime), I am personally convinced by the thesis of Matt Ridley’s “Rational Optimist” book. Historically, empires have collapsed and entire societies have vanished, but the long-term trends for the human race have been consistently positive since the days of our hungry naked cave-dwelling ancestors. Today, technology has been spread around the globe. Human beings make jet planes in Brazil and computer chips in Mongolia — civilization will survive our self-inflicted stupidity.

  14. The band could be +/- 4. It’s really up to the Chinese. The pressure of their aging population will be far greater than ours and they will be dealing with a shifting correlation of forces that may make the leadership use it before they lose it and postpone losing it. They are already starting to act a lot like the Japanese in the 1930’s.

    I am optimistic for mankind, but not necessarily the United States as a republic. We’ve had a good long run as republics go. Whereas the United States we live in today is recognizable as the United States in 1945, the changes to come will make 2018 seem as different and distant in 2038 as 1945 was from 1925. Ultimately I’m glad I won’t be around as I am glad my father wasn’t around for the Obama administration.

  15. what he claimed distinguished Social Security from an immoral illegal Ponzi scheme was that the economy was supposed to keep growing robustly,

    Congress took care of that when they robbed the SS trust fund to “balance the budget” in the 1990s. At that time, there was a bulge from Baby Boomers working and contributing. The surplus was taken and IOUs left in its place. I am a Depression baby so maybe it will last long enough for me. Medicare is more of a concern to me. I don’t know what they will do when the end appears to even the dullards in Congress. Hyperinflation ?

  16. Mike,

    It was always a Ponzi scheme and a fraud. The “surplus” was used exclusively to buy government debt. So the “trust fund” never really had any value. And the problem began in the 1960’s when LBJ needed the surplus to pay for Viet Nam. Prior to that time Social Security was not part of the budget and contributions were not considered revenue for budgeting purposes.

    The other big change in the 1960’s was the introduction of automatic COLAs. Prior to that time The benefit payout was set by Congress each year. The inflation of the 60’s meant that huge increases in benefits had to be appropriated and the out of power party raised a ruckus about the in power party spending so recklessly. So they put it on autopilot and ignored it.

  17. I have no doubt that an American reckoning is on the way. I don’t see how it can be delayed until 2030. The bond rates of the early 80’s would absorb about the entire federal income.

    On the other hand, China will never be in a position to capitalize on it. I give them 5 years at best. The 80% that will never get a sweat shop job will realize that there’s no way off the pig farm for them. I don’t know what the trigger will be. The Cultural Revolution was Mao’s way of silencing critics when they started asking difficult questions. I don’t know what Xi’s answer will be but I suspect he’s thinking hard on it right now.

    Some sort of military adventure isn’t out of the question but the Chinese ability to project power is minuscule and will remain so for a good many years. The three exceptions are Taiwan, Southeast Asia and Siberia. Taiwan would trash the economy with little reward for success. Southeast Asia also offers few rewards combined with difficult terrain and the certainty of crippling economic sanctions. Siberia probably offers the largest rewards. Russia’s limited military would be operating at nearly the same disadvantage as the invaders because of the lack of infrastructure. Still only a single rail line to Europe and few roads. I wouldn’t expect sanctions to be pursued with much enthusiasm.

    I think each would prove disastrous in the long run for China and probably not that long. It comes down to a question of which way they’ll jump when the alternative is a mob.

  18. the problem began in the 1960’s when LBJ needed the surplus to pay for Viet Nam. Prior to that time Social Security was not part of the budget and contributions were not considered revenue for budgeting purposes.

    I wasn’t paying attention then as I was deep in a surgical residency but I do recall “Guns and Butter.”

    One issue about China and their demographic troubles, a failing country could lash as out as Hitler did. Demography is even worse for Iran. David Goldman has been writing about this. China has a better economy and military infrastructure. Where I was examining recruits at the LA MEPS, almost 20% of our recruits in LA were Chinese nationals joining a program that grants citizenship after completing the enlistment.

    I took that as evidence of uncertainty about the future in China.

