Trump Hits Another Persuasion Home Run

At 4-dimensional chess Trump is still the Grandmaster.

With so many dimensions to his moves – and at least 57 genders to keep track of on the menacing trans-Liberal side of the board! – where to start with the analysis this game deserves?

Let’s start at the micro-level political implications then work up to the macro.

If good politics is good policy then forbidding transvestites from joining the military is a double play.  Transvestites are afflicted with severe mental disorders and sky high suicide rates.  The many burdens arsing from their mental instability should not be allowed to weigh down on one of the many crowning achievements of Hamilton and Lincoln, the American military industrial complex.

In terms of strict partisanship the obvious political advantages are that a hurdle has been removed from the way to passage of a defense bill that contains border wall funding.  The bill was bogged down by arguments over money for transvestite “transition” treatments.  Thanks to Trump’s ban this absurd debate (absurd because it should not have been part of any military debate in the first place) is no longer a problem.

Another win for Trump is higher approval among the GOP’s sizable wing of Christian Conservative voters.

At a higher level we have the concepts of diversionary tactics and signal overload to review.

Trump has put diversionary tactics into play because the Left will spend a great deal of energy trying to overturn this rule with their usual crackpot activism.

What they don’t realize is that Trump doesn’t need to invest a fraction of the effort to maintain the ban because Trump has less to lose in case the rule is overturned.

Trump wins even if this rule is struck down by the Supreme Court; speaking of which, won’t Anthony Kennedy be delighted he didn’t retire when he sees what the “male” protesters outside SCOTUS look like.  You’ll be very lucky, Anthony, if the Capitol Police don’t end up yelling through their bullhorns at the “men” to put their dresses back on.

By the time the ban has worked its way through the court system the defense bill will have long since been signed by Trump with border wall funding attached. For its part the military can probably live with more transvestite enlistees, as undesirable as they may be, because transvestites are such a small fraction of the population.

Meanwhile, the Left will not be able to resist diverting so much of their time and political capital to re-opening enlistment for trannies. This will dilute the energy from political battlefields that are much more consequential; e.g., health care, tax cuts, the Russia investigation, infrastructure, immigration, and so forth.

If the Left does overturn the ban, it will be at the expense of capital that could have been used to block priorities Trump privately ranks higher on his to do list.  If the ban holds up in court, the Left has nothing at all to show for the effort.

The reaction of political moderates will increasingly be marked by signal overload.

Politically active Liberals may be able to keep track of Mueller’s kangaroo court trial of Vladimir Putin & Trump, legislative battles, stalled budgets, media hysterics, and this shiny new front in the transgender wars.

But moderates will not.  We must be at, or close to, the point where the amount of information needed to process what is going on with all of these various Liberal offensives against Trump is beyond the bandwidth the loosely attached voter can process.  When signal overloads this bandwidth, the moderate voter tunes out what the Left says; not only on crossdressing soldiering but Mueller’s circus act.

This leaves Trump poised to seize the initiative on some other topic that advantages him.

Nuu Yawwk, Nuu Yawwk – Scaramucci is the Mafia Fixer Trump Needs

And needs more of.

Scaramucci is fast out of the gate taking over the helm at communications.  Given how Trump’s political and communications team has struggled to build political momentum for Trump we take Scaramucci’s promising appointment as an opportunity to review how various Trump administration officials have performed to date, and where the strong and weak links are.

To locate where the weak points are let’s look at who in the White House before the appointment of Scaramucci was doing their job and who was not – and by “doing their job” I am considering only job performance running their corner of the political machinery, not their ideology or whether they have conflicted with Trump over policy.

