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What Now?! – 8/7/19

“President Trump is preparing to visit El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, on Wednesday, appearances that will not be universally welcome as the two cities grieve from weekend mass shootings that left 31 dead and many others injured and rattled,” the Washington Post reports.

“The White House has not officially announced the visits, but the president’s plans were confirmed by officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.”

Beto O’Rourke on Twitter: “This president, who helped create the hatred that made Saturday’s tragedy possible, should not come to El Paso. We do not need more division. We need to heal. He has no place here.”

“China confirmed reports that it was pulling out of U.S. agriculture as a weapon in the ongoing trade war,” CNBC reports. “A spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said Chinese companies have stopped purchasing U.S. agricultural products in response to President Trump’s new 10% tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods.”

Financial Times: “The inversion of the U.S. yield curve, a measure investors view as the surest predictor of an impending recession, on Monday became deeper than at any point since the onset of the financial crisis a decade ago, as the U.S.-China trade war spread to the currency markets.”

“The difference between the yield on three-month Treasury bills and the benchmark 10-year bond, which has turned negative or ‘inverted’ before every U.S. recession of the past 50 years, widened to minus 32 basis points at its worst.”

Wall Street Journal editorial: “President Trump claims trade wars are easy to win, but that boast looks worse than ever amid the financial carnage from his latest threat of tariffs on Chinese goods. His trade war has now become a currency war, which raises the potential economic harm to another level.”

“To Mr. Trump, all of this is part of his grand trade showdown with Chinese President Xi Jinping. He was furious last week when his negotiators returned from China without significant progress. So he slapped on new tariffs, which he thinks will impose more pain on China than on the U.S.”

“But if the President believes adviser Peter Navarro’s counsel that the U.S. is immune from all this, markets are saying the opposite. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is now lower than it was in January 2018 when he began his game of China chicken, despite two years of strong corporate earnings. The uncertainty from tariffs has chopped U.S. GDP growth to 2% from 3%. Business investment is falling and global manufacturing is nearly in recession.”

“The Trump administration is moving to impose a total economic embargo against the government of Venezuela, a significant escalation of pressure against the regime of President Nicolás Maduro and countries including Russia and China that continue to support him,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“President Trump late Monday signed an executive order freezing all government assets and prohibiting transactions with it, unless specifically exempted, the first action of its kind against a government in the Western Hemisphere in more than 30 years. The move places Venezuela on a par with North Korea, Iran, Syria and Cuba, the only other countries currently under such stringent U.S. measures.”

Playbook: “Republicans will say privately that they know they are on the wrong side of contemporary political thinking — and reality — when it comes to gun policy. Many of them will say off the record or on background that they could get away with supporting banning assault weapons, banning high-capacity magazines and tightening background checks. But they need Trump to embrace these ideas as well — and consistently. The president tends to pop his head up, support something and then retreat.”

New York Times: “Experts say that the similarities are far from a coincidence. White nationalist terrorism is following a progression eerily similar to that of jihadism under the leadership of the Islamic State, in ways that do much to explain why the attacks have suddenly grown so frequent and deadly.”

“In both, there is the apocalyptic ideology that predicts — and promises to hasten — a civilizational conflict that will consume the world. There is theatrical, indiscriminate violence that will supposedly bring about this final battle, but often does little more than grant the killer a brief flash of empowerment and win attention for the cause.”

“A Texas police department is under fire after photos surfaced over the weekend showing two horse-mounted white police officers leading a black man in handcuffs down a street with a rope,” Yahoo News reports.

“The two officers arrested 43-year-old Donald Neely on Saturday for criminal trespass after several warnings… But instead of waiting for a transport vehicle to take Neely back to where the other officers were stationed, the cops on horseback tied a rope around his handcuffs and forced him to walk behind their horses for several blocks.”

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman (R) is returning home to Utah where he is reportedly mulling another run for governor, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

“President Trump sued California Tuesday challenging a state law that requires candidates for president to disclose income tax returns before they can appear on the state’s primary ballot,” CNN reports.

“The federal lawsuit from Trump and his campaign is the latest move by the President to resist efforts to turn over his tax returns.”

“North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles Tuesday morning, Seoul officials said, the latest weapons test to challenge both the U.S. positioning in stalled nuclear negotiations and its tolerance for such provocations,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Pyongyang’s latest weapons test represents its fourth in 13 days. The missiles were launched from the North’s South Hwanghae province, on the country’s west coast, before splashing into the waters between South Korea and Japan, Seoul’s military said.”

“President Trump is increasingly acting based on his own intuition and analysis and not the advice of aides in the increasingly fraught trade war with China, five people briefed on the actions said, shattering a more cautious process that had yielded few positive results so far,” the Washington Post reports.

“They said White House officials were now expecting a long, drawn-out battle with Chinese leaders, even though Trump is acutely tuned in to stock market fluctuations. But Trump is convinced that the Chinese economy is suffering more than the U.S. economy from the conflict. And he has felt validated that his hardball threats in other circumstances, including a recent tangle with Mexico over border security, seemed to get at least some results, even if they scared investors in the short term, said the people familiar with the matter.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) unveiled gun control policy proposals Tuesday morning, including background checks and red flag laws, after the mass shooting in Dayton on Sunday.

According to the Associated Press, DeWine wants to expand background checks for nearly all gun sales and to allow concerned people to petition a judge to remove firearms from a person deemed a threat to himself or others.

DeWine’s predecessor, Gov. John Kasich, tried to push red flag laws as well, but had no luck in the legislature. DeWine will likely be no more successful, as Republicans control both chambers.

DeWine’s initial remarks, given soon after nine people were murdered in a bustling downtown area of Dayton, were temporarily drown out by anguished audience members imploring him to “do something!” He was met with the same chants again on Tuesday.

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

1 comment on “What Now?! – 8/7/19

  1. In America you can always expect another gun slaughter, as noted they are coming more frequently, also as noted the Gun Jihadis are ready for the final confrontation with the “gun grabbers”. Good, the longer the game goes on and the more frequently it’s played the better the chance of passing effective laws regulating guns, and perhaps removing some politicians in thrall to the NRA and it’s rabid members. I gave up hope after Sandy Hook when nothing changed, perhaps I have slight hope at this point. Perhaps not.

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