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Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN 7 hrs ago
President Donald Trump is lashing out in all directions as the fallout from his summit with Vladimir Putin becomes ever more toxic, the Russia investigation grinds on with no end in sight, and his frustration boils over on a lack of progress on North Korea.
The tensions reached a new level Sunday night when the President issued an all-caps threat against Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who had warned the US that war with Tehran would be the “mother of all wars.” Trump tweeted that Iran would “suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before” if its government again threatened the US, immediately ratcheting up tensions.
Exacerbating a sense of a White House under siege is the President’s full-out assault on his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who recorded a conversation with Trump about a payment to a former Playboy model who alleges she had an affair with the former real estate tycoon before he entered politics.

The controversies raging around the Oval Office underline how the President is increasingly taking control of his own defense and is willing to dictate high-risk political and legal strategies. But his incessant and often false attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation also give the impression of someone who fears its ultimate conclusions and is unsettled that his fate may be out of his hands.
The most surreal aspect of the latest lurches of this unparalleled presidency is the intensifying public debate over the once implausible idea that the President of the United States is compromised by a hostile foreign power.
But Trump is vehemently defending the summit in Helsinki, Finland, seven days ago as a great success, despite lingering mystery over what went on in his private one-on-one meeting with Putin and amid uproar over his invitation to the Russian leader for a second summit at the White House.
He is also facing increasing scrutiny about the results of another major summit: his encounter with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore last month, which ended with Trump declaring he had solved the isolated nation’s nuclear threat.
Since then, Pyongyang has returned to its characteristic strategy of diplomatic obfuscation and delay. The Washington Post reported Sunday that despite publicly talking up the success of the summit, Trump was fuming to aides in private that there had not been more dramatic steps forward in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
CNN’s Kevin Liptak reported Sunday that according to a US official, the President had indeed registered frustration, but he was also convinced that North Korea’s continued suspension of nuclear and missile tests was a positive achievement.

No one can stop talking about the Putin summit

One week on from the Putin summit, no one can stop talking about it. And Trump’s defiance and failure to publicly rebuke the Russian leader in Finland over election interference is spurring unusual criticism from Republicans.
“The evidence is overwhelming,” South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“It can be proven beyond any evidentiary burden that Russia is not our friend and they tried to attack us in 2016,” Gowdy said. “So the President either needs to rely on the people that he has chosen to advise him, or those advisers need to reevaluate whether or not they can serve in this administration. But the disconnect cannot continue. The evidence is overwhelming, and the President needs to say that and act like it.”
Still, on Sunday, Trump appeared to return to a previous position that Russia’s election interference was a story dreamed up by Democrats to excuse Hillary Clinton’s defeat — despite saying in a scripted statement last week that he held Putin personally responsible for it.
“So President Obama knew about Russia before the Election. Why didn’t he do something about it? Why didn’t he tell our campaign? Because it is all a big hoax, that’s why, and he thought Crooked Hillary was going to win!!!” Trump tweeted.
The intensifying saga of presidential misdirection, recriminations and accusations is a sure sign that the corrosive impact on American politics triggered by the Russian election intrigue is worsening. The odds of it ending in any manner that does not deepen political divides are lengthening by the day.
The question of why the President is acting in a way that often seems to further Russian goals — for example in his attacks on allied leaders and institutions like NATO — is driving growing concerns about his attitude toward Russia and explains why the controversy over the Helsinki summit is showing no signs of ebbing.
“I think there’s no ignoring the fact that for whatever reason, this President acts like he’s compromised,” Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on ABC News’ “This Week.”
“There is simply no other way to explain why he would side with this Kremlin former KGB officer rather than his own intelligence agencies,” he said.
But Tom Bossert, the former White House homeland security adviser, said on the same show that suggestions that Trump was compromised by Russia were a “cheap shot.”
Contrasting Putin’s background as a former KGB agent who uses “penny-ante spy tactics” with Trump’s as a former businessman, Bossert said, “We spend our time trying to have productive meetings with foreign leaders. All the rest of this speculation and smoke is meant to undermine the President. It’s domestic partisan political concern mixed with some legitimate need to throw our intelligence forces against the prevention of spying and interfering in the United States.”
Whatever Trump’s motivation, there is also anxiety in Washington over his strategy of getting closer to Putin, even though most observers understand the necessity of communication between the world’s two top nuclear powers at a time of dangerously ruptured ties with Moscow.
“(Putin) is not interested in better relations with the United States,” Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” implicitly contradicting Trump’s rationale for engaging the Russian leader. “I think he walked away from that a long time ago. He’s interested in gaining advantage at our expense and to his benefit. And as long as we go in with a very clear understanding, we can engage him all we want, but not under any illusion.”
Mystification over Trump’s invitation to the Russian leader is compounded by the astounding prospect that the meeting with Putin will be in Washington in the fall, around the time of midterm elections, which US intelligence agencies say are already being targeted by Russia.
There is also uncertainty about the long-term fate of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats after his dumbfounded on-camera reaction at a security forum in Aspen, Colorado, on Thursday to the breaking news about the invitation to Putin.
Coats issued a remarkable statement on Saturday that is being interpreted as a bid to keep his job.
“My admittedly awkward response was in no way meant to be disrespectful or criticize the actions of the President,” Coats said.