Who is doing their job well

Rex Tillerson

James Mattis

John Kelly

Wilbur Ross

H.R. McMaster

Dina Powell

Gary Cohn

Steve Mnuchin

Peter Navarro

Whose results are mixed results

Jeff Sessions – I’m willing to cut Sessions considerable slack given his role fighting immigration in the Senate and his early support for Trump.  But his role just isn’t working so long as Sessions drags his feet when he should be rounding up leakers at the CIA and NSA as well as investigating former Obama officials for unmasking Republican candidates last year.  In retrospect, Giuliani or Christie would have been better AGs for bringing the intelligence agencies to heel.

Regardless, I would like to keep Sessions, but doubt if he can hang in.

Who is failing at their job

Steve Bannon – Poor, stupid, Bannon doesn’t know how to avoid making enemies unnecessarily.  It was bad enough he thought he could win a power struggle against Trump’s daughter and son-in-law – an erroneous idea that by itself would have gotten any adviser to any previous American President fired swiftly.  He’s compounded his isolation by angering H.R. McMaster, a dangerously slick political pro, as well as other officials.  Even nationalist advisors like Stephen Miller have disassociated themselves from him to avoid getting embroiled in his many feuds.

Bannon’s one strategy for remaining in the White House was to ally with his former enemy, Reince Priebus.  But Priebus (see below) is in the most trouble of any other official.

Bannon lacks administration influence; he remains only for the sake of his own vanity.  Keeping him around is pointless now that he’s blown his opportunity.

Reince Priebus – Saving the worst for last.  Priebus is by far the most worthless member of Trump’s inner circle (only Bannon was dumb enough to form a partnership with Priebus).

Two of Priebus’ closest allies from his RNC stint, Katie Walsh and Sean Spicer, are already history. Walsh was apparently removed because of her leaks to the press.  Spicer was incompetent.  The last straw may have been the attempt by Priebus (and Bannon) to block Scaramucci from joining communications.  That both Priebus and Bannon failed illustrates how powerless Priebus and Bannon are.

The first thing that stand’s out from this list is that A-type personalities are whom Trump gets the best results out of; usually generals, and business executives.  The only exception has been the protectionist academic, Peter Navarro.

The weakest links in the chain are Trump’s political and communications officials.  Especially career politicians and RNC functionaries.

In terms of political operatives, his best working relationships have been hard nosed street fighters.  This includes past operatives long since separated from Trump who were the right operatives at the right stage of Trump’s campaign:  Lewandowski was appropriate during the first social media driven phase of the primary.  As one of the only Republican operatives alive today with experience at a contested Republican convention (the 1976 floor fight between Ford and Reagan) Manafort was the appropriate choice to nail down delegates ahead of the Republican convention.

Scaramucci is a good addition because his arrogant hedge fund persona resembles the iron-fisted political operatives who have won Trump’s past favor.

In the future dominant personalities like Scaramucci are the type of adviser Trump should seek out.

Run of the mill RNC Republicans should be avoided and whomever are currently with the administration should be cleared out.

In light of these facts, Pragmatically Distributed’s wish list of personnel changes for team Trump is as follows:

Dina Powell for Chief of Staff.

Stephen Miller to replace Bannon.

Elevate Julia Hahn to replace Miller.

Hire Newt Gingrich as a part-time political consultant.

Hire Tom Delay as a full time political adviser focused on Congress.

A Side Note:  Zero-hour for Obamacare Repeal in the Senate

I have seen nothing in the Senate to change my previous view that McConnell will probably get health care over the finish line, except for the possible absence of John McCain.

Though moderate Senators have been playing hard to get, the incentive structure of the repeal-replace battle favors the moderates voting for the bill at the last moment after they’ve maximized as many concessions and state-specific carveouts as possible from McConnell.  If they were to still vote against the bill they would be throwing away many billions of dollars for their own states.

McConnell will probably hold a vote on the repeal only legislation to demonstrate to Conservative holdouts that repeal only cannot pass.  If, as expected, repeal only fails, McConnell’s partial repeal bill will be the best remaining option for every Conservative except Rand Paul.

If McCain does not show up for the final vote, passage will be more complicated but still possible because, if the vote falls 1 Senator short, the bill can be put on hold until McCain can make a stop back at the Senate.

