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Old 06-11-2019, 09:55 PM
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Trump vs. the US Mexico Border 2: Trump's Secret Deal with Mexico (it's in his pocket!)


Video today of Trump doing his best McCarthy impersonation on the White House lawn, complete with a prop.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9n3WAVNqJI

For those wanting a slightly longer summation: Donald Trump claims to have a secret agreement AND THEN PULLS A TRI-FOLDED PIECE OF PAPER OUT OF HIS POCKET AND CLAIMS IT IS THE SECRET AGREEMENT!

He does not let reporters see it, claiming that he is letting Mexico announce it "at the right time". He makes many guarantees of content and many denials for access. It's quite implausible, IMO.

A photographer or videographer did get a great shot of it, but I can't make the words make much sense. Is this the same text as the agreement we've already seen?

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-11-2019 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:58 PM
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The scrap of paper could have been his lunch order for all we know.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
Video today of Trump doing his best McCarthy impersonation on the White House lawn, complete with a prop.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9n3WAVNqJI

For those wanting a slightly longer summation: Donald Trump claims to have a secret agreement AND THEN PULLS A TRI-FOLDED PIECE OF PAPER OUT OF HIS POCKET AND CLAIMS IT IS THE SECRET AGREEMENT!

He does not let reporters see it, claiming that he is letting Mexico announce it "at the right time". He makes many guarantees of content and many denials for access. It's quite implausible, IMO.

A photographer or videographer did get a great shot of it, but I can't make the words make much sense. Is this the same text as the agreement we've already seen?
One piece of paper is the new 'agreement' with Mexico. He may have saved some paper over from the fake documents they made up about the divestiture of his business. Remember all the fresh copy paper laying on a table at a press conference. The blank copy paper.

Some staffer probably printed out his McDonalds order for the day and he found it in his pocket.

I'm serious.
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Last edited by enipla; 06-11-2019 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:33 PM
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According to the image in that video, it says essentially that if the U.S. thinks Mexico hasn't sufficiently stopped the flow of migrants after 45 days, Mexico promises to . . . .

. . . try harder.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:37 PM
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His stubby little fingers cover up much of the letter, but the last paragraph is clearly visible; I transcribed it:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trump's Secret Agreement with Mexico
If the United States determines, at it’s discretion and after consultation with Mexico, after 45 calendar days from the date of the issuance of the Joint Declaration, that the measures adopted by the Government of Mexico pursuant to the Joint Declaration have not sufficiently achieved results in addressing the flow of migrants to the southern border of the United States, the Government of Mexico will take all necessary steps under domestic law to bring the agreement into force with a view to ensuring that the agreement will enter into force within 45 days.
So... 45 days after issuance, if the US says "no bueno", Mexico will do the same stuff it has been doing...um... I'm unable to make the words make sense. Mexico will continue to do stuff for 45 more days and then maybe the agreement goes into effect 45 days later? If the US says so?

So Trump thinks Mexico agreed to have him bully them?

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-11-2019 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
His stubby little fingers cover up much of the letter, but the last paragraph is clearly visible; I transcribed it:So... 45 days after issuance, if the US says "no bueno", Mexico will do the same stuff it has been doing...um... I'm unable to make the words make sense. Mexico will continue to do stuff for 45 more days and then maybe the agreement goes into effect 45 days later? If the US says so?

So Trump thinks Mexico agreed to have him bully them?
Realistically, just the fact that it's not a prop letter is the closest Trump has ever come to telling the truth, since becoming President. That it actually does look to be some form of signed agreement by Mexico that isn't the same one as before and is favorable to the US is, realistically, the first known thing close to a diplomatic success that Trump has had in 2.4 years of destroying everything he has touched.

I would gladly put the guy up on trial for treason, but truth is truth. He's accomplished something for once - at least to a sufficient level that he can publicly talk about it without having to bullshit much beyond reality.

I don't expect that he's turned a leaf of any form, but I'm willing to give him this one thing.

For the moment.

