Turning Guns into Persuasion Butter

Immigration legislation is over for the year because both Trump and the Democrats believe a bill more to their liking has better odds of passing after the midterms.  Regardless of who is right, neither has any incentive whatsoever to return to the issue for the remainder of this Congress.  And so they won’t.

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The End of Week Circulars for February 18, 2018

The Scaramucci Option – Defending General Kelly through Game Theory

Game theory isn’t just for mapping out preemptive nuclear war – a time-honored form of warfare implied in the Constitution and thoroughly Democratic in nature!

It can, and must, be used to defend an embattled, but useful, Presidential Chief of Staff.

To put it diplomatically, the moral grandstanding of anti-Trump about Kelly’s handling of Porter leaves me unmoved by anti-Trump’s opportunistic piety:  If it were up to anti-Trump John Podesta would very likely be Chief of Staff to Hillary Clinton; a role he would be able to serve without hearing a peep of objection about his supposed “Pizza parties” or other bizarre extracurricular activities from the Democrats.  Meanwhile, establishment Republicans would only offer their usual, laughably ineffective, “opposition” to Podesta’s lifestyle choices.

Continue reading “The End of Week Circulars for February 18, 2018”

A Game Theory Assessment of a “Bloody Nose” Attack Against North Korea

The North Korean missile crisis has proven who the real lunatics on the world stage are:  America’s anti-Trump pundit class.

Given the risk an exchange of nuclear weapons in Northeast Asia is rising everyday one would be right to say anti-Trump should grow the fuck up and worry about war instead of non-issue like parades.  But, then, anti-Trumpers were never adults, are not adults, and never will be adults.

Unlike our children pundits, Kim’s goals are quite rational when it comes to nukes.  Unfortunately for Kim, his nuclear goals are in direct conflict with Trump’s strategic goals.  And it is game theory that teaches when objectives conflict war is often the result.

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General Thoughts on DACA

In the DACA game of chicken we see Trump learning how the legislative system works.

Pay attention to how DACA plays out in Congress because the same negotiation dynamic at play with immigration – Trump has something the Democrats want but for which the Democrats don’t want to pay the price – holds true for other legislative items that are on dock:

  • Obamacare Subsidies – The Democrats want the subsidies restored in order to stabilize an already creaking Obamacare system, but don’t want to exchange it for Republican demands to repeal other important facets of Obamacare.
  • Infrastructure – Unions and their voters badly want Federal money for infrastructure development (and will yearn for it even more if the Supreme Court strikes down Abood) but Democrats are loathe to give Trump another major legislative victory on top of the 2017 tax bill that he and his Party can take credit for in Rust Belt states that will be electorally crucial in 2018 and 2020.
  • Defense & Domestic Spending Caps – Democrats want caps on domestic spending lifted but not if defense spending is increased.

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The Memo is a Persuasion Disaster for Anti-Trump

It is so because the memo is a legal disaster for anti-Trump’s apparatchiks in the Department of Justice who must now play defense.

Whatever other spin is put to the memo, the most important fact to keep in mind is that from now on everyone who made use of the dossier – Steele, Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein, Yates, Ohr, – are each potential criminal suspects for lying and/or misrepresenting information to Federal law enforcement, the FISA Court, or both.

So long as they are all in legal jeopardy for some statutory variation of perjury or lying to Federal Courts, the collusion narrative has changed in a way that favors Trump simply because now it is anti-Trump that has to prove a negative:

Before the memo the burden was on Trump to prove he did not collude with Russia.  Now, the burden is on anti-Trump’s law enforcement wing to prove they did not falsify their evidence.

As we have seen when Trump was trying to prove there was no collusion, proving the negative is a very difficult persuasion mission.

For the sake of argument, let’s brainstorm how anti-Trump can persuade that law enforcement did not lie about the evidence behind the investigation.

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Waiting for the Persuasion Knockout in FISA-Gate

Secret societies were more formidable back when the membership didn’t text each other about their secret outfit like ADD-addled teenagers as our FBI lovebird’s non-missing texts (approximately) did –

Trump v Hillary?

Wut iss diiis shiit?

Diiis shiit is about the Russia investigation’s persuasion power rapidly taking on water.  This disaster on the Potomac remains a disaster even if the reference to a “secret society” was meant purely in jest.

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Shutdown Politics

May the newest Trump badword be filibuster.

Ordinarily, I would believe Democrats wouldn’t be stupid enough to shutdown the government over DACA.

But the Democrats are in a position where no one on their side will warn the party when it is wrong like the party is wrong now to use a funding resolution as the vehicle to get a DACA bill passed.

Yet, I would still be somewhat surprised if they opt for a government shutdown because of the many strategic disadvantages facing them in such a fight.

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