The beginning of the end for Donald Trump?

Not the impeachment investigation.  Nor Ukraine. Syrian Kurds.

Last week, Turkey invaded the bit of Syria controlled by America’s Kurdish hitherto-allies, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he only wants to occupy a border strip to resettle Syrian refugees and create a buffer zone between Turkey’s and Syria’s Kurds to prevent “terrorism”.  He may even be telling the truth.

Trump didn’t stop him.  Indeed, he pulled American forces out of the way to let the Turks through. Continue reading “The beginning of the end for Donald Trump?”

Trump and free trade – its complicated

US President Donald Trump’s measures against Chinese trade have been criticised by a few people who you might expect to be sympathetic to a Republican president.  So its helpful to get a riposte from economist Casey Mulligan, who recently finished a year’s stint as the chief economist on Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Mulligan starts off by comparing Trump’s trade restrictions to those implemented by hallowed free-trader Ronald Reagan – seen as a benchmark by some.

Continue reading “Trump and free trade – its complicated”

Is Trump really a Russian spy?

There has been extraordinary criticism of Donald Trump’s Russian diplomacy from the US intelligence community (aka former spies) after last month’s G7 meeting.  His lobbying for Russia to be readmitted to the G7 organisation and his failure to condemn Russian aggression in Ukraine (indeed blaming some of the problems on the policy of former President Barack Obama) led a former Justice Department official to say Trump’s behavior was “directly out of the Putin playbook. We have a Russian asset sitting in the Oval Office.” and another suggested that Trump was currying favor with Putin for future business deals.  Indeed, one former CIA agent was even quoted accusing Trump of behaving like “a spy for the Russians.”

Is there any substance to this or is it another outburst of Trump Derangement Syndrome? Continue reading “Is Trump really a Russian spy?”

Mass shootings in US could trigger softening of Trump’s position on the Christchurch Call

Might the US now sign up to PM Jacinda Ardern’s call to  action after President  Donald Trump trenchantly denounced white supremacy in the wake of the mass shootings over the weekend in Texas and Ohio and cited the threat of “racist hate”?

The language was unequivocal:

In one voice our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated,” he said at the White House.

Trump avoided endorsing the kind of broad gun control measures Democrats and gun-control activists have sought for years, instead calling for stronger action to address mental illness, violence in the media and violent video games and warned  of the perils of the internet and social media. Continue reading “Mass shootings in US could trigger softening of Trump’s position on the Christchurch Call”