Assessing the Cross-Taiwan-Straits Military Balance

400 Harpoon missiles to Taiwan is a good development. But clearly more is going to be necessary. A leaked document recounted in WaPo assesses the current military situation.

Taiwan is unlikely to thwart Chinese military air superiority in a cross-strait conflict, while tactics such as China’s use of civilian ships for military purposes have eroded U.S. spy agencies’ ability to detect a pending invasion, according to leaked Pentagon assessments that contain troubling details about the self-governed island’s ability to fend off war.

The assessments state that Taiwan officials doubt their air defenses can “accurately detect missile launches,” that barely more than half of Taiwan’s aircraft are fully mission capable and that moving the jets to shelters would take at least a week — a huge problem if China launched missiles before Taiwan had a chance to disperse those planes.

The classified documents addressing a potential conflict suggest China’s air force would have a much better shot at establishing early control of the skies — a strategy that Taipei itself believes will underpin an attack — than Russia did in Ukraine.

Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in November that the Pentagon is working to make sure that Taipei can defend itself and that the U.S. military is prepared should the island be invaded.

Milley pointed out that the Chinese military hasn’t seen combat since the 1970s and would be playing a “very, very dangerous game” if it attacks Taiwan. Subduing the 23 million people there and negotiating mountainous terrain would be extremely difficult, he said, and drew parallels to the Russian invasion of Ukraine — an ongoing conflict that has left hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians dead or wounded.

Harpoon anti-ship missiles are then buttressing the increase in Patriot sales to Taiwan announced at the end of last year. For more discussion of the China-Taiwan balance, see this post, recounting the DoD (unclassified) assessment.

Addendum, 4/23:

Wargaming the conflict (CSIS).



132 thoughts on “Assessing the Cross-Taiwan-Straits Military Balance

  1. David O'Rear

    Experience counts.
    The PLA last saw real combat in the late 1980s, at the tail end of the Sino-Vietnam War. That conflict started in February 1979, but carried on for about a decade of border fighting. Today, the senior-most military officers include a small handful who comprise China’s only serving soldiers to have seen actual combat. The PLAN (navy) and PLAAF (air force) played no role in that conflict, nor in the 1969 border skirmishes with the Soviet Union, nor in the 1962 mini-war with India. The last Chinese pilot to fire a shot in anger dropped bombs on South Vietnamese forces on the Parcel Islands, in 1974.

    Taiwan’s forces don’t have quite that much experience, but for the last 50 years they have been wholly focused on defense.

    Capabilities matter.
    China last conducted an opposed amphibious landing in April 1949, when seizing Hainan Island from the Nationalists. Bearing in mind that crossing the Taiwan Strait would not be quick and easy, as was the case of the D-Day Normandy landings, there is little to suggest that the PLA would be able to land and maintain for any length of time a significantly powerful force.

    So do friends.
    There is no evidence and scant theory to suggest that the United States armed forces would not become directly involved in any reasonable scenario (e.g., excluding direct military provocation by Taiwan). More, there are good reasons to think that the level of economic sanctions leveled at Russia after the invasion of Ukraine would be at least matched by nations opposed to China’s use of force against Taiwan. Finally, whereas Ukraine is a major source of wheat, Taiwan is a critical source of semiconductor chips, which are far more difficult to replace quickly.

    Xi Jinping is surrounded by people who are afraid to oppose him.
    That greatly increases the odds that someone will do something stupid.

    1. Moses Herzog

      @ O’Rear
      The thing that saves Taiwan from an invasion, is Chinese leaders’ pragmatism. If there’s one character trait Chinese people have, both citizens and leaders, it is a deep-rooted pragmatism towards life. I do not see an invasion happening, in the end, they will see the risks far outweighing the rewards of an invasion. Chance of military invasion of Taiwan?? 3%

      A blockade of the sea and ports around Taiwan with ships/bullying?? This is the much more likely scenario.

  2. Anonymous

    last i heard the government on formosa calls itself the ‘republic of china’. the term ‘taiwan’ respects the one china doctrine.

    in the sino-japanese war of the 1930’s formosa was a logistics base, and launch point for japanese bombers to attack china.

    that may motivate prc to deal with the republic of china as a localized strategic issue.

    the naval equation for defense/defeat of the republic of china may be as complex and attrition sensitive as the battle for okinawa.

    which side can gain after suffering mutual loses in naval power and ruining the republic of china economically?

    today i do not see threat from the republic of china as worth the costs to remove it.

  3. pgl

    Dennis Powers reminds me of CoRev:

    Tennessee State Representative Justin Jones (D-52nd District), fresh off his reinstatement to the legislature after Republicans expelled him for protesting their indifference to gun violence, issued a brutal takedown of State Representative Dennis Powers (R-36th District) on Friday after Powers denied that climate change exists. Despite the consensus of the world’s scientists, numerous reports from international bodies such as the United Nations, and the impacts of the continued burning of fossil fuels playing out in real-time, Powers claimed that Earth is not getting hotter and that environmentalism is a racket. “Climate change is just a way of risk, redistribution of wealth. There is no climate change,” said Powers, who on March 3rd had to apologize for adding “hanging by a tree” to an amendment on a bill that also recommended execution by firing squad for death row inmates. “We’re always gonna have climate change because the ice age never came. And also the heat a, a heating age, or global warming, never came, which is why they changed it to climate change. And you can sit there and argue, argue all you want to about that, but we all know the truth.”

    WAIT – this is where this gets fun!

    In response, Jones went right for the jugular. “Thank you, Representative, for making the case why we need to fund more money into our education, into our public schools, so we can educate our students and they don’t grow up with these conspiracy theories,” Jones said. “Um, I I, what you said was very troubling to me. I, I, I’m, I’m just very thrown aback and I’m glad that we have that on the record what you said,” Jones added. “And I hope your district looks at what you said because that is very troubling, that we’re challenging science, we’re challenging reality, and we’re living in this alternative universe of conspiracy theories that are not rooted in fact, and not rooted in, in what we can see with our own eyes and what we’re experiencing in the world right now. And so I, I just, I have no other words, but, um, let us invest in education so we do not have lawmakers who have this mentality.” Jones was not alone in his rebuke of Powers. Twitter users were also exasperated at Powers’ obtuseness.

    1. CoRev

      Just another example living in the head of a crazy angry liberal. Where have I EVER denied that climate change does not occur? Indeed I insist on you crazy beleivers to define when it DID NOT occur.

      Moreover, why not define climate change for us if you can. Maybe you can get the other “believers” here to help with that definition. I’ll even hep you: ” the average course or condition of the weather at a place usually over a period of years as exhibited by temperature, wind velocity, and precipitation”

      The angry liberal mind does amaze, and you exemplify both.

        1. CoRev

          Menzie, hiatus? That is in relation to a stop in temperature increases. I even showed the temp. data and graphs. Do you deny the data then and even now where the TEMPERATURE DATA (NOT climate) show we are in another hiatus. Are you now defining climate to only be temperature? What do you now call: ” the average course or condition of the weather at a place usually over a period of years as exhibited by temperature, wind velocity, and precipitation”

          Define climate for us! I’ve given the Merriam-Wcebster definition to help you.

          The liberal mind of mushy definitions is an amazement.

