sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Monday, February 26, 2018

Chinese Kool-Aid

The official Chinese News Agency, Xinhua published the text of a series of amendments proposed by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee. The most controversial is that which eliminates term limits on the presidency.

Xi Jinping is no Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus.

“Article 14 Paragraph 3 of Article 79 of the Constitution "The president and vice president of the People's Republic of China shall hold the same term as each term of the National People's Congress and shall not hold office for more than two consecutive terms." Amend to read as follows: "The term of office of president of the People's Republic of China and the term of office of vice president shall be the same as the term of office of the National People's Congress.” 

The National People’s Congress will convene on 5 March to discuss revision of the constitution among other issues. 

The term of the National People’s Congress is five years. The two-term limit meant that President Xi could only serve for ten years, ending in 2023. Under the new proposal, Xi coulf serve as President indefinitely. His position as general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party has no term limit.

Xinhua also published the proposal to incorporate Xi Jinping thought into the Chinese constitution. It is already incorporated into the Chinese Communist Party’s constitution.

While Westerners have great mistrust for leaders, the Chinese by in large do not. It goes to mindset. 

Building the Wall

Provisional plans for President Donald Trump to host his Mexican counterpart in Washington have been put on hold. Truth be told, President Trump is not popular in Mexico. The postponement of plans to meet this month or in March followed a testy telephone call between the two leaders last week, the Washington Post reported, citing information from U.S. and Mexican officials.

It's a simple thing to have Mexico pay for the WALL. Mexicans sent home $26.1 billion from January to November 2017, according to figures released last year by the central bank of Mexico. That's the most ever recorded and better than the $24.1 billion sent in 2016 over the same period. President Trump has been holding off on tinkering with that - for reasons that I agree with.
1. Stopping or heavily taxing remittances would cause millions of agricultural workers in the US to self-deport. Before you cheer that on, it would cause an interruption in our capacity to bring those agricultural products to market in the short term. In a nutshell, it would hurt us too. 
2. Establishing a guest worker program is important to continuity but Congress is unable to agree on or to do anything. Guest workers could be exempt from a remittance tax.
Back to the issue of taxing or stopping - Levying a tax on those remittances would be a simple thing for the US to do if it decided to move on it. Or absent that, it would be just as easy to stop them all together, which would mean canceling the issuance of postal money orders/refusing to accept negotiated orders in Mexico.

Those measures may be undertaken anyway because the narco kingpins (who call the shots in Mexico) are heavily backing Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano, a communist from the communist Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PDR Party).  Candidate Cárdenas has promised to stop extraditions of important narcos to the USA for narcotics violations and to oppose all US interests in Mexico. It's not a declaration of war, but it plays well in the Mexican political spotlight. Cárdenas' policy is essentially to make Mexico into Venezuela. While I don't think that it will go that far, it will sink the peso even deeper as foreign investment is gobbled up by state annexation of certain private businesses (orgastic fervor for communists).

A more lawless and more violent Mexico under communist rule may help move at least a few Democrats to want a WALL if for nothing but their own self-interest. (note: Mexico has far more strict firearms laws than the US - how's it working for them?)

Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación – CJNG, Mexico's most powerful drug cartel, has been bringing sufficient firearms and ammunition into the country to cause severe civil discord during the election cycle if it appears that the currently ruling PRI is going to win the election, scheduled for July 1, 2018.

Last week, President Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto spoke for 50 minutes. President Trump stressed the importance of Mexico paying for the WALL. Acknowledging that Mexico will contribute to a WALL would bring political ruin for President Enrique Pena Nieto and the PRI - facing a tough political season as outlined above.

NAFTA is on the ropes and it's essentially gone. Mexico will have the fallout from that to deal with as well. It was a cash cow for them while it lasted.