1. A. The issue of immigrants separated from their families has fallen off the media radar, as Trump’s tweets dominate the conversation. But the human suffering continues. We need only point to Jennifer Rubin’s Monday column in The Washington Post expressing outrage at the administration’s real, actual, not-made-up-by-a-late-night-comic, legal argument to a federal judge that perhaps the ACLU should go find the children still unaccounted for after their separation from perhaps-deported parents: “Chutzpah, according to the humorous definition of the Yiddish word, is when a man kills his parents and then throws himself on the mercy of the court as an orphan. The Trump crowd has done that one better. Chutzpah in the Trump era is snatching kids from their parents, losing track of the parents and telling the court that the parents’ lawyers (the American Civil Liberties Union in this case) should find them. That’s the sort of argument that an ethical lawyer would be embarrassed to make; naturally, it was the Trump administration’s position….
“Sabraw delivered a tongue-lashing that the Trump administration’s lawyers richly deserved. ‘The reality is there are still close to 500 parents that have not been located, many of these parents were removed from the country without their child, all of this is the result of the government’s separation and then inability and failure to track and reunite,’ Sabraw told them. [emphasis added] ‘And the reality is that for every parent who is not located, there will be a permanent orphaned child, and that is 100% the responsibility of the administration.’”
But it gets worse: “Lawyers claimed that about a hundred parents ‘waived’ their objection to deportation, allowing their children to remain. The administration later backed off the number, after the ACLU and others rejected the notion that these parents acted voluntarily and with a full understanding of what they were agreeing to do, lowering the number from 120 to 34.”
We can only again quote Rubin, who says simply, “The harm inflicted on hundreds of families is incalculable. Nevertheless, those responsible for devising and executing this monstrous policy — who were told that it would inflict substantial and lasting trauma on the children — remain in office. Understandably, Democrats have called on Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, herself a lawyer, to resign. Beyond her, the officials who oversaw this scheme or who defend it in court bear some level of moral and professional responsibility.” Who will enforce this responsibility? We know what to expect from congressional Republicans. https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2018/08/06/trump-administration-lawyers-redefine-chutzpah
B. Politico reported on Wednesday that “The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against the Trump administration over its decision to remove asylum protections for victims of domestic and gang violence.” [emphasis added] Details here: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/07/aclu-immigrants-asylum-violence-766101 On Thursday, Politicoreported that a D.C. judge had blocked one deportation under the new policy. And the ACLU said this:
“Early Thursday morning the government had pulled two of our clients—a mother and her young daughter—out of their detention rooms and put them on a deportation flight back to El Salvador. This directly violated government promises in open court the previous day that no one in the case would be removed before 11:59 p.m. Thursday night. Judge Sullivan was outraged, saying ‘it was unacceptable’ that someone who had alleged a credible fear and was ‘seeking justice in a U.S. court’ would be ’spirited away’ while her attorneys were literally arguing on her behalf. He ordered the government to ‘turn the plane around.’ Further, the judge suggested that if the situation was not fixed, he would hold contempt proceedings for those responsible—starting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions.” [emphasis added] https://www.aclu.org/blog/immigrants-rights/deportation-and-due-process/turn-plane-around-government-wrongfully-deports
C. Meanwhile, a New York Times report detailed physical abuses at two immigrant detention facilities for children and teenagers with mental health issues or histories of violence. “Guards at a juvenile detention center for troubled immigrant teenagers had many ways of handling serious problems. At times, they resorted to the chair. Other times, the mask.
“According to migrant teenagers and a former worker, the high, hard-backed metal chair had wheels so it could be tilted and moved like a dolly through the halls of the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center, a northwest Virginia facility that houses American and undocumented migrant youths who have emotional, behavioral and psychological issues. Teenagers as young as 14 were strapped to the chair — some stripped down to their underwear — with their feet, arms and waist restrained by cushioned leather straps and loops, they said. Those who guards feared might spit on staff, said one former worker, got the mask — a mesh hood that covered their entire faces and heads. Sometimes, the detainees said, they were forced to wear it while in the chair.” These Cuckoo’s Nest stories involve several detention centers around the country.
