[DW] Voter turnout in the presidential election is reportedly lower than expected despite the Taliban ...Arabic for students... 's failure to pull off large-scale attacks. DW examines the reasons behind the low participation rate and its implications.
Less than just a month ago, very few people believed a presidential election would take place in Afghanistan. US-Taliban talks in Doha, growing insecurity and intensifying political divisions had created an uncertain environment in the war-ravaged country. On top of all that, the Afghan Taliban had declared an all-out war against the vote, threatening civilians, electoral staff and government forces with attacks during the polls.
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Afghan president must be considered a satrap of the United States. I see no harm in that if it doesn't cost too much and it's a thorn in the side of the Paks. The key question is how much does it cost and what, exactly, do we get for it?
Posted by: Abu Uluque ||
10/01/2019 13:03 Comments ||
They actually had an election which is better than many Third World countries, so ... Yeah, a 'success'.
[Washington Examiner] In the latest escalation in the trade wars, the U.S. is contemplating deploying a focused, strategic maneuver that is distinctly asymmetrical in its impact. It’s been essentially all tariffs so far (the issues with Huawei aren’t really trade related), and the move under consideration to block U.S. investment in China, including potentially delisting Chinese companies from American exchanges, would be a major tactical and ideological blow to the anachronistic, mercantilist-esque Chinese economic model.
The thing is, with or without a trade war, this should have happened a long time ago.
U.S.-listed shares of Alibaba and Baidu (the Amazon and Google of China), among others, plunged on the news, and the Yuan weakened to 7.15 against the U.S. dollar. Chinese companies aren’t a trivial amount of American stock exchanges, amounting to about $1.2 trillion of their $43 trillion market capitalization. This reckoning has been a long time coming for a country that refuses to be transparent and reciprocal ‐ its companies unsurprisingly don’t fall far from the tree.
SEC investigations and claims of fraud directed at Chinese companies have been going on for decades. From reverse-merger scams to cooking two sets of books, Chinese companies are notoriously opaque and misleading with their accounting practices. Even well-known behemoths like Alibaba are questioned for accounting methods that obfuscate critical pieces of information from American investors. Jim Chanos of Kynikos Associates casts doubt on the authenticity of the cashflows of this $430 billion company: "What the company is really earning we don’t know. ... My experience with Chinese companies is that what you don’t know is generally not good news."
The impact of this deceit transcends that of just retail and hedge fund investors. Even major U.S. companies have fallen prey to Chinese accounting malpractice. Back in 2012, Caterpillar’s acquisition of ERA Mining Machinery and its subsidiary Siwei, then China’s fourth largest maker of hydraulic roof supports, required a $580 million writedown after unearthing accounting inconsistencies and discovering it essentially lied about its inventory.
Beijing’s repeated, contemptible refusal to enforce competent accounting standards and permit overseas regulators to examine the audit work of domestic firms must be addressed head on with blunt-force tools. Policy wonks like Larry Summers or Yale’s Stephen Roach decry the move and the trade war broadly, giving us simplistic platitudes about "open access to each other's markets" or providing middle-school-tier economics lessons that view tariffs in a painfully naive vacuum. In doing so, they continue to be emblematic of precisely why Beijing has been able to get away with this and so much protectionist hostility for so long. Academically attractive and ever so superficially agreeable, this approach has been demonstrably effete and supine in its effect against an opponent that flat-out dares you to do anything about it.
[Babylon Bee] WASHINGTON, D.C.‐The recently released transcript of Trump and the Ukrainian president contained many juicy tidbits for pundits to argue over. But perhaps the most interesting part was the conclusion of the phone call. After exchanging pleasantries, Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky playfully argued for about 15 minutes as to who would hang up first.
"Alright, talk to you soon!" Trump said to conclude the phone call.
"OK, bye," Zelensky said.
There was silence on both ends of the line.
"You hang up first," Trump said.
"No, you," replied Zelensky.
This playful cold war went on for a few minutes.
Finally, the pair agreed to hang up at the same time. "Alright, we'll hang up on three," Trump said. "One, two, three." He waited.
"You didn't hang up, did you?" Zelensky said.
"Nope!" cried Trump before bursting into laughter. "You rascal!"
At long last the call ended when Trump threatened to withhold military aid unless Zelenskey hung up first.
[American Thinker] Today’s Ukraine news, with all its wild characters, crooks, and conspiracies -- just to narrow it down to the Democrats -- is reminiscent to me of the 1957 Apalachin meeting, the secret, grand conference of the American mafia, which the local police raided and exposed, all to the great discomfiture of the country’s establishment .
