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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Border adjustment tax and Trump (?)

Where did he go? Where is the President, you know, THE guy? With all of the tax talk in the U.S. today, including reducing the corporate tax dramatically by the way, there is no talk of the border adjustment tax (BAT). This was the President's minimalist approach to addressing the trade deficit, a key campaign promise. Instead the tax reductions being tweeted are old fashioned policy dreams that any Republican, from Rick Perry to Jeb Bush, would have offered. How droll.

THIS is the moment to throw a real monkey wrench into the establishment with the BAT. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

On Trump, Jerusalem and losing control of the message

The President's recent decision to move the embassy will not have the intended effect, not even for its biggest backers. Said to be a long time coming and to help the peace process, it will instead muddle if not change the main Sunni versus Shiite narrative that has dominated the media airwaves. 
There was recently more media focus and thus growing pressure on Hezbollah, on Iran, and even on the Houthis. 
Now there will be a slow, drip drip, media focus on the move of the US embassy. The media will watch surveyors, pundits will debate locations ('east Jerusalem, west Jerusalem, or right in between?'). Every aspect of the construction of the huge complex will be monitored, as will every incident involving it. 
Trump has just started a new narrative that will dominate Medieval minds from Tel Aviv to Karachi (Medievals believe their religion drives politics but postmoderns think it is the media/networks). 
Better build the new embassy quick if you want to restart the Iran versus Saudi narrative! 

BTW, the winners, beyond the usual suspects like Putin, will be the greatly suffering, Yemeni people. No longer a sunni-shiite war but simply war, it should become harder to maintain the farce of response to a threat with the focus now back to the holy city.