Trump blasts Mueller and Cohen

While he remains consumed by his outreach to Putin, Trump is also fuming about Mueller’s investigation, apparently reasoning that he can use it to drum up partisan fury that will enthuse the base voters he needs to stave off a Democratic surge in the midterms.
“No Collusion, No Obstruction – but that doesn’t matter because the 13 Angry Democrats, who are only after Republicans and totally protecting Democrats, want this Witch Hunt to drag out to the November Election,” Trump tweeted on Saturday night. “Republicans better get smart fast and expose what they are doing!”
The President also accused the Justice Department and the FBI of misleading the courts, following the release of a previously classified warrant application to surveil former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.
Trump tweeted that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act documents “confirm with little doubt” that the Justice Department and FBI “misled the courts,” despite the fact that the document itself acted as legal justification for the FBI to obtain the 2016 warrant.
But Trump’s attacks on the special counsel pose their own questions.
To begin with, his prolonged assault on the investigation hardly suggests he has nothing to hide from Mueller. They also worsen the partisan imbroglio that plays directly into Putin’s desire to weaken American democracy.
While Trump’s ultra-sensitivity about Mueller looks suspicious, it could also be born out of an explosive reaction every time there is any question about the legitimacy of his election victory and his trademark insistence on hitting back harder anytime he feels he is unfairly attacked.
As if the Russia-related histrionics were not dramatic enough, there is also new intrigue about the case of Trump’s former lawyer Cohen, who is under federal investigation amid increasing concern among the President’s supporters that the attorney could turn on his former top client.
CNN reported on Friday that Trump’s lawyers waived attorney-client privilege on the President’s behalf regarding a secretly recorded conversation he had in September 2016 with Cohen in which they discussed a payment to ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal.
Lanny Davis, an attorney for Cohen, questioned whether the tape, first reported by The New York Times, supported the arguments of the President’s lawyers that there was no wrongdoing by the President.
But in a possible sign of concern that Cohen could chose to cooperate with prosecutors in a way that could deepen the President’s legal exposure, Trump lambasted Cohen in a tweet Saturday that mischaracterized the FBI’s raid on his home and office in April, which was executed on a court-approved warrant, amid a criminal investigation of Cohen by the US attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York.
“Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) – almost unheard of,” Trump wrote. “Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client – totally unheard of & perhaps illegal. The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!”