#NeverAssad – Still Crackpot, Still On Crack

Powerline otherwise serves a useful role as a pro-Trump & mainstream Republican outlet.

It is because I view Powerline as an ally on the pro-Trump branch of the right – on which branch this Hamiltonian bird is comfortably perched not least because Trump is governing, to the extent possible, as a Hamiltonian – that I must point out they are smoking crack. In Paul Mirengoff’s case the crack in the crack pipe is the always elusive creature of Muslim Democracy, forever promised – “we swear it’s in the mail!” –  by the various species of late-Wilsonian foreign policy hacks and forever never appearing in the mailbox.

For Hamiltonians searching for it is clearly worse than searching for the Yeti, Bigfoot, or Nessie.

Worse because, by now, the chances of at long last capturing any of the latter three organisms in a net are many times greater than finding a stable Islamic Democracy anywhere, and, also, worse because searching for those much-beloved icons of cryptozoology never results in Al-Qaeda and ISIS gnawing at the bloody remains of a once stable, if odd, Islamic Dictatorship as seen in post-Ghadaffi, “pro-Democracy” Libya.

One man, one vote, one orange jumpsuit, one ISIS snuff video of each voter in every pot.

I want neither friends nor allies smoking crack. Therefore, I tell them they are on crack when I see them on crack so they may put away the crack pipe, for whomever smoketh the crack pipe of Islamic Democracy shall surely be powdered themselves and smoked in the crack pipe by Daesh.

Hamiltonian foreign policy realism has an excellent detox program to handle such terrible conditions.

But, like all addictions, a cure for addiction to Wilsonian crack is not always possible.

But even when our program falls short it still accomplishes something worthwhile: good advice for those of you on the fence.  You see, many of you boys may not be Wilsonian crack addicts yet.

But you are tempted to try crack because your horny supermodel girlfriend is naked on your bed cooing for you to snort a line of Princeton’s finest Wilsonian crack off her perfect ass.

Our program’s advice to you: Ignore the crack, even if she wiggles seductively and calls you “Woodrow”, but screw the girl.  Woodrow did snort, caused a fiasco and was followed by FDR who, not satisfied with mere crack, went on a bath salt fueled rampage.

But enough foreplay.

Let’s get to the main topic.

Mirengoff takes Trump to task for cancelling CIA support to anti-Assad Syrian rebels.

Where to begin when there are so many errors to choose from?

My choice are his assumptions about the CIA.

Since when is the CIA a credible source for what rebel groups to arm and which to not arm? Especially when the just cancelled list of “Democratic-Moderate” rebels in question is a legacy draft typed up by the Obama-era CIA.

ISIS was once one of the “good” anti-Assad rebels. There were also “good” anti-Ghadaffi rebels in Syria.

If there are “moderate” anti-Assad rebels anywhere in the actual warzone, my long (and continuing……..) research into the health of Progressive USG tells me the CIA would be the least likely of any intel agency to identify them.

Given Obama’s penchant for supporting Islamic terrorists against America-friendly Islamic autocrats from Ghadaffi to Mubarak, the working assumption should be all of these anti-Assad rebels are genocidal Muslim terrorist outfits; that Obama and the CIA was fully aware they were genocidal Muslim terrorists; and that Obama for the sake of deliberately supporting genocidal Muslim terrorism forked over American tax dollars to them faster than he airlifted $400 million in cash (AKA harder-to-trace-than-electronic-money-transfers) worth of Swiss francs to Iran.

The only true moderates are Westernized, tax payer funded (naturally!) Muslim pundits nursing Starbucks lattes at American and Western European greenrooms waiting to add their talking head to yet another news channel panel. And even in their cases, I would assume there are some Jihadist sympathies bouncing around in the recesses of their empty talking heads.

