Tariffs, Protests, Supreme Court and Where Can Conservatives Get a Decent Meal? | Look At News Daily  (June 30-July 6/Day 161-167) Week 24

By Michael Hernandez

 

June 30 (Saturday):  Day 161

Protesters want a million people to surround U.S. Capitol

On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” Michael Moore stated that to stop President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee from being voted on before the 2018 election, he will “join a million other people surrounding the United States Capitol.”

Moore said, “The idea is…we first have to find ways to stop that vote from happening.” Host Bill Maher then asked what Moore meant. Moore answered, “I’ll join a million other people surrounding the United States Capitol. I will stand there. … Bill, let me tell you something, this judge goes through, for the rest of at least — well, all of our lives, it’s a right-wing court. That’s it. It’s over.”

Later, Moore stated, “We’re going to get the to point, my friends, where we’re going to have to circle Washington.”

Canada strikes back at U.S. with tariffs

Canada struck back at the Trump administration over U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs on Friday, vowing to impose punitive measures on ($12.63 billion) worth of American goods until Washington relents.

The announcement by Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland marks a new low in ties between the neighbors and trading partners which have become increasingly strained since U.S. President Donald Trump took power in January 2017. 

The Canadian tariffs will come into effect on July 1 and largely target U.S. steel and aluminum products, but also foodstuffs such as coffee, ketchup and whiskies, according to a list by the Department of Finance. “We will not escalate and we will not back down,” Freeland told reporters at a Stelco Holdings Inc plant in the Ontario steel city of Hamilton.  Officials say the measures are designed in part to pressure Trump by focusing on goods from states where his political allies hold sway. 

Canada’s Liberal party government said last month it would retaliate after Trump moved against steel and aluminum imports from Canada and other nations, citing security grounds.  “We are acting very much in sorrow, not in anger,” said Freeland, stressing the closeness of the overall relationship. Bilateral trade is worth around $2 billion a day in Canadian dollars. Freeland said she had already spoken to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer six times this week and was prepared to meet at any time to tackle the issue. 

Ottawa also unveiled an aid package for affected industries and workers in commercial financing and insurance for firms in the steel and aluminum sectors and related industries. 

The Trump administration is studying whether to put tariffs on Canadian autos, which economists say would help plunge the economy into a recession. Freeland called the idea “absolutely absurd”.

While opposition parties have so far largely backed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for standing up to Trump, their support could be tested once the U.S. tariffs start to bite.  Trudeau, who usually attends celebrations in Ottawa on July 1 to mark the Canada Day holiday, will instead spend part of the weekend with families of steel workers in the western province of Saskatchewan, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said on Twitter. Goodale is from Saskatchewan. 

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said earlier this month the tariffs were designed in part to stop cheap steel entering the United States via Canada and other countries. 

Ottawa would take measures to stop the dumping of steel in the coming weeks once it had finished consulting stakeholders, said Canadian Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, appearing at the same event as Freeland. 

In Washington, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association said the tariffs would hit $170 million worth of U.S. beef products.  “We believe that cooperation is a better path forward than escalation,” said Kent Bacus, the association’s director of international trade and market access. 

U.S. officials have also linked the tariffs to slow progress in talks to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump says is a disaster and must be changed. 

Trump answer to calls to abolish Immigration Customs Enforcement

In an interview to be aired Sunday with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures,” Trump was asked what he thinks about more Democrats lining up to call for the abolition of Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“Well I hope they keep thinking about it. Because they’re going to get beaten so badly,” he said. “You know ICE, these are the guys that go in and take MS-13, and they take them out. Because they’re much tougher than MS-13, like by a factor of 10. And these are the ones – you get rid of ICE you’re going to have a country that you’re going to be afraid to walk out of your house.”

“To the great and brave men and women of ICE, do not worry or lose your spirit. You are doing a fantastic job of keeping us safe by eradicating the worst criminal elements,” he said. “So brave! The radical left Dems want you out. Next it will be all police. Zero chance, It will never happen!”