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Meyerson on TAP
We know the good news; we’re experiencing the bad. As everyone has heard, the economy keeps roaring along; the recovery that began in late 2009 is the longest in modern memory; unemployment hovers around 4 percent; the sun rises in the East.
That’s the big picture. Closer to earth, at least here on the East Coast, it’s been raining on us so long we have to take news of the sunrises on faith.
Closer to earth, today’s Wall Street Journal reports, homes sales are declining, the boom notwithstanding. Though economists are predicting that the economy in the quarter just ended will have grown by 4 percent, home sales have declined for five of the past six months when compared to their totals one year ago.
A particular weakness in the home-buying market is millennials, whose rate of homeownership is well below that of previous generations when they were under 35. Apparently, when you saddle millennials with record levels of student debt and strip them of the kind of employment security their elders experienced, they don’t buy houses as their elders once did, either.
The decline in home sales is of a piece with the news that average hourly wages actually declined between June 2017 and June 2018—despite all the new jobs created, despite the unemployment rate continuing to fall.
What should be clear from all this—and this should have been clear for many years—is that low unemployment is a necessary but insufficient condition for broadly shared prosperity. To attain that kind of prosperity, where people start buying houses again, we need to make some fundamental changes to our economy—like changing labor law so workers can collectively bargain again, like raising the federal minimum wage, like raising taxes on capital and the rich so that the government can begin investing in public works that bring with them good-paying jobs, like raising the taxes on corporations that funnel all their profits to shareholders instead of paying their employees or investing in productive enterprises, like requiring corporations to give their employees a number of their board seats equal to that of shareholder representatives—like making our capitalism more social, and thereby more functional. Who knows? Maybe Americans will be able to buy homes again. ~ HAROLD MEYERSON

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As feared, suspected and displayed our Titular leader is at sea in the world of international politics. After months of daily leading by tweet, he has managed to insult our long time allies and embraced out long time enemies which enhances their status in the eyes of the world. What has occurred from the beginning of this administration is a deluge of mistakes in selecting unqualified people to serve in the administration. The selections appear to be based on how much praise the resident received from the appointees and how much in step they are with his views no matter how radical or incorrect. This President has brought the office into a different sphere of influence which does not bode well for us. This is not Trump Industries where one can make decisions like a one man band. The United States is more like an orchestra which requires all of its parts to function well and in tune. It is clear that TOTUS has not understood that this position requires new knowledge and actions daily to do the job. We as voters need to keep all of this in mind when voting for ALL officials from local up to the Federal level. It is our duty as employers to have the best employees available.

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Meyerson on TAP
Germany a “Captive of Russia”? How About America a Captive of Texas? Germany, President Trump charged yesterday at the NATO summit, is “a captive of Russia.” He was referencing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which, when completed, will enable Germany to get much of its natural gas from Russia.
By any other criteria, Germany might be said to be less of a Russian captive than Trump himself, though what Russian bounty has flowed to Trump over the years remains the subject of investigation—and is not the subject of these jottings.
Because the phenomenon of energy dependency upon a politically backward state compromising a nation’s values is one Americans should know all too well. If Germany is a captive of Russia, then America is a captive of Texas.
The baleful influence of the oil industry on U.S. policy extends well beyond the climate-worsening policies of the Trump administration and the Republican Party (and some of the Democratic Party) generally. Dating back to the Hunt family and beyond, the oil fortunes of Texas, Oklahoma, and the rest of the fossil-fuel belt have funded generations of reactionary campaigns against liberal and moderate candidates in races where energy policy didn’t figure at all.
For that matter, energy dependency has been the basis of U.S. support for the repressive monarchy of Saudi Arabia since 1945, even though the Islamic fundamentalism that the regime has supported and fostered has helped spawn the very terrorist organizations the U.S. has spent a fortune combating.
So Trump should be careful about alleging that energy dependency can compromise a nation’s values and safety. By that metric, it’s us—not the Germans—who are the club champions. ~ HAROLD MEYERSON

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Mary Papenfuss, HuffPost 5 hours ago

Donald Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods won’t touch Ivanka Trump’s foreign-made products for her fashion line.
While Trump rails at Harley-Davidson motorcycles for moving some production to Europe to dodge EU tariffs, the first daughter and senior White House adviser has never manufactured a single product for her Ivanka Trump brand on American soil.
Trump enacted tariffs Friday morning on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods, affecting hundreds of products from boats to medical devices and auto parts. Products spared include those manufactured by his daughter.
That means Chengdu Kameido Shoes in Sichuan province can continue to supply shoes for the Ivanka Trump brand as it has in the past. It’s currently bidding for a new contract to manufacture 140,000 pairs of shoes for Trump’s company, a spokesman told The South China Morning Post.
Hangzhou HS Fashion in Zhejiang province also said it’s filling orders for orders for the G-III Apparel Group, which supplies shoes to Trump’s brand.
Until January 2017 all of Ivanka Trump’s products were made in factories in China and Hong Kong, research director Chris Rogers at Panjiva, a global trade data tracking company headquartered in New York, told Politico. Since then, some manufacturing has apparently been moved to other overseas factories in Indonesia, South Korea and Vietnam.

