Reason Roundup

Trump Announces Escalating Tariff Up to 25 Percent on Mexican Goods

Plus: unlicensed diet tips in court, California takes aim at independent contractors, and more...


Trump plans to make Americans pay until "illegal migrants coming through Mexico" stop. The president tweeted Thursday night that starting soon, every single item imported from Mexico will be subject to a five percent tariff—a rate that "will gradually increase" until undocumented border crossings end. In August it would rise to 15 percent and then to 25 percent in October. When "the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied," Trump tweeted, "the Tariffs will be removed."

By this morning, stocks are tumbling and pretty much everyone is asking, basically, wtf?

"Trump's Mexico Tariffs Are Borderline Crazy," reads one Washington Post headline. Opening sentence: "How far down the rabbit hole are we on U.S. trade policy right now?"

"Trade policy and border security are separate issues. This is a misuse of presidential tariff authority and counter to congressional intent," says Sen. Chuck Grassley (R–Iowa), who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, in a statement.

In a nutso White House press release, Trump whines that "for years, Mexico has not treated us fairly" and declares we are "now asserting our rights as a sovereign Nation." He continues:

To address the emergency at the Southern Border, I am invoking the authorities granted to me by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Accordingly, starting on June 10, 2019, the United States will impose a 5 percent Tariff on all goods imported from Mexico. If the illegal migration crisis is alleviated through effective actions taken by Mexico, to be determined in our sole discretion and judgment, the Tariffs will be removed. If the crisis persists, however, the Tariffs will be raised to 10 percent on July 1, 2019. Similarly, if Mexico still has not taken action to dramatically reduce or eliminate the number of illegal aliens crossing its territory into the United States, Tariffs will be increased to 15 percent on August 1, 2019, to 20 percent on September 1, 2019, and to 25 percent on October 1, 2019. Tariffs will permanently remain at the 25 percent level unless and until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory. Workers who come to our country through the legal admissions process, including those working on farms, ranches, and in other businesses, will be allowed easy passage.

Those are the only real details offered in the 15-paragraph statement, which is mostly the same TV tough-guy caricature meets crime-panic fever dream that the president rambles out on the regular.

But the tariffs would be anything but business as usual, of course. They could "throw into chaos corporate and agricultural supply chains that have essentially worked in a system without tariffs since the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement," write Washington Post financial reporters David J. Lynch and Kevin Sieff. "Mexico is on track to become the United States' largest trading partner, ahead of China and Canada, according to census data through March."


Unlicensed diet tips in court. A federal court will soon address another Institute for Justice suit on licensing laws and free speech. This one centers on Florida nutrition coach Heather Del Castillo. From the AP:

After getting a complaint that she was working without a license, Florida officials sent a cease-and-desist order and fined her $750. Del Castillo sued, saying her free speech rights were violated. Now, a federal court is expected to rule on her lawsuit as other states weigh regulations on professional dietary advice.

The case highlights the confusion around dietitians and health coaches, and how their qualifications differ.

"I literally didn't even know I was doing anything that was wrong," said Del Castillo, who noted her business was legal when she was living in California.


California lawmakers are once again taking aim at independent contractors. A bill that passed the California State Assembly this week would create new standards for determining whether workers are independent contractors or employees. From Vox:

To hire an independent contractor, businesses must prove that the worker (a) is free from the company's control, (b) is doing work that isn't central to the company's business, and (c) has an independent business in that industry. If they don't meet all three of those conditions, then they have to be classified as employees.

This could radically upend so many different industries and businesses. Of course lawmakers are handing out exemptions to those they like:

The state's Chamber of Commerce and dozens of industry groups have been lobbying for exemptions, and a long list of professions were excluded from the bill: doctors, dentists, lawyers, architects, insurance agents, accountants, engineers, financial advisers, real estate agents, and hairstylists who rent booths at salons.

But "Uber and Amazon drivers…manicurists and exotic dancers" and many others that politicians disfavor would be screwed.


  • Protecting and serving:

NEXT: What to Make of the Supreme Court’s Latest Abortion Case

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  1. Lousiana’s governor, a Democrat, just signed into law a ban on virtually all abortion in the state.

    A Democrat in Louisiana is basically a Republican. Everyone knows that.

    1. If the Louisiana Democrats traded places with the Massachusetts Republicans then there would be two parties in both states.

