Fake News

ENEMIES: President Donald Trump doesn’t do a lot of things right, but one thing he knows how to do amazingly well is pick out his enemies.  His enemies do more to help him than even his supporters.  And President Trump has no enemy as big as the mainstream media and there is no paper (maybe the Washington Post) that Trump hates more than the “failing New York Times.”

IMMIGRATION & THE MILITARY: Over the July 4th elongated holiday, many media outlets ran with an AP story that reported that as many as 40 immigrants in the “U.S. Army reservists and recruits who enlisted in the military with a promised path to citizenship are being abruptly discharged.”

NEW YORK TIMES: Many outlets ran with this story but no one went as far as the New York Times.  They published an op/ed from Rob Cuthbert who ripped Trump apart, “President Trump has shown that the military can also be manipulated to serve a nativist agenda. The Department of Defense has unconscionably committed to assisting in the prosecution and interment of asylum seekers. And, over the past few months, Mr. Trump and the civilian leadership of the military have begun to demolish an honorable path to citizenship for immigrants in our armed services.”

OH, HE’S NOT DONE: “Mr. Trump is using the military as a tool to segregate citizens from immigrants who lack citizenship, and, by doing so, compromising the structural and moral integrity of the armed forces. Congress must take the initiative to protect the thousands of immigrants who serve in our military from this xenophobic commander in chief.”

JUST ONE PROBLEM: It’s not true.  As @AG_Conservative explains: 1) MAVNI program stopped new recruiting in 2016 (under Obama) due to security concerns. 2) Widely acknowledged Obama admin’s decisions to include DACA recipients and expand the program played major roles in killing it. 3) 300+ recruits were left in the pipeline then. 4) Those and other recruits had to go through more extensive background checks. If checks aren’t completed in 730-1095 days, original agreement expires. 5) Now some recruits are timing out or failing checks. Unclear which category the 40 in AP story belong in.

TASK & PURPOSE AGREE: “But while the AP did report accurately that many recruits have been cut from the program in recent months, the Pentagon insists that the numbers reflect nothing unusual. Indeed, two Army recruiters who spoke to Task & Purpose on the condition of anonymity rejected the notion that the military was deliberately and purposefully ridding itself of non-U.S. citizens —as did a Nigerian immigrant who has been enrolled the MAVNI program for more than two years. “I think the journalist just didn’t understand how MAVNI works,” she opined.”

Tyler’s Thoughts

“Just add it to the pile.  Another example of the mainstream media thinking they are doing something to make Trump look bad.  Instead, they make Obama look bad, Trump look good, and they lose a little bit more credibility.”

In Other News

Good news for NATO as ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, says that trade tensions are not bleeding into military activities, ““One thing I will say is that in all of the disagreements that we have seen at the G-7 and with allies with whom we are now having trade talks and negotiations and tariffs, that has not come up in the NATO context,” U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison told “Fox News Sunday.” “Our diplomats are professional and they are staying on our NATO issues, where we are 100 percent allied.”

President Donald Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, went off on the Mueller investigation yesterday.  He called it the most corrupt investigation he had ever seen, “‘We can’t find an incriminating anything, and we need a basis for this investigation, particularly since we now know it was started from biased — by biased,’ origins, Giuliani argued on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday…Of Mueller specifically, Giuliani told NBC’s “Meet the Press”: ‘I do not think he’s corrupt’ but that ‘he’s surrounded by biased people. Almost exclusively.'”



More Tariff Pain Statewide

Both the United States and China enacted 34 billion dollars in tariffs on Friday.  WRAL reports that the North Carolina farmers continue to get caught in the trade war crossfire, “North Carolina farmers depend on those foreign markets to stay afloat. The state produces the most tobacco in the country and is the second-largest pork producer in the U.S. China and Mexico also are two of the state’s top trading partners for agricultural goods.”

PORK: Andy Curliss, chief executive of the North Carolina Pork Council, said Mexico and China combine to purchase 12 to 15 percent of the state’s pork products.

TOBACCO: North Carolina Farm Bureau President, Larry Wooten, notes that China has been the largest market for North Carolina tobacco in recent years.  “Seventy-five percent of that tobacco’s got to be exported, and the Chinese have said they’re not purchasing our U.S. tobacco until this is settled. So, it’s really unnerving,” he said.

