Tag: China

John Lennon, Niccolo Machiavelli, and Trade Policy


Over at NationalReview.com, Scott Lincicome posted “On ‘Supply-Chain Repatriation,’ It’s Buyer (and Nation) Beware.” Lincicome claims to be an expert on trade policy and is affiliated with Cato and Duke University. But, as far as I am concerned, he is just an interchangeable part in the chorus of Econ 101 theorists who have advocated for free trade and global supply chains for the past 50 years. For convenience, I will call Lincicome and his like-minded confreres, the FTGSCs.

Lincicome cited a bunch of numbers intended to demonstrate that the apparent grip of China on our oxygen line is not a real problem. Fortunately, Lt. Gen. (USAr Ret.) H.R. McMaster and Scott Atlas, M.D., who are far smarter, far more accomplished, and far more experienced than Mr. Lincicome, wrote in today’s Wall Street Journal:

Pass the Popcorn: China Threatens Australia


The Australian government under Prime Minister Scott Morrison has generally been restrained in its criticism of China, which is by far its top trading partner. This past week, however, the gloves came off.

In characteristic fashion, it began slowly with “ScoMo” steering a middle course, declining to follow President Trump’s lead into defunding the World Health Organization, but calling for an independent investigation of the origins of the virus and a reform of the WHO. This was too much for China, whose Ambassador Cheng Jingye strongly implied that Australia was acting as a US lapdog. He went on to suggest that China’s full-tuition-paying students might not feel so welcome in Australia anymore, and Chinese people might decide they don’t enjoy Australian beef and wine as much as they used to.

Join Jim and Greg as they walk through the Texas plan to re-open the economy that’s drawing rave reviews, but they also discuss whether re-opening should be statewide policy or based on local conditions and why Democratic governors are getting far less grief for re-opening than Republicans. They also walk through Politico’s cringe-inducing apology on how badly it mangled its story on debts President Trump allegedly owed to China. And they react to the fury of the Bernie Sanders campaign over New York’s decision to cancel its presidential primary.  Is this a case of Sanders focusing on politics over the health crisis in New York or is it imperative for states to find ways to hold elections regardless of the conditions?

Join Jim and Greg as they examine media critic Howard Kurtz’s call for TV hosts to rely on infectious disease experts to assess the coronavirus instead of more familiar faces. They also hammer “The Atlantic” and two law professors for concluding that China’s crackdown on internet speech is a better way to go than America’s default towards free speech. And they unload on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for lying about opposing Trump’s China travel ban and for suggesting Trump was wrong even to allow American citizens and green card holders to return from China.

From a Lab or a Wet Market?


Sen. Tom Cotton has been beating the drum for months, stating that much information is known that suggests COVID-19 was leaked from a Chinese lab. Media outlets, such as CNN, the Washington Post, and the New York Times have attacked him for claiming that the Chinese were working on a bioweapon. He didn’t. Here are parts of what he actually said in an interview with Martha McCallum on “The Story”:

He also brought up the ‘questions’ surrounding the biosafety level 4 ‘super laboratory’ in Wuhan, the city where the virus is believed to have originated.

‘We know it didn’t originate in the Wuhan food market based on the study of Chinese scientists … I’m not saying where it started, I don’t know. We don’t know because the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) won’t open up to international experts,’ Cotton said. ‘That’s what we need to do so they can get to the bottom of where the virus originated and hopefully can effect a diagnostic test and vaccine for it.’

Jim starts this edition by blasting the World Health Organization for suggesting that alcohol consumption makes the coronavirus worse.  Then he and Greg applaud Dr. Birx for calling out the WHO and China for a deadly lack of transparency that cost the rest of the world valuable time in preparing for the virus. They also lament  the 22 million lost in the past four weeks and the lack of urgency in Congress to replenish funds for the Paycheck Protection Program – and discuss how to reopen the economy most responsibly. And they unload on New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy for admitting he never considered the Bill of Rights in having 15 people arrested for gathering at a synagogue in his state and Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer for saying her severe restrictions are fine because it snowed in Michigan this week.

Join Jim and Greg as they enjoy watching Dr. Anthony Fauci blow up a litany of media conspiracy theories about how he and President Trump are at odds and Jim slams the press for covering the coronavirus like a political debate. They also strongly correct Trump’s contention that he has absolute authority but also get dizzy watching the media call him authoritarian one day and demand he shut down the country the next. And they shake their heads at more evidence China was sloppy at their labs long before the outbreak.

Changing My Mind on “Country of Origin” Labeling Thanks to China


I’ve always tried hard to keep an open mind on all issues, whether religion, trade, national security, you name it. I’ve now changed my mind on an issue I’ve worked on for more than 20 years as a food lobbyist (now retired): country of origin labeling.

It’s been an uphill battle, until now. Most Americans have long been interested in knowing where their products come from, even if they have to meet the same safety standards as domestic products. That’s mostly true in the food world. My argument: all foods sold in the US have to meet the same safety and labeling standards, no matter where grown or raised. Even though we know that most of the world’s food safety “issues” seem to come from products made in two countries (there are others, in fairness): Mexico, but especially China. And frankly, most Americans really haven’t changed their buying habits because of country of origin labeling. But I think that’s about to change, and in a big way.