Despite furious resistance from their media allies, our new mafia, the Deep State is being exposed as well, thanks to the ongoing mess in the Ukraine. Recall, it was mostly with the help of the Obama State Department and various Soros-backed NGOs that the old Putin-aligned leader in Kiev was kicked out in 2014 and the subsequent regime was pretty much put at the beck and call of D.C. Democrats; getting Hunter Biden his dough, or helping out Fusion GPS, etc. They even had a scheme for international lefties to take over Eastern Orthodox churches, starting with the one in Ukraine.
Our old ambassador, Marie Yovanovich, was very much part of this Obama/Soros axis that’s -- why the new Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky so bluntly told President Trump, "Her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous President and she was on his side. She would not accept me as a new President well enough."
The reason our Deep State and its allies do not like Zelensky and backed the corruption-plagued Poroshenko is that they know Zelensky, while no Russian stooge, wants to make peace with Putin. Since his election, the shooting has abated in the Donbass, and it was reported just recently, the two sides may be close to a real peace settlement. This is something Trump has long encouraged, but is what the Deep State hates, because it would lead to most of the current sanctions on Russia being lifted.
...This is too much for Official Washington, the Deep State, and all its media allies. They want to bravely fight the Donbass War to the last dead Ukrainian, or Donald Trump’s impeachment, whichever gets the best ratings.
The reason our Deep State and its allies do not like Zelensky and backed the corruption-plagued Poroshenko is that they know Zelensky, while no Russian stooge, wants to make peace with Putin.
Politics is the art of the possible. If you can't "Win A War" then the next best thing is to get out of one as gracefully as possible. Bleeding for another ten years or so because other parties want the Ukraine to bleed Putin's neo-imperialist Russia is not a winning move for Ukraine.
There is every reason to try to make Russia a partner that helps us against China and that lightens our load in the ME and the war against the islamists.
We have zero national interest in Ukraine. Make them neutral a la Finland or Austria during the Cold War. Soft partition the country, give autonomy to the East, let each side's oligarchs and thieves continue to muddle and wallow and maybe move a little bit sideways. But there is no reason for us to continue to provoke Russia there, or for Russia not to tolerate an independent, and completely nonaligned, government in the western part of the country. Bring this to a conclusion and move on to more important issues.
[Washington Examiner] Steve Bannon said Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2020.
Bannon, who was the chief executive of President Trump's campaign in the final stretch of the 2016 election, said the Democrats fear they have poor candidates this cycle and, with the House impeachment inquiry underway, are attempting to "nullify the election."
"They think they have a weak field and they're ‐ it's like in chess ‐ they're prepared to sacrifice a rook to take down a king. They will throw [Joe] Biden away to get to Trump and hope Elizabeth [Warren] or I even think Hillary Clinton or [Michael] Bloomberg or some centrist comes in here," Bannon said Monday on Fox Business.
Bannon, who also served as White House chief strategist, said Clinton is "doing a whole thing" this week, going on a tour with her daughter Chelsea to promote their new book Gutsy Women and calling Trump an "illegitimate president."
"She is running. She's just trying to decide how to fit her way in," Bannon said.
I see her returning also. Perhaps Michaelle and Hilly. Hilly and Obama as vice president. First thing is I would have Michaelle learn to spell her name correctly. They will pick a team who is most greatly despised by America. Media romance. Soros love triangle. Sorry Bill.
Every act is driven by her insatiable need for money and attention. Soaking up the funds and diverting attention from Warren only until the far left DNC under Perez decides to take her out with scandals well l documented in the archives of the revolutionary progressives. Then Trump will face Warren and we will see how damaged they make him as an ignorant electorate is offered socialism straight out.
[YouTube] Video from Tim Pool showing moderates and some Demoncrats rejecting the radical leftist lean of the party.
A couple things I thought were interesting I wanted to point out. He shows a graph from the New York Slimes showing independents at 6 points more likely to NOT vote Demoncrat. Also registered Demoncrats lose one point on left lean.
So I went and looked at the states that Hillary won by 6% points or less for a view on how this may effect things.
The brown "battleground" states are the ones that Hillary won by less than 6% or Trump won by a whisker thin margin. Most of the rust belt states the Demoncrats will be fighting for their lives in as the Union workers reject the radical left.
