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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 24, 2018

Google has gone off the deep end. The level of insanity matches The Bridge over the River Kwai. Actually helping China spy—Are Google execs loopy? From a Chinese company inside China that would make sense. But, Google is American. As if helping a non-ally spy isn't enough, social media giants are already in trouble over censorship in the US. Google could be in bigger trouble with the White House than Wall Street is.

Taiwan hasn't wasted any time irritating China. Now, a temple that was bought seven years ago by a Taiwanese business man, which was then converted into a "shrine to Chinese communism", is having the lights and water turned off as the local government prepares to demolish the whole place. That won't wash over well for anyone hoping to court friendship with China.

China seems to be taking the hint and finally getting offended. Beijing cancelled a trip to talk trade with Washington after figuring out that tariffs were set by imbalance and retaliation rather than rhetoric. As for the two steering factors—imbalance and retaliation—China shows no indication of making concessions. But, it's not the tariffs or trade talks that deserve the headlines as much as the insults mounting against China.

The US is going after Russia for selling weapons to China. That's even more irritation. And, China is even more angry. If we were to analyze the events of the past few months, even years more subtly, it could seem that angering China was an accident. But, the recent past makes more sense, just as events are more easily anticipated, if we consider that the US is irritating China on purpose. Expect more insults from the US, along with Taiwan.

And, Korea. Yes, the two nations are getting along. That won't work well for any nation or pundit hoping to argue that Trump doesn't know how to make a difference in the region.

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Encore of Revival: America, September 24, 2018

Things are looking bad for social media giants and for Democrats. Senator Feinstein really stuck her foot in it this time. Now, she questions the truthfulness of her own token "me too" witness. Questioning herself won't help her credibility when she sat on an accusation for two months.

Social media outreached as well. But, that's to be expected when a CEO is so wet behind the ears that the only leadership he remembers from his years of actually paying attention to politics were filled with Obama-topia. Zuckerberg hasn't lived long enough to have ever seen what went around actually come back around. Maybe Trump's response to his shenanigans will help him develop an attention span and it might lead to his own "red pill" moment, should he join #WalkAway himself, but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.

The bigger focus should be on Trump's strategy. For the first time since Reagan, as an election approaches, someone is actually acting more like a Republican. The Republicans would do well to follow Trump's lead. Republican voters only wake up and go vote when candidates act like Republicans, not political pansies. Two moderate, wishy-washy, failed Obama opponents proved that well enough. Expect more Republican activity from Republicans.

Times are changing. The #WalkAway movement is only growing. Now, dissing Democrats has become the way to get YouTube likes from Obama voters. If you make promises, you'd better deliver on them. That's what Trump is doing, anyway. And, his numbers don't seem so low.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 17, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTzNYYL9Gg8

The US is not sending a contingency of Marines to Taiwan to protect it's envoy. This announcement came after reports that the US had such plans. After discussing the non-existence of the plans for deployment, the State Department also discussed that it does not discuss plans for security or other strategies. Perhaps the real strategy not being discussed is that the strategy is not being discussed.

At any rate, the announcement that an announcement has not been made about the discussion of not discussing security strategy and the non-discussion about Marines who will not be deployed should make heads in Beijing spin as they try to figure out just what the US is not doing about what it's not discussing. Fewer Marines in Taiwan would be more inviting for an invasion, if the discussion were under discussion, which it is not—reportedly.

One of the best kept secrets about the brewing trade war between the US and China is that US jobs departed to China. A trade war would move those jobs back to the US.

Consider a US company that set up shop in China. While the financial know-it-alls loose sleep over anything being less pleasant than an afternoon massage, including a US company in China being attacked hyena style as Chinese culture loves to do, the people in the US wouldn't care about that company. That's the company that forsook the American worker. In the mind of the average US working voter, the company that got in bed with China should stay around for the abusive marriage; so leave them to the hyenas! Any Americans who own shares in those companies would do well to keep that information secret from their working, voting neighbors.