And at the adult detention centers, The Washington Post reports that complaints are rising about the use of frigid conditions to intimidate and harass detainees: “So notoriously cold are the U.S. Border Patrol’s detention cells that those heading north are warned that the first stop will be a hielera, or ‘icebox.’ The shivering stay is a rite of passage, and at the busiest border stations, the floors and benches are crowded with detainees bundled in silver polyethylene sheets, the only blankets made available. Their shifting bodies produce a constant crinkling, like the sound of Christmas gifts being unwrapped for hours on end. A fight for control of the temperature inside these facilities is the subject of litigation between the U.S. government and immigration advocacy groups who accuse the Border Patrol of using the thermostat as a tool to deter migration and gain leverage over those in custody.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/amid-migrants-complaints-of-frigid-holding-cells-a-battle-for-control-of-border-thermostats/2018/08/07/ad3bbb98-9728-11e8-80e1-00e80e1fdf43_story.html
As The Washington Post editorialized on Sunday, “Not the Soviet gulag. These things are taking place in America. [emphasis added] Not just coincidentally, it is President Trump’s America. True, documented abuses at both facilities pre-date Mr. Trump’s administration; at Shiloh, in particular, there have been harrowing reports of mistreatment for years. Yet the president, who has referred to illegal immigrants as ‘animals’ and ‘rapists’ who ‘infest’ the United States, is a serial, casual dehumanizer of immigrants, particularly Hispanic ones. The signals he sends, amplified by Twitter, are heard everywhere. If unauthorized immigrants are vermin, as the president implies, then it’s legitimate to treat them as such — to tie them up, lock them away solo, dehydrate and drug them.” People of good will may ask have we have seen this movie before? https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/migrant-kids-were-stripped-drugged-locked-away-so-much-for-compassion/2018/08/05/84a779d0-95b4-11e8-a679-b09212fb69c2_story.html
D. As if this were not scandal enough, the Administration now has plans to come after legalimmigrants. “Oh, no,” you say, “the Republican Party welcomes those who come here legally.” As Hemingway’s Jake Barnes said, “Wouldn’t it be pretty to think so?”
Reports have come out in the press that the Trump administration will change the process for becoming a citizen. As The Washington Post reported Thursday morning, “Recent reporting indicates that the Department of Homeland Security is planning to significantly limit legal immigration and naturalization by changing the rules on immigration and welfare that have been central to the immigration system for more than 400 years. [emphasis added] DHS wants to change the definition of what constitutes a public charge — someone dependent on the state — to deny green cards to legal migrants who are low-wage workers by considering their use, or likely use, of almost any government benefit as criteria for determining who may enter or remain in the United States. [emphasis added] These benefits would include welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, children’s health insurance (CHIP), the earned income tax credit or the health-care subsidies provided by the Affordable Care Act….
As The Washington Post columnists Paul Waldeman and Greg Sargent remarked earlier in the week, “So much for the idea that Republicans only want to eliminate illegal immigration. Donald Trump — who, let’s not forget, got elected by saying he’d ban Muslims from entering the country and build a wall on our southern border — is following through on his vision, and that of people like Stephen Miller, that America should no longer welcome immigrants, and kick out as many of those who are already here as they can.” Well, maybe not Trump’s approved Norwegian immigrants. Or like that good citizen from Germany and profiteer off gold boom towns in Seattle and Canada, Freidrich Drumpf (name changed at some point to…well, you know). (Watch for the official announcement of this new rule next week. And note: the Research Team does welcome European, indeed all, peaceful immigrants to our shores.)
