Showing posts from July 23, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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

If Trump Pardons, it Could be a Crime; with Further Meta-Legal Implications, Eric Posner Blog
Donald Trump and the Coming Fall of American Empire, The Intercept [Book coming in Sept. sounds good]

Thousands flock to free medical clinic, as Washington dithers on health care, Washington Post [Banana republic]

Seconds after quoting an anonymous source, Anthony Scaramucci admits the source was Donald Trump, Think Progress [LOL, throws boss under bus in under 72 hours]

'Full transparency:' Scarammuci says he's deleting old tweets, USA Today ["Past views evolved" and "I serve @POTUS agenda & that's all that matters."]

From Pence to Price: How Big Tobacco Gained Massive Influence Under Trump, Plans to Expand in Africa, Democracy Now!

Spending a Lot on Health Care Is the American Way

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[America has some of the most expensive medicine in the world. But why? "Once we focus on consumption, America’s health-care expenditures no longer appear so unusual. If you graph them per capita against individual consumption, the fit is very close across developed nations. Americans spend a lot on health care because we spend a lot, period. We treat a lot of health care as similar to personal consumption. We love the quick fix and we hate being told no." *RON*]
Tyler Cowen, Bloomberg, 20 July 2017

The U.S. has some of the most expensive medicine in the world, with health-care spending now almost 18 percent of gross domestic product. But why? And might we hope to get this spending down? Unfortunately, expensive health care is embedded in the American way of life -- more specifically, the American desire to live it up with high consumption.

As outlined by the blog Random Critical Analysis, U.S. health-care expenditures go well beyond wh…

Updated style guide for Chinese media: no bosses or green tea bitches

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[Short but revealing and mildly amusing. China updates official media style-guide. “Boss: Never use ‘boss’ (老板 lǎobǎn) to describe leading cadres of the Party or people in charge of state-owned enterprises”. “Soviet Union: Never use ‘former Soviet Union’ (前苏联 qiánsūlián), just use ‘Soviet Union’ (苏联 sūlián)”. “Belt and Road: Do not use ‘strategy’ (战略 zhànlüè) to describe One Belt, One Road. Use ‘initiative’ (倡议 chàngyì)”. “For coverage on Islam (伊斯兰教 yīsīlán jiào), never bring up any content related to pigs” *RON*]
Jiayun Feng, SupChina, 21 July 2017

Founded in 1931 as Red China News Agency 红色中华通讯社, and named after the 1949 revolution, Xinhua News Agency is China’s most important state-owned newswire. Every day, Xinhua feeds thousands of articles to newspapers, websites, and TV stations across China. Xinhua copy is available for free to any news organization; in addition, during some political events, news organizations are required to use Xinhua…

PC Leader Jason Kenney Says Wildrose Loyalists are 'Contrarians by Nature' Who Vote Against Everything

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[And so, Day One, with the ink not yet dry on their accord! *RON*]
PressProgress, 22 July 2017

There goes Jason Kenney again – a real uniter, not a divider!

As members of Alberta's Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties cast ballots on a merger plan that could reshape conservative politics in the province, the leader of Alberta's PCs says he isn't worried about loyal Wildrose supporters because they're just "contrarians by nature."

Not quite the unifying tone you'd expect from an aspiring leader of a newly merged party.

During an appearance on CBC's Power and Politics Friday, host Terry Milewski asked Kenney how "confident" he is that he'll manage to secure 75% of votes from Wildrose members to authorize his unity plan – a "pretty high bar to reach," noted Milewski.

"I'm not certain, you're right," Kenney admitted, adding that "75% is a very high threshold."

Alberta’s right unites as Wildrose, Progressive Conservatives vote to merge parties

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["The result creates a new United Conservative Party and ends a decade of bitter feuding between the two parties." Baloney. See how useless the Republican Party has become in the US? People complain that minority governments don't work, but the UCP is just a bunch of minority parties strung together with chewing gum and bailing wire. *RON*]

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press / The Star, 22 July 2017
RED DEER, ALTA.—Alberta's political landscape profoundly shifted Saturday as its two main conservative parties — enemies for a decade — overwhelmingly agreed to end their feud and work as one to defeat Premier Rachel Notley's NDP.

In separate votes, members of the Wildrose party and the Progressive Conservatives voted in a landslide to merge into the new United Conservative Party.

Wildrose supporters voted 95.4 per cent in results announced at a hotel in Red Deer late Saturday afternoon.

About two hours later, Progressive Conservative…

A Whopping 91% of Plastic Isn't Recycled

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[Ugh! The first major analysis of the issue finds that billions of tons of plastic have been made over the past decades, and almost all of it is becoming trash and litter. *RON*]
Laura Parker, National Geographic, 19 July 2017
Mass production of plastics, which began just six decades ago, has accelerated so rapidly that it has created 8.3 billion metric tons—most of it in disposable products that end up as trash. If that seems like an incomprehensible quantity, it is. Even the scientists who set out to conduct the world’s first tally of how much plastic has been produced, discarded, burned or put in landfills, were horrified by the sheer size of the numbers.

“We all knew there was a rapid and extreme increase in plastic production from 1950 until now, but actually quantifying the cumulative number for all plastic ever made was quite shocking,” says Jenna Jambeck, a University of Georgia environmental engineer who specializes in studying plastic was…