          1. pgl

            This whiney little BS of yours is why little CoRev never gets invited to any serious discussion of climate change. Conferences do not need professional liars wasting everyone’s time.

            Now maybe CoRev can better spend his time talking about the economics of soybeans – another topic where CoRev ably displays his utter incompetence.

  4. Bruce Hall

    When attempting to analyze authoritarian regimes, is it not reasonable to ask if political ambitions outweigh economic considerations? After all, it seems that was the case for Russia invading Ukraine. So, in assessing China’s ambitions with regard to Taiwan, what is more important to the CCP? Furthermore, if China does attack and defeat Taiwan, will China face similar economic sanctions that were imposed on Russia? Or will excuses be made on behalf of the CCP by the West.

  5. pgl

    Bed Bath & Beyond has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after last-ditch efforts to keep the business afloat failed. The homeware giant has exhausted efforts to shore up financing since first warning of a possible bankruptcy in early January.

    Retail has been rough since the pandemic and this once highly profitable company turned south fast. Back during the summer of 2014, BB&B took out its first corporate debt issuing $1.5 billion in corporate bonds with maturities ranging from 10 years to 30 years. The weighted average interest rate was 4.83% reflecting a credit spread = 1.75% as government bond rates for the same maturities averaged 3.08%. No surprise since it had a credit rating of BBB-. Last year its credit rating dropped to B+. BB&B was buying back some of its bonds according to its last 10-K but they failed to tell us what kind of discount these bond holders had to accept.

  6. pgl

    I bet Boeing loves this deal:

    The US Navy has awarded Boeing a $1.17 billion contract to produce and deliver 400 Harpoon tactical missiles and support equipment. In addition to 400 RGM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II Update (HIIU) Grade B canister tactical missiles, the contract includes four RTM-84L-4 Block II HIIU Grade B canister exercise missiles, Harpoon Coastal Defense System (HCDS) spares, containers, blast test vehicles, and technical publications. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent or $629.7 million) of the award is reserved for foreign military sales. While the Pentagon did not disclose the names of the foreign customers, Taiwan is a known purchaser. Deliveries of the Harpoon coastal missile defense system to the Asian country are expected to be completed by 2028, part of a 2020 $2.37-billion package that includes more than 400 missiles, 100 launchers, radars, and support equipment.

    Now I get people like Princeton Steve want more and more military spending for Taiwan but this ain’t exactly going to reduce our government deficit especially since deficit hawks like McCarthy will refuse to raise a dime in extra taxes on the rich.

    1. Anonymous

      i have no direct knowledge of this foreign military sale (fms) case……

      usually the buying country has an ‘fms case’, then a letter of offer and acceptance (loa) signed by both parties starts the process to get to a boeing contract to deliver to the loa which navy personnel managing the contract use to write the contract……

      unless a waiver to pay with ‘military assistance funding’, the fms case is funded by the buying country.

      what is interesting is that the republic of china is not a country for the usa, so the loa is with some non governmental agency…..

      we should not accuse republic f china being ukraine.

      unlike stuff going to kiev, the republic of china is getting logistics tail in the delivery.

    2. JohnH

      Since when does pgl care about more and more military spending? Heck, he can’t even criticize DOD for failing its fifth audit in a row! And he can’t criticize Democrats’ refusal to approve an IG for Ukraine, a notorious kleptocracy!

      Is there a second posting here?

      1. pgl

        Why are you such a pathetic little child? Go back to when I blogged with Angrybear or Econospeak and you would see me complaining about high defense spending. But would that stop little Jonny boy from claiming otherwise? Of course not as you lie Sarah Palin style. One utterly pointless lie after another.

        Seriously dude – you need serious emotional help.

        1. JohnH

          Why doesn’t pgl go back to posts and show some evidence that once upon a time cared about DOD audits and waste and fraud?

          1. pgl

            You don’t you go back and ask your mother why she allowed her son to grow up to be such a worthless little troll?

            Ah Jonny boy – have you not noticed that NO ONE here believes anything you say. Including our host who has a new post calling out your dishonesty.

        1. pgl

          Well JohnH’s Fortune 200 company wanted Arthur Andersen to conduct its financial audit. Oh wait – Andersen went under for misleading audits so Jonny boy had to go beg KPMG to lie for upper management. When that failed – Jonny boy’s Fortune 200 company went bankrupt.

          1. pgl

            Another link Jonny could not read past the headline:

            When asked by a reporter how he would grade the DoD based on the audit’s findings, McCord said “we failed to get an A” but did not give a more precise grade.

            Little Jonny boy never got an A. In fact his best grade was a C minus in basket weaving.

          2. baffling

            John, just because something is printed on the internet does not make it right or true. I think that is one of your major flaws Johnny. once again, you conduct an audit. you do not fail an audit.

  7. pgl

    I heard this interview with Mike Pence (alas):

    Former Vice President Mike Pence suggested two men who shot people because they mistakenly went to the wrong home were simply responding to “fear” of a “crime wave.”

    Raw Story
    Raw Story
    Mike Pence defends Ralph Yarl and Kaylin Gillis shootings as response to ‘crime wave’
    Story by David Edwards • 1h ago

    Former Vice President Mike Pence suggested two men who shot people because they mistakenly went to the wrong home were simply responding to “fear” of a “crime wave.”

    During an interview on CBS, correspondent Robert Costa confronted Pence about a “spate of gun violence in recent weeks.”
    “And it’s at times legal gun owners shooting people who come up to their door, on a driveway, in a parking lot,” Costa said, referring to the shootings of Ralph Yarl and Kaylin Gillis. “Well, our hearts go out to the families of lost loved ones and the incidents in Kansas City and in upstate New York,” Pence replied. “I just can’t imagine the pain that they’re enduring in that tragedy.”

    At this point I thought to myself that’s nice but what else is going to come out of Pence’s mouth.

    “But tragedy should not require us to forfeit our liberty,” he continued. “And the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States.” Pence speculated about why two innocent people were shot for going to the wrong house. “I can’t imagine the circumstances that I read about in the press in either of those cases,” he remarked. “But at the end of the day, I just wonder, I wonder if it is some reflection of the fear the American people feel about the crime wave that’s impacting our country, literally from coast to coast.”

    Pence can’t bring himself to say too many people have guns and too many people just shoot at others at the drop of the hat. Pence can’t bring himself to say this Stand Your Ground garbage is why ordinary people at afraid to venture into another lawn to chase down a ball or simply knock at the door for directions. Pence should never be allowed to be even a dog catcher let alone President.

    1. Moses Herzog

      Pence sees himself as some kind of Christian leader, but when asked to comment on pure evil, Pence in essence says “Well, the moneychangers are just trying to protect the sanctity of the Temple”. Huh?? Milquetoast ≠ Holiness

  8. Erik Poole


    I doubt funnelling more arms to Taiwan will help Taiwan security that much.

    I have a question for you though. Will lying about Chinese policies, demonizing China and then ultimately adopting MAGA-style industrial policies actually help lift Americans out of poverty or help alleviate the opioid epidemic? Nobody is suggesting that deep structural economic issues in the USA are easy to resolve but frankly is this the way to do it?

    My impression is that Taiwan risks becoming road kill in developments largely driven by US domestic politics. Personally, I would not trust the US commitment to Taiwanese security but would interested to hear why you trust it.