The world doesn't work how so-called "financial experts" think it does. The trade war will not hurt the US economy because economies flourish from jobs, not consumption. Claiming that lower consumption of off-shore goods will harm a market would be to measure a farm's profitability based on how much the farming family eats other farmers' food. The real issue with the trade war is a real war.

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Encore or Revival: America, September 17, 2018

Trump's sanctions about elections are about the election. Turn all eyes to Texas. The seat of Senator Ted Cruz should not be in jeopardy. Democrats have no reason to dump such large amounts of money into a Texas race where senators are trending Republican—unless they are either crazy or they happen to know about other plans that could affect the vote. They aren't campaigning against Cruz because they think he is weak, but because he is so powerful.

Without the additional sanctions on foreign interference, it would be much easier to meddle in your opponent's election by asking a foreign power to do the meddling. Americans know better than to meddle in American elections because they have nowhere to run. Off-shore meddlers are another story—at least they were until Trump ordered his sanctions.

This is a shot across the bow, not so much deterring foreign powers from meddling as much as making foreign powers—and any domestic cooperatives—aware that the White House is aware that there are attempts to meddle. Only a fool would think Trump's order is purely for the optics of pleasing his unusually loyal base, which cares more about jobs and walls than defusing accusations they have already decided are fraudulent. These sanctions from the White House could be what wins Cruz his second term. We'll see.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley lives in a unit in the famed Waldorf Astoria. She originally had the $135k/month unit occupied by Susan Rice during the Obama years. Rice had ordered $52k worth of drapes and motors to close them, but the furnishings didn't arrive until Haley had insisted on moving to a less-than-half-the-price unit of the lavish Obama ambassador, at only $58k/month. New York is an expensive place for everyone, but Haley also rejected the set of drapes. Of course, in New York newswriting, Obama's bad decision must be blamed on Trump. It's all Trump's fault what Obama did.

Senator Feinstein should be impeached and Judge Kavanaugh should be approved Monday rather than Thursday. After a long and—according to Democrats—interesting career in the White House, an uncorroborated claim from a supposed victim of a so-called assault—much less severe than anything Clinton was praised for by his base—came to Feinstein in July. The accuser didn't mention anything in all the other years of Kavanaugh's career, nor did Feinstein mention the accusations in July or August. Everyone waited until the last possible minute.

If it is true that Democrats don't mention important facts until time is almost up, they should be expelled from Washington. Many voters in the #WalkAway movement seem to agree. But, this looks more like something made-up. By doing this at such a late hour, Democrats have implied that there is nothing more meaningful to discuss. Democrats are still angry that they can't read all the private memorandum that other people wrote to other people which Kavanaugh was the confidential delivery boy for. So, they pull an Anita Hill style accusation that looks fake in every time and manner they choose. The only credibility this accuser can gain at the bottom of this ninth inning would be for Feinstein to resign in disgrace for either trying to pull a fake "September surprise" or for exploiting a victim in doing so. Fat chance on a Democrat not exploiting the victims so desperately engineered into their voter base.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 10, 2018

Right or wrong, the US-China tariff war was always coming. Stupid American companies flew into the campfire of Chinese manufacturing like moths into a flame. China was smart inasmuch as they did not become dependent on the outsourced labor, which was always going to ever-only be temporary. China has wasted no time, building infrastructure, such as the highway between Hong Kong and Macau and the silk road, now gaining income by the well marketed tourist attraction.

But, this tariff war was always coming. The political situation in the Pacific indicates that it's not about economics so much as it is about military. Pacific island nations grow more and more irritated by China. Little, small nations are speaking out, demanding China apologize for storming out of a PIF (Pacific Islands Forum) meeting when China's diplomatic representative was told to wait to speak until after heads of state from member nations had their turn. China is not a member, only an attendee. This is not any demonstration of leadership that the region will accept, no matter how much it may have been bestowed by the territorial gods at the universe's center, which is in China of course.

Then, there's Taiwan. If last week was a week of firing off blanks and papers across bows, this week, cannonballs started splashing. Taiwan introduced three different bills amending existing law, stiffening restrictions and penalties concerning anything that could even remotely be construed as interference between Taiwan and China. As if that wasn't enough, Taiwan is increasing its budget for both fighter jets and the navy. And, Taiwan's military even moved up an annual naval exercise to rehearse an attack from China at an earlier date than usual.