We'll see how he does in 45 and 90 days.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:00 PM
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He's accomplished something for once - at least to a sufficient level that he can publicly talk about it without having to bullshit much beyond reality.
It's just a toothless diplomatic statement that Mexico signed so Trump would shut up and go away. He hasn't accomplished anything, let alone stopped the problem of people fleeing Central America.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:25 PM
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It's just a toothless diplomatic statement that Mexico signed so Trump would shut up and go away. He hasn't accomplished anything, let alone stopped the problem of people fleeing Central America.
No, his strategy is stupid and wasteful and has pretty well zero chance of success.

But I think it's worth being honest and admitting that this is - for what he's trying to do and how he's trying to do it - in 2.4 years of trying to be President, his first and only known thing something like a success.

Personally, I feel like making that point is more telling than it is congratulatory.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:06 AM
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Most delicious thing would be that, owing to him waving the deal in front of reporters and having detailed gleaned from it, Mexico breaks off talks.


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Old 06-12-2019, 02:21 AM
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We have some recent experience, on this side of the water, of agreements that such and such a thing will irrevocably happen on a given date, and then it's extended because it hasn't happened....
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:13 AM
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We have some recent experience, on this side of the water, of agreements that such and such a thing will irrevocably happen on a given date
Or, at that, “in our time”.
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:34 AM
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Let him keep doing more of this shit. Trump is clearly unnerved. That poll that showed him getting his ass crushed by Biden yesterday made him see his own ghost. He probably had nightmares about being in an orange jump suit. People maybe, just maybe are starting to get that Trump is a bullshitter. Most of the people who voted for Trump are still on the Trump train, but even they have to confess how idiotic he looks at times.
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
His stubby little fingers cover up much of the letter, but the last paragraph is clearly visible; I transcribed it:So... 45 days after issuance, if the US says "no bueno", Mexico will do the same stuff it has been doing...um... I'm unable to make the words make sense. Mexico will continue to do stuff for 45 more days and then maybe the agreement goes into effect 45 days later? If the US says so?

So Trump thinks Mexico agreed to have him bully them?
Does it really say "at it's discretion"?
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
Video today of Trump doing his best McCarthy impersonation on the White House lawn, complete with a prop.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9n3WAVNqJI

...
What. A. Fucking. Clown.
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:35 AM
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Senator James Lankford (R-OK), via Politico: [The administration] "is trying to use tariffs to solve every problem but HIV and climate change".

He left out "and half of that is because they don't believe in climate change."
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:16 AM
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No, his strategy is stupid and wasteful and has pretty well zero chance of success.

But I think it's worth being honest and admitting that this is - for what he's trying to do and how he's trying to do it - in 2.4 years of trying to be President, his first and only known thing something like a success.

Personally, I feel like making that point is more telling than it is congratulatory.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:30 AM
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But I think it's worth being honest and admitting that this is - for what he's trying to do and how he's trying to do it - in 2.4 years of trying to be President, his first and only known thing something like a success.
This assumes that what he's trying to do is to actually change something in the real world. His purpose, though, is just to give that appearance--to put on a show for his base. What actually happens is not important to him, as long as he can pretend that he has done something.

In that sense, yes, he has succeeded in putting on a make-believe show, though it's just yet another performance in his larger, ongoing dog-and-pony act.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:02 AM
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But I think it's worth being honest and admitting that this is - for what he's trying to do and how he's trying to do it - in 2.4 years of trying to be President, his first and only known thing something like a success.
Didn't Trump pull the U.S. out of NAFTA, and negotiate a new trade agreement among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico? That must have been written down on paper somewhere. I don't think any of the countries have ratified it yet.