      1. *golf clap*

        1. *applause*

    2. A RINO Senator in Maine is basically a Democrat.

      1. Sorry, two RINO Senators in Maine are basically Democrats.

  2. Ted Cruz and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may team up to limit lawmakers’ post-Congress options…

    Heartwarming bipartisan waste of effort.

  3. …the NYPD has systemically underreported rape by excluding oral and anal rape from their CompStat numbers.

    Bill Rawls is nonetheless pleased with those numbers.

  4. When you’ve lost Chuck Grassley…

  5. Oh. My. God.

    As Paul Krugman predicted, Drumpf has already caused a global recession with no end in sight. This new tariff madness will make the #DrumpfRecession turn into the #DrumpfDepression!

    1. The President: “We will increase unemployment in Mexico until Mexicans stop crossing the border.”

  6. Of course lawmakers are handing out exemptions to those they like…

    Who knew the hairdressing lobby was so powerful.

    1. In Kalifornia I’m sure both sexes of lawmakers go to hairdressers. No sense in pissing them off – they may take a chunk out of your ‘do next time to get even.

  7. “I literally didn’t even know I was doing anything that was wrong,” said Del Castillo, who noted her business was legal when she was living in California.

    Laboratories experimenting ways to skirt their constitutional limits.

    1. Line I never thought I’d see in “Reason”: “who noted her business was legal when she was living in California.”

  8. At least there’s some good news among all this Drumpf-induced awfulness.

    Hillary Clinton and Daughter Chelsea to Form Production Company

    I can’t wait!


    1. Former presidential candidate plans to build pipeline of shows


      1. I thought she was against pipelines.

        1. Against laying pipe

  9. Trump has always loved tariffs because Trump has never understood trade.

    — Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) May 31, 2019

    Hey, life’s been good to me so far.

    1. Trump should really just turn his pretty head and walk away from these tariffs.

      1. You don’t think that I know your plan, what you tryin’ to hand me?

  10. Trade policy and border security are separate issues.

    Spoken like a man who’s given up fighting our southern invasion. Hopefully the president double-taxes Grassley’s made-in-Mexico Silverado!

  11. .@Newsy investigation shows that the NYPD has systemically underreported rape by excluding oral and anal rape from their CompStat numbers.

    — Meg O’Connor (@megoconnor13) May 30, 2019

    Those numbers just went in one end and out the other?

    1. Um, I’m not a doctor, but aren’t they going in both ends?

      1. Don’t offer your medical opinion in Florida.

  12. Yay! I get to pay even more for avocados!

    If it’s something in the produce section, and my kids like to eat it, it’s almost certainly something from Mexico.

    1. To be fair, though, the “stocks are tumbling” narrative doesn’t work and I don’t know why reporters use it. I just looked at the Dow Jones is down 1%, S&P is up.

      There’s no way a reporter actually knows the causality of the minor ups and downs the stock markets have every day. If they did, they should be making billions investing.

      1. Seriously. Nobody knows.

        1. But reporters get paid to know less than Nobody.

    2. The US produces a lot of avocados too. But Mexico has a much warmer climate, so you get more avocados for a longer season. Ditto for tomatoes.

      It’s standard comparative advantage (something Trump obviously can’t understand). Mexico has a comparative advantage in producing certain crops. While we can (and do) produce the same crops, we have comparative advantage in producing other crops or other goods.

      International Trade isn’t a crime, as the president believes, but a foundation of the modern economic system.

  13. From a political standpoint, I don’t get Trump’s tariff decision. I mean, there is no way it makes it through the courts- either US or international trade courts. Everyone knows the Dems aren’t on board. So essentially he is forcing GOP members of the Senate to take sides on this issue. And while, for Trump, this is about border security, for the Senate it is going to be about Executive Power.

    So essentially, Trump has picked a fight with his own party- forcing them to support ceding a “Any Tariff, any reason” power to the President, or to break ranks with Trump, causing obvious problems with their re-election.

    I understand that border restrictionists want to see the border closed. But as I said, there is no way these tariffs make it through the courts. With that as a given, Trump is merely dividing his own party and making life complicated for the people who he should be allying with.

    1. When goods don’t cross borders, refugees will.

      1. Funny how illegals try to cross the border even if more goods are crossing than ever before.

        Its almost like America is not the racist shithole that Lefties have tried for over 150 years to make it so.