2. A. One of the most important long-form journalism essays you may read this year was in The New York Times’s Sunday Magazine on Aug. 1, titled, “Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change,” by Nathaniel Rich. As our readers likely know, this has been a preternaturally hot and dangerous summer all around the world, from California to Japan to the northern reaches of Sweden. A CNN article nicely summarizes this: “Our climate plans are in pieces as killer summer shreds records.” “Climate change is here and is affecting the entire globe — not just the polar bears or tiny islands vulnerable to rising sea levels — scientists say. It is on the doorsteps of everyday Americans, Europeans and Asians, and the best evidence shows it will get much worse.” https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/04/world/climate-change-deadly-summer-wxc-intl/index.html
But how severe is the problem? The Times Magazine essay makes it shockingly clear, as record of how politicians, especially in the US, abandoned all attempts to stop a catastrophe, and Trump’s shredding of the Paris accords is only the latest. Here is The Times’s executive summary of their essay, to which they devoted the entire Sunday Magazine, as sign of how urgent the problem has become:
“The world has warmed more than one degree Celsius since the Industrial Revolution. The Paris climate agreement — the nonbinding, unenforceable and already unheeded treaty signed on Earth Day in 2016 — hoped to restrict warming to two degrees. The odds of succeeding, according to a recent study based on current emissions trends, are one in 20. If by some miracle we are able to limit warming to two degrees, we will only have to negotiate the extinction of the world’s tropical reefs, sea-level rise of several meters and the abandonment of the Persian Gulf. The climate scientist James Hansen has called two-degree warming ‘a prescription for long-term disaster.’
“Long-term disaster is now the best-case scenario. [emphasis added] Three-degree warming is a prescription for short-term disaster: forests in the Arctic and the loss of most coastal cities. Robert Watson, a former director of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has argued that three-degree warming is the realistic minimum. Four degrees: Europe in permanent drought; vast areas of China, India and Bangladesh claimed by desert; Polynesia swallowed by the sea; the Colorado River thinned to a trickle; the American Southwest largely uninhabitable. The prospect of a five-degree warming has prompted some of the world’s leading climate scientists to warn of the end of human civilization.
“Is it a comfort or a curse, the knowledge that we could have avoided all this?”
B. On Wednesday three environmental scientists, Don J. Melnick, Mary C. Pearl and Mark A. Cochrane, wrote an important op-ed in The New York Times, “The Earth Ablaze,” saying, “The world seems to be on fire again, just as it was last year when destructive and deadly wildfires of enormous size raged in California, Chile, Argentina, British Columbia, Portugal and other countries around the world. The widespread fires this year have magnified concerns that we are locked in a worldwide pattern of conflagration that is both persistent and catastrophic.” Read their warning here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/08/opinion/wildfires-california-climate-change.html
Also on Wednesday, The Times’s editorial board took Trump to task for his preposterous blaming the California wildfires on the state’s environmental laws, in a bizarre tweet quickly ridiculed by dumbfounded state officials and fire experts. “What’s really alarming about President Trump’s preposterous tweets about the California wildfires is not what he gets wrong, which is plenty, but what they say about his stubborn refusal to grasp the basics of climate change and, perhaps worse, his and his administration’s contempt for the science that is drawing an ever-tighter link between a warming globe and extreme weather events around the world….
“And where is Mr. Trump in all of this? Playing the ostrich, in full denial mode. Having promised to withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement on climate change, he continues to press his officials to roll back or weaken every initiative undertaken by President Barack Obama to resist the carbon-loading of the atmosphere, including policies aimed at reducing emissions from power plants, automobiles and oil and gas operations. The very words ‘climate change’ remain verboten throughout most of the administration, having been replaced on agency websites by vaguer words like ‘sustainability.’ The administration’s 2018 and 2019 budgets have cut funding for a host of scientific and clean energy programs aimed at preparing the country for the consequences of climate change and at insuring an energy future less dependent on fossil fuels.” [emphasis added] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/08/opinion/environment/california-wildfires-trump-zinke-climate-change.html
A fire tornado from the Carr fire ripped through this town
3. A. Although it has also not had a great presence in the news, one of the most important developments this week has been the imposition of sanctions on Iran, three months after the US announced it is withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Deal. The rest of its signatories believe it has worked to halt Iran’s nuclear program. Where are we now? Dalia Dassa Kaye, director of the Center for Middle East Public Policy and senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation has a brief but important opinion piece in The Hill on Tuesday. She remarks, “After decertifying the Iran nuclear agreement last October and announcing the withdrawal of the United States from the agreement in May, President Trump’s snap back of sanctions this week comes as no surprise. More will come in early November, when the United States will try to force the complete halt to all Iranian oil exports. This is, to be clear, a campaign of maximum pressure to bring the nuclear agreement to collapse. This is no longer a drill or some Trump-era theater in which the president tweets and few take his threats seriously. The United States has in fact left an agreement that most of the world, and all of its other parties and the International Atomic Energy Agency, believe is working.