There have been no obvious shipments from China since mid-March, but Rogers speculated shipments may now be more difficult to trace because they could be moving under code names.
Other enterprises and workers in the U.S., meanwhile, are already feeling the heat from a trade war. China’s retaliatory tariffs have targeted U.S. seafood, soybeans, dairy products, cars, apples, whiskey, pet food and cigarettes, among several other products. Farmers are fearful they won’t be able to sell products they had earmarked for China. They also worry that suppliers from other countries will pick up the valuable market — for good — that they have worked for years to cultivate.
“Soybeans are the top agriculture export for the United States, and China is the top market for purchasing those exports,” Iowa soybean grower John Heisdorffer said in a statement. “The math is simple. You tax soybean exports at 25 percent, and you have serious damage to U.S. farmers.”
Despite the president’s mantra to “buy American and hire American” the Trump family retains major business operations overseas, and the Trump Organization continues to manufacture most Trump products in foreign factories.
The president even continues to profit from partnerships involving the Chinese government through state-supported companies and investments, including in developments in Dubai and Indonesia, notes the Washington Post. Ivanka Trump won a number of valuable trademarks in China just as her father was pushing to lift U.S. sanctions against Chinese telecom company ZTE, over the objection of congressional leaders. Trump announced his support for ZTE 72 hours after the Chinese government agreed to put half-a-billion dollars into the Indonesian project. The deal raised “serious ethical issues,” the head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics said.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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As it has been clearly illustrated, the current White House Resident has no compunction in pushing anyone in front a moving train, including his current wife. Who thought it was good idea to send FLOTUS to an immigration detention center with a jacket bearing a message that states: I really don’t care, do you? There appears to be no limit to what this administration(?) will do to get press. Aside from poor administration overall, awful choices for cabinet secretaries and worse selections in the Justice department, this administration is a train wreck on a train wreck. Meanwhile the malevolent minions are spoon-feeding TOTUS free style talking points that fire up his base while shoving the rest of us into a deeper national and international hole. As an example of his use of anyone the cartoon below by Jim Carrey illustrates TOTUS’s callousness.

Nothing comforts a federally-abducted refugee child like a photo op with a Slovenian model wearing a coat that says she doesn’t give two craps about your misery.