Whatever intelligence gathering tools the CIA may have are overwhelmingly directed towards investigating the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow at the request of Robert Mueller’s circus show nicknamed “investigation”. A beauty pageant “investigation” also coming at tax payer expense.

You can’t trust any of the pompous “investigative” agencies these days to not piss money down the drain.

But Mirengoff would have me take the word of Brennan, Mueller, Comey and crew that those anti-Assad rebels they are throwing good money and good guns at are certified, Westernized, tolerant moderates never before seen in any Democratic Arab Revolution?

Never fear! Muslim moderates are in the mail and always will be!

Cash!

Check!

Bounce!

This bounced check brings me to the moderate Muslims themselves.

Once again, there are either no Muslim moderates to support in Syria (and a good chance those identified as “moderate” by a hapless FBI, Special Counsel, and CIA clumsily, gruntingly, hungrily fingering Miss Universe’s waxed bikini line for the articles of impeachment are really Muslim terrorists), or, those who do exist are so limited in number they will be quickly pushed aside by Islamic warlords the moment Assad loses power.

Our options in Syria are therefore:

  1. Assad wins.
  2. Assad falls and is replaced by an Arabian MadMax arena of Islamic warlords who go on to use their CIA-provided weapons and suitcases of Swiss francs to spread more “Democracy” in London, Paris, San Bernardino, and Brussels.
  3. Assad falls and is replaced by the first stable, gay pride march supporting, prosperous, environmentally friendly, secular Democracy in the Arab world governed by Westernized moderate Muslims.

Option #3 is crossed off because it there is no possibility of a moderate Muslim government emerging in post-Assad Syria anymore than there was in post-Ghadaffi Libya.

If the only choices are Assad and Islamic warlordism, Assad suddenly looks as attractive an option as Miss Universe for a number of reasons.

One of them is that a victorious Assad would be in no position to threaten his neighbors for many years to come.  His conventional military is shattered, propped up only by mercenaries and Russia’s expeditionary forces.

The fact Russia’s best option is, like America’s best option, to preserve Assad simply means that American and Russian interests in Syria overlap as that buffoon, Trump, always said they were.

Whatever threat an Assad government might pose to America and our regional allies would be easily containable through a mix of deterrence, sanctions, and occasional, limited, military action that does not seek to overthrow Assad.  Examples of the latter being America’s limited missile strike against a Syrian airfield following Assad’s use of sarin gas, Israel’s various counter attacks against Assad backed Hezbollah fighters and Israel’s rumored airstrike against a primitive Syrian nuclear program.

What terrorists were left operating in a Syria unified again under Assad’s power would be kept on a tight leash by an autocrat who would have a right to demand that they operate within his rules (or else).

The advantage here is that a centralized, terrorist friendly, government is easier to spy on and easier to pressure into pulling his terrorists choke chain if they get out of line.  Or, at least, easier for the Mossad to spy on since our “intelligence agents” have beauty pageants to subpoena.   I’m certain Mossad will pass on to Trump the information about Syria they gather that the CIA-NSA-XYZ should have gathered.

By contrast, post-Assad Syria would be the example par excellence of the downsides of terrorist decentralization; an intelligence black box inscrutable even if Mueller, Brennan, and Comey for once focused on terrorism and took their fingers out of Miss Universe’s hairless tight box.

Macron & Comey – Cyphers, Cyphers Everywhere

That grandstanding jackass, Comey, will be dealt with in a moment.

But it is French President Macron’s comments about the unsustainability of Africa’s birth rate that is the the primary motivation for today’s entry.

Not Africa’s demographic situation by itself.

My own quick take is that ending immigration from Africa should be France’s priority.  Only after that should the West decide on its stance towards Africa; whether that stance ends up being placement of the Continent under some sort of neocolonial custodianship, as suggested by Larry Auster; isolationism; or what have you.

What I’m really interested in is what Macron’s break from orthodoxy, and his own rise to power, say about the systematic health of a diseased Progressive-Technocrat establishment.

