Trump’s war on the economy continues

President Trump asserted on Saturday that he has the authority to make good on his threat to force all American businesses to leave China, citing a national security law that has been used mainly to target terrorists, drug traffickers and pariah states like Iran, Syria and North Korea.

As he arrived in France for the annual meeting of the Group of 7 powers, Mr. Trump posted a message on Twitter citing the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 — a law meant to enable a president to isolate criminal regimes but not intended to be used to cut off economic ties with a major trading partner because of a disagreement over tariffs.

“For all of the Fake News Reporters that don’t have a clue as to what the law is relative to Presidential powers, China, etc., try looking at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977,” Mr. Trump wrote. “Case closed!” …

The International Emergency Economic Powers Act says that if the president decides that circumstances abroad have created “any unusual and extraordinary threat” to “the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States,” the president can declare a “national emergency.” This triggers special authority for the leader to regulate “any transactions in foreign exchange” by Americans.

When Biden’s stream of consciousness takes a dark turn

“None of you . . . women are old enough — but a couple of you guys are old enough,” he said during a town hall at Dartmouth College. “I graduated in 1968. Everybody before me was, ‘Drop out, go to Haight-Ashbury, don’t trust anybody over 30, everybody not get involved.’ No, I’m serious. I know no woman will shake her head and acknowledge it. But you guys know what I’m talking about. Right? But then what happened?”

The front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination referenced the assassinations of two of his political heroes, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy — who was killed while running for president.

“Imagine what would have happened if, God forbid, if Barack Obama had been assassinated after becoming the de facto nominee,” he continued. “What would have happened in America?”

The comment — which, as Biden’s campaign pointed out with a video, came on the 11th anniversary of Obama naming Biden as his running mate — then led to him speaking about the 1970 shootings of demonstrators at Kent State University, and a new era of activism.

the national interest
the national interest
‘American Carnage’ Exposes the Republican Slide Into Trumpism
A behind-the-scenes account shows, but does not explain, how Republicans abandoned their so-called principles to embrace Trump.
Nathan Carman Testifies About His Mother’s Mysterious Disappearance
“I did not hear her scream.”
the top line
the top line
This Is How Trump Will Tank the Economy and His Presidency
Trump’s trade war might be headed into a self-reinforcing death spiral.
Anti-Abortion Activists Object to State Bans — But Only on Tactics
Anti-abortion leaders are discouraging extreme state abortion laws, preferring stealth until the time is ripe for a frontal assault on Roe v. Wade.

In case you were feeling too optimistic about Democrats’ chances of thwarting Trump’s agenda

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has just completed three weeks of radiation treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the U.S. Supreme Court disclosed Friday.

The radiation therapy, conducted on an outpatient basis, began Aug. 5, shortly after a localized cancerous tumor was discovered on Ginsburg’s pancreas. The treatment included the insertion of a stent in Ginsburg’s bile duct, according to a statement issued by the court.

Doctors at Sloan Kettering said further tests showed no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body. The treatment comes just months after Ginsburg was operated on for lung cancer last December. The 86-year-old justice has battled cancer in various forms over the last 20 years.

David Koch’s Monstrous Legacy
The world is burning, and he and his brother own a share of the blame.
Today’s Republicans Use the Filibuster Just Like the Segregationists Did
Until Democrats show the moral outrage that overcame filibusters against civil rights, you can forget about gun, climate change, or immigration bills.
The Joyous Masochism of Rooting for the Cleveland Browns
The most desultory team in the NFL is going to be very good and very fun this season.
joe biden
joe biden
How Big a Problem is Joe Biden’s ‘Enthusiasm Gap’?
Intelligencer staffers discuss the Democratic frontrunner’s pragmatic pitch.
Accidentally Destroying My iPhone Really Put My Entire Life in Perspective
It literally hurts to swipe on my phone now.
the national interest
the national interest
Trump Is Melting Down Because China Won’t Give In on Trade
Trump’s international disputes usually end quietly. This one might be different.

Bolsonaro may face some serious consequences for his heedless environmental policies

European leaders have reacted with growing fear and anger to the fires ravaging Brazil’s rain forest, calling it a worldwide crisis that is accelerating global warming — and one that Brazil’s leader appears unwilling to combat.

President Emmanuel Macron of France went so far, on Friday, as to accuse President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil of lying about being committed to fighting climate change and protecting the Amazon forest.

As a result, Mr. Macron said, he would try to kill a major trade deal between Europe and South America that has been years in the making.

interesting times
interesting times
The Presidency of Donald Trump Never Gets Any Less Absurd
We have known this project’s nature since that journey down an escalator, and the surrealism has only intensified since.