    2. It’s a feature. If the courts shoot him down, he can get a bunch of mileage out of railing against them, and claim to be the only guy looking out for middle class Americans.

      1. If he loses the senate, he has a whole lot of other problems. Let’s say he gets blue collars on board with him here. Senators who have mixed constituencies are left with pissing off those blue collar workers or pissing off the people who don’t like Trump’s policies + the people who don’t want executive overreach.

        Right now, the Dems are divided over impeachment. Trump could be solidifying GOP support, when instead he is driving a wedge into his own base. Like I said- this is going to do nothing to close the border. All it does is fracture his party when they finally had the wind at their backs.

    3. > And while, for Trump, this is about border security, for the Senate it is going to be about Executive Power.

      Wrong. For Trump it’s about signalling and seeing seeing Team Red jump to do his bidding.

    4. Trump has picked a fight with his own party

      Well then Trump is going to win. GOP has never given an actual shit about restraining unilateral Prez power or in favor of separation of powers

  14. In a discussion of the economy and the impacts of illegal immigration, somehow the welfare state is ignored by both sides.

    Amazing… /sarc

    1. If a generous welfare state makes our country a more attractive destination for immigrants, we Koch / Reason libertarians should reconsider our general skepticism of government spending.


      1. +1


      2. Nicely done!

    2. Somehow the welfare state only becomes an issue when it’s immigrants who are consuming it. Huh.

      1. No you fucking idiot. We hate that anyone uses it. How many times does your idiot ass have to be told this?

        Oh right this is where you say all the people who say they hate ANYONE using welfare are liars, because you’re fucking stupid and hate being wrong.

      2. Except that immigrants are NOT consuming it. You can’t get welfare unless you’re a citizen. People may go to England and Denmark for the free welfare, but no one is coming here for it because it’s not an option.

        1. “Except that immigrants are NOT consuming it. You can’t get welfare unless you’re a citizen. ”

          This has been debunked numerous times, even the “only things officially called welfare” version.

          You are simply lying.

        2. I’m pretty sure CATO showed that that’s not true.

        3. Totally.
          Fraud isn’t even a thing anyway

          1. one man’s fraud is another’s lack of due diligence.

        4. Illegals have kids in the USA and then those American kids get food stamps and the family lives off the welfare and under-the-table pay.

          That is how illegals get welfare.

        5. You can’t get welfare unless you’re a citizen

          Incorrect. My wife’s mother, a Canadian citizen, has been collecting social security income for almost 50 years.

        6. Free and reduced lunches aren’t welfare? Because I’ll be happy to pull up stats on a whole bunch of Denver metro area schools where the increase in this stat correlates almost exactly with the increase in the Hispanic student population.

  15. Well this is puzzling.

    NY Times Reportedly Steering Writers Away From Maddow and Other Cable Shows it Deems too Partisan

    Maddow? Partisan? Quite the opposite, actually — she’s an American patriot who only wants what’s best for our country. That’s why she covered #TrumpRussia so thoroughly.

    1. C-

  16. The whole independent contractor thing seems like a bad idea. This part seems especially absurd:
    To hire an independent contractor, businesses must prove that the worker (a) is free from the company’s control
    Isn’t the whole point to have some control of what the person you’ve contracted with does? Why else would you hire them?
    Seems like the motivation is to force companies to provide the welfare state that they can’t get through legislatures. Get everyone on regular employment rolls and then mandate more and more benefits.

    1. Or make it more difficult for someone to make a few bucks and just stay on welfare.

  17. Twenty-six of the foreign-born want the government to own and manage companies versus seven percent of the native-born.

    1. Yeah, I want more of that.

    2. That is a slightly misleading presentation of the survey (though the results are still pretty discouraging). The question wasn’t whether government should own and manage all or most companies, but what sort of company you would prefer to work for. Choices were employee owned, investor owned or government owned. I’m sure some people were for outright socialism, but there are also people who just prefer government jobs for one reason or another.
      The government owned option was significantly more popular with people under 30. I wonder what the age breakdown of the foreign born respondents was and how their views will change with age.

  18. Prior to 1913 federal taxes were basically tariffs and the whiskey excise tax.

    The US imported $2.4 trillion in goods in 2017 and corporations paid $237 billion in corporate income tax.

