Monday, August 26, 2019

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (8/23/19)

Trump's Twitter War Becomes Reality, China Imposes New Tariffs Starting September 1

On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Dr. Jack Rasmus, professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California; Jim Kavanagh, political analyst and commentator and editor of The Polemicist; and Caleb Maupin, journalist and political analyst. 

It’s Friday, so that means it's panel time. 

US President Donald Trump is raising the stakes in his trade war with China, tweeting Friday that he's increasing the tariffs scheduled to start next week from 10% to 15% on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods. Trump's comments came on a volatile day in his trade war. China started things off by announcing tariffs on $75 billion of US goods Friday morning. Just as the market was starting to calm down, Trump made two tweets that further rattled investors. The first ordered American companies to find alternatives to doing business in China, and the second wondered who is the bigger enemy: Chinese President Xi Jinping or US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Trump also tweeted his justification for taking on China over trade, saying it is something that was long overdue.

Hong Kong saw its first weekend without tear gas in weeks, even as anti-government protesters brought streets to a standstill, and hundreds of thousands of people marched despite police objection. Hong Kong’s embattled leader, Carrie Lam, has said she will “immediately” set up a platform for dialogue with citizens and tackle complaints against the police, after a weekend of peaceful protests that she hoped would be the start of a return to calm in the financial hub. Her offer was dismissed by activists as “a trap”, however. “Work will start immediately to build a platform of dialogue,” Lam said. “We hope this dialogue can be built upon a basis of mutual understanding and respect to find a way out for Hong Kong.” What is to come of these protests?

New York state, New York City, Connecticut and Vermont sued the US federal government Tuesday, challenging new Trump administration rules blocking green cards for many immigrants who benefit from public assistance programs, such as food stamps, Medicaid and housing vouchers. The plaintiffs are not the only ones suing over the new policy, one of the administration's most aggressive moves yet to stem legal immigration. The Trump administration is also planning to hold migrant families in detention for the entire duration of their immigration proceedings. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan says the current standards incentivize illegal entry, which has “caused and fueled” the family crisis at our southern border. At issue is an agreement the US government made with a federal court in 1997 after lawyers representing migrant children, including a girl named Jenny Lisette Flores, filed a lawsuit objecting to their treatment in custody. The resulting "Flores Settlement Agreement" limited the time children could be held in custody to 20 days and required that they be provided safe and sanitary conditions.

Police arrested Tristan Scott Wix, 25, on Friday in Daytona Beach, Florida, on a charge of making written threats to kill. Wix was detained outside a Winn-Dixie grocery store after police were alerted of text messages he had sent saying he wanted to “break a world record for longest confirmed kill,” according to WKMG-TV. The suspect sent several text messages saying he wanted to kill 100 people in a mass shooting and had decided on a location, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office reported. Deputies said the 25-year-old told them he is fascinated by mass shootings but does not own any guns. However, Volusia County Sheriff Michael Chitwood told CNN Sunday that officials had searched Wix's apartment and found a .22-caliber hunting rifle and 400 rounds of ammunition. What's really going on here?

[Related articles: The Rifle on the Wall: A Left Argument for Gun Rights (Reprise)Lawyers, Guns, and Twitter: Gun Battles and Class Struggle after San Bernardino]

These stories and more!


Jim Kavanagh — Political analyst and commentator and editor of The Polemicist.

Caleb Maupin — Journalist and political analyst who focuses his coverage on US foreign policy and the global system of monopoly capitalism and imperialism.

Dr. Jack Rasmus — Professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of "Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression."

Listen to "Trump's Twitter War Becomes Reality, China Imposes New Tariffs Starting September 1" on Spreaker.

The Critical Hour is a daily 60-minute news analysis and talk radio program on Radio Sputnik hosted by Dr. Wilmer Leon. Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.

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