Is Macron a Conservative?  Although he has done nothing of note yet, there is no reason for hope he will be of use on immigration or Islamic terrorism.

Everything about his background – his Énarque pedigree, previous service to Technocrat Socialist governments, embrace of the EU – points to Macron’s political philosophy being generally in agreement with the philosophy of the rest of the ruling elite, Bureaucratic Dictatorship AKA Progressivism.

So, if he is substantially a Progressive why those comments about Africa?  (I dismiss his rapprochement with Trump as merely an attempt to soften what Macron sees as Trump’s rough edges to make Trump more diplomatically amenable.  My advice to Trump?  Amend nothing! Resist those flattering Parisian overtures!)

The reason, simply, is that Macron like Comey is an ambitious cypher not fully vetted or understood by the establishment before they were empowered.  Both were handed power to act as agents charged with saving the elite’s suddenly wobbly projects from collapse after normal political channels had failed.

Macron was accepted by the elite because he seemed Socialist enough and because they feared Le Pen would fill the vacuum created by the collapse in credibility of the French Socialists and EU.

Comey was supposed to dig up a case for impeachment against Trump after unexpectedly winning the Presidency.

And both Macron and Comey have been very secretive about their plans, even keeping their elite sponsors in the dark.

More and more we see cyphers appear in top positions within Progressive politics to solve sudden crises of the Progressive’s own making.  This is a problem for Progressives.  Top officials should – in any healthy political system – be vetted through normal channels before gaining their posts.  The point of vetting is to keep out rogue elements from the top where they would be positioned to inflict all sorts of damage by surprise.

Was Comey, as I theorized, really hoping to leverage his investigation into a 2020 Presidential campaign?

I admit this was very speculative on my part.  However, it is undeniable that if Comey’s investigation led to impeachment proceedings (even if they failed) that Comey would have at least had a golden opportunity to run for President if he wanted to.

That’s an awful lot of opportunity to hand to an opportunist such as James Comey even if he never jumps into the political arena – though Comey is a Democrat and has connections to the Clinton’s he doesn’t seem to me as the type who would be on board with the Democrat’s transgender bathrooms, psycho-environmentalism, and so forth.

If Progressives turned out to be gravely befuddled by how Comey ran their extensive political machinery it will have been the fault of the Progressives for having thrown him the keys to the kingdom without knowing who he is much as it will be the fault of the EU elite for having given the keys to Macron without knowing who Macron is should he turn out to backfire on them in essential ways.

One Side Note to the Above

Where does Trump fit in the context of these two characters being cyphers?

Trump is a Hamiltonian Republican, the most Hamiltonian in nearly a hundred years.  His policies – infrastructure, business friendly Capitalism, protectionism, emphasis on manufacturing, realist (not isolationist) foreign policy willing to tolerate foreign despots if they cooperate, fueling the military industrial complex – are all Hamilton’s legacy policies that were successfully continued by Lincoln’s GOP until the election of FDR.

Since it was truly Hamilton who built America into the greatest power in history and the Wilson-FDR Progressives who hijacked it for the sake of evil, Trump is not a cypher at all but a long-overdue attempt at Hamiltonian Restoration.

The End of Week Circulars for July 16, 2017

The Great Investigation into Nothing Continues

It has been mentioned by other Trump friendly pundits that Don Jr.’s meeting with two Russians did not violate any laws.

This pundit for his part adds that not only were no laws broken but, based on the released emails, Don Jr. didn’t come into the meeting knowing what kind of information about Hillary would be on offer.

For all he knew their dirt could have been related to the old Whitewater investigation from the 1980s and 1990s, Hillary’s role in her husband’s intimidation of his former lovers, or any of the countless crimes and scandals Clinton Inc. has entangled itself with for decades.

The hacked DNC emails, on the other hand, are not specifically identified in the emails as the “dirt”.  It’s even debatable whether it would have been a crime if the hacked emails were handed out.  When the meeting was held it turns out no useful information was offered.

