Commons Confidential: Increasingly deranged Dom

Your weekly dose of gossip from around Westminster.

Boris Johnson’s inner circle fear that Benedict Cumberbatch has gone to Dominic Cummings’s head and the crazed assassin’s inflated deceit would disrupt a complex general election. One No 10 staffer blamed setting the police on Sajid Javid’s adviser Sonia Khan – described as a fratricidal act when she’s a true Brextremist from the TaxPayers’ Alliance – on an increasingly Deranged Dom believing “his own propaganda” since TV fame visited. And the usually monotone Philip Hammond, going nuclear, triggered mutterings about how to deactivate an increasingly radioactive henchman.

Jeremy Corbyn, attaching T&Cs to past calls for an immediate election in all circumstances, was ridiculed by Labour MPs as evidence that their leader doesn’t work through consequences. Self-styled bureaucrat John McDonnell, a shadow chancellor who thinks four dimensionally, will play a more central role in 2019’s campaign than 2017.

Bumping into Ken Clarke, he snorted that Johnson’s Brextremist mob are “not Conservatives” and could never have served with him in the Tory governments of Heath, Thatcher, Major or even Cameron. The Tory MP’s retirement in Rushcliffe after 49 years creates a mini constitutional crisis. Dennis Skinner, also first elected in 1970 but restanding in Bolsover, is next in line for the Father of the House position. The Beast’s not for taming, and will refuse the Buggins’ turn honorific title.

No politician earns as much from Brexit as high-roller Nigel Farage, paying himself £27,000 monthly from Thorn in the Side Ltd – his company amassing nice little earners from Fox News and LBC, among others. The riches dwarf the £5,900 a month, after tax, of an MEP fully appreciating the financial value of remaining in the public eye, if not the EU. The Brexit Party proprietor is followed at the mo by a …read more

Source:: New Statesman


Editorial: Trump’s tariff war threatens future of innovation economy

President Trump is losing his trade war with China at the expense of the tech industry’s future.

Someone needs to remind Trump that the last president to significantly raise taxes on imports against the advice of his economists was Herbert Hoover in 1930. Hoover’s backing of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act triggered the Great Depression. The parallels to the present are staggering.

The innovation economy brought the United States out of the devastating 2008 recession and has created a record-setting boom. The president’s recklessness not only threatens to send the nation’s economy into a tailspin, but it also risks our global dominance in a field that will determine who will lead the world for decades to come. The Consumer Technology Association estimates that Trump-imposed tariffs have already cost the tech industry $10 billion since July of 2018.

The president’s trade war entered a new phase Sunday when he imposed a 15% tariff on $115 billion worth of goods. It marks the first tariffs on Apple products made in China, including Apple Watches, AirPods, and HomePods. Trump is planning to increase tariffs on another $250 billion worth of goods on Dec. 15. The list of affected tech products includes laptops, smartphones, tables, video game consoles and big screen TVs.

Ho, ho ho. Happy holiday shopping, American consumers, as businesses pass along the costs to shoppers in the form of higher prices.

It’s time for Trump to admit the fallacy of his premise that “trade wars are easy to win.” His approach since taking office has only led to a higher U.S. trade deficit, which is now greater than $2 trillion. And growth in manufacturing jobs, which showed some initial gains, has slowed to a trickle.

The president is now threatening to use his emergency powers to force U.S. companies out of China, period. That would be a …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


Trump’s tariffs are expected to hit women and lower-income Americans the hardest

Retail store

The cost of tariffs are increasingly poised to fall onto those who can least afford them.
Lower and middle class Americans spend a higher portion of their income on targeted Chinese imports.
The newest round of tariffs is also expected to disproportionately affect women.
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As trade tensions between the US and China escalate, the costs of tariffs are increasingly poised to fall onto those who can least afford them.

President Donald Trump has levied punitive tariffs of between 15% and 30% on thousands of Chinese goods over the past year and announced plans for further escalation. Those import taxes have begun to hit far more household products, raising prices further for lower-earning Americans.

“Higher taxes on these goods are likely to be highly regressive, in that lower and middle class Americans spend a higher portion of their income on these Chinese imports than do higher income Americans,” said Mary Lovely, a trade scholar at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Business representatives have issued similar warnings to the Trump administration, testifying in public hearings over the past year that tariffs could cause them to raise prices for vulnerable consumers.

The newest round of tariffs is also expected to disproportionately affect women, whose spend more on some targeted products including apparel. About 42% of women’s and girl’s clothing was shipped from China in 2018, a recent Wall Street Journal analysis found, compared with 26% for men and boys.

“The combination of higher tariff rates and greater spending on imported goods means that women carry a significantly higher share of total tariff burden compared to men,” researchers wrote in an International Trade Commission paper in 2018.

The Trump administration is looking into a proposal to lower taxes by the same amount the Treasury Department takes …read more

Source:: Business Insider


AP source: Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott agree to 6-year, $90M extension

The Dallas Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott have agreed on a $90 million, six-year contract extension that will make him the NFL’s highest-paid running back and end a holdout that lasted the entire preseason, a person with knowledge of the agreement said Wednesday.

The breakthrough was finalized the morning of the team’s first full workout before Sunday’s opener at home against the New York Giants. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t been announced.

Elliott will get $50 million guaranteed. The $15 million-per-year average on the extension surpasses the $14.4 million Todd Gurley got from the Los Angeles Rams last summer. Gurley’s guarantee was $45 million.

The 41-day standoff between Dallas and the two-time NFL rushing champion came with the Cowboys holding high expectations coming off their first playoff win with Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott. They’ve won two NFC East titles in three seasons together.

Although Prescott and receiver Amari Cooper are seeking long-term contracts in the final year of their rookie deals, getting an agreement with Elliott settles the most important issue as the Cowboys try to get past the divisional round for the first time since winning the last of the franchise’s five Super Bowls during the 1995 season.

Elliott held out with two years left on his rookie contract, at $3.9 million this season and $9.1 million in 2020. The fourth overall pick in the 2016 draft wanted to be the highest-paid back after getting those two rushing titles in only three years.

Even when he was suspended for six games over domestic violence allegations in 2017, Elliott still had the best per-game rushing average.

…read more



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