Join Jim and Greg as they discuss the gut-wrenching loss of another 6.6 million jobs over the past week but also note an economic silver lining. They also react to Dr. Fauci suggesting people permanently stop shaking hands and then muse about what should replace it.  And they lose their appetites as they discuss another way China is a breeding ground for illnesses.

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome far lower COVID-19 death projections than we were seeing just days ago but hope they still go much lower. They also wonder why Wisconsin is still holding elections in the midst of a stay-at-home order and fear Republicans will get blamed for any rise in cases linked to voting lines. And they hammer NBC for reporting China’s bogus numbers on COVID cases and deaths as if they are accepted facts.

Member Post


The Chinese regime led by the all powerful XI and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) – not its people – owes us all an apology, and compensation for the destruction it has caused. At a minimum it should write off the debts of other countries, to cover the cost of Covid-19. For the sake of […]

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The Perils and Pleasures of Modeling


The term ‘model’ is much in the news, and I’m not talking about @RightAngles trade. It’s the term apparently favored by the media to describe a general area that may also go by: cybernetics, system dynamics, advanced statistics, simulation, control theory, and others. Having some academic and professional background in the domain, this is my (inevitably simplified) attempt to sketch its limits, so you can be smarter than the average journalist.

So, simplifying, as warned: There are two types of models. One is broadly statistical in approach. The other attempts to be more mechanistic.

Join Jim and Greg as they cheer multiple health insurers easing up on deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance over coronavirus. They also wince as the head of the Centers for Disease Control says it will take two years to fully defeat COVID-19. And they fume as the World Health Organization and others pretend Taiwan doesn’t exist in order to appease China and, in the process, ignores one the most successful coronavirus mitigation efforts in the world.

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome reassuring news from Dr. Birx about the COVID-19 threat. They also agree there’s a ton of wasteful spending in the relief bill but aren’t sure if forcing members back to D.C. was a great move by Rep. Thomas Massie.  And they slam media outlets for believing the U.S. really has more COVID-19 cases than China and wonder whether China is hiding a second spike of the virus.

Good news is scarce once again today, but your Monday martinis dissect three critical stories.  Join Jim and Greg as they slam House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for blowing up Senate progress towards a coronavirus relief bill, making it far less likely that individuals and businesses will have financial assistance in hand when their next rent or mortgage payments are due.  They also cringe as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo suggests the COVID-19 restrictions may be in place as long as nine months and up to 80 percent of the population will contract the virus anyway.  So is the damage to jobs and businesses worth it if the restrictions won’t stop the virus from spreading?  And Jim unloads on the World Health Organization for accepting China’s coronavirus lies as fact and failing to confront the regime in an effort to make sure the virus was contained.

America Comes Together, Keeps Its Distance


First the good news: I may have won a cruise!

The bad news is that while Americans are sheltering in place, stocks are in free-fall and unemployment is skyrocketing, China is celebrating the Year of the Bat. The question on everyone’s mind is this: is the Wuhan virus a world-ending pandemic or God’s gift to comedy? More and more the answer seems to be the latter. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if China, which is particularly susceptible to viruses owing to its aging population, instituted a three-child policy.

Where I am, in Central Europe, even Germans are joking about it. Personal politics have been upended: no sooner had my Never Trump German wife criticized POTUS’s travel ban from Europe to the U.S. that Germany imposed similar restrictions against France and several other surrounding countries. For the few remaining sufficiently sane people in the world who disapprove of Trump but wish him no ill, the good news is that his coronavirus test has come back beautiful.

Good news is a bit scarce today but the Three Martini Lunch is discussing three big stories. Join Jim and Greg as they document the latest evidence that China covered up the COVID-19 outbreak and refused to admit person-to-person transmission until late January. They also bang their heads on their desks as Philadelphia police make it known they are not going to arrest people for a wide variety of crimes while New York City and other major metropolitan areas look to empty their jails to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. And they wonder why Bernie Sanders continues his presidential when he’s hopelessly behind in the delegate count after another major shellacking on Tuesday.


Member Post


Before expiring at the end of the 1980s, there was a Federal tax break for pharmaceutical manufacturers who made medicines in Puerto Rico.  That allowed them to repatriate profits to the parent company without paying taxes. Since we now know that a goodly proportion of medical raw materials are made in China, how about killing […]

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As Jim says, this week has been a very long year.  But it is Friday, and while so much is closed, the Three Martini Lunch is open!  Join Jim and Greg as they praise the innovation in the private sector (and at universities) to produce new coronavirus tests that are accurate, can be produced in mass quantities, and can deliver results much more quickly.  They also love the entrepreneurial instinct in a British teenager who sold his classmates squirts of hand sanitizer.  They also unload on communist China for brazen lies like the U.S. military launched the coronavirus in China and for threatening to cut off supplies of much needed medications to the U.S. at our time of need.  And they hammer House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for trying to cram a billion dollars for taxpayer-funded abortions into the coronavirus relief legislation.