On today’s show, I discuss Rex Tillerson, Globalist Gary, Larry Kudlow and the White House merry-go-round; the findings of no collusion by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and how the demographics shift of California (and following political shift) is what’s in store for the United States.
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Daily Observation for 13 March 2018
Why California Politics Is Always 15 Years Ahead
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Yesterday morning I was at the funeral of a good friend and part time employee here at Forward Observer. Saul was a good friend, politically and culturally engaged, and he’s going to be greatly missed. We really understand the value of good friends when we lose one, so do something thoughtful for a friend or family member today in remembrance of Saul.
There’s a joke about Navy SEALS. How can you tell a Navy SEAL? Don’t worry, he’ll tell you. And I had this joke about Saul: If Saul had an opinion on something, how could you tell? Don’t worry, he’ll tell you.
By the way, Saul DJ’d at the Trump Inauguration in 2017 and at the Deploraball. He was a Hispanic Trump supporter — the kid was based — and there’s going to be an enduring gap in the Conservative Underground in Austin. Rest in peace, bud.
On today’s show, we’re going to talk about some big news this morning, and then get into another indicator of a potential future domestic conflict — but this time from a staunch progressive.
By the way, we have a daily intelligence report called Early Warning. If you’re not already receiving it, head over to shop.forwardobserver.com and sign up, because today we put out a lot of good information.
First up, if you haven’t already heard: Rex Tillerson is out. They’re calling it the Rexit.
Today is Rex Tillerson’s last day as Secretary of State. Trump has already nominated CIA Director Mike Pompeo as a replacement, and if you want to talk about a war hawk on Russia… Having been at the helm of CIA for the past year and knows everything. Pompeo is not Russia’s guy, and if Pompeo gets his way, I think he’s going to get a lot more aggressive when it comes to countering China and Russia. We’ll, of course, have to wait and see what kind of leash Trump puts on him, but he has the president’s trust and this may just turn out to be a thing of commander’s intent and Pompeo gets to fill in the blanks.
British authorities have given Russian president Vladimir Putin until midnight (Greenwich Mean Time) to respond to accusations that Russian officials are behind the attempted murder of a former KGB spy living in the United Kingdom. The former KGB spy turned double agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter are in critical condition after being poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent. Russia has a storied history of assassinating former spies who have defected to the West, particularly to the UK. Media reports indicate that British officials are preparing a response, which could include actions by other Western nations.
Also in today’s Early Warning, The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) concluded its investigation into possible collusion between Russian officials and the Trump campaign, finding no evidence of collusion. Dissenting Democrat Adam Schiff (D-CA) attacked the Republican findings, saying that more investigation is required. (Analyst Comment: Some 14 months of investigation have passed without producing evidence of collusion. If HPSCI Democrats have good leads on possible evidence, one would think that 14 months is enough time for discovery, especially considering the security and intelligence resources available. To recap, there have been 14 months of rumors and still zero evidence produced thus far. Special counsel Mueller, however, is still conducting his own investigation. President Trump is not out of hot water yet, and we don’t yet know if Mueller is going to recommend charges against the president, or for what. Has anyone else noticed the media begin to shift their narrative from “collusion investigation” to “obstruction investigation”? I’ll have additional information on the Mueller investigation in this Friday’s National Intelligence Bulletin.)
And rounding out today’s Early Warning, is that Larry Kudlow is being floated as a potential replacement for Globalist Gary Cohn, the president’s former economic advisor, although he’s still working at the White House for some reason.
You know, CNN had the gall to accuse the president of taking advice from cable news anchors. First, President Trump calls Pete Hegseth of Fox and Friends. You know why? Because Hegseth is a former Army infantry officer and used to run a veterans advocacy group and Trump talks to him about veterans issues. As for Kudlow, he worked at at the Federal Reserve and then for the Reagan administration, before he got to CNBC. And CNN makes it sound like Trump is just calling random people he sees on tv, asking for advice. Maybe he is, but at least with these two guys, they had careers prior to teevee.
When we come back from the break, we’re going to be talking more about demographics, California, and the future of America…
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Now let’s jump into today’s Daily Observations. By the way, we’re married to the Early Warning. It’s gone from roughly four days a week to five now, Monday through Friday. Get a jump on the day with the Early Warning.
And then I was thinking, I love writing the Friday summary — the National Intelligence Bulletin. But what if some people want to see more daily reporting? So I’ve done a few of the Daily Observations. They’ve been on a number of topics, and today’s included some interesting things.
First up, Jamie Dimon, then what California politics means for America’s future, and we may get to some other stuff if I have enough time.
(1) JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon was interviewed on Bloomberg last week, and I think there are some important takeaways regarding the future of the U.S. economy.