The thing is, it doesn't matter if Trump has some new, double-secret agreement. He already had one and then threatened Mexico with tariffs, anyway. Trump will do what Trump will do, whether Mexico lives up to their side of the agreement or not. Mexico must know this, so they let Trump wave his piece of paper around, but I'd be surprised if they lift a finger to carry it out.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:13 AM
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Does it really say "at it's discretion"?
I'll be honest: I struggled with whether or not what I saw was a comma or just speck on the paper. In the end, it looked more like a comma than a speck, so I went with it. You can see the image I used at 1:40 into the video linked in the OP.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:15 AM
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Didn't Trump pull the U.S. out of NAFTA, and negotiate a new trade agreement among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico? That must have been written down on paper somewhere. I don't think any of the countries have ratified it yet.

The thing is, it doesn't matter if Trump has some new, double-secret agreement. He already had one and then threatened Mexico with tariffs, anyway. Trump will do what Trump will do, whether Mexico lives up to their side of the agreement or not. Mexico must know this, so they let Trump wave his piece of paper around, but I'd be surprised if they lift a finger to carry it out.
This is why it bothers me so much that Mexico ran for the negotiating table: don't they see that Trump is not trustworthy? Don't they see that capitulating once means capitulating all the time? Their run for the table was like saying "Yes! We're stupid; please fuck us over!" IMO.

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Old 06-12-2019, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
I'll be honest: I struggled with whether or not what I saw was a comma or just speck on the paper. In the end, it looked more like a comma than a speck, so I went with it. You can see the image I used at 1:40 into the video linked in the OP.
Thanks for re-posting the link. I think it's a blemish on the paper, but it could be an apostrophe. I think Snopes would rule "Unproven".
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:28 AM
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Thanks for re-posting the link. I think it's a blemish on the paper, but it could be an apostrophe. I think Snopes would rule "Unproven".
Geez, did I write "comma"? I gotta stop posting before I shower... just not awake yet.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-12-2019 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:31 AM
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Apostrophe or not, how about the host in the link trying to parse the last visible sentence?
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:39 AM
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This article has additional transcriptions of the letter, but it doesn't provide much more information. Except maybe this bit:

Quote:
It is signed by two people, that we can see, but neither of these signatures are from the countries’ respective presidents, top diplomats or ambassadors to the other country. They appear to belong to Marik A. String, acting legal adviser in the U.S. State Department, and Alejandro Celorio Alcantara, a deputy legal adviser in Mexico’s Foreign Ministry.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:54 AM
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This is why it bothers me so much that Mexico ran for the negotiating table: don't they see that Trump is not trustworthy? Don't they see that capitulating once means capitulating all the time? Their run for the table was like saying "Yes! We're stupid; please fuck us over!" IMO.


Mexico is in the same boat that Canada is in, though. Our economies are inextricably linked to that of the US, so we can't just tell Trump to piss off, but we also have essentially zero input on whether or not the US electorate tells Trump to piss off.

So we've got to find a balance when dealing with Trump: give him just enough that he thinks he's "won", without actually giving away the store. With this agreement, Mexico seems to have pulled the same trick Canada did with the New NAFTA: agree to something we've already been negotiating, and then let Trump blather on about how our agreement was all because of his "acting tough".

It's like when a little kid punches an adult to prove how strong he is. The adult says "Ouch!" just to make the kid feel good.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:54 AM
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Snowboarder Bo, that'd be a valid point, if this agreement actually constrained Mexico in any way. But if the transcriptions we're seeing are accurate, Trump used his awesome deal-negotiating powers to convince Mexico to sign a piece of paper that officially says that Mexico doesn't have to do anything. Why wouldn't they want to sign that?
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:56 AM
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This is why it bothers me so much that Mexico ran for the negotiating table: don't they see that Trump is not trustworthy? Don't they see that capitulating once means capitulating all the time? Their run for the table was like saying "Yes! We're stupid; please fuck us over!" IMO.
It's only capitulating if Mexico actually does anything. Suppose the Mexican ambassador or trade representative (or whoever negotiates these things) says "yes, President Trump, sir, my country will roll out our national guard to stop the migrants coming north from Central America!" Then, in private, the Mexican government does nothing. Trump gets to wave his fancy piece of paper around, so he's happy. If Trump even remembers to follow up, it won't matter one whit whether Mexico fulfilled their promises or not. In three months, do you think anyone will even remember to check whether there are Mexican guard troops on their southern border or not, or will Trump have changed the subject a dozen times by then?

