Threat

Turkey’s President Recep Erdoğan is telling us and Europe to sit down and shut up about his invasion of Kurdish Syria, or he’ll loose millions of Syrian refugees on Europe. He especially objects to the way the EU is characterization his invasion:

Hey EU, get your act together. If you try to describe our current operation as an occupation, our task will be simple. We will open the gates and send 3.6 million refugees your way.

The irony here is simple. If Europe actually respected Union and national borders, this would be a toothless threat.

Courage Under Fire

Republic of China’s President Tsai Ing-wen, against the background of the People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping’s abuse of Hong Kong citizens through his Hong Kong police, his functional abrogation of the solemnly agreed treaty with Great Britain governing the handover of Hong Kong to the PRC, and his parallel functional reneging on his government’s “one country, two systems” pretense vis-à-vis that city, has spoken against the PRC’s pretense of that toward her nation.

That framework, she noted, has brought Hong Kong to the brink of disorder.

Hong Kong Police out of Control?

Or is it President Xi Jinping’s staff member, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who’s out of control? Or has she simply lost control?

First, the police shot, at point blank range, an 18-yr-old student (and arrested him for his role in the shooting), during the then-latest round of violence that Lam’s police have been provoking with their approved-thug attacks, water cannon, pepper spray, cudgels, brandished firearms, and then shooting those firearms into the air.

“Rioting”

Recall the teenage protestor in the Hong Kong protests earlier this week, the one who was shot in the chest at point blank range by a Hong Kong cop who thought he was being threatened by the boy.

A Hong Kong court charged 18-year-old student, Tsang (Tony) Chi-Kin, with rioting, a charge carrying a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Tsang was among seven people charged with rioting on Thursday.
The secondary school student also faces two additional counts of attacking two police officers, punishable by up to six months in prison.

A Price for Stability

Global tax reform is a path to a stable international economic regime??

[T]he potential global tax overhaul would force many companies to pay more to governments, not less. But this may be a small price to pay for a stable international framework.

After all,

Existing global tax rules allow companies to transfer those profits, often to a low-tax jurisdiction.

Never mind that an even smaller price—indeed, a net positive gain in prosperity—would be lowering national taxes to the level of the lowest rates imposed by any nation. This would eliminate tax competition, reduce compliance costs as multinational companies no longer had to maneuver the way they realize their incomes and taxes owed, lead to lower end-user prices by reducing taxes as a multinational’s cost center to be covered by the price of its goods.

Aid for Ukraine

One of the topics discussed by President Donald Trump and Ukraine’s President Volodomyr Zelenskiy in “that telecon,” was the degree of aid Germany has provided Ukraine in the latter’s on-going struggle against Russia’s invasion and occupation of Crimea and eastern Ukraine.  Neither considered Germany’s actions anywhere near adequate.

Deutsche Welle demurs from that position.

[A]ccording to the latest OECD figures, Germany is the third largest donor to Ukraine after the European Union as a whole and the US.

Those amounts?

Political Tactics

The Wall Street Journal says the “Ukraine call” will

leak eventually, so Trump might as well get it out.

No.  Telecons between American and foreign heads of state must, necessarily, remain strictly between heads of state, else it’ll be impossible for an American President to engage in “frank and open” dialog and polylog with foreign leaders or to conduct serious foreign policy in general.  No transcript should be released.

Alternatively, and in second place in the order of priorities for such things, let the leak(s) occur.  Then release the transcript and let the truth burn the leaker(s) and those who jumped onto the leak-related opprobrium bandwagon knowing they didn’t have the facts.

“Trump Repeatedly Pressured Ukraine President”

…regarding Biden’s intervention with Ukraine’s law enforcement in favor of his son.  At least that’s how The Wall Street Journal has characterized a phone call between heads of state.

Except that’s not what happened, and to call it “pressure” is to insult, grievously, the mettle and courage of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.  In that phone call, Trump did ask Zelensky to investigate Biden’s role in getting Ukraine’s Prosecutor Generall, Viktor Shokin fired in order to get a billion dollars in already promised aid to Ukraine.

Powell and Trump

Nick Timiraos, writing in Friday’s Wall Street Journal, is concerned with messaging from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to President Donald Trump—is Powell being too subtle, or does he need to answer more explicitly, Trump’s often heated admonishments?  Timiraos is concerned particularly against the backdrop of the often deprecatory nature of Trump’s opprobrium.

This is headed into a cul-de-sac, though.

The question of Fed messaging—to Trump or anyone else—shouldn’t even come up. The Fed’s role is to maintain stable pricing, full employment, and low interest rates.

Full stop.