  19. China has a better economy, today. Just like Japan in the 80’s. But it doesn’t have a better culture. We undergo regular revolutions. We call them elections. They keep us going and changing. China does not have elections. They undergo great revolutions. Very disruptive. Goldman is right short term, but not long term.

    And China’s military is a joke compared to ours. What wins wars is people, logistics and will, not weapons. Ours are far better trained and experienced than theirs. And we can move mountains of supplies. In the event we will have the will. Remember all those at Oxford who would not give their lives for God and King. In peacetime. China could certainly bloody our nose for a season, but they could not win. As Jeff Davis, Bill Hohenstaufen, Dolph Hitler and Mike Gorbachev learned. The hard way.

  20. The Chinese economy is a total fraud, in reality probably half as big at most as they claim.
    China provides the majority of asylum seekers to the US, a fact that is never reported since it serves no domestic political importance.
    China has no kids, hence no future.

    As for us, along with demographics, the problem I see is that the rural voters have zero political power, which will lead to massive problems when the next major economic crisis happens. They’ll turn to someone who will make Trump look like a pussycat.

  21. China is an enigma to me. It is astonishing to find that numerous cities most of us have never heard of and certainly could not find on a map have populations larger than London. And since China has risen so rapidly, much of their infrastructure is new — new airports, new high speed rail, new superhighways. In some ways, China today seems a bit like the US prior to World War II — a lot of national pride, a lot of under-utilized manufacturing capacity that could quickly be switched to military production. China needs external sources of gas, oil, minerals — but it manufactures almost everything needed for the military within its own borders. In contrast, the US needs Chinese computer chips to put a fighter plane in the air, and Norwegian rocket fuel to fire a missile, and Swiss guidance kits to put a bomb on target. We really have taken our eye off the ball!

    Given that situation, the US would be at a severe disadvantage in any prolonged conventional war versus the Chinese. Which means that any war would soon have to go nuclear (unless the Democrats surrender first). At least a nuclear war would take the issue of the unsustainable unrepayable National Debt off the table.

    Whether the Chinese military is competent or not, I have no knowledge. They were no match for the Vietnamese back in the late 1970s, but a lot has change since then. The Chinese military certainly has an excellent propaganda arm, as can be seen in the recent “I am a Chinese soldier” video. Notice that the Chinese military is uncompromisingly male, with no genuflection towards Political Correctness.

  22. In order: The “Chinese” chip fab is TSMC, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. The mainland is trying to catch up by hook or by crook but isn’t there yet and isn’t a defense supplier. JDAM kits are made by Boeing, if they do it in Switzerland, I hadn’t heard. I don’t see the Swiss as a likely future opponent. I don’t know what sort of rocket fuel we would buy from Norway. We do buy a number of weapon systems from NATO allies, including Norway.

    The size and health of the Chinese economy is an enigma, especially to the Chinese themselves. The tendency of authoritarian regimes to shoot messengers bearing bad news doesn’t produce reliable econometrics. There’s evidence that the new infrastructure isn’t ageing well. Chinese quality control is notorious.

    A prolonged conventional war with China is very unlikely. Korea is our only actual ally within their reach and it’s hard to figure a motive. South Korea’s own military resources are extensive.

    It’s hard to judge how badly the pervasive corruption has compromised the fighting ability of the military. They show evidence of working hard to learn from outside. They are, as you say, backed by extensive manufacturing capacity. Their army and their equipment haven’t been tried in any real contest so remain unknown.

  23. People keep underestimating Trump. Which isn’t to say he won’t always win, but I find him fascinating.As to the Perot voters, I suspect many of those were “Reagan Democrats” – that the GOP ignored for 20 years.I was ready to vote for Perot but then I thought he was getting a little nutty. Of course he is what gave us Bill Clinton.

    Just as the blue blood Republicans hated Reagan, they hate Trump.

    I have long felt just as the election of Margaret Thatcher was a harbinger for Reagan, Brexit was a harbinger for Trump.

    It is a cultural war between the globalists and the nationalists, and 10s of millions of Americans who have been on the losing end of this finally rising up.

    I agree about the debt – absolutely amazing with the political class taking Alfred E. Newman’s approach.

    I think something sill come before 2030.

