THE CHINA SYNDROME: China cuts several major interest rates to support fragile economy.

The cuts to the central bank’s key short-term policy rate, its market operations rates and benchmark bank lending rates came after China reported weaker-than-expected second-quarter economic data last week and its top leaders met for a plenum that occurs roughly every five years.

The country is verging on deflation and faces a prolonged property crisis, surging debt and weak consumer and business sentiment. Trade tensions are also flaring, as global leaders grow increasingly wary of China’s export dominance.

“The cut today is an unexpected move, likely due to the sharp slowdown in growth momentum in the second quarter as well as the call for ‘achieving this year’s growth target’ by the third plenum,” said Larry Hu, chief China economist at Macquarie.

Bloomberg was more on point with their headline: China Surprises With Rate Cut After Xi’s Big Meeting Disappoints.

KRUISER’S MORNING BRIEFING: The Incredible Vanishing President. “You know who didn’t look very concerned yesterday? Kamala Harris. Honestly, I don’t think it’s because she has any concrete knowledge of what’s going on with her boss. This is everything that she hoped for and was beaming for all of her public appearances. It had a decided ‘Man, I’m thrilled he’s finally out of the way,’ feel to it.”



DON’T DO THE MATH, IT WILL ONLY MAKE YOU GRUMPY: CDR Salamander: So How’s The Red Sea Fight Going? “So, in essence, we’ve expended all of 2022, 2023, and part of 2021’s procurement in just nine months. Against. A. Sub-4th Rate. Non-state. Actor.”

You can’t solve a problem unless you’re actually trying to solve it. Trying to look busy wastes ammo and accomplishes nothing, and that — for some unaccountable reason — is what we’re doing.

TRUTH IS A COMPLETE DEFENSE: Federal Judge: Disinformation Czar’s Defamation Claim Against Fox Is … “This morning, a federal judge threw out a lawsuit by self-proclaimed disinformation expert and one-time censorship board chief Nina Jankowicz. Jankowicz had sued Fox News for defamation involving 37 separate statements that she claimed were false and defamatory. — ie, ‘disinformation.’ Federal judge Colm F. Connolly dismissed the case because Jankowoicz’ claims turned out to be false and, well … disinformation-y, at least.”

KEEP LOOKING: Searching for the Real Kamala Harris.

As a city prosecutor and later as state attorney general, Harris led a harsh intervention against chronic truancy, justified by the fact that a high proportion of violent criminals were high school dropouts. She pushed for criminal penalties for parents whose children missed too much school. She also pushed for the transfer of undocumented youth charged with felonies to ICE for deportation.

In the sometimes insular world of San Francisco politics, she was a moderate or even conservative voice on public safety and crime issues.

But in the Senate and on the national campaign trail, Harris walked back her previous tough-on-crime record in the shadow of the Trump presidency. Harris championed decarceration efforts and even gestured toward support for the “Abolish ICE” movement. ​​“We need to probably think about starting from scratch,” she told MSNBC. Unlike her first campaign, Harris’s presidential campaign, in line with the rising status of identity politics in progressive circles, stressed her focus to “expose racial disparities in the criminal justice system.”

As I’ve documented in previous investigations of Harris’s record, her rhetoric sometimes failed to match her record. She was among the first to create a district attorney-level environmental justice unit to prosecute polluters in low-income, minority neighborhoods. Yet, her office instead went after small-time defendants, none of whom had spilled a drop of hazardous material in the communities she claimed to protect.

Read the whole thing.