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Thursday, November 2, 2017

XI'S RISE, PUTIN'S REVENGE AND TRUMP'S SURVIVAL

Since I began my Fabulous Fall Fantasy trip exactly three weeks ago, here are the major international events worthy of some mention:
  • President Trump has continued to dig deeper so that now, not only his coffin, but those of his close associates, can fit with room to spare.  Yesterday (scroll down to next posting) I focused on a facet of this unfolding eventuality.  At the end, today, I detail why this might be President Donald Trump's farewell tour of the Orient...or not.
  • President Xi Jinping gave a 3.5 hour speech outlining the next five years of his presidency.  Since 1949 and Mao Zedong, Chinese leaders have tended to serve for ten years, the predecessors to Xi being Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.  The retirement age for government officials is 68, and Xi is now conveniently 64.  
    • ALL of his new committee members are already too old to serve a decade.  Thus, Xi has consolidated power with no heir-apparent.  Hmmmmm.
    • Donald Trump this month referred to Xi as King of China.
    • The only daughter of Xi and Peng Liyuan (a famous folk singer) is Xi Mingze, who graduated from Harvard in 2014, returned to Beijing, is now 25, and keeps out of the spotlight.
  • I arrived on the final day of joint U.S.-South Korea naval exercises, where Kim Jong-un kept up his bellicose rants about his obvious response to this looming invasion.  My fear was not nuclear annihilation during my Seoul visit, only 35 miles from the border with the North.  Kim has a super market (20 different types, including sarin, phosgene and sulfur mustard) of deployable chemical warfare agents.  There can be no defense to any surprise gas attack for the 10 million residents of Seoul.
  • Now that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has a supermajority (following elections two weekends ago---when Super Typhoon Lan was rolling over Japan), he will be tampering with the Constitution, shifting from Pacifism to Imperialism.  This is the decisive Brexit equivalent which battered the UK.  My gut feeling, though, is that nothing much will happen.  Sanity, and the prevailing attitude of the public, will prevail, for why significantly expand war spending when the reason why Japan and Germany quickly recovered from the debacle of World War II was that they could apply defense funds to stimulate the economy.  One new factor, however, is Donald Trump, who wants countries like Japan to get their own nuclear bombs:  As far as Japan and other countries, we are being ripped off by everybody in the — we're defending other countries. We are spending a fortune doing it. They have the bargain of the century. All I said is, we have to renegotiate these agreements, because our country cannot afford to defend Saudi Arabia, Japan, Germany, South Korea and many other places. We cannot continue to afford — she took that as saying nuclear weapons. -- Presidential Debate, Oct. 19, 2016.  What a President.
  • Tokyo is the top global power city in Asia, and #3 in the world, to London and New York.
  • I did not go to Russia, but the compelling international development today is the role played by Vladimir Putin in the 2016 Presidential Elections.  The two-part Frontline PBS program on Putin's Revenge (which you can view on You Tube--Part 1 and Part 2), confirms the collusion argreement between Donald Trump's campaign crew and the Russians:
    • Putin played a pivotal role in undercutting Hillary Clinton, mostly for revenge, and not necessarily with an intent to tamper with the democratic process.
    • The Obama regime:
      • Could not get key Republicans to participate in any bi-partisan announcement about Russian interference.
      • Was reluctant to so purposely influence the election process, because it was felt that Hillary would win no matter what they did.
      • Left it to the intelligence leadership to announce this Russian meddling matter.
      • But the traditional late Friday announcement (to capture the news for the whole weekend) was overwhelmed, first, by the Billy Bush/Donald Trump pussy-gate recording, plus, Wikileaks (through Russian hacking) leaking news about the Democratic National Committee adventures with e-mails.
    • Combined with the Mueller investigation, it is now clear that the link will be clearly established between Trump and Putin.
    • The Russians worked with Trump's people only because that was the only American option.  Putin thought Trump couldn't possibly become president.  When Trump won, there was elation, and the expectation of huge windfalls, like elimination of sanctions for that Ukraine matter.  What they got was a useless president who made Putin look like a mastermind spy.  And, by the way, that to the right is what is known as a fake photo.
    • However, was anything really illegal and prosecutorial?
    • Can fake news be grounds for impeachment?
    • What is collusion?
    • This general pathway will gain momentum over the next month, but can all of this lead to the fall of Donald Trump?
    • If it goes to the Supreme Court, then, maybe not.
Incredibly, with the Trump administration disintegrating, and our President escaping to the Orient, where I alerted all to the potential for chemical warfare, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit another all-time high, up 81 to 23,516.  Maybe investors know something I don't.

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