Ashley Parker 6 hrs ago

No clear plan yet on how to reunite parents with children
He’s done it on Twitter. He’s done it in the White House driveway. And he’s done it in a speech to a business group.
President Trump — a man already known for trafficking in mistruths and even outright lies — has been outdoing even himself with falsehoods in recent days, repeating and amplifying bogus claims on several of the most pressing controversies facing his presidency. Since Saturday, Trump has tweeted false or misleading information at least seven times on the topic of immigration and at least six times on a Justice Department inspector general report into the FBI’s handling of its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. That’s more than a dozen obfuscations on just two central topics — a figure that does not include falsehoods on other issues, whether in tweets or public remarks.
The false claims come as the president — emboldened by fewer disciplinarians inside the West Wing — indulges in frequent Twitter screeds. A Washington Post analysis found that in June, Trump has been tweeting at the fastest rate of his presidency so far, an average of 11.3 messages per day.
Inside the White House, aides and advisers say they believe the media is unwilling to give Trump a fair shot and is knee-jerk ready to accuse him of lying, even in cases where the facts support his point.
The president often seeks to paint a self-serving and self-affirming alternate reality for himself and his supporters. Disparaging the “fake news” media, Trump offers his own filter through which to view the world — offering a competing reality on issues including relationships forged (or broken) at the Group of Seven summit in Canada, the success of the Singapore summit with the North Koreans, and his administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigration.
“It’s extraordinary how he is completely indifferent to truth. There’s just no relationship between his statements — anything he utters — and the actual truth of the matter,” said Thomas Murray, president emeritus of the Hastings Center, the founding institution in the field of bioethics. “As far as I can tell, the best way to understand anything he says is what will best serve his interests in the moment. It’s irrespective to any version of the truth.”
According to an analysis by The Post’s Fact Checker through the end of May, Trump had made 3,251 false or misleading claims in 497 days — an average of 6.5 such claims per day of his presidency.
And within the past week, Trump seems to have ramped up both the volume and the intensity of his false statements on two of the most prominent topics currently facing his administration: the hard-line immigration policy that has led to the separation of thousands of children from their parents — which Trump erroneously blames on others — and the 500-page inspector general report that he claims, incorrectly, exonerates him in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Bella DePaulo, a psychology researcher at the University of California at Santa Barbara, said Trump’s use of repetition is a particularly effective technique for convincing his supporters of the veracity of his false claims, in part because most people have a “truth bias,” or an initial inclination to accept what others say as true.
“When liars repeat the same lie over and over again, they can get even more of an advantage, at least among those who want to believe them or are not all that motivated either way,” DePaulo said in an email. “So when people hear the same lies over and over again — especially when they want to believe those lies — a kind of new reality can be created. What they’ve heard starts to seem like it’s just obvious, and not something that needs to be questioned.”
On immigration, Trump and many top administration officials have said that existing U.S. laws and court rulings have given them no choice but to separate families trying to cross illegally into the United States. But it is the administration’s decision, announced in April, to prosecute all southern border crossings that has led to the separation of families.
That hasn’t stopped the president from blaming Democrats for his administration’s decisions. “Democrats are the problem,” Trump wrote in one tweet. In another, he was even more blunt: “The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their horrible and cruel legislative agenda,” he wrote.
While Congress could pass a legislative fix, Republicans control both the House and the Senate — making it disingenuous at best to finger the opposing party, as the president has repeatedly done.
Speaking to the National Federation of Independent Business on Tuesday, Trump again falsely painted the humanitarian crisis as a binary choice. “We can either release all illegal immigrant families and minors who show up at the border from Central America, or we can arrest the adults for the federal crime of illegal entry,” he said. “Those are the only two options.”
On Twitter, the president twice in the past four days has singled out Germany as facing an increase in crime. “Crime in Germany is up 10% plus (officials do not want to report these crimes) since migrants were accepted,” Trump wrote. “Others countries are even worse. Be smart America!”
In fact, the opposite is true. Reported crime in Germany was actually down by 10 percent last year and, according to German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, the country’s reported crime rate last year was actually at its lowest point in three decades.
The president has also falsely claimed that the inspector general report “exonerated” him from Mueller’s probe, when the report did not delve into the Russia investigation. When he made this argument Friday during an impromptu press gaggle in the White House driveway, a reporter pressed him on the falsehood.
“Sir, that has nothing to do with collusion,” the reporter said. “Why are you lying about it, sir?”
Trump’s messaging on the family separation issue has faced pushback even from members of his own party, who have publicly and privately urged him to fix the problem. And the discordant noise from members of his administration, who are contradicting him and one another, has further eroded his credibility on the issue.
On a conference call Tuesday morning, for instance, a senior Health and Human Services official said the new policy was focused on deterrence and was working — contradicting the public comments of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who has publicly said that family separation is not a policy, is not new and is not about deterrence.
Brian Fallon, a press secretary for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid, said he thinks the past week may mark an “inflection point” in how both the media and the public treat Trump’s mistruths.
“The lies have been so bald and discernibly false, I think people have felt license to challenge him and use the word ‘lie’ more freely than they have in the past,” Fallon said.
The topic of family separation, Fallon added, is especially stark.
“I think the sort of visceral nature of this particular issue, in terms of the sympathy that these young kids have evoked, has caused a splintering within his own party,” Fallon said. “Once you have a critical mass of defections among your own side, at that point, it becomes unsustainable even for somebody who has patented this approach to lying like Trump has.”
ashley.parker@washpost.com