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Erik Poole: So, while we’re dealing with our deep structural social problems, we should abandon free, democratic societies to invasion and oppression? We can walk, and chew gum at the same time. How big of a difficulty is it to send a bunch more anti-ship and surface to air missiles to Taiwan (actually, allow them to purchase those defensive weapons)?

      1. Erik Poole

        @Menzie: That is precisely the problem It is too easy to send over Nancy Pelosi or additional weapon systems. Other reforms take careful thought and effort.

        You should elaborate at some point on why you are a fan of US MAGA industrial policy.

        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          Erik Poole: Once again. Why can’t we do both?

          When have I said that I (1) supported Trump tariffs, (2) supported the CHIPS program in its entirety, (3) the Buy America program embodied in IRA? Please provide links.

          1. Moses Herzog

            @ Menzie
            If we can’t paint you into a corner you realize you’re taking away half the fun of this blog.

            : )

          2. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Moses Herzog: Well, I am pretty sure I have argued against the Trump tariffs, and industrial policy in general. Certainly not too supportive of tightening of domestic content requirements, as implemented for instance in the Nafta revision.

          3. Moses Herzog

            That was intended as a jab at your vilifiers. I think you have parsed out some very entangled issues pretty well, as far as not throwing out the baby with the bathwater kind of thing.

            It’s pretty rare I take to punching at you Menzie, and you know when I do I usually go overboard and get the machete out of storage, so…..

        2. Macroduck

          Nancy Pelosi, and Michael McCaul (R-Texas), head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, leading a bi-partisan Congressional delegation, after Kevin McCarthy met with President Tsai.

          It’s not a Pelosi thing. It’s a U.S. thing.

      2. JohnH

        The US cares about democracy? Did they defend Zelaya after the coup in Honduras? Did they protect Aristide in Haiti? Did they defend Chavez from a coup in Venezuela? What about the coup in Bolivia only 4 years ago? And that’s only recent history.

        I consider US claims of support for freedom and democracy to be just more of the same old propaganda that we have seen since the coup in Hawaii in 1893.

        The Taiwan issue is about geopolitics and power, not freedom, democracy and human rights. Most every government wants to cast its aggressive behavior in terms of noble intentions to gain the moral high ground and to keep people from responding negatively to its actions.

        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          JohnH: OK. You want to go to Melian dialog. We need Taiwan to counterbalance a strategically ambitious China intent on dominating the South China Seas, in a way that is not conducive to prosperity and peace. Does happen to be the case here (maybe not always) that Taiwan is more a democracy than our strategic competitor.

          1. JohnH

            Agreed that “Taiwan is more a democracy than our strategic competitor.” But that’s not the crux of the dispute between China and the West.

            In any case as the site of a likely war between two large powers, the future of the island is bleak. Chris Hedges wrties, “There are many ways for a state to project power and weaken adversaries, but proxy wars are one of the most cynical. Proxy wars devour the countries they purport to defend. They entice nations or insurgents to fight for geopolitical goals that are ultimately not in their interest.”

            Having served as a NY Times war correspondent, Hedges has extensive experience with proxy wars and their catastrophic results for the proxy.

            Taiwan’s democracy would be best served by using its position to play the two great powers off against each other, extracting the maximum benefit for itself. Clever children are experts on this…

            That could be achieved by returning to the internationally recognized one China policy, which has served everyone well for the last 60 years. Turning Taiwan into a de facto US military base only serves to provoke China, just as turning Ukraine into a de facto NATO country provoked Russia…with disastrous results for Ukraine.

            As the saying goes, “When elephants fight, it is the grass the suffers.”

          2. JohnH

            If Taiwan’s politicians are not careful, they could become the Cuba of the northwestern Pacific. In the worst case, they could become Donbass.

            If Taiwan’s politicians are skillful, and stick with the One China policy, they’ll remain prosperous and democratic.

          3. pgl

            April 25, 2023 at 8:07 am
            If Taiwan’s politicians are not careful, they could become the Cuba of the northwestern Pacific. In the worst case, they could become Donbass.’

            It appears Jonny boy has never been to Cuba, Donbass, or Taiwan. Had he been to these places he might realize how utterly absurd this dopey attempt as an analogy is.

        2. pgl

          Haiti? Ever heard of Operation Uphold Democracy?

          I bet you have but par for the course – you refuse to be even remotely honest.

          Come on Jonny boy – the rest of us know how to look up facts that expose what a pathetic little liar you are.

    2. Macroduck

      Lying about China’s policies? Who’s doing that? Which policies? How do you know?

      You seem to base your position on your own doubts and impressions. How do unsupported doubts and. Impressions improve the discussion? ‘Cause this is probably an important enough issue that we’ll want more than impressions.

  9. pgl

    I often note JohnH spews all sorts of really stupid lies but no, he is no match for Rudy Giuliani:

    Rudy Giuliani on Sunday continued to insist that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” from former President Donald Trump despite a massive $787 settlement in Dominion’s defamation case against Fox News. Instead of blaming Trump’s election loss on voting machines, Giuliani focused on the theory that suppression of a story about Hunter Biden caused Trump to lose. Attorney Robert Costello spoke as a guest on Giuliani’s Sunday radio program. “Well, they knew it was going to involve Hunter Biden because they knew that once I gave the laptop to you and you were going to various media organizations to see whether they would publish this material they were concerned,” Costello said. According to the statistics,” the attorney added, “17% of the people that voted for Biden said that they would not have voted for Biden they would have voted for Trump if they knew what was on the laptop.”

    Come on people. Does RUDY have even one honest friend? Someone needs to tell RUDY he has made a total fool out of himself and maybe he should just stop. WTF is this Costello clown? Enabling RUDY’s insanity is just stupid.

      1. pgl

        Chairmen Jordan?

        You have decided to repeat this already discredited lie? Jim Jordan? Hey Jonny boy – we all know you lie 24/7 but DAMN!

  10. David O'Rear

    The sole reason the Taiwan government calls itself the Republic of China is that all serious observers agree that changing the name would unnecessarily provoke the People’s Republic of China, possibly starting a war. The term Taiwan has little to do with the out-dated one-China policy, and is simply the term the people of that island prefer to call themselves.

    In the 1930s, Taiwan was part of the Japanese home islands, as fully integrated as Okinawa or Sapporo. Taiwan elected its own representatives to the Japanese Diet. Nothing in recent or ancient history suggests that the island’s role during the Sino-Japanese War will have anything whatsoever to do with how the PRC deals with Taiwan now or in the future.

    If China cares about “ruining the republic of china economically,” it will not invade. Sadly, that is not its main consideration, and neither is any imaginary threat Taiwan may offer to China.

    – – –

    Mr Hall,

    I don’t think Mr Putin expected the cohesive western response to his invasion of Ukraine, especially after the lack of interest in 2014. Xi Jinping, on the other hand, probably has two main concerns: first, if his untested forces can actually win; and second, how severe and prolonged the economic damage might be.

    If the west does not impose severe sanctions on China following an invasion of Taiwan, Israel, Japan, and South Korea will likely consider renewing or establishing nuclear weapons programs. To do otherwise in the face of American capitulation would be foolish.

