Since the meeting between PRC President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump is a matter of concern these days, and the trade negotiations that are part of that meeting also are a matter of concern, herewith a concern of my own.
As the Trump administration begins to shape its policy on drugs, tension is growing between a treatment-focused approach, embodied in a new commission on opioids headed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and the aggressive prosecution of drug crimes promised by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
There need there be no tension because there is no contradiction. The two approaches—nail hard those who prey on the vulnerable and the addicted—and working to free the addicted from the controls of their addiction (“free from the controls” because an addict never loses his addiction; he can only reach a point where he can say reliably, “not today.” That’s where current medical technology has us) rather than simply jailing them, too, potentiate each other.
Beijing has proposed requiring cloud-computing services providers to turn over essentially all ownership and operations to Chinese partners and could result in the transfer of valuable US intellectual property, according to the letter, viewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Not “could result”—technology theft transfer is the point of the requirement. This comes against the backdrop of the People’s Republic of China’s ongoing technology requirements.
China already places restrictions on investing for foreign cloud providers operating in the country under rules passed in the last two years…including forced collaboration with rivals and technology transfer.
Yesterday, the membership of the House Freedom Caucus of No forced the American Health Care Act, the first stage of a three-stage Obamacare repeal and replace program offered by the majority of the House Republican Conference, to be withdrawn from the day’s backup vote (recall that these No-ers already had forced a delay from Thursday’s vote over their demand to have their way or there could be no Act), and so there will be no AHCA.
The House Republicans were forced to cancel yesterday’s scheduled American Health Care Act vote. The Freedom Caucus, the Caucus of No, couldn’t be satisfied. Congressmen like Jim Jordan (R, OH) and Caucus of No Chairman Mark Meadows (R, NC) refused late compromises, all the while insisting by implication from their refusals that constituents of other Congressmen, for instance Tom Cole (R, OK), worked for them and not that Cole worked for his Oklahoma constituents—and that those Oklahoma constituents might have different imperatives than those Congressmen of the Caucus. So, no compromise from the No-ers.
One aspect of the plan on offer in the House is this:
…whether it includes enough reform to arrest the current death spiral in the individual insurance market.
Notably, the bill includes a new 10-year $100 billion “stability fund” that allows states to start to repair their individual insurance markets. Before ObamaCare, it wasn’t inevitable that costs would increase by 25% on average this year, or that nearly a third of US counties would become single-insurer monopolies. With better policy choices, states can make coverage cheaper and more attractive for consumers and coax insurers back into the market, and the stability fund is a powerful tool.
…which I’ll assume for this post is structured between participant nations as fair trade, since it’s possible to have free and unfair trade, and it’s unfair trade that should be anathema. Not all free trade is unfair; the parameters of any trade agreement, parameters that make the trade fair or unfair, are matters of mutual agreement (or perhaps not so mutual in the case of unfairness) among those participants.
Don Boudreaux triggered my thought with his piece in US News & World Report.
…and default passwords. Default passwords are foolish in any device, but here’s a particularly failing example. A laundromat in Colorado had a security camera connected to the Internet (as is typical of security cameras), and it began hosting a particularly malicious bit of malware.
Bill Knapp, owner of Security Solutions LLC, whose firm installed the laundromat’s surveillance system, which included the security camera:
One of the hardest parts of this business is that everyone loses their passwords[.]
Karl Rove talked about health care coverage prospects in a recent Wall Street Journalop-ed, and that triggered a thought in my pea brain.
Senator Tom Cotton (R, AR) has announced that the House plan on offer, a plan designed to be passable through reconciliation, with later phases of repeal and replace for completing the task, is dead on arrival, and the House shoe start over and produce a more comprehensive plan in this first phase. But Cotton has chosen to not offer a plan of his own, or outline what a plan acceptable to him would look like other than to address taxes and to more fully repeal right damn now Obamacare, or even to offer the tactics he’d use to get the new plan—which could not be done through reconciliation—past a Progressive-Democrat filibuster.
In the main, I’m opposed to these on a couple of grounds. One is that it’s just more welfare; we need to find a way to move folks off welfare and into the labor force and jobs rather than keeping them trapped in the welfare cage—like we did when we originally reformed the food stamps program by requiring recipients to get a job or lose the stamps. That reform not only reduced overall unemployment, it put recipients back into jobs (and off that welfare program). These weren’t make-work jobs, either; net prosperity for those recipient families increased. (Then the Obama administration withdrew the work requirement, and we got record numbers of folks back on food stamps).