Trump’s China Policy

If you believe the media and the Left (but I repeat myself) you would think that the China policy is a disaster. Trump has China quaking in its boots.

This week, with the successful renegotiation of a trade agreement with Mexico and Canada — the USMCA — Trump is now able to control China’s access to the entire North American market.

Beijing officials now realize, even if many in the US foreign policy establishment don’t, that they are facing a master tactician, one who is moving steadily from deal to deal, getting as many concessions as he can, and then moving on the next.

Don’t expect to read this kind of thing in the Left-wing media. (Hat tip to 90 Miles From Tyranny)

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Elon Musk vs SEC

That’s gonna leave a mark. SEC’s Musk Lawsuit Highlights Dangers of Social Media Disclosures.

So Musk tweeted that he had funding to take Tesla Motors private. Turns out, maybe not. The SEC sued for stock manipulation.

The SEC is seeking civil penalties and asked the court to bar Mr. Musk from being an officer or director of a public company. Mr. Musk called the suit unjustified and said he has always taken action “in the best interests of truth, transparency and investors.” Tesla and its board said Thursday in a joint statement they are fully confident in Mr. Musk.

Tesla stock fell 9.9% in after-hours trading. (Hat tip – Watts Up With That)

Calling 911 and Supply vs Demand – OR – Politicians Don’t Understand Economics

USA Today makes it sound like a thriving economy is a bad thing. With 911 dispatchers in short supply, average response time is slower.

They start with a description of a case where someone waited two minutes before an operator answered a 911 call. A lot of bad things can happen in 2 minutes.

When Americans dial 911 in an emergency, they expect a fast response and a reassuring voice at the other end of the line. But 911 centers across the country are struggling to hire enough operators, slowing the time it takes to answer calls. On rare occasions, the delays have led to injury and even death. While the crunch has been an issue for years, it has intensified over the past year or two as the nation’s low 3.9 percent unemployment rate increasingly spawns labor shortages across the economy.

That makes 911 dispatcher positions, which can be highly stressful, especially tough to fill.

Of course cities today are busy doing all kinds of things that they feel are more important that 911-call-center staffing. Like fighting with the US government over the rights of illegal aliens.

A business would respond by raising pay, to fix that Supply curve imbalance, but cities can’t do that. Well Some cities can’t do that

Other cities are apparently understanding the problem and taking action.

To attract more candidates, Little Rock over the past two years has increased the starting salary of call takers by $6,500 to $35,000. Dispatcher starting pay has jumped $12,200 to $43,000.

Even with the raises, the salaries are only similar to other, less-stressful jobs. But then there are other problems.

Many millennials, he says, similarly prefer slower-paced jobs even if the salaries are lower. “They’re much more casual,” he says. Record clerks, meter readers and secretaries are among the occupations whose median pay is roughly similar to 911 operators.

Monday Millennial bashing? Could be a good tradition to start. But no, I will bash the city of Little Rock. You need to pay MORE to get people to stay in a stressful job. If they can make the same money with less stress down the road, why wouldn’t they?

Asset Forfeiture Is THE Biggest .gov Scam Ever

JusticeMaybe this ruling/agreement can be taken to other places. Philadelphia Will Dismantle Its Asset Forfeiture Program and Pay $3 Million to Victims.

Four years after Philadelphia police seized the home of Markela and Chris Sourovelis for a minor drug crime committed by their son, the city has agreed to almost completely dismantle its controversial civil asset forfeiture program and pay $3 million to its victims.

The Institute for Justice, a libertarian public interest law firm, announced today that the city had agreed to a settlement in a federal civil rights class-action lawsuit challenging its forfeiture program.

The Constitution (that document that no one reads anymore) maintains that government can’t impose excessive fines, and it also can’t take private property without just compensation. The way asset forfeiture works in this country violates both of those restrictions.

A 2015 report by the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union found that almost a third of cash forfeiture cases in Philadelphia involved money owned by people who had not been found guilty of a crime.

The “court” in which you had to appear to contest this was run by prosecutors – no judges, and no “court-appointed attorneys.” And it sounds like very little justice. (Hat tip to Irons in the Fire.)

Meanwhile in the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela…

OK, not quite IN Venezuela, but pertaining to… Socialism doesn’t mean that everyone is EQUAL! What, are you crazy? Maduro under fire for dining on steak cut by Salt Bae in lavish Turkish restaurant while Venezuelans starve

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has drawn opprobrium over a video showing him being served slabs of prime steak by a celebrity chef in Istanbul, at at time when food shortages are inflicting misery and malnutrition on millions at home.

The videos were taken down from wherever they were posted, but since the Internet is forever, The London Telegraph has a copy.

Why should the fact that citizens of his country are starving to death keep him from enjoying a good meal? You didn’t think that the fact that Venezuela CALLS itself a Socialist democracy means that it is anything other than a dictatorship, did you?

Consider the case of the firemen facing 20 years in prison for making fun of Maduro.

Why No One Will “Fix” Venezuela

Because it has made itself irrelevant to global interests. North Dakota Is Now Pumping as Much Crude as Venezuela.

Home to the Bakken shale play, North Dakota pumped 1.27 million barrels a day in July, according to state figures released Friday. That’s roughly the same output as Venezuela during the month. The South American nation, whose oil industry has collapsed amid a prolonged financial crisis, saw production fall further in August to 1.24 million barrels a day — about half the level seen in early 2016, according to data from OPEC secondary sources.

And they won’t help themselves. Here is a piece by an ex-Venezuelan that explains why.

I do have bad news to my fellow ex-countrymen: North Dakota Is Now Pumping as Much Crude as Venezuela. So even at energy-producing level, the country has become irrelevant to US Interests.

I have discussed with Venezuelans here and back home what is needed to stop what’s happening in the country, and as usual, I hear a repetition of the crap that has already been tried over and over and failed: Marches, general strikes, appeals to the UN and OAS, social media campaigns, etc. When I point out that unfortunately harsher actions will need to be used, they promptly reply that they are unarmed and it is impossible to get a gun in Venezuela (somehow criminals have no problem). I usually tell them the story of WWII’s Liberator pistol and the concept behind it and the mentally shit themselves at the idea. Their indoctrination has been so complete that they are being starved to death by the Government and murdered by the criminals and they still do not see it in themselves to actually stand up for themselves. They are broke-ass Spanish-Speaking Elois.

AS they say, go read the whole thing.

Meanwhile in the Socialist Paradise of Venezuela…

The government’s plan to fight hyperinflation is going about like you’d expect. The New Venezuelan Currency Is Just Three Weeks Old and Inflation’s Already 100%.

After a week and a half of no changes in the Bloomberg Cafe Con Leche Index, the price of a cup of coffee has surged the past two weeks, climbing to 50 bolivars from 25 bolivars. For those still struggling to get used to the new pricing system, 50 of today’s bolivars equals 5 million of the old ones.

Annual inflation is ABOVE 100,000 percent.