There is trouble in the forest
And the creatures all have fled
As the maples scream 'oppression!'
And the oaks, just shake their heads

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Linkee-poo Tuesday rider

Alligators up to the eyeballs today.

"In a post saying goodbye to the HBO show, Martin discussed his long-awaited conclusion to the written version of the series, and addressed the biggest question first: will the ending be the same? His answer is non-committal: 'Well… yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes.'" Thanks, George.

Water water everywhere. "One of the big revelations from the flyby was the discovery of an ocean beneath the icy shell encapsulating Pluto. The ice shell was thin in a spot near the equator that's about the size of Texas, known as Sputnik Planitia, which helped researchers notice Pluto's odd topography and suggest the ocean's existence."

"A great white shark that was tagged last year off Nova Scotia was detected in Long Island Sound on Monday just days after being spotted off the North Carolina coast. An organization that electronically tracks ocean life announced on Twitter that it was tracking the nearly 10-foot long great white in the sound 'for the first time ever.'"

"U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres raised concerns Thursday that a concrete dome built last century to contain waste from atomic-bomb tests is leaking radioactive material into the Pacific. Speaking to students in Fiji, Guterres described the structure on Enewetak atoll in the Marshall Islands as "a kind of coffin" and said it was a legacy of Cold War-era nuclear tests in the Pacific." We're boned.

"The first named tropical storm of the 2019 Atlantic season could form late Monday or Monday night, according to a special bulletin from the National Hurricane Center. The low-pressure system is a few hundred miles southwest of Bermuda." Here we go.

"Several findings stand out: A substantial number (40%) of rural Americans struggle with routine medical bills, food and housing. And about half (49%) say they could not afford to pay an unexpected $1,000 expense of any type." Yep. But hey, let's give tax breaks to the millionaires. I'm sure that'll fix it.

"Darrell Franks, a retired tool and die maker who backs Trump, told the Times that he likes the idea of having a president who frightens the rest of the world." That is the entire appeal of authoritarianism right there. (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

How go the Trade Wars? "There’s more pain ahead for the U.S. and China as their bilateral trade dispute drags on, an expert forecast on Tuesday… 'It’s going to get worse before it gets better,' said Curtis Chin, an Asia fellow at the Milken Institute, a think tank." And it's sparking rampant nationalism on both sides. Yippie!

"President Xi Jinping’s visit to a rare earths facility fueled speculation that the strategic materials could be weaponized in China’s tit-for-tat with the U.S. on trade." Guess who has been trying to tie up all that lithium and other rare earths?

"The U.S. Commerce Department announced Monday it had granted a 90-day license for mobile phone companies and internet broadband providers to work with Huawei to keep existing networks online and protect users from security risks." What's a little national security to 90 days more of business?

"Ford Motor said Monday that it is laying off about 7,000 managers and other salaried employees, about 10% of its white-collar workforce across the globe, as part of a restructuring plan designed to save the No. 2 automaker $600 million annually."

"On Saturday, the New York Times reported that President Donald Trump was considering pardons for several US military members accused -- including some who have not yet gone to trial -- or convicted of heinous and high-profile cases related to actions on the battlefield." Fuck the president. I'm not sure I can adequately share my feelings about this. People who use the cause (or fog) of war to indulge their psychopathic fantasies are not to be pardoned. It's an incredibly high bar to cross to convict them. Every one of those deserve jail (which is some cases is better than they deserve). To pardon them (and there are some people convicted in military courts who deserve pardons, but not these fucks) is a betrayal of trust and gives a green light to the worst devils of our nature and encourages the wolves who live among us. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"Deutsche Bank's anti-money laundering specialists once recommended that transactions involving entities controlled by President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a US agency that investigates financial crimes, according to a new report in the New York Times… The Times reports that Deutsche Bank employees flagged the transactions in 2016 and 2017, and that at least one of the reports involved the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which is now defunct."

"'This is not true,' Times reporter David Enrich said on Twitter in response to Trump's tweets. 'I have spent a long time looking into this, and @DeutscheBank was the only bank willing to lend to @realDonaldTrump for 20 years because of his pattern of defaults and the bank’s hunger for growth in the US.'… And despite his claims that he did not 'need or want money,' the president still owes the bank $300 million, according to The Associated Press. And in 2016, the bank lent $285 million to Kushner Companies affiliates." That's a wholelotta money to not want or need.

"When a federal judge ruled Monday that the President's longtime accounting firm Mazars must hand over his financial records, he did not just deliver a win to stonewalled Democrats… He made a sweeping point about Congress' power to hold a President to account -- in an argument that will reverberate throughout Trump's attempt to fend off an oversight offensive." Stephen Collinson is getting a little ahead of himself here and mistaking the administration's object to be more than delay and harassment. The mistake the administration is making is that the eventual resolution will occur (without a major effort to delay the courts as well) right in the middle of the 2020 election.

"According to a newly-released transcript of Cohen's closed-door testimony to the House Intelligence Committee at the end of February, Cohen told lawmakers he had "quite a few … direct conversations" with Sekulow 'around the time' of several ongoing congressional and federal investigations into Trump… Cohen said he and Sekulow talked about a 'global pardon," which Sekulow allegedly discussed as part of an attempt to 'shut this whole thing down.'" The best way for Trump to spin this was, "the Dems knew this since February, why did they wait for the Mueller Report to charge me with obstruction?" But that's a dangerous gambit and is a little too subtle the president and his friends. Right now they're going the ol' "he's a liar!" route.

No comments: