‘Trump’s Trade War’ rattles world markets, will cost American consumers more money

President Trump on Thursday directed the US trade representative to level tariffs on about $50 billion worth of Chinese imports. Why Trump’s tariffs on China are a big deal:

In the next 15 days, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will publish a list of products that his team intends to hit with tariffs. It’s not clear how high the individual tariffs will be.

The United States also plans to impose new investment restrictions and take action against China at the World Trade Organization.

The trade conflict between China and the U.S. escalated, with Beijing announcing its first retaliation against metals levies hours after President Donald Trump outlined fresh tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports and pledged there’s more on the way. China Hits Back on Trump Tariffs as Europe Off Hook for Now:

On Friday, China unveiled tariffs on $3 billion of U.S. imports in response to steel and aluminum duties ordered by Trump earlier this month. The White House then declared a temporary exemption for the European Union and other nations on those levies, making the focus on China clear. Though Beijing’s actions so far are seen by analysts as measured, there may be more to come.

“Trump’s Trade War” has caused a decline in world markets:

Equity indexes from Tokyo to Frankfurt tumbled with European equities falling to the lowest in more than a year. U.S. stock futures dropped, signaling a further retreat for the S&P 500 Index after it fell 2.5 percent, on risks a further escalation in trade tensions will undermine an unusual phase of synchronized global economic growth.

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Trump betrays his supporters with John Bolton pick, signaling more ‘stupid wars’

Remember back to those halcyon days of the Trump campaign when his “America First” slogan signaled a return to American isolationism and turning away from Neocon “stupid wars” of regime change?

Despite having actually supported the Iraq war, Trump was highly critical of George W. Bush and his Neocon war cabinet on the campaign trail. Trump on Iraq: How Could We Have Been So Stupid? “One Of The Worst Decisions In The History Of The Country”:

TRUMP: I’m finding out all I can do is tell the truth. I tell the truth about Iraq. I say the war was a disaster. We spent $2 trillion. Lost thousands of lives, thousands of lives. We have wounded warriors all over the place. These guys have more courage than all of us put together. I have to tell you. All of us. And you know, I said we should have never been there. And you know, if Bush is insulted, I don’t care if he’s insulted. It was a horrible mistake. We should have never been there. Somebody says, oh, that’s not good to criticize? I say criticize? It’s one of the worst decisions in the history of the country. We have totally destabilized the Middle East.

I predicted that was going to happen. Because when you knock down the one power, the other power just took it over. Now Iran is taking over Iraq. Just as sure as you’re sitting there. We don’t even have anything to do with Iraq anymore. We’re gone. But think of it. We spent $2 trillion. Could have rebuilt our country. We could have done so much with that money. And instead, we’re worse in the Middle East than we were 15 years ago. Right now, it’s a disaster.

Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, but you know what he was good at? Killing terrorists. He was killing terrorists. Now, Iraq is Harvard for terrorists. if you want to be a terrorist, you go to Iraq. It’s Harvard. And what did we do? You know, we spent all this money, lost all these lives, have all these wounded warriors. What did we get? Iran is taking over. Not only did they get the $150 billion in the stupid deal we made, one of the dumbest deals ever, but now we’re taking over Iraq, they have been fighting for years to try to take each other.

Many of Trump’s MAGA supporters voted for him specifically because they believed (irrationally) that he would get America out of “stupid wars” and he would use the savings  to “make America great again.”

On Thursday, Trump betrayed those supporters when National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster resigned (riiight, he was forced out) and Trump replaced him with the godfather of stupid wars, John Bolton, a Neocon who was one of the directors of the Project for the New American Century that advocated for regime change in Iraq and misled the Bush administration with false intelligence into the Iraq war fiasco. John Bolton, Fresh From Fox News, Joins the Trump Cast.

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2018 Cesar Chavez Week at UA

For other  upcoming events celebrating/remembering civil rights leader Cesar E. Chavez go to our Calendar: http://blogforarizona.net/calendar-2/

Cesar E. Chavez fundraiser breakfast and another showing of “Dolores” on March 28; and the18th Annual March & Rally on April 7, 2018. Cesar Chavez was born on March 31, 1927 in Yuma, Arizona.

Rep. Finchem seeks to dismantle ABOR – kill this bill

The Arizona Daily Star Political Notebook reports:

Republican Rep. Mark Finchem of Oro Valley is once again looking to break up Arizona Board of Regents and give control of the three state universities to the Governor and the state Legislature.

Fresh off of his failed attempt at similar legislation last year, Finchem crafted a strike-everything amendment to create three separate governing boards to make policy, funding and tuition decisions for Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University and the University of Arizona.

Those boards would be appointed by the Governor — with four members coming from the business community and three from the academic community.

University and ABOR officials lamented that the bill would set up the possibility that the universities would openly compete with each other for resources.

Finchem’s amendment was adopted on an unrelated bill heard in the Senate Natural Resources, Energy and Water Committee this week, allowing it to skip public hearings in the House. The bill still must be approved by the full Senate, then return to the House for a final vote, before landing on Gov. Doug Ducey’s desk.

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GOP legislators preemptively nullify a ballot measure not even on the ballot yet

The Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona citizens initiative that is currently circulating in the state would amend the state constitution to require that half of all electricity generated by most utilities to come from renewable sources by 2030. Backers have until July 5 to get at least 225,953 valid signatures on petitions to put the issue to voters in November. The citizens initiative effort is funded by NextGen America, a political advocacy group set up by California billionaire Tom Steyer.

In a state which has a GOP corporation commission that was bought and paid for by “Kochtopus” dark money through its tentacle Pinnacle West, the parent company of Arizona Public Service, this is a threat to their continued dominance over Arizona. Arizona is the playground of far-right billionaires, not for left-wing billionaires, dontcha know.

So the “Kochtopus” got their Tea-Publican lickspittle lackeys in the Arizona legislature to preemptively nullify this ballot measure even before it has qualified for the ballot. This may be a first in Arizona for thwarting the will of the voters in service to their corporate masters. Bill to undermine possible renewable energy vote goes to governor:

Claiming they’re protecting Arizonans from a California billionaire, Republican lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to legislation to allow the state’s utilities to effectively ignore any new voter-mandated requirements for renewable energy.

On paper, HB 2005 does not forbid voters from considering the Clean Energy for Healthy Arizona amendment to the state constitution.

But this legislation, which Arizona Public Service admitted it helped craft, spells out that if the measure is approved, the maximum fine utilities could face for violating the provisions would be $5,000. And it could be as little as $100.

GOP lawmakers made it clear that the intent of HB 2005, which now goes to Gov. Doug Ducey, was to ensure that it would not matter if voters side with the initiative organizers.

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Prop. 301 education sales tax extended by AZ Lege

Arizona lawmakers voted to extend the sales tax that helps fund public education, ensuring that more than $600 million in state revenues earmarked for schools will continue for another two decades. All Democrats and most Republicans joined to pass the bill 26-4 in the Senate and 53-6 in the House. Legislature passes education sales-tax extension:

The bill to extend Proposition 301 was fast tracked through the Senate and voted out of the House on Thursday afternoon amid mounting pressure from educators who have protested at the Capitol over inadequate funding for public schools.

Revenues from Prop. 301, a six-tenths of a cent sales tax approved by voters in 2000, provide funding for teacher pay and performance-based raises, among other education-related expenses.

If not extended, the sales tax is set to expire in June 2021. As approved by the House and Senate, SB 1390 ensures the tax will continue through June 2041.

A spokesman for Gov. Doug Ducey said he would sign the measure.

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