 “I love that issue if they’re going to actually do that,” he added.

July 1 (Sunday):  Day 162

Open Borders protesters attack Trump supporters, GOP as “racist”

Open borders protesters in Washington, DC attacked (using signs) President Trump, his administration, and Republicans as racists on the basis of separating minors from adults who illegally cross the U.S. southern border.

One sign depicted the President as Hitler with the words, “History has its eyes on you.”  Another sign in front of the White House said:     “ICE Trump Republicans = Nazis.”

More signs lambasted Trump and others as racists. Many signs suggested deporting “racists” and keeping illegal aliens in the United States. “Keep the kids, deport the racists,” read a simple black sign written in white letters. “MAGA Values Fear Bigotry Child Abuse,” read a sign slapped on a puppet-like image of the President on a pole.

One man held up a sign with photos of past racial segregation in the U.S. with the words, “Don’t be on the wrong side of history again.  Both Answer Coalition and National Nurses United had protesters waving signs. An Answer Coalition sign joined in the “racism” accusation chorus. As the final straggling protesters brought up the end of the protest march, two protesters held American flags upside down.

San Francisco implements $15 minimum wage

San Francisco became the first California city to implement a $15 minimum wage ordinance for all businesses on July 1.

The union-backed “Fight for $15” claimed Seattle as the first city to pass a  $15 minimum wage ordinance in June 2014. The movement created a groundswell, and 17 percent of Americans will live in a metropolitan area or a state with a $15 minimum wage by 2023, including the State of California.

Bay Area Labor Council union leaders, elected officials, and social justice activists that worked to pass Proposition J in 2014 with the support of 77 percent of voters celebrated in a Friday afternoon rally at City Hall. There were lots of speeches claiming that the “Fight for $15” movement has economically and socially benefited 142,000 workers.

Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), who co-sponsored the California legislature’s $15 statewide minimum wage bill in 2016, trumpeted San Francisco’s $15 minimum wage for all businesses as an “amazing victory.” But Ting and the union leadership challenged the SF County Board of Supervisors to end poverty by passing a “Living Wage” that was estimated to be $23.79 an hour, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

The unions and Living Wage advocates claim that higher labor costs will just come out of business profits, rather than jobs. But that contradicts a Washington University economics study sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) that analyzed the employment impacts for each $1 per hour phased in annual step increases for Seattle’s $15 minimum wage ordinance.

The NBER analysis reported that raising the minimum wage to $13 an hour in 2016 reduced hours worked in low-wage jobs by 6-7 percent, while hourly wages in such jobs increased by 3 percent. As a result, total payroll for such jobs decreased, costing workers in low-wage jobs an average of $74 per month per job.

The Washington Post reported on a Harvard Business School study regarding the “The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Firm Exit” in the restaurant industry around the San Francisco Bay Area had reached different conclusions. The research revealed that there was no negative survival impact from minimum wage increases regarding Yelp 5 star-rated restaurants.

Social justice advocates like to claim that the study provides conclusive evidence that there are no business sustainability impacts for cities and states that pass $15 minimum wage laws. But the study’s major conclusion is that for the less elite restaurants rated at 3.5 stars, “a one dollar increase in the minimum wage leads to a 14 percent increase in the likelihood of exit.”

 

July 2 (Monday):  Day 163

Politico reports on origin of discharge-petition amnesty

The discharge-petition amnesty — and the resulting furious splits within the GOP — was planned and triggered by a Californian Democratic legislator, according to a Politico report.

The article gives the credit to Democrat Rep. Pete Aguilar for creating the discharge petition fight, which wasted two months of time needed by the GOP’s leadership, and which gave the establishment media two months to produce handwringing articles and videos about ‘DACA’ illegals, GOP splits, conservative “hardliners,” and backroom negotiations.

