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Archive of Articles in the "China" Category

Friday Talking Points -- Trump Begins Building Stone Wall

[ Posted Friday, March 8th, 2019 – 19:06 UTC ]

President Donald Trump, as we all know, is a big fan of walls. Big, beautiful walls, according to him. But although he's never gotten Mexico to pony up a single peso for his border wall, and is still having trouble convincing Congress that it's the right thing to do, when future historians look back on this week, they might mark it as when Trump began constructing a metaphorical wall between his administration and Congress. Because the first big block of stone was just deposited on the White House lawn -- with 81 more big stone blocks waiting in the wings.

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Bad News For Trump On Trade Deficit

[ Posted Wednesday, March 6th, 2019 – 17:52 UTC ]

For the past few decades in American politics, the idea that a successful businessman would make a good president has been in vogue, most notably on the right. George W. Bush was supposed to be our first "C.E.O. president," and Donald Trump ran a goodly portion of his campaign on the idea that "only he" could fix all of America's problems, because he was such a wildly successful businessman.

Neither premise turned out to be true, of course. Bush was soon tested in a way no businessman ever has been -- by a massive terrorist attack and the question of how America should respond to it. Trump was never all that successful a businessman in the first place (see: his multiple bankruptcies), and continues to show a rather profound ignorance of the way macroeconomics actually works. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the subject of international trade.

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Friday Talking Points -- Trump Unites Washington!

[ Posted Friday, March 1st, 2019 – 19:11 UTC ]

In a bizarre development this week, President Donald Trump brought unity to all the politicians in Washington. He managed this feat by failing to get any deal out of his much-hyped summit meeting with North Korea's murderous dictator Kim Jong Un. When news of this failure on the international stage reached Washington (in [...]

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Friday Talking Points -- Muellermas Eve?

[ Posted Friday, February 22nd, 2019 – 18:25 UTC ]

The news media -- once again -- has been in a frenzy over the possibility that Robert Mueller will wrap up his investigation next week and issue his long-awaited report. They've gone down this road before, as have President Trump's legal advisors (who have been telling Trump the whole thing is going to be over very soon now for almost a solid year and a half). So you'll forgive us for not being all that convinced that this is indeed the time that Lucy won't pull the football away, and we'll finally get to kick it thumpingly down the field!

Perhaps we're being a wee bit too cynical? Maybe. But then again, maybe not. We'll see what next week brings.

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Friday Talking Points -- Trump Throws His Biggest Hissy Fit Yet

[ Posted Friday, February 15th, 2019 – 18:28 UTC ]

Emergency! Ahh! Everybody run!

Sigh. Well, here we are. Not only has Donald Trump become the first president to order the military to do essentially nothing just to make a political point (see: midterms 2018, border deployment), he has now become the first president to declare a national emergency because he made a political promise he just couldn't keep. He couldn't keep it because -- counter to his own self-portrayal as a dealmaking genius -- Donald Trump is such a terrible dealmaker that he couldn't even get a Republican Congress to give him what he wanted, for two whole years. And if that isn't a national emergency, then what is?

Let's just take a moment to quickly review how we got here. Donald Trump began his presidential campaign warning about the flood of evil brown people who were coming to rape and murder us all in our own beds. He boiled this down into one call-and-response phrase to use at his rallies:

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My Snap Reactions To The State Of The Union

[ Posted Tuesday, February 5th, 2019 – 23:21 UTC ]

As usual, what follows are my own snap reactions to President Donald Trump's second State Of The Union speech (he's actually now given three such addresses to Congress, but the first one doesn't technically count as a State Of The Union speech). I write all of this before hearing or reading what other pundits thought, so I won't be influenced by any sort of groupthink about the speech.

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My 2018 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Friday, December 28th, 2018 – 19:12 UTC ]

Welcome back to the second part of our year-end awards column! For those who may have missed it, check out Part 1 from last week to see the awards we've already handed out.

But since these columns are always not only monstrously but downright scroll-bar-defyingly long, let's just dive right back into the 2018 McLaughlin awards, shall we?

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My 2018 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 21st, 2018 – 19:52 UTC ]

Welcome back once again to our year-end awards column series! Today we'll have part one, and then we'll finish up next Friday with part two. As always, we will be using the (slightly-modified, over time) awards categories first thought up by the incomparable McLaughlin Group television political-chatfest show.

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Friday Talking Points -- Mr. Trump's Wild Ride

[ Posted Friday, December 7th, 2018 – 17:44 UTC ]

As is now normal, the past week in politics was a pretty wild ride. The stock market went up, then way down, then a bit back up, then way down again -- and that was in a week with only four trading days (Wednesday was a national day of mourning for George H. W. Bush, so the markets were closed). Trump drove much of this confusion, after meeting with the leader of China last weekend to discuss trade. Adding to the confusion was the arrest of the leader of a giant Chinese corporation on Canadian soil at the request of the American Justice Department, and a weaker-than-expected jobs report today.

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What's Good For GM Is Not Good For Trump

[ Posted Tuesday, November 27th, 2018 – 18:06 UTC ]

General Motors just announced several plant closures and over ten thousand layoffs, in a bid to restructure their operations for the future. Americans aren't buying so many sedans any more, so GM is shuttering some plants that make these cars. This includes a plant in Ohio, after President Trump personally promised workers that no factories would be shutting down there. Trump even went further, by personally advising Ohio workers not to sell their houses and move since manufacturing jobs would be such solid future prospects. So the GM announcement came as a rather personal blow to the president.

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