    I have Lex’s America 3.0 on my bookshelf, in line to read.

  24. Ours are far better trained and experienced than theirs.

    I worry that the US military was hollowed most by Obama and has surrendered to PC.

    Congress has done some oil this. An example is Susan Helms, a USAF Lt General she was nominated to head the Space Command but she was attacked by Claire McCaskill because she had questioned the prosecution of a male officer for sexual assault. An over zealous AG wanted to give him a dishonorable discharge. She over rolled that and allowed the officer to resign. The accusation, by another officer, involved an alleges assault in the back seat of a car during a date. Another couple were in the front seat and saw nothing like the accusation.

    She was an astronaut with great experience.

    In 2013, Helms was nominated by President Barack Obama to become vice commander of the Air Force Space Command. Senator Claire McCaskill placed a permanent hold on the nomination because Helms had dismissed a charge of a sexual assault and punished Captain Herrera on a lesser charge leading to his dismissal from the USAF, in her role as the General Court-Martial Convening Authority, who is required to review all findings.[7][8] As Helms’s lawyer explained, Helms felt the prosecution had failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.[9][10] Obama eventually withdrew Helms’s nomination and she retired from the Air Force in 2014.

    Then there is the case of The DDE Fitzgerald collision.

    The review said the Navy must “fully embrace a learning culture,” in which accountability “must be sought and assessed in a systemic way, at institutional levels” in order to rein in this “aberrant behavior.”

    The McCain and Fitzgerald collisions revealed a pattern that forced the Navy to recognize that it had neglected basic seamanship training to the point of disaster.

    A recent Navy review of competency of junior officers certified to be officer of the deck – to drive the ship – found a disturbing 84 percent raised concerns with their ship handling; many exhibited poor knowledge of radar and equipment; and more than half were not able to make critical decisions when facing danger.

    That was not the worst of it. The two female officers that were running the ship were not speaking to each other.

    In an 11-hour hearing, prosecutors painted a picture of Lt. Irian Woodley, the ship’s surface warfare coordinator, and Lt. Natalie Combs, the tactical action officer, as failing at their jobs, not using the tools at their disposal properly and not communicating adequately. They became complacent with faulty equipment and did not seek to get it fixed, and they failed to communicate with the bridge, the prosecution argued. Had they done those things, the government contended, they would have been able to avert the collision.

    That two of the officers — Coppock and Combs — involved in this fatal incident were female suggests that discipline and training standards have been lowered for the sake of “gender integration,” which was a major policy push at the Pentagon during the Obama administration. It could be that senior officers, knowing their promotions may hinge on enthusiastic support for “gender integration,” are reluctant to enforce standards for the women under their command.

    This was concealed by the Navy. This is not the way you win wars.

  25. MCS wrote: “The “Chinese” chip fab is TSMC, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.”

    There is no point in us getting into a debate about subjects about which we both know little — especially since what little we do know comes from the ever-unreliable media. However, it is worth stopping and thinking about that assertion.

    China has repeatedly told the world that it intends someday to take back Taiwan. Let’s assume that the Chinese leaders mean what they have repeatedly said. There is an entirely plausible scenario where China (probably with massive support from the UN General Assembly) invades and occupies Taiwan. The US is committed to defending Taiwan — but then would find that the source of essential computer chips for the US military is in Chinese hands. Not smart planning on the part of the US.

    From time to time, little notes filter through to the media about the supply chain problem:
    3 Oct 2018 in DefenceWeb, an African site: “A Pentagon-led review ordered by President Donald Trump identified hundreds of instances where the US military depends on foreign countries, especially China, for critical materials, officials said.”

    I surely hope that it never comes to a shooting war with China. But it takes only one side to start a war, and if Chinese leaders have been planning for that as an option for the future, they (with the help of the Clintons and their ilk) have certainly done a good job of putting the US into a severely disadvantaged position prior to going into any conflict.

  26. I know we are drifting a bit off the focus of Michael Kennedy’s post — but a lot of different issues are tied together.

    It is all very well to say that “JDAM kits are made by Boeing”. It would be more accurate to say that JDAM kits are delivered to the Air Force by Boeing. But what is Boeing’s supply chain?