That's Trump's game; promise someone the world to make them happy right now, and by the time they wonder what happened you've got another promise to distract them with. Lather, rinse, repeat. I'd like to see someone run that game on Trump for a change.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:02 AM
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Since I happen to have just re-read Asimov's Foundation:
Quote:
"As you see, gentlemen, something like ninety percent of the treaty boiled right out of the analysis as being meaningless, and what we end up with can be described in the following interesting manner:
"Obligations of Anacreon to the Empire: None!"
"Powers of the Empire over Anacreon: None!"
Trump just skipped over the meaningless 90%, and went straight to the half-page that says that Mexico can do whatever it wants.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:09 AM
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In three months, do you think anyone will even remember to check whether there are Mexican guard troops on their southern border or not, or will Trump have changed the subject a dozen times by then?
Oh, there will be! There usually are. I mean, I guess there could be a really nasty epidemic or something, but if it manages to send every single Guardia to the hospital the border will be the least of anybody's worries.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:15 AM
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It's like when a little kid punches an adult to prove how strong he is. The adult says "Ouch!" just to make the kid feel good.
Except this isn't a little kid. It's more like an adult with severe autism who's stronger than every other person in the room (the US not Trump; but Trump is the personification of the US as POTUS, for all practical purposes). And we already know he's unscrupulous and unswayed by things like laws and rules and social customs. I just think enabling that kind of thing, in any way, is more bad than good.
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Snowboarder Bo, that'd be a valid point, if this agreement actually constrained Mexico in any way. But if the transcriptions we're seeing are accurate, Trump used his awesome deal-negotiating powers to convince Mexico to sign a piece of paper that officially says that Mexico doesn't have to do anything. Why wouldn't they want to sign that?
I'm talking more about the optics of running to the table and scurrying to come to an agreement. And I mean specifically how it looks to Trump. Once a bully sees an opening, they go for it repeatedly. So now I expect Trump to take many opportunities to use Mexico as a target, because he now knows he can. IMO that was a bad decision by Mexico because now they'll have to keep dealing with this idiot on his terms and at his whim.
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It's only capitulating if Mexico actually does anything. Suppose the Mexican ambassador or trade representative (or whoever negotiates these things) says "yes, President Trump, sir, my country will roll out our national guard to stop the migrants coming north from Central America!" Then, in private, the Mexican government does nothing. Trump gets to wave his fancy piece of paper around, so he's happy. If Trump even remembers to follow up, it won't matter one whit whether Mexico fulfilled their promises or not. In three months, do you think anyone will even remember to check whether there are Mexican guard troops on their southern border or not, or will Trump have changed the subject a dozen times by then?

That's Trump's game; promise someone the world to make them happy right now, and by the time they wonder what happened you've got another promise to distract them with. Lather, rinse, repeat. I'd like to see someone run that game on Trump for a change.
Trump isn't just a drooling moron waving around apiece of paper, tho: he's the POTUS. He can enact real consequences based on that piece of paper.

For instance, do you think he will ever say that Mexico is doing an adequate job, or will he always keep the threat of that little memo alive? As I read it, the US gets to re-evaluate every 45 days if the US decides that Mexico isn't "yet" meeting their obligations.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:19 AM
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And if he decides they aren't, then all that happens is that he gets to evaluate again 45 days after that.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:20 AM
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For instance, do you think he will ever say that Mexico is doing an adequate job, or will he always keep the threat of that little memo alive? As I read it, the US gets to re-evaluate every 45 days if the US decides that Mexico isn't "yet" meeting their obligations.
I suspect that Mexico figures (correctly) that Trump will forget all about this in 45 days. He will have no memory at all of this memo,or the negotiations, or even how many Mexicos there are.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:37 AM
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Trump isn't just a drooling moron waving around apiece of paper, tho: he's the POTUS. He can enact real consequences based on that piece of paper.
Trump can enact real consequences, yes. I'm saying that it doesn't matter whether Mexico lives up to the agreement or not. They could do everything in that promise, fulfill it to the letter and the spirit, and Trump might still enact tariffs. Trump will do what Trump will do. He already negotiated one trade pact with Mexico and threatened tariffs anyway; why should this new agreement be any different?

