TRUMP’S RATINGS

US President Donald Trump has had consistently low approval ratings ever since inaugural of his government on January 20 this year. A latest approval rating (Marist College Institute of Public Opinion) released two days ago found 58 per cent of its respondents strongly disapproving the Trump Administration while another 20 per cent opined that Trump would be known as an average president.

Earlier, a poll result (Morning Consult) on October 18 had found Trump’s approval rating dipping in all of 50 US states, many of which he had won with large margins. At 37.8 per cent, Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight analysis shows Trump’s approval rating are still hovering around the crisis of being historically low. And this has been the case right from Trump’s first month in the White House. No authentic poll can found him on a good standing. Polls, in fact, have found him to be the least popular US president ever since such statistical practices began to keep gauge of them.

Another marker of people’s trust in Trump administration is the way it has handled the aftermath of three big hurricanes, Harvey, Irma and Maria. According to a CNN poll, a September poll found Trump rating at 64 per cent after Harvey and Irma but it drastically came down to 44 per cent after Maria hurricane which ravaged Puerto Rico and millions are still looking for proper rehabilitation, after a month the hurricane hit. Trump, in fact, was panned for his inhuman comments that he made multiple times on Puerto Rican debt when the residents of the US territory in the Caribbean were staring at

But like always happens, like Trump always dismisses such polls, and in fact anything and everything that criticises him, Trump again tweeted today to claim all such developments as fake news efforts and like he always does, tried to shield behind stock market or job creation figures though it is debatable how much of it is due to the efforts of his administration.

And people who dump Trump are right there, we can see them if we see the comment thread of Trump’s tweet. The first comment says the stock market has been “following the same trend for the past 8 years” while the next one thanks Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama for it, “When the stock market breaks the current trend-line that Obama started 8 years ago, then you can take some credit. Until then, Thanks Obama!” The thread comment is full of views that Trump is bragging about something that ideally has been a trend for years and Trump has no claims to fame here.

©SantoshChaubey

FRENCH PRESIDENT MACRON LAUNCHES WEBSITE AND INVITES US CLIMATE SCIENTISTS TO MAKE FRANCE THEIR HOMELAND

The article originally appeared on India Today. 

Taking his criticism of US President Donald Trump’s stand on climate change to the next level, French President Emmanuel Macron has launched a website inviting US scientists and research scholars to live in France and do research there on climate change. Earlier this month, after the US exit from the Paris Climate Agreement, he had assured the US scientists that France was like a second homeland for them.

The website ‘Make Our Planet Great Again’ (www.makeourplanetgreatagain.fr), an apparent dig at Donald Trump’s favourite slogan ‘Make America Great Again (#MAGA), says it is an initiative of President of France Emmanuel Macron who launched it to invite American scientists to “come work in France after facing the climatic skepticism of the new government of the United States.”

Macron says “he wants to make our planet great again” and appeals to the scientists that “the planet needs their innovative skills” and asks “if they you IN to change (literally) our daily lives and make our planet great again?” While terming the US decision unfortunate, he says “it has only reinforced our determination. Don’t let it weaken yours. We are ONE planet and together, we can make a difference.”

On June 1, US President Donald Trump had pulled the US out of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, a global climate pact to deal with emission of greenhouse gases. 195 countries signed the agreement document in December 2015 and 147 countries have ratified it so far and the agreement came into effect on November 4, 2016. Trump has been a vocal critic of the Paris climate deal and he had promised to cancel the deal if he became the US President.

After Trump’s announcement, according to France 24*, while slamming Trump for making a historic mistake, Macron said the US scientists and entrepreneurs “disappointed” by Trump’s decision “will find in France a second homeland: I call on them, come and work here with us.”

It was unprecedented when he chose to address the world in English from Elysee Place, the official residence of the French president, after Trump’s no to Paris Accord. It was, in fact, a first for a French president, The Telegraph** said. Also, the press release sent to French journalists from the Elysee Palace on the website launch was in English, again “an unprecedented move by a French president”, the France 24 report said.

Macron, in fact, had released a video statement in English on Twitter on February 10, while he was campaigning for the French presidential polls, calling the US scientists and entrepreneurs working on climate change to relocate to France after Trump had decided to curtail the climate change research budget.

US withdrawing from the Paris Accord is certainly a bad news as the country is the second largest emitter of the greenhouse gases. China, the European Union and the US account for more than half of the global greenhouse gas emissions, an analysis from the World Resources Institute says. The US exit is bound to affect the norms and goals of the Paris Accord even if other large emitters including India, Russia, European Union and China have reiterated their commitment.

©SantoshChaubey

CELEBRITY APPRENTICE: ITS DONALD TRUMP VS ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER AGAIN

It is in typical Arnold Schwarzenegger and Donald Trump way, two big names of American politics and showbiz, in their never-say-die spirit of making comments and hitting back.

Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast this morning, Donald Trump took a jibe at the Hollywood star and former Texas Governor who said Trump’s travel ban was a crazy idea and had made American look stupid before the world.

In response, continuing his January barrage, Trump mocked The Terminator star again for the low rating of Celebrity Apprentice, a reality TV show Donald Trump hosted earlier. He said that the show has seen consistently low ratings after Arnold took over as its host and its producer will never bet on him again. A report in The Hill wrote quoting Trump, “They hired a big, big movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger to take my place, and we know how that turned out. The ratings went right down the tubes. It’s been a total disaster. And Mark [Burnett] will never, ever bet against Trump again, and I want to just pray for Arnold, if we can, for those ratings”.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, an Austrian migrant turned US citizen immediately hit back saying it would be better if Trump and he could switch their jobs. In a video posted on his Twitter timeline, Schwarzenegger took a jibe on Trump saying “Hey Donald I have a great idea. Why don’t we switch jobs. You take over TV, because you’re such an expert in ratings, and I take over your job. And then people can finally sleep comfortable again.”

‏@Schwarzenegger – The National Prayer Breakfast?

Arnold’s spokesperson also issued a statement, sent to ABC News which said Trump has historically worst approval ratings and he should work on that instead.

ABC News Politics ‏@ABCPolitics

abc-arnold

Last month, boasting his performance at the show, Trump had likened himself as the ‘ratings machine DJT’ and had claimed that ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger who had replaced him as the host of the show had got swamped’. He implied that there was no comparison between him and Arnold even if Arnold was a big movie star. But as his words indicate, the real reason for a Trump dump for Arnold lies in his support for Hillary Clinton and John Kasich, Trump’s political rivals.

‏@realDonaldTrump
Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got “swamped” (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT. So much for….
6:04 PM – 6 Jan 2017

‏@realDonaldTrump
being a movie star-and that was season 1 compared to season 14. Now compare him to my season 1. But who cares, he supported Kasich & Hillary
6:12 PM – 6 Jan 2017

©SantoshChaubey

NEW ‘RUBRIC’ OF GEOPOLITICS IN A DONALD TRUMP WORLD

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit modified.

Geopolitics has always been shaped by few global powers, especially the US so far, even if it has been an increasingly multi-polar world.

But with the recent developments that have revolved around inward looking protectionist and autocratic powers taking central position not just back homes but in the overall flow of geopolitics, the world order is increasingly going to be shaped by four countries and an event, Russia, the US, Britain leaving the European Union (EU) or Brexit and China, the new RUBRIC that will shape the flow of geopolitics in the days to come. RUBRIC with changed evaluations and definitions that would try to outsmart the existing ethos in order to impose their own.

And the rules of this new RUBRIC will be written by their leaders, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the US’ Donald Trump, Britain’s Theresa May and China’s Xi Jinping, with new equations emerging after Donald Trump has taken over the world’s most prosperous and powerful nation.

WHY THEY MATTER

The US still wields enormous military power and if we say it remains unchallenged, especially after the demise of the Soviet Union or the USSR, it will not be exaggerating it. The US is also the world’s largest single nation economy and will remain so with its clout to greatly affect the trade blocks and negotiations.

Though the USSR is no longer there, it left behind a stockpile of nuclear arsenal that makes Russia a strong regional power that exercises considerable influence in Europe and Asia, even if it has had a volatile economy. Add to it the vast energy reserves Russia has that serves as Europe’s lifeline.

China is the world’s second largest economy and the manufacturing powerhouse of the world and is in a position to dictate trade terms with global power centres even if it derided for its one party autocratic system and poor human rights. In terms of purchasing power parity, China is already the world’s largest economy and is a growing military power with increasing clout in space, air, navy and on ground.

Britain, once the reigning colonial superpower of the world with economic and military might, has reduced to being just a small country with no influence to affect the geopolitical matters. Yes, but it remains a symbolic superpower of values that define the existing free democratic world order – free men, free markets and a freer world. And the country is still an economic superpower. Its GDP at 2.29 Trillion USD was at par with India’s GDP of 2.3 Trillion USD in 2016.

TRUMP IN THE WHITE HOUSE IS SETTING THINGS IN MOTION

China has a production model back home that is antithesis of the values that the US and major economies of the free democratic world cherish and promote but nothing stops them or the big transnational corporations from engaging with China. China has absolute protectionism and labour laws heavily tilted in the favour of businesses.

With the new US President Donald Trump’s inward looking and protectionist views that aim to seclude the US economy in domestic shackles, the Asian economic giant is trying to take a global leadership position with Xi Jinping already saying that China is ready to fill the void created by the US.