“Now it’s the real deal, with material consequences on global oil markets, international trade and of course the Iranian people. There is no question the result will be particularly painful for Europe and Iran. But is there any way it could be good for the United States and its interest in keeping the Iranian challenge contained? Unfortunately, the answer is almost certainly no.”
Kaye explains that while European governments may try to keep in the deal by supporting their companies that still need to do business in Iran without fear of US penalties, those governments’ ability to do so may prove limited. Moreover, “When it comes to the impact on Iran, devastating consequences can be expected. While nearly half of Iran’s oil exports go to China and India, Iran still risks losing over a third of its exports to European and Asian markets when the second round of sanctions kick in. With the value of Iran’s currency cut in half since last spring, rapid inflation and high unemployment, it’s hard to argue that such a disruption won’t hit the Iranian economy hard and destabilize world oil markets — even with a likely Saudi increase in oil exports to compensate.” The coming instability in the markets and within Iran itself as sanctions begin to bite ordinary people will lead to unpredictable blowback for the US in the medium term. “The Trump administration,” says Kaye, “may find that it’s a lot easier to break a deal than to replace it with something better.” http://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/400702-sanctions-mean-all-pain-for-iranian-people-no-gain-for-us
B. A full analysis of the negative impact of the sanctions also comes from an opinion piece in The Hill, from a local analyst, George A. Lopez, Hesburgh Professor Emeritus at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He served on the United Nations Security Council panel of experts for North Korea sanctions and was vice president at the United States Institute of Peace. After careful discussion of the damage done to alliances, the openings given to Russian and China, and what he believes will be the regime’s ability partly to withstand the sanctions by trading with new partners like India and Turkey, he concludes that, “[T]he quick uptick in oil prices triggered by announcing these latest sanctions illustrates that market volatility may result in more negative global impact from sanctions than foreseen. Thus, Iran can hold much of the economic pain of sanctions at bay. This failure of the current U.S. sanctions strategy will not be due to its lack of punishing power. Rather, the administration is singularly pursuing regime change through the misapplication of the sanctions tool. This is not the best foreign policy to use here. Secondary sanctions imposed during a chaotic trade war ignore costs to allies, provide advantages for our foes, and will have limited impact on the Iranian economy.” Read the full analysis here: http://thehill.com/opinion/international/400533-the-iran-sanctions-are-bound-to-fail
C. Meanwhile, The Guardian reported on Tuesday that, in Europe, “[c]ompanies have been instructed that they should not comply with demands from the White House for them to drop all business with Iran. [emphasis added] Those who decide to pull out because of US sanctions will need to be granted authorisation from the European commission, without which they face the risk of being sued by EU member states. ‘This morning the EU’s updated “blocking statute” entered into force to mitigate the impact of the reimposed US sanctions on the interests of EU companies doing legitimate business in Iran,’ a European commission spokesman said.” However, a number of large European companies, like Daimler and some large banks, have already announced a retreat from Iran. Long-term consequences of this move may be dire, and most Americans do not yet understand the danger of what may prove to be the Administration’s most reckless foreign policy error. So far. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/07/iran-braces-for-new-round-of-us-economic-sanctions
4. A. “The Democratic Party’s left-wing insurgency found its limits Tuesday night, with voters favoring establishment candidates over more liberal challengers in almost every closely watched race across several states.” So summarizes The Washington Post on Wednesday morning. “In Michigan, former state senator Gretchen Whitmer easily won the Democratic nomination for governor over Abdul El-Sayed, a doctor backed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) who was vying to become the country’s first Muslim governor.
