8 – Tariffs and Korea Talks

THE TOPICS OF EPISODE EIGHT

NEWS PERTAINING TO THE ACTIVITIES OF THE WHITE HOUSE

  • Trump announces new steel and aluminum tariffs.
    • US executives warn that the tariffs could damage the strengthening US economy.
    • Manufacturers who use aluminum and steel to produce cans, cars, refrigerators, and additional goods warn of shortages, price surges, and trade barriers on US exports levied for retaliatory purposes. Executives complain of a lack of specific detail regarding the plan for the new duties.
    • Trump imposes a 25% tariff on imported steel and a 10% tariff on imported aluminum.
    • The president of the German Steel Federation, Hans Jürgen Kerkhoff, said that the EU must act to end the new tariffs or the European steel industry “is going to be left footing the bill for American protectionism.
    • Trump immensely harmed his own infrastructure plan by instituting the new tariffs.
    • Tariffs, industry groups say, will diminish prospects of American energy independence as the price of building steel pipelines will rise sharply.
    • Goldman Sachs economists said that Trump’s new tariff plan doesn’t rely “on any economic argument and instead imposes trade restrictions on national security concerns.” They also added that “This could lead to other trading partners taking similar actions and could ultimately weaken the international trade conventions like the [World Trade Organization] rules.”
    • Economists fear an international trade war.
    • Trump’s chief economic advisor, Gary Cohn, will resign from the White House after 14 months. The announcement marks Cohn’s failure to dissuade Trump from the tariffs. Cohn also tried to dissuade Trump from leaving the Paris climate accord, another issue he was on the losing side of.
    • Trump signed act to levy new tariffs on Thursday.
    • After intense lobbying and pressure from Congress, Trump moderated his plan. Canada and Mexico are now exempt,” and Australia, which Trump called a “great country” and a “long-term partner, will likely also be soon.
  • Trump plans to meet Kim Jong Un for nuclear talks
    • Trump breaks with the formalities of negotiation and avoids using lower-ranking officials to contact the government first.
    • The talks were spurred by a de-escalation between the two halves of Korea following the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyongyang.

NEWS CONCERNING OTHER AMERICAN AFFAIRS

  • The Justice Department is suing California over three of it statutes that protect sanctuary city systems and undocumented immigrants because they say it violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.
    • The Supremacy Clause says that “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”
  • Climate change lawsuit advances
    • The Ninth Circuit Appellate Court ruled that the case termed Juliana vs. US can move forward for trial after the White House attempted to prevent the case from beginning, alleging it could not on legal grounds.
    • The case is filed by teenagers seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. They claim that the government’s lack of regulation on climate change is unconstitutional because it denies them a stable climate and will cause flooding and harm to natural resources.
    • They use the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment and the Ninth Amendment’s protection of unenumerated rights to make allege constitutional protections.

NEWS CONCERNING THE POLITICAL ACTIVITIES OF EUROPE AND ITS NATIONS

  • Populism disrupts electoral outcomes and party activities in Europe.
    • A new pact was announced in Germany this week. It will form a coalition joining the center-left Social Democrats and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s own conservative Christian Democrats.
    • Anti-establishment votes accounted for half of Italy’s parliamentary elections. Distrust towards immigrants, fiscal constraints, and politicians in general bolstered support for the 5 Star Movement and other populist Italian policies.
  • A former English spy and his daughter were found comatose from poisoning on a bench in Salisbury, England this week
    • Sergei V. Skripal, 66, and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, 33, were targeted with a rare nerve agent.
    • Skripal spied on Russia.
    • His death was likely carried out by agents from Russia.
    • It is unclear how England will respond to the likely Russian aggression.

4 – Barcelona and Manufacturing

Thank you for listening to the fourth episode of JDRC Politics. We hope you enjoyed it. Please consider subscribing if you liked the podcast. Show notes below.

Barcelona Attack

  • The attack: A van plowed into a crowd of people in Barcelona near Las Ramblas, an area popular with tourists.
  • The victims: At least 13 people were killed, and more than 100 more were injured. At least 15 of the injured were in critical condition.
  • The arrests: Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said two suspects have been arrested. One suspect was Moroccan, while the other was from the Spanish enclave of Melilla. Police are treating the incident as an act of terrorism.
  • And ISIS: The terror group claims attackers as “soldiers of the Islamic state” — but it has not explicitly claim responsibility for attack.
  • Other: There was an explosion in Catalonia which may be connected to the incident. All trains and public events in Barcelona have been cancelled.

Donald Trump’s Dissolution of his Councils

After several business leaders announced their resignations from the White House’s American Manufacturing Council in recent days, President Donald Trump announced he was ending the panel Wednesday, along with the separate Strategic and Policy Forum.

“Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both,” wrote Trump on Twitter. “Thank you all!”

Eight members of the American Manufacturing Council dropped from the panel following Trump’s response to last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. A ninth, Greg Hayes of United Technologies, announced his resignation just minutes after the president’s tweet.

“.@Merck Pharma is a leader in higher & higher drug prices while at the same time taking jobs out of the U.S. Bring jobs back & LOWER PRICES!” -Tweet from Donald Trump

 

3 – Charlottesville

Thank you for listening to the third episode of JDRC Politics. We hope you enjoyed it. Please consider subscribing if you liked the podcast.

SHOW NOTES

“Today the main issue will be discussing is the Unite the Right white supremacist rally and surrounding events in Charlottesville. Protestors, counter protesters, and those wishing to support the injured and deceased have been active in Charlottesville since lm. Friday. Trump’s comments sparked further fury more recently.

Events

  • August 11
  • Events began on Friday when white nationalists marched through the campus of the University of Virginia chanting Nazi phrases.
    • “White lives matter””
    • “You will not replace us”
    • “Jews will not replace us”. (Anti-defamation League)
  • “While waiting for rides at Nameless Field after the march, several of the ‘alt-right’ protesters hurled anti-Semitic, homophobic and misogynistic slurs at several reporters and community members asking them questions” (Cavalier Daily)
  • August 12
    • The Unite the Right rally was held in Emancipation Park.
    • A state of emergency was declare at 11:00 AM due to violence against counter protestors by white supremacists and Neo-Nazis.
    • Heather Heyer was killed by a deliberate vehicular ramming in the afternoon. She was protesting against racism at the rally.
      • The vehicle driver–a man with Nazi sympathies–was arrested for the crime.
      • The ramming was declared by H.R. McMaster as an act of “domestic terrorism.”
    • Trump made his first statement
      • We all must be united and condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Let’s come together as one!” He said, “we condem in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”[142][143][144] He added, “What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order.”
        • The decision reportedly came from Steve Bannon, founder of alt-right Breitbart News agency. Bannon feared losing alt-right support.
        • This statement was heavily condemned
        • The Congressional Black Caucus declared Trump’s statement to be due to white supremacy, and added that it was an example of Dog-Whistle Politics and False Equivalency.
        • Following the statement, the NAACP implored Trump to remove Steve Bannon from his position.
  • August 13
    • Vigils and counter protests occurred the day following the rally.
  • August 14
    • On August 14, from the White House, President Trump said:
      “To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered. […] Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

      • Trump was initially reluctant to make this statement, but was persuaded by Chief of Staff John Kelly.
      • NAACP president Cornell William Brooks said this statement was a “rhetorical minimum.”
      • Many were dissatisfied by how late Trump’s statement arrived.
  • August 16
    • Trump held a Q&A with the press at Trump Tower saying: “Not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.” Trump also said that there were “very fine people on both sides”.
    • Trump suggested that liberals would attempt to remove statues of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington
    • More than 60 Republican and Democratic members of Congress condemned Trump’s remarks in the press conference (including among others, Senators Bernie Sanders, John McCain,
    • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, “The president’s continued talk of blame ‘on many sides’ ignores the abhorrent evil of white supremacism…”

 

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2 – Trump, McConell, and Kenyatta

Thank you for listening to the second episode of JDRC Politics. We hope you enjoyed it. Please consider subscribing if you liked the podcast.

SHOW NOTES

    • Analysis of  this tweet: “Military solutions are now fully in place,locked and loaded,should North Korea act unwisely.  Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!”
      • Donald Trump: The ‘locked and loaded’ President
      • Briefly discuss the newfound specificity of the DPRK’s and Donald Trump’s rhetoric
      • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has a very different ideas about handling North Korea. He is more similar to past presidents (which some Trump supporters viewed as too soft) in that he advocates for forcing North Korea into disarmament talks.
    • Trump must decide the path the US takes to handling North Korea
      • The US could risk a war with North Korea if it decided to destroy their nuclear capabilities
        • Obama-era investigations found this would lead to possibly millions of deaths in South Korea, Japan, and the surrounding era
      • The US could accept North Korea as a nuclear power
        • This could create a form of Cold War tensions
    • China’s response
      • China wants to deescalate tensions by forcing the US to talk with North Korea
      • Trump’s remarks are being criticised by Chinese-state media
      • China has implemented more defenses along the North Korea-China border in the case of military conflict
      • Chinese imports of North Korean resources provide for the majority of its export money

[In other news…]

Kenya Story