The US under Donald Trump has effectively dumped the biggest global trade deal proposed, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), including 12 Pacific rim countries that already regulate the world’s 40% economic output. China would sure be happy to milk the opportunity that many including Barack Obama, the former US President, tried hard to grab and now believe that going away from it will be suicidal for America’s global dominance.

Trump’s next target is NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and no one knows what comes next. No one knows where he will stop in the name of preventing jobs and businesses from going out of the US and paying back to the countries who he believes have sucked the US wealth. Signs don’t look good. He is threatening businesses with counterproductive measures.

Military and nuclear confrontation with China already looks on the table. Trump has ratcheted up nuclear and military expansion rhetoric quoting Russia and China but while he has always been soft on Putin, hoping for ‘good deals with Russia’, he has never given such indications for Xi Jinping or China. Trump believes that ‘One China’ policy can be negotiated while China considers it blasphemous. Trump calls the Taiwanese leader breaking decades old US tradition and says it is not a big deal. The South China Sea dispute where it’s defiance is directly pitted against the whole world community is another in the series.

Russia is a big military power and big economy of its region of influence in Europe and Asia with an autocratic president in Vladimir Putin who believes in the unbridled run of power, military expansionism and has increasingly displayed a tendency to interfere in the theatres of conflicts like he is doing in Syria. And as Putin is sitting comfortably at home, crushing all the dissent, if he goes about pursuing his global designs, it will be a development that was just about to happen. The erstwhile USSR was one pole of the once bipolar world and Putin has not forgotten that.

And Trump, it looks like, is giving him a chance. He has indicated that he will lift sanctions imposed on Russia after Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea. The US, so far, led in Syria peace talks but now, it is being led by Russia and Turkey with the latest round of talks between Syrian rebels and government representatives in Astana, Kazakhstan’s capital. And experts believe this may be the beginning of the process that can effectively see the US dominance, first in the Middle East and then elsewhere, diminished to a great scale, thanks to the Trump’s policies that aim to make America an island nation, away from geopolitical tumults and thus stakes, away from the values that the US has globally promoted so far, democracy, free markets and human rights.

Britain is also picking signals from Donald Trump, emboldened by his anti-EU tirade. Trump says ‘Brexit will be a great development for the UK’.

Many in Britain fought hard and championed to create the world’s largest economy as a single trading block and single, border-free zone of countries in the form of the European Union (EU) – inspiring the world to create such free zones for men or economies to flow freely. But that is not the case anymore. Britain is leaving the EU, after a bitter referendum, or Brexit, that divided the country. Brexit will make US the world’s largest economic region again. Britain’s new leader Theresa May has said that the legal process for Brexit has already begun and she is looking forward to meet the staunch EU critic and therefore her big admirer Donald Trump this Friday to negotiate trade deals, like she has done with other countries including India. Trump has also predicted, in his inimitable style, that more countries will follow Britain in leaving the EU.

So, the next few months are going to be very volatile and challenging for the existing world order and geopolitical equations. RUBRIC have set things in motion. What happens only future can tell but the flow of geopolitics is going to be dependent on the movements of these four nations and their leaders.

©SantoshChaubey

RUBRICHUS WITH PUMAXIT: BLOCK THAT IS GOING TO SHAPE GEOPOLITICS

Geopolitics is always shaped by few global powers, especially the US so far, even if it has been an increasingly multi-polar world.

But with the recent developments that have revolved around inward looking protectionist and autocratic powers taking central position not just at their homes but in the overall flow of geopolitics, the world order is increasingly going to be shaped by a block of four countries – RUBRICHUS (Russia-Britain-China-US) with their leaders – PUMAXIT (Vladimir Putin-Theresa May-Xi Jinping-Donald Trump).

The US still wields enormous military power. Russia and China are big military powers in their region.

The US is also the world’s largest economy and will remain so with its clout to greatly affect the trade blocks and negotiations.

But then autocratic China is also there with its economic might and a production model back home that is antithesis of the values that the US and major economies of the free democratic world promote.

There is absolute protectionism and labour laws heavily tilted in the favour of businesses. And with that model, China has become the world’s second largest economy. Further, with the new US President Donald Trump’s inward looking and protectionist views that aim to seclude the US economy in domestic shackles, the Asian economic giant is trying to take a global leadership position with its president Xi Jinping saying that China is ready to fill the space vacated by the US.