Trump goes back on his word at the drop of a hat. I see no reason why Mexico should keep their word to Trump. Say what you have to to keep him happy, and then do what you were gonna do anyway.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:45 AM
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And if he decides they aren't, then all that happens is that he gets to evaluate again 45 days after that.
No; he can impose his tariffs. Remember them?
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:48 AM
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Trump can enact real consequences, yes. I'm saying that it doesn't matter whether Mexico lives up to the agreement or not. They could do everything in that promise, fulfill it to the letter and the spirit, and Trump might still enact tariffs. Trump will do what Trump will do. He already negotiated one trade pact with Mexico and threatened tariffs anyway; why should this new agreement be any different?
Which strikes me as a good argument for NOT dealing with Trump. It does not strike me as a good reason to do his bidding. Yet Mexico seemed to scurry when Trump raised his broom, which will only encourage Trump.
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Trump goes back on his word at the drop of a hat. I see no reason why Mexico should keep their word to Trump. Say what you have to to keep him happy, and then do what you were gonna do anyway.
That sounds like a terrible marriage, IMO.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:52 AM
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Well, it's not a marriage. It's another country just trying wait out and placate America's current goofball leader.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:02 AM
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The point is that it's a close, on-going relationship; a metaphorical marriage. I'm sorry that wasn't clear.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:07 AM
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Which strikes me as a good argument for NOT dealing with Trump. It does not strike me as a good reason to do his bidding.
We don't know if they're going to do his bidding or not. They've told him they will; that's all Trump cares about.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:08 AM
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I got what you meant, but it's not a metaphorical marriage. It's more like roommates locked into a lease.

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Old 06-12-2019, 11:17 AM
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Well, it's not a marriage. It's another country just trying wait out and placate America's current goofball leader.


Yes, this. All the actual work is being done by the guys in the back room. They all know Trump will throw his weight around whenever he gets a bee in his bonnet about something, but they also know he'll usually forget about it, or cave in entirely, at some point.

It's all about fluffing Trump's ego while the real work gets done. When the treaty is finally confirmed by all three countries' legislatures, Trump's ability to toss around tariffs at will will be limited. They just need to keep Trump in line until then. Fluffing his ego at no cost to themselves is the best option. A tactical retreat in support of a strategic win.

Last edited by Horatius; 06-12-2019 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Robot Arm View Post
I see no reason why Mexico should keep their word to Trump. Say what you have to to keep him happy, and then do what you were gonna do anyway.
But that's the perfect beauty of it. Mexico has promised to do exactly what they already intended to do, in accordance with their own laws and policies. But it's gotten the troll off their backs until the next time he sees a Hispanic taller than himself (quick, make sure he can't watch basketball).
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  #42  
Old 06-12-2019, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Robot Arm View Post
We don't know if they're going to do his bidding or not. They've told him they will; that's all Trump cares about.
Again: they did his bidding by rushing back to the negotiating table. They've already positioned themselves as beneath Trump and willing to jump when he says jump. Trump knows they are going to do what he tells them. That's what matters, IMO.

ETA: IMO it's like how Trump tells lies all the time and if you don't immediately call him on it, you've tacitly agreed with it and now you're complicit in whatever he's saying. Mexico fell for the same sort of trap.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-12-2019 at 11:26 AM.
  #43  
Old 06-12-2019, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
Again: they did his bidding by rushing back to the negotiating table. They've already positioned themselves as beneath Trump and willing to jump when he says jump. Trump knows they are going to do what he tells them. That's what matters, IMO.
Who knows how it played out in reality. Maybe the U.S. sent a delegation to Mexico to work out the arrangements, and they had to sit in a waiting room until someone in Mexico (whoever drew the short straw) had time to talk to them. Trump says Mexico rushed to the negotiating table? Trump says Mexico capitulated? That and five bucks will get you a cup of coffee.

