It's the Sunday Show Rundown, starring Larry Kudlow!
Today's edition of the Sunday Rundown will focus on CNN's "State Of The Union" with Brianna Keilar, which featured the
triumphant return of Trump's economic advisor and reverse Midas, Larry Kudlow.
After last week's very reassuring denials of the possibility of a recession, a reporter asked Trump at the G7 in France about his retalitory tariffs on China:
QUESTION: Do you have second thoughts about escalating the war with China?
TRUMP: I have second thoughts about everything.
It seems this existential despair answer (or simply that Trump doesn't actually know what "second thought" means) sent the White House went into spin mode, insisting Trump regrets not raising the tariffs HIGHER instead.
So naturally, Keilar began the interview with Kudlow by asking what Trump meant. After Kudlow basically went with the approved story, Keilar asked him to clarify this week's Trump royal decree to American businesses regarding China:
KEILAR: He also said he's no longer planning on forcing U.S. businesses to leave China. So, it does seem as if he is softening on this issue broadly.
KEILAR: You disagree with that?
KUDLOW: Hang on, if you -- well, a little bit. […] Regarding the larger point, OK, so he -- what he said last week in the tweet is, he can't order business. He's not ordering business. There's no emergency powers being invoked right now.
KEILAR: Well, he said he has the authority to do that.
KUDLOW: He merely said -- he may. As I said, there's nothing right now in the cards. Ultimately, we do have such authority, but it is not going to be exercised presently.
Nothing to see here, folks! Just a Trump Administration official floating the idea he'll use "emergency powers" to seize control of businesses. I mean, it's not like he has declared a bullshit "emergency" to go around the Constitution already. What's it called when the government controls the means of production again? You know, that thing Republicans are always falsely accusing others of?
Totally Real News Outlet 'Epoch Times' Loves Trump, Falun Gong, Heterosexual Healing, And Just Floating Right There Up In The Air
Hates Deep State and Doctors.
It never fails. Every single nasty, illegal accusation Republicans hurl at Democrats is something they themselves are up to their eyeballs in. They might as well confess to running a pedophile pizza parlor right now. Donald Trump is derping about Google illegally boosting Hillary Clinton's vote totals by 16 million based on some bullshit survey of 95 people, so of course there's an actual fake news outlet spending millions of dollars to pump insane QAnon and Spygate lies into America's bloodstream and boost Donald Trump. That train is never late!
NBC's Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Collins have a bonkers story out today on the conservative "newspaper" Epoch Times. Regular readers of Your Wonkette will already be familiar with this fine publication, both for its bizarro Spygate theories postulating that Donald Trump is constantly on the verge of doing LOCK HER UPS to the entire Deep State, and because it routinely produces highly selected excerpts of leaked House Intelligence transcripts, which it absolutely, positively does not get from Devin Nunes.
It's Your Sunday Show Rundown!
After years of Trump coasting on the economy he inherited from the Obama Administration, the Dow Jones fell more than 800 points last Wednesday. Economic indicators from Germany, Trump's trade wars with China and others, Trump tax cuts for the rich and an inverted yield curve (which historically has been a warning sign of an impending recession) are combining into a bad sign for the "successful" "businessman" who's hitched his wagon so close to the economy. So much so that it prompted the White House to send out their economic duo of Larry Kudlow and Peter Navarro to every single Sunday show.
Let's first focus on chief economic advisor and world's saddest Penguin cosplayer, Larry Kudlow.
Because you need a good tariffsplainer!
How many times during the 2016 election did Donald Trump promise that he would solve every complex, intractable problem very quickly with his bigly masculine hands? From the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to healthcare, from urban violence to Afghanistan, President Arty McDeals swore that he alone could fix it. Generations of presidents had failed because they were weak, but he was strong and virile, so world leaders would cower before him, and America would be respected again.
Only it didn't work out that way, because hard problems are actually hard. And nowhere was Trump's bombast more ridiculous than his vow to wipe out our trade deficit with China. Because Xi Jinping isn't some concrete contractor from Canarsie who's going to take an 80 percent haircut on his bill because he doesn't have a choice. He's the leader of the most populous country on the planet, which is the US's largest trading partner, and happens to own $1.2 trillion of US debt. He's got an iron grip on China's economy and its media. And there's no way on Mao's red earth that he's going to roll over because some orange-haired loon offers him "the most beautiful chocolate cake" at Mar-a-Lago while simultaneously threatening to destroy the Chinese economy.