Author Rachel Bade wrote:  “[GOP Rep. Jeff] Denham was walking back to his congressional office after a mid-March House vote when Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) told him to hold up …The Democrat’s office had spent hours researching an obscure legislative procedure known as a discharge petition. There was a way, he told Denham, that the two of them could do an end run around [House Speaker Paul] Ryan — all they needed was 218 signatures to force votes on bills of their choosing. If Aguilar could bring along all 193 Democrats, Denham would need to peel off only 25 Republicans.

It was a long shot, both of them knew. Only 20 times had lawmakers waged a successful discharge petition since its creation in the early 1930s — out of more than 560 attempts. Only two of those 20 were signed into law. But both men were bullish: All they needed was Republican leaders out of the way.

“That’s the best bad idea you’ve ever had,” Denham teased Aguilar, according to a source with direct knowledge of their conversation. Aguilar is a member of the Democrats’ pro-amnesty Hispanic Caucus.

President Trump congratulates new President of Mexico

U.S. President Donald Trump spent half an hour on the phone with Mexico’s new President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday covering issues from border security to trading through the multi-lateral NAFTA deal or on a bilateral basis.

“I just spoke with the President-elect of Mexico,” he said, describing the conversation as “great.”   We talked about border security, we talked about trade, we talked about NAFTA, we talked about a separate deal, just Mexico and the United States,” he explained. “I think the relationship will be a very good one,” he said – qualifying the comment as he often does by saying, “We’ll see what happens.” 

“He had a very excellent election that, I would say, even better than anticipated,” said President Trump, who told a story about years ago predicting Obrador’s election to the office of President in Mexico. “I told him a number of years ago when I saw him campaigning for a different race, frankly, a different year, a different race, I said he’ll be someday he’s going to be the President of Mexico. So he remembered that and it turned out to be correct.”

Trump tweeted congratulations to the Mexican President-elect late Sunday: “I think he’s gonna try and help us with border,” Trump told the reporters. He described “unbelievably bad border laws, immigration laws” in the United States, calling them “the weakest in the world, laughed at by everybody in the world.” He contrasted the U.S. immigration laws with “Mexico’s very strong immigration laws.” 

Trump suggested that Mexico can help the United States “until we straighten out our immigration laws, which have been bad for many, many years, decades.” He further assured, “We’re gonna have them taken care of.”

July 3 (Tuesday):  Day 164

Americans want President to appoint Supreme Court justice now

Americans want the President to appoint, and the Senate to confirm, a new Supreme Court justice before the 2018 midterm elections — by a staggering 2-to-1 margin, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

According to a new NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll:  “More than six in 10 Americans, or 62 percent, said Trump’s nominee, who will be announced on Monday, should be confirmed or rejected before the elections in which control of the House and Senate are at stake. About three in 10, or 33 percent, said the Senate should wait until after the elections, the poll found.

“The vast majority of Republicans surveyed, 85 percent, said the Senate’s vote on the nominee should take place before the election. Roughly six in 10 Independents, or 61 percent, agreed. However, more than half of Democrats, 55 percent, believe the voting on a new justice should wait.

Many Democrats, led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), have argued that President Donald Trump should not appoint a new Supreme Court justice in an election year, and should wait for a new Congress to be seated in January.  They have cited a version of the rule Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) applied in 2016, when he said the Senate should not confirm a new Supreme Court justice in a presidential election year.

McConnell, in fact, had cited a “rule” created by then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) in 1992, the last year of President George H.W. Bush’s first term. Schumer himself sought to block President George W. Bush from appointing a new Supreme Court justice in 2007 — though Bush had more than a year left in office. The practical effect of the rule Democrats are seeking to apply would bar Supreme Court appointments in even-numbered years. But the new poll suggests that the public is decidedly against them, and they barely have majority support among their own voters.

