WTF Community

Day 936

1/ Trump delayed imposing tariffs on some Chinese imports until December. Trump told reporters that he delayed tariffs "for the Christmas season" on cellphones, laptop computers, video game consoles, and certain types of footwear and clothing "just in case" there would be a negative impact on shoppers during the holidays. The 10% tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports will be delayed until Dec. 15, instead of taking effect on Sept. 1 as Trump originally announced. The U.S. Trade Representative office said certain products will also be taken off the list based on "health, safety, national security and other factors." Markets rallied on the news. (New York Times / Washington Post / Politico / CNBC / Axios)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Stupifyingly clear that somehow #MoscowMitch was gunning for this outcome.

The Washington Post: How McConnell helped lift Russian sanctions — and boosted a home-state project

A spokesman for McConnell said the majority leader did not know that Bouchard had hopes of a deal with Rusal at the time McConnell led the Senate effort to end the sanctions, citing the recommendation of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

McConnell “was not aware of any potential Russian investor before the vote,” spokesman David Popp said.

Bouchard said no one from his company, Braidy Industries, told anyone in the U.S. government that lifting sanctions could help advance the project. Rusal’s parent company, EN+, said in a statement that the Kentucky project played no role in the company’s vigorous lobbying campaign to persuade U.S. officials to do away with sanctions.

But critics said the timing is disturbing.

“It is shocking how blatantly transactional this arrangement looks,” said Michael McFaul, who served as the U.S. ambassador to Russia during the Obama administration and now teaches at Stanford University.


Borrow and spend…that is the T ticket.

The U.S. fiscal deficit has already exceeded the full-year figure for last year, as spending growth outpaces revenue.

The gap grew to $866.8 billion in the first 10 months of the fiscal year, up 27% from the same period a year earlier, the Treasury Department said in its monthly budget report on Monday. That’s wider than last fiscal year’s shortfall of $779 billion – which was the largest federal deficit since 2012.

So far in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, a revenue increase of 3% hasn’t kept pace with a 8% rise in spending. While still a modest source of income, tariffs imposed by the Trump administration helped almost double customs duties to $57 billion in the period.

Republican tax cuts, increased federal spending and an aging population have contributed to the fiscal strains, though the GOP says tax reform enacted last year will spur economic growth and lift government revenue. Corporate income-tax receipts rose 3% between October and July, while individual income taxes gained 1%, according to Treasury data.


Dow down 2.3% or -615 points as of 8:35a PST (approx)

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The Department of Labor just proposed a rule that aims to let government contractors fire workers who are LGBTQ, or who are pregnant and unmarried, based on the employers’ religious views.

This is taxpayer-funded discrimination in the name of religion. Period.

FACT: Nearly one-quarter of employees in the United States work for an employer that has a contract with the federal government.

This rule seeks to undermine our civil rights protections and encourages discrimination in the workplace — and we will work to stop it.


Well, thank goodness he clarified so that we’re left in no doubt as to his racist stance.

Ken Cuccinelli: Statue Of Liberty Poem About ‘People Coming From Europe’

Trump’s citizenship and immigration chief followed up his earlier comments about the famous Emma Lazarus poem with a racist clarification.

Naturally, Ken is yet another migrant hypocrite:

In related news:

‘No Blame?’ ABC News finds 36 cases invoking ‘Trump’ in connection with violence, threats, alleged assaults.


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Yup, bond market has that yield-curve inversion thing happening too. :grimacing:

The drop in long-term yields pushed the yield on the 10-year note below that of the two-year Treasury note, an unusual situation known as an inversion of the yield curve. Yield-curve inversions are considered one of the most-reliable leading indicators of recession in the United States, having preceded every economic decline in the past 60 years.

The phenomenon, when yields on long-term bonds fall below those on short-term bonds, had already occurred with some Treasury securities this year. But the inversion between two-year and 10-year notes on Wednesday, something that last occurred 2007 as the American economy began to sputter into a severe recession, seemed to worry investors anew.


@Pet_Proletariat - jittery markets and the potential for recession is real

Good news - Recession =bad economy = Exit T in 2020

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More confirmation on T’s actions are impacting markets.

  • No president wants to face voters in an economic downturn. But if that were Trump’s only concern, he never would have pursued his haphazard trade policy in the first place.
  • In 2016, Trump won Rust Belt battlegrounds by promising to fight the scourge of unfair competition from China and other countries. “This American carnage stops right here,” he declared in his 2017 inaugural.
  • It has not stopped. But tariffs, which Trump can impose without the consent of Congress, let him portray himself as punching back toward that goal.

President Donald Trump’s chaotic behavior can make financial markets gyrate any moment — and, given his split-personality constituency, likely will do so through Election Day 2020.

Trump pushed the Dow up nearly 400 points on Tuesday with a simple announcement: His administration will postpone additional tariffs on Chinese imports that would have hiked prices on popular consumer goods. The threat of those tariffs had helped drive markets down nearly 400 points on Monday.

A wave of relief swept through corporate America, which had warned the tariffs might trigger a recession. No president wants to face voters in an economic downturn.