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DJT has taken the Presidency to an unprecedented low (a lower swamp). During his tenure he has hired essentially lackeys who respond to his whims no mater whether these  whims are true, false proper or improper. Most of them or perhaps all are afraid of being called put in tweets for doing the opposite of what he wants or trying to explain what he meant by what he already said. It seems that making the effort is enough to stay off his “radar” but does nothing to further an agenda that benefits the American people that they were put in place to serve. This administration while providing entertainment is not in place for that purpose, it is in place  serve the people , ALL of the people. Too many decisions have been made for special interests and to fulfill extreme campaign promises that benefit the few. It is our job (voters) to elect the best people to work in Government (including Congress) and we have failed for a long time. To be sure we voters all want good government but we have been subverted by political parties and their subsets. I believe we all are Conservatives as defined: “holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion”. The difference among us is that we have allowed louder voices to usurp our thoughts of who or what we think we are as Conservatives. With this is mind we need to disregard what candidates from any party attempts to tell us what to think by using innuendo, lies and misconstrued information from many sources. The goal of all candidates is to get elected, after that the handlers take over and spew out whatever it takes to get legislation passed, repealed or altered and many times to our (voters) detriment. Keep in mind that all information is not necessarily correct or incorrect but sometimes is skewed using certain wordage in certain sentence construction. It is my opinion that we can do better by reading as many sources as we can to get a wider view than what is presented as “campaign facts” leaving the entertainment to the professionals in TV land and the movie industry. If we (voters) do not constantly read several sources and evaluate what is being presented to us we will continue to have poor government from the Local to Federal level. Going out on limb, I would state that any one running for election is to be viewed with skepticism and questioned severely when conducting “town halls” or campaign stops, it is your right to question.

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“The problem with this country is with the politicians, not with the people,” exclaims Sultan Aziz Abu Hasan, a clerk sitting behind the desk at a small pharmacy.
“We need to get those thieves out,” says Fizza Ali, as a crowd listens attentively to the debate about democracy between the candidate and voters.”
This statement was made by a resident of Mosul to a candidate for office. This resonated with me since it reflects my thoughts about our own politicians especially now. The United States has undergone nearly two years of incompetent Federal Leadership all with the assistance of a Neer do well Congress lead by two of possibly the worst Congressional leaders in our history. The goal appears to be to attack the most vulnerable among us. All of the talk about jobs, deals that affect our allies and the egocentric executive actions area pushing us into the position of being nearly a third world situation. The worst part of this is our 2 Congressional leaders(?) have abdicated their duty to the country in favor of a Narcissus who happened to get elected. Each action by this Resident is aimed at campaign promises that do nothing for America as a whole but benefit small groups of people whose interest are solely their own. At this time the “Evangelical conservatives” are pushing for moral authority over us all by supporting the selection of “conservative” judges in high courts which will shift the courts to the right for years (do we want a bunch of “ROY MOORE’S on the bench?). Every action of this administration will push us back as country to a time where it was OK to kill anyone with an accent or a different skin color. The long range effect of this administration will surely create rifts among us which is exactly what this administration thrives on along with the daily diets of  misinformation and outright lies streaming on twitter, backed up by the talking heads of the administration.

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Bob Bryan 6 hrs ago

© Provided by Business Insider
Over 1,100 leading economists sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging the president to reverse course on recent trade tactics — lest the US repeat one of the biggest mistakes of the Great Depression.

The letter, organized by the conservative-leaning National Taxpayers Union, warned that recent tariffs and trade protectionism were harmful to the US economy. The economists cited a 1930 letter that warned Congress against passing the Smoot-Hawley Act, a large package of tariffs that many studies cite as a major reason for the depth of the Great Depression.
“Congress did not take economists’ advice in 1930, and Americans across the country paid the price,” the letter says. “The undersigned economists and teachers of economics strongly urge you not to repeat that mistake. Much has changed since 1930 — for example, trade is now significantly more important to our economy — but the fundamental economic principles as explained at the time have not.”
The Smoot-Hawley tariffs, much like Trump’s measures, were designed as protection for US industries. But they ended up making the situation worse.
Included on the new letter are 14 Nobel laureates and economists from across the political spectrum, including former chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers under Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
The letter also quotes the warnings from the 1930 letter, which warns that tariffs raise prices on consumers, damage industries that rely on trade director or indirectly, hurt the fortunes of American farmers, and lead to retaliatory measures from other countries.
The 1930 letter also painted the tariffs as a threat to national security.
“Finally, we would urge our Government to consider the bitterness which a policy of higher tariffs would inevitably inject into our international relations,” the 80-year-old letter read. “A tariff war does not furnish good soil for the growth of world peace.”

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