Monday, December 11, 2017
Politics

When Xi meets with Trump at Mar-a Lago, one thing's for sure: no golf

HONG KONG — When President Xi Jinping of China meets with President Donald Trump on Thursday, he will take with him an agenda at odds with that of his U.S. counterpart, leaving the world guessing how the two might hash out questions about trade and North Korea's nuclear provocations.

But one thing is certain: They will not golf.

However the two leaders spend their time at Trump's Mar-a Lago club in Palm Beach, "it's safe to say there's not going to be any golf," the White House said in a statement.

RELATED: Trump presses China on North Korea.

That means that Trump will not try to build a warm rapport with Xi on the golf course as he did when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan visited Mar-a-Lago in February.

While Xi is known to be an avid soccer fan bent on transforming China into a great soccer power, the Chinese Communist Party's contempt for golf as a rich man's game places him at odds with Trump, who owns more than a dozen golf courses and whose so-called Winter White House, the Mar-a-Lago club, charges more than $200,000 for membership.

Under Xi's leadership, a crackdown on corruption has depicted golf as a temptation that led party officials astray. Dozens of courses across the country have been shut in recent years, ostensibly to preserve water and arable lands.

Although as many as 1 million people in China, not necessarily part of the wealthy elite, play golf, the game has become a symbol of capitalist excesses and corruption in the eyes of the Communist Party. That view goes back to 1949, when Mao Zedong declared golf the "sport for millionaires."

Members of the Communist Party may avoid spending time on the links, but Trump's golf properties have prospered since his election, prompting accusations of conflict of interest.

What might Trump and Xi do instead of playing golf over the two-day visit?

"It's possible that they'll walk around a bit, as the mood strikes," the White House statement said, "but nothing formal or nothing involving golf clubs."

Comments
Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority plays beat the clock on GOP tax bill

Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority plays beat the clock on GOP tax bill

TAMPA — With the Republican tax bill poised to eliminate the opportunity, the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority on Monday said it had refinanced a big chunk of its debt to save money in the future.The authority borrowed $152 million from the bo...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Alabama Senate race, unlikely nail biter, races to finish line

Alabama Senate race, unlikely nail biter, races to finish line

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — In a blur of television ads, conflicting polls and presidential tweets, Doug Jones and Roy Moore raced Monday to make their final pleas in Alabama’s special election for the Senate, with both candidates focused on turning out their...
Updated: 11 hours ago
As tax plan gained steam, GOP lost focus on the middle class

As tax plan gained steam, GOP lost focus on the middle class

The GOP tax plan on the cusp of becoming law diverges wildly from the promises President Trump and top advisers said they would deliver for the middle class — an evolution that shows how traditional Republican orthodoxy swamped Trump’s distinctive br...
Published: 12/10/17

Same income, but not taxes, in GOP plan

In most places, a dollar is a dollar. But in the tax code envisioned by Republicans, the amount you make may be less important than how you make it.Consider two chefs working side by side for the same catering company, doing the same job, for the sam...
Published: 12/09/17
Updated: 12/10/17
Democrats fighting math and history in Alabama

Democrats fighting math and history in Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Renegade Republican Roy Moore may be plagued by scandal, but it will take more than that to convince the voters of 44th Place North to show up for Democrat Doug Jones on Tuesday. In a state where Democrats are used to losing, the m...
Published: 12/09/17
 ‘He believes passionately that the liberal left and the media are out to destroy him’: A look inside Trump’s day-to-day

‘He believes passionately that the liberal left and the media are out to destroy him’: A look inside Trump’s day-to-day

WASHINGTON — Around 5:30 each morning, President Donald Trump wakes and tunes into the television in the White House’s master bedroom. He flips to CNN for news, moves to "Fox & Friends" for comfort and messaging ideas, and sometimes watches MSNBC’s "...
Published: 12/09/17
Why Democrats decided Sen. Al Franken had to go

Why Democrats decided Sen. Al Franken had to go

  It seems like a distant memory now, but Al Franken’s arrival in the U.S. Senate eight years ago marked the very moment when Democrats’ control of Washington reached its highest point in a generation. After an eight-month recount, the ...
Published: 12/07/17
Updated: 12/08/17
Rep. Trent Franks to resign after broaching surrogacy with subordinates

Rep. Trent Franks to resign after broaching surrogacy with subordinates

WASHINGTON — Rep. Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican who is among the most conservative members of the House, said Thursday he would resign his seat in a statement where he acknowledged discussing surrogacy with two former female subordinates.Franks...
Published: 12/07/17
Sen. Al Franken says he’s resigning amid fresh accusations

Sen. Al Franken says he’s resigning amid fresh accusations

WASHINGTON — Minnesota Sen. Al Franken announced Thursday he will resign from Congress in the coming weeks following a wave of sexual misconduct allegations and the collapse of support from his Democratic colleagues, a swift political fall for a once...
Published: 12/07/17
Amid reports of rapes, beatings, cover-ups, grand jury to probe juvenile justice abuses

Amid reports of rapes, beatings, cover-ups, grand jury to probe juvenile justice abuses

Disturbed by stories about the rape of teens by supervisory staff, a pandemic of sometimes savage force, brutal beatdowns ordered by youth care workers and policies that permit the hiring of violent offenders, Miami-Dade’s state attorney wants to kno...
Published: 12/07/17