Reporters without Borders just published its annual World Press Freedom Index rankings, and the results for both the U.S. and UK are not impressive. Both countries declined two spots from last year, with the UK at 41, and the greatest and most free nation on earth, America, down to 43.
In a bid to fend off criticism over a dearth of achievements in his first 100 days in office, President Trump plans to sign a flurry of executive orders this week. Among them is an executive order intended to open up new areas of offshore oil and gas drilling.
"I would like to bring to the attention of your Government information I have received concerning the possibility to repeal core elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with negative impacts on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health in the United States, in particular those with moderate or low income and in situations of poverty or social exclusion."
"Based on what we know so far, the plan could cost $3 to $7 trillion over a decade– our base-case estimate is $5.5 trillion in revenue loss over a decade.... a $5.5 trillion tax plan would be enough to increase debt to 111 percent of Gross Domestic Product (compared to 89 percent of GDP in CBO's baseline) by 2027."
Candidate Trump loved a strong dollar, said the Fed's low interest created inequality and a false economy and hinted Janet Yellen needed to go. Now that he’s the president, he loves all three and wants them to stay.
Trump has ordered his White House aides to accelerate his tax plan, the WSJ writes, "slashing the corporate rate to 15% and prioritizing cuts in tax rates over an attempt to not increase the deficit" which means that without an offsetting source of revenue, Trump is about to unleash up to $2 trillion in extra debt, a proposal which will face fierce pushback from conservatives as it appears to be a continuation of the status quo under the Obama administration, and may well be DOA.
A communique from the IMF’s steering committee released on Saturday in Washington echoed the G-20 reversal, and said that officials “are working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies" while omitting a call from its last statement in October to “resist all forms of protectionism."
"The bipartisan neoconservative dream of America’s aristocrats (world-conquest) will never be achieved. Russia will never accept it. If America’s rulers continue to press it, the result will be even worse than when the Nazis tried...either the U.S. will cease its designs on Russia, or there will be WW III."
Just as the "puppet of Putin" narrative had gone quiet - following Trump's Tomahawk-ing a largely abandoned airfield in Syria - it appears the Russia-linkages stories are about to get restarted. WSJ reports that Exxon Mobil has applied to the Treasury Department for a waiver from U.S. sanctions on Russia in a bid to resume its joint venture with state oil giant PAO Rosneft.
On the heels of an apparant avalanche of flip-flops on campaign comments, President Trump has notified Congress that Iran is complying with the "disastrous... worst deal ever negotiated" 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by former President Obama.
"I look forward to the Privacy Act of 1974 lawsuit that I plan to file in response to the civil rights violations by Obama administration appointees last year. The discovery process will be of great value to the United States, as our nation hears testimony from them under oath and we receive disclosure of the documents which show what exactly was done in 2016."