Saturday Afternoon Thread
by Jonathan Singer, Sat Mar 25, 2006 at 10:24:59 AM EST
With the topics of national security and America's place in the world still in mind, a story Elana Schor wrote for The Hill earlier this week sticks out.
Schumer and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have parlayed their bid for a steep new tariff on imported Chinese goods into political leverage since the bill won support in a Senate test vote a year ago. But while Schumer and Graham have met with high-ranking Bush administration officials, Beijing's initial steps to loosen its artificially depressed currency, the yuan, have had little impact on the massive U.S.-China trade deficit.
Lobbyists tend to unite against the Schumer-Graham bill, which would levy a 27.5 percent tariff on all Chinese imports if the yuan is not revalued after 180 days of trade talks. But lobbyists do agree with the senators that the current policy is not working. Imports from China account for nearly a quarter of the record $723 billion U.S. trade deficit, and the Chinese have made sluggish progress in cracking down on widespread intellectual-property violations.
Will the Bush administration come down on the side of American interests by supporting a show of force against China or the desires of corporate lobbyists by opposing the Schumer-Graham legislation? Hmm...
Also in the news:
- George W. Bush's Justice Department says it's kosher to spy on attorney-client and doctor-patient conversations.
- Katherine Harris realizes she ain't gonna win this fall and decides against sinking her large inheritance on a futile bid against Bill Nelson. Still, let's make her spend it all.
- Even in a poll that finds Congress' approval rating about five to ten points higher than any other recent poll, Dems nevertheless hold a nine-point lead in the generic congressional ballot question says Time.
- A progressive pundit on a Sunday show?
- The investigation into the bribery of Randy "Duke" Cunningham continues with a Pentagon probe into MZM earmarks.
- Congress still hasn't passed asbestos legislation.