    We could replace the CIT with a flat 10% on all imports. We get to do away lobbying for exemptions in the tax code and the tariff rates, no more double taxation of profits and we get rid of the dead-weight losses from all those lawyers, accounts, and corporate tax-minimizing strategies.

    1. If it came with a repeal of federal income tax and massive reduction in the size of the federal government, I could probably get behind a simple tariff as a revenue source.

      1. The founding of the USA and early operation of the tiny federal government was mainly done by tariffs.

        1. No it wasn’t. Land sales were the primary funding mechanism. That was actually part of the very early dispute that turned into a north-south thang.

          One group wanted to distribute that land in small acreage parcels to individual owner-operator farmers – but that option also comes with less cash revenue and a slower cash-flow of revenues cuz those owner-farmers couldn’t go into debt upfront and the payment for land in labor took time. The original Johnny Appleseed was the original ‘entrepreneur’ in this model – but it takes time for trees to grow.

          Other group wanted to continue with the old colonial charter model and distribute the land in huge grants to well-connected land companies which would (in theory) maximize the upfront revenue to the feds. But who would then turn around and create land speculation frenzies and bubbles funded by state banks. This one ultimately resolved itself into more of a cash-crop plantation system.

          1. JFree
            May.31.2019 at 11:49 am
            No it wasn’t. Land sales were the primary funding mechanism.



            “Tariffs have historically served a key role in the nation’s foreign trade policy and as a source of federal income. Tariffs were the greatest (approaching 95% at times) source of federal revenue until the Federal income tax began after 1913.”

            1. Wow, Tulpa has crawled out of the gutter just barely long enough to actually bother post a link! Maybe he-she-it DOES have more than two neurons after all! Maybe capable of doing ANYTHING other than post mindless insults, every once in a while!

            2. When will you fucking assholes start paying attention to DEBT!!!!

              Debt issuance/payoff/rollover and other balance sheet stuff is FAR more important than income statement (where taxes show up). Thomas Jefferson actually repealed direct land tax in 1802 and thought he would fund govt exclusively thru tariffs. And then two years later, doubled the size of the US by issuing DEBT. Which Gallatin started paying off thru land sales and transfer to state banks which created the first western land frenzy which started an Indian war w Tecumseh which ultimately created the western pressure to go to war with Britain in 1812 (debt issuance #2 – which after that war got rolled into 2nd BUS). And fucking rinse and repeat with the Seminoles, Creeks, Pottawatomies, Sauks, Winnebagoes, Cherokee, and every other tribe east of the Mississippi.

              That was not funded by ‘trade tariffs’ you fucking dimbulb. Hell even soldiers pay in those wars was mainly in the form of land grants – which is a big reason Indians didn’t have a prayer. They weren’t fighting mercenaries (or righteous militia defending their homestead). They were fighting thieves who personally wanted that land.

              But hey – keep missing the main theme of 19th century American history – which was about territorial expansion.

              1. Yeah man gotcha…

                Rewarding the soldiers with the lands of the defeated is an ancient old thing… Not trying to excuse it, mind you, but just FYI… Chimps raiding the “tribe” of next-door chimps comes to mind, too, as an example of this…

                But this was clearly done when the Roman army invaded “Thrace” the SECOND time around… The Thracians had made solemn vows to conclude war #1 and then broke their vows, leading to war #2… And the Romans kicked their asses into next Wednesday, killed all the fighting-aged men, and colonized their land, mostly with/by the victorious Roman soldiers. Today it is called “Romania”.

              2. Land sales were used to pay down debt. Tariffs were used to fund the government. Debt was used to pay for land acquisitions and wars. None of which refutes the fact that tariffs were the government’s primary funding mechanism through the implementation of the income tax.

    2. ***IF*** the only tax were a uniform 10% tariff on everything regardless of source, I would be fine. But you know damned well that won’t ever happen. Trump’s tariffs are arbitrary and capricious.

      Because in the long run a 10% uniform tariff is just a 10% national sales tax. It’s American residents who will pay.

      1. And if we keep most of our tax money inside the USA, then Americans will reap the benefit of those taxes being used for American infrastructure, military, and the tiny and limited government operation.

  19. Funny how liberals think tariffs will be paid by the consumer but think the taxes they want corporations to pay would not be paid by the consumer.

