By Robert A. Vella
The situation in Hong Kong is chaotic and possibly headed towards another brutal government crackdown against pro-democracy movements like the Tiananmen Square massacre China committed against its own people in 1989. President Trump has expressed rhetorical support for the protesters in Hong Kong, but he has been noticeably silent on the similar anti-authoritarian protests in Moscow. You see, Trump isn’t supporting Hongkongers’ call for democracy. Trump loathes democracy, and I’m sure he has no love for the people of Hong Kong. But, Trump is antithetical towards China so his rhetoric is a reflection of his hatred. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, so to speak. And, Trump loves Russian strongman Vladimir Putin so that’s why he has been silent on the massive Moscow protests.
Back home in the U.S., the Trump administration has gutted the Endangered Species Act signed into law by President Nixon in 1973 which has been successfully preventing animal species vital to the ecological balance from going extinct for nearly half a century. Also, as was reported yesterday, Trump launched an administrative attack on LEGAL immigrants by cutting off their access to anti-poverty programs such as food stamp assistance and subsidized housing. You see, the only animals Trump wants to help are wealthy, white, conservative, Christian Homo sapiens.
All this may seem like the ravings of a madman to you, which it is, but reality does seep into Trump’s deeply disturbed psyche occasionally. It must’ve happened recently because Trump allowed his trade representatives to rescind some of the trade tariffs he had imposed – or, was planning to impose – on China. Why would he do that, you ask? Self-preservation, I say. You see, economic recession fears have been building steadily ever since Trump started this nonsensical trade war shortly after becoming president. The latest news is an impending reversal in the bond market which has always been a good indicator for forecasting economic downturns. And, if the U.S. economy goes into recession ahead of the 2020 election, Trump – as they say – is toast.
Hong Kong chaos
HONG KONG — As antigovernment demonstrations continued to cripple Hong Kong’s airport, riot police, bearing batons and pepper spray, clashed with protesters, underscoring the deepening unrest gripping the city.
The chaos at the airport late Tuesday night — unprecedented in the Asian financial hub known for efficiency and order — came hours after mass protests forced the airport to suspend check-ins for the second consecutive day. The city’s embattled leader, Carrie Lam, had pleaded earlier for order after days of escalating street violence.
Trump attacks endangered species
US President Donald Trump’s administration on Monday finalized rollbacks to key provisions of the Endangered Species Act, a law supported by a large majority of Americans and credited with saving the gray wolf, bald eagle and grizzly bear.
The changes include removing a rule that automatically conveys the same protections to threatened species and endangered species, and allowing information on economic impact to be gathered when making determinations on how wildlife is listed.
“What, in your opinion, is the administration not getting?” we asked.
“That humans are part of the natural world and tied to all of these things. Pull pieces and you risk the crumbling of all of them, like a house of cards.”
As visitors enter the California Academy of Sciences, they’re greeted by a Tyrannosaurus Rex which went extinct millions of years ago. Blame that mass extinction on an asteroid.
“Now, we’re the asteroid,” said Dr. Roopnarine.
Trump attacks poor brown people
On Monday, Emma Lazarus wept.
Lazarus, of course, was the poet who celebrated that the United States welcomes the tired, the poor, the huddled masses of other lands. But on Monday, the Trump administration unveiled a new immigration policy that upends that tradition. The poor are no longer welcome. Instead, the immigrants with the best chances at getting past the gatekeepers and settling in America going forward will be rich, credentialed, and white.
Under the new policy, federal authorities will use “aggressive” wealth tests to reject residency or citizenship for an immigrant “because he or she is likely at any time to become a public charge” — receiving food stamps or other taxpayer-funded welfare state benefits. And officials can make that determination by considering the migrant’s “age; health; family status; assets, resources, and financial status; and education and skills.”
A large majority of Americans says that there should be a way for undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. legally as long as they meet certain requirements, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center.
The poll, which was released on Monday, found that 72 percent of Americans support granting legal status to immigrants who crossed into the U.S. illegally if they meet certain criteria. The figure represents a slight decline from a Pew survey conducted in March 2017, in which 77 percent of Americans said they were supportive of the idea.
Just 27 percent of overall respondents expressed opposition to finding a way for undocumented immigrants to have a path to legal status.
Pew noted the dip in support largely stems from changing views among Republicans.
Trump backtracks on trade war
The United States Trade Representative office said Tuesday certain items were being removed from the new China tariff list because of “health, safety, national security and other factors” while tariffs on other items would be delayed until December 15.
The products in the group that will have tariffs delayed include “cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing,” the USTR said.
Apple shares traded higher on the news.
As Wall Street economists up the odds for a recession in the coming year, the bond market is sending its own scary warning about an economic downturn.
Various parts of the yield curve have been inverted, but the traditionally watched 2-year to 10-year spread looks set to invert any day now, with the curve at its flattest level since 2007.
The 10-year yield, at its low yield of 1.64% Monday came less than 6 basis points above the 2-year yield, which was at 1.58% in afternoon trading. The spread broke below 10 basis points last week. An inverted curve simply means a shorter-term interest rate is higher than the longer-term one that it is being compared too, and that inversion has been a reliable recession signal.