Tuesday, May 14, 2024

EVs, Yes -- MSG, No!


Friends, President Biden has made a very interesting move: he's upped (in a big way) U.S. tariffs on a range of Chinese exports.  As this article makes clear, jacking up tariffs on Chinese-made electric cars doesn't matter much, because they aren't sold here anyway, but the tariffs on batteries, semiconductors, solar cells, and the like could be much more significant.  This is a pretty broad assault on Chinese exports in what purports to be a stratagem to protect unions and union jobs.  Of course, Biden cronies assure us that all this has "nothing to do with politics" (ha!!!), but one suspects that shoring up union support is mighty important to a Democratic president who is languishing in the polls.  What do I make of the tariffs themselves?  I'm sympathetic to the idea that the Chinese government may be tipping the scales and engaging in unfair trade practices -- but I also suspect that U.S. unions, and big American companies, would rather not face Chinese competition, mainly because the Chinese are darn good at producing the same things we produce, only better and cheaper.  Any way you slice it, Biden's actions are, and will be seen as, a major affront to China, and they suggest that we're moving away from the old, globalist consensus with respect to free trade.  The Dems, not so long ago, were castigating DJT because his (very small) tariffs on Chinese goods were allegedly "protectionist" and inflationary.  Well, now Joe Biden himself is doubling down on the very same strategy.  Intriguing!


Here's an analysis of the "veepstakes" on the GOP side.  The author argues that Trump does not need to pick a woman or a person of color as his running mate for the sake of "diversity".  I mostly agree.  Trump is unlikely to score many brownie points with the media or with voters simply because he picks an "inclusive" V.P.  On the contrary, if his running mate is a woman or a minority who is in any way, shape, or form a lightweight, you can bet that the Left and the Fourth Estate will rip said pantywaist to shreds.  I kinda like the idea of Marco Rubio as Trump's righthand man, because I like Rubio, and I think he has the experience, the intelligence, and the moral fiber to be a good Vice-President, and, someday, an actual POTUS.  Rubio isn't perfect, mind you, but it's not easy to come up with anyone who could even begin to fill Trump's shoes, as far as the GOP base is concerned.


  1. Dr. Waddy from Jack: The article appears to show that "competence over political correctness" may well be a winning issue. That is BAD news for Dems. With Kamalafornia and the far leftist automaton "university" "presidents" who have disgraced themselves beyond measure recently with their presumptuous, laughably absurd leftist public pronunciamentos, we have been treated to telling examples of cynical misconduct by incipient totalitarians in this setting. JD Vance is very well spoken and would almost certainly quietly dismantle emotionally captured Kamalafornia in debate. As a hard earned success in pivotal Ohio, he might be Maga's heir apparent. But Tim Scott , as an apparently unapologetic conservative, is graced beyond measure by being willing to stand up to the vicious calumny all black conservatives attract. Yes, in that sense his race does matter and for all the right reasons. He would be the antithesis of a candidate selected for appearance's sake only, as is the customary leftist ploy. He is courageous and principled and I would celebrate his nomination.

  2. Dr. Waddy from Jack: So Fighting Joe the badass hombre called DJT out today so they can settle it . Oh be still my beating heart! Such disturbing antipathy ! I know, DJT is capable of gaffery too, though it is more the impulsive kind rather than the foggy kind characteristic of, of. . . whatsis name again (?). Most commentary I've heard today is to the effect that it is a near desperation move by a dem party driven to unbearable distraction by the real possibility that DJT may win. But one apparently objective dem commentator who appeared on Fox itself said he thought it a smart but risky move. If lawfare is earning DJT support is it possible a conviction could garner a net increase in resolved voters for him? If that becomes manifest, I expect the dems to approach the precipice.

  3. Dr. Waddy from Jack: So the Manhattan DA gives the insouciant thugs who mobbed two policemen in the Danteesque subway circle the benefit of plea deals. At the same time he holds a once and very possibly future President's feet to the fire . His consummate and monumentally presumptuous political bias is unmistakeable in this: some commentators think he has "political ambitions". How unredeeming to think that in that malevolent amoeba of a city which rules us upstate, that he even could advance thereby. Observed today on Fox was the perception that America is fed up with dem lawfare and that it will show this in the election. Is it and will it? This precipitate venture into open totalitarian repression of political opposition on the part of an appallingly compromised once loyal dem party: if it brings them defeat in Nov. it may mark the recession of their tide from a high water mark not to be regained.

  4. On the first article: I think this has a lot to do with China's extended zero-COVID policy. They really screwed the world over, including us. Decades prior China manipulated the markets a bit to make sure they were top dog in manufacturing, including their blend of pseudo-Communism, that allows workers to live while hardly being paid anything, which is why companies like having things manufactured there. Then suddenly they were like "Sorry, can't keep being the manufacturing powerhouse you guys rely on because we're afraid of COVID even two years after it started." It was essentially a betrayal to the world market, and that is how other countries are reacting.

    On the second: I honestly don't care who's the VPOTUS. For both them and the POTUS, I'd prefer to have someone who is competent and is willing to stand up for the right causes. If that person is a woman, I'd vote for them. And I feel that I'm not alone in that. However, for that reason I agree with you that Marco Rubio is one of the better choices Trump could make for the office.

  5. Jack, I must admit that I know next to nothing about J.D. Vance. I know he's famously smart, but that can just as easily be a handicap as an asset in American politics. That you take him seriously as a potential heir to DJT is a very strong argument in his favor!

    In the narrowest sense, I too regard the decision of the Biden campaign to accept invitations to two debates to be "smart". It's smart in the sense that refusing to debate might have been fatal to Biden's chances. Debating twice perpetuates the illusion that Biden is, or may be, capable of discharging the duties of the presidency. That's something. Not much, but something.

    Jack, Dems are still polling pretty well in House and Senate races, so I don't see much evidence that the Democratic brand as a whole has been marred by its association with "lawfare". Frankly, I don't even think Biden has been damaged by it either. He was already damaged goods, after all. Basically, if you look into it, his approval/disapproval numbers have barely budged for two years...

    Well said, Dilan! You're right: I should have mentioned the severe damage that "zero COVID" did to international perceptions of China as an economic powerhouse. You would think NOTHING would matter to the Chicoms more than building their economic strength -- and churning out pallets of techno-junk for Westerners to buy. COVID really did a number on China, in more ways than one.