    – – –


    I seem to recall another group that put false fiscal conservation ahead of prudent military planning. They were known as the America First Committee, fronted by Charles Lindbergh right up until December 7, 1941.

    Their views had something in common with a Brit by the name of Neville Chamberlain.

    – – –

    Erik Poole,

    Your comments remind me of something I read in 人民日报 … a/k/a People’s Daily.

    1. pgl

      I would hope people do not read my comments as endorsing Charles Lindbergh or Neville Chamberlain. Then again I’m no Dick Cheney either (even if Putin’s poodle JohnH tries to claim otherwise).

    2. pgl

      At the center of his foreign policy vision, Donald Trump has put “America First,” a phrase with an anti-Semitic and isolationist history going back to the years before the U.S. entry into World War II. Trump started using the slogan in the later months of his campaign, and despite requests from the Anti-Defamation League that he drop it, he stuck with it. Friday, he embraced the words as a unifying theme for his inaugural address. “From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land,” Trump said on the Capitol steps. “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America First. America First.”

      Those same words galvanized a mass populist movement against U.S. entry into the war in Europe, even as the German army rolled through France and Belgium in the spring of 1940. A broad-based coalition of politicians and business leaders on the right and left came together as the America First Committee to oppose President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s support for France and Great Britain. The movement grew to more than 800,000 members. While the America First Committee attracted a wide array of support, the movement was marred by anti-Semitic and pro-fascist rhetoric. Its highest profile spokesman, Charles Lindbergh, blamed American Jews for pushing the country into war. “The British and the Jewish races,” he said at a rally in September 1941, “for reasons which are not American, wish to involve us in the war.” The “greatest danger” Jews posed to the U.S. “lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government,” Lindbergh said.

      It is unclear if Trump is bothered by the ugly history of the phrase. What is clear is that he is determined to make the words his own. He has used them to sell his promises to impose trade barriers, keep manufacturing jobs inside the U.S. and restrict illegal and legal immigration. Inauguration Day live updates: ‘American carnage stops’ here and now, Trump says »
      “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families,” Trump said in Friday’s inaugural speech. “We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs,” he said. “It is such a toxic phrase with such a putrid history,” said Susan Dunn, professor of humanities at Williams College and an expert in American political history, in an interview. Lindbergh and other prominent members of the America First organization believed democracy was in decline and that fascism represented a new future, Dunn said. Those words “carry an enormous weight,” said Lynne Olson, author of “Those Angry Days,” a book about the clash between Lindbergh and Roosevelt over entering the war.
      “That time was strikingly familiar to now,” Olson said. “There was an enormous amount of economic and social turmoil in the country, anti-Semitism rose dramatically as well as general nativism and populism.”

      Shortly after Trump took the oath of office, White House aides posted a 500-word description of Trump’s approach to the world titled “America First Foreign Policy.” “The world must know that we do not go abroad in search of enemies, that we are always happy when old enemies become friends, and when old friends become allies,” the statement read. It added that defeating radical Islamic terror groups will be the “highest priority,” and that Trump’s administration would add ships to the Navy and build the Air Force back up to Cold War levels. Trump also plans to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and renegotiate the terms of NAFTA with Canada and Mexico. Trump appears to have first tried out the phrase “America First” during an interview with the New York Times in March, when he was asked if he was taking an isolationist, “America First” approach to foreign policy. “Not isolationist, I’m not isolationist, but I am ‘America First.’ So I like the expression. I’m ‘America First,’” Trump said at the time. “We have been disrespected, mocked and ripped off for many, many years by people that were smarter, shrewder, tougher,” he added.

      1. ltr

        March 27, 2016

        Transcript: Donald Trump Expounds on His Foreign Policy Views

        [ Donald J. Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, discussed his views on foreign policy with Maggie Haberman and David E. Sanger of The New York Times. ]

        ‘America First’

        SANGER: There was something else to George W. Bush, Bush 43’s philosophy. If we believed that his father was an internationalist, I think it’s fair to say, at least a lot of the people around George W. Bush were transformational, they actually wanted to change the nature of regime. You heard this in George W. Bush’s second inaugural address.

        TRUMP: Yeah.

        SANGER: What you are describing to us, I think is something of a third category, but tell me if I have this right, which is much more of a, if not isolationist, then at least something of “America First” kind of approach, a mistrust of many foreigners, both our adversaries and some of our allies, a sense that they’ve been freeloading off of us for many years.

        TRUMP: Correct. O.K.? That’s fine.

        SANGER: O.K.? Am I describing this correctly here?

        TRUMP: I’ll tell you — you’re getting close. Not isolationist, I’m not isolationist, but I am “America First.” So I like the expression. I’m “America First.” We have been disrespected, mocked, and ripped off for many many years by people that were smarter, shrewder, tougher. We were the big bully, but we were not smartly led. And we were the big bully who was — the big stupid bully and we were systematically ripped off by everybody. From China to Japan to South Korea to the Middle East, many states in the Middle East, for instance, protecting Saudi Arabia and not being properly reimbursed for every penny that we spend, when they’re sitting with trillions of dollars, I mean they were making a billion dollars a day before the oil went down, now they’re still making a fortune, you know, their oil is very high and very easy to get it, very inexpensive, but they’re still making a lot of money, but they were making a billion dollars a day and we were paying leases for bases? We’re paying leases, we’re paying rent? O.K.? To have bases over there? The whole thing is preposterous. So we had, so America first, yes, we will not be ripped off anymore. We’re going to be friendly with everybody, but we’re not going to be taken advantage of by anybody. We won’t be isolationists — I don’t want to go there because I don’t believe in that. I think we’ll be very worldview, but we’re not going to be ripped off anymore by all of these countries. I mean think of it.We have $21 trillion, essentially, very shortly, we’ll be up to $21 trillion in debt. O.K.? A lot of that is just all of these horrible, horrible decisions. You know, I’ll give you another one, I talked about NATO and we fund disproportionately, the United Nations, we get nothing out of the United Nations other than good real estate prices. We get nothing out of the United Nations. They don’t respect us, they don’t do what we want, and yet we fund them disproportionately again. Why are we always the ones that funds everybody disproportionately, you know? So everything is like that. There’s nothing that’s not like that. That’s why if I win and if I go in, it’s always never sounds — I have a woman who came up to me, I tell this story, she said “Mr. Trump, I think you’re great, I think you’re going to be a great president, but I don’t like what you say I got to make America rich again.” But you can’t make America great again unless you make it rich again, in other words, we’re a poor nation, we’re a debtor nation, we don’t have the money to do, we don’t have the money to fix our military and the reason we don’t is because of the fact that because of all of the things we’ve been talking about for the last 25 min and other things.

        1. pgl

          Trump’s rant here is beyond incoherent. Unless Trump really thinks Middle East nations should just give us oil for free and other nations should allow us to use their land rent free. Huh – maybe I’ll move into Trump Tower and tell the landlord I’m not paying rent. I wonder if Donald will think that is fair.

      2. ltr

        January 20, 2017

        Trump appears to have first tried out the phrase “America First” during an interview with the New York Times in March….

