Monday, June 11, 2018

Trump is a free trader after all

I have often noted that he has an economics degree -- from the prestigious Wharton school -- and he now shows that he remembers it

President Donald Trump on Saturday called for the G-7 countries to wipe out all trade barriers among them, but vowed that until that happens, he will fight tooth and nail against any nation trying to take advantage of the U.S.

“We’re talking to all countries, and it’s going to stop, or we’ll stop trading with them. And that’s a very profitable answer if we have to do it,” Trump said, according to CNBC. “We’re like the piggy bank that everybody’s robbing, and that ends.”

“We can’t have an example where we’re paying, the United States is paying, 270 percent — just can’t have it — and when they send things into us you don’t have that,” he said.

Trump noted that American farmers have been affected by past trade policies that make it hard for them to sell goods abroad, The New York Times reported.

“You look at our farmers. For 15 years, the graph has gone just like this, down,” he said.

“I blame our leaders. In fact, I congratulate the leaders of other countries for so crazily being able to make these trade deals that were so good for their country and so bad for the United States. But those days are over,” Trump said.

The president said he would prefer a world in which there were no trade barriers. “No tariffs, no barriers. That’s the way it should be. And no subsidies. I even said, ‘No tariffs,'” Trump said, according to France 24.

He recently imposed stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum coming into the U.S. from European Union, Canada and Mexico. That followed a similar action in March applying to many other nations.

Trump has said that as long as he believes other nations are unfair to the United States, he will fight back with every tool at his disposal. That has caused friction between Trump and the other G-7 nations — France, Britain, Canada, Japan, Germany and Italy.

Trump downplayed those differences Saturday in a press conference that came at the conclusion of the G-7 summit. “We had extremely productive discussions on the need to have fair and reciprocal” trade, he said.

“We want and expect other nations to provide fair market access to American exports and that we will take whatever steps are necessary to (protect) industry and workers from unfair practices, of which there are many. But we’re getting them worked out, slowly but surely.”

Trump said he would prefer a completely level playing field among all the G-7 partners. “Ultimately that’s what you want, you want tariff free, no barriers, and you want no subsides because you have some countries subsidizing industries and that’s not fair,” Trump said, according to Business Insider. “So you go tariff free, you go barrier free, you go subsidy free, that’s the way you learned at the Wharton School of Finance.”

Trump left the G-7 summit ahead of everyone else due to his Tuesday summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. During his solo press conference, he alluded to media reports that his call for a no-tariff zone took other nations by surprise.

“People were … I guess they gotta go back to drawing board and check it out,” Trump said.

“I don’t know if they were surprised with President Trump’s free trade proclamation, but they certainly listened to it and we had lengthy discussions about that,” said Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economic adviser, who appeared with Trump. “As the president said, reduce these barriers, in fact go to zero, zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, zero subsidies, and along the way we’re going to have to clean up the international trading system.”



Trump tells it straight

President Trump was asked by A reporter about recent remarks made by Lebron James, who both said his team would refuse to go to the White House if they won the NBA championship.

Trump’s response is priceless:

“I didn’t invite them. No, I didn’t invite Lebron James and I didn’t invite Steph Curry. We’re not going to invite either team. But we have other teams that are coming. You know, if you look, we had Alabama, national champion. We had Clemson, national champion. We had the New England Patriots. We had the Pittsburgh Penguins last year.”

Trump then mentioned that the Stanley Cup winners the Washington Capitals would be invited to the White House!

“You know, my attitude: If they want to be here, it’s the greatest place on Earth, I’m here. If they don’t want to be here, I don’t want them.”



Trump roasts hypocritical Trudeau

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday that he has asked U.S. representatives not to endorse the joint communique put out by the Group of Seven leaders after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's "false statements" at a news conference.

After departing from the Quebec summit for Singapore, Trump tweeted that Trudeau's remarks at a news conference, where he said Canada would not be pushed around, "were very dishonest and weak".

"PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, 'US Tariffs were kind of insulting' and he 'will not be pushed around.' Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy!" the U.S. president tweeted.



One Magnificent Photo Sums Up Donald Trump's G-7 Visit

A Picture is worth a thousand words

Tense and confrontational, it appears to sum up President Donald Trump’s entire trip, which highlighted divisions among the global powers.

The image dramatically depicts the German leader in an assertive pose, planting both hands firmly on a crisp tablecloth as she addresses President Donald Trump, who is seated before her with his arms crossed wearing a dispassionate expression.

The picture was released by the office of German Chancellor



From statewide contests to local races, all politics are about Trump
Report from Boston

Donald J. Trump has never campaigned in Hatfield. The president is not calling for cuts to school funding in Southampton or denying new liquor licenses in Northampton. But in the race for the First Hampshire District’s state representative seat, where the East-West railway and dairy farming are campaign fodder, so is Trump.

“He’s kind of like that figure — he who shall not be named — who sort of looms above all things,” said Lindsay Sabadosa, who is vying against fellow Democrat Diana Szynal for the open House seat. “Even at my campaign kickoff, I was asked: ‘What can you do, as a state representative, about Trump?’ ”

For local and statewide campaigns normally walled off from Washington, Trump has loomed large across the ballot in Massachusetts this year, permeating the dialogue and campaign messaging in races that are usually dominated by local, not federal, issue

In the race for governor, Trump is wielded as a political cudgel. For secretary of state, he’s a call to action. In the attorney general’s race, he’s both.

If all politics was local in the era of Tip O’Neill, the reverse may be true under Trump.

“It’s Trump 24/7, and it’s very hard for the Democrats to get through the wall of noise,” said Phil Johnston, a former chair of the state Democratic Party.

“People are very strongly with him or very strongly against him, and the country is terribly divided in unprecedented ways,” he added. “Those emotions, which those divisions stir up, will be very important factors in November.”