On the other hand, Mexico got the President of the United States to publicly withdraw the threat of tariffs and all it cost them was a couple hours time from some deputy legal adviser. Who's jumping through hoops for whom?
  #44  
Old 06-12-2019, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Robot Arm View Post
Who knows how it played out in reality. Maybe the U.S. sent a delegation to Mexico to work out the arrangements, and they had to sit in a waiting room until someone in Mexico (whoever drew the short straw) had time to talk to them. Trump says Mexico rushed to the negotiating table? Trump says Mexico capitulated? That and five bucks will get you a cup of coffee.
"Who knows?" People who read the news. There were articles about this every day.
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Originally Posted by Robot Arm View Post
On the other hand, Mexico got the President of the United States to publicly withdraw the threat of tariffs and all it cost them was a couple hours time from some deputy legal adviser. Who's jumping through hoops for whom?
Now you're lamely spinning it and saying things that aren't accurate. The threat of tariffs was not withdrawn; that's the whole point of the agreement.

If you disagree that this looks like Mexico kowtowed to Trump, you should prolly just say so and stop there.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-12-2019 at 11:56 AM.
  #45  
Old 06-12-2019, 12:37 PM
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If you disagree that this looks like Mexico kowtowed to Trump, you should prolly just say so and stop there.
I'm saying that I don't care what it "looks like", and I don't get why anyone does, either. Until Mexico stops an actual migrant coming to the U.S. (over and above what they're already doing) or the U.S. collects an actual tariff on goods coming from Mexico, it's all just theater.

The thing is, all the theater of diplomacy used to mean something. Countries were expected to live up to their agreements. At the very least, you could try to form some sort of prediction on how a leader would act in the future based on what he said today. Not so with Trump. Are you thinking of manufacturing something in Mexico and selling it in the United States, and you need to know if there will be tariffs so you can figure out if the investment is worth it? Don't look to anything Trump said to help you. You'd get a better answer from flipping a coin.
  #46  
Old 06-12-2019, 01:47 PM
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Now you're lamely spinning it and saying things that aren't accurate. The threat of tariffs was not withdrawn; that's the whole point of the agreement.
As of late last week, prior to the agreement, import taxes on Americans (aka tarrifs) were set start up on June 10th. It is now June 12 and they haven't started up. Will they in the future, who knows? But in the short term things are better than they could have been. Trump had rhetorically painted himself into a corner. If he hadn't gotten a deal he would have been forced politically to go through with the tariffs. This would have been bad for Trump, but it also would have been bad for Mexico. So they could have stood their ground and got 5,10, 15, 25% tariffs imposed while they wait for the Republican senate to find a spine. Or they can agree to do what they were going to do anyway, and let Trump preen.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:42 PM
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Yeah, Snowboarder, not really sure what you think the bg deal is. Oh no! Mexico kowtowed too quickly and now Trump is going to make crazy demands and threaten more tariffs! Pretty sure that isn't a change in the status quo.
  #48  
Old 06-12-2019, 02:58 PM
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Yeah, Snowboarder, not really sure what you think the bg deal is. Oh no! Mexico kowtowed too quickly and now Trump is going to make crazy demands and threaten more tariffs! Pretty sure that isn't a change in the status quo.
Sure it is; that's a huge change in the status quo. And Mexico said "okay" to it. The status quo is now "Trump says "jump" and Mexico says "how high?" Prior to this the status quo was "2 nations negotiate respectfully".

So if you don't see that change in the status quo, then yeah, we have nothing left to talk about.