“In suburban House districts across the Midwest, left-wing candidates lost to Democrats backed by party leaders, abortion rights groups and labor unions.
But in another closely watched race, a special election in Ohio, results were too close to call. The Times: “Republicans spent millions of dollars on scorching television ads, pried a reluctant endorsement from Ohio’s moderate governor, used the Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi as a foil and enlisted President Trump in a last-minute turnaround effort in a special election for Congress in Ohio. And after all that, in a conservative-leaning district outside Columbus, the Republican candidate clung to the narrowest of leads on Tuesday night. The Republican, Troy Balderson, a state senator who ran a plodding campaign, led his Democratic challenger, Danny O’Connor, by nearly 1 percentage point with all precincts reporting. But 3,435 provisional ballots have yet to be counted, with Mr. Balderson’s margin standing at 1,754. Ohio law provides for an automatic recount if the two candidates are ultimately separated by less than half a percentage point.” [emphasis added] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/07/us/politics/election-results.html
This may be the biggest sign yet of the strengths of the Democrats, especially in well-educated suburban districts, and the weakness of Republicans. As The New York Times pointed out on Wednesday morning, “The most significant harbinger from the Ohio race may not be the narrow margin, but the turnout gap between the most and least heavily populated parts of a district that absorbs the close-in suburbs of Columbus and rural stretches of central Ohio. [emphasis added] In both Franklin County, which includes Columbus, and Delaware County, the fast-growing suburb just north of Ohio’s capital, 42 percent of voters turned out. But in the five more lightly populated counties that round out the district, turnout ranged from 27 to 32 percent. This is an ominous sign for Republicans: The highest-income and best-educated elements of the electorate — those deeply uneasy with President Trump — are showing the most interest in voting.” Simply put, those suburbs are fired up. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/08/us/politics/election-results-ohio-kansas-michigan.html
We should explain to our readers that the Ohio Congressional election was a term-filling special election. The full-term occupant will be determined in November, when O’Connor and Balderson will face each other again. And despite the Washington Post headline, the fall elections may reflect the profiles of different districts, as the midwest may simply be different Democratic territory, for many historical and demographic reasons, than the Bronx of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Moreover, as The Post acknowledged, Ocasio-Cortez has argued she is fundamentally a Democrat, not an outsider revolutionary. Still, Politico’s Bill Scher argues that “Down Goes Socialism.” He says, “Tuesday night’s largely Midwest primaries produced a near-shutout for the anti-establishment left. Ocasio-Cortez partnered with Bernie Sanders to make a series of splashy endorsements that, in the end, failed to clinch victories. And two leftist upstarts hoping to emulate Ocasio-Cortez, and defeat longtime Democratic incumbents, fell far short.” But the operative word here may be “Midwest.” Perhaps we can say that all ideological electoral struggles are local.
B. In Michigan, the Trump-supported John James won the Republican nomination for Senate; he will face incumbent Debbie Stabenow. And the Trump-backed Bill Schuette won the Republican primary for governor. As The New York Times summarizes, “Their victories, reported by The Associated Press, set up deep ideological clashes in the state’s most prominent general election races in November. In the contests for both the governor’s office and the Senate, some of the state’s most Trump-like conservatives will square off against two traditional Democrats — and two women — in Ms. Whitmer and the incumbent senator, Debbie Stabenow.” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/07/us/politics/gretchen-whitmer-michigan-election-results.html
Eleven more states will hold primaries before the November election, and several will be left vs. centrist Democratic battles.
5. Over the weekend, though only briefly touched on in the press outside Oregon, was another fracas—not officially called a “riot” this time—in Portland, the second this summer, between white supremacists and anti-fascist protestors. As reported in The Guardian, “A rally by rightwing group Patriot Prayer in Portland, Oregon, culminated in a police charge on counterprotesters on Saturday, as a demonstration once again brought disorder and violence to the city’s downtown area. Two hours into the rally, police moved towards leftwing counterprotesters with batons drawn, and used dozens of ‘flash bang’ stun grenades and rounds containing pepper spray.
