Trump started the day off with a trade war, not with China not with Iran not with Russia not with North Korea, a trade war with Canada, Mexico, and much of Europe. Basically, pissing off our allies. Via Business Insider:
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday said steel and aluminum tariff exemptions for the European Union, Canada, and Mexico would expire at the end of the day. Starting Friday, he said, steel imports from those countries will be subject to a 25% tariff, and aluminum imports will be hit with a 10% tariff.
The US put in place exemptions for key allies after first announcing the tariffs in March. But the exemptions were designed only to be temporary reprieves.
With negotiations going nowhere, Trump decided to go forward with the tariffs...trump apparently wasn't getting the kickbacks or Quid Pro Quos he wanted, so BOOM goes the economy. Canada is bound to retaliate, Mexico is in no mood to play nice with trump already, and Europe? Well:
The EU is expected to respond with tariffs on a little more than $3 billion worth of American goods including motorcycles, bourbon, and blue jeans.Considering how our economy has NOT gotten the promised boosts from Paul Ryan's godless Tax Cuts For the Rich - the 2.2 percent GDP this quarter is middling - the hit we're about to receive is gonna sting. Combine that with the fact that these tariffs are raising prices on ourselves on these imports, this is essentially the nation as a person punching ourselves in the face. Back to the Insider:
By increasing the cost of imported steel and aluminum, companies that rely on the metals will be forced to either accept the higher costs and lower profits or pass on the price increase to consumers.
For instance, the Beer Institute — an industry group that represents US brewers — warned that aluminum tariffs would drive up the price of beer cans. The Beer Institute estimated that the increased costs would in turn force brewers to save money in other areas, such as by laying off workers or raises the prices paid by consumers.
Again. We're punching ourselves in the face here.
The stock market - which didn't respond too well to trump's earlier plans to tariff the United States into Third World status - took a noticeable nosedive today much like they did they last couple of tariff announcements. You'd think Congress would notice these things and send up panic flares to their deep pocket SuperPACs to, you know, serve their own economic interests and cut trump's base off at the knees...
And that was just before 10 AM.
trump followed that up with making plans to pardon the likes of Dinesh D'Souza. I dunno if I mention him much here, but D'Souza is a failed academic who keeps selling himself as a conservative intellectual who spends far too much time insulting the ever-loving hell out of liberals like it's his only mission in life, using that reputation to shill himself to the Far Right media outlets needing an ethnic person to deflect accusations of racism that D'Souza himself revels in.
trump's pardoning is not out of any actual injustice - D'Souza was caught and plead guilty on campaign finance fraud - but because D'Souza is a political hack on trump's side of the fence. It's also rubbing this in the face of prominent trump critic Preet Bharara, the federal prosecutor who sent D'Souza to the big house (D'Souza is actually taunting Bharara about this).
But this is more than just trump giving out pardons like candy at Halloween. This is trump sending a clear message to the nation and to his political and business cronies. Via Slate.com:
First and most obviously, by pardoning D’Souza, the president is signaling—and frankly, let’s just call it shouting aloud—to the Michael Flynns and the Paul Manaforts and the Michael Cohens in his world that Everyone in America Who Helps Donald Trump will eventually get a pardon. This is how he has previously deployed his pardon power, and it is not a complicated message when there are several people around you who are contemplating plea deals versus lengthy prison sentences.
And as Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall was quick to point out, by pardoning someone as usefully racist and homophobic as D’Souza, Trump is also winkingly letting America know that this sprawling tribe of conspiracy theorists and racists and provocateurs and misogynists and performers of casual hate will always have a champion in the White House. Solid...
...While Trump’s pardon of D’Souza grows, in part, out of Republicans’ broader war on the fundamental legitimacy of campaign finance law, now is an opportune moment for the president to explicitly hop on that bandwagon. Investigations into his close allies keep centering around possible campaign finance violations in which Trump may have been complicit. By dismissing the prosecution of D’Souza’s illegal straw-donor scheme as somehow unfair and ideological, Trump is pardon-signaling, setting the table for a next round of campaign finance pardons...
The crook in the White House is letting the crooks on his team know they can get away with robbing the liquor stores and banks and pension plans of the nation.
This is all on top of how trump is abusing executive powers on immigration - #WhereAreTheChildren - and failures of leadership - we are now getting estimates that the actual death toll in Puerto Rico is over 4,600 - which have been news stories deserving far more attention than the mainstream media is giving them.
We are so very extremely royally fucked going into June.