Pete Buttigieg May Be Named US Ambassador To China

L-R Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg

Multiple sources are reporting former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg may be tapped to serve in the Biden administration as U.S. Ambassador to China.

From Axios:

Why it matters: The 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, whom Biden has compared to his late son, Beau, played a key role in Biden’s nomination. Letting him deepen his foreign policy chops could boost Buttigieg’s future, since many inside the Democratic Party believe his return as a presidential candidate is a matter of when, not if.

Buttigieg electrified donors and rocketed to the top of the party, winning the most delegates in the Iowa caucuses earlier this year before dropping out to consolidate moderates’ support around Biden.

But finding a Cabinet position for him has been a challenge as the former VP focuses on nominating women and people of color to high-level posts.

China isn’t the only foreign post where Buttigieg, a polyglot, could end up — and his name remains under discussion for some domestic leadership positions as well.

Axios goes on to note that the China ambassadorship is general a post given to politicians in the mid-to-late point of their careers as an indication of respect to China.

If confirmed for the spot, Buttigieg would only be 39-years-old.

Mayor Pete is very smart, and has a broad perspective on foreign affairs. But, as a fan, my concern is that the China post would take him out of the public eye here in the U.S.

According to Axios, Buttigieg apparently was hoping to be ambassador to the United Nations which sounds like the perfect spot for him.

Others think it’s a good move for Mayor Pete.

News Round-Up: August 18, 2020

(image via Facebook)

Some news items you might have missed:

FOX13Now: A waiter at an Ogden restaurant is sharing his story after finding a bigoted message written on a cash tip that was left for him. Even though the transaction was all-electronic, the customers specifically asked for a pen. The $5 bill (above) was marked with the words, “Get out of America, Fag!”

Pink News: HIV activists are cheering that China has finally approved the drug Truvada for Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) which can prevent people from contracting HIV through condomless sex. According to the United Nations, 44 percent of new HIV infections in Asia and the Pacific region last year were in queer men.

YouTube: I loved this rundown of Top 20 Best Gay Romance Movies (with a happy ending). Lots of my favorite films here.

Out: A federal judge in Boise has temporarily blocked a controversial law in Idaho that banned trans athletes from participation in school sports. The bill, which Governor Brad Little signed into law this past March, allowed for internal and external verification of a disputed athlete’s reproductive system.

Washington Blade: A gay former assistant superintendent and contracting liaison for the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington has been charged with fraudulently obtaining more than $2.1 million in funds for personal use from two federal coronavirus relief programs. Kenneth P. Gaughan, 41, reportedly used the funds to purchase a $300,000 yacht, a $1.13 million townhouse in D.C., and a $46,000 luxury sports car.

Democratic National Convention: I meant to get around to sharing my thoughts on the first night of the convention, but…the day got away from me.

As the second night is about to begin, I have to share this one-two knockout punch from Night One – Michelle Obama’s pitch-perfect keynote speech, followed by Billy Porter and Stephen Stills performing the iconic anti-war protest song, “For What It’s Worth.” #Bam

40,000+ Have Arrived In US From China In Past Two Months

Donald Trump at White House press conference (image via White House)

From the New York Times:

Since Chinese officials disclosed the outbreak of a mysterious pneumonialike illness to international health officials on New Year’s Eve, at least 430,000 people have arrived in the United States on direct flights from China, including nearly 40,000 in the two months after President Trump imposed restrictions on such travel, according to an analysis of data collected in both countries.

The bulk of the passengers, who were of multiple nationalities, arrived in January, at airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Newark and Detroit. Thousands of them flew directly from Wuhan, the center of the coronavirus outbreak, as American public health officials were only beginning to assess the risks to the United States.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly suggested that his travel measures impeded the virus’s spread in the United States.

“I do think we were very early, but I also think that we were very smart, because we stopped China,” he said at a briefing on Tuesday, adding, “That was probably the biggest decision we made so far.” Last month, he said, “We’re the ones that kept China out of here.”

Since the ‘travel ban’ (which exempts Americans) took effect on February 2, 279 flights from China have landed in the U.S.

I’m just guessing but I doubt the coronavirus cares if you are a Chinese native or an American when hitching a ride across the Pacific Ocean. Forty thousand people coming here from China certainly didn’t “stop” the virus.

The Times also notes that screening procedures during these past two months have been “uneven.”

Trade Deficit Widens To $54.9 Billion In August

There are reports Donald Trump made a 'promise' to a foreign leader that concerned a U.S. intelligence official

There are reports Donald Trump made a 'promise' to a foreign leader that concerned a U.S. intelligence official

The U.S. trade deficit widened in August for the first time in three months.

From The Hill:

The U.S. trade deficit grew to $54.9 billion in August, a 1.6 percent increase from July, and a spike over last year.

When compared to the same period last year, the overall trade deficit was up $28.3 billion, or 7.1 percent, as exports dropped slightly and imports spiked.

Analysts point to President Trump’s trade war as a factor in the increased deficit, though the strong dollar and the growing budget deficit are major factors as well.

Donald Trump, somehow, found a strange, circuitous route to blame Hunter Biden for the trade deficit with China:

LIVE On TV: Trump Invites China To Investigate Biden

Yesterday, I reported on the clash between Donald Trump and Reuters reporter Jeff Mason during a White House press event wherein Mason asked Trump what it was he wanted the president of Ukraine to do in regard to investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

Trump was evasive in the moment and went on a rant about European countries ‘not paying enough.’

Today, Trump was asked the question again – “What exactly did you hope the Ukrainian president would do about the Bidens?” – and this time, Trump not only said (live on TV) that Ukraine should investigate the Bidens but he also invited China to suss out dirt on the Bidens.

Basically, Trump not only did what the whistleblower accused him of in his complaint to Congress, but he actually committed a second offense by inviting China, a geopolitical opponent of the U.S., to investigate his possible Democratic opponent in the 2020 presidential election.

Wall Street Pundits Worry About Impending Recession As Economy Slows

Wall Street experts say increased stock market volatility may be signs of an impending recession as Donald Trump's trade war with China continues to heat up.
Donald Trump

Wall Street experts say increased stock market volatility may be signs of an impending recession as Donald Trump’s trade war with China continues to heat up.

From Politico:

Over just the last few days, economists at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America all warned that Trump’s bitter trade war with China is taking a bigger bite out of economic growth than expected.

The warnings came as stocks suffered another big dip on Monday with the Dow closing off nearly 400 points, or 1.5 percent, putting the blue-chip index at 25,897, over 700 points lower than it was in January of 2018 before Trump’s trade fights began in earnest. Stocks bounced back Tuesday after the Trump administration’s announcement about postponing some tariffs that had been set to take effect next month, continuing a long track record of market volatility tied to trade policy.

The collective wisdom now spreading across Wall Street is that no trade deal will be struck with China before the 2020 election; business investment will continue to sag; and a series of interest-rate cuts from the Federal Reserve won’t be enough to juice more growth out of an economy now in its tenth year of expansion — the longest stretch in American history.

With economic growth slowing to 2.1 percent in the second quarter, Trump is predictably shifting from crowing about the stock market to blaming the Federal Reserve for not utilizing more interest rate cuts.

Bank of America’s head of U.S. economics Michelle Meyer said in a note to clients that she believes there is a 1-in-3 chance of a recession in the next 12 months.

China Raises Tariffs On US Goods After Trump Hikes Taxes On Chinese Imports

CNBC is reporting China has announced it will "raise tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods in retaliation for the U.S. decision to hike duties on Chinese goods. Beijing will increase the tariffs to 25% from 10% on June 1."
Donald Trump

CNBC is reporting China has announced it will “raise tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods in retaliation for the U.S. decision to hike duties on Chinese goods. Beijing will increase the tariffs to 25% from 10% on June 1.”

The news is not a surprise in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s decision to raise taxes on $200 billion in Chinese products to 25% from 10% as the world’s two largest economies struggle to ink a new trade deal.

U.S. stock futures signaled a sharp drop Monday morning amid the escalation.

The Trumpster thinks he’s got China right where he wants them:

In related news, Huffpost reports that Trump is seeking an additional $15 billion in U.S. subsidies in an effort to protect farmers from the devastating impact of his trade war with China.

That’s on top of $12 billion already earmarked for the farmers to help them weather the fallout.

Now, where would the U.S. government get billions in subsidy funds?

Oh, the American taxpayer…

FBI Claps Back At Trump Claim China Hacked Hillary’s Email Server

Donald Trump took to Twitter last night after apparently watching a report on Fox News (what else?) that China might have hacked into Hillary Clinton's email server.
Donald Trump

Donald Trump took to Twitter last night after apparently watching a report on Fox News (what else?) that China might have hacked into Hillary Clinton’s email server.

Are we still talking about the emails???

Trump wrote, “‘China hacked Hillary Clinton’s private Email Server.’ Are they sure it wasn’t Russia (just kidding!)? What are the odds that the FBI and DOJ are right on top of this? Actually, a very big story. Much classified information!”

He followed that up with another missive asserting, “Hillary Clinton’s Emails, many of which are Classified Information, got hacked by China. Next move better be by the FBI & DOJ or, after all of their other missteps (Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Ohr, FISA, Dirty Dossier etc.), their credibility will be forever gone!”

Now, the truth is the FBI has already determined that no classified information was sent via Hillary Clinton’s email server.

Today, the FBI pushed back against that notion telling The Washington Post, “The FBI has not found any evidence the servers were compromised.”

As usual, the Donald was making stuff up to obfuscate his own ongoing problems.