As a candidate, Donald Trump promised "brilliant trade" policies that would drop the national trade deficit "like you've never seen before." As president, he has continued to champion the same rhetoric. Two years after he was elected, despite his singular focus on trade, America is importing more goods, while exporting less, than it ever has. What does this say about the negotiator in chief and the US economy? The Commerce Department said Wednesday that — despite more than two years of Trump's "America First" policies — the United States last year posted an $891.2 billion merchandise trade deficit, the largest in the nation's 243-year history. The trade gap with China also hit a record $419 billion, underscoring the stakes for the president's bid to reach a deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping as soon as this month. What's going on here? It appears to me that the trade deficit is headed in the wrong direction, and this is an imbalance Trump has depicted as the primary threat to the American economy.
HIV has reportedly been cured in a second patient, a milestone in the global AIDS epidemic. Scientists have long tried to duplicate the procedure that led to the first long-term remission 12 years ago. With the so-called London patient, they seem to have succeeded. What does this mean for HIV-AIDS treatment going forward? For just the second time since the global epidemic began, a patient appears to have been cured of infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The news comes nearly 12 years to the day after the first patient known to be cured, a feat that researchers have long tried, and failed, to duplicate. The surprise success now confirms that a cure for HIV infection is possible, if difficult, researchers said. How can there be the confirmation of a surprise success based upon the appearance of a cure?
In his recent piece, "Forced Blood Draws & Implied Consent Laws Make a Mockery of the Fourth Amendment," attorney John Whitehead says, "All of those freedoms we cherish — the ones enshrined in the Constitution, the ones that affirm our right to free speech and assembly, due process, privacy, bodily integrity, the right to not have police seize our property without a warrant or search and detain us without probable cause — amount to nothing when the government and its agents are allowed to disregard those prohibitions on government overreach at will. This is the grim reality of life in the American police state. Our so-called rights have been reduced to technicalities in the face of the government's ongoing power grabs." We'll discuss the US Supreme Court case Mitchell vs. Wisconsin, in which Wisconsin police officers read an unconscious man his rights and then proceeded to forcibly and without a warrant draw his blood while he was still unconscious in order to determine if he could be charged with a DUI.
Dr. Jack Rasmus — Professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of "Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression."
Deja Abdul-Haqq — Interim director of the Center for Community Based Programs (CCBP) with My Brother's Keeper, Inc., where she leads multi-purpose teams of advocates and health professionals in creating sustainable wellness impact in Mississippi.
John Whitehead — president of The Rutherford Institute and author of "Battlefield America: The War on the American People."
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