The US under Donald Trump has effectively dumped the biggest global trade dead proposed – Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with a potential to regulate 40% of the world’s trade. Trump’s next target is NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) and no one knows what comes next. No one knows where he will stop in the name of preventing jobs and businesses going out of the US. But signs are not good. He is threatening businesses with counterproductive measures

Russia is a big military power and big economy of its region of influence in Europe and Asia with an autocratic president in Vladimir Putin who believes in the unbridled run of power, military expansionism and has increasingly displayed a tendency to interfere in the theatres of conflicts like it is doing in Syria. And as Putin is sitting comfortably at home, crushing all the dissent, if he goes about pursuing his global designs, it will be a development that was about to happen. The erstwhile USSR was one pole of the once bipolar world and Putin has not forgotten that.

Britain, once the reigning colonial superpower of the world with economic and military might, has reduced to being just a small country with no influence to affect the geopolitical matters. Yes, but it remains a symbolic superpower of values that define the existing free democratic world order – free men, free markets and a freer world.

Many in Britain fought hard and championed to create the world’s largest economy and single, border-free zone of countries in the European Union (EU) – inspiring the world to create such free zones for men and economies to flow freely. But that is not the case anymore. Britain, under its new leader Theresa May, in a bitterly fought referendum that divided the country, has said that it will exit from the EU and the legal process has already begun.

What happens to RUBRICHUS and PUMAXIT, only future can tell but the flow of geopolitics is going to be dependent on their movements.

©SantoshChaubey

THE TRUMP QUESTIONS

SO FAR.. 

As @realDonaldTrump is being inaugurated, the world looks even more volatile now. He may prove disastrous, for the US foreign policy and for the world.

Immediate @realDonaldTrump threats:
Nuclear proliferation
South China Sea dispute
Israel-Palestine and the prospects of two state solution
Protectionism and trade wars
Xenophobia, bias against immigrants and racial minorities, the Mexico prejudice
Taiwan and One China policy

As @realDonaldTrump is being inaugurated, people are obviously asking when he is going to be impeached?

What is the main problem with @realDonaldTrump?
Too straight?
Foul mouthed?
Too casual?
Too shallow?

Is @realDonaldTrump really real? How real he is? His time begins now. Soon we will know.

Going by the state of affairs, in the US and the world, @realDonaldTrump has an extremely narrow window.
80% he is going to fail.
He has just 20% to make it.

Repealing Obamacare will unravel @realDonaldTrump. He simply can’t give what he has promised – universal healthcare!
Beginning of the end?

Which US President before @realDonaldTrump had seen so much protests? Probably none.

Will @realDonaldTrump make the US another island nation in isolation? Is that what people cheering him have in mind?
This @POTUS is going to be ‘make or break’ for the US.

Will @realDonaldTrump as the @POTUS will be the beginning of the end for Trump and American global prominence/dominance as we know it?

If @realDonaldTrump and @POTUS become synonymous, what would be the long term communication and branding consequences?

Does @realDonaldTrump/@POTUS have time, liberty and scope to go ‘trial and error’ in running the US and handling geopolitics?

©SantoshChaubey

CASHLESS ECONOMY? DONALD TRUMP BELIEVES NO COMPUTER IS SAFE

The article originally appeared on India Today.

US President elect Donald Trump believes computers are not safe and it is better to follow your conventional methods when it comes to dealing with sensitive information or matter.

According to the reports in the US media, while interacting with reporters on the New Year eve, Trump said that no computer was safe. News reports quoted him saying, “It’s very important, if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old fashioned way because I’ll tell you what, no computer is safe.”

He further said that even a 10-year-old boy can do anything with a computer, “I don’t care what they say, no computer is safe. I have a boy who’s 10-years-old, he can do anything with a computer. You want something to really go without detection, write it out and have it sent by courier.”

That is in stark contrast to what is happening in India.

The country is preparing to go digital with financial transactions and the government intends to usher in an era of cashless economy hoping it will weed out parallel economy and black money from the system and thus will help in eradicating corruption. The government is going big about it, promoting and launching digital payment platforms with the latest addition of BHIM app that will act as a Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

But there are many who are worried about cyber threats to this digital push. And they have reasons to believe so.

US Barack Obama has expelled 35 Russian diplomats for the alleged Russian role in cyber attacks on the US political parties in the recently concluded US Presidential polls. We can gauge its seriousness from the fact that such a huge public expulsion of diplomats is rarely seen in the US-Russia ties.

Then we cannot forget that when Rahul Gandhi’s and other leaders’ Twitter accounts were hacked recently, it took many hours to restore them, in spite of being such high-profile cases. These are just some much talked about instances. Hacking is increasing rapidly with spread of digitisation in our lives.

When the US Presidential Polls is not safe from cyber threats or when the US President elect prefers to use a ‘courier’ than a computer to exchange sensitive information, can we believe our money will be safe in apps of our mobile wallets? Though the government has assured that it has worked on this aspect, detractors and the political opposition is counting the threats of the move with such instances.

©SantoshChaubey