You are browsing the archive for 2018 July 07.

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Wall Street Journal Burns 'Master Negotiator' Donald Trump for Starting Trade War: 'This Isn't Winning'

July 7, 2018 in Blogs

By Tom Boggioni, Raw Story

Under the snippy headline “So much trade losing,” the lead editorial compared the Trump trade war to the start of Civil War that led to nothing but tragedy for the rebels of the South.

As the trade war with China — caused by tariffs demanded by Donald Trump — heats up, the editors of the Wall Street Journal have taken the president to task, sarcastically mocking him as a “master negotiator” who has yet to negotiate any deals while causing damage to the U.S. economy.

Under the snippy headline”So much trade losing,” the lead editorial compared the Trump trade war to the start of Civil War that led to nothing but tragedy for the rebels of the South.

“The shooting has begun in the U.S.-China trade war, and let’s hope it’s not Fort Sumter,” the piece began. “The South figured the Civil War would last a few weeks, but things happened. That’s the nature of trade wars as well, and while no one is likely to win this confrontation, both sides could certainly lose.”

Noting the launching of Trump's tariffs with the U.S.  “imposing tariffs of 25% on $34 billion of Chinese imports, and Beijing retaliated on an equal value of U.S. goods,” the Journal said the war has already battered soybean farmers deep in Trump country, as well as a wide range of U.S. products.

“The damage is already serious for American soybean farmers whose biggest customer is China. They now face a 28% tariff while competitors in Brazil and elsewhere pay no duty. The cash price for U.S. soybeans recently fell to its lowest level in about a decade,” they wrote. “Producers of beef, pork, chicken and seafood will also take a hit. U.S. automakers, which will now pay a 40% tariff after it had recently fallen to 15%, will lose sales of highly profitable SUVs that are increasingly popular with Chinese consumers”

“Meanwhile, American consumers will pay more for cars and health care due to U.S. tariffs on Chinese-made auto parts and medical instruments,” they continued. “For example, world-leading semiconductor companies are upset that chips made in the U.S. …read more


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GOP Freedom Caucus Members Refuse to Support Jim Jordan on the Record as More Accusers Come Forward

July 7, 2018 in Blogs

By Bob Brigham, Raw Story

Congressman Jim Jordan has come under fire for his alleged involvement in a widening sex abuse scandal.

House Republicans are refusing to publicly defend Tea Party firebrand Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) as more details come to light about the congressman’s role in the Ohio State University sexual assault scandal.

Rep. Jordan worked as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State from 1987 to 1995, during which time multiple victims have alleged team physician Richard Strauss sexually abused them and fostered a culture of regular sexual harassment.

“I considered Jim Jordan a friend,” former Ohio State wrestler Mike DiSabato told NBC. “But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.”

“When you look at the definition of sexual abuse and sexual assault — and Jim Jordan went on record saying he knew about the facilities, he took showers with us. He saw Dr. Strauss and others perform these acts in front of us,” DiSabato told CNN.

More former Ohio State wrestlers have come forward to accuse Rep. Jordan of having known about the abuse, with The New York Times reporting a total of five of Jordan’s former student-athletes disputing the congressman’s denials of knowing about the abuse.

Rep. Jordan is known as a far-right leader in the Republican caucus.

Jordan was elected to congress in 2006, following the retirement of long-time Rep. Mike Oxley (R-OH). He had served a decade in the Ohio legislature following his career as an assistant coach at Ohio State.

In 2013, Jordan was widely credited with leading the government shutdown. Following the debacle, the former chairman of the Republic Study Committee was a founder of the even more conservative House Freedom Caucus.

Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows (R-NC) told the conservative Washington Examiner on Thursday that members were standing by Jordan.

“We not only stand by him, but believe him to be a man of character and honor, and Congress would be well served to have more Jim Jordans serving on Capitol Hill,” Meadows said.

That was not the experience CNN had the day following Meadows’ claims.

“CNN …read more


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America's Got a Very Real Muslim Problem — Islamophobia

July 7, 2018 in Blogs

By Sophia A. McClennen, Salon

There’s a common perception that Muslims pose a threat to the security of the U.S., but the real threat is to them

June 2018 was an especially bad month for the status of Muslims in America. First, we learned that a new study showed that many Americans view Muslims in the United States as insufficiently “American,” and almost 20 percent would deny Muslim citizens the right to vote. Then, the Supreme Court upheld President Donald Trump’s decision to institute a ban on immigrants, refugees and visa holders from five majority-Muslim countries in a 5-4 decision.

