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Zorro

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 9,835

Journal Archives

Getting shot by police is a leading cause of death for black men in America

About 1 in 1,000 black men and boys in America can expect to die at the hands of police, according to a new analysis of deaths involving law enforcement officers. That makes them 2.5 times more likely than white men and boys to die during an encounter with cops.

The analysis also showed that Latino men and boys, black women and girls and Native American men, women and children are also killed by police at higher rates than their white peers. But the vulnerability of black males was particularly striking.

“That 1-in-1,000 number struck us as quite high,” said study leader Frank Edwards, a sociologist at Rutgers University. “That’s better odds of being killed by police than you have of winning a lot of scratch-off lottery games.”

The number-crunching by Edwards and his coauthors also revealed that for all young men, police violence was one of the leading causes of death in the years 2013 to 2018.

https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2019-08-15/police-shootings-are-a-leading-cause-of-death-for-black-men

Denmark Offers to Buy U.S.

COPENHAGEN (The Borowitz Report)—After rebuffing Donald J. Trump’s hypothetical proposal to purchase Greenland, the government of Denmark has announced that it would be interested in buying the United States instead.

“As we have stated, Greenland is not for sale,” a spokesperson for the Danish government said on Friday. “We have noted, however, that during the Trump regime, pretty much everything in the United States, including its government, has most definitely been for sale.”

“Denmark would be interested in purchasing the United States in its entirety, with the exception of its government,” the spokesperson added. A key provision of the purchase offer, the spokesperson said, would be the relocation of Donald Trump to another country “to be determined,” with Russia and North Korea cited as possible destinations.

If Denmark’s bid for the United States is accepted, the Scandinavian nation has ambitious plans for its new acquisition. “We believe that by giving the U.S. an educational system and national health care, it could be transformed from a vast land mass into a great nation,” the spokesperson said.

https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/denmark-offers-to-buy-us

With Trump as President, the World Is Spiraling Into Chaos

Earlier this week, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Asad Majeed Khan, visited The New York Times editorial board, and I asked him about the threat of armed conflict between his country and India over Kashmir. India and Pakistan have already fought two wars over the Himalayan territory, which both countries claim, and which is mostly divided between them. India recently revoked the constitutionally guaranteed autonomy of the part of Kashmir it controls and put nearly seven million people there under virtual house arrest. Pakistan’s prime minister compared India’s leaders to Nazis and warned that they’ll target Pakistan next. It seems like there’s potential for humanitarian and geopolitical horror.

Khan’s answer was not comforting. “We are two big countries with very large militaries with nuclear capability and a history of conflict,” he said. “So I would not like to burden your imagination on that one, but obviously if things get worse, then things get worse.”

All over the world, things are getting worse. China appears to be weighing a Tiananmen Square-like crackdown in Hong Kong. After I spoke to Khan, hostilities between India and Pakistan ratcheted up further; on Thursday, fighting across the border in Kashmir left three Pakistani soldiers dead. (Pakistan also claimed that five Indian soldiers were killed, but India denied it.) Turkey is threatening to invade Northeast Syria to go after America’s Kurdish allies there, and it’s not clear if an American agreement meant to prevent such an incursion will hold.

North Korea’s nuclear program and ballistic missile testing continue apace. The prospect of a two-state solution in Israel and Palestine is more remote than it’s been in decades. Tensions between America and Iran keep escalating. Relations between Japan and South Korea have broken down. A Pentagon report warns that ISIS is “re-surging” in Syria. The U.K. could see food shortages if the country’s Trumpish prime minister, Boris Johnson, follows through on his promise to crash out of the European Union without an agreement in place for the aftermath. Oh, and the globe may be lurching towards recession.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/16/opinion/hong-kong-kashmir-trump.html

Inspector general finds politically motivated harassment at State Department

A report by the State Department’s inspector general concludes that leadership of a leading department bureau mistreated and harassed staffers, accused them of political disloyalty to the Trump administration, and retaliated against them.

In response to repeated counseling by more senior State officials that he address staff concerns, the report concluded, Kevin Moley, assistant secretary for international affairs, “did not take significant action.”

The report, released Thursday, is a sweeping condemnation of Moley and more specifically of his former senior adviser, Mari Stull. A former lobbyist and consultant for international food and agriculture interests, Stull left the department in January following press reports that, among other things, she had compiled a list of staffers deemed insufficiently loyal to the Trump administration.

The 30-page report — based on what it said were interviews with dozens of current and former employees, as well as documents — chronicled numerous episodes of Stull berating and belittling employees, and Moley’s repeated failure to deal with complaints reported to him.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/inspector-general-finds-politically-motivated-harassment-at-state-department/2019/08/15/2208a432-bf9f-11e9-9b73-fd3c65ef8f9c_story.html

Trump has a dream team for mismanaging a recession

President Trump inherited a good economy, and for roughly 2½ years managed (mostly) not to mess it up. As with his business empire, he also somehow convinced much of the public that this windfall was due to his personal talents rather than luck.

But right now his luck — and ours — might be running out.

Bond markets are flashing warning signs. Stock prices are whipsawing. Some troubling economic data are rolling in, both here and abroad. All this suggests that the risk of a U.S. recession is rising.