Trump pulls in PA, WI and MI again and he is at 265. The left has really cut their throat with the push by the radicals.
Which is why you are seeing such a push for impeachment. They know they are (currently, long time yet to go) set to lose and lose big.
BLUF: Not to get cocky but Florida is moving red. If Trump carries Florida, Pennsylvania and one other midwestern rustbelt state, it's hard to see him losing.
Very hard to see CO or NV shifting to Trump, or NH shifting to Warren.
OTOH, Ohio's definitely now a red state and Florida's moving red, perhaps partly because of the horror show that is Venezuela and the Dems' lurch to the left combining to terrify expats in south FL.
So that gets Trump to 219 + 29 = 248 per the map. However, North Carolina should be gray, not red: it's definitely in play now for the Democrats. So the real baseline is probably 248 - 15 = 233 for Trump (including Florida).
Likewise, it's hard to really see Nevada or Colorado as being in play, so the Democrats' total is more like 187 + 6 + 9 = 202.
So the Dems need 68 votes from the battleground states, and the Repubs need 38.
They'll be fighting over at most 9 states: likely 4 rustbelt states totaling 56 votes, 3 sunbelt states totaling 39 votes, and maybe NH-ME totaling 8 votes:
- Pennsylvania 20
- Michigan 16
- Wisconsin 10
- Minnesota 10
- Virginia 13
- North Carolina 15
- Arizona 11
- New Hampshire 4
- Maine 4
Let's say Fauxcahontas picks up all the lefties in NH and ME, and barely wins those states. Then she will still need 60 votes from the 4 rustbelt and 3 sunbelt states.
Trump needs only 30 votes from those 7 states, every one of which has at least 10 votes. Really, he just needs to carry Pennsylvania and only one of the 6 remaining battleground states.
Not to get cocky, but Warren's anti-fracking stand will lose her western Pennsylvania.
Trump needs to hit this hard. If he does so, and if he can avoid doing stupid things that alienate suburbanites in the other battleground states, he'll win easily.
The Bee has a competitor....
[Ricochet] Republicans Begin Impeachment Investigation…
Mitch McConnell strides into the press conference, exuding that air of masculine confidence that made him, inevitably, a leader of men. He taps the microphone, clears his throat, and begins his presentation to the assembled reporters: "Good afternoon, everyone. I have an important announcement to make. In fact, one of historical significance." Before the murmur in the room can die down, he declares, "Republicans of both houses of Congress are officially launching an impeachment investigation of the next Democratic President of the United States."
The standstill in Kashmir ...a disputed territory lying between India and Pakistain. After partition, the Paks grabbed half of it and call it Azad (Free) Kashmir. The remainder they refer to as "Indian Occupied Kashmir". They have fought four wars with India over it, the score currently 4-0 in New Delhi's favor. After 72 years of this nonsense, India cut the Gordian knot in 2019, removing the area's special status, breaking off Ladakh as a separate state, and allowing people from other areas to settle (or in the case of the Pandits, to resettle) there.... has entered its 8th week. Amid a security crackdown and communication blackout, people of the region eagerly waited for a global response to their crisis during the 74th UN General Assembly session; however, it all ended in disappointment.
The international community failed to convince India to resolve the long-pending dispute with Pakistain over the Kashmir region, despite being aware of their past scuffles.
Frustrated over the cold global response to their crisis, people of Kashmir see war as the only solution to the matter once for all.
Despite repeated calls for mediation to de-escalate tensions between India and Pakistain, India adamantly maintains that Kashmir is its domestic issue while Pakistain reminds the world of the disputed nature of the issue and the scores of UN resolutions passed over the controversial matter.
Caught between the two nuclear armed rivals are millions of Kashmiris who have closed businesses, educational institutions, shops and other life activities for almost two months, hoping to receive international assistance.
Kashmiris must be given the right to decide their future. By imposing themselves on us, the two countries will lead nowhere and oppression will lead to more rebellion.
The disputed Kashmir region once again made headlines across the world after India altered the special status of the disputed Kashmir region by unilaterally scrapping it in August. Afterwards, New Delhi imposed the toughest-ever security crackdown, scuttled almost all the advanced means of communications, including cellular networks, and arrested not only those who supported the pro-freedom ideology, but also cracked down on its own league operating in the region.
Although a lot of criticism has surrounded India’s recent behavior in Kashmir, the global community has failed to pressure India to resolve the matter with Pakistain. Many accuse world powers of siding with India for their own economic interests.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.