In all of this, the rain continues to fall in Taiwan, now flooding different parts of the island than saw torrents over three solid weeks of cloud cover. Not to worry, though. City governments are closely monitoring just how many millimeters of water can drain away how quickly, revamping any old sewer system that can't keep up. Taiwan just seems to have its hands full, as well as its rivers.

Then, there is the tsunami of US diplomacy. Trade wars often prelude military wars. While Taiwan's dwindling allies flip to support China, the US is breaking ties with any country that breaks ties with Taiwan, more or less. Solidarity with Taiwan seems to have bipartisan support in US Congress. With trade alliances shifting, when war breaks out, it will be a financial calculation as a convergence of China's revenue and US dependence on Chinese-made goods both bottom out.

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Encore of Revival: America, September 10, 2018

Assuming Jeff Sessions does not recuse himself again, if and when he investigates the mole undermining the will of the people now elected to the White House, he should look for someone akin to a spotless East Coast grad with a sense of personal duty, a history of "high grad" military status over real life, reverence for sailors like John McCain, little time in life to have acquired entrepreneurial startup bearings, and knowing how to correctly use the word "lodestar" along with a proper em dash—. In other words, they should look for someone similar to John Kelley.

As for the economy, it's the economy stupid. Republicans should win the midterm. Everything else is just excitement about excitement. Blue collar union workers usually vote blue, but don't count on it with them getting higher pay. As if that wasn't enough, this little maritime-savvy maverick hero from the White House just might bring out the vote enough to boost the republican electorate participation. Then, we also have all those #walkaway peeps, who are snowballing against the snowflakes.

The biggest mistake in Woodward's book was spelling Trump's name correctly. All press is good press, especially when the economy is clipping along.

As for Elon Musk's fall in stock prices, that sure does fit with his goal of making the company private again. If prices fall below his promised $420/share, his offer would seem attractive.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, September 3, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPTZpYMBlKY

China is in trouble. We don't know why, but we know the indication: Trump will be absent from ASEAN. He was absent from a funeral this week and his support grew. He was absent from a Republican debate, then he won the Republican nomination. By not meeting Xi face to face, Xi won't be able to read his emotions. No one knows exactly what Trump has planned, only that he's spending a lot of time on the golf course—a luxury banned by China's Communist Party—a luxury that just so happens to be Trump's favorite place to mull things over and get new ideas.

In the rainy season of August, Taiwan enjoyed almost three weeks of cloud cover. Whatever went on in Taiwan, it was difficult to see from above, and China never likes not being able to see from above. There's nothing like a little conveniently bad weather to irritate the away team. But, that wasn't the end.

The US is looking at a contingency of Marines to defend its unofficial embassy in Taipei and a former chief suggests simulating attacks on China's Soviet made, diesel powered aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, if it gets close enough to Taiwan. Such a statement is purely provocative and no chief, former or sitting, would make such provocation without sitting in counsel. This all compares to the Scottish flashing each other before a battle of the kilts. This week, the Taipei Times published numerous insulting and blatantly disrespectful stories from Taiwanese politics, spitting at China. Taiwan wouldn't do without backing.

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Encore of Revival: America, September 3, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKaL5b75V3A

It's all seen in his funeral. John McCain's death, more and more, seems destined to symbolize the death of the Washington "establishment". Put less friendlily, the death of McCain was the death of the swamp. More respectfully, and how things out to be, we mourn the loss of a senator while we move on with our convictions.

The Trump electorate, finally gaining the cooperation of the GOP, is proving more and more to be a valid and clear and enduring majority. They wanted Obama's health care law repealed; only McCain—from their own political party—stopped them. They wanted to be descent and quiet at the funeral of the man who despised them. John McCain found Sarah Palin, then put her on a leash. She respected him and only spoke respectfully of him, then he put a muzzle on her. Now, he's dead and she continues to respect him in her silence. Meghan McCain had a right to say whatever she wanted and her words agreed with her father's sentiment; Trumpists didn't like her words, but she stayed right on topic. Thank you Meghan. Trump would not attend, but his daughter did, a most appropriate discretion. Trump had more respect in his absence than in Obama's venomous distraction toward the man who would not crash a funeral. Bush and Biden gave good and respectful speeches, celebrating and mourning him.

