Apparently someone finally got around to telling Donald Trump that $1 billion is chump change compared to the size of our trade deficit with China:

The Trump administration is asking Beijing for a plan to cut the annual U.S. trade deficit with China by $100 billion, according to people familiar with the matter….According to the people, Trump administration officials made the request to Liu He, the main architect of China’s economic policy, last week when he was in Washington.

I dunno. Maybe Trump can talk China into buying a billion tons of American coal each year. Alternatively, he could talk to an economist, who would tell him that the most effective answer is to weaken the dollar. That’s easier said than done, though, and doesn’t have the same appeal as being able to crow about beating China at its own game. In the end, I assume this whole affair will amount to nothing, although Trump might be able to persuade China to make a few face-saving concessions in return for real-life concessions from the US. That’s how Trump’s dealmaking usually seems to go.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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