What Now?! – 8/15/19

The Bond Yield Curve finally inverted. What does that mean? It means the yield, or return on investment, that one gets from a 2 year US Treasury bond is now higher than a yield from the benchmark 10 year Treasury bond. When that happens, a recession is almost always imminent. This news caused the stock market to crash today, sending the DOW done 800 points for the fourth largest point loss in history and the worst day on Wall Street in a year.

This news sent President Trump into outright panic, because he knows if the economy goes into recession, then he will be facing a landslide loss in 2020. So he started rage tweeting, blaming the Federal Reserve for some reason, even though the Fed did what he wanted, cutting interest rates in the last weeks.

Trump started screaming that “We will Win!” and that “We are winning, big time” in his administration’s trade conflict with China but that “our problem is with the Fed.” But his trade wars are what has caused the Trump Recession. He took the beautiful gift that President Obama gave him, a rebuilt and robust economy and squandered it with his corporate tax cut give away to the wealthy and his middle class tax increases. Republican Presidents always always always wreck the economy, and Democratic Presidents always have to clean up the mess. Trump is scared shitless.

President Trump’s top aides are urging him to back Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters, but the president isn’t interested, Politico reports.

“As the protests have intensified over the past month, the president has remained determined to keep China’s human rights abuses from complicating his trade negotiations, going so far as to make a unilateral concession to Xi in the run-up to the G-20 Summit in June.”

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that there is no chance the U.S. Congress would approve a planned U.S.-British trade deal if Britain’s exit from the European Union undermines the landmark 1998 Good Friday peace agreement for Northern Ireland,” Reuters reports.

“The Good Friday agreement, which helped end three decades of violence in Northern Ireland, dismantled all physical border infrastructure between EU member Ireland and Northern Ireland, a province of Britain, guaranteeing that people and goods on either side can move freely.”

“Ken Cuccinelli, the Trump administration’s acting head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, reinforced his controversial interpretation of the inscription on the Statue of Liberty ― this time giving it a racist twist,” the HuffPost reports.

“CNN journalist Erin Burnett was asking Cuccinelli about his earlier interview with NPR, in which he reworded the Emma Lazarus poem ‘The New Colossus,’ saying: ‘Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet, and who will not become a public charge.’”

Asked Burnett: “‘Wretched,’ ‘poor,’ refuse’ – right? That’s what the poem says America is supposed to stand for. So what do you think America stands for?”

Said Cuccinelli: “Well, of course, that poem was referring back to people coming from Europe, where they had class-based societies, where people were considered wretched if they weren’t in the right class.”

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said that humanity might not exist if not for rape and incest throughout human history, the Des Moines Register reports.

Said King: “What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled out anyone who was a product of rape or incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that? Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages that happened throughout all these different nations, I know that I can’t say that I was not a part of a product of that.”

He the defended conception that happened in bad circumstances: “It’s not the baby’s fault for the sin of the father, or of the mother.”

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, has called for Rep. Steve King (R-IA) to resign over his comments on rape and incest.

“For two and a half years, President Trump has said he is finally doing in Asia what he asserts his predecessor, Barack Obama, failed to achieve with a strategic pivot: strengthen American influence and rally partners to push back against China,” the New York Times reports.

“But as violence escalates and old animosities are rekindled across Asia, Washington has chosen inaction, and governments are ignoring the Trump administration’s mild admonitions and calls for calm. Whether it is the internal battles in India and Hong Kong or the rivalry between two American allies, Japan and South Korea, Mr. Trump and his advisers are staying on the sidelines.”

“The inability or unwillingness of Washington to help defuse the flash points is one of the clearest signs yet of the erosion of American power and global influence under Mr. Trump, who has stuck to his ‘America First’ idea of disengagement, analysts say.”

Jim Tankersley: “President Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports are forcing Americans to pay more for everyday products. Many economists have shown this. If you look at the appropriate inflation data, like the rising price of imported home furnishings, you can see the effect for yourself.”

“Mr. Trump still does not see it — he continues to claim, incorrectly, that China alone is bearing the costs of his trade war with Beijing. But he admitted at least the possibility that he could be wrong about that on Tuesday, conceding that Americans could start paying more for many products if his latest round of tariffs went through as planned.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “Moscow Mitch” while attacking him for blocking House Democrats’ legislation, including election security measures, The Hill reports.

Said Pelosi: “We all want to invest in building our democracy and saving it from any enemies, foreign and domestic We’ve sent our legislation to the Senate. Moscow Mitch says that he is the Grim Reaper. Imagine describing yourself as the Grim Reaper, that he’s going to bury all this legislation. Well, we have news for him. All this legislation is alive and well in the general public.”