        [ The phrase was introduced by David Sanger of the NY Times on March 26, 2016, to try to summarize the prospective approach to foreign policy of Mr. Trump. Trump agreed with the summary, and in turn used the phrase Sanger had introduced in responding to the interview question. ]

    3. baffling

      “The term Taiwan has little to do with the out-dated one-China policy, and is simply the term the people of that island prefer to call themselves.”
      since the prc has no credible history of ruling taiwan, it would make since of the people of that nation to refer to themselves as taiwan and not china. the native population of taiwan is not of historical chinese heritage, from what i understand. the island largely developed with limited input from the mainland. the ccp claim to taiwan is from geographical proximity, not historical precedence.

      1. David O’Rear

        The original Taiwanese – the aboriginals — comprise less than 3% of the island’s population.
        Mainlanders are now only about 10% of the total. The rest migrated from Fujian (70%) , Guangdong (15%) or other parts of China prior to 1950.

        The people of Taiwan tend to refer to themselves as Taiwanese (65%) or Taiwanese Chinese (30%).
        The R.O.C. is universally understood to be a polite fiction.

        The PRC claims Taiwan from historic precedence: The island was taken from Japan after WWII, and given to the Government of the Republic of China. As the PRC considers itself the successor to the ROC, they think Taiwan is theirs.

        1. baffling

          “The PRC claims Taiwan from historic precedence: The island was taken from Japan after WWII, and given to the Government of the Republic of China. As the PRC considers itself the successor to the ROC, they think Taiwan is theirs.”
          that is a short history. and just because the prc considers itself the successor, does not make it so. in the longer history, from what I understand, Taiwan has not considered itself a part of mainland china.

    4. Anonymous


      i worked a ‘sale’ to the republic of china air force (rocaf) they insisted in correspondence to refer to themselves as rocaf.

      on our side in compliance with us policy we called them taiwan air force (taf) in correspondence.

      we genially smiled when we met, and argued politely over saving face on technical issues!


  11. pgl

    That Executive Summary of the CSIS war game scenarios is rather eye opening. If Xi made the horrific decision to invade Taiwan, everyone loses including Xi.

  12. Not Trampis

    One HUGE problem china would incur is how their economy would be affected.
    They are wholly integrated to the world economy. They therefore would be very susceptive]ble to sanctions on them.
    It would cost them bigtime.

    On the other hande the decline in international expertise has been great. the last time we saw this was just before WW1

  13. AS

    According to Peter Zeihan, he and others think that the upcoming election in Taiwan will help determine if an invasion will occur. If the CCP/PRC favored candidate wins, the CCP/PRC may continue to try to take over Taiwan through political maneuverings. If the independence leaning party wins, then this may hasten an invasion.

    1. pgl

      “Former President Ma intended to re-subject Taiwan to the One China framework. President Tsai, meanwhile, marched toward a democratic and international future.”

      Didn’t the US use to support the One China framework? I wonder how US political leaders are looking at this important election.

    2. David O’Rear

      That’s been China’s main talking point, pre-election, since the 1990s.
      What’s different this time?

  14. Macroduck

    Off topic, the upper half are spending like inebriate mariners –

    A few tidbits from the American Express quarterly filing:

    “Our first-quarter results reflect strong growth in Card Member spending…”

    “…Card Member spending rose 16 percent on an FX-adjusted basis. Travel and Entertainment spending was particularly robust, growing 39 percent on an FX-adjusted basis and in March, we saw a record level of reservations booked on our Resy restaurant platform. We also saw an acceleration in spending in our International Card Services segment, which increased 29 percent on an FX-adjusted basis. Spending on Goods and Services around the globe grew 9 percent on an FX-adjusted basis.”

    “Demand from Millennial and Gen Z consumers continues to fuel this growth, accounting for more than 60 percent of all new consumer account acquisitions in the quarter. Millennial and Gen Z customers also continued to be our fastest growing U.S. cohort in terms of spending, growing 28 percent from a year earlier.”

    1. pgl

      Wait – wait. Remember that Jonny boy has said we never write about income inequality. So you could have not noticed this – could you?

      Of course JohnH tries to claim Krugman never writes about these issues even though he recently linked to a very recent Krugman piece that did just that. I think he was trying to show us up as uncaring corporate home boys – or something like that.

      OK I admit it – in a bad mood as those cursed Celtics are crushing my Hawks.

      1. JohnH

        Ducky noticed an article that glosses over extreme inequality in America by saying that the affluent are spending like “inebriate mariners!” It’s a novel way to look at inequality…the Great Gatsby would be proud!

        Affluent American Express customers may be doing outrageously well, but it is not the experience of the average American (people Ducky and pgly don’t like to talk about): “Months of high inflation have weighed heavily on households.

        As of December, 64% of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck, according to a recent LendingClub report — up from 61% a year earlier and in line with the historic high first hit in March 2020.”

        And to make matters worse, Ducky and pgly want to stop fighting inflation and instead lower interest rates that are already negative in real terms in order to bolster the value of their stock portfolios and those of the investor class.

        1. Macroduck

          I think I understand what Johnny’s is up to. Unable to make a coherent economic argument himself, he has decided to pretend that others are no better than he is.

          For “economic” in the above sentence, feel free to substitute “social”, “political”, “literary”, “evangelical”, “sartorial” or a descriptor of just about any area of enquiry you can think of.

          It’s a sad life for little Johnny…

          1. pgl

            “And to make matters worse, Ducky and pgly want to stop fighting inflation”

            This line is classic Jonny boy. I guess this troll has not figured out that inflation has fallen.

        2. pgl

          “glosses over extreme inequality”???

          You are pathetic. Hey Jonny boy – how is that gig lying for Jim Jordan going for you?

  15. Erik Poole


    Is not the current Biden policy towards China one of containment and essentially a MAGA industrial policy? Perhaps you disagree.

    The real tricky question is whether you believe the US commitment to Taiwanese security is credible. Put differently, is the USA willing to risk a serious confrontation with China over Taiwan? And if so why?

    1. pgl

      ‘essentially a MAGA industrial policy’

      Industrial policy – yes. But Biden’s version is a lot more competent than what we got from Trump and Navarro.

  16. CoRev

    Another shallow historically incomplete thought/comment: “If…invade…everyone loses including…” When is this not true? And, you are just now realizing this?

    1. pgl

      Did you have a point little CoRev? Didn’t think so. Now run back to the sand box and tell the other kiddies to stop laughing at you.

  17. pgl

    At the risk of sounding like someone from that America First Committee (which I bet JohnH just adores), let’s discuss defense/GDP ratio over time (now one would have thought JohnH would have done this already but the little troll does not k now how to look up basic data).

    When Clinton left office, this ratio was only 3.8%.

    Under Bush43, it had risen to 4.95%.

    Obama got it back down to 3.86%.

    But of course Trump let it go back up to 4.19%.

    OK we may need to help people in Ukraine and Taiwan defend their freedom but how are we going to pay for this. After all McCarthy wants to balance the budget even as he refuses to reverse any of Trump’s tax cuts for the rich.

    Now keep in mind that the modern day version of the America First Committee includes some of Trump’s favorite people including the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene and yes – JohnH.

    1. JohnH

      Funny how the more we spend on defense, the less secure we feel! We spend as much on defense as the next 10 top military spenders combines! Meanwhile, Russia, which has a military budget 1/10 the size of the U.S,’ never seems to run out of arms while the US has to scrounge the world for arms for Ukraine. What’s wrong with this picture?

      pgl wonders how we’re going to pay for more defense? How about freeing up money by cutting waste and fraud? How about making the DOD pass an audit so we know where the money is going?