- For starters, Dimon doesn’t predict that the president’s steel and aluminum tariffs will hurt growth or escalate into a trade war. On the topic of the Federal Reserve, Dimon says:
The Fed — people think the Fed — the Fed is very smart. But they don’t control the economy. And, you know, sometimes they’re just riding the bronco so it’s a — they — they have to react to it. So sometimes it’s smooth sailing and it’s easy for them to react to it, and sometimes it’s pretty tough. You know? And you — so you can’t always assume. They can’t predict the future either.
So I think that people make a mistake, saying somehow they’ve got all this leverage and they’re going to keep it smooth sailing. They can’t do that. They — they try. And, of course, that’s a — a reasonable objective. But, you know, we’ll — we’ll see.
- Not exactly what I’d call ‘utmost confidence’. Dimon goes on to describe how JPMorgan Chase in expanding by 400 more branches and 5,000 new jobs in the U.S. That’s pretty bullish.
- Dimon also talks about the Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and how 30 years ago, they were in one country (China). Today they’re in 70 countries and make more money that JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the U.S.
“They’re [ICBC] ambitious. They should be. I want to make sure I can compete against them. And I’m going to, so help me God. OK?”
- Increasingly, Dimon says, they’re having to compete with ICBC, and Chinese banks competing outside of Asia is going to greatly affect the financial landscape when they target U.S. markets as Lenovo, Huawei, and other Chinese companies are doing.
- When asked about whether or not the market (like financial stocks) are complacent to new banking trends, Dimon says:
Well, you’re — you’re going to know, in two years, whether it’s complacent or not. So the markets go down a lot in two years, you’re going to say, “Well, obviously, they were complacent.” No one knows the future.
If, in fact, we’ve got a couple years of good global growth…
If you postulate that we have a recession this year, well, obviously, stock’s overpriced. I mean — but the point is you — you —
You mean — you’re not expecting a recession this year?
I never guess the future. I don’t know what the future’s going to be. No one knows what the future’s going to be. If you ask me my opinion, I think we’re OK for a while.
One day, we’ll have a recession. I don’t know if it’s two years — I don’t think it’s this year. But, you know, could it be late-2019? 2020? Yes, could be.
(2) A Medium article entitled, “Why California Politics is Always 15 Years Ahead” floats the argument that the current state of politics in California is America’s future:
Spoiler alert: Trump will bring the old conservative agenda to its absurd conclusion with high-profile climate denial, anti-immigrant intolerance, and tax cuts for the rich in the face of historic inequality, to name just a few. The Republican Congress will embrace Trump, futilely try to apply their rigid orthodoxies to the complex modern world, break into ideological war with each other, prove totally incompetent, and fail big. In the process they will alienate all the growing political constituencies that matter going forward.The Republican brand will become toxic, their support will collapse and they will be pushed to the political sidelines for a long time to come.
Why? Because California is the future and that’s exactly what happened to California’s Republican Party about 15 years ago.
So says author Peter Leyden, who runs a media company and is a self-described “Tech & Future Trends Speaker”. Okay, let’s break down this prediction…
- First, I want to underscore the demographic and cultural changes I’ve been writing about in the National Intelligence Bulletin for months: younger generations are more racially/ethnically diverse, more liberal, and farther to the Left. That’s nothing new and is very unlikely to change: that’s the future of America right there.
- As for Heyden’s argument, he looks to California to identify this political trend — incidentally, if California is America’s political bellwether, is it also America’s financial bellwether? ‘Cause California is B-R-O-K-E.
- Heyden starts by talking about the conservative revolution in 1966 when Ronald Reagan became governor. Then a series of conservative governments dominated politics at a time when California’s demographics were changing:
- In 1980, California was 67 percent white.
- By 1990, 58 percent white.
- By 2000, California was roughly 50 percent white.
- Sound familiar? It should because that’s the trajectory of America, too.
“The politics of California became increasingly polarized and thus the state government became increasingly paralyzed as it moved into the early years of the 21st century…
In 2003 California voters had had enough. They recalled their governor, and in frustration elected a tough-talking Hollywood celebrity with zero experience in government.
The story did not end well for Schwarzenegger or conservative Republicans. They quickly ginned up a 2005 special election loaded with conservative ballot initiatives but the electorate would not go for them. All were soundly defeated.
That 2005 special election turned out to be the conservative movement’s Waterloo.
- And what was happening in 2005? Lots of voters who demographically skew Left — the same that America will experience in the coming 10-20 years.
- California now — after crossing the 50/50 threshold:
“California has turned true blue. All statewide offices are now held by Democrats. Republicans can’t even run a credible campaign on the state level. And the GOP is decimated down-ballot too…
If California is the future, then the Republican collapse will soon go national.
- Heyden’s conclusion:
Within the next fifty years, therefore, the number of majority-nonwhite states could be 22, including seven of the currently largest states and 11 of the top 15. Today, these states account for two-thirds of the nation’s population.
All signs show that the national Republican party is handling this demographic change exactly how the California Republican party did. They are totally screwing it up, almost certainly alienating these critical constituencies for a long, long time to come.
What did you expect? After all, California is the future. [source]