The Trump electorate lives on and they are growing in number. Now, with Kevin McCarthy calling an inquisition into the Silicon Valley tech giants, who have harassed the controlling votership for two years, Republicans are moving away from the maverick-moderate tactics of McCain—which did work in his day. Insulting and muffling public expression, including the Declaration of Independence, was a foolish error. If their defense is true—that they "didn't know"—then they should have at least studied the electorate rather than despised it and known their own history well enough not to flag key words from our nation's heritage. At least, Silicon Valley is guilty of not caring enough about what they should. They are already paying a punishment through the markets. Now, they will answer to Congress.

McCarthy's move will energize the base—the one thing that the losing moderates of 2014 feared—the one thing that helps Republicans win elections. The Republican base is energized and we are now no longer looking at a possible and unusual midterm victory for Republicans; we are now looking at a likely and unusual midterm victory for Republicans.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 27, 2018

The Pacific is heating up bigtime. Just after Kim Jong Un meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump calls off a cabinet member's visit to Pyongyang the day after the new North Korean envoy was announced. What was that all about? Consider China.

China has been moving in on Taiwan aggressively, both through marketing and through international relations. The TOEFL test given in Taiwan lists Taiwan as a province of China, using the controversial, "Taiwan, China" nomenclature. Taiwanese were furious because the US government requires tests such as the TOEFL, which is administered by ETS, a nonprofit organization based in New Jersey. How does a US government recognized US-based English testing organization come to list a testing market contrary to how the US State Department does? The answer is: pressure from China.

Companies around the world have been strong-armed by China into listing Taiwan as a province of China. In the past weeks and months, airlines were required to comply in order to continue flying to China, many waiting until the last possible moment. This week, a PhD candidate at the University of Salamanca in Spain Tweeted a letter from China last October essentially demanding that the university shut down "Taiwan Cultural Days".

Now, Taiwan ended ties with El Salvador for recognizing China instead of Taiwan. This came after Taiwan declined for a year to make a sizable investment in the Port of La Union. Taiwan was concerned about debt for both countries. Senator Marco Rubio wasn't happy and a bill has already been amended to cut US funding to El Salvador.

While North Korea doesn't seem to be making as big of strides as expected in denuclearization, China is cozying up to North Korea while soon-to-be-former US allies cozy up to China and while China and Taiwan exchange lobbing spit wads. The overall situation doesn't look good for the pro-US side. But, there's always more than meets the eye.

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Encore of Revival: America, August 27, 2018

Senator John McCain is dead, God rest his soul. So are three gamers in their 20s, killed by suicide gamer rage at a computer competition in Florida.

Trump was busy golfing on Sunday and only Tweeted about a media spin article, explaining how Obama was receiving credit for economics that developed under Trump policy. Ivanka Tweeted thoughts and prayers to the victims at the gamer event shooting in Jacksonville, Florida. The Left didn't like that because not grandstanding for seizure of guns means doing nothing. Trump is in a catch-22.

From the "Fake Right", Alex Jones and Oliver Stone continue to entertain Conservatives of the hyperactive, hermit niche, who feed on fear. Stone predicts that Don Jr. will be indited. We'll see. Both taking heads of the now-dubbed "Stone & Jones" show (courtesy PD Times) shriek about how the other got harassed, but not injured permanently because the show continues. If the Leftist rent-a-mobs ever stop gaggling Stone & Jones, their show could be over. Then what will keep us entertained?

The Mueller investigation seems to be going in such a doomed and distracted multi-direction that it could be re-labeled the "Mueller investigation", but for different reasons. So, at least the show will continue somewhere. The real question will be whether "Stone & Jones" show viewers hold Stone accountable to make accurate predictions. If he's right, they should be bored. If he's right and they are hysteric, it means they are fanatic. If he's wrong, and they don't drop viewership, they are either fanatic or bored.

