China has announced sanctions on top Republicans after the US imposed sanctions on Chinese officials for alleged human rights abuses against Muslim minorities in Xinjiang province.
Among those targeted are senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, both outspoken critics of China.
The nature of the sanctions is unclear.
China is accused of detaining more than a million Uighurs and others in Xinjiang but China denies abuses in the far-western region.
Ted Cruz is a senator for Texas while Marco Rubio represents Florida. The pair competed with Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
China also imposed sanctions on Republican congressman Chris Smith; Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback; and a government agency, the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
The foreign ministry said the move was in response to America’s “wrong actions”.
“We urge the US to immediately withdraw its wrong decision, and stop any words and actions that interfere in China’s internal affairs and harm China’s interests,” spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.
She gave no details what the sanctions entailed. …
The Weekly Standard reports that American athletes winning medals at the London Olympics will owe the US Government money.
Americans who win bronze will pay a $2 tax on the medal itself. But the bronze comes with a modest prizeâ€”$10,000 as an honorarium for devoting your entire life to being the third best athlete on the planet in your chosen discipline. And the IRS will take $3,500 of that, thank you very much.
There are also prizes that accompany each medal: $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze.
Silver medalists will owe $5,385. You win a gold? Timothy Geithner will be standing there with his hand out for $8,986. …
[M]ost other Olympians won’t pay any taxes on their medals because America is one of only a handful of countries which taxes “worldwide” prize income earned overseas.
The Politico reports that at least on Republican wants to give American athletes a break.
[Senator Marco] Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced [on Wednesday] The Olympic Tax Elimination Act, which would exempt U.S. Olympic medal winners from paying taxes on their medals. Olympians receive honorariums in the form of cash payments of $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze, which the IRS currently taxes.
â€œOur tax code is a complicated and burdensome mess that too often punishes success, and the tax imposed on Olympic medal winners is a classic example of this madness,â€ Rubio said in a statement. â€œAthletes representing our nation overseas in the Olympics shouldnâ€™t have to worry about an extra tax bill waiting for them back home.â€
2012 Election, Bill Kristol, Jennifer Rubin, Jim Pethokoukis, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Syphilitic Camel
Ryan-Rubio in 2012
Bill Kristol is perfectly right. Conservatives need to field serious candidates capable of debating the fundamental choices for this country’s future direction. 2012 is a potential watershed election in which the voters will be looking for a real alternative to deficits, inflation, and submission to national decline.
The current Republican field does not present many principled conservatives, and Sarah Palin has not, so far, demonstrated that she has the ability to debate Barack Obama and win.
There are no safe choices. And the 2008 election proves that the politics-as-usual conventional next-in-line approach to presidential nominations can be a certain recipe for failure.
Young, vigorous, and dynamic candidates have terrific voter appeal. Both Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio represent the best leadership of the Republican Party, and we should field that leadership in this time of national crisis.
James Pethokoukis, at Reuters, is also climbing on board the Ryan for President bandwagon.
Itâ€™s not just Bill Kristol, gang. Thereâ€™s desire at the highest ranks of the Republican Party, according to my reporting and sources, to see House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan seek the 2012 presidential nomination. Hereâ€™s why:
1) Since Democrats are determined to hang Ryanâ€™s bold â€œPath to Prosperityâ€ budget plan around the neck of every Republican running for office in 2012, why not have its author and best salesman advocate for it directly vs. President Obama?
2) Ryan â€” to borrow a favorite Simon Cowell phrase â€” is â€œcurrent.â€ Heâ€™s smack in the middle of budgetary and ideological clash between Democrats and Republicans and would immediately energize conservative and Tea Party activists.
3) Ryan is a strong national defense conservative, as well as pro-life.
4) Ryan is from a battleground state, Wisconsin, and a battleground region, the upper Great Lakes.
5) Ryanâ€™s youth, vigor, likability and Jimmy Stewart persona â€” well, a wonky version of George Bailey â€” would be an immediate shorthand signal to voters that heâ€™s a different kind of Republican. He also has a compelling life story to tell.