    1. +100

    2. Now reverse the roles and you might see the error of Trump’s ways.

      1. I’m more of a free trade guy. But I’m also a believer in reciprocity. I’m fine with applying tariffs on imports for countries that apply tariffs on our goods.

        The difference between taxes and tariffs is that taxes are applied to all, not just a target country. I understand why Trump wants to do what he’s doing. I don’t think it’s going to workout how he wants.

        1. I am also a free trade guy but you cannot have “free trade” without all trading parties playing by the same rules.

          Otherwise, you have unilateral trade policy and I think the jury is still out on how good that is for the USA (being the market that all countries want to get into).

  20. California takes aim at independent contractorsm

    Independent contractorsm? Is that when you get an orgasm from someone who’s self-employed?

  21. Is doing work that isn’t central to the company’s business

    I design homes and hire engineers to engineer they are central to the business why would you contract with someone who isn’t central. Depending in how the decide to interpret or enforce this may screw over almost every small professional one man shop out there

    1. And that’s why they have exemptions for all of those professions.

      You know, instead of just leaving well enough alone.

  22. When “the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied,” Trump tweeted, “the Tariffs will be removed.”

    “And Mexico is paying, through these tariffs, for my Big, Beautiful Wall,” POO* added, “and Total Exoneration from the FAKE NEWS Failing New York Times Witch Hunt. KOFVEVE!”

    *President Orange Obstruction

    1. Why do you think hiding behind a sock will make people ignore that you posted kiddie porn screech?

  23. Wonderful. Tariffs are going to be to the Republicans what tax increases are to Democrats. We’re at a new peak of economic retard.

    1. Give us a cost for all the yearly tariffs since Trump has been Prez and give us a cost of all the taxes that Democrats and RINOs have in place right now.

      Lets see which cost is the proverbial albatross around American’s necks.

      1. Can’t we just agree that they’re both taxes and both bad?

        1. Nope. Taxes are not fundamentally bad. Excessive taxation is bad.

          Taxes in the USA are so prevalent and excessive that they typically require a whole industry of tax assholes to get you/your company through alive.

          Trump is trying to get trade restrictions with our trading partners lowered and he is currently using tariffs. I wanted him to be successful for America’s interests in lower trade restrictions. I am not sure where I will stand now, since I wanted him to accomplish it by June 1, 2019.

        2. No. I don’t need to pretend they’re taxes because I need neither inaccurate summations of difficult subjects nor do I need convenient but inaccurate soundbites.

      2. The term “going to be” is indicative of future actions. Now that your chimp has a shiny new stick, he’ll be whacking everything in sight.

        1. Bill Clinton has a new stick?

          Better warn Monica Lewinsky.

          1. Had your fun yet? Now shoo troll.

            1. Oh wow eric is chemjeff. How fucking sad.

              1. I’ve been accused of being you before too. But if you’re the original Tulpa from years ago, then, iirc, you used to argue with substance. Now you just seem to be jerking off via keyboard.

                1. “But if you’re the original Tulpa from years ago, then, iirc, you used to argue with substance”

                  Ahahaha fellate yourself more!

                  Ahahahaha so jeff was Tulpa. That’s why he hates me. I stole his name and he got stuck with the extremely shitty “eric” and ” chemjeff importer of child rapists”

                  1. Do you know how long ago “Eric” was taken as a user name? Btw. It is pathetic that you only come here to stalk Jeff and Shrike. And boring as hell too.

                    1. I mean, person who is obviously the original Tulpa.

                    2. Because you’re all the same poster.

                2. Fake Tulpa is just here to be a dick because he thinks it’s funny.

                  1. And you appear to be here to cry about it.

                  2. Oh wait sorry you said yesterday while you were crying that you aren’t here to cry at me because you supported an idiot and got kicked by me for it.

                    Yet here you are, crying at me again. Weird.

                    1. And he thinks he makes people cry. Which is kind of pathetic. Sort of reminiscent of rctl/Mary/whatever that was, who always thought she was some brilliant manipulator making the puppets dance.

                  3. I didn’t realize he’s not the original Tulpa. Mostly just ignore his posts.

                    One question on the subject of old handles? Was Sevo “Mr FTFY”?

                    1. As far as I know Sevo has always been Sevo.

            2. Poor Eric the troll sock.

  24. North Korea executes nuclear envoy to U.S. after failed Trump summit: report

    Ah. Socialism.