“Portland police sent hundreds of officers in riot gear to the rally, and for most of the day they kept Patriot Prayer, led by Republican US Senate candidate Joey Gibson, and an affiliated group, Proud Boys, separated from their opposition.
And on Wednesday, renewed protests and clashes with the police erupted outside Portland city hall, reported The Oregonian: “A protest against police brutality itself turned violent Wednesday when activists attempted to storm Portland City Hall, clobbered one security guard and scuffled with several others. It was the biggest disruption to a Portland City Council meeting in more than a year, but the Council did not address the substance of protesters’ ire: violent crowd control techniques used by police during a large counter-demonstration downtown Saturday. Some of those who say they were injured by officers dressed in military gear and wielding batons or non-lethal munitions were on scene Wednesday, trying to speak with city officials.” https://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2018/08/protesters_storm_portland_city.html#incart_breaking We can only hope this is isolated to Portland and does not reflect the wave of the future….
The mêlée in Portland.
6. Will the “Trump Economy” doom Democrats’ chances? Conventional wisdom is that if only Trump would behave better, the GOP is winning the argument about the economy and can win in November. But The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent reported on August 3rd on a new poll that shows how Democrats can aim their economic arguments to at least some Trump voters to turn them. “Crucial to winning the argument over the economy in a way that advantages Dems in the midterms is using it to reach what the memo describes as ‘weak Trump voters.’ The memo argues that these voters (as opposed to gung-ho Trump supporters), who include non-college-educated whites and independents, among others, react badly to Trump’s trade war, and a large majority of them (57 percent) see worsening health-care costs. The memo also suggests that the way to reach non-college-educated white voters is to stress flat wages and defend Medicare and Medicaid against cuts.” Read this important analysis of a potentially winning strategy here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2018/08/03/will-the-trump-economy-save-the-gop-heres-the-democratic-strategy-to-prevent-that/
7. A. There were two points of contact between American election campaigns and the Russians. Of course we had the Trump Tower meeting, which Trump has now admitted was about digging dirt on Hillary. But there was also “the hiring of former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to dig up dirt on Trump on behalf of a research firm paid by a law firm working for Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Steele’s research involved talking to Russian government officials about what Trump and his campaign might have done, which Steele then compiled into reports that were eventually shared with federal law enforcement officials.” In an important article rebutting Trumps and his supporters’ view that Hillary committed the real crime, Philip Bump, in the August 6thWashington Post, points out: “Most of the political conversation has centered on the impropriety and possible illegality of the first point of contact while not raising similar concerns about the second. President Trump has deliberately and regularly conflated the two, arguing that the former meeting was innocuous and that the real malfeasance — the real collusion — was between Clinton’s campaign and those Russians who were speaking to Steele.
B. The Post’s Jennifer Rubin explains in detail just how damaging Trump’s Twitter admission really was. In her Saturday column she wrote, “Trump fails to understand that the very meeting he is acknowledging is collusion — or conspiracy, if you will — to break campaign-finance laws. [emphasis in original] Insisting that it is legal to get dirt from a foreign national is politically and morally offensive (Trump was picked by the Kremlin) and contradicts his claim the Russians didn’t want him to win (another lie in the coverup). He knows they did — they had a meeting to help his campaign. The email also suggests that Trump Jr. (allegedly with drafting help from his father) tried to conceal the true purpose of the meeting with a false cover story (it was all about adoption, you see.) According to news reports, Trump Jr. may also have lied to Congress by suggesting his father was not intimately involved in drafting the false written statement.