6) Obama suddenly and unexpectedly to Washington insiders looks beatable â€” by the right candidate.
Jon Ward, at HuffPo, pitched Kristol’s Ryan-Rubio trial balloon as a failure, but conceded that the idea has real appeal to some conservatives.
An attempt by conservative author Bill Kristol to excite interest in the idea of a presidential run by Republican congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) â€“- with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) as his running mate -â€“ fell flat with the conservative political establishment on Monday.
â€œSounds like an idea my good friend Bill Kristol would float, but that is not the nominating process of the Republican Party,â€ said Mel Sembler, a major Republican fundraiser and businessman. â€œPaul Ryan has already stated he is not interested in running and Marco Rubio just got to town as senator.â€
â€œI guess Bill Kristol will just have to stick to prognosticating,â€ Sembler told The Huffington Post. …
Yet a broad cross section of GOP political figures â€“- many of them in off-the-record conversations — echoed Sembler’s opinion, even as they sang Ryanâ€™s praises. Some even admitted that Ryan is one of the few Republican politicians who they think could beat Obama in a debate, pointing to his exchange with Obama at last yearâ€™s health care summit.
In withholding their support, they cited Ryanâ€™s unwillingness to jump into the 2012 presidential race, his lack of executive experience, and a strong belief that the Republican primary should proceed methodically and traditionally, without the kind of disruption that a surprise candidate would bring.
â€œIf people want to run, let them run and subject themselves to the rigor and scrutiny of the process,â€ said Jim Rickards, an economic analyst who works with top GOP politicos in Washington. â€œThis business of anointing unvetted fantasy tickets seems a bit sophomoric.â€
Nonetheless, Kristolâ€™s second try at floating a Ryan-Rubio trial balloon â€“- after first doing so in early January -â€“ is just another indication of how unsettled many conservatives are with the quality, or lack thereof, on the partyâ€™s 2012 roster of potential presidential candidates. …
Despite the pessimism among the political establishment, there are small signs that Kristolâ€™s desire for a compelling alternative to the current field -â€“ and to the other much-discussed dark horse candidate, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey â€“- is catching on, at least among conservative writers.
Jennifer Rubin, at the Washington Post, agreed with Jim Pethokoukis and added that the unattractiveness of the current field of candidates required a solution
With fewer candidates than expected in the race, there is plenty of campaign talent around. (And did anyone notice how professional and effective was the â€˜campaignâ€™ to roll out his budget?) And, I suspect, that should Ryan enter the race heâ€™d have no problem raising the needed cash.
Ryan has said he doesnâ€™t want to run, but sometimes the question of â€œwant to runâ€ is a luxury. There are times when the moment presents itself, the party and the country are receptive, and there is no one else quite as compelling. Think Bill Clinton in 1992. Ryan has some time, though not much, to decide whether he wants to fill the obvious gap in the GOP field. And if party activists, insiders, Tea Partyers and operatives think Ryan is the man, then theyâ€™d better start making their wishes known.
Some of our leading commentators have already begun to register their preferences, and, so far, the camel is in the lead.
Glenn Reynolds, January 20, 2011:
PROFESSOR BAINBRIDGE is not enthused with the Republican field. Well, based on the past two years Iâ€™d vote for a syphilitic camel if he ran against Obama. But Iâ€™d rather not have to. But remember, itâ€™s early yet â€” at this point in the previous cycle, it looked like it was going to be Hillary vs. Rudy. And Barack Obama was just a nice young man whoâ€™d given a speech at the convention.
Glenn Reynolds, March 5, 2011
GEORGE WILL IS not so hot on Huckabee, Gingrich. I would vote for a syphilitic camel over Barack Obama in 2012, so therefore I would even vote for Huckabee or Gingrich. But I might try to talk the camel into running one more time.
I voted for John McCain, whom I despise slightly more than Huckabee and Gingrich, in 2008 myself, but that syphilitic camel had better take care to choose a good running mate. Without Palin on the ticket, I might very well have written in Donald Duck.
Fortunately for the camel, the ideal Republican VP choice is very obvious: Marco Rubio.