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

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Linkee-poo Wednesday spends the morning with magnets

"On average, every 30 seconds someone in the world buys a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Maybe it's for a grandchild, an expectant parent or a dear friend's new baby. Nearly 50 million copies have been sold since the classic picture book was first published in 1969, and it has been translated into over 62 languages." Happy 50th, Caterpillar.

Did the Earth move for you too? "Residents in northeastern Ohio had a shaky start to their day as a 4.0 magnitude earthquake rattled the region on Monday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed." It's called plate tectonics, the Earth moved for everyone. I barely felt it here at the office.

The permafrost giveth. "A 40,000-year-old severed wolf's head, preserved by permafrost complete with teeth and fur, has been discovered in eastern Siberia."

"Police in Hong Kong clashed with throngs of protesters outside government buildings Wednesday as opposition intensified to a proposed extradition bill that would tighten Beijing's control over the semiautonomous territory." Hong Kong continues the slow slide into mainland China.

So what has Jon Stewart been up to lately? "In a sparsely attended meeting addressing aid for 9/11 first responders, Jon Stewart blasted Congress for their 'callous indifference.'" You go, sir.

"The research, conducted and published by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, finds that in many cases of (elder) abuse or neglect severe enough to require medical attention, the incidents have not been reported to enforcement agencies, though that's required by law." There are many reasons. Not the least of which is ignorance of the law and the issue. Add on to this the fact that many of these people suffer memory issues. Many of them aren't watched or visited by family (for varieties of reasons all together different). Some things are easy to see, but some are not. And the elderly themselves are wary of reporting because of the potential of retribution and lack of trust. When we move some of these patients we hear a lot of "don't drop me", or "I'm falling". How much of that is the patient's own fear (falling is very hard on the elderly) and how much of that is their prior experience of having been dropped while being moved? How much can you trust a patient who along with saying something that might be a window into their experience of being abused also asks you the same exact question five or more times in a 10 minute exam (like, "where am I?" and "what are you doing?")? And no, I'm not exaggerating.

"So what's the harm of a rule designed to affirm health workers' right to exclude themselves from providing medical care that they say violates their religious or moral beliefs?… 'If the rule goes through as it's written, patients will die,' says Santa Clara's county executive, Jeff Smith, who is a physician as well as an attorney by training." It's total bullshit. Look, if you can't give any patient your full care, GTFO of healthcare.

"It's been months since most of Attema's fields were dry enough to plant. And the corn he managed to get into the ground early, about half of it just rotted in the field. He says the weather has been relentless." Welcome to the new norm. Concerned farmers are concerned. But they'll still vote for Trump next time around.

Why? "Democratic presidential hopefuls have been making the rounds in Iowa, which holds its first in the nation presidential contest next February. President Trump is also visiting state today. On his itinerary, a tour of an ethanol plant in western Iowa and a GOP dinner near Des Moines. Just before leaving the White House, Trump talked about the political importance of this Midwestern battleground." Ethanol. Trump is taking the "lid off". Ethanol is now more expensive than refined gas and unless the government mandates it's use and subsidizes the industry nobody is going to use it. When oil was over $90 a barrel ethanol was a good solution. Farmer like ethanol mandates because it means a set price and market for their crops, and they don't have to use it in their gas or diesel.

How go the Trade Wars? "President Donald Trump said he’s personally holding up a trade deal with China and that he won’t complete the agreement unless Beijing returns to terms negotiated earlier in the year."

"With no end in sight in the tit-for-tat trade war, companies must turn to lower-cost nations in Asia and the Americas to find alternative suppliers. The problem is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a nation that is not also a target of President Trump's tariff stick." An op-ed piece by a CEO of an oil industry supplier. Note he's not saying that the companies won't be profitable, but that they won't be as profitable if there weren't the trade wars and tariffs. And, again, we get the line of "we approve of what he's doing, but we don't like that we're the ones who will pay the price." In other words, businesses didn't think it would affect them. Surprise, DiGiacomo, it's your profits the president wants.

"Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross predicted on Tuesday that the U.S. and China will successfully negotiate a trade deal… 'Eventually, this will end in negotiation,' Ross said on CNBC’s 'Squawk Box.' 'Even shooting wars end in negotiations.'" Not a great analogy, Wilbur. Especially when the whole point of your appearance is to calm investors down.