      Of course, pgl doesn’t care much for audits or about waste and fraud…obviously he prefers kleptocracy to democracy, which makes Ukraine his kind of place! Being a corporate shill is lucrative.

      1. Macroduck

        Holy pants on fire, Johnny! Is there no lie you won’t tell? And what’s the point of lies as utterly obvious as this one? Russia has to buy drones from Iran, artillery shaells from North Korea and rely on mercenaries recruited from African jails and Russia hospitals to man the front lines. And who but a frightened little snowflake like you relies on feelings to assess security? Well, besides gun owners, that is.

        1. pgl

          “Is there no lie you won’t tell?”

          Have you noticed how Jonny boy has joined forces with Jim Jordan’s little committee? Yea – get used to Jonny boy spewing all sorts of MAGA lies.

        2. pgl

          Be of good cheer. Our host has a new post specifically calling out little Jonny boy’s dishonesty. AND little Jonny boy places a comment trying to excuse his behavior!

      2. pgl

        You win the prize for the most pathetically stupid troll ever!!! Say hello to your boss – Jim Jordan – for us.

    2. Anonymous

      %gdp for the national military enterprise is not good really

      % makes good negotiation, like heritage perennial claim that the red horde wins if usa spends <7% gdp like in 1968 of much smaller gdp with far less entitlements.

      what is not debated is what you get for the money, which in military industry complex is first motive is profit, somewhere in the back is can the stuff last in a fight?

      several trillion to lose goat, padded %gdp metric

  18. ltr

    “I seem to recall another group that put false fiscal conservation ahead of prudent military planning. They were known as the America First Committee, fronted by Charles Lindbergh right up until December 7, 1941.

    “Their views had something in common with a Brit by the name of Neville Chamberlain.”

    [ Bizarre bullying. ]

    1. pgl

      WTF? He was just reminding us of American history. Sometimes your comments rival those idiotic comments from the likes of JohnH. Do better.

    2. Macroduck

      Wow! Is anything contrary to Xi’s plan for regional dominance “bullying” in your double-speak? Of course, “bizarre” gives you cover – it’s not obvious that there’s any bullying, so it’s a special category of “bizarre bullying”. Just like enslavement of Uyghurs is “bizarre development” and claiming the entire South China Sea is “bizarrely not hegemonic”.

      Such bizarre scum has floated into comments.


      Lindbergh’s Jewish ancestry on his paternal side drove him to try and ignore it. But post war 2 he was a great eco nationalist and conservationist. He also was at the holocaust personally.

  19. pgl

    Just heard that Faux News has finally fired Tucker Carlson. And then there was this gem ala C-Span:

    A C-SPAN caller used colorful language on Monday to oppose the power that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has given Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) in the 118th U.S. Congress. The Democratic caller, introduced as Diane, argued that Joe Biden had devoted most of his presidency to “cleaning up the horrendous mess of Donald Trump and the Republicans around the world, not just in the United States, but around the world.” “And if McCarthy wouldn’t have been castrated and his privates transplanted onto Marjorie Taylor Greene,” she continued, “and some of these other senators, Republican senators, that believed in the big lie, which we now know never happened, all over the country, the electorates, the whatever, this country wouldn’t be so in the sewer.”

  20. Macroduck

    Off topic, preliminary data on Q2 office vacancies are beginning to come out, and they don’t look good:

    “(Office) Vacancy rose to 19.0%, up 20 bps from a quarter-ago due to oversupplied stock and exceeding the pandemic peak of 18.5%. Office vacancies rose for the 5th consecutive quarter, another step closer to its historic peak of 19.3% in 1991.”

    Which could be a problem for banks of all sizes:

    “According to the latest FDIC Call Report[1], the largest 160 banks held almost $1.2 trillion or two thirds of income-producing CRE mortgage debt, while the remaining 4,500+ FDIC-insured institutions collectively held rest of the loans collateralized by income producing properties.”

    Something like $430 billion in commercial real estate mortgages are set to roll over this year, at higher rates. While some commenters here offer “tut, tut, nothing to worry about”, professionals are worried:


      430 billion is so small though. I mean, crypto had at least 2 trillion in rolling debt. Oil 1 trillion. Macro, I get it, You try and look for problem signs. I don’t trust vacancy data when it comes to CRE fwiw. It’s lagging and out of date upon its release.

      1. Macroduck

        Bott, I don’t think you get it. Financial fragility isn’t a matter of gross magnitudes. Financial ratios, and charges in financial ratios, are the everyday grist for financial analysis, yet you seem to pay no attention. Tallies of gross figures for industries tells us very little about the health of individual banks, and not much about risks to groups of banks.

        And yes, I am looking for signs of problems. And signs of health. Assessing risks and robustness is a big part of business-cycle analysis. Looking at data is a necessary first step in in that analysis. All data is “out of date” by some measure of up-to-dateness. But still, somehow, a good bit of data has predictive value. Ignoring data without knowing whether it has predictive value is just lazy.

      2. pgl

        I trust you have heard of the concept called the Debt to Equity ratio. Maybe not so let me walk you through a simple analogy. The market value of Exxon’s assets is about $500 billion so if it had only $30 billion in debt, it would be considered a rather safe place to loan money.

        But let’s say you started a business where your assets are generally valued at $1 million. If you financed this with only $900 thousand, the credit rating agencies would give you a CCC rating.

        Now I know you are a stupid Bott so maybe you can have your mommy mansplain this to you.

  21. pgl

    Some good news from the Supreme Court – even if this drives poor little CoRev even more bonkers:

    The Supreme Court on Monday allowed lawsuits brought by municipalities seeking to hold energy companies accountable for climate change to move forward in a loss for business interests. The court turned away oil company appeals in five cases involving claims brought by cities and municipalities in Colorado, Maryland, California, Hawaii and Rhode Island as part of efforts to hold businesses accountable for the effects of climate change. The relatively narrow legal issue is whether the lawsuits should be heard in state court instead of federal court. Litigants care because of the widely held view that plaintiffs have a better chance of winning damage awards in state court. “Big Oil companies have been desperate to avoid trials in state courts, where they will be forced to defend their climate lies in front of juries, and today the Supreme Court declined to bail them out,” said Richard Wiles, president of the Center for Climate Integrity, an environmental group. Business groups expressed disappointment in the Supreme Court’s decision, with Phil Goldberg, a lawyer with the National Association of Manufacturers’ legal arm, saying that climate issues should be dealt with at the national or international level.

    1. pgl

      Thanks for reminding us of the facts. Next time Jim Jordan comes to NYC – our mayor would love it if you showed up and shoot down the most abusive assistant wrestling coach in Ohio State history.

    2. pgl

      ‘the region the Big Apple comprises most of is far and away the safest part of the U.S. mainland when it comes to gun violence, while the regions Florida and Texas belong to have per capita firearm death rates (homicides and suicides) three to four times higher than New York’s. On a regional basis it’s the southern swath of the country — in cities and rural areas alike — where the rate of deadly gun violence is most acute, regions where Republicans have dominated state governments for decades.’

      NYC has effective gun controls. Florida and Texas have stand your ground laws. So yea – this is no surprise.

