Donald Trump's Swamp Cleaning Service

"Drain the Swamp!" Wow, what an effective political slogan it was in 2016. It encapsulated public frustration with the boggy mess of lobbyists, money-grabbing congressmen, and regulation-making bureaucrats in Washington. Trump was just the one guy who would tear into those low-life hucksters like Mr. Clean.

As an image, swamps represent corruption and evil that must be cleaned up. Trump described Washington's swamp in terms of money's power to buy influence. Such a rich man of course would not be shackled to Wall Street and banks that had turned him down for loans. Essentially, Trump claimed to be a reformer immune to the murky diseases bred in swamps and capable of doing what no one else could do to the big money people.

That is what voters thought Trump meant when he referred to the swamp. What he really meant, as shown by cabinet appointments and personal example, was not at all what the public was led to believe.

Before comparing public expectations to what happened, we should realize that swamps are good things. Popular imagery, used so effectively by Trump, is not what our children are learning about environmental science. History books once praised the advance of civilization as swamp-draining was an impressive accomplishment in expanding human settlement. But swamps filter toxins and support wild life in ways that are extremely important. The Army Corps. of Engineers is now restoring swamps, not eliminating them, in the interest of environmental health.

Let's turn to Trump's idea of ​​bad swamps. Before the election, there were reasons for skepticism about his independence from big money, especially when he refused to release his taxes and continued a bid to open a Trump hotel across the street from the White House. Right after the election we began to see that he intended to run the country and his personal businesses at the same time. The President, he seemed surprised to discover, is the only government official who can't have a conflict of interest. My what an announcement by a man who promised reform!

Then came his cabinet appointments. The choices were notable for wealth, connections to Wall Street, and lobbying interests. He also brought his family into the White House in ways never done before.

Trump's campaign in 2016 mirrored the themes of Warren Harding in 1920, promising a return to better times. His reputation rivaled the salacious activities of Harding as well – and Mike Pence looks and acts like Calvin Coolidge. He then imitated Harding by appointing a cabinet of the very rich people he promised to be free from. It should have been no surprise when it soon became apparent they were as corrupt as the scandalous choices of Harding.

Actions proved that the swamp Trump intended to drain was not the one voters thought he was talking about.

What did he attack? First, the intelligence community – all the agencies charged with defending national security through reliable information about our adversaries – were dismissed as they exposed Russian meddling in the election, the fruits of which Trump openly embraced and gleefully used. Next, he was warned by a Justice Department official (not a Trump appointee) that his choice for National Security Advisor was compromised by a foreign adversary. He refused to act until news leaked to the press. Realizing an investigation was under way, he tried to influence the FBI and fired the director when the investigation was not stopped. As congressional investigations led to a Special Counsel, Trump began an all-out assault on intelligence agencies, the FBI, and the Justice Department, in the process undermining a congressional committee, as he demanded loyalty to himself above all else.

On top of these actions, he failed to make appointments to important diplomatic roles and pushed Rex Tillerson to clean house at the State Department. Anyone who had been there under Obama and Hillary was tainted and not to be trusted.

The swamp that has been been attacked is in fact the real swamp in Washington, the one performing the health-giving functions scientists know result from their activity. Beneath the level of political appointees in every federal agency are career officials who become specialists in their programs, serving whatever party controls congress and the presidency. Those officials have personal views that are not allowed to influence their actions. When they sometimes emerge into political roles, such as FBI Director, they conduct the job in a non-partisan way.

Career employees ensure competence, continuity, and national security to the American public as political winds blow one way and then another. To Trump this was an intolerable swamp. It had to be politicized. His people must be put in, no matter how incompetent, to ensure the main criteria of service – loyalty to Trump.

Unfortunately, this is not a new trend in the Republican party. They politicized selection of district and Supreme Court judges, claiming to limit judicial overreach but ensuring dominance of their political and social views. That strategy succeeded in 2000 as a majority of Republicans on the Supreme Court stopped the counting of votes and declared the Republican candidate winner. Then Mitch McConnell and a Republican Senate refused to honor Obama's appointment of a mainstream Supreme Court justice and campaigned in 2016 for a clearly Republican justice to be appointed.