"Donald Trump brandished a document on Tuesday confirming details of a regional asylum project agreed with Mexico to stave off threatened tariffs, saying the plan was 'secret' even though Mexican officials had revealed much of it." Now our country is making "secret" deals about policies which are in the mainstream.

"This is the first time in Roberts' 14 years as chief justice that he will likely be the deciding vote on several final, tense cases -- a total of 24 over the next two weeks. Roberts landed in the ideological center of the court last year when Justice Anthony Kennedy retired after a three-decade tenure. And because Roberts has long been to the right of centrist conservative Kennedy, the court is primed to make a sharp conservative turn."

"The report by the Free Russia Foundation describes the lengths to which it says the Kremlin has gone to undermine the West using international law and accounting firms, foreign officials, think tanks and nongovernmental organizations from New York to Latvia." Ah, the ol' cloak and dagger, but with accountants. Also, "'The Kremlin and its proxies now undermine democracies everywhere by enriching elites, bankrolling illiberal populists, building energy dependence, funding networks of friendly non-governmental organizations and media outlets, and empowering fringe elements like paramilitaries,' (Josh Rudolph) said by email."

"The mission to increase Russian influence (in Africa) is being led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman based in St Petersburg who is a close ally of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. One aim is to “strong-arm” the US and the former colonial powers the UK and France out of the region. Another is to see off 'pro-western' uprisings, the documents say." Their men in Africa.

"House Democrats looking to undo a decade-long pay freeze for lawmakers are rethinking their plans over fears the legislation could divide their own party… The fight is pitting pay-increase supporters, like House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., against newer Democrats who fear voters will be angry about lawmakers giving themselves a raise." I dunno, maybe split the difference, give your staff raises, pay the interns, and help encourage more moderate priced housing.

"Virginia Democratic voters signaled impatience with establishment politicians in primary elections Tuesday, sending home one high-profile state Senator who had been embraced by top leaders and giving the scare of a lifetime to another." ,Turnout was below 20%. Dear DNC, please notice who is carrying the energy in these elections. The candidates aren't the "cleanest" ("A former defense lawyer who lost his license, Morrissey is white and spent time in jail after he pleaded guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Prosecutors said he had sex with his then-17-year-old receptionist. He was 56 at the time… Now married to the former receptionist and fighting to get his law license back, Morrissey has deep support among some African American residents because of his legal work in the community."). But they're the ones who do the fucking work.

"House and Senate Democrats introduced legislation Tuesday they say will allow victims of gun violence to have their day in court… The Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act aims to repeal federal protections blocking firearm and ammunition manufacturers, dealers and trade groups from most civil lawsuits when a firearm is used unlawfully or in a crime." I doubt it'll even get a hearing in the Seante.

"House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said Tuesday that he would hold off on his committee’s contempt votes for Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross if officials provided certain documents to Congress by Wednesday." Tick tock.

"The House has authorized its committee leaders to pursue civil contempt cases to get information for their myriad investigations into President Trump." Democrats need to tell people about how slow Congress actually works, because of how the GOP controlled Congress rolled rough-shod over the rules for the past however many years most people have an unrealistic sense of the pace of Congress.

"A group of activists are planning to protest President Donald Trump's Fourth of July address at the Lincoln Memorial next month with the United Kingdom's 'Baby Trump' balloon, an orange blimp that previously appeared at protests during the president's visits to England." Baby Trump comes to America.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jon Stewart and those on whose behalf he speaks are national treasures. Words (at least polite ones) fail me when I consider those in government who supposedly serve the people. They must have a different definition of people than I do -- likely a definition that includes a million "$" or more.

I did feel something on the campus where I work in Ohio, but I did not realize that it was an earthquake. I just presumed it was the construction crew just outside my building who were demolishing a bridge/walkway and clearing debris. The gold award goes to a professor in my department who, a few years ago, was attending an earthquake engineering conference in Asia when he slept through an earthquake that occurred during the night. Bwahahahaha!

Steve Buchheit said...

Part of the 9/11 first responder problem is, "We did something and fixed that…" Ignoring that it wasn't the right fix and that it sunset before the problem was over. If we had single-payer and universal health care this wouldn't even be an issue. Well, the fight for basic healthcare wouldn't be the issue and they'd have the energy and political capital to fight for actual reparations from the government telling them the air was perfectly fine to breath as they sifted through the dusts.