Trump fiddles while China leads World Trade Recovery

Bloomberg’s Tom Keene displays the performance of the renminbi against the U.S. dollar in 2017. He speaks with Carl Weinberg, chief economist at High Frequency Economics, on “Bloomberg Surveillance.”

Often appearing on Bloomberg TV, Dr. Weinberg is one of several economists who wastes no time on the ideological blather coming out of the Washington Beltway. Regardless of which of the two Tweedledee/Tweedledumb parties we’re allowed – is in power.

I think if you asked the average American college graduate about the Silk Road or the Silk Route – you’d get a profound silence. Listen to what Dr. Weinberg says in passing about the increase in trade this year. Understand that this is a startup barely in its beginning. Understand that regardless of Trump’s compounded ignorance and lies, the United States isn’t China’s biggest customer and consumer of goods exports. The European Union is. And they don’t consider his whines and wailing important enough to be anything more than a footnote to American electoral gullibility.

The Europeans, workers and investors alike do not suffer the disparity in income and distribution we have in the United States. Europeans get income – not fear and trembling – from global trade. Their trade with China is leading to greatly expanded trade for all the Euro nations with all the nations in between China’s hubs and the industrial centers of the European Union.

Fentanyl Passes Heroin as Leading Cause of U.S. Drug Deaths

Drug overdoses killed roughly 64,000 people in the United States last year, according to the first governmental account of nationwide drug deaths to cover all of 2016. It’s a staggering rise of more than 22 percent over the 52,404 drug deaths recorded the previous year — and even higher than The New York Times’s estimate in June, which was based on earlier preliminary data.

Drug overdoses are expected to remain the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, as synthetic opioids — primarily fentanyl and its analogues — continue to push the death count higher. Drug deaths involving fentanyl more than doubled from 2015 to 2016, accompanied by an upturn in deaths involving cocaine and methamphetamine. Together they add up to an epidemic of drug overdoses that is killing people at a faster rate than the H.I.V. epidemic at its peak…

The explosion in fentanyl deaths and the persistence of widespread opioid addiction have swamped local and state resources. Communities say their budgets are being strained by the additional needs — for increased police and medical care, for widespread naloxone distribution and for a stronger foster care system that can handle the swelling number of neglected or orphaned children.

It’s an epidemic hitting different parts of the country in different ways. People are accustomed to thinking of the opioid crisis as a rural white problem, with accounts of Appalachian despair and the plight of New England heroin addicts. But fentanyls are changing the equation: The death rate in Maryland last year outpaced that in both Kentucky and Maine.

Monthly provisional reporting looks like things are only getting worse. Too bad it doesn’t get through to a government more concerned with crushing expanded healthcare for Americans.

Texas Hucksters Hired for Trumpkin-Style Ad Campaign for Rightwing German Party


Trump loves parades – with or without torches

❝ Angela Merkel as a terrorist — that’s the motif that the Alternative for Germany party has chosen to launch the internet portion of its campaign leading up to national parliamentary elections on Sept. 24. The right-wing populists plan to spend a large part of their 3-million-euro budget on similar publicity offenses. The party is planning a digital campaign that may well be more drastic and aggressive than anything German voters have ever seen…

❝ To assist in its efforts, the party has…engaged the services of advertising professionals in the United States with experience on the right-wing spectrum. The party is working together with the Texas-based agency Harris Media, which recently presented its plans to the AfD’s national committee. With its provocative and aggressive campaigns, the agency has already contributed to the success of a number of controversial politicians. In Britain, it worked with the anti-EU UKIP party; in Israel, it worked with the governing Likud party; and in the United States, news agency Bloomberg has dubbed company founder Vincent Harris “the man who invented the Republican internet.”…

❝ Harris, a Christian conservative, married and still under 30, recently made a personal visit to AfD headquarters in Berlin to monitor progress on the German project, party officials report. Harris founded his agency in 2008 in his college dorm room. A short time later, he led the online arm of the campaign for Ted Cruz, at the time a relatively unknown Republican from Texas who hoped to ride Tea Party backing to a seat in the Senate.

With Harris’ help, Cruz saw the number of his internet supporters skyrocket, he established contact with influential bloggers and ultimately won the election. The Republicans have become regular customers of Harris’ ever since…

❝ To place advertisements on Google or Facebook, AfD now no longer has to go through the German subsidiaries of the internet giants. Here in Germany, the party has recently been facing a lot of resistance from those offices when it tries to buy ads. Now the team at Harris Media just places quick calls to the companies’ headquarters in Silicon Valley, sources say, where the agency is very well networked as a result of its many successful political campaigns for the Republicans. AfD’s orders are then simply put through to Germany from the United States.

Make America Great at everything the Germans used to do so well, eh? Germany for Germans is a slogan the AfD has felt reminded too many of Hitler’s rise to power. Harris appears to be working as hard as possible to change that “carefulness”. After all, Trump doesn’t worry about such comparisons.