The synergy of these two pieces of information is critical because it reveals a common attitude that Muslims pose a threat to U.S. security whether they are U.S. citizens or not. And while these attitudes do break down heavily across party lines, it is noteworthy that the study of U.S. perceptions of Muslim Americans conducted by Dalia Mogahed and John Sides for the Voter Study Group indicated that even 12 percent of Democrats would consider denying Muslim citizens the right to vote. Their study also showed that 32 percent of Democrats favor targeting Muslims at U.S. airport screenings to ensure the safety of flights. That figure compares with 75 percent of Republicans.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority SCOTUS opinion upholding the travel ban. He emphasized that, despite ample evidence of President Donald Trump’s animus towards the Muslim community, the ban was a security issue and not an example of discrimination, “Because there is persuasive evidence that the entry suspension has a legitimate grounding in national security concerns, quite apart from any religious hostility, we must accept that independent justification.”

READ MORE: Anti-Muslim political speech fuels bias

As made clear by Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent, where she referenced the court’s 1944 decision to uphold the internment of Japanese Americans, the practice of claiming national security needs in order to implement discriminatory policy is nothing new in this country. She argued that the court's decision “leaves undisturbed a policy first advertised openly and unequivocally as a 'total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States' because the policy …read more


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Here's How 'Cadet Bone Spurs' Dishonors Our Troops

July 7, 2018 in Blogs

By Lucian K. Truscott IV, Salon

The Defense Department is harming national security by discharging immigrants and rebuffing transgender volunteers

Back in the 1960s, with the war in Vietnam raging and young Americans getting killed every day, it cost about $1,000 to dodge the draft. You got an automatic deferment for college, but once you graduated, or if you dropped out, you went back to 1-A status, which meant you were eligible for military service and could be drafted.

The holy grail during the Vietnam war was to become 4-F, the draft status our president, Donald Trump, achieved with a letter from a doctor confirming that he had “bone spurs” on his heels which made him ineligible for military service. That’s where the $1,000 came in. If you had enough money, you could go to a dentist, or a doctor, enough times that you could establish a medical record for a disability that made it appear like you were not medically fit to serve.

The ability of a significant number of young American men to essentially buy their way out of the draft left service in the military to those who couldn’t fake stuff like spurious “bone spurs” to dodge the draft. When I served in the Army at that time, draftees were nearly uniformly from the inner cities or the poorer areas in rural America, like the deep South, Appalachia and thinly populated states like Idaho, Montana, Nevada and the Dakotas.

The draft began to apply to a smaller and smaller section of the country, but the war in Vietnam was chewing up recruits as fast as they could ship them over there. A total of 58,220 would be killed in Vietnam. Another 304,000 soldiers were wounded, out of a total of 2.7 million who served in Vietnam.

As it got harder and harder for the Selective Service to fill the ranks, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara came up with an experiment the Pentagon called “Project 100,000.” This was a program that lowered standards for military eligibility, dropping the lowest allowable scores on the Armed Forces Qualification Test down to Category IV, scores in the 10 to …read more


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Here Are 8 Ways Outgoing EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Suppressed Science

July 7, 2018 in Blogs

By Elizabeth Shogren, Center for Investigative Reporting

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt leaves a legacy of suppressing the role of science at the agency

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who announced yesterday that he is resigning, leaves a legacy of suppressing the role of science at the agency.

Blocking science in the name of transparency

In March, Pruitt proposed a new “science transparency policy.” Under the proposed rule, when the EPA designs pollution standards and rules, it would use only studies in which the underlying data is public. Pruitt said his policy would prevent the EPA from using “secret science” that cannot be tested by other researchers. But scientists say important findings could be excluded.

One example isresearch by Harvard University that linked fine particle pollution in U.S. cities with an increase in deaths from lung and heart diseases. The data for the 1993 study was key to the EPA’s setting of health standards that regulate air pollution. But the study’s underlying data is not public because researcherspromised confidentiality to their subjects, 8,000 adults and 14,000 children in six cities.

Firing academic science advisers

Pruitt fired Science Advisory Board members who receive EPA grants for their research, saying they cannot remain objective if they accept agency money. In replacing them, Pruitt transformed the board from a panel of the nation’s top environmental experts to one dominated by industry-funded scientists and state government officials who have fought federal regulations.

Ben Foster

Pruitt removed 21 members of the advisory board, mostly academics, and replaced them with 16 experts with ties to industries regulated by the agency and two with no industry ties. Fourteen of the new members consulted or worked for the fossil fuel or chemical industries, which gave Pruitt nearly $320,000 for his campaigns in Oklahoma as a state senator and attorney general. Eleven new members of the EPA’s board have a history of downplaying the health risks of secondhand smoke, air pollution and other hazards, including two who have spun science for tobacco companies, according to an investigation by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.

Misrepresenting climate change science

Pruitt repeatedly cast …read more