The problem is, Donald Trump only has the one play. All he knows how to do is act like the craziest bastard in the room and keep upping the ante in hopes the other guy folds. Which is how we find ourselves here, with the stock market posting its worst day of the year yesterday after China devalued its currency and vowed to halt all American agricultural imports. And, okay, the stock market isn't a perfect heuristic for the wider economy, but a 767-point drop in the Dow is a pretty bad sign.
So, what exactly are we looking at here? Well ...
BUT HER EMAILS!
Attention Walmart Shoppers, and literally everyone else in US America! Almost everything you buy is about to get just a little bit more expensive since President Impulse Control decided to impose a 10 percent tariff on the remaining $300 billion of Chinese imports. Hooboy, are we tired of winning yet?
The message was delivered in the usual manner, and without informing our Chinese negotiating partners in advance.
Making diplomacy great again! Trump prefaced his announcement by speculating that China and Iran had simply decided to wait him out, "drooling" at the prospect of being able to "rip off our beloved USA like never before" if a Democrat wins in 2020. But it wasn't all bad -- at least he managed to wait until Mnuchin and Lighthizer were back from negotiating with their Chinese counterparts in Shanghai before losing his shit and blowing up the deal on Twitter!
Trump spent months mollifying the big money market guys by promising that a great new trade deal with China was just around the corner. Wowed by his steely acumen and giant manly hands, China had promised to start buying massive quantities of US agricultural products. Or was it a vow to get serious about preventing intellectual property theft? Wait, maybe they were going to execute all the fentanyl smugglers.
Oh, whoops! Apparently it was NONE OF THEM, KATIE.
And that asshole is still out there swearing up and down that the Chinese pay all the tariffs and we'd all be so much richer if we just cut out China entirely and started making our own running shoes in America again.
Which is all well and good, except here in America wages are stagnant and people who can afford to eat, and pay rent, and shell out for health insurance, and still buy a pair of $15 American-made socks are thin on the ground.
China has not yet announced what its next move is, but safe bet it will be retaliatory tariffs. Which the Chinese will pay if they want our stuff, just as we pay to import Chinese goods. Because SHUT UP YOU DEMENTED LOON, THAT IS HOW TARIFFS WORK. Except the Chinese can just turn around and buy their soybeans from Brazil and Russia, who are only too happy to pick up the slack in the market. And then American taxpayers can pick up the tab for that one, too, since there is no way on God's green earth that the GOP is going to blow off Iowa farmers during a presidential year, especially with Joni Ernst on the ballot.
Let's see how the markets looked for the day.
Graphic via CNN Money
Oh, hey, remember that fun time on Wednesday, barely 24 hours before the Stable Genius had his tariff temper tantrum, when the Chairman of the Federal Reserve announced that he was cutting interest rates because we're in a trade war and no one knows whether it's going to peter out or blow up the entire economy because some idiot with no impulse control can't stay off Twitter? (We might be paraphrasing. A little.)
Once more with feeling now ... TRADE WARS ARE GOOD, AND EASY TO WIN.
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Just The Feds Subpoenaing Mar-A-Lago For Info On The Chinese Massage Parlor Maybe Spy And Definite Trump-Access-Seller. NO COLLUSION!
And no influence peddling. And no straw donors. And no foreign money. And no
Do the Trump kids do anything besides rant on Fox and deflect subpoenas these days? Do they even have a job besides sitting on top of Daddy's money pile and whining about how it is NO FAIR that Republicans get investigated for doing crimes? Well, since they're not busy, the FBI's International Corruption Squad would like a word with young Uday and Qusay. The Miami Herald (which has been en fuego of late!) reports:
Federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., this week sent subpoenas to Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump's private club in Palm Beach, and Trump Victory, a political fundraising committee, demanding they turn over all records relating to Republican Party donor Li "Cindy" Yang and several of her associates and companies, the Miami Herald has learned.