    3. baffling

      texas schools have a mini army guarding them these days. sometimes i feel the gun carriers outnumber the teachers on site. school police has become a cottage industry to support a growing armed police presence and ex-military who need employment. public schools require active shooting training for their employees. it is a sad state of affairs we live in today. needn’t be necessary.

  22. pgl

    I don’t think I have commented on this push to totally restrict a woman’s right to choose but can someone tell little Lindsey Graham to stop lying!

    Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina made a grand display of righteous indignation on CNN during a discussion about abortion on Sunday. The senator repeated claims that Democrats support elective abortion at birth – a claim that medical experts say is false. “What the Democratic Party proposes on abortion is barbaric. Abortion up to the moment of birth, taxpayer-funded,” Graham, a Republican, told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.” But that’s not true. Shortly before the US Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, Democratic lawmakers proposed legislation that would allow abortion after fetal viability when — and only when — doctors believe continuing the pregnancy would pose a risk to the pregnant patient’s life. Such a scenario is exceedingly rare, and at no point have Democrats widely supported abortion “at the moment of birth.” That proposed legislation followed the precedent set by Roe v. Wade, which allowed abortion up to the point of viability (or around 24 weeks of gestation when a fetus might survive outside the uterus) with few exceptions, CNN’s Bash pointed out.

    That prompted an emotional outcry from Graham. “No, that’s no – no, no, quit covering for these guys. No, no, no. Media, you keep covering for these guys. They introduced legislation that allowed abortion demand with taxpayer-funded – you paying for it, the taxpayer – up to the moment of birth,” Graham responded.

    Dana Bash is a real pro. Little Lindsey is nothing more than a jacka$$. Before Dobbs – states could prohibit abortions after the fetus reached 6 months old. No one is promoting abortion on demand right up to the date of birth. That would be incredibly risky to the women’s health to wait that long.

    No – people like Mike Pence, Tim Scott, and little Lindsey would tell women they could not do anything after 6 weeks. Which of course is before many of them know they are pregnant. Of course little Lindsey never could carry a baby to term. Heck he had to cheat when Hershel asked this wimp to do 34 pushups.

  23. pgl

    Russia’s state-funded news network Russia Today wasted no time offering Tucker Carlson a job opportunity after his abrupt departure from Fox News. “Hey [Tucker Carlson], You can always question more [with Russia Today],” the Kremlin-funded outlet said in a tweet addressed to the Fox News star Monday, just minutes after the news of his exit broke.

    JohnH should be happy as now he can work with his hero – Tucker Carlson!

  24. Macroduck

    Willem Buiter argues that central bank digital currencies would strengthen the central bank rate tool in a low-rate environment:

    Buiter says this would require the abolition of physical currency, which is a problem in itself. Abolishing cash seems a big step to address a problem which may not return. This faith in technology is admirable, but perhaps not wise. I have often needed groceries when the lights are out and when electronic cash registers are not functioning. (Brooklyn is a backwater.)

    Buiter’s faith in technology is combined with faith in rates as a policy tool. I don’t know that nominal rates below zero are weak medicine, but it was pretty clear that rates are less effective near zero that away from zero. It’s also pretty clear that financial risks pile up when rates are low, so that the balance of risks and benefits in relying on ultra-low rates might need another look.

    I like Buiter, in general, but he seems to have an enthusiasm for experimentation and clever ideas which I find worrying.

    1. pgl

      “Even these ex-Soviet countries don’t have an effective status in international law because there was no international agreement to materialize their status as sovereign countries,” Lu said, after first noting that the question of Crimea “depends on how the problem is perceived” as the region was “at the beginning Russian” and then “offered to Ukraine during the Soviet era.”

      By this logic, Japan still rules Mainland China. What a dork.

  25. pgl

    Didn’t Tucker Carlson tells us that the Proud Boys were just sight seeing on 1/6/2021?

    A U.S. prosecutor on Monday said leaders of the Proud Boys were “thirsting for violence and organizing for action” ahead of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, as the criminal trial of five members of the far-right group neared its conclusion.
    Assistant U.S. Attorney Conor Mulroe told a jury in a closing argument that the Proud Boys viewed themselves as a “fighting force” for Republican then-President Donald Trump and were “ready to commit violence on his behalf” in order to overturn his 2020 election defeat.

  26. David O’Rear

    When calling Biden’s China policy a continuation of MAGA, let’s remember that China v.2023 is very, very different from China v.2016.
    Call it Biden’s Xi Jinping policy if you like; but it isn’t based on He Who Should Not Be Named’s protectionistic ignorance.

  27. JohnhH

    You can count on pgl to link to a version that glosses over what really happened. “ HOW PENTAGON OFFICIALS MAY HAVE ENCOURAGED A 2009 COUP IN HONDURAS (against the democratically elected president)

    Military officers at the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies helped coup leaders — at cross purposes with other U.S. government agencies

    Heck, even O’bomber declared it a coup…before he was forced to recant.

    1. pgl

      I see you have no defense for your lies about Haiti. But on this issue could you for once in your pathetic little life read past the headline of your own link?

      ‘At the time of the coup in Honduras, a number Republicans who supported the Honduran military sat on the American Security Council Foundation’s Congressional Advisory Board. One of the Republican representatives, Connie Mack, R-Fla., announced a “fact-finding” mission to Honduras while the colonels were in town. The Honduran colonels had a number of congressional meetings, which Andersen alleges Thompson helped facilitate.’

      Yea a few Republican leading jerks did support the corrupt military. Sort of like the Republicans in the State Department in 1968 who undermined LBJ’s efforts to have a peace accord in Vietnam just so Nixon could win the election, LBJ called Nixon a traitor. Today’s traitors? Marjorie Taylor Greene and her ally JohnH.

  28. JohnH

    I have to acknowledge Krugman’s occasional piece on inequality…a tip of the hat to cover his butt.

    Amazing the Krugman’s minimalist treatment of inequality far exceeds what I see mentioned here!

    1. pgl

      Cover his butt? Try wiping yours. Krugman often writes about income inequality. Like you often lie. Oh wait – you lie 24/7. Never mind.

    2. JohnH

      Agreed. Krugman cares about more than inequality. He cares a lot about his bully pulpit at The NY Times and not discomfiting the comfortable…

  29. JohnH

    Pgl has obviously never heard of Eric Prince, Blackwater or the myriad other contractors employed in military hostilities by the US

    Leave it to pgl to criticize Russia for behaving like the US.

    1. pgl

      One stupid lie after another. Yes – I have always criticized the Dick Cheney privatization scheme. Come on Jonny – if you want to criticize someone – try doing so based on something they actually said and not you little stupid lies.

  30. JohnH

    I never watched Tucker Carlson, but I do credit him for hosting Glenn Greenwald, one of the many serious investigative journalists ostracized by the mainstream media.

    BTW did you know that “ Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and associate of Julian Assange, told the he flew to Washington, D.C. for (DNC) emails

    He claims he had a clandestine hand-off in a wooded area near American University with one of the email sources
    The leakers’ motivation was ‘disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the ’tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders’

    Murray says: ‘The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks’
    ‘Regardless of whether the Russians hacked into the DNC, the documents Wikileaks published did not come from that,’ Murray insists

    Funny how nobody followed up on Murray’s confession but instead pursued an unproven conspiracy theory about Russians hackers. (According to hapless Democrats is a mastermind who is all-powerful…except that he can’t take Bakhmut!!!