    By all means, we should at all costs buy their cheap shit to prop up the military regimes.

    1. Except we’re NOT buying anything from North Korea. When’s the last time you ever say a label saying “Made in DPRK”? Answer: Never.

      Don’t be jerking that knee so hard it hits you on the chin…

      1. I knew that I should have followed up my post to reference the Socialists in CHINA.

        Takes all kinds around here.

    2. i mean … if the basis for your existence is service to the state in one particular way and you fail at it …

      1. Death is probably preferable to being infested with tapeworms that your measly daily rice ration cannot even satisfy both of you.

        1. yes. eaten by dogs > eaten by parasites

  25. I continue to oppose Trump’s trade war with China, and I continue to hope this madness ends with China capitulating to Trump’s demands–some of which are actually legitimate and commendable from a free market standpoint.

    So, how are things going from a Chinese capitulation standpoint?

    All indications are that China is getting clobbered. The factory employment picture appears to be as bad in China as it’s been since 2009–back when the U.S. and Europe were both in recession (which didn’t Chinese exporters to those countries at all).

    “The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for May slid into contraction at 49.4 and its employment sub-index tumbled to the lowest level since the aftermath of the global financial crisis . . . . A sub-index gauging new export orders in the manufacturing index also fell further into contraction.”


    There are always competing considerations when trying to gauge how much pressure Emperor Xi feels relative to Trump. No, Xi doesn’t need to be worried about getting reelected in 2020, but then Trump’s support in rust belt swing states and soybean country seems to have only become stronger since the trade war.

    It may be that if Trump capitulated at this point, it would hurt his chances of being reelected in 2020. Imagine if George W. Bush had capitulated in Iraq before the 2004 election–admitting that he was wrong to have invaded Iraq and what was being won in Iraq simply wasn’t worth the sacrifices the taxpayers and our military had suffered because of his bad decision to invade. Would the Democrats have simply ignored that line of reason out of propriety? Would the swing voters have rewarded Bush for his honesty–even though, by his own admission, his bad judgements squandered a cool $1 trillion in taxpayers’ future earnings, not to mention the lives of thousands of injured and killed American heroes?

    I doubt it.

    If Trump capitulated to Xi at this point, that’s more or less how he’d be setting himself up to lose reelection in 2020.

    Xi isn’t worried about losing an election, but if and when he falls from power, it’ll be about torches and pitchforks or look like the Gang of Four. That might seem a remote possibility, but it always does–right up until it happens, and everything seems inevitable in retrospect. How could Ceausescu or Qaddafi not have seen the writing on the wall? The problem is that Xi needs to worry about losing the party and the people by China capitulating to Trump, as well.

    If Trump deserves personal (rather than ideological) criticism over this, it’s his unwillingness to let his adversaries “save face”. He did it to Trudeau. He did it to Merkel. He does the same thing to everybody. Trump can’t resist the urge to gloat–like a super villain in a James Bond flick, who could win everything if he’d just pull a gun and shoot bond between the eyes. No, Trump needs to stand there and tell them all about his diabolical plan–and how there’s nothing his defeated enemy can do to stop him!

    *maniacal laughter*

    For goodness’ sake, Mr. President, it doesn’t matter if the bad guys lose with their dignity still intact anywhere near as much as it matters that the USA wins. In the meantime, you’re getting in the way of your own wins.

    Trump supporters everywhere are putting their faith in your “America first” policy. You can be wrong about your trade war, and I’ll forgive you–when the Democrats are pushing authoritarian socialism by way of the Green New Deal and Medicare for All, but you can’t put your own desire to gloat over what’s best for the American people. That might be putting American interests over the politically correct interests of social justice warriors but it sure as hell isn’t putting America first.

    1. The problem is that this is a delicate balance for Trump. He has positioned these other countries as enemies, and all while feeding into the narrative that trade is zero sum. That is, he has helped fuel the perception that if China succeeds, America loses.

      So how does Trump artfully allow the Chinese a “win” while he simultaneously claims a win? It is near impossible, especially with a media that will happily exclaim that any favorable terms for China mean that he failed.

