Monday Top News Executive Summary
China trade-deal buzz, G7 concludes, Barack Obama’s climate hypocrisy, Joe Walsh’s opportunism, and more.
Government & Politics
THE ART OF THE DEAL: “They want to make a deal. That’s a great thing,” President Donald Trump asserted today regarding a potential trade accord with China. Fox News reports that China is “now seeking a ‘calm’ end to its ongoing trade war with the U.S.” At least two factors have buoyed U.S. momentum. First, on Friday, “Mr. Trump said he would bolster existing tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods to 30 percent from 25 percent on Oct. 1,” The New York Times reported. “And he said the United States would tax an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese imports at a 15 percent rate, rather than the 10 percent he had initially planned.” Secondly, “Trump said Sunday that the U.S. and Japan have agreed ‘in principle’ to a bilateral trade deal involving agriculture and digital products,” according to The Hill. Heavy tariffs and the mere concept of a U.S.-Japan trade deal may be the combination that finally persuades China to made a deal.
G7 CONCLUDES: The Group of Seven summit wraps up today. “The final day was set to be pivotal for the leaders, as they sought to cap a summit marked more by whiplash, mixed signals and surprises than by concrete results,” The Washington Post reports. According to Trump, “There’s total unity. I’m talking about all the seven countries, and it’s been really good. We’ve had great unity even with Iran.”
DO AS A SAY, NOT AS I DO: In a recent Washington Post article, Andrew Freedman matter-of-factly declared, “Greenland ice melt, triggered by increased amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, has worsened coastal flooding in the United States and elsewhere.” He goes on to warn, “Studies have shown that during past periods when Earth was about as warm as it is today, the entire Greenland ice sheet was lost, raising global sea levels by about 23 feet.” Barack Obama was at least rhetorically concerned as well, stating in his 2015 State of the Union address, “We’ll continue to see rising oceans … and floods.” These postulations notwithstanding, Barack and Michelle Obama are slated to purchase a multimillion-dollar oceanfront estate on Martha’s Vineyard. So much for the Huffington Post’s 2017 prediction: “Climate Change May Force Millions Of Americans To Move Inland.”
OPPORTUNISM: According to The Washington Free Beacon, “Former Illinois Republican congressman Joe Walsh announced his plans to primary President Donald Trump during a Sunday interview with George Stephanopoulos.” Political commentator Erick Erickson fumes, “He is being pushed by a bunch of people who claim character really does matter. So they’ve settled for an opportunistic grifter and birther conspiracist. They might as well back Donald Trump instead of mini-Trump humper turned Trump dumper. What a spectacular admission of failure that Walsh is the best they could come up with. And that they would settle for him suggests they really aren’t that concerned with character.”
WITCH HUNT: “The House Judiciary Committee will subpoena former White House staff secretary Rob Porter as part of its probe into President Trump’s alleged attempts to obstruct special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. … The White House has thus far blocked senior White House officials from complying with lawmakers’ oversight requests, asserting that high-level officials enjoy ‘absolute immunity’ from testifying before Congress. That claim is now being challenged in the courts by Democrats seeking testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn.” (National Review)
Around the Nation
WIN FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: A Minnesota Christian couple in the videography business was attacked by the Rainbow Mafia, though thankfully they were vindicated last week by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. National Review’s David French provides background and explains why this was “a powerful blow for free speech and religious freedom.”
SMOLLET PROBED: “A Chicago judge appointed a special prosecutor on Friday morning to lead the investigation into the handling of the Jussie Smollett case. Cook County Judge Michael Toomin appointed former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb to the position to investigate the way the case was handled — specifically, why the 16 criminal charges against Smollett were dropped and to potentially reinstate the charges or even add additional charges against Smollett.”
Around the World
NOKO PROVOKES: “North Korea fired two suspected short-range ballistic missiles into the sea on Saturday morning, South Korea’s military says. The launch is the seventh carried out since North Korea ended a 17-month hiatus on testing at the end of July. … Japan’s Defence Minister, Takeshi Iwaya, confirmed the missiles had not landed in Japanese territorial waters, but described them as a clear violation of UN resolutions.” (BBC)
HONG KONG VIOLENCE: “Violence returned to the streets of Hong Kong on Saturday, as the police fired tear gas and protesters threw stones and gasoline bombs, signaling the end of a period of relative calm in the city. The clashes in the district of Kwun Tong, in eastern Kowloon, were a marked departure from the peaceful, if sometimes tense, gatherings that had taken place over much of the last two weeks.” (The New York Times)
POLICY: The right way to regulate Big Tech (National Review)
POLICY: “Green” cities: Higher costs, lower electricity reliability (Heartland Institute)
HUMOR: It’s time to address the real underlying motivation for climate denial: racism, xenophobia, and misogyny (NPC Daily)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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