  31. pgl

    You win the prize for the most pathetically stupid troll ever!!! Say hello to your boss – Jim Jordan – for us.

  32. pgl

    I wonder if this is why Princeton Steve decided to move to New England:
    They’re Hunting Nazis. New England Is a Target-Rich Environment
    Inside the fight against NSC-131, a self-avowed white-nationalist organization seeking to terrorize marginalized communities in the Northeast BY TIM DICKINSON

    Vulnerable communities in New England are increasingly under threat by a violent, neo-Nazi gang with “revolutionary” delusions of transforming the region into a white ethnostate.

    1. Moses Herzog

      Or perhaps another reason Kopits chooses to live in Democrat run Massachusetts……

      Howell is 44 minutes from Princeton New Jersey township by interstate. But wind doesn’t “take the interstate”, wind goes “as the crow flies”, so you’re talking a much shorter distance from Howell to Princeton if it’s chemicals carried by wind. The whole state of New jersey smells like you’re sticking your nose down into a canister of Comet drain cleaner to get high on the fumes. You’re dry heaving after you pass the state line.

      What’s my point?? It’s not just factories, you have barrel dumps that are probably illegal all over New jersey, not just Howell.

  33. pgl

    A vile stunt only Bruce Hall could love:

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo personally altered a state-driven study about Covid-19 vaccines last year to suggest that some doses pose a significantly higher health risk for young men than had been established by the broader medical community, according to a newly obtained document.

    Ladapo’s changes, released as part of a public records request, presented the risks of cardiac death to be more severe than previous versions of the study. He later used the final document in October to bolster disputed claims that Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were dangerous to young men.

    The surgeon general, a well-known Covid-19 vaccine skeptic, faced a backlash from the medical community after he made the assertions, which go against guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and American Academy of Pediatrics. But Ladapo’s statements aligned well with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ stance against mandatory Covid-19 vaccination.

  34. pgl

    What gets Putin poodle JohnH all excited?

    Vladimir Putin’s mercenary chief, Yevgeny Prigozhin, recently ordered his fighters to start killing every Ukrainian soldier they find rather than take the men as prisoners of war, has learned. The shocking development reportedly came on Sunday after Prigozhin was overheard on an audio recording posted to his Wagner PMC Telegram account.
    According to Prigozhin’s remarks, his Wagner forces were instructed to stop taking prisoners of war and to “kill everyone” instead. “We will kill everyone on the battlefield,” he reportedly said in the audio clip. “Take no more prisoners of the war!”

  35. Erik Poole

    Give credit (or blame) where credit is due.

    My use of the emotionally laden MAGA industrial policy label was inspired by a Freakonomics Radio podcast created by Stephen J. Dubner released Feb 8, 2023.

    EPISODE 533
    Will the Democrats “Make America Great Again”?

    For decades, the U.S. let globalization run its course and hoped China would be an ally. Now the Biden administration is spending billions to bring high-tech manufacturing back home. Is this the beginning of a new industrial policy — or just another round of corporate welfare?

    Freakonomics has turned into a bit of an industry with forays into medical care, psychology, the smallest day to day decisions, the creative process behind some of the more brilliant, influential contemporary scientists, etc. I like them all. If you come at policy problems from a rational choice perspective (Public Choice, Realism, etc.), you will likely enjoy them too. They are a terrific way to pass the time on longer automobile trips.

    1. Macroduck

      Your use of the misleading, emotion-laden MAGA industrial complex is still misleading. Doesn’t matter what you’ve been listening to. You are responsible for your own words.

    2. Moses Herzog

      @ Erik Poole
      Why does your choice in poor source material, what I would label “pop culture economics”, not surprise me at all??

      “Freakonomics” is very aptly named. A trash book and a trash podcast that appeals to trash people. Maybe rename it “Trashonomics”??

  36. Macroduck

    A new book by historian Li Shuo, Entitled “Revelation” in its English-language edition, reveals the rewriting of Chinese history by the Zhou dynasty. The fact erased from the historical record was officially-sanctioned human sacrifice and canabalism. The South China Morning Post connects the dots to Xi’s China thusly:

    “In a way that is similar to the transition period from Shang to Zhou, the Chinese state is again working to forge a coherent view of history as the country seeks an elevated standing in the world. On the one hand, Beijing has targeted “historical nihilism” in a crackdown on narratives that run against official ones, similar to King Wen erasing the records of Shang’s brutal rites. On the other hand, the Chinese state is investing heavily to build up a fresh narrative on the country’s past, in an endeavour like the Duke of Zhou’s efforts to establish new rites and belief systems.”

    We see the modern effort to erase embarrassing facts in ltr’s comments here.

    Anyone interested in China’s actual history can find the book here:

    1. Moses Herzog

      They’re already re-writing history on the government’s handling of Covid-19, (it was in a recent NYT front page story) which is causing MORE confusion on causes and prevention methods. Too bad Barkley Rosser isn’t here. Barkley could regurgitate what David Ignatius’ CIA “leakers” (CIA creative writing squad) had told Ignatius “what lab” this came from and we could find out what evil Chinese scientists were behind all this. After all, as Professor Rosser was great at seeing the interconnectedness of things and complex systems, he told us “bats don’t cavort with fish” so that killed any chance that bats would have defecated on other animals as they were transported to markets in Wuhan. Because “they don’t cavort”. Wow, the man really saw the whole interconnectedness thing-ie a simpleton like me just could not grasp.

    1. Moses Herzog

      China has this strange habit (governmental system??) of always ad nauseam telling everyone how “rich, textured, and long” their history is. Then proceeding to attempt to re-write all of it. Japan has had problems admitting to its past, but even they I think would admit to most of their feudalistic past.

      My thought in my head is “If you’re so damned proud of your history, why do you seemingly spend three-quarters of your time trying to re-write it??” Questions only to be asked to your very closest friends in China, if even them.

      Is America “honest” about its history?? I think America is very guilty of “Lies by omission” but not as guilty of actually wanting to re-write facts.


    Lets also remember Putin was the braintrust behind stop the steal and January 6th. His constant nagging and calling Republicans in early December was the trigger point for it. Eventually Murdoch relented and thus became part of Republican policy despite not thoroughly liking it. It now has cost Fox a billion +. Putin lackeys like Carlson are being removed who ran the pr.

  38. ltr

    Such bizarre scum has floated into comments.
    Such bizarre scum has floated into comments.
    Such bizarre scum has floated into comments.

    [ Severe bullying, over and over and over. ]

  39. ltr

    We see the modern effort to erase embarrassing facts in —– comments here.
    We see the modern effort to erase embarrassing facts in —– comments here.
    We see the modern effort to erase embarrassing facts in —– comments here.

    [ Ceaseless bullying; evidently the more ferocious the better. ]

  40. ltr

    Importantly, I document virtually every line I post. I rarely set down a sentence that is not openly referenced.

    [ I even quote some of the horrid insults that are meant to intimidate, and need to be clearly remembered. ]

    1. baffling

      ltr, please stop with the racist commentary and incessant bullying. your behavior is simply rude. stop.

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