    If we look at Boeing’s commercial airliners, where information on supply chains is more available, it turns out that (for example) much of the fuselage of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is made by Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Japan. Boeing is in part an assembler as well as a manufacturer. If China invaded Japan, Boeing would be unable to build large commercial jets. Globalization has risks as well as benefits.

    Ok, some of the US military supply chains depend on European “allies”. But is it safe to assume that those NATO “allies” will be reliable sources of supply in any future conflict? Anti-Americanism is fairly close to being a State Religion in many of the European countries. Germany made only a pathetic contribution to the liberation of Kuwait, and France refused to allow US bombers to pass through their airspace when President Reagan punished Ghaddafi in Libya.

    The outsourcing of the US manufacturing base may have generated some short-term profits for politically well-connected businesses — but it has longer-term costs, in addition to the loss of jobs and loss of tax revenue. This may be analogous to the Political Class running up the National Debt to support current consumption — the benefits are now in the past, and the costs lie in the rapidly-approaching future.

  27. The outsourcing of the US manufacturing base may have generated some short-term profits for politically well-connected businesses — but it has longer-term costs,

    As Insty has been posting for years, we have the worst ruling class in our history. This is an example of The Principle Agent problem I have posted about before.

    Government and crony capitalists have cooperated, often with exchanges of personnel, to enrich themselves.

    Take a look at the role of Goldman – Sachs.

    Mr. Rubin amassed a fortune on Wall Street before heading the National Economic Council under President Bill Clinton. In 1994, Mr. Clinton selected him to become Treasury secretary. Mr. Rubin drew criticism just after his arrival in Washington when it was disclosed that he had sent farewell letters to hundreds of Goldman clients saying he was “looking forward to working with you in my new capacity.” He said that he was merely being polite.

    Rubin had a lot to do with the collapse of the Mexican peso.

    A MONTH AFTER THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT devalued the peso and triggered a spectacular meltdown of Mexico ‘s economy, U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin described this economic disaster to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as a “low probability” event that few analysts could have anticipated.

    Goldman-Sachs did fine.

    Faced with a run on Mexico that was evaporating perceptions of U.S. NAFTA benefits, the Clinton administration masterminded a series of bailouts. On January 3, 1995, a year and two days after NAFTA took effect, the administration proposed an $18 billion rescue plan. The plan consisted of $9 billion in expanded currency swap arrangements from the United States, $1 billion worth of swaps from Canada, $5 billion in Bank of International Settlements (BIS) credit and $3 billion in private bank credit. On January 12, as Mexico’s economy continued to unwind, the administration boosted the U.S. commitment to $40 billion worth of U.S. loan guarantees. Exercising political finesse, the Democratic administration first sat Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kansas, and House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Georgia, down with Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. These political heavyweights got the Republican leaders to sign off on the proposal on the spot.

    Dole and Gingrich’s prior consent severely limited the ability of the Republican Party to make partisan hay out of the Clinton administration’s bailouts. The chief reason the bailouts were unpopular was the widespread perception that it was structured to reward the very co-dependents who caused Mexico’s economic crisis: the Mexican government and its foreign investor creditors. The main purpose of a bailout was, by the Treasury Department’s own admission, to address Mexico’s liquidity and foreign exchange crisis. But what does this jargon really mean?

    Most have forgotten. Then there was Jon Corzine.

    Our country has been robbed repeatedly and not just by the Clintons, although they had a hand kin it.

  28. Gavin Longmuir: I came across as more contentious and disagreeable than I should have and beg your pardon. I suspect that we agree an more than we disagree. I believe that we passed the point long ago where anything very complex is produced completely within our borders. Lately, completely domestic suppliers have been called to a higher purpose and become unreliable (GOOGLE). The U.S. is blessed to be far less vulnerable than many other countries in terms of strategic materials.

    The most stark example is more than 100 years old: Around 1912, the British Navy under Churchill bought the oil fields of Iran to provide the fuel to convert their ships from coal to oil. This started the whole Mid-East mess we see today when the British had to expend considerable ingenuity and troops to defend this supply line through both World Wars and the innumerable uprisings, revolutions and rebellions since. We have found ourselves protecting the supply of everything from coal-tan to bananas. The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, invaded the Philippines and Southeast Asia to insure their supply of rubber and oil.

