[U] What Happens When There Is… No Stick? AND No… Carrot? The Mule Does What IT Wants, That’s What.

UPDATED @ 10 AM EDT: The M&A suit against Trump and Wilbur Ross — in Los Angeles federal district court — has been dismissed voluntarily, as of a few moments ago, since Team Trump completely backed off their lawless claims. But the injunction in San Francisco (against Trump’s “order” being used to infringe first amendment protected activity) stands, nation-wide. See below. End, updated portion.

NPR has a well-thought out story up, this morning — on just how far below the exuberance in his bluster — the entirety of Trump’s TikTok attempts have actually finished. He has achieved almost none of his supposed goals.

That is certainly true. What the NPR (and many other) narrative arcs miss. . . is that any “stick” Trump ever had has been definitively taken from him (by the courts) — and the carrots. . . never existed in the first place. So this mule wanders. . . wherever it pleases, exclusively. Here’s a bit of the nice (if slightly-incomplete) NPR article:

. . . .[T]he president repeatedly declared that TikTok needs to free itself from ByteDance’s control, or be shut down in the U.S. for good.

The White House never offered any real proof to support its fear that TikTok is a Chinese surveillance tool. . . .

But on Saturday a striking thing happened: Trump took a victory lap for signing off on a last-ditch deal to rescue TikTok, boasting that the China problem had been solved. . . . [Ed. Note: that is because — and almost no one ads this into the mix — Trump’s purported order no. 13,943 was enjoined, nationwide, earlier in the day on Saturday.]

The agreement, however, does not remedy the Chinese-ownership problem. The newly-formed TikTok Global will have an ownership structure where software company Oracle and Walmart will jointly command 20% and 80% stays in ByteDance’s grip. . . .

Trump’s TikTok deal could look like nothing more than a shakedown that ended with a business, that is aligned with the president, winning a lucrative stake in one of the most successful apps in the world right now. . . .

Not surprising. Probably all it does is. . . (unfairly) reward Trump-donor Larry Ellison. But low information voters will argue that Trump in some vague way protected them from some Chinese threat in an app they don’t use. . . or even understand — in truth. Whatever. I’m completely over this nonsense. Let’s vote already. Out.


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