Democrats may be more astute than their leaders. Given that the party has 23 (or 25, including independents) Senate seats up for re-election, ten of which are in states Trump won, versus eight seats for Republicans, it is entirely possible that the new Congress could be more Republican, meaning Trump would feel greater freedom to choose a more conservative nominee in 2019.

The poll also notes that the Supreme Court battle could be at least a modest factor in the election results: “Sixty-six percent of Democrats and 60 percent of Republicans said Trump’s nominee would be an important factor in their vote in the midterms. However, less than half of independents, 46 percent, said it would be on their mind when casting their November ballot.

Walmart selling “Impeach 45” T-Shirts; Activists want store boycott

Walmart was hit with threats of a boycott Monday after customers became incensed when the retail giant began selling a line of clothes with slogans advocating the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

The outrage over the “Impeach 45” t-shirts and other clothing sparked a campaign on social media with a hashtag of #BoycottWalmart, Fox News reported.

Conservative activist Ryan Fournier was one of those who first discovered the anti-Trump Walmart clothing line when he saw the “Impeach 45” baby jumper on the Walmart website.

The clothing line that earned Fournier’s ire is produced by the Old Glory company, but that is just one of several companies selling anti-Trump merchandise on Walmart’s website. A search of the Walmart website shows a number of products advocating for Donald Trump’s impeachment.

Like many companies, on its website, Walmart offers the merchandise from a variety of vendors that it does not necessarily stock in its brick and mortar retail outlets. But that propensity has gotten the company in trouble with customers in the past.

In December of last year, for instance, many were alarmed that Walmart was selling gear designed to appeal to the violent, socialist Antifa movement.

Also last year, the company apologized for selling products that seemed to advocate for the hanging of journalists with a t-shirt that read, “Rope. Tree. Journalist. SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED.”

Then, in 2015, the company apologized for allowing its bakery to make a cake featuring the ISIS flag.

The retail giant also removed Confederate items from its website and stores. In June of 2015, the company released a statement saying, “We never want to offend anyone with the products that we offer. We have taken steps to remove all items promoting the Confederate flag from our assortment — whether in our stores or on our website.”

Nebraska GOP headquarters vandalized

The Nebraska Republican Party posted photos on Tuesday of the smashed window at their campaign office and red graffiti reading ‘ABOLISH ICE’ on the nearby sidewalk.

“While they vandalize, we organize,” read part of the tweet from the Nebraska Republican Party’s official account. “Find your #Nebraska candidates and volunteer” the post directed with a link to their website.

The images showed a Nebraska Republican Party office front with a smashed window and ahead of that on the sidewalk were the red painted words, “ABOLISH ICE.” ICE is U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement whose activities include immigration law enforcement.

Some Democrats and leftist activists have been calling for ICE to be abolished. Some of those Democrats who have shied away from calling for the complete abolishment of ICE have opted instead of calling for the agency to be restructured.

Saturday’s open borders protests from Los Angeles to New York to Washington, DC were marked by fear-inducing language, calls to vote out Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections, and calls to abolish ICE.

Nebraska Republican Party Executive Director Kenny Zoeller responded to the vandalism in a statement issued Tuesday morning:

This destructive criminal activity is disappointing, but unsurprising, given the increasingly radical rhetoric of national Democrat leaders and candidates like Jane Raybould, Kara Eastman, and Jane Kleeb. Violence is the natural result of the Left’s statements urging Democrats to literally ‘push back’ on Republicans and ‘resist’ at any cost. Voters face a stark choice between sanity and the rabid, hateful words that sparked this vandalism.

In the course of the 2016 presidential election, a North Carolina GOP office was firebombed. According to law enforcement officials that attacked occurred the night of October 15, 2016 when vandals threw a bottle of flammable liquid through a window of the Republican Party campaign office. The building was engulfed in flames. Graffiti spray-painted outside a nearby building read, “Nazi Republicans get out of town or else.”

Saturday’s open borders protests in Washington, DC were thick with images of the Holocaust and attempts to connect the horrors of that event with the Trump administration and Republicans in the United States today.

