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The Mask It Wears

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[On the class- and wealth-ridden dead end that liberalism has become. *RON*]

Pankaj Mishra, London Review of Books, Vol. 40 No. 12 · 21 June 2018, pages 9-13
The People v. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It by Yascha Mounk. Harvard, 400 pp, £21.95, March, ISBN 978 0 674 97682 5Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World by Samuel Moyn. Harvard, 277 pp, £21.95, April, ISBN 978 0 674 73756 3
American liberals, Samuel Moyn wrote last year in Dissent, have never broken ‘with the exceptionalist outlook that cast the United States as uniquely virtuous’, but having Trump in the ‘cockpit of American power’ will reveal ‘just how terrifyingly normal a nation we are, with our populist jingoism and hawkish foreign policy’. The bipartisan support for the president’s bombing campaigns shows that little has changed in this respect, however. As Trump ordered strikes on Syria in April last year, Fareed Zakaria hailed the ‘big moment’: ‘Don…

1 In 3 Adults In The U.S. Takes Medications Linked To Depression

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[Note: She's not saying they take anti-depressants; she's saying 1/3 Americans take common prescription meds that have depression as a side-effect. *RON*]

Allison Aubrey, National Public Radio, 

If you take Prilosec or Zantac for acid reflux, a beta blocker for high blood pressure, or Xanax for anxiety, you may be increasing your risk of depression.

More than 200 common medications sold in the U.S. include depression as a potential side effect. Sometimes, the risk stems from taking several drugs at the same time. Now, a new study finds people who take these medicines are, in fact, more likely to be depressed.

The list includes a wide range of commonly taken medications. Among them are certain types of proton pump inhibitors (used to treat acid reflux), beta blockers, anxiety drugs, painkillers including ibuprofen, ACE inhibitors (used to treat high blood pressure) and anticonvulsant drugs.

"The more of these medications you're taking…

‘This Is a Place That Just Sucks Your Soul’

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[A look at politics under Trump by a politician who came in as a (rabidly Libertarian) idealist. So much for draining the swamp. Not hard to see where he went wrong: "Just because [we] might disagree with [Trump] doesn’t mean we’re the enemy. We’re trying to help him keep the promises that he made." Mind you, that's still forty-some-odd Tea Party types who are available to turn on Trump, should they so chose. *RON*]
Tim Alberta, Politico, 15 June 2018


Tea Partier Raúl Labrador swept into Congress ready to dismantle Washington. Now he’s going home, more disillusioned than ever.

It was the opening week of the 112th Congress, in January 2011, when Raúl Labrador, then a rookie congressman representing Idaho’s 1st District, joined 86 other Republican freshmen for a series of talks with Speaker John Boehner and his leadership team.

Disruption was in the air. It was this group—the rollicking, swaggering, overflowing class of 2010—that allowed…

A Trade War With U.S. Would Knock Canada's Economy Into Recession: Scotiabank

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[It is total nonsense - Bank Of Montreal Economist Destroys Trump's Tariff Rationale  - but it still isn't looking great. Though it's worth noting that the BC economy has one of the lowest dependencies on the US across Canada: Canadians Who Want To Play Hardball With Trump Should Look At This Map. *RON*]
Canadian Press, Huffington Post, 17 June 2018


OTTAWA — A new analysis of escalating trade disputes involving the United States warns that a deterioration into an all-out, global trade war would knock North America's economies into recession.

The report by Scotiabank said if the U.S. breaks all trade ties with its partners — and imposes across-the-board tariffs that average 20 per cent — then Canada and Mexico would see their economies contract in 2020.

For Canada, it predicts the economy would shrink 1.8 per cent.

"A ramp-up in protectionism in the U.S. results in a negative impact on growth in each of the NAFTA partners' ec…

Audi CEO arrested in Germany over emissions scandal

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[In Europe they will, at least, arrest CEOs. VW has backed and promoted Rupert Stadler despite calls for his resignation. *RON*]

Edward Taylor & Jan Schwartz, Reuters / Globe & Mail, 18 June 2018


Volkswagen was holding crisis talks on Monday to find a stand-in boss for its Audi brand, a source familiar with the discussions said, after German authorities arrested Audi CEO Rupert Stadler as part of a probe into emissions test cheating.

Stadler is the most senior company official to be detained so far since Volkswagen (VW) admitted in September 2015 to using illegal software to rig U.S. emissions tests on diesel engines.

Munich prosecutors, who widened their probe into Audi earlier this month, said Stadler was being held due to fears he might hinder their investigation into the scandal, plunging VW into a leadership crisis.

“We need to find a solution for Audi’s leadership for the time when he is not here,” the source familiar with the talks sai…

Today's Trumpery

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[Welcome to the monkey house. A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. *RON*]



Father’s Day Under Trump: A Grotesque Exercise in the Destruction of Families, AlterNet

Ex-top staff from Cambridge Analytica working on Trump 2020 campaign, Defend Democracy Press

Donald Trump Goes Rogue, New Yorker ["In half a week, between Quebec and Singapore, Trump showed that the liberal order is hateful to him, and that he wants out."]

Trade war could wipe out gains of GOP tax law, former top Trump economic adviser, Washington Post [The list of Trump's friends whose pocket-books benefit directly from his policies is shrinking daily]

Trump's consumer watchdog pick draws criticism from left and right, Reuters [She's a low-profile nobody, which suits the banksters just fine]

Hawaii becomes the first state to ban the use of pesticide linked to brain damage, Think Progress [Protected by Pruitt and Trump]