8. As the trade war with China heats up, with neither side appearing to back down, economist Mary E. Lovely believes the American consumer will ultimately lose, and China will find other modes of manufacture and will not be significantly hurt by decreased exports. “This is already happening: a 20 percent tariff on washing machines imposed in February was followed by a 16.4 percent spike in consumer prices for these products. So most of the revenue raised by the tariffs is coming out of the pockets of American consumers, not Chinese companies.” Moreover, she points out, “much of what the United States imports from China contains value created in other locations, including America. Much of the value in an iPhone imported from China, for example, includes displays from South Korea, chips from Japan and design and programming from America. So each dollar of sales lost by a Chinese company actually has a less-than-$1 impact on the Chinese economy. In computers and electronics, which account for the largest share of China’s exports to the United States, the Chinese value added in each dollar of imports is about 50 cents. Consequently, the negative effect of tariffs on Chinese manufacturing is unlikely to be large enough to have much of an impact on China’s trade practices.” China has expanded international supply chains; but the Trump administration has isolated American manufacturers. This is one of the clearest explanations of, as she headlines, “How China Wins the Trade War”: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/08/opinion/trump-tariffs-china-trade-war-who-will-win.html.
9. Locally, we bring you this week a personal story of how immigration policies affect the lives of people, complex people with complex histories. From The Chicago Tribune on Monday: “Gloria Barrera is pleading with immigration officials to let her die with her family in a west suburb of Chicago. Barrera, 54, of Melrose Park, faces deportation proceedings at a time when doctors have told her she has stage 4 ovarian cancer, a diagnosis which carries the possibility she only has a few months to live. She’s making a final plea this week to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to allow her to remain in the country with those closest to her….
“Her immigration status changed after she was arrested on criminal charges related to shoplifting, according to [attorney Christopher] Elmore. After her arrests, she was deported to northern Mexico in 2013, Elmore said. It was there that she was kidnapped, she said, and forced into prostitution. Her kidnappers at one point smuggled her across the border, but she was stopped by immigration officials and placed into custody. She spent about a year in custody before she was allowed to bond out and stay in the Chicago area pending deportation proceedings, Elmore said.
“Once back home with her family, Barrera went to the hospital because she had nagging pain below her abdomen, she said. Doctors told her she had ovarian cancer, and she has only been given a couple months to live. ‘I’m here asking for clemency and justice only so I could be able to die with my family,’ Barrera said in Spanish.”
The Sun-Times had a more detailed explanation of her legal status, and they also report that “While Barrera was in detention, she said she began to experience pain in her lower abdomen. She said ICE officials ignored her complaints…. Looking towards long-term solutions, West Suburban Action Project lawyer Ambar Gonzalez is helping Barrera with her application for a T-Visa — a four year visa for those who have been forced into human trafficking. Gonzalez said Barrera qualified for this visa years ago, but didn’t apply after being misled by poor legal counsel. ‘Because (Barrera) qualifies for a T-Visa, ICE should stop this deportation,’ Gonzalez said. ‘It is the right thing to do, and it is the humane thing to do.’ ICE officials were unable to be reached for comment.” https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/cancer-stricken-woman-deportation-overseas-kidnapping/
10. And The Daily Herald on Wednesday published a profile of Sean Casten by Marie Wilson, shadowing him as he “hit[s] the trail” in the district and listens to people, and favorably contrasting him to Peter Roskam, who (according to Casten’s supporters) does not meet with constituents.
“Casten, meanwhile, armed with degrees in molecular biology and biochemistry, biochemical engineering, and engineering management, says he relishes the chance to meet with economists, labor experts, business executives, startup founders, constituent groups, progressive organizations and other ‘smart people’ whose expertise he wouldn’t otherwise be able to access. ‘One of the most fun parts of this new adventure of mine,’ he says, ‘is that people who know things want to teach me, and that’s kind of cool.’ Casten says he wants to take what he absorbs from those in the know, add it to the business and engineering experience he’s built, and forge plans he can push in Congress. ‘There’s never enough time in the day,’ he says, when it comes to meeting with experts on health care, foreign policy, climate change, gun control or social safety nets. ‘People have different opinions, but if you don’t take the time to meet with them, how do you represent them?’” https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20180808/casten-hits-trail-discussing-issues-like-health-care-labor-policy-climate-change