Yang, the massage parlor entrepreneur who got caught flogging package tours to hobnob with the House of Trump to Chinese nationals, is under federal investigation for influence and access peddling. She's also suspected of illegally funneling foreign money to political donations, hence the subpoena to the RNC-linked Trump Victory committee.
Over the past year, Yang advertised at least eight Trump-related events to Chinese clients. Five of those events gave proceeds to Trump Victory — the committee dedicated to raising money for Trump's re-election. Two of the campaign fundraisers were hosted at Mar-a-Lago, and the others at various venues around the country, including one at Cipriani restaurant in New York City.
It's simply incredible how many of Cindy Yang's friends are day spa receptionists with a spare $5,400 lying around to donate to Republican political campaigns. In fact, we ourselves find it literally impossible to credit. And yet, the Herald has the names of several massage parlor employees who were able to max out their donations to Trump, giving $5,400 in the primary and then another $5,400 in the general. Nothing suspicious here!
You know what would make this story even better? A Chinese government link.
Oh, lookie here! Among the subpoenaed individuals and entities were:
Art of the Deal? REALLY?
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is a humble man of the people who enjoys hearty proletarian fare in his trusty lunchpail when the bell rings down at the plant. So you can believe him when he tells you that ramped up tariffs on Chinese imports should only add a few cents to the price of that delicious tallboy. Take it from Uncle Wilbur, kids! Trade wars are good and easy to win. Enjoy your soup, poors!
Besides which, as Donald Trump has repeatedly assured us, it's really China that pays the tariffs. So, if you think about it, Budweiser is getting richer off the increased price of the beer can, and the US government is taking in all that extra cash from China, so it's KA-CHING all around. (If you figure out where these numbers came from, let us know. We asked Mr. Google, and he said Trump pulled 'em out of his giant, orange ass. Ditto if you figure out WTF tariff income has to do with GDP.)
Except in China, where there are apparently no more people to buy anything.
China will be retaliating, of course, increasing tariffs on $60 billion of US imports. And unlike Trump, they're being strategic about which goods they hit. Donald Trump may think he's going to apply pressure equally to a billion Chinese people, but China aims to kick Iowa, Texas, and Louisiana squarely in the nuts with levies on soy, beef, and natural gas. But don't worry, kids, because Poppy Trump will just enact a new round of tariffs on everything China exports, and then they will immediately fold and give us what we want. China's government is currently celebrating the end of the Century of Humiliation by the West, but they'll definitely cave to an orange buffoon dripping desperation for a win before his own electoral campaign. Totes!
All about the Benjamins.
Being president is HARD. It's a constant tension between serving the American people and selling your saggy orange ass to every Ivan, Chang, and Harry that bellies up to the bar waving a couple crumpled dollar bills. But Donald Trump is up to the challenge. He only gets to keep a little of the $3.4 million each of his 22 visits to Mar-a-Lago (so far) cost the American taxpayer, so he has to supplement that golf cart money with people willing to fork over thousands of dollars to be in his spray-tanned presence. It's kind of like selling access to the Lincoln Bedroom, but for the Loehmann's crowd.
No one gets in for free!
Big round of applause for the Secret Service, Wonkers! They caught the Chinese Hamburglar trying to sneak into Mar-a-Lago on Saturday during the president's "working vacation." Okay, fine, actually the receptionist caught her. But after that, the Secret Service totally snapped into action and arrested that random Chinese lady with four cellphones, two passports, a laptop, and a malware-infected thumb drive, who showed up without a bathing suit and announced she was going for a swim.
According to a criminal complaint filed Monday in the Southern District of Florida, Yujing Zhang presented her two passports to the Secret Service agent at the Mar-a-Lago perimeter and said she was a relative of a club member with the same surname. Which is kind of like showing up at a bar mitzvah and claiming to be a friend of the Cohens -- your odds are good.
You know who 'her' is. Don't play stupid with us.
Now that we've finally finished all that fake Rusher situation with Rusher and Trump, the Stupidest Man on the Internet's Stupid website brings us a reason to hope for a better tomorrow! Judicial Watch, the pests who keep filling the courts with pointless lawsuits aimed at exposing all Hillary Clinton's crimes and murders and more crimes, is suing the government for records that will prove once and for all that China got all of Hillary's emails! If that sounds vaguely familiar, it's because Yr Evan Hurst wrote about it last summer when Donald Trump was mad-tweeting about it. It was nonsense, but VERY INCRIMINATING NONSENSE all the same! Here are the details, which are actually just riveting proof of not much of anything!