We're all led to believe that Trump doesn't know exactly what he's doing. But, his image of incompetence must hold up if he is ever to endure through the battle of wits looming in the Pacific, particularly the Northwest Pacific.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 20, 2018

The silent war between the Koreas is shifting to family reunions. Families split by the war are having a get-together today in the North. Trump has a deal with Kim Jong Un. Peace is moving forward, and Korean reunification along with it. Reunification is one of China's values and things look great as they are. So, why does Xi Jinping need to go to North Korea? Does he also have family there? Perhaps he's trying to market himself.

China has been busy marketing itself around the world as of late, as has Taiwan. So goes the other silent war—the silent war between China and Taiwan, though it's becoming not quite so silent. Taiwan's President Tsai Ingwen traveled this week. While in California, she did one of the most controversial and disrespectful things a president could do: She visited a coffee shop. Oh, China is so angry! How dare she do that!

The Taiwanese coffee chain, 85°C, has a few locations in California and Tsai Ingwen went to one of them. They even gave her a bag. She did that just to spite China! That's all she ever thinks about. It's not that great of a coffee shop anyway. Don't visit there and try any of their lattes or cappuccinos or any of their many desserts. There are better things to do than just trying to spite China.

China protested, of course, as they rightly should for such a disrespectful thing Tsai Ingwen has done. Taiwan's Premier, William Lai, lashed back, as did Tsai Ingwen. They think China's not marketing itself rightly by objecting to evil things like visiting coffee shops. They want China to have a good image, but right now they think China's doing it the wrong way. What the heck do they know anyway?

Taiwan has its own marketing problems. Former AIT director, the envoy from America to Taiwan, William Stanton says that Taiwan needs to market itself better. While things cool off in the Koreas, the marketing battle between the China's is just warming up.

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Encore of Revival: America, August 20, 2018

John Brennan, the former CIA director, was part of the Obama administration. His views are part and parcel of pro-Obama, anti-Trump groupthink. What does a former CIA director need a security clearance for anyway? He's not directing anymore—at least he shouldn't be. Though he accuses the sitting president of treason, he has his own security issues, questions of treason being among them. His opinion is anything but objective, impeccable, or unbiased.

The supposed impeccable Robert Mueller's investigation is going nowhere. It was going nowhere at warp speed, but now is slowing to a snail's race. The New York Times is going over the top with one of its greatest "BS" articles ever. The recent and controversial article on Don McGahn doesn't have much substance, though the style is that of breaking news.

Giuliani is right, there is an attempt to make Trump enter a perjury trap under the guise of testifying. That would be the only purpose of Trump testifying under the groupthink sentiment Brennan became the face of this week. The anti-Trump groupthink already sees Trump as guilty, not of treason, but for not being pro-Obama. To them, the sentence ought to be greater than that of treason. By speaking out and seeking to maintain his security clearance even though he is no longer director, Brennan is demonstrating how far the Russianewsgategate scandal network weaves.

Most of what developed this week was marketing. Brennan's public statements put him in the perfect position to launch a book, already having dramatized himself as the new champion of his groupthinkalikes. If he announces a book, it could have a success overnight. Then, we have the BS article in the New York Times. At last, we have the most incredible claim ever made by Russian hack conspiracy kooks: that they will believe whatever is true based only on what Trump says in a perjury trap because they haven't yet made up their minds. Yeah, right.

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Cadence of Conflict: Asia, August 13, 2018

China's situation isn't getting easier. Taiwan now has tested a new missile, boasting ability to fire within China's mainland, being capable of destroying military targets on both land and sea. This is no laughing matter. On the economic front, Beijing has a hard-headed counterpart in the White House, Donald Trump. He shows no indication of backing down on any front, including Beijing. Now, China is going after Muslims.

While it can be politically incorrect for the West to pursue terrorists if they are Muslim, China doesn't have that problem. Military states rarely do, which is one advantage China has over the West. Terror cells may be in hot water since China is on high alert in all directions. If Taiwan were to create trouble on its eastern coast, Beijing would not want more trouble from its western borders. So, any earlier preemptive action from Beijing is likely to be westward, toward Muslim nations. Those Muslim areas could be in greater danger than Taiwan.