    Boeing has probably extended their supply chain farther than sanity allows chasing business. They were punished especially harshly on the 787.

    David Foster: This is something I hadn’t heard although I remember some other times when different countries have tried to veto some policy in much the same way. For now, we hold a pretty big stick if we’re willing to at least wave it around. This is probably the Trump characteristic that most disconcerts our “allies”.

    This isn’t a problem that’s going away. I have no doubt that a lot of sloppiness has taken place in managing strategic supply lines. The alternative is to limit our selves, either by foregoing some technologies or delaying adoption until production can be accomplished entirely domestically.

  29. The alternative is to limit our selves, either by foregoing some technologies or delaying adoption until production can be accomplished entirely domestically.

    This is not going to be easy but we must restore the capability to produce needed strategic goods.

    China attracted much manufacturing by cheap labor and by the lure of a huge market. To get that market, companies were required to allow violations of patent law. Boeing is a good example.

    The Clinton/Loral deal set the pattern. Taiwan is an ally but vulnerable. Maybe they see it as they plan to build a big plant in Wisconsin unless the new Democrat governor is able to torpedo the deal.

    Meanwhile we let millions of unskilled peasants into the country whose only justification for living is the possibility that they may eventually vote for Democrats.

  30. MCS — It is my turn to apologize; I certainly did not mean any difference of opinion to seem like a personal attack.

    I have been reading a book on the development of radar in World War II — “The invention that changed the world”, by Robert Buderi. The book is a little disappointing in that the author focuses so heavily on the vast cast of characters involved while skimming over the technical challenges they were addressing. But what is striking is the extent of the industrial resources which the US could bring to bear on an issue in the 1930s & 40s. Bell Labs, RCA, Westinghouse, Philco, Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation, and many more — so many names that then were thriving research and manufacturing entities and are now mere labels on Asian products or have disappeared entirely.

    Maybe it was all just a brilliant moment in time, like the Italian Renaissance of the 1400s or the Scottish Enlightenment of the late 1700s. Italy and Scotland are still there, but their days of magic have passed on. One could argue it was inevitable that the wave of technological progress from the US would spread around the world — but it was beyond foolish for the Political Class to hollow out the US economy by offshoring so much advanced manufacturing. Still, that is what happened … and that is the world we must now face.

  31. The Brits, with fair justification, see both jet engines and radar as stolen property. Both were transferred here because constrained resources in England. Both had suffered at the hands of various civil and military authorities and were more or less starved. They were transferred over here with none of the IP protections that would be usual today. The recipients picked them up on the run and never looked back.

    There are films on both on Amazon Prime: “Whittle: The Jet Pioneer” and “Castles In the Sky”. “Whittle” is a straight documentary while “Castles” is drama.

    Your list is depressing enough, I try not to spend too much time remembering all of the different companies that I have done business with that no longer exist. Bezos is just being realistic. 30 years might be optimistic. On a more pleasant note, consider all of the companies like Intel, that weren’t even dreamed of at the time.

    On an even brighter note, I think that the apparent reduction of American superiority is mostly the product of one of the longest periods of peace in history and the fact that it has been more than 60 years since any developed country has had thousands of tons of explosive dumped on them. Certainly, China took off once they stopped beating their head against a brick wall. The level of competition has increased, we’ll have to work to keep up.

  32. “I think that the apparent reduction of American superiority is mostly the product of one of the longest periods of peace in history …”

    That is certainly an element in what has happened since WWII. It was inevitable (and beneficial) that technology would spread around the world. Some part of offshoring was definitely related to lower wages in certain foreign countries. But when we talk about JDAM components from Switzerland — Switzerland is certainly not a low wage country. And if we think about automobile imports from Germany and Japan — those are not low wage countries either. Something else is involved.

    I would suggest that the ‘something else’ is the burden of excessive regulation and excessive litigation in the US. Those things add to overhead, and it is that overhead which leaves US manufacturers unable to compete with high wage countries.