      It is also worth considering the Chinese perspective here. 300 years ago, a trader visiting China had to literally kow-tow to the emperor, bowing on hands and knees for the privilege of trading with that nation. China went from being supreme dictator of trade to the humiliation of foreign countries owning cities on their own land. Viewed in that context, Xi is not just dealing with a minor dispute here. Even if he can get somewhat equitable compromises from the US, he needs to avoid the appearance that the West is dictating the terms of trade. This may practically mean that it is better for China to endure reduced economic output than for Xi to appear that he is giving in to demands from the west.

  26. Trump moves to pressure Democrats on NAFTA replacement, drawing quick retort from Pelosi

    I am sure Boehm will write another garbage piece about THIS is Trump’s fault too.

    To be fair, Trump is trying to get lower trade restrictions for the USA. That is what impeachment is for.

  27. Democrats look at packing the Supreme Court to pack the vote

    Haha. This strategy and The Green Deal?

    Definitely winners Democrats. Haha. Keep up the good work.

  28. “But “Uber and Amazon drivers…manicurists and exotic dancers” and many others that politicians disfavor would be screwed.”

    I could be up for screwing most exotic dancers, but probably not most Uber drivers.

  29. Two days ago, I linked Netflix executives talking about how they might pull the plug on production in Georgia if the state goes through with the implementation of their new anti-abortion law. Some of you pointed out that Netflix was about to face new competition (and less cooperation) from Disney and Warner Media, both of which are currently distributing important content to Netflix and both of which are launching competing streaming services of their own. After all, if you don’t run your business with the maximization of profits in mind, your competitors will eat your lunch, right?


    Wrong. Yesterday, both Disney and Warner Media threatened to withdraw their production businesses out of the state if Georgia goes through with the implementation of its anti-abortion law.

    I see two additional and obvious targets for criticism.

    1) The horrific level of group-think in Hollywood.

    They’re defending this by claiming that the talent involved in the production of important content may refuse to work in Georgia. Some of Disney’s most important films in their Marvel universe, for instance, are made in Georgia.

    If you can’t do what’s in the best interest of maximizing profits for your shareholders because your talent won’t let you, you’ve got serious problems. If that problem is so widespread that AMC, CBS, Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Sony, Viacom, and WarnerMedia–all can’t do what’s in the best interests of their business because their talent is holding them hostage across the entire industry, then some of us might start hoping for a new Joseph McCarthy to save Hollywood from the ravages of this all pervasive and rigid ideology.

    Seriously, how much of the messaging from Hollywood is being driven by this kind of ideological collusion and threats, when the CEOs of the most powerful companies in Hollywood claim they can’t make basic decisions about their own production without losing critical talent?

    If Hollywood really is the victim of this kind of collusion, maybe the government has a legitimate interest in saving them.

    2) Arbitrariness.

    China is holding over a million people in re-education camps, not because of anything they’ve done but because of their religion.

    Do AMC, CBS, Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Sony, Viacom, and WarnerMedia plan to protest this by refusing to do business in China anytime soon?

    1. Don’t be silly. The “talent” that holds them hostage over stupid shit like bathroom bills and abortion bans, don’t give two fucks about what other countries do to their citizens.

      Unless the US can somehow be blamed for it.

    2. And they are confusing the government for the state again. How about the effects on all of the people in Georgia who benefit from TV production happening there?
      What do they think a boycott is going to accomplish? Do they think that the devoted anti-abortion legislators are going to flip because a few TV productions leave the state?

    3. On the other hand, maybe Hollywood celebuprogs will stop fucking around in Georgia’s state political scene.

    1. +1 James Gang. Funk No. 49.

  30. >>>Ted Cruz and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may team up to limit lawmakers’ post-Congress options

    K Street can burn to the ground for all I care but these two seem authoritarian to the very end on this …

    1. Authoritarianism is often bipartisan.

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  32. […] the president insisted that Mexico was so willfully negligent at stopping illegal border crossings that the U.S. would impose escalating tariffs on all Mexican goods. Yesterday, however, Trump praised the work Mexico is doing at “stopping […]

  33. […] the president insisted that Mexico was so willfully negligent at stopping illegal border crossings that the U.S. would impose escalating tariffs on all Mexican goods. Yesterday, however, Trump praised the work Mexico is doing at “stopping […]

  34. […] the president insisted that Mexico was so willfully negligent at stopping illegal border crossings that the U.S. would impose escalating tariffs on all Mexican goods. Yesterday, however, Trump praised the work Mexico is doing at “stopping […]

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