Errant Satrap

That’s how the European Union views Great Britain as the EU continues to demand that Great Britain accede to demands they wish to impose on a sovereign nation—solely to bring that subordinate polity to heel. Examples of the EU’s demands:

  • post-Brexit sovereignty to make Britain more competitive via deregulation, environmental rules or tax reform—these must not occur
  • UK’s ability to subsidize industries in line with EU state-aid regulations—this must be curtailed

The first must not be allowed explicitly because of that competition. The second may be bad business overall, but it’s a domestic matter.

And this, regarding tariffs:

Troops in Germany

President Donald Trump has said he intends to reduce the number of American soldiers in Germany.

Germany, he said, is not meeting its commitment to spend 2% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on defense as required by the NATO alliance. Member nations had pledged to reach the 2% threshold by 2024. Germany has said it hopes to reach the target by 2031.

Which is a cynical commitment by Germany, since there will be several generations of German governments over the intervening 11 years.

But here’s the kicker, from Emily Haber, Germany’s Ambassador to the US:

More Federal Money to States and Locals?

The “unrest” sparked by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and now by the killing of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, is encouraging Congressmen to include increased funding for State and local jurisdictions in any “next stimulus” package that might be in the offing.

States and cities facing budget shortfalls have warned they might need to pare back spending on public safety, including police officers and fire protection.

“Including police officers and fire protection” is a cynical excuse for spending yet more OPM.

“American Retreat from Europe”

Congressman Mac Thornberry (R, TX), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, has misunderstood the American situation in Europe. In his Thursday Wall Street Journal op-ed, he asserted that

press reports surfaced of a proposal, backed by some in the administration, to withdraw a significant number of troops from Europe….

His piece went on in that vein.

Thornberry is badly mistaken along a number of dimensions.

First, the alleged withdrawal of troops is from Germany, not from Europe.

Constitutionally Mandated Federal Funding

House Progressive-Democrats have unveiled their “police reform” bill, a proposal crafted explicitly without Republican input. That last is neither here nor there for this post’s purpose. What matters is this claim in Eliza Collins’ Wall Street Journal article describing that bill and its alleged purpose:

The bill doesn’t provide any new federal funds for police departments, except where constitutionally mandated for data collection, according to Democratic aides.

This is an amazing claim. Maybe those Progressive-Democratic aides—or even Reporter Collins—would like to point to that clause in our Constitution that mandates Federal funds to police departments for any purpose, let alone “data collection.”

A Misunderstanding

In an article centered on reports that President Donald Trump is planning to withdraw 9,500 troops from Germany—relocating at least some of them to Poland—Bernd Riegert had the following:

[T]he US personnel [to be removed from Germany] essentially work within the framework of NATO for the Pentagon’s European and Africa Commands. They operate the Ramstein airbase, a military hospital and a military training facility. They are important pillars of NATO infrastructure, but they do not, strictly speaking, contribute much to Germany’s national defense.

Wow.

It’s Time

The People’s Republic of China has begun welching on its trade agreement with the US. Government-controlled companies buying American farm products have begun canceling their orders to American farmers, orders made under that agreement. So far, the canceled orders amount to chump change.

However.

“A handful of shipments of livestock feed, corn, pork, cotton and some meat imports are pushed back,” said a senior Chinese shipping executive involved in China farm imports who asked not to be identified and who has been briefed on Beijing’s move.
“Private Chinese exporters are not part of this, but it could escalate, depending on how the relationship between the US and China goes forward,” this executive said.

Works for Me

The baby sister and de facto chief of staff to northern Korea’s MFWIC, Baby Kim, Kim Yo Jong doesn’t like that citizens of the Republic of Korea keep sending anti-northern Korea missives into the DMZ and on across into the gangland.

[Kim Yo Jong] warned that it would end a 2018 inter-Korean military agreement if the South fails to stop defectors and activists from sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets into the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the two countries.

Kim Yo Jong also said the North could permanently shut a liaison office with the South and an inter-Korean industrial park in the border town of Kaesong….

Chasing Yield

Chasing yield is the tactic of going for the highest-yielding investment available at the expense of other considerations. One of those considerations that gets disregarded in the chase is whether the yield being…offered…is radically higher than that of other investment vehicles on the market. If it’s much higher, that yield likely is too good to be true.

Another consideration that gets lost in the chase is the underlying soundness of the issuer. Checking the level of soundness is hard work, often tedious and boring. It’s necessary, though, and it’s equally necessary to avoid the flip side of that: the laziness of just jumping onto a handy get-rich-quick scheme, which is what so much of yield-chasing is.

Heads Up

Be very heads up, this fall.

The coronavirus pandemic shook the US economy. It hasn’t shaken Democrats’ fervor for trillions of dollars in tax increases, and significant income redistribution is still likely as soon as 2021 if Joe Biden wins the White House and Democrats control Congress.

Senator Ron Wyden (D, OR):

It’s all the more important to protect the retirement and security of working [people] and make sure the wealthy pay their fair share. We’ll be ready to go in January of 2021.