Yeah, don't faint, guys.
Mar-a-Lago's a weird place. Turn over a rock on that golf course, you never know what's going to crawl out. And inside the dining room, it's worse! We've already met swamp creature Cindy Yang, the owner of a chain of massage parlors cum brothels, who was recently caught selling access to the president and his family at their South Florida Golf 'n' Grift Emporium. For the low-low price of UNDISCLOSED, Chinese nationals can rub shoulders with the Trump family and talk up their businesses, without even having to hire a lobbyist. Cheap at twice the price!
Photo Captured by Mother Jones
But what if, while they're here for a little sun and suck up, those Chinese investors decide to drop a little extra cash to make the relationship permanent? Never fear! As Talking Points Memo was first to report, Mrs. Yang is a one-stop shop:
Trump's bigass budget, the horse race for 2020, and Erik Prince miiiight have lied to congress. Your morning news brief!
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
So ... 'Saturday'!
Turns out that "spa" owner hanging out with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago Super Bowl party got more than a selfie from the president. According to Mother Jones, Li "Cindy" Yang, founder of the "massage parlor" in south Florida where Patriots owner Robert Kraft was busted for solicitation last month, has been running a tidy business selling Chinese nationals access to the president at Mar-a-Lago.
Yang, who goes by Cindy, and her husband, Zubin Gong, started GY US Investments LLC in 2017. The company describes itself on its website, which is mostly in Chinese, as an "international business consulting firm that provides public relations services to assist businesses in America to establish and expand their brand image in the modern Chinese marketplace." But the firm notes that its services also address clients looking to make high-level connections in the United States. On a page displaying a photo of Mar-a-Lago, Yang's company says its "activities for clients" have included providing them "the opportunity to interact with the president, the [American] Minister of Commerce and other political figures." The company boasts it has "arranged taking photos with the President" and suggests it can set up a "White House and Capitol Hill Dinner."
THIS IS WHY CAMP DAVID EXISTS, GODDAMMIT.
Yang and her family had sold most of their "day spas" before Kraft was filmed getting a handjob from a likely trafficked woman, his second visit to Orchids of Asia in twenty-four hours. The Miami Herald notes, however, that the strip mall outlets had already "gained a reputation for offering sexual services" before Yang sold her stake in them. But don't worry, you guys, because Mrs. Yang has figured out other ways to make money.
It's your Sunday Show Rundown!
Let's begin today's Sunday show roundup with National Security Adviser and least favorite Bolton (after Michael and Ramsey), John. Trump's NSA appeared on CNN's "State of The Union," proclaiming the "unquestionable success" of the second Trump/Kim summit, even though no deal was reached and Trump was humiliated. Jake Tapper asked Bolton about Trump's statements regarding Otto Warmbier, the American college student who was sent home in a coma from North Korea and died shortly after being returned to the US; Trump said at a press conference that Kim Jong Un denied knowing anything about Warmbier, and so case closed. Trump stated, "He tells me that he didn't know about it, and I will take him at his word. Those prisons are rough. They're rough places, and bad things happen. But I don't believe he knew about it."
TAPPER: He's going to take Kim Jong-un at his word that he didn't know about it. The Warmbier family put out a statement. They disagree. They say Kim Jong-un is responsible. Are they wrong?
BOLTON: Look, the president made it very clear he considers what happened to Otto Warmbier an act of brutality that's completely unacceptable to the American side. I have heard him before the summit itself, before the press conference, talk about how deeply he cared about Otto Warmbier and his family. The fact is, the best thing North Korea could do right now would be to give us a full accounting of what happened and who was responsible for it.
That's quite a change or non-commitment for Bolton. Especially when, shortly after Otto Warmbier's death, Bolton was basically egging on a full scale regime change in North Korea.
Andy McCabe goes on 60 Minutes, Heather Nauert quit-fired, and LA's 'army of cats.' Your morning news brief!
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
Trump to steal $8 billion for WALL, the TVA goes green, and Adam Schiff takes on Facebook's anti-vaxxer problem. Your morning news brief!
Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.
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