Tuesday morning President Donald Trump called out Rep. Maxine Waters and her remarks at the Los Angeles open borders protest last Saturday. He connected her with Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi as faces of the Democrat Party that will make people run from the party, “[Waters’] ranting and raving, even referring to herself as a wounded animal, will make people flee the Democrats!”

 

July 4 (Wednesday):  Day 165

President Trump gives Fourth of July message

President Donald J. Trump issued an Independence Day message on Wednesday, recalling the founders’ brave action adopting the Declaration of Independence and the sacrifices of American patriots who have fought and died for the people of the United States.

“My fellow Americans, Melania and I are truly honored to wish every American a Happy Independence Day,” President Trump began in a video posted the morning of the 4th of July, 2018.  He continued: “It was 242 years ago today in Philadelphia that 56 brave representatives of the American people adopted our Declaration of Independence. They announced to the world that America would be free and America would be independent. They pledged their lives, their fortunes, and they sacred honor. In so doing they forever changed the course of human history.

“General George Washington and his army of brave patriots fought a long, tough war with the British to win America’s freedom. Win they did. From Bunker Hill to Saratoga to Yorktown, American soldiers fought and died to secure our independence and to make a sovereign nation.

“Today as we celebrate the 4th of July with friends and family, let us never forget that our freedom has been earned through the blood and sweat and sacrifice of American heroes and these were great American heroes. And let us share the grateful heart of our nation with every veteran and member of the United States armed forces. Truly special people. We are in awe of their courage and we are eternally in their debt. 

“Together we honor their noble sacrifice by pledging our love and loyalty to our country, our flag, and our fellow citizens. We are and will always be one people, one family, and one glorious nation under God. Happy Fourth of July and God bless America.”

On Tuesday Trump flew to West Virginia to honor veterans at a Salute to Service banquet. He praised veterans for their service to country. “We’re gathered here on the eve of the 4th of July to celebrate the courageous men and women who make freedom possible, our brave service members and our wonderful veterans.  We love our veterans,” he said to applause from the crowd. President Trump emphasized the importance of cleaning up the Veteran’s Administration and the work that has been done already under his administration to reach this goal, including a White House VA hotline and speeding up the claims process.

First Lady Melania Trump spent part of her July 3rd visiting with wounded veterans at Walter Reed medical facility in Bethesda, Maryland. She posted several pictures of her time there along with a “Thank you to the many dedicated service members & medical staff who take such good care of our men & women in uniform.”

President Trump and First Lady Melania will host military families for a White House Independence Day picnic this evening and fireworks.

July 4 holiday travel breaks all previous records

Americans are expected to set a new record for July 4 holiday travel this week, according to AAA. A thriving economy will set 46.9 million Americans traveling for the Independence Day holiday this year, up five percent from last year and the highest number ever.

“This Independence Day will be one for the record books, as more Americans take to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways than ever before,” said Bill Sutherland, senior vice president of AAA Travel and Publishing. “Confident consumers with additional disposable income will look to spend on travel this holiday, building on an already busy summer travel season.”

Nearly 40 million Americans are expected to drive 50 miles or more over the holiday despite higher gas prices and higher charges for rental cars. Gas prices are up 59 cents compared with a year ago. Car rentals are up around 2 percent, according to AAA.

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, travelers opting for domestic air travel will pay an average $171 for a round-trip flight. That is the lowest Independence Day airfare in five years, and nine percent less than last year, according to AAA.

Facebook:  Declaration of Independence violates “hate speech”

Facebook removed an excerpt from the U.S. Declaration of Independence, claiming the text violated the social network’s policies on “hate speech.”

The Liberty County Vindicator had been uploading the Declaration of Independence in parts to their Facebook page, only for the tenth part to be removed by the social network. The text was as follows:

 “He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”

Though the newspaper is unsure why the text was removed, they presumed it was due to the Declaration of Independence’s use of the term “merciless Indian Savages.”