    Sadly, while the issue of the unsustainable National Debt has not had a decent airing since Ross Perot and the unsustainable Balance of Trade Deficit is not on anyone’s agenda except President Trump’s, the issue of the unsupportable burden of excessive regulation and litigation is even less discussed — a forbidden topic since, to many members of the Political Class, our burden is their income stream.

  33. Surely a lot of expensive laws here, nothing compared to Europe though. A former boss ran a business based in The Czech Republic and could wax poetic for hours on different aspects.

    On the other hand, China suffers from a paucity of laws, especially protecting property. Communist/socialist governments have the most pervasive, entrenched corruption known to history because the rigid hierarchy is willing to overlook just about any crime for a consideration as long as it isn’t seen as political in some way.

    Still, I’m much happier to be in Texas versus California.

  34. The Brits, with fair justification, see both jet engines and radar as stolen property

    Not to mention penicillin and the atomic bomb.

    Penicillin was the worst example. The atomic bomb was first begun by the Brits but they had no capacity for the size of the project.

    The Brits also invented SONAR in WWI.

  35. I don’t think the case holds for the atomic bomb. If we stole that from anyone, it was the Germans. Radar had advanced to early production and working prototypes of jet engines had been produced. Atomic research was nowhere near this advanced, and American programs were significantly ahead of the British. I think the case for collaboration is stronger.

    I wasn’t aware of this issue with penicillin but I’m not surprised. England was a much smaller country then with far more intellectual resources than physical. Don’t forget that the British were far more advanced then we were in the art of bureaucratic obstruction. Unfortunately, we seem to have caught up.

    Sonar, actually A.S.D.I.C., is more a case of once the idea was out there, we weren’t going to ignore it. By the beginning of WWII, the center of gravity of electronic development favored the U.S., not to say we didn’t “borrow” a few good ideas when they were handed to us. I would classify it as more of a, possibly exploitative, partnership.

  36. The penicillin story is in my medical history book, but briefly, Fleming discovered it but did nothing about it. Then Florey, an Australian, took up the quest and actually produced penicillin but culturing the mold in pottery bottles in his lab. His wife, also a physician, treated the first patients.

    The American came into it partly as a result off an attempted theft by an American who tried to patent the process.

    Florey never did try to patent the process and Ernst Chain, his coworker, criticized him later for not doing so.

    The Americans improved the process and then excluded the British as a military secret. The British, using Florey’s process, were able to supply their own needs during the war.

    Sulfa drugs were discovered by Domagk, a German in the 1930s.

  37. Not to take anything away from Fleming, Flory, or anyone else — but these days, we have to be very sensitive about Cultural Appropriation, otherwise snowflakes melt. Apparently, the real discoverers of penicillin were Amazonian natives, who untold centuries ago found that smearing rotting fruit on wounds sometimes had a good outcome. Sometimes!

    Progress depends not only on making original observations and having fresh ideas — it also depends on implementing those ideas and bringing them to the broad market place. Arguably, the honor belongs to those who get the ground-breaking product out. A case in point is the personal computer. Reportedly, back in the Dark Ages, Xerox had developed the modern personal computer, complete with Graphical User Interface and mouse. But Xerox decided to focus its efforts instead on making me-too typewriters, and left their PC on the shelf. When the young Steve Jobs visited Xerox PARC, someone demonstrated that invention to him … and the rest is history. I don’t see any problem with Jobs & Apple getting the credit.

    Once the Apple Lisa had demonstrated the market for GUIs, mighty Microsoft grabbed the concept and, after a number of fumbling iterations, finally managed to take the lion’s share of the market with Windows. I have no problem with that either.

    Wow! We really have drifted a long way from Michael’s original topic!

  38. Drifting off topic a bit but the Xerox PARC story is well told in a couple of books. I have both.

    “Dealers of Lightning” is not the best. The other one I have forgotten the title and can’t find it at the moment.

    The guys who had invented all those wonderful things were told to “get back to making copiers!”

    They all split off and we got ethernet, laser printers and other things we take for granted.

  39. Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. I just found out that this is Hanlon’s razor. It seems to sum up Xerox pretty well.

