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Here are three signs of looming disaster for the Trump economy: Matt Taibbi

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President Donald Trump regularly boasts about the strength of the American economy — but Rolling Stone columnist Matt Taibbi thinks that cracks are starting to form that will soon plunge the United States back into a recession.

In his latest column, Taibbi says that three factors — rising interest rates, the GOP’s massive tax cut and Trump’s own love of tariffs — are likely to send the U.S. economy heading downward in the near future.

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When it comes to interest rates, Taibbi notes that the Federal Reserve has been signaling that it will finally be running a tighter monetary policy after it spent most of the past decade pushing interest rates down to effectively nothing.

“The Fed is taking about $50 billion out of the economy every month, and now raising rates not just above zero, but close to (and perhaps even beyond!) neutral,” he writes. “The free money era is over… Trump must be cursing his bad luck.”

The GOP’s tax cuts, meanwhile, have massively slashed the amount of revenue coming into the federal government, as the deficit of $488 billion in the first quarter of 2018 broke the nominal quarterly deficit record — which was originally set back in 2010, when the United States was in the middle of the worst recession in decades.

Combined with the Federal Reserve’s actions, Taibbi speculates that Trump will be forced to “pay interest on the giant sums he will inevitably have to borrow to pay for his idiotic tax cuts.”

And finally, Taibbi notes that the president’s trade war with China could be particularly disastrous given that China holds so much of America’s debt.

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“But what if Trump’s big populist gambit announced in September — slapping 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese products — hurts the Chinese economy to the point where they can’t afford to keep subsidizing our exploding debt?” he asks. “Even smart people are fully capable of driving the American economy off a cliff. What happens when the dumbest administration in history gets a turn at the wheel? Maybe last week wasn’t the time to start panicking. But that moment can’t be far.”

Read the whole piece here.

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Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan to give up royal titles — ‘the hardest #Megxit possible’

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Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will give up their royal titles and public funding as part of a settlement with the Queen to start a new life away from the British monarchy.

The historic announcement from Buckingham Palace on Saturday follows more than a week of intense private talks aimed at managing the fallout of the globetrotting couple's shock resignation from front-line royal duties.

It means Queen Elizabeth II's grandson Harry and his American TV actress wife Meghan will stop using the titles "royal highness" -- the same fate that befell his late mother Princess Diana after her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996.

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GOP senator tells home-state press that impeachment trial must be ‘viewed as fair’: report

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Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) spoke to local reporters on Saturday about her role in the upcoming Donald Trump impeachment trial.

Murkowski explained she would likely vote with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on an initial vote on whether to allow witnesses. However, she left the door open to voting for witnesses after House impeachment managers make their opening case.

"I don't know what more we need until I have been given the base case," she said. "We will have that opportunity to say 'yes' or 'no' ... and if we say 'yes,' the floor is open."

Overall, Murkowski said it was important for the trial to been viewed as fair.

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White House press secretary urged to do her job: ‘We don’t pay you to be a Twitter troll’

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White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham was blasted on Saturday over the confusion resulting from her refusal to hold daily press briefings.

CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy was alarmed that Grisham's assistant, Hogan Gidley, was forcing reporters to refer to his remarks as coming from a "sources close to the President's legal team."

Darcy noted that Trump had repeatedly questioned the veracity of unnamed sources, making it problematic for Gidley to demand to be quoted as such.

https://twitter.com/oliverdarcy/status/1218704788432572422

Grisham responded to the criticism and asked Darcy to "stop with the righteous indignation.

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