Following complaints, Facebook reinstated the post, declaring in an email, “It looks like we made a mistake and removed something you posted on Facebook that didn’t go against our Community Standards. We want to apologize and let you know that we’ve restored your content and removed any blocks on your account related to this incorrect action.”

Facebook also recently shut down a support group for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, claiming the page violated their “community guidelines.”

“Facebook’s actions have put soldiers’ lives at risk. Guys use the page to express feelings which are really troubling them,” declared FYB UK founder and former paratrooper Alfie Usher. “They’re desperate for help. It is very hard for them to discuss issues relating to their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan with their families.”

July 5 (Thursday):  Day 166

NY Daily News mocks President as a “clown who plays king”

The New York Daily News, one of President Trump’s hometown papers, released its July 4 holiday edition with a front page mocking Trump as nothing more than a “clown who plays king.”

The paper’s Independence Day edition cover features a photo shopped image of the president in clown makeup and a broken gold crown, with an American flag in the background. Above Trump’s face, the paper’s cover displays the tagline: “Happy Birthday, America!” The Daily News then published a headline mocking Trump as a mere clown who is not in step with American values. “The clown who plays king can’t overthrow the bedrock values this nation was founded on 242 years ago today,” the headline reads.

The Daily News has not hidden its disdain for Trump and his supporters. Last week, the tabloid released a cover with a cartoon Trump dressed as a judge with the headline: “We are ______ in response to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s decision to retire from the Supreme Court.

In 2016, the Daily News attacked voters who cast their ballots for Trump in New Hampshire as “mindless zombies,” prompting then-candidate Trump to fire back at the paper for its financial troubles.

Silicon Valley giants enjoy $840 billion in government subsidies

The latest Subsidy Tracker reveals that some of the most prominent Silicon Valley tech corporations enjoy $840 billion in government subsidies.“Good Jobs First” is a not-for-profit organization that reviews state and municipal financial reports to track the size and justifications given by government entities to issue corporate tax abatements and direct subsidies that since 2015 have been required accounting disclosures under GASB Statement No. 77.

Most Americans are supportive of government providing defense, public safety, roads, schools, and public health. But the “Subsidy Tracker 2” reveals that governments are issuing record amounts of subsidies to the richest and powerful tech companies, many headquartered in Silicon Valley.

Supposedly entrepreneurial Silicon Valley has been America’s biggest winner in the corporate welfare game. Tesla has been by far the United States’ leader by collecting $2.4 billion in direct subsidies and over $1 billion in tax abatements since 2007. In addition, its Solar City subsidiary picked up $1 billion in grants and tax abatements from the State of New York and another $497.5 million in U.S. Treasury Department cash grants.

Other Silicon Valley tech companies include Google, the second-most valuable company with a market capitalization of $770 billion has enjoyed government subsidies of $766 million since 2000. Apple, the most valuable company with a market capitalization of $904 billion, banked $693 million in government handouts since 2011. And Facebook, the fifth most valuable company with a market capitalization of $558 billion, pocketed $549 million, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

But Silicon Valley is about to be displaced as America’s biggest corporate welfare hub by Seattle-based Amazon. According to the Subsidy Tracker, Amazon built its distribution and data centers network with up to $613 million in government grants and tax holidays. Amazon is now holding the equivalent of a municipal subsidy auction for the right to host its $5 billion second North American corporate headquarters, HQ2.

In a bidding process that generated hundreds of proposals, Amazon named 20 municipal finalists in January. The subsidy packages for the nine locations that made public bids include 1) Raleigh, North Carolina with $50 million; 2) Denver, Colorado with $100 million; 3) Los Angeles, California with between $300 million to $1 billion; 4) Atlanta, Georgia with $1 billion; 5) Chicago, Illinois with at least $1.7 billion; 6) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with between $2 billion to $3 billion; 7) Columbus, Ohio with $2.3 billion; 8) Newark, New Jersey with $7 billion; and Montgomery County, Maryland with $8.5 billion in tax abatements and infrastructure incentives.