    More charitably, it’s easy to forget how far the capabilities of electronics at the time were from being able to match the purely electro-mechanical copiers. 15 years? There were a lot of pieces that still needed to be invented, let alone made cheap and reliable enough for wide use.

    At the same time, I find two medium-high end Xerox printers of my acquaintance infuriating. The user interface requires endless punching of the touch screen for just a simple copy. They are unreliable and parts hard to come by without paying for incompetent and obscenely expensive service. I had expected better from Xerox, probably a company, deservedly, not long for this world.

  40. Drifting off topic a bit but the Xerox PARC story is well told in a couple of books. I have both.

    “Dealers of Lightning” is not the best. The other one I have forgotten the title and can’t find it at the moment.

    The guys who had invented all those wonderful things were told to “get back to making copiers!”

    They all split off and we got ethernet, laser printers and other things we take for granted.

    Amazing what they developed and the mgt just ignored it.

    The biggest opportunity lost was the mouse and GUI (Graphical User Interface) – both of which Steve Jobs (Apple) and Bill Gates (Microsoft) took and the rest is….history. They had these in 1969, I believe.

    As an aside I have a friend who is self-taught in programming – and I would consider him to be in the top 5%.

    Anyway in the late 70s or early 80s he was working on a systems program for the (then) new microprocessor that would power one of their mainframe computers (I think for awhile they sold a competitor to the IBM 360 or 370).

    Anyway he kept trying to get them to look into developing what would have been a PC with this microprocessor.

    Sorta like Steve Wozniak (Apple co-founder) and Hewlett-Packard.

  41. Drifting further…

    Mentioning mainframes and printers at this time of year takes me back to college days. Every Christmas Eve at about 2 p. m. some guy would show up at the computer lab with three drawers of cards. The deck would be loaded into the hopper for the 1401 and soon the sliding glass windows would open and carols could be heard bursting forth from the 1403 line printer. To whomever had the perfect pitch to map the letter on the printer to musical notes, my thanks extend through the decades.

    Happy New Year.

  42. Regarding radar: my retro-reading of a 1939 issue of Aviation Magazine revealed that a product called the United Airlines-Western Electric Terrain Clearance Indicator had been introduced. This is a radio altimeter, which is basically radar, albeit providing distance but not azimuth information.

    Searching just now, I see that a version of the radio altimeter was introduced even earlier, in 1924.

    It seems extremely odd that with these devices known and in use that military radar was not created and adopted earlier.

  43. In order to produce an intelligible return the transmitted signal has to be powerful enough that the greatly attenuated reflection is detectable at a wavelength that’s a small fraction of the physical size of the target. For search radar this amounts to very high power at very high frequency. When the target is the earth from a few thousand feet away these conditions are greatly relaxed. The first workable radars around 1940 were pushing the available technology in just about every direction. It wasn’t that no one was working on it, rather what they were trying to accomplish was very hard.

    WWII greatly accelerated vacuum tube technology, just in time for the invention of the transistor in 1948. It still took nearly 20 years for tubes to become rare.

  44. It seems extremely odd that with these devices known and in use that military radar was not created and adopted earlier.

    Hewrman Wouk has dramatized the story in his book, “Winds of War.”

    It took powerful magnetic fields to get short wavelength signals powerful enough to focus on targets the size of airplanes.

    Wouk really research those novels. He has a great story about Feynmann who was willing to talk to him about the atomic bomb.

    I posted the story on my other blog.

    <iThis formidable fellow walked out of the building with me, and said as we were parting: “Do you know calculus?” I admitted that I didn’t. “You had better learn it,” he said. “It’s the language God talks.”

    I’m reviewing mine from 60 years ago.

  45. The British radar system called “Chain Home”, which was operational during the Blitz, operated at frequencies between 20 and 55 MHZ. These would detect airplanes or groups of airplanes, but not something as small as a submarine periscope. The latter problem is what required the Magnetron, operating at frequencies at 3 GHZ and up.