Donald Trump carried Republican disrespect for nonpartisan competence to the extreme. Republicans have supported him because that is where they have been headed for a long time.

Now we need candidates, from whatever direction they may come, whose slogan is "Bring Back the Swamp." We need nonpartisan competence in federal agencies – and a less partisan Supreme Court – to filter out the toxins that destabilize our system of checks and balances when politics seeps in to undermine loyalty to the constitution.

Source by Edward G. Simmons

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Trump's Plan to Destroy the Dollar

I was up to my eyesballs in stocks. "If I'm wrong, we're done," I told my wife.

It was February 2009. As the markets were crashing in 2008, I had made an ALL-IN bet on the US stock market going up. Every dollar I had was in the market. And then, I borrowed money and bought even more stocks.

In hindsight, I bought too early. By February 2009, every single stock that I owned was down big. Another month or two, and I would have had to sell and take huge losses. And I'd be ruined.

However, as crazy as it sounds … I was not that worried. That's because I could tell that the tide was going to turn and soon.

I figured this out by watching the markets day and night. When you track things obsessively, like I was doing, you figure out the key things driving markets.

This market-driver is why I was not worried about being wiped out. It's what told me that my ALL-IN bet made during the worst financial crisis in modern history was going to start paying off soon.

What you should have been watching during the financial crisis was the value of the US dollar – the easiest way to do this to follow the US Dollar Index, which measures our currency against a basket of major currencies such as the euro, the yen and the Swiss franc.

The US dollar is the titanium of treaties worldwide. In a crisis, everyone buys dollars, because people worldwide are willing to accept it. In my travels, I've used dollars to buy a soda in a village in West Africa, buy souvenirs at the pyramids in Egypt, buy food in a small town in India and pay for a bunk at a mountain hut high in the Swiss Alps .

Dollar Falls, Stocks Rise

This wide acceptance of the US dollar was incredibly valuable during the 2008 financial crisis. Around the world, people were selling stocks in a panic and putting their money into US dollars. As a result, the dollar soared higher as stocks crashed.

And then in March 2009, the dollar peaked, allowing US stocks to put in a bottom before soaring once again.

This pattern, which I worked out during the 2008 financial crisis, has continued to work through the current bull market. Every time the US dollar has rallied, the stock market has crashed. And when the dollar crashes, the stock market soars.

This pattern has begun to play out once again. From its low point in May 2014 to its early high in March 2015, the US Dollar Index has jumped 25%. And through 2015 into February 2016, the index has soared even higher. And of course, just like the pattern predicted … stocks around the world plunged.

In other words, people who control the big money at banks, hedge funds, etc. are still programmed to do as they did during the financial crisis. So, the moment there is something to worry about – Greece, China, the oil price crash, rising US interest rates – people dump stocks and buy US dollars.

Bottom line: If you own stocks, you want a weak dollar. Why? Because the big-money investors are programmed to buy stocks when the dollar drops.

A New Fly in the Ointment

Will this system continue to work flawlessly?

Well, there's a new detail that's just becoming more important to investors. It's one that I believe could cause the value of the US dollar to crash.

Donald Trump.

The businessman, who is now set to be the Republican Party's nominee for US president, has promised to spend as much as $ 1 trillion to rebuild American infrastructure. Now, I do not know if Trump is going to be elected president. However, it's clear that if he gets elected, the US dollar is going to crash.

That's because his $ 1 trillion in spending is going to flood the market for US dollars as the government suddenly increases the supply of US dollars worldwide. And unless someone wants another $ 1 trillion in our currency, the US dollar is going to go down. That's just basic supply and demand. Supply is going to vastly outpace demand, pushing the value of the commodity down – in this case, it's the dollar.

And since people still have the same habit from the last financial crisis, we know what's going to happen when the dollar tumbles – stocks are going to go up.

The Trump Dollar Crash

Companies that directly benefit from Trump's $ 1 trillion infrastructure spending could also see their shares skyrocket. And so could stocks that directly benefit from a crashing US dollar.

Source by Paul Mampilly

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