Mercatus Center at George Mason University warns that elected officials, even with the best of intentions, “do not possess the proper incentives to manage taxpayers’ money prudently” when it comes to passing out corporate taxpayer subsidies. When private investors act in markets they experience price signals, but government decision makers have no way to account for the value or costs of their decisions. When private investors fail they lose money, but it is taxpayers that lose when government fails.

Silicon Valley

Rasmussen poll shows liberals want to demolish ICE

A Rasmussen poll shows that 36 percent of Democrats and 45 percent of liberals want to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, according to a Rasmussen poll.

Fifty-two percent of Democrats and 65 percent of liberals also say “the government is too aggressive … in deporting those who are in this country illegally,” according to the poll.  That response is a big problem for Democratic politicians because the anti-ICE views are a huge outlier among voters, yet are thrilling the Democrats’ base in the primary elections. In a June 26 primary in New York, for example, Democratic leader Rep. Joe Crowley was beaten by a young anti-ICE candidate, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

In contrast, the Rasmussen poll of 1,000 likely voters shows that the views of swing voters are a close match to GOP voters. Just 20 percent of swing-voters and 18 percent of Republicans support getting rid of the ICE agency, said the June 27-28 poll. Fifty-three percent of swing-voters and 69 percent of Republicans oppose “getting rid of ICE.”

Similarly, only 22 percent of African-Americans want to get rid of ICE, while 56 percent oppose getting rid of ICE. That is also a big problem for Democrats because blacks are a huge share of their base. But the poll also shows that blacks and swing voters are uncomfortable watching the ICE agency carry out their popular mission.

When asked: “Is the U.S. government too aggressive or not aggressive enough in deporting those who are in this country illegally?” 30 percent of swing voters said ICE is too aggressive, while 45 percent said they were not aggressive enough. Among blacks, 42 percent said the government is too aggressive, while 48 percent said “not aggressive enough” or ‘the number of deportations is about right.”

GOP voters were largely unmoved: 15 percent said “too aggressive” and 70 percent said “not aggressive enough.” Nine percent said deportation numbers are “about right.”

 

July 6 (Friday):  Day 167

President Trump sets $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods

President Donald Trump confirmed to reporters on an Air Force One flight to Montana Thursday that tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods will go into effect at the end of the night, another $16 billion in two weeks, and another up to $500 billion more if China refuses to change unfair trade practices.

Trump was traveling to Montana for a campaign rally for Senate candidate Matt Rosendale when he spoke with reporters on several issues of the day. Reporters asked the President to confirm that the tariffs on China would go into effect at the end of Thursday night. He confirmed that tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods would indeed go into effect. He added that more are set to go into effect two weeks hence on $16 billion in Chinese goods.

“Then as you know we have 200 billion in abeyance and then after the 200 billion we have 300 billion in abeyance,” he noted.  President Trump announced the tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods in April. The Office of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer released the list of categories of products affected. The tariffs were issued on the basis of combatting unfair Chinese trade practices. 

China retaliated against the announcement with threats of a matching volume of tariffs on U.S. goods.  Trump didn’t back down, but rather raised the stakes with the threat of even more tariffs on China. He quickly proposed potential tariffs on another $100 billion in Chinese goods. 

Initially Chinese President Xi Jinping appeared to relent with the suggestion that they may lower tariffs on imports of U.S. auto imports to the country. The White House held back on celebrating the move. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said while Xi’s response was encouraging, the Trump administration needs to see “concrete actions from China.”

Top trade representatives from China and the U.S. have held trade negotiations in recent months. Representatives have traveled to each other’s countries for meetings in Beijing and Washington, DC.