The prevalence of Trump shifts from race to race, but his specter has undoubtedly permeated the campaign trail, sometimes in surprising places.

Secretary of State William F. Galvin, facing his most serious primary fight in two decades in office, hung his pitch at the party’s convention, in part, on telling Democratic activists that he’s the best defense against any Russian or Trump election meddling in 2020. Supporters of his opponent, Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim, have made a similar pitch in endorsing him.

In her reelection bid, Attorney General Maura T. Healey has punctuated her term by pointing to the dozens of lawsuits she has brought or been party to against the Trump administration.

Yet, the Republicans running against her have sought to turn the tables. Healey, they argue, is actually too focused on Trump, to the detriment of the state. Jay McMahon, in winning the GOP endorsement in April, called the lawsuits “frivolous.” His primary opponent, Dan Shores, contends that for every lawsuit Healey files against the Trump administration, “that’s one more drug dealer that goes free.”

Perhaps nowhere, however, has Trump been cited more often than in the governor’s race. Jay Gonzalez and Robert K. Massie, the two Democrats vying for their party’s nomination, have repeatedly sought to tie the president to Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican who didn’t vote for Trump in 2016.

Gonzalez, in criticizing the decision to send a National Guard helicopter and a two-person crew to the southern border, charged that Baker is “helping Donald Trump enforce his hateful policies.” Massie has argued that Baker hasn’t done enough to criticize the administration.

Meanwhile, buffeting Baker’s right flank is Scott Lively, a conservative antigay pastor who has called himself “100 percent pro-Trump” in their Republican primary.

Baker has responded by saying his focus remains on the state, making him one of the few this election cycle trying hard to keep Trump talk off the campaign trail.

“[Baker] will continue to vocally disagree with and advocate against federal policies misaligned with the best interests of the Commonwealth on issues like health care, climate change, and immigration,” said Jim Conroy, a senior adviser to Baker.

The focus on Trump has, in recent months, seeped into local races, where an array of candidates have pointed to his election as a catalyst for them launching their first political campaign. That includes Sabadosa, the First Hampshire candidate, and Chelsea S. Kline, who launched an activist group in early 2017 and is now the only Democrat on the ballot for the state Senate seat previously held by former Senate president Stanley C. Rosenberg.

“I hear these concerns from constituents,” Kline said. “I can ensure them I am looking out for all of them on the local level.”

Some have directly made Trump a campaign issue. Tram Nguyen, an Andover Democrat challenging state Representative Jim Lyons, said she’s compared the Republican incumbent and president to voters in her argument for a more collaborative lawmaker.

“He is a Trump supporter, and the public knows about it,” she said.

Lyons, who voted for Trump but backed Senator Ted Cruz in the 2016 presidential primary, said he’s never hid his views since first winning the seat in 2010. But the conservative also put daylight between himself and the president. “There’s no relationship to Donald Trump’s positions,” he said.

In Lexington, Michelle Ciccolo, a candidate in a five-way Democratic primary for a House seat, touts on her campaign website the need to “push back on the regressive efforts coming out of Washington” — amid discussions about local transportation and school funding.

“I don’t think we get to pretend that what’s happening on the national level isn’t affecting us on the local level,” Ciccolo said in an interview.

But wielding anti-Trump rhetoric can mean walking a fine line for Democrats, especially in local races where it’s harder to draw a direct line between Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

“I think that every campaign is considering what Trump means to their election cycle,” said Jay Cincotti, a Democratic campaign operative. “If your opponent is an unabashed Trump supporter, that’s an easier tie to make. If your opponent has supported positions that the president has supported, like immigration, that’s easy to make.

“But if I’m running for state rep,” he said, “and I’m using Trump for the sake of Trump, it could have voters scratching their heads.”




But Leftist Privilege will prevent him from ever being held accountable

The Washington Free Beacon reported Wednesday that “the Obama administration skirted key U.S. sanctions to grant Iran access to billions in hard currency despite public assurances the administration was engaged in no such action, according to a new congressional investigation.”

And it gets even worse: “The investigation, published Wednesday by the House Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, further discloses secret efforts by top Obama administration officials to assure European countries they would receive a pass from U.S. sanctions if they engaged in business with Iran.”

This revelation comes after the news that came to light in February, that, according to Bill Gertz in the Washington Times, “the U.S. government has traced some of the $1.7 billion released to Iran by the Obama administration to Iranian-backed terrorists in the two years since the cash was transferred.”

There is a law that applies to this situation. U.S. Code 2381 says: “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”

In a sane political environment, Barack Obama would be tried for treason.

He showered hundreds of billions of dollars on the Islamic Republic of Iran. There are those who say, “It was their money. It belonged to the Iranian government but was frozen and not paid since 1979.” Indeed, and there was a reason for that: not even Jimmy Carter, who made the Islamic Republic of Iran possible, thought that money, which had been paid by the Shah’s government in a canceled arms deal, belonged to the mullahs who overthrew the Shah. Likewise Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush all thought that the Islamic Republic was not due money that was owed to the Shah.

Only Barack Obama did.

The definition of treason is giving aid and comfort to the enemy. The leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran order their people to chant “Death to America” in mosques every Friday, and repeatedly vow that they will ultimately destroy the United States of America and the state of Israel. How was giving them billions and helping them skirt sanctions applied by the U.S. government not treason?

Other Presidents have been incompetent, corrupt, dishonest, but which has committed treason on a scale to rival the treason of Barack Obama?

However this catastrophe plays out, there is one man who will suffer no consequences whatsoever: Barack Obama. That’s Leftist Privilege. It’s good to be a powerful Leftist in Washington nowadays. Laws? Pah! Laws are for conservatives.



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