Taiwanese have been busy, though. When anyone uses the "Taiwan, China" format, Taiwanese go berserk. That's raising a lot of attention about a little island in the Pacific which now has missiles capable of attacking China. These are interesting times.

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Encore of Revival: America, August 13, 2018

What happened to Omarosa is normal, it doesn't matter, and it's a darn shame that it's normal and doesn't matter. Bureaucratic America permeates every institution, from universities to small Christian congregations to telecommunications companies, even to the White House. They run people around, play dirty tricks, mistreat people of all skin tones, and now it's coming back to bite them in the hiney.

Omarosa herself is now under the microscope, which lets us see the shameful sham of why her story doesn't matter. It's just too normal. Bureaucracy doesn't attack everyone, but it sure does have its favorites. She seems to be one of them. Chuck Todd kept asking how and why she knew to record her meeting with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. It's unbelievable for most people, except for bureaucracy's favorite people to bash. After a while bureaucracy victims get a nose for smelling the rigmarole around the corner. And, they have a knack for attracting trouble, if for no other reason than that bureaucracy doesn't like bloodhounds sniffing them down.

Here's how the archetypal scenario could likely play out—not how it actually did, but how it could have if bureaucracy behaves like bureaucracy...

Trump knows that worms in the White House are always trying to control him by controlling the information that gets to him. So, he asks Omarosa to get certain articles for him, going around his bureaucracy. Smelling trouble, she may have taken steps to protect herself, just as she did in recording the conversation, just as she did with giving her loves ones copies of the reported recording of Trump using the "N" word as a precaution just "in case she's rubbed out" (Esquire). That kind of preemptive-precautionary habit might have led her to violate some rules in the White House, though she would have been acting in defense, not hostility. John Kelly, like the classic bureaucrat he comes across as in the recording, wouldn't have been out of character to "trump" up, as it were, his firing case against Omarosa, though he wouldn't have been entirely unjustified either. She was likely a loose canon, which was why Trump wanted her there in the first place, and John Kelly arrived to tie down loose canons. Trump later told her that he "delegated" because he really did delegate. Trump wouldn't fire the lady himself since he adores her too much—this happens with many administrators because no one likes to fire friends. And, no one likes it when your good friend, the President, lets his chief fire you because you got too cautious on someone else's watch. Feelings are hurt, it wasn't meant to be personal, but it was personal. Now, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

...That's an archetypal speculation of how things may have gone down the hill.

Trump kept things chaotic on purpose so that an old boys' club couldn't keep him a prisoner of fame. This was the story on the street when Reince Priebus left. The Left praised John Kelly as the one possible man who might be able to control Trump. When he was first hired, Kelly was hailed by the Left as the savior. Now, when he does what the Left praised him for, it's all Trump's fault.

The words Kelly spoke were shamefully typical and ordinary in bureaucratic America, but they don't make him especially evil. Many, many pastors have been "fretired" through the same conversation in the back office. Coming from the White House raises the stakes, but other than that, the conversation seemed all too typical.

As for the "N" word, one statement doesn't define a person. It can be sad. But, everyone has said foolish things that they didn't mean, whether in stupidity or anger. No president will ever be an exception. In the minds of Trumpists, who only grow their numbers, discovering proof that a human is human is no longer a fireable offense.

Omarosa was a way for Trump to get around his own gatekeeper. If Trump doesn't hire Omarosa back, Kelly could end up "resigning" in the coming months.

The wisest action would be for Trump to have a one-on-one with Omarosa, apologize on a personal level for his own bureaucracy—which every institution in America has, shamefully—, hire her back so that only he has the power to fire her, also keep Kelly on to keep doing his job, and encourage her that she won't need to guard herself with more recordings and possible "ethics" violations anymore.

And, if he did use the "N" word, he should also say to the country, "Yeah, I did. I was an idiot, really sorry to everyone. Don't follow my bad example. Let's all be better and move one."

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