If you see it, but you don't see that as stupid, if you don't see that as enabling a bully, if you don't see that as a serious tactical mistake in dealing with Trump, then I suppose we just disagree.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-12-2019 at 03:01 PM.
  #49  
Old 06-12-2019, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Since I happen to have just re-read Asimov's Foundation:
Quote:
"As you see, gentlemen, something like ninety percent of the treaty boiled right out of the analysis as being meaningless, and what we end up with can be described in the following interesting manner:
"Obligations of Anacreon to the Empire: None!"
"Powers of the Empire over Anacreon: None!"
Trump just skipped over the meaningless 90%, and went straight to the half-page that says that Mexico can do whatever it wants.
A little further along, regarding a symbolic analysis of Imperial Chancellor Dorwin's promises to the Foundation:
Quote:
Lundin Crast said, "And where is the analysis?

"That," replied Hardin, "is the interesting thing. The analysis was the most difficult of the three by all odds. When Holk, after two days of steady work, succeeded in eliminating meaningless statements, vague gibberish, useless qualifications—in short, all the goo and dribble—he found he had nothing left. Everything canceled out."

"Lord Dorwin, gentlemen, in five days of discussion didn't say one damned thing, and said it so you never noticed. There are the assurances you had from your precious Empire."
Sounds like in a previous life Lord Dorwin learned how to negotiate with people like Trump.
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Last edited by OttoDaFe; 06-12-2019 at 03:36 PM. Reason: Quote format
  #50  
Old 06-12-2019, 06:39 PM
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Snowboarder Bo, that'd be a valid point, if this agreement actually constrained Mexico in any way. But if the transcriptions we're seeing are accurate, Trump used his awesome deal-negotiating powers to convince Mexico to sign a piece of paper that officially says that Mexico doesn't have to do anything. Why wouldn't they want to sign that?
There's a constraint that comes from the need to at least show some kind of action in 45 days. There's a concrete action that they are taking as a result of the tiff. They are deploying some of the first units of their newly created National Guard to their southern border. That deployment started today before Trump had time to forget.

Don't let the name fool you. The Mexican National Guard aren't a reserve component military organization despite the name meaning that inside the US. They seem to be more of (yet another) attempt to create a gendarme type force to deal with their massive cartel problem. The US doesn't really have that type of force operating on a full time basis or under federal control. Our National Guard can perform some tasks related to typical gendarme roles while under state orders...just to muddy the naming similarity some more. The deal to create the Mexican National Guard, in February of this year, put them under civilian control not the military where it would be typical to create a gendarme that focused on internal security and law enforcement tasks. (The approval of the constitutional change by Mexican states was completed pretty quickly. It happened in March.)

Aside from my big concerns about setting a precedent of using what are effectively trade sanctions against relatively friendly nations and important trading partners to get our way, I worry about the real side effects of that deployment. Mexico has been fighting a 12 year war against the cartels for the control of their border states and smuggling routes. Some security experts lump the type of fight under counter insurgencies and the threat is sometimes referred to as a criminal insurgency. This is taking Mexico's eye off the ball of one of their biggest issues that is also one of our biggest border security issues.

The cartels have a huge role in smuggling across the US border. That includes human smuggling that Trump is primarily concerned about and feeding problems like the opiod crisis. The Mexican National Guard was being crafted to try and fight them not perform routine customs and border patrol duties. It's not quite up to it's third month of existence so this is a major deployment while they should still be focused on standing up the new force. That's going to distract their leadership from important tasks. Another big problem is that the early recruiting for the new National Guard is drawing on the military and federal police. Mexico's been pulling the personnel that had been fighting the cartels out of the fight. That may makes sense if the goal is to and build a new, hopefully more effective means to fight, the cartels.

Trump got Mexico to pull personnel out of fighting the cartels and assign them other tasks. Simultaneously, he increased the risk that new force fails to realize it's potential and become and effective tool for the cartel fight. Our southern border is arguably less secure as a result. I can't help but imagine cartel leadership is sitting around with drinks laughing and celebrating about Trump's help. It looks a lot like Trump just punched himself in the nuts and declared that he won.

Last edited by DinoR; 06-12-2019 at 06:40 PM.
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