Trump drops plan to create infrastructure council: White House


Trump said he dissolved the American Manufacturing Council and the Strategic and Policy Forum “rather than putting pressure” on its members, although both groups were preparing to disband on their own when Trump made his announcement on Twitter.

The snubs from chief executives raised questions about Trump’s ability to marshal the business community behind his policy goals.

Source: Trump drops plan to create infrastructure council: White House

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The Republic of Amazon Can Borrow More Cheaply Than Many Countries | Nextgov.com


Amazon borrowed $16 billion in the bond market yesterday, the fourth-largest deal of its kind this year, according to CNBC. It’s using the money to finance its $14 billion takeover of Whole Foods (and then some).

A chunk of the debt has to be paid back in 10 years and yields about 3.2 percent, which is less than quite a few major countries are able to achieve, including China, Mexico, and Russia.

Source: The Republic of Amazon Can Borrow More Cheaply Than Many Countries – Nextgov.com

Verizon steps up rivalry with AT&T, FirstNet | Washington Technology


The company says it will create a dedicated network just for first responders. The plan goes after the same market FirstNet and AT&T are pursuing with the federally backed interoperable wireless network for first responders that was first recommended by the 9/11 Commission.

“We chose not to bid on the FirstNet RFP because it was essentially structured as a spectrum deal,” Michael Maiorana said. “We were not interested in commercializing FirstNet’s spectrum and we didn’t need extra network spectrum to build out our nationwide network.”

Source: Verizon steps up rivalry with AT&T, FirstNet — Washington Technology

The Fight for Racial Justice Can’t Stop With Fixing a Broken Policing System | Pacific Standard


The chokehold that killed Eric Garner, a maneuver prohibited by the NYPD, takes center stage in Paul Butler’s latest book, Chokehold: Policing Black Men.

Butler employs the chokehold—the maneuver as well as the metaphor—as, in his words, “a way of understanding how American inequality is imposed.”

Although applicable to many marginalized groups, Butler uses the experiences of black men to unpack and understand the chokehold. He takes the literal, physical chokehold and applies it to the figurative chokehold with which the criminal justice system has gripped the lives of black American men.

Source: The Fight for Racial Justice Can’t Stop With Fixing a Broken Policing System – Pacific Standard

A New CBO Analysis Shows How Trump’s Health-Care Policies Would Spell Bad News for Americans | Pacific Standard


If the government stopped providing the CSRs (cost-sharing reduction payments) to insurers, insurers would still be required to offer those types of plans to low-income Americans, but they would no longer be reimbursed by the government for those costs.

Insurers would likely respond by increasing premiums on silver-level ACA plans (the types of plans that premium subsidy levels are pegged to). The CBO projects that gross premiums on those plans (premiums before ACA premium subsidies) would be 20 percent higher in 2018 and 25 percent higher by 2020.

Source: A New CBO Analysis Shows How Trump’s Health-Care Policies Would Spell Bad News for Americans – Pacific Standard

Trump’s Actions on a Recently Drafted Climate Change Report Are ‘Troubled and Opaque’ | Pacific Standard


The report was submitted in late June and the Trump administration has broad authority to review its findings. Any one of a number of government agencies can block its release, which is ultimately subject to presidential review.

“As a climate scientist, I feel communicating this science is a moral responsibility,” she said, noting that the contributors from academia were working without pay and taking away time from their teaching and scholarships. “We are the physicians of the planet,” Katharine Hayhoe added. “Climate change poses risks to people and our economy.”

Source: Trump’s Actions on a Recently Drafted Climate Change Report Are ‘Troubled and Opaque’ – Pacific Standard

Wisconsin lawmakers debate billions in incentives for Foxconn plant


Foxconn, an electronics manufacturer formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (2317.TW), hopes to open a $10 billion plant in 2020 at a 1,000-acre site in southeastern Wisconsin.

Foxconn is a major supplier to Apple Inc (AAPL.O) for its iPhones.

Wisconsin’s Republican governor, Scott Walker, ordered the state legislature into special session on Aug. 1 to consider the incentive package, which would award Foxconn $3 billion over 15 years in mostly cash incentives.

Source: Wisconsin lawmakers debate billions in incentives for Foxconn plant

India China Trade War: Why India must take China’s warning of a trade war seriously

India has not taken Chinese bullying over Doklam seriously.

For the last several weeks, China has been warning of helping insurgents in India, invading border areas in Uttaranchal and Kashmir, and a war breaking out soon. It is clear China cannot afford a war over Doklam. That’s why India has not responded to China’s belligerence in equal measure.

However, there is one war which can break out and India cannot afford it—a trade war with China.

Recently, India imposed anti-dumping duties on 93 Chinese products. China is not going to tolerate this measure and is likely to respond. State-owned Chinese media has urged Chinese firms to reconsider the risks of investing in India and warned New Delhi to be prepared for the “possible consequences for its ill-considered action.”

Source: India China Trade War: Why India must take China’s warning of a trade war seriously

The Afterlife of Big Ideas in Education Reform | Pacific Standard


In the early 1990s, the problems at Nathan Hale looked a lot like the ones at other troubled schools in troubled districts around the country. Decades of forced busing had pushed white, affluent kids out to the suburbs, and “gifted” programs had segregated the students left behind.

They came to be known as dropout factories: Large urban high schools—up to 3,000 students each—that weren’t just failing to keep kids from falling through the cracks, but were actively opening up new ones.

Nathan Hale’s 1,000-plus students were divvied up between special-education, standard, and honors tracks, then taught, separately, in classes of more than 30 students each.

They attended the same school, but they were in different worlds, the problem kids concentrated and the college-track kids cocooned.

Source: The Afterlife of Big Ideas in Education Reform – Pacific Standard

Factbox: Key issues in the NAFTA renegotiations


Negotiators from Canada, Mexico and the United States will kick off an ambitious first round of trade talks on Wednesday as the countries try to fast-track a deal to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement by early next year. The key issues facing negotiators include:

  • RULES OF ORIGIN
  • DISPUTE RESOLUTION
  • SUPPLY MANAGEMENT
  • CURRENCY MANIPULATION
  • GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT
  • INVESTOR-STATE DISPUTE SETTLEMENT

Source: Factbox: Key issues in the NAFTA renegotiations