I also find it interesting that Trump campaign higher ups were willing to meet with these two Russians at all given how flimsy their basis for claiming deep connections to Putin’s government were.

The fact they were willing to listen to these characters suggests that the Trump campaign was still not satisfied with what was in their opposition research files.  If they were looking to bulk up their oppo research they probably did not have access to whatever emails Russian intelligence gathered; otherwise they would have brushed off the meeting invite.

McConnell Will Probably Get Health Care Over the Finish Line

After a modified version of the Conservative amendment proposed by Senators Lee and Cruz was added to the health care bill by McConnell, the task for the Majority Leader is now primarily about winning over moderate Senators such as Portman and Heller.

The idiots who make up Capitol Hill’s press pool have wrongly interpreted the moderate Senator’s hesitancy to endorse the bill as “no votes” which doom the bill.

To be sure, McConnell has no room for error given that Paul and Collins are almost certain to vote no.

But the actions of the remaining moderate holdouts are consistent with maximizing their bargaining power, not sinking the bill.

Should the bill fail, the Senate will have to revisit Obamacare anyway to correct the federal subsidies for the exchanges, subsidies which are being challenged in court and could be cancelled by the Trump administration at any time.

The Senate would then need 60 votes with the help of Democrats to get some sort of fix passed.  If Democrat votes become needed, the moderate Republicans would see their bargaining power diluted.

Promising ‘yes’ too early means wasting the considerable leverage they have over McConnell, who cannot afford to lose a single vote but who has about $100 billion to play with.  But ultimately voting ‘no’ means their states lose pork, special carve outs, and other perks.

By holding out until the end is within sight the moderates are extracting as much out of McConnell’s $100 billion goodie bag as they can.  Expect more posturing up to the vote in addition to wheeling and dealing by McConnell.

But when the vote is held don’t bet the moderates will kill concessions they’ve negotiated so hard to capture.

Even More Thoughts on North Korea Through the Lens of Game Theory

Given that a military confrontation between the United States and North Korea has all the makings of the second most dangerous post-WWII American air and naval operation short of the Cuban Missile Crisis, I can’t resist further application of game theory to this evolving situation.

Skeptics of game theory might dismiss my analysis, and game theory generally, with the old saw that no plan survives contact with the enemy.

True.

To a degree.

But some plans are better than others.  The point of using game theory in warfare, or any other competitive endeavor, is to create an informative strategic map.  An informative map outlining the points where success and failure are most likely to occur; and even whether war should occur.  All these considerations and more are clearer when thought through the perspective of game theory.

I will walk you through these three game theory concepts and apply them to events on the Korean Peninsula.

Sequential Games – Any game where the move of one competitor is dependent on the move of another and everyone’s move is visible to all players.

Examples are most classic board games such as chess.

Simultaneous Games – Any game where the actions of both competitors are made without knowledge of what the other side’s actions are.

An example of this is a submarine sent on a search and destroy mission against another sub when neither sub has spotted the other.  As soon as at least one submarine detects its opponent this simultaneous game becomes at least partially sequential.

Real life military situations almost always combine elements of sequential and simultaneous games.

Rationality and Irrationality – The game theory terms of “rationality” and “irrationality” are often used wrongly by media pundits to mean “logical” and “illogical”.

What real mathematicians and statisticians mean by “rational” is not “logical”.

In game theory rational actions are actions that an actor in a game takes to achieve a preferred outcome, even if that outcome is objectively illogical.  Actions taken by irrational actors are actions that deliberately do not lead to their preferred outcome.

As far as game theory is concerned the actions of Jeffrey Dahmer – selecting targets, luring victims, hiding evidence of his activities – were rational despite being illogical because he valued cannibalizing other humans above all his other preferences.  Dahmer’s actions would have been irrational only if he preferred cannibalism above all else but did not take actions that led to his preference.

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