TOTAL: State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said agricultural exports to China, Mexico and Canada, which also is slapping tariffs on U.S. goods, were worth more than $1.1 billion last year to North Carolina farmers.

EASY TO WIN: President Trump famously said that trade wars were “easy to win.”  Almost all economists laughed at this, but could he be right.  Bob Davis at the Wall Street Journal argues that the US economic strength gives Trump leeway in this trade fight arguing, “The U.S. economy’s strength is emboldening the Trump administration to play hardball in its trade offensive against China. Tariffs tend to be economic downers with an impact like sales taxes, which push up costs for consumers and businesses and slow growth. But so far it is tough to argue that the spat with China is having a broad macroeconomic impact.”

DERECK SCISSORS AGREES: “This is the perfect time” to use tariffs to press China to change its trade practices, said Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute, who consults with administration officials. “You start a process, which will cause pain to the U.S., and to China, when you have everything rolling in the economy.”

SO DOES IRWIN STELZER: Stezler argues that if Trump can ignore some temporary pain he has the chips to win.  He makes three arguments

 1) China’s exports to the United States come to almost 4 percent of its GDP, while U.S. exports to China equal only 0.7 percent of U.S. GDP. As consultants the Lindsey Group point out, “A tit-for-tat trade war has an impact on China that is six times that on America.”

2) The U.S. economy is in rude good health, while China is the throes of an effort to reduce the massive debt overhang that is beginning to stifle its growth. That creates “a strain on the top leadership as it tries to fend off a trade war with the U.S.,” Diana Cheyleva, chief economist with London-based Enodo Economics, told the New York Times.

3) China is having difficulty finding U.S. stuff to penalize. It has exempted LNG from tariffs because it desperately needs imports from the United States to fuel its economy. If it cancels orders now with Boeing, it will have a five-year wait to get on the books of Airbus. Tariffs on U.S. agricultural products drive up food costs in China.

SUMMARY: Stezer says, “In short, America can win this game.”

NOT SO FAST: Heather Long at the Washington Post write in April that the problem with this game is it involves more than just economics, “But this isn’t just an economic fight, it’s also political, and there’s a strong case that President Trump would be less able to sustain a protracted conflict than the Chinese — especially with the 2018 midterm elections coming.  Chinese President Xi Jinping runs a communist country that has just granted him the ability to rule for life. He controls the media in his country and is also sitting on top of about $3 trillion in surplus cash.”

TROUBLING POLLING:  The polling might already be a problem as Aaron Blake of the Washington Post reports, “A poll conducted by The Washington Post and the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University asked whether people felt Trump’s “taxes known as tariffs” against China were a good thing or a bad thing, in light of news that China retaliated with its own tariffs on U.S. goods. Fully 56 percent of voters thought the situation was bad for U.S. jobs. The even bigger concern, though, was about the cost of products. About three-quarters of voters — 73 percent — worried about the trade war’s impact on them.”

Tyler’s Thoughts

“I have never believed this trade war was a good idea.  I think Trump is dead wrong about the evil of trade deficits.  The voters, however, have spoken and want Trump to fight.  Some economists think he can win this thing.  The only question now is will he have enough time to see any benefits to counter some of the negatives before November 2018 or 2020?”

In Other News

Great op/ed from John Hood in the Carolina Journal who argues that many politicians, lobbyists, and bureaucrats are planning on what to do with the soon-to-be sales tax windfall.  Hood’s idea, give it back to the people of North Carolina, “At the present moment, however, I think the most logical response to our coming sales-tax windfall is to devote the proceeds to reducing North Carolina’s sales-tax rate. The state rate is 4.75 percent. Depending on the county, local levies add another 2 to 2.75 percentage points to the rate…Holding consumers harmless ought to appeal to both Republican and Democratic policymakers.”

It looks like we have a third challenger for the 7th congressional district seat in southeastern North Carolina.  David Fallin, who couldn’t win a Brunswick County Commission primary, has thrown his hat in the ring as the Consitution Party candidate for the 7th district.