Trump seems to be worried about getting blamed for what is coming. For months, he has been setting up the Federal Reserve as a scapegoat — including for market swings caused by his own foolish trade wars. When stocks go up, Trump claims full credit; when they go down, it’s the Fed’s fault. Personal responsibility and all that.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-has-a-dream-team-for-mismanaging-a-recession/2019/08/15/0254451c-bf98-11e9-a5c6-1e74f7ec4a93_story.html

Trump, banking on strong economy to win reelection, frets over a possible downturn

Mounting signs of global economic distress this week have alarmed President Trump, who is worried that a downturn could imperil his reelection, even as administration officials acknowledge that they have not planned for a possible recession.

Trump is banking on a strong economy to win a second term in 2020, and in recent weeks he has impulsively lashed out at the Federal Reserve, pressured Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to label China a “currency manipulator,” and unexpectedly delayed tariffs on Chinese imports out of fear they could depress holiday retail sales.

Yet despite gyrations in the U.S. stock market and economic slowdowns in other countries, officials in the White House, at the Treasury Department and throughout the administration are planning no new steps to attempt to stave off a recession. Rather, Trump’s economic advisers have been delivering the president upbeat assessments in which they argue that the domestic economy is stronger than many forecasters are making it out to be.

In turn, Trump has sought to use his Twitter pulpit to drown out negative indicators. On Thursday, he promoted the U.S. economy as “the Biggest, Strongest and Most Powerful Economy in the World,” and, citing growth in the retail sector, predicted that it would only get stronger. He also accused the news media of “doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-banking-on-strong-economy-to-win-reelection-frets-over-a-possible-downturn/2019/08/15/04a85352-bf67-11e9-b873-63ace636af08_story.html

Wall Street Worried About Key Recession Indicator After Black Storm Clouds Spotted Atop Mount Money



NEW YORK—In response to a leading economic barometer portending woe to come, Wall Street officials expressed concern about a looming recession Thursday after ominous black storm clouds were spotted atop Mount Money.

“While consumer spending and jobless claims are certainly important bellwethers, we were forced to negatively revise the outlook for the U.S. economy after detecting the tempestuous and sinister sky roiling above Mount Money as well as fissures forming in the peak,” said economist Russ DeWitte, noting that the black smoke billowing from Stagflation Chasm was the most reliable auger of doom and had foretold every single downturn since the Great Depression.

“We were first forewarned by the menacing caws of ravens perched in the lucre tree and became increasingly apprehensive when Mount Money’s crystal-clear spring began to boil and turn acrid with the stench of sulfur. Atone for your sins, for financial doom is upon us.”

At press time, the Federal Reserve was attempting to stave off the economic calamity by lowering consumers into Mount Money’s magma chamber.

https://www.theonion.com/wall-street-worried-about-key-recession-indicator-after-1837281968

Trump has turned the government against the middle class

Markets are shaped by choices. Not just the choices of sellers and buyers, but the choices of political leaders too, who shape the rules that govern how markets operate.

Markets only work if government sets the rules of the road, establishing property rights, providing consumer-safety protections, protecting workers, and much more. The critical question is who writes those rules and who benefits from them.

Under the Trump administration, the answer is clear: the economic rules have been rewritten to enrich wealthy donors and politicians and to hurt working- and middle-class families.

Look no further than Trump’s signature legislation: his tax bill.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-has-turned-the-government-against-the-middle-class-2019-08-14

Why an Heiress Spent Her Fortune Trying to Keep Immigrants Out

She was an heiress without a cause — an indifferent student, an unhappy young bride, a miscast socialite. Her most enduring passion was for birds.

But Cordelia Scaife May eventually found her life’s purpose: curbing what she perceived as the lethal threat of overpopulation by trying to shut America’s doors to immigrants.

She believed that the United States was “being invaded on all fronts” by foreigners, who “breed like hamsters” and exhaust natural resources. She thought that the border with Mexico should be sealed and that abortions on demand would contain the swelling masses in developing countries.

An heiress to the Mellon banking and industrial fortune with a half-billion dollars at her disposal, Mrs. May helped create what would become the modern anti-immigration movement. She bankrolled the founding and operation of the nation’s three largest restrictionist groups — the Federation for American Immigration Reform, NumbersUSA and the Center for Immigration Studies — as well as dozens of smaller ones, including some that have promulgated white nationalist views.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/14/us/anti-immigration-cordelia-scaife-may.html

I wonder whether being childless herself contributed to her anti-immigrant beliefs.

Endangered Polar Bear Demands Face-to-Face Meeting with Trump

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—One day after the White House took steps to weaken the Endangered Species Act, an irate polar bear has demanded a face-to-face meeting with Donald J. Trump.

The bear, who was described as “livid” by his spokesperson, has already begun his journey from the Arctic to Washington to express his deep dissatisfaction with Trump. “He has been ravenously hungry because of the destruction of his habitat,” the bear’s spokesperson said. “The latest news about the Endangered Species Act has not improved his mood.”

Although it is unclear whether a one-on-one meeting between Trump and the aggrieved bear will occur, a new poll indicates that a broad majority of Americans would strongly favor such a meeting.

The White House has, so far, issued no response to the bear’s request, but the Vice-President, Mike Pence, has already refused a one-on-one meeting with a female polar bear.

https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/endangered-polar-bear-demands-face-to-face-meeting-with-trump
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