‘I Am a Tariff Man’

It’s a bird, it’s a plane. No, it’s the President of the United States.

Trump officials continue to express optimism about the commitments that the Chinese made, and what they call a new seriousness from Mr. Xi and his chief economic adviser, Liu He. That is consistent with the message that recent U.S. visitors in private business have told us that they have also heard in Beijing.

But Chinese officials have been notably quiet and unspecific since the weekend about the commitments they made in Argentina. They haven’t even confirmed the 90-day negotiating deadline that Trump officials have stressed. In other words, who’s on first?

Then on Tuesday Mr. Trump belly-flopped into the debate, as he is wont to do. In a Twitter barrage, the President expressed optimism about his weekend meeting and the chances of a deal. But he added that “remember . . . I am a Tariff Man. When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so. It will always be the best way to max out our economic power.” All that was missing was a leotard with a T on the chest and a cape.

Markets apparently didn’t see the super hero humor and promptly sold off. Perhaps they know that tariffs are taxes on commerce, and when you tax something you get less of it. Mr. T’s unveiling also hit on the day after the yield curve on some Treasurys began to invert—which can mean trouble. The economy is still strong enough to survive some uncertainty, but Tariff Man shouldn’t go to war with the laws of economics. He’ll lose.

Tweets from Elon Musk Still Aren’t What They Seem

We’ve seen this before, and it’s worth noting again. A tweet from a blue-checked Elon Musk is all it takes to set a Bitcoin giveaway frenzy into motion. The only problem is that it’s just the same hoary old advance fee scam.

Hijacked verified Twitter accounts masquerading as Elon Musk are again being used to tweet messages, complete with typos, and a link to a webpage that’s supposed to be connected with Musk’s SpaceX. All this from a Twitter account complete with a verified blue check.

Motherboard’s Joseph Cox noted that the hijacked account actually retweeted genuine tweets from the real Elon Musk to appear more convincing. Other compromised accounts complete with blue check join in the thread, telling the marks that they’ve sent in Bitcoin and received more in return, just by retweeting the message to their own followers.

Scammers earn a tidy sum exploiting Twitter users’ gullibility, so shutting one scam down is just a small bump in the crooked road. As one is shuttered, another takes its place to entrap the gullible and greedy. Sometimes the scammers even get the spelling and grammar correct. One quick lesson to draw from this episode is that the blue check may not be much more help than the old green padlock as a marker of trustworthiness.

Reply All: Journalist in Mexico is Trolled to Amuse Politician’s Troll Army

After Andrea Noel is attacked by a stranger in Mexico City, she just wants to figure out who the guy was. Investigating this question drops her right into the middle of one of Mexico’s biggest conspiracies.