    I believe 20-55 MHZ radio was a pretty common technology in the late 1930s, the only issue is how difficult it would have been to generate the required power levels for the required range. I don’t think any technological breakthroughs were needed for this, just engineering work. (Watson-Watt specifically decided to use normal frequencies rather than something higher based on his belief that a working solution now is better than a perfect solution in the future)

    MCS, the “Castles” movie sounds interesting, look forward to watching it.

  46. High frequencies (and thus short wavelengths) are indeed helpful for detecting something small like a sub periscope, but even if you are detecting something big (like a large enemy aircraft) the short wavelengths remain important for getting a directional beam out of an antenna that you can carry on your own aircraft. The early low frequency radar antennas tended to be so big that they weren’t all that practical even to put on ships, much less on aircraft.

  47. David Foster wrote: “… a version of the radio altimeter was introduced even earlier, in 1924.”

    For what it is worth, Robert Buderi in “The invention that changed the world” dates radar to a memo written by Robert Watson Watt in the UK on 12-Feb-1935 — “Detection of Aircraft by Radio Methods”. US Navy personnel invented the word radar (RAdio Detection And Ranging) in 1940, but the recalcitrant Brits did not adopt this Americanism until 1943.

    While some dates get a bit hazy in that book, it appears that the Chain Home primitive radar stations which David mentioned were operational in 1939 when the Brits declared war on Germany. Earlier, Germany had developed a working radar system in 1934, but had not given it much priority. Apparently, the Germans saw radar as a defensive weapon, while their military strategy focused on aggressive lightning strikes against their enemies.

    Part of the difficulty in dating the start of a technology is that there can be many steps between the invention of a concept and its transformation into a usable system. Another example might be the development of the cellular phone, where decades elapsed between Bell Labs’ invention of the system (which then occupied most of the space in a van) and the development of microprocessors, advanced batteries, and aerials which enabled the exchanges and shrank the mobile phone down to a practical size.

  48. How have your holidays been.</i

    Great. I don’t know why Ann tolerates the leftist trolls. I also post at Neoneocon who responds to the few trolls.

    I scan comments over there for your links.

    I’d rather comment on the history of RADAR than spar with trolls.

    We may get snow tonight in Tucson. All the best.

  49. Discus is very problematic, Maguire’s blog finally flushed out the facehuggers but one need a Twitter profile to log in

  50. As I understand it, the first radar systems didn’t use steered beams at all. Both the transmitting and receiving antennas were stationary. Each station covered a fairly wide arc with the information consisting of the distance while the strength of the return was interpreted to estimate the number of aircraft.

  51. “I was ready to do so, too, until he had his meltdown. He would have had asa much trouble as Trump has had although the Deep State was not as entrenched. Obama really larded the bureaucracy before he left town.”

    I think that it was more strategic than merely hiring a bunch of government bureaucrats. Esp in the DoJ, they were using political litmus tests for hiring. No one should be surprised that much of the Deep State Resistance seems to center there, after 8 years of highly politicized hiring and promotions. Also, apparently, throughout the Executive Branch, there was apparently a lot of embedding, where political appointees switched over to high level (SES) civil service jobs.

  52. “I still read her posts and scan comments for good links. Most are from narciso but there are others.”

    You probably saw it, but another commenter there around the first of the year indicated that they missed your presence there. I was tempted to point them over here, but then thought that that might bring some of the trolls that you so despise over too, so didn’t.

    P.S. We expect to spend a weekend or so in Tucson, visiting family there, sometime later this month (we have to deliver our Christmas presents to the grandkids, because DIL refused to come to PHX this year). Will check in with you when we settle on a date to see if we can connect up.

  53. A data point on the matter of whether Trump is winning.

    So for Trump, a continued shutdown is a political win no matter what the outcome. Expect the shutdown to go on for quite a while until House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., grow tired of the battle and move to shift the political war to a new battlefield.

    I’m not sure they are right about this being only for the base. Polls suggest support for border enforcement is well above Trump’s 45% base.

    You probably saw it, but another commenter there around the first of the year indicated that they missed your presence there. I was tempted to point them over here, but then thought that that might bring some of the trolls that you so despise over too, so didn’t.

    Several have posted here and I also post at Neoneocon where several also post.

    I skim comments there and have almost no temptation to comment.

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