Thursday, December 29, 2016

"Current Events" Discussions

Upcoming Discussion Sessions:

·        9am Monday June 25 at the North Shore Senior Center
    (Note: Ralph Bernstein will conduct this 6/25 session.)



·        10am Thursday July 5 at the Northbrook Library

·        9:30am Wednesday July 18 at the JCC on Revere Drive 

·        7:15pm Wednesday July 18 at The Lodge

Note: Ralph Bernstein is leading the 6/25 discussion.  Here are Ralph’s topics.
1. President Trump said Monday he's directed his administration to identify $200 billion worth of
Chinese goods that will be subject to additional tariffs, which may escalate the ongoing trade
dispute between the U.S. and China. These tariffs are in addition to the announced tariffs on 50
billon of goods. Is this the onset of a trade war?

2. The United States announced a deal on last week to lift tough American sanctions on the Chinese
telecommunications   giant   ZTE   and   ZTE   is   to   pay   a   $1   Billion   fine   in   the   deal   to   end   U.S.
sanctions. Noticeably salient are the reported loans to be made by China to develop a theme park
in another section of the Far East that will be developed by Trump companies with others. On
Monday the senate included a provision in proposed legislation   keeping the penalties in place
against ZTE despite a deal reached earlier this month by the Trump administration. What about
this? Are the senate and the administration in sync?

3. Discuss   the   administration’s   separation   of   children   from   their   parents.   Is   the   action   by   the
administration   an   action   instituted   to   prevent   future   illegal   border   crossings   and   is   used   as   a
deterrent or is the separation an inhumane action as alleged by others? Some Repubs are said to
be abandoning the president on this issue. Zero tolerance White House senior advisor, Steven
Miller, called the separation of children from parents a “potent tool” to stop illegal immigration.
The president was quoted as saying that the Dems are responsible for the separation of children at
the border from their parents. Your thoughts.

4. The CEO of Tesla, Musk, has announced his intention to build a tunnel for transportation at a
high speed to and from O’Hare. Good idea?

5. This week a district court judge revoked the bond for Paul Manafort and remanded him to jail pending the trial on his indictment. Some say this jailing will be enough for him to tell all and others  say   that   the   president   will   pardon   him   thereby   keeping   him   from   “talking.”  What   will happen?

6. Recently the village of Deerfield has announced that it enacted an ordinance banning “assault
type” weapons. In response, two groups have filed lawsuits contesting the ability of Deerfield to
enact such ordinances. Highland Park and other Cities/Villages have enacted similar ordinances
which have been tested by courts, including the 7th circuit court of appeals and the U S Supreme
court. These courts have rendered decisions that such ordinances are constitutional. Now what
about Deerfield?

7. With all the press reports and talk regarding a possible indictment for Michael Cohen, will he
flip?

8. Mayor  Emanuel  has suggested  a program  for  preschoolers  where  no charge  will  be  made  for
those attending.  Your thoughts.

9. The Department of Justice (DOJ) argued in court last week, that key parts of ObamaCare are
unconstitutional, siding in large part with a conservative challenge to the law. The move is a break
from   the   norm   of   the   DOJ   to   defend   federal   laws   when   they   are   challenged   in   court.   Under
President  Trump,   the   department   has   opted   not   to   defend   a  law   that   it   strongly   opposes.  The
lawsuit  in  question  was filed in  February by Texas and 19 other GOP-led states, arguing that
ObamaCare is unconstitutional and should be overturned. Legal experts are deeply skeptical the
challenge can succeed, and 17 Democratic-led states have already intervened to defend the law in

the absence of DOJ action.

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