$200Bn more in tariffs.

Now are you paying attention?  The market sure did yesterday whenTrump said he wants to move ahead with his plan to impose $200Bn of additional tariffs as soon as next week, just two days after tweeting that he and President Xi would work out their trade deal, which drove the market to new highs.  Companies and members of the public have until Sept 6th to submit comments on the proposed duties, which cover everything from selfie sticks to semiconductors. The President plans to impose the tariffs once that deadline passes.

Trump cut off negotiations with China because of what he perceives as Beijing’s lack of cooperation in nuclear talks with North Korea, one of the people said. The president wants to squeeze China, believing the U.S. has leverage over Beijing, that person said.  Trump also threatened to pull out of the World Trade Organization as they have not been behind his illegal sanctions so far – that alone threatens to unwind the entire Global Economy but, thank Goodness, noboday takes the President seriously when he says insane things like that.

Trump also said (yes, he just keeps going) that the EU offer to scrap auto tariffs "is not good enough" meaning – well let's not pretend to know what he means but if NO TARIFFS are not good enough then I guess he wants the EU to offer incentives for their people to buy American cars?  I was going to say that's Batshit Crazy but then I thought that was going to far but then I looked up the definition of Batshit Crazy and yes, Trump is BATSHIT CRAZY!  

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You know, after 8 years in office and millions of photos, there are NO pictures of Obama snarling at anybody or about anything.  Not even Bush II has any snarly pictures but he may tie Trump for dumb-looking pictures.  No snarly pictures of Clinton either and I couldn't find many Bush I pictures as he's pre-internet but I'm sure he snarled at least once so let's say you have to go back at least 30 years to find a President who even looks like this once – yet it's pretty much Trump's go-to expression.

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Trump was snarling last night when he said Google, Amazon and Facebook may be "in a very antitrust situation," as the companies refused to stop indexing bad news to the word Trump as he demanded earlier in the week.  “I won’t comment on the breaking up, of whether it’s that or Amazon or Facebook, as you know, many people think it is a very antitrust situation, the three of them. But I just, I won’t comment on that.” said Trump, commenting on that.  

Trump’s latest attack on the technology companies began Tuesday when he claimed without providing evidence that Google’s news search function favored liberal over conservative outlets, tweeting that “This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!” Later, in a meeting in the Oval Office, he told reporters that Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. “are treading on very, very troubled territory.”

Trump continued with the topic at a rally in Evansville, Indiana, on Thursday night. "I’ve made it clear we as a country cannot tolerate" censorship and "rigged search results," the president said. "We’re not going to let them control what we can and cannot see, read, and learn from."  Which is what this is really about, censoring anti-Trump (real or perceived) information.  

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Republican lap-dog, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah on Thursday askedU.S. Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simons to re-examine Google’s conduct in search and digital advertising, saying reports of potentially anticompetitive conduct are “disquieting.”  Google said its search function is not used to set a political agenda and isn’t biased against any ideology.  

> I guess swearing to "uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America" includes the 2nd Amendment but not the First?

This is serious stuff people, the President of the United States and his attack dogs in Congress are going after not only the Free Press but after the outlets that give you access to them.  People should be up in arms about this but, if they are, they are being portrayed by Trump's Conservative Media Pals as "left-wing wack jobs."  Perhaps the GOP should consider that, if they give the President the power to decide what news you should hear and what news you shouldn't – they may one day find themselves on the other end of that gun.

I guess they are counting on the fact that, whoever is in power when the press loses theirs will very possibly be the people who continue to be in power forever.  Historians will tell you thatTrump is simply following Putin's playbook– he did a similar push to take over the media (as many as 50 anti-Putin journalists were actually murdered with hundreds of other assaults as Putin's followers attacked the "Enemies of the People") after he took office and laws were passed in 2014 extending the State near total control of mass-media.As noted by Wikipedia

> The Russian constitution provides for freedom of speech and press; however, government application of [law](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law "Law"), bureaucratic [regulation](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation "Regulation"), and politically motivated [criminal investigations](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminal_investigation "Criminal investigation") have forced the press to exercise [self-censorship](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-censorship "Self-censorship") constraining its coverage of certain controversial issues, resulting in infringements of these rights.[4][5][13][14]According to Human Rights Watch, the Russian government exerts control over civil society through selective implementation of the law, restriction and censure.[8]

Gee, isn't that EXACTLY what's happening here, in America? 

How do you know when you are living in a police state?   Well, if they do it right, you never will! 

Have a great weekend, 

  • Phil