Trump sends Dow plunging with this nonsense

Our Country has lost, stupidly, Trillions of Dollars with China over many years. They have stolen our Intellectual Property at a rate of Hundreds of Billions of Dollars a year, & they want to continue. I won’t let that happen! We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far….

….better off without them. The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP. Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing..

….your companies HOME and making your products in the USA. I will be responding to China’s Tariffs this afternoon. This is a GREAT opportunity for the United States. Also, I am ordering all carriers, including Fed Ex, Amazon, UPS and the Post Office, to SEARCH FOR & REFUSE,….

….all deliveries of Fentanyl from China (or anywhere else!). Fentanyl kills 100,000 Americans a year. President Xi said this would stop - it didn’t. Our Economy, because of our gains in the last 2 1/2 years, is MUCH larger than that of China. We will keep it that way!

vision 2020
vision 2020
Moulton Drops Out of 2020 Race; Could de Blasio Be Next?
We’re now down to 21 Democratic presidential candidates, with tougher rules for participation in debates likely to winnow several more.

Trump asking the tough, wrongly spelled questions

….My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powel or Chairman Xi?
life after warming
life after warming
The Political Status Quo Is No Match for Climate Change
As the Amazon rainforest burns at an alarming rate in Bolsonaro’s Brazil, Jay Inslee’s climate change presidential candidacy flames out.

Seth, we hardly knew ye

Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts is dropping out of the presidential race, ending a candidacy that emphasized Mr. Moulton’s centrist politics and military service but gained no traction with Democratic primary voters.

Mr. Moulton, 40, said in an interview that he had no immediate plans to endorse another candidate, but he warmly praised former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Mr. Moulton planned to announce the end of his campaign in a formal speech before the Democratic National Committee on Friday.

Mr. Moulton suggested that most of the other Democratic candidates were also laboring in vain at this point, with only a tiny few — Mr. Biden and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — remaining as real competitors for the nomination. He warned in the interview that if Democrats were to embrace an overly liberal platform, it could make it harder for the party to defeat President Trump.

just asking questions
just asking questions
Jeffrey Gundlach on Recession Odds, Bitcoin, and Why Trump Might Not Run Again
The bond-market maven expects things to get wild in 2020.

China shows again that it’s willing to fight fire with fire on tariffs

China on Friday announced tariff hikes on $75 billion of U.S. products in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s planned increase, deepening a trade war that threatens to tip the global economy into recession.

The tariffs of 10% and 5% take effect on two batches of goods on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15, the official Xinhua News Agency said. It gave no details of what goods would be affected but the timing matches Trump’s planned duty hikes.

One of the Koch brothers has died at 79

David Koch, billionaire conservative activist and philanthropist, has died. He was 79.

He and his brother, Charles, co-owned Koch Industries, a Nebraska-based energy and chemical company, since 1983. David stepped down from running the Koch organization last year due to declining health.

Things are going about as expected since the U.S. withdrew from the INF treaty

The Pentagon said on Monday it had tested a conventionally-configured cruise missile that hit its target after more than 500 km (310 miles) of flight, its first such test since the demise of a landmark nuclear pact this month.

Washington formally withdrew from the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) on Aug. 2 after accusing Moscow of violating it, a charge dismissed by the Kremlin.

The pact had prohibited land-based missiles with a range of 310-3,400 miles, reducing the ability of both countries to launch a nuclear strike at short notice.

Putin told his Security Council on Friday that Russia could not stand idly by, and that U.S. talk of deploying new missiles in the Asia-Pacific region “affects our core interests as it is close to Russia’s borders”.

Pompeo gets one of North Korea’s always colorful nicknames

North Korea’s top diplomat said on Friday that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was a “diehard toxin” who only complicates denuclearisation talks and North Korea was ready for both dialogue and standoff.

Buttigieg’s new plan for addressing addiction and mental health issues

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Friday unveiled a $100 billion plan to expand access to mental health and addiction treatment that coincided with a campaign stop in Manchester, New Hampshire — a state hit hard by the opioid crisis.

The wide-ranging plan calls for integrating treatment into primary care settings, increasing the number of available treatment beds, making it easier for patients to get access to medication for opioid addiction, investing in suicide prevention for veterans and addressing disparities in behavioral health care.

“For years, politicians in Washington have claimed to prioritize mental health care while slashing funding for treatment and ignoring America’s growing addiction and mental health crisis,” Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., said in a statement. “That neglect must end. Our plan breaks down the barriers around mental health and builds up a sense of belonging that will help millions of suffering Americans heal.”

