Gaming the system…

…in American politics
One of the extraordinary things that struck your Eyewitness as he was drawn into the vortex of the US Presidential nomination sweepstakes – not just because of the media saturation, but also of its implications for our dinky, little, suddenly “oil rich” country – was how everyone and their uncle just brushed aside the Democratic National Committee gaming the system for Hillary Clinton’s “victory”!
Isn’t that something? We natives have all been lectured ad nauseum about the “openness” of the American primary system for selecting their uber leader – who, they insist, can be a rank outsider. In recent history, think Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. But reflect upon this folks…after they got in…didn’t both of them become consummate insiders when it came to the interests of the financial sector that ultimately calls the shots in the US?
But Bernie Sanders was a horse of a different colour, wasn’t he? He made it clear America needed a “root and branch” change in the neo-liberal order that delivered 40 per cent of the national wealth to the top one per cent of the country. Now the powers-that-be knew Bernie wasn’t just mouthing off. As an old line Brooklyn progressive – who’d fought the good fight all the way back in the civil rights struggle of the 1960’s (he was born in 1941) – he’d entered the Senate from Vermont since 2007 as an INDEPENDENT. The longest serving one in the history of the US of A!
His record in Congress demonstrated he wasn’t going to be co-opted by the system – whether on domestic or foreign policy. And this couldn’t stand. But we have to ask now, if Hillary Clinton cheated Bernie – and her hiring of the woman with the smoking gun proved she approved of the cheating – what does it say about the US democratic standing when they’re more concerned about who did the hacking (the Ruskies?) than the stealing of the election?
Whatever we may say about Trump and his boorishness, he’s actually taken on the Wall Street Masters of the Universe – from their mega trade deals to reversing the outsourcing of America’s manufacturing base. Just the fact that the Koch brothers and their billionaire club hasn’t cozied up to Trump shows how much of an outsider he is. He might be a Joker, but he is certainly a wild card.
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is so much an insider it’s hard-wired. And that’s why it’s not just her plastic smile, opportunistic flip floppings and smug certitude that have turned off even democratic voters.
It’s because even she’s admitted she’ll continue with the policies that crashed America.

…in oil
Trotman’s “Environment” portfolio’s just been stripped – following “governance” last year. Jagdeo did say Trotman was way out of his depth after COP 21 in Paris, no? While the Government didn’t give much shrift to Jagdeo’s knowledge in this area – the FAO just did by appointing him as an ambassador on the said subject.
With everything else stripped away, it’s hoped Trotman will demonstrate a more nuanced understanding of his rump portfolio – now down to “Natural Resources”. But his latest utterance on our oil prospects shows he’s still frantically threading water. Remember when he claimed he’d have EXXON make “advance payments”? Har de har har!!!
Now he predicts oil will flow BEFORE the five-year timeline Exxon’s insisted on! And even here, the oil giant’s being optimistic. Right now it’s capital – and number of oil rigs – that’s driving oil production – not demand. And prices will soon become sub-US$40/barrel because of overproduction.
Five years down? It might still not pay to bring out our deep-sea oil to break even at US$54.
We’re just reserves, baby!!

…by Trump
Vying to run a world power, US Presidential candidates like to burnish their foreign policy credentials by prefacing policies with the word “strategic”.
With Trump it’s “Strategic ignorance”. Don’t know; don’t care.