Showing posts from September 2, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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

Robert Mueller Eliminates Trump’s Trump Card, New York Magazine [A thing of beauty!]
Federal judge blocks Texas ban on sanctuary cities in blow for Trump, The Guardian
Iran adhering to nuclear deal with world powers, U.N. watchdog says, Washington Post [Despite Trump's claims otherwise]
Trump calls for lower taxes on rich people while Houston drowns, Think Progress [Including a tidy profit for him, personally]
Are Trump's Generals on the Verge of Committing the Biggest Blunder of His Presidency?, AlterNet [On the possibility of the US arming the Ukraine]
Lifting the Veil on Another Batch of Shadowy Trump Appointees, Truthout [E.g., "a lobbyist who until March worked for a leading hepatitis C drugmaker that priced its treatment at $1,000 a pill and is now leading a White House working group setting drug pricing policies."]

How Washington Made Harvey Worse

Click here to view the original article.
[Why do people live in routinely flood-ravaged regions? Despite appearances, it pays. Adverse selection, American edition. Government-subsidised flood insurance encourages Americans to build in flood-prone areas. One house in Houston has flooded 16 times in 18 years, netting its owners $800,000 on a valuation of $115,000. Not only do the new buildings get flooded; they also pave over wetlands and pastures that previously soaked up rain, ensuring more and worse floods. Small wonder that Houston has declared three "500-year" floods in the past three years. *RON*]
Michael Grunwald, Politico, 29 August 2017
A federal insurance program made Harvey far more costly—and Congress could have known it was coming.

Hurricane Harvey was a disaster foretold.

Nearly two decades before the storm's historic assault on homes and businesses along the Gulf Coast of Texas this week, the National Wildlife Federation released a groundbreaking report about …

Hundreds of children lose lives on desperate sea journeys

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[Hundreds and hundreds of Alan Kurdis, and we have simply stopped paying attention. Infants and children are among the 8,500 refugees and migrants who have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean since the toddler Alan Kurdi drowned two years ago. *RON*]
Marco Rotunno, UNHCR, 31 August 2017
The swell whipped up and Hope* gathered her three young daughters close to her on the overcrowded dinghy. None were swimmers.

“Don’t cry, Mama. Rescue ship is coming.” The words of comfort were 10-year-old Mercy’s* last.

As the rescue ship came into view, panic gripped the 130 Gambian and Nigerian passengers on the dinghy, drifting without power in the open Mediterranean. The men who could swim leapt into the sea, unbalancing the boat and causing it to flip over.

Clutching baby Faith* tightly, Hope was pitched into the water and became trapped underneath the dinghy. Five minutes later, a man’s hand reached into the darkness, grabbed her and hauled her up on to …

Pastor Joel Osteen asking for donations in return for hosting flood survivors

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[The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines "charity" as "the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God." Of course this corporatocrat masquerading as a Christian has turned this into a money making opportunity - the level of self-centred venality is appalling. *RON*]

Nova Magazine, 29 August 2017

The $50-million preacher, Joel Osteen, who lives in a $10 million home, shut the doors to his massive Lakewood Church in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey — even though it can hold up to 16,000 people.

After being shamed on social media pastor Osteen has decided to open up the doors to his megachurch to house some of the flood victims in Houston, Texas.

Just as a reminder, Osteen posted a notice on his website earlier, that the church would be shut over the weekend — and it remained closed Monday.

The pastor said he was unable to offer his venue as a tem…

‘Proud Boys’ return to active military duty, face no criminal charges

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[This is how the Trudeau government achieves truth and reconciliation with the Aboriginal community. By giving a 'tut-tut' to aggressive racists within their ranks. *RON*]
Alexander Quon & Sean Previl, Global News, 31 August 2017

Four of the five members of the Canadian Armed Forces who disrupted a Mi’kmaq ceremony in Halifax are set to return to their regular duties, according to a statement from the military.

One of the five members has since left the military, though a military official said he had been in the process of leaving the Armed Forces before the July 1 incident occurred.

READ MORE: Canadian Armed Forces apologize for members’ actions at Indigenous ceremony in Halifax
Rear Admiral John Newton, Commander, Joint Task Force Atlantic and Maritime Forces Atlantic, issued the statement on Thursday.

“The investigation has now been completed, and no criminal charges will be laid,” wrote Newton in the statement.

“Any further inap…

Harvey drives up gas prices for Labor Day weekend

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[Oil and gas are over-produced well beyond demand already, and you can't even give away new licenses to drill for more oil, yet partial damage in one region instantly drives prices up everywhere? When the price of oil per barrel plummeted below $50 the oil companies all said, "Oh it will take six months before we work through our current inventory and then prices might drop some." *RON*]

Ally Marotti, Chicago Tribune, 1 September 2017
A backyard barbecue may be gentler on the budget than a weekend road trip this Labor Day as the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey continues to jack up gas prices in Illinois and elsewhere.

The average price for a gallon of gas in the state jumped up to $2.54 on Friday, 4 cents higher than Thursday's average and about 13 cents higher than a week ago, before Harvey made its first landfall. Gas prices in the Chicago metro area saw a 3-cent increase from Thursday, up to $2.65 on Friday. That was a 9-cent …