“The Trump administration keeps sending conflicting and contradictory messages to Iran about its terms for new negotiations, multiple U.S and European officials tell the Daily Beast. And the ensuing chaos has vexed the president, complicated diplomatic efforts for American allies abroad, and utterly baffled policymakers at home.”

“For several months, the United States has been actively attempting to pass messages, via allies, to the Iranians in an effort to move closer to beginning formal diplomatic talks with Tehran. However, diverging opinions within the Trump administration are foiling the nascent diplomatic process.”

A bleak new federal report found that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rose to levels the world has not seen in at least 800,000 years, highlighting the irreversible and mounting deleterious effects of human activity on the planet, Eco Watch reports.

Green That Life: What is “carbon footprint” and why should you care?

“President Trump’s public push for gun-control measures is causing consternation among conservatives and some of his advisers, who have privately raised concerns about the political and policy fallout of the approach,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“At least so far, Mr. Trump doesn’t appear to have been swayed by the concerns, and the president has indicated privately to aides that he wants to be seen taking action in response to back-to-back mass shootings earlier this month. Aides said he remains interested in pushing for legislative action to expand background checks and prevent mentally unstable people from possessing guns.”

New York Times: “Mr. Trump on Sunday telephoned Senator Christopher S. Murphy, a Democrat who has been one of the leading voices in Congress for gun control, an indication that the president is interested in pursuing legislation. Earlier in the week, Mr. Murphy had contacted the White House to indicate that he was willing to work with Mr. Trump on the issue, which prompted the call.”

“The conversation was positive, with Mr. Trump indicating that he was serious about persuading Republicans to act, according to officials familiar with their discussion. And the two agreed to set up a staff-level dialogue this week between their offices and those of Senators Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, and Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, who are working feverishly to revive the background check legislation they wrote after the Sandy Hook massacre.”

Playbook: “We spoke to a number of people on the Hill and in the White House who were hoping this effort is headquartered in the legislative affairs shop, and not captained by the gaggle of other White House officials who try to insert themselves into legislative issues.”

Philip Bump: “In the first phase, he does or says something that any unbiased observer would categorize as controversial. This is generally something geared toward embarrassing or undermining a perceived political opponent.”

“In the second phase, he tells media outlets that they’re misunderstanding his true intent, which was something less objectionable. Sometimes doing so demands stuffing some awfully big claims into some awfully small boxes, but Trump and his supporters are generally content if he at least gives it a shot.”

“This tactic is well-designed for leveraging the media. With decades of inculcated assumptions about the good faith of the president, reporters find themselves forced into declaring that, while most people would agree that the president’s statement was problematic, he insists that it is actually not problematic for whatever reason. His supporters embrace the original intent and meaning of what Trump does, and the media has to leave it there. Works great, at least for him.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) directed his aides on Tuesday to warn foreign officials that they are “facilitating” President Trump’s alleged emoluments violations by spending money at properties owned by Trump’s sprawling business empire, Politico reports.

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

4 comments on “What Now?! – 8/15/19

  1. “Under a proposed new rule, faith-based groups that receive contracts from the Department of Labor would have a wider latitude to make hiring and firing decisions based on their religious teachings.”

    This is what the Hobby Lobby ruling was always leading to. The right to use your “religious beliefs” to discriminate. How very Christ-like of you.

    Believe LGBTQ people are sinners, no job for them. Republicans can’t get enough of persecuting this group. I fear for the LGBTQ community.

    Believe unmarried, pregnant women are sinners, fire away – notice how there’s never a mention of the man who impregnated them. What about unwed fathers??? How about women who use birth control?

    We are inching closer to supplying employers with our medical information. Don’t believe me? Remember the GOP politicians/pundits saying that birth control was okay for medical reasons, just not pregnancy prevention, and the women should provide a doctor’s note to prove that? I do.

    How about their other supposed “religious beliefs”? Hey, can people refuse to work on the Sabbath? Why not? These businesses are closed on the Sabbath, right? Why not?

    As far as that idiot, Steve King, he’s only saying out loud what most Republicans believe. He’s not the exception, he’s the rule.

    • Complete agreement, the goal of Hobby Lobby and all the “faith based” games that are being played has been to use religion to discriminate against the target of the day.

  2. Trump came, he saw and he made a total mess of it whether it’s the economy , foreign policy or international relations. I admit, I’ve been long awaiting a down turn as I view it as inevitable, and I also see it as the final verdict on Trump and his Republican enablers. I expect sputters, spasms and a wild ride from the stock market, it will be awhile before the full effects are felt, but they are coming. Be prepared.

  3. Time to tear up the Constitution. I see no reason why religion, alone among forms of irrational belief, should be protected. Especially now that we see the Catholic Church is nothing but an international criminal cartel — Jeffrey Epstein writ large.

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