In mid-June Trump acknowledged a lack of progress and refusal of China to change its “unfair” trading practices, including theft of intellectual property. He also acknowledged the multi-hundred billion dollar U.S. trade deficit with China. He thus directed U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer “to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of ten percent.” 

Trump further warned at the time that “After the legal process is complete, these tariffs will go into effect if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced.” He went on, “If China increases its tariffs yet again, we will meet that action by pursuing additional tariffs on another $200 billion of goods. The trade relationship between the United States and China must be much more equitable.”

Trump told reporters on the Thursday Air Force One trip to Montana, “Ok? So we have 50 plus 200 plus almost 300.”

China warns U.S. of a trade war

China’s Commerce Ministry warned on Thursday that new American tariffs amount to the United States “opening fire on the entire world, including itself” in a trade war.  “U.S. measures are essentially attacking global supply and value chains. To put it simply, the U.S. is opening fire on the entire world, including itself,” Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said. “China will not bow down in the face of threats and blackmail and will not falter from its determination to defend free trade and the multilateral system,” he added.

Reuters reviewed the measures due to take effect on Friday:  “U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are due to collect 25 percent duties on a range of products including motor vehicles, computer disk drives, parts of pumps, valves and printers and many other industrial components.  The list avoids direct tariffs on consumer goods such as cellphones and footwear. But some products, including thermostats, are lumped into intermediate and capital goods categories.

China has threatened to respond with tariffs on hundreds of U.S. goods, including top exports such as soybeans, sorghum and cotton, threatening U.S farmers in states that backed Trump in the 2016 U.S. election, such as Texas and Iowa.

“An American chemical company has been rushing its shipments to China to beat the clock. A Beijing steakhouse has dropped U.S. beef from its menu. And China has been shifting soybean purchases to Brazil, from which it bought nearly 30 percent more beans in May than it had a year earlier, according to research firm CEIC,” the Wall Street Journal adds, noting that Chinese importers have “mostly stopped buying U.S. soybeans.”

Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday there was “little sign of a last-minute deal” to avert tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods, making investors nervous about a crossfire of retaliatory measures between the U.S. and China. If the dispute escalates as predicted, it could ultimately affect half a trillion dollars in Chinese products, combined with a presumably comparable value of American goods sanctioned by China.

“The dispute is expected to ripple through global supply chains, raise costs for businesses and consumers and roil global stock markets, which have been volatile in anticipation of a prolonged trade fight between the United States and almost everyone else,” the New York Times wrote on Thursday. 

The Times quoted Syracuse University economics professor Mary Lovely explaining that “non-Chinese multinational corporations operating in China will often pay a larger share of the tariffs than Chinese firms,” which would add punch to China’s accusation of the Trump administration “opening fire on the world.”

“The Trump administration designed its tariff list to try to spare consumers, and many of the products that American families purchase from China, from flat-screen TVs to shoes, will not be hit on Friday. But in the process, the tariffs instead focus heavily on the kind of intermediate inputs and capital equipment that businesses purchase. Economists say that will raise costs for American industry, potentially threatening the manufacturing jobs that Mr. Trump has long said he wants to protect,” the NYT added.

The Wall Street Journal notes that foreign companies such as Germany’s Daimler AG and BMW AG are being drawn into the trade dispute because they sell American-made vehicles in China. Meanwhile, tariffs on American vehicles will give competitors like Toyota a competitive advantage in China. 

Representatives from several major automakers told the WSJ they felt obliged to eat the cost of the tariffs themselves and keep their prices in China the same, a policy that would be difficult for them to sustain indefinitely.


Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens JournalVentura Countys online news service, founder of History Makers Internationala community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor.  He has worked 24 years as a middle school teacher.   Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email:  Hernandez.mike@aol.com.

Mr. Hernandez is dedicated himself to advance the 13 spheresas a City Upon A Hill; developing an interactive California citizens news platform as an alternative to mainstream media; while building local school-community partnerships and supporting constitutional awareness and active citizenship.


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