1619 project
1619 project
The ‘1619 Project’ Isn’t Anti-American — It’s Anti-White Identity Politics
The centrality of slavery to the American story is only threatening to one’s national identity if one chooses to identify as white.
jeffrey epstein
jeffrey epstein
Jeffrey Epstein Used a Bullet, Dead Cat to Intimidate Graydon Carter: Report
A former Vanity Fair editor says Epstein placed a decapitated cat and a bullet outside Carter’s homes to pressure him to tell reporters to back off.

A concerning development

The George Washington Bridge is now closed in both directions due to police activity. NYPD is responding with its partners to a suspicious device.

Expect detours and delays around the GWB approaches. Use alternate routes.
Democrats Are Turning Their Attention to a Very Unsexy Bulwark of Democracy
Democrats have historically not focused their energies on the secretaries of state. But the office is crucial to state elections.
the high life
the high life
Barack and Michelle Obama Are Reportedly Buying a Mansion in Martha’s Vineyard
Who needs politics when you can have lighthouses, the gingerbread cottages of Edgartown, and a mansion with a $64,000 mortgage payment?
criminal justice reform
criminal justice reform
Louisiana Gubernatorial Candidate Wants to Roll Back Criminal-Justice Reform
Congressman Ralph Abraham is so committed to law-and-order politics that he voted against the modest criminal-justice-reform bill Trump signed.
vision 2020
vision 2020
Democratic National Committee Rejects Possibility of Official Climate Debate
Climate protestors disrupted the DNC during the vote, which also paved the way for unofficial climate town halls to turn into de-facto debates.
intelligencer chats
intelligencer chats
Did Jay Inslee Get a Fair Shake From Voters?
Intelligencer stafffers discuss the departure of the “climate candidate” from the Democratic primary.

This should be more shocking than it is

An email sent from the Justice Department to all immigration court employees this week included a link to an article posted on a white nationalist website that “directly attacks sitting immigration judges with racial and ethnically tinged slurs,” according to a letter sent by an immigration judges union and obtained by BuzzFeed News.

According to the National Association of Immigration Judges, the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) sent court employees a link to a blog post from VDare, a white nationalist website, in its morning news briefing earlier this week that included anti-semitic attacks on judges.

what if?
what if?
What If Obama Had Dropped Biden in 2012?
Changing things up in 2012 might have helped Democrats avoid the contentious nomination fights of 2016 and 2020.

The worst news-product name since Tronc

In their attempts to keep up with the times, media companies have trotted out some offbeat brands in recent years, including Tronc, Oath and Refinitiv.

Now News Corp. is giving it a try. The company has created an app called Knewz that will draw from hundreds of news sources and link directly to publishers’ sites, according to the Wall Street Journal, which is owned by News Corp. (The app is only “currently” called Knewz, the Journal says, so the name could change.)

A primary debate solely about climate change is officially not happening

The Democratic National Committee has rejected a proposal to host a single-issue debate on the climate crisis. 

At a party conference Thursday in San Francisco, top DNC officials voted 17-8 against a resolution that had become a cause célèbre for activists and for more than a dozen presidential contenders who felt the traditional debate format failed to adequately address the looming threat of catastrophe. 

The DNC voted in favor of another resolution to sanction a less-formal forum on the issue.

It was a predictable outcome. Top brass at the DNC opposed the climate debate from the get-go, fearing it could sow discord in the base and hamper the eventual nominee in the general election. CNN and MSNBC announced plans last month to host forums on climate change in September. DNC Chair Tom Perez affirmed the forums in a resolution introduced earlier this month, which some activists saw as setting the stage for voting down the climate debate.

Ahead of 2020, Labor Is Seizing Its Moment
Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke become the latest candidates to release formal labor plans.

A new school designed for the dystopia

The design of the new sections includes subtle safe spaces that can be used to protect students in the event of a shooting, and long curved hallways that would offer protection too.

“To cut down on the sight lines if we have an active shooter in the building,” Szymoniak said. …

Inside the classrooms students can hide in one corner that can’t be seen from the hallway. Access controlled locks on all of the doors in our school district give school leaders the ability to lock down the entire district with the push of one button. And impact resistant film will go on all classroom windows in the new high school.

fox news news
fox news news
Sarah Sanders Passes Through the Fox News–White House Revolving Door
The former White House press secretary will feel very at home at Fox News.
long vs. short
long vs. short
Long vs. Short: Has Netflix Peaked?
Subscribers are down. Friends is on its way out. Depending on whom you listen to, those developments are either harbingers or blips.