Trump Administration To Pay $4.7 Billion To Farmers For Trade War Started By Trump

Donald Trump

Well, this is rich.

Donald Trump starts a trade war with China, and now will pay $4.7 billion to American farmers who have lost income to clean up the mess.

From NPR:

The Department of Agriculture will pay $4.7 billion to farmers growing soybeans, cotton and other products hit by tariffs in the Trump administration’s hard-line trade war with China, announcing the first batch of payments from a $12 billion government aid package.

Starting next Tuesday, the agency will take applications from farmers who produce corn, cotton, dairy, hogs, sorghum, soybeans and wheat — products that were targeted in China’s retaliatory tariffs, after the U.S. imposed a 25 percent levy on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports.

The government payout was sharply criticized when it was announced last month, with farmers and Trump’s fellow Republicans saying that the administration was paying billions in response to a problem it created. Congress was not required to vote on the billion-dollar farm relief package — a vote that could have had sharp negative fallout with midterm elections looming in November.

So. Much. Winning.

China’s Social Media Weibo Bans Gay Content As Netizens Respond “I Am Gay, Not A Pervert”

In an apparent crackdown by China’s Communist Party to denounce any and everything to do with LGBT folks, the country’s microblogging platform Sina Weibo began deleting “homosexual” content even as protesters reacted with the hashtag #IAmGay.

From Yahoo News:


Weibo said in a statement Friday it had begun a “clean-up campaign” to remove “illegal” content, including “manga and videos with pornographic implications, promoting violence or (related to) homosexuality”.

It is the latest sign in a crackdown by the ruling Communist Party to purge the Internet of any content deviating from its “core values ​​of socialism” while stifling criticism of social norms and established policies.

The popular Twitter-like platform, which boasts 400 million active monthly users, said it was implementing China’s new cybersecurity law and had already removed some 56,240 items by Friday evening.

The announcement provoked a flood of reaction from stunned or outraged Chinese Internet users, with protesters rallying behind the hashtag “I am gay”.

By midday Saturday, it had been used by some 170,l000 Weibo users, before it was apparently banned by the platform.

“There can be no homosexuality under socialism? It is unbelievable that China progresses economically and militarily but returns to the feudal era in terms of ideas,” one angry commenter said.

China only decriminalised homosexuality in 1997, but conservative attitudes remain widespread.

(h/t JoeMyGod) 

News Round-Up: November 15, 2017

Pietro Boselli

Some news items you might have missed:

• I would love to have abs like “World’s sexiest math teacher” Pietro Boselli (above), but I like my food too much. So, let’s just look at him 🙂

• China is apparently using electro-shock therapy to try and convert gay men into heterosexuals.

• Anti-LGBT gay basher Kathryn Knott, who went to jail for the violent beating of Andrew Haught and Zachary Hesse in the Center City area of Philadelphia in 2014, has settled a civil lawsuit with the men she helped land in the hospital. Knott and her co-defendants Kevin Harrigan and Philip Williams have apparently agreed to a large six-figure settlement in order to avoid a court battle they’ve already lost once.

• Even more women have come forward accusing sexual assault/misconduct by GOP Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

• In related Roy Moore news, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is floating the idea of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who used to hold the senate seat in Alabama, being a write-in candidate in next month’s election in an attempt to keep Moore out of the U.S. Senate. I wonder how Jeff Sessions feels about that?

• According to a new Morning Consult/Politico poll, former Vice President Joe Biden would easily beat Donald Trump 46%/35% should the Democrat decide to run for president in 2020.

• Out tennis legends Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova react to Australia’s marriage equality news:

News Round-Up: October 20, 2017

(via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• The real Steve Pena (above) is giving you fab Fall foliage and physique. Happy Friday!

• Celebrity chefs Jose Andres, Elizabeth Falkner, and Carla Hall are among bakers who have joined the Human Rights Campaign’s friend-of-the-court brief for the right of LGBT people to be served by all businesses open to the public.

• A new study shows only 5% of LGBT employees in China feel comfortable coming out at work.

• Hate fliers advising members of the LGBTQ community to commit suicide were posted on the Cleveland State University campus – the same day the university opened its first LGBT center.

• Required reading – brilliant Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda interviews brilliant Tony Award winner Stephen Sondheim on approaching creativity and collaboration. “Variety, variety, variety. Don’t let up for a second. Surprise us.”

• Another great episode last night on the rebooted Will & Grace. I’m finding the “Will/Jack” scenes are landing a bit better than some of the “Grace/Karen” scenes, but maybe that’s just me.

This was a cute moment with guest stars Jane Lynch and Andrew Rannells (below) who played “conversion therapy camp counselors” at Camp Straighten Arrow.

Trump Tweet Watch – February 10, 2017

President Trump took to the Twitter battlefield today to rant at the “failing” New York Times regarding his communication (or not) with the President of China.

When, in fact, the acknowledgment is in the first sentence of the article…

Is this a reading comprehension issue?

#winning

China: State Media Mocks Trump’s “Amateur Remarks And Over-Confident Manner”

In response to President-elect Donald Trump’s phone call with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, and recent comments that a break with the “One China” policy could be “negotiable,” the state-run news outlet of China has issued an op-ed mocking Trump’s “amateur remarks.”

From the Global Times of China:

“Trump’s thinking about China is becoming increasingly clear: He wants China to make huge economic and trade concessions to the U.S. To achieve that, he is willing to stir certain calm areas in China-U.S. relations, including treating the Taiwan issues as his trump card.

“We were simply angry initially, but now we can’t help but laugh at this U.S. leader-in-waiting. Maybe American voters ‘promoted’ him too quickly, his amateur remarks and over-confident manner are equally shocking.”

(h/t JoeMyGod)

Donald Trump Capitalizes On Stock Market Fears

GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump jumped on news of stock market dips all over the world by blaming China – and U.S. officials – for the slide in stock values.

“I’ve been telling everybody for a long time.  China’s taking our jobs; they’re taking our money.”

“Be careful — they’ll bring us down. You have to known what you’re doing — we have nobody that has a clue.”

Although he sounds the warning call, Trump never actually articulates WHAT he would do to correct the China “situation.”

While initially dipping over 1,000 points in the U.S., the Dow rebounded to close 587 points lower.

You can see The Donald’s video message below via Instagram.

A video posted by Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on Aug 24, 2015 at 8:03am PDT

Craziest Story I’ve Seen In A Long Time – “Brother Orange”

Matt Stopera in China

JoeMyGod points out this trailer for an upcoming documentary that chronicles what has to be one of the craziest stories in a long time.

Matt Stopera, reporter for Buzzfeed, had his cell phone stolen while at a NYC bar last year.

The next thing he knew, pictures of a Chinese man started appearing on his phone’s photo feed. One thing led to another, and soon he became famous in China via social media. All of this led to a trip there where the reaction to his visit will blow your mind.

Click here to read the incredible, unpredictable story of Matt and “Brother Orange.”

Buzzfeed now plans a full-on documentary on Matt’s adventure. The trailer below is just the tip of the iceberg of this amazing story.

China Sees First Sexual-Orientation Discrimination Lawsuit Filed

A viral video last year seems to have earned one man a recording contract, and China it’s first sexual-orientation discrimination lawsuit.

From Shanghaist:

Last October, a video showing the Nanshan police dealing with a dispute between two gay males in the street went viral on the web (see below).

A speech made by one of the men wearing a “little red hat” in the video turned into an internet meme, and it further inspired multiple music videos and imitation videos online. The man and his “little red hat” gained so much attention, he was even able to sign with a talent company.

However, the other party of this dispute, a man named Mu Yi, said he was “outed involuntarily” because of the viral video, and is now suing his company for firing him because he is gay.

This is believed to be China’s first ever sexual-orientation discrimination lawsuit. “During that time (when the video went viral) I was a total wreck. I couldn’t go out. I couldn’t answer the phone. I even lost my job,” Mu told reporters. “I was the victim to begin with, it doesn’t make any sense for my company [to punish me more],” he said.

Check out the initial video footage followed by the remixed version below. The remix is pretty catchy…

(h/t JMG)

President Obama Announces Ambitious Climate Change Goals In Agreement With China

Photo: Greg Baker

From the AP:

The United States and China unveiled ambitious targets Wednesday to reduce greenhouse gases, aiming to inject fresh momentum into the global fight against climate change ahead of a make-or-break treaty to be finalized next year.

President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. would move much faster in cutting pollution, with a goal to reduce by 26 percent to 28 percent by 2025, compared with 2005 levels. Earlier in his presidency, Obama set a goal to cut emissions by 17 percent by 2020.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose country’s emissions are still growing as it builds new coal plants, didn’t commit to cut emissions by a specific amount. Rather, he set a target for China’s emission to peak by 2030, or earlier if possible. He also pledged to increase the share of energy that China will derive from sources other than fossil fuels.

The unexpected breakthrough by the world’s two largest polluters reflected both nations’ desire to display a united front on climate change, blunting arguments from developing countries that have balked at demands that they get serious about cutting emissions. Yet it was unclear how feasible it would be for either country to meet their goals, and Obama’s pledge was sure to confront tough opposition from ascendant Republicans in Congress.

“This is, in my view, the most important bilateral climate announcement ever,” said David Sandalow, formerly a top environmental official at the White House and the Energy Department. “It sends the signal the two largest emitters in the world are working together to address this problem.”