Big Government Is Back, So Are The Trade Unions, Honoring Thy Father

In 1946, congress, imbued with the success of wartime planning, decided that within ten days of submitting his budget, the President must submit an Economic Report of the President. President Truman complied with a document of some 54 pages. It told of an America that has “never been so strong or so prosperous”, yet fearful […]

Putin’s 130,000 Troops, Xi’s Jets, and Biden’s Sanctions

Dollar Diplomacy, President William Howard Taft announced in 1912, was a form of American foreign policy designed to substitute economic power for the use or threat of military force. It substitutes “dollars for bullets …” proudly announced the President. Less than five years later America was sending both dollars and bullets to Europe to join […]

China is Open for Business, Xi Style

Harry Truman spoke in unvarnished, crystal-clear sentences when saying what he was thinking and would do. Dwight Eisenhower’ famously garbled syntax was designed to make his thinking and plans unclear to friends and foes alike. Ronald Reagan used the sugar of soft language to make the hard, consistent foreign policy messages go down more easily. […]

Athletes Play for Olympic Gold, China for a Lot More

If you think the 2022 Winter Olympics, due to open in Beijing on February 4, are about men and women of great strength, or great speed, or great specialised skill competing on a level playing field for medals, think again. The Olympics are a massive money machine combined with an extension into sport of the […]

Another Promise From Xi, Believed By The EU

First, Happy New Year to all my readers. And some news. Good news for the Uighurs. The EU has signed a massive trade deal with China. Xi Jinping has promised to adhere to International Labor Organization standards, which is proud of its “long-standing partnership” with founding-member China – obtain decent and productive work in conditions […]

Nice Guy Biden vs. Leo Durocher

The campaign has established important things. Joe Biden, who continues periodically to insist he is running for the Senate, is a nice man, empathy oozing from every pore. Trump is not a nice man, not an empathetic bone in his body. Trump supporters are hoping that Leo Durocher, then manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, was […]

The China Syndrome

It has been almost 70 years to the day since Republican senator Arthur Vandenberg proclaimed that politics stops at the water’s edge, and eventually supported the Truman administration’s plan for a North Atlantic Treaty to confront Stalin’s threat to Western Europe. It took only two years for politics and partisanship to reassert themselves in a […]

The Trial Ends, But The Beat Goes On

Cognitive dissonance. “The state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs or attitudes … that produces a feeling of discomfort…”. That explains why voters in America are afflicted with feelings of discomfort, confusion, with many seeking comfort by binge-watching re-runs on Netflix while consuming large quantities of Chinese take-away. In recent weeks we have been exposed to […]

Phase One Trade Deal

Even by Washington standards, last Wednesday was a strange day. At the White House the President was strutting his stuff, playing host to the crème de la crème of U.S. industry and finance at a ceremony for the signing of a phase one trade agreement with China. Across the Mall, the House of Representatives was […]

A Handshake Is Nice, But It Ain’t A Done Deal

When writing about the volatile President of the United States one has to provide a warning label: What follows is subject to obsolescence without warning. As China’s trade negotiators claim to have discovered when dealing with Trump’s